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skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2007,11:53   

It seems that things have been entirely too nice around for a while so I thought it was time to stir things up.  I'm not sure how long this has been out, I must have missed the national fanfare, but I picked up Behe's new book today.

The Edge of Evolution - The Search for the Limits of Darwinism

Dr. Behe and I part ways on many points but I always give him a good read and I thought why not share that with everyone in the process.  Now, I anticipate most here haven't read this book so I'll be doing a service with my summary.  Who knows, maybe we'll hear something new.  :D

  
Rev. BigDumbChimp



Posts: 185
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2007,11:57   

Quote (skeptic @ June 04 2007,11:53)
It seems that things have been entirely too nice around for a while so I thought it was time to stir things up.  I'm not sure how long this has been out, I must have missed the national fanfare, but I picked up Behe's new book today.

The Edge of Evolution - The Search for the Limits of Darwinism

Dr. Behe and I part ways on many points but I always give him a good read and I thought why not share that with everyone in the process.  Now, I anticipate most here haven't read this book so I'll be doing a service with my summary.  Who knows, maybe we'll hear something new.  :D

You should check out the multitude of reviews that are out there.

Mark Chu-Carroll's in particular

But there are a few more.

And don;t forget to see the whining temper tantrums being thrown over at the clown show.

  
Rev. BigDumbChimp



Posts: 185
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2007,12:10   

Blake Stacey is collecting a list of the reviews and other chatter about Behe's new book.

The Edge of Evolution Reviews and news

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2007,13:00   

Perhaps you could explain to me whether or not Mark Chu-Carroll's review mischaracterises Behe, and if not why is it wrong.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2007,18:38   

I'd like to know why Behe didn't dazzle the scientific world with his, uh, bold new scientific insights on the witness stand in Dover, when he had the chance . . . . .

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,07:56   

We've all had a good laugh as each of Behe's previous examples of 'Irreducible Complexity' has been found wrong, like the clotting cascade and the flagellum. Well he comes up with a new example of IC in his new book, and Surprise! It's wrong.

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,08:17   

Might as well have the direct pointer to the source of the damage:

Nick Matzke Pwns Michael Behe

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,08:18   

Oh it's just frakkin priceless that the example he uses throughout the book as "ooooo it's so complex, godmustadunit" is the perfect counterexample to his IC horsecrap.

Like rain on your wedding day, baby.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Albatrossity2



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,09:14   

I don't know how many folks on this board subscribe to Natural History magazine, but the most recent (June 2007) issue has an interesting batch of reviews by Darwin scholar Richard Milner. Lots of post-Dover books are discussed, as well as Randy Olson's Flock of Dodos film.

He cites some interesting points, including the observation by  Matthew Chapman that most kids, who are ostensibly the main focus of the protagonists in this struggle, are clueless about ID and natural selection. I don't know if that is a good sign or a bad one! But he also quotes someone named Frank Wheeler, who is described as a "practicing Christian" whom he met on a cruise to the Galápagos. Wheeler also admitted that he rarely heard evolution discussed in any Christian organization. Furthermore, Wheeler wrote "Most of us are more concerned about helping people improve their lives than in a literal interpretation of Genesis."

If true, that is a very good sign.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,12:31   

In the discussion of how Behe fucked up his discussion of malaria, I came across this quote from his book:

Quote
"Here’s something to ponder long and hard: Malaria was intentionally designed. The molecular machinery with which the parasite invades red blood cells is an exquisitely purposeful arrangement of parts."


Tho I know it's a minor point, this made me wonder just what Behe thinks the religious significance is of the Disembodied Telic Entity facilitating what might be the worst disease in human history. Then I came across this interesting comment by Larry Gilman at PT:

Quote

I don’t have Behe’s new book, but what he’s almost certainly implying is that malaria is Satanically designed—that it is a bioweapon created by a supernatural enemy. This is yet another reason why the argument from “bad” design (i.e., the argument that design that’s “bad” by human standards disproves ID) is a weak reed, even though one form of it has given this excellent website its name: Creationists can always attribute harmless natural oddities like the panda’s thumb to divine whimsey, not-so-harmless phenomena to prehistoric sabotage by demonic forces. And so they do. The idea of demonic sabotage of the natural order has, as far as I know, been little or not at all taken up by mainstream Christian theologians—it smacks of Manicheism and has no scriptural basis. But the IDers, whose theology is as twisted as their pseudoscience, are forced by their assumptions to cross the line.

The deep craziness of the inevitably resulting worldview needs no emphasis on this forum.

Larry


(my boldfacing)

This is interesting, since maybe I haven't been paying enough attention, but this idea had never occurred to me before: that malevolent (but still 'intelligent'!) design, by Old Scratch hisself, is fair game for the DIY, non-centralized Protestant theology of ID advocates.

So, the obvious question at this point: did the Debbil fuck up the design of the prostate and the urinary tract as well? Is Beelzebub ultimately responsible for my lower back pain?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: June 08 2007,14:37   

Quote
Those are the words that Thomas Huxley, Darwin's confidant and staunchest ally, purportedly murmured to a colleague as he rose to turn Bishop Samuel Wilberforce's own words to his advantage and rebut the bishop's critique of Darwin's theory at their legendary 1860 Oxford debate. They are also the first words that popped into my head as I read Michael J. Behe's The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism. In it, Behe makes a new set of explicit claims about the limits of Darwinian evolution, claims that are so poorly conceived and readily dispatched that he has unwittingly done his critics a great favor in stating them.


http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/316/5830/1427

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 08 2007,15:02   

The Lord hath delivered him into mine hands.  
Quote (stevestory @ June 08 2007,14:37)
 
Quote
Those are the words that Thomas Huxley, Darwin's confidant and staunchest ally, purportedly murmured to a colleague as he rose to turn Bishop Samuel Wilberforce's own words to his advantage and rebut the bishop's critique of Darwin's theory at their legendary 1860 Oxford debate. They are also the first words that popped into my head as I read Michael J. Behe's The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism. In it, Behe makes a new set of explicit claims about the limits of Darwinian evolution, claims that are so poorly conceived and readily dispatched that he has unwittingly done his critics a great favor in stating them.


http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/316/5830/1427

Brilliant!  Sean Carroll was the perfect reviewer for Behe's latest drivel. Kudos to the staff at Science for making that choice. And the Monty Python cartoon is just perfect as well.

Of course, DT will tell us that Carroll is unqualified to review books, since he has written some before...

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



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Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 09 2007,12:34   

DS starts the counter-fisking:
Quote
Sean Carroll writes a review of Michael Behe’s new book “Edge of Evolution” for Science Magazine titled God as Genetic Engineer. Professor Behe can’t respond to this for at least a week so let’s give him a hand by fisking it. Please keep your comments topical, focused, and well supported by evidence arguing against the reviewer’s conclusions.


"well supported by evidence"? Ha, some chance.
In the 3 comments so far the first is from DS who, in an effort to support with evidence his point, links to an earlier blog post at UD!

The second comment boldly steps out with:
Quote
That statement in bold caught my attention as well, but for a different reason. He uses the word “degenerate” when the idea that gene duplication says that one inactive copy may evolve while the other one is open to selective pressure. Shouldn’t he have said “evolve” instead of “degenerate”?


hmm. And the third? Contains this gem:
Quote
I haven’t read Dr. Behe’s book


bwhahahaaha. Why not get Dr Dembski, mafs wizard, on the case DS? Or can't he be bothered matching MarkCC's pathetic level of detail?
Link

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



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(Permalink) Posted: June 09 2007,13:43   

hah, #4 Borne:
Quote
The “no transitionals”, contrary to the reviewers bare assertion, is more valid than ever.

When will Darwinists figure out that calling something a transitional because it shares morphological traits doesn’t make it such?


bare assertion is all UD is about Borne, including your comment itself!
Quote
I still believe one of the major defects of Darwinist scientists is a lack of training in logic and information. That’s what perpetually leads them astray into nonsense.

Thats laughable coming from you Borne.

Quote
All the blows are being given to Darwinism as any one with a clear, unprejudiced mind can see.


Mmm, musta been all those court cases Dawrinism keeps losing he refering to.

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



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(Permalink) Posted: June 09 2007,18:42   

Bornagain responds:  
Quote
Here is a refutation I found of his assertion that cefotaxime antibiotic resistance in bacteria was proof of evolution.

He then adds  
Quote
Point mutations confer cefotaxime resistance, but they compromise ampicillin resistance. Thus, selection for both drug resistances in a bacterium with two copies of beta-lactamase should favor the divergence of one copy to improve cefotaxime resistance while maintaining the other copy to preserve ampicillin resistance. This selection was performed on a bacterium with identical sequences of beta-lactamase on two separate, compatible plasmids. As expected, one plasmid evolved increased cefotaxime resistance when appropriately strong cefotaxime selection was applied. However, the cefotaxime-resistant plasmid maintained sufficient ampicillin resistance to tolerate the concentration of ampicillin used, and the other plasmid was lost. Hosts carrying both the cefotaxime-resistant and wild-type plasmids were then subjected to various higher concentrations of both drugs to find conditions that would ensure the maintenance of both plasmids. In a striking contradiction to our model, no such conditions were found. The fitness cost of carrying both plasmids increased dramatically as antibiotic levels were raised, and either the wild-type plasmid was lost or the cells did not grow. This study highlights the importance of the cost of duplicate genes and the quantitative nature of the tradeoff in the evolution of gene duplication through functional divergence.

However this is an abstract of an article found here at pubmed.
He also "forgot" to add the first line of the summary  
Quote
The fate of gene duplicates subjected to diversifying selection was tested experimentally in a bacterial system. The wild-type TEM-1 beta-lactamase gene confers resistance to ampicillin but not to cefotaxime.


Do you think that the Section of Evolution and Ecology, Center for Population Biology, University of California approves?  :p
Would they call it a refutation? Hmm

And, I wonder, does this meet the DS requirement? Lets remind ourselves
Quote
Please keep your comments topical, focused, and well supported by evidence


Do you think he really meant somebody else's evidence ?

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 09 2007,19:30   

Quote
claims that are so poorly conceived and readily dispatched that he has unwittingly done his critics a great favor in stating them.


so... since this appears to be the case for Behe in every public forum he has attempted to present his arguments for the past 5 years or more...

what are the speculations as to where his wit went?

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 09 2007,23:30   

wit as in marbles or humor?

  
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2007,02:48   

Quote (skeptic @ June 09 2007,23:30)
wit as in marbles or humor?

one often follows the other I've noticed.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2007,05:43   

I thought biologists had found and surpassed the limits of Darwinism 80 years ago?
And then found and surpassed the limits of that theory?

Behe sure is behing the times, but we know that already from his limited reading list.

  
ToSeek



Posts: 33
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2007,12:41   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 04 2007,18:38)
I'd like to know why Behe didn't dazzle the scientific world with his, uh, bold new scientific insights on the witness stand in Dover, when he had the chance . . . . .

What? And give away his ideas for free?

  
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 12 2007,21:08   

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyng....rry.php

   
J-Dog



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Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,14:40   

Quote (stevestory @ June 12 2007,21:08)
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyng....rry.php

For your viewing pleasure, the link is to some great comments by real scientists trashing Behe's book at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp....Connect

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,14:49   

LOL.

I love the:

Dear sir...

you are truly an IDiot

respectfully yours...



hilarious!

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,14:57   

Quote (J-Dog @ June 13 2007,14:40)
Quote (stevestory @ June 12 2007,21:08)
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyng....rry.php

For your viewing pleasure, the link is to some great comments by real scientists trashing Behe's book at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp....Connect

Holy crap, Dude is getting whooped on the science and of course falls back to Hitler, communism, planned parenthood, Jesus, Satan, the whole enchilada, in one comment!

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,15:03   

you got it.

that's where their mindset is.  It really doesn't seem to take much to get them there, either.

it's why keeping this shit OUT of schools is so important:

without the refreshment of these idiots teaching this inanity, it will eventually die of old age.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,15:11   

Man, O Son.  That was like a Tard Burrito.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,15:30   

My favorite is that the KRID Theory ismore valid than ID theory from poster John Kwok:

So I would argue that a perfectly valid alternative to Intelligent Design is the Kwok-Roddenberry Intelligent Design model of origins, or KRID for short. KRID postulates that sometime in the distant future, a flotilla of Klingon battlecruisers - or just one Klingon battlecruiser - traveled back in time, and dropped out of warp, orbiting the primordial Earth approximately 4.5 billion years ago. A team of Klingon scientists and engineers then created the necessary conditions favorable for the origins of life on Planet Earth, knowing that by doing so, they could change the timeline to ensure that James T. Kirk would not be born in the 23rd Century. Apparently they've been successful, since there hasn't been the Eugenics Wars or a World War IV which wiped out most of the globe in a nuclear conflict between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I submit to you that there is more ample evidence in support of KRID than for ID, and I will also note that KRID is consistent with the Modern Synthesis Theory of Evolution too.

Live Long and Prosper,

ps:  if anyone has an Amazon account, they could invite Mr. Kwok to our humble little corner of the blogosphere.  I tried to, but do bot qualify, since I have not bought a book from them in the past.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,16:12   

I for one welcome our future Klingon overlords.

QAPLA' !

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Chris Hyland



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(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,16:43   

Interesting, but my theory is still that Dembski, Behe and Wells will travell back in time and seed the first life so that they can sell books.

  
deejay



Posts: 113
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,17:18   

From Behe:

 
Quote
[The Edge of Evolution] develops a framework for intelligent design as a comprehensive scientific statement, defining the principles by which Darwinian evolution can be distinguished from design, and fits design theory together with the findings of cosmology, chemistry, and physics into an overarching theory of the universe.


ID won't match your pathetic level of detail, but ID will blow away your pathetic level of self-congratulation.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,17:38   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ June 13 2007,16:43)
Interesting, but my theory is still that Dembski, Behe and Wells will travell back in time and seed the first life so that they can sell books.

You dirty minded pervert.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,17:45   

Quote
design theory


oh, it's an actual theory now, is it?

what'dImiss?

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,19:41   

The Humiliation Continues.

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,19:44   

Is it wrong to enjoy the schadenfreude of Behe getting dismembered?

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,19:53   

no Steve, no.

why?

because nobody ASKED him to write this tripe.  He felt he needed to inflict it on us.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,20:04   

Poor bastard. Desperately trying to salvage his 'discovery'.

   
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,20:43   

meh, he's tenured, he's not too worried about the implications of what he writes at this point, only that he is at least remembered for something, anything.

the extra cash from book sales is likely quite minor, but welcome as well.

Unfortunately for him (?), I think most around these parts are much more likely to recall him for the paraphrase of his testimony in the Kitzmiller case, than what he wrote in his books.

"Astrology is Science, by my definition of science"

while it's quite easy to see JAD's level of mental disability, Behe doesn't post near enough to get any kind of a consistent feel for what is going on in his head.

It does make me curious, and wonder if people have in fact run across indicative posts of Behe that would make for evidence as to just how far and in what direction his wits went.

no, I don't feel sorry for the man.

yet.

give him another 5 years or so.

once he's spent a few years in emeritus status, and he starts to babble, then I'll start feeling sorry for him.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Darth Robo



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Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,06:55   

Is it too late to tell the Klingons to make Behe Qu'vatlh?

???

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"Commentary: How would you like to be the wholly-owned servant to an organic meatbag? It's demeaning! If, uh, you weren't one yourself, I mean..."

  
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,12:36   

not at all.  in fact, you might be far too early.

after all, according to KRIP, the Klingons only seeded us, they haven't been around to check back yet.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,13:15   

I haven't read Behe's book, but if this part of RBH's review is any indication, he's still making embarrassingly bad statistical arguments:

Quote
Of course, that’s a ridiculous set of numbers, since the probability calculations do not veridically map the phenomena. Behe’s calculations are directly parallel to those of young-earth creationist Henry Morris in his 1974 Scientific Creationism and they are equally ludicrous. Unfortunately for Behe, they are informative only about the ignorance of the person doing the calculating. They ignore the role of neutral mutations in making multiple potential evolutionary pathways available and the probability amplification of cumulative selection – see Jerry Coyne’s review and ths recent Nature brief review of the reconstruction of selectable pathways in molecular evolution. Of particular interest in the latter review is a description of one study in which 120 potential evolutionary pathways from a precursor to a ‘final’ structure were identified. Of the 120 potential pathways, 18 were composed of selectable steps all the way. Now, if one picked out one of the pathways with unselectable steps, one could marvel at how an intelligent designer was necessary to bridge the gaps. On the other hand, if one knows there are pathways in which all steps are selectable, no designer is necessary. Behe consistently picks out just one path and marvels at the gaps.

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,13:21   

Jim Wynne thinks Behe is deliberately lying at this point.

   
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,13:58   

from the post:

Quote
My own view is that Behe, Dembski, et al know they're wrong on the science and math, but have chosen what they see as a Greater Good--bringing the masses to Jebus,


this brings up an interesting point:

Is the lying a deliberate calculation, or a subconscious extension of an underlying system of denial and projection?

If they firmly believe they need to bring the masses to Jeebus, it seems at least plausible that at some level, they simply don't have the same understanding of what they do as "lying" as an observer might.

I think about this doubly when I see FTK post, and AFDave as well.

it appears clear that their oft repeated misstatements of fact in the clear presence of many posted corrections appears on the surface to be essentially "lying".  but the nature of their responses seems to suggest that they don't have a conscious recognition of what they do as lying.

It's exceedingly hard to tease out what the primary motivating factors are for people like Behe.  It's clear it's not just money, or he'd kick out far more books more often.  IF it really is "bringing people to jeebus", simply saying he is "lying" just doesn't really cover the underlying motivations well enough, imo.

IMO, based on a very basic understanding of psychology, much of the motivating factor is entirely selfish in nature:

in order to maintain a certain level of stable compartmentalization, they require that their specific rationalizations and projections be enabled by those around them.  Their minds will construct any specific set of fabrications in order to attract those who would enable them, and thus protect the relatively stable set of compartmentalizations they have developed over the years.

Lies?  yes, but not to their minds.  At least not consciously.

the more i see the commonalities of behavior, the more I think this issue has far less to do with religion, or even money, and the more I think it has to do with a complex case of enabling and maintaining a specific mindset.

I think Nick has spent a lot of time looking at the history of the creationist movement, and looking at much of his commentary as he has investigated the issue, there appears to be a lot of evidence that as science has become more and more important in producing and maintaining our quality of life, the "creationist reaction" has become more and more well defined.

I recall having seen that much of the modern creationist movement really started only about 80 years ago, though the details escape me at the moment.

now recall FTK talking about how creation scientists have been producing evolutionary hypotheses "long before Darwin".

yes, this IS a lie, on the face of it, but it makes perfect sense if your mind is rapidly spinning defenses.

did she INTEND to lie about that?  highly doubtful.

I think papers on the psychology of this issue, like that in last month's Science, are finally (and about damn time, IMO) taking a closer look at the creationist mindset from a purely psychological perspective.

I'm betting my money that in the end, that direction will be the most productive in resolving the conflicts many posses between science and religion.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Jim_Wynne



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Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,14:11   

Quote (stevestory @ June 14 2007,13:21)
Jim Wynne thinks Behe is deliberately lying at this point.

Thanks, Steve.  I think that Behe started out earnest enough, but painted himself into a corner.  Now he's just going to sit there and milk it.  He's clearly given up any scientific credibility he might have once had, and short of complete retraction of the past ten years, he'll never get it back. He knows this--he's not delusional.  His only choices at this point are to jump off of the speeding gravy train before his academic reputation is too far in the distance, or take a seat in the club car and enjoy the ride.

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,14:33   

Quote
He knows this--he's not delusional


Jim-

go re-read (or read, if you haven't yet), the transcript of Behe's testimony at the Kitzmiller trial (it's pretty easy to find online).

after reading that, tell me just how sure you are he has no delusions he is trying to maintain.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,14:50   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 14 2007,14:33)
 
Quote
He knows this--he's not delusional


Jim-

go re-read (or read, if you haven't yet), the transcript of Behe's testimony at the Kitzmiller trial (it's pretty easy to find online).

after reading that, tell me just how sure you are he has no delusions he is trying to maintain.

I have read the transcripts.  At Dover, Behe chose to stay on the train. Once that choice is made and common sense has been abdicated, practically anything he says or writes is bound to sound delusional.  If I'm right, why should I  expect that he'd get on the stand and do an Emily Litella and say "Never mind, I don't really believe any of this"?


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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,15:00   

my point is that there is a difference between a hoax or a scam and what Behe and those like him seem to portray.

sure, there is likely to be an element of thinking your audience are suckers, but that doesn't appear to explain the bulk of their responses, or their behavior.

I recall a thread fairly recently where there was a raging debate over whether people like Falwell actually "believe" even half of what they were saying.

there wouldn't even be any question of it if they were simple snake-oil salesmen.

let's look at some other "moderate" examples.

what about Francis Collins' claim of "moral law indicates special creation" in his recent book?

Is he lying to sucker rubes?

I think not, though he might be lying to himself.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
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(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,15:37   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 14 2007,15:00)
my point is that there is a difference between a hoax or a scam and what Behe and those like him seem to portray.

sure, there is likely to be an element of thinking your audience are suckers, but that doesn't appear to explain the bulk of their responses, or their behavior.

I recall a thread fairly recently where there was a raging debate over whether people like Falwell actually "believe" even half of what they were saying.

there wouldn't even be any question of it if they were simple snake-oil salesmen.

let's look at some other "moderate" examples.

what about Francis Collins' claim of "moral law indicates special creation" in his recent book?

Is he lying to sucker rubes?

I think not, though he might be lying to himself.

No one is asked to reveal their motives when entering the Big Tent, thus there are many to be found within it.  We can safely say that poor ol' JAD is off his rocker, for example, and DaveScot suffers from the damning combination of big ego and small intellect.  There's no reason to expect that everyone came to the Tent on the same road.  It's only my opinion, but it seems to me that Behe shows enough signs of rationality to be able to exclude him from the delusional group.  I think that he probably does take his theology seriously, and perhaps has trouble reconciling his faith with his science, but that doesn't mean he's not deliberately prevaricating.

By way of full disclosure, by the way, I haven't read Behe's latest.  I'm waiting for the used copies to get real cheap on Amazon. I bought DBB for about $5, I think.  Right now the cheapest used copy of "Edge" is about $17, which is too much to pay for a bunch of stupid.

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,15:42   

Didn't notice this before:

Quote
Why don't you start a blog and share some personal info. about yourself so we can psychoanalysis you, buddy.--FtK


This is so beautiful for so many reasons.  :)

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,16:11   

Quote
It's only my opinion, but it seems to me that Behe shows enough signs of rationality to be able to exclude him from the delusional group.


different backgrounds, I guess.  coming from the background of a zoologist, 99% of what he says IS completely delusional.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2007,16:12   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 14 2007,15:42)
Didn't notice this before:

Quote
Why don't you start a blog and share some personal info. about yourself so we can psychoanalysis you, buddy.--FtK


This is so beautiful for so many reasons.  :)

my mind is still purposefully blanking on the extreme irony in that sentence.

my eyes glance away every time i try to finish the sentence, even now...

must be an automatic irony protection mechanism kicking in.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 15 2007,06:40   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 13 2007,19:53)
no Steve, no.

why?

because nobody ASKED him to write this tripe.  He felt he needed to inflict it on us.

or he needed the money. Like selling pardons.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 15 2007,06:56   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 14 2007,13:58)
from the post:

 
Quote
My own view is that Behe, Dembski, et al know they're wrong on the science and math, but have chosen what they see as a Greater Good--bringing the masses to Jebus,


this brings up an interesting point:

Is the lying a deliberate calculation, or a subconscious extension of an underlying system of denial and projection?
...

It's exceedingly hard to tease out what the primary motivating factors are for people like Behe.  It's clear it's not just money, or he'd kick out far more books more often.  IF it really is "bringing people to jeebus", simply saying he is "lying" just doesn't really cover the underlying motivations well enough, imo....

... there appears to be a lot of evidence that as science has become more and more important in producing and maintaining our quality of life, the "creationist reaction" has become more and more well defined.

I recall having seen that much of the modern creationist movement really started only about 80 years ago, though the details escape me at the moment.

now recall FTK talking about how creation scientists have been producing evolutionary hypotheses "long before Darwin".

yes, this IS a lie, on the face of it, but it makes perfect sense if your mind is rapidly spinning defenses.

did she INTEND to lie about that?  highly doubtful.

I think papers on the psychology of this issue, like that in last month's Science, are finally (and about damn time, IMO) taking a closer look at the creationist mindset from a purely psychological perspective.

I'm betting my money that in the end, that direction will be the most productive in resolving the conflicts many posses between science and religion.

I think you are probably right Ichthy but the money doesn't hurt.

He may not churn out more for other reasons:

a) they are hard for him to write.
b) he has a day job a Leheigh still doesn't he?
c) it may not have occurred to him to write more.

I can feel for the fear that must go through the FTK/AFDave crowd when they try to reconcile their families and culture  with a harsh reality that must appear to be mocking them but mocking has it's purpose.

If a little bit of humility- just a little bit -were to precede these types of folks, they might not get spanked so hard.  And, apparently, some of us are assigned the role of karmic  debt collectors. Frankly, I'm pissed. Our schools are being sold as scrap, our culture won't question the most corrupt government America's ever had, and ignorance is being intentionally introduced to the next generations.

Bullshite. They make money off it too. Well I wouldn't feel bad watching their representatives being smacked around a bit. Maybe they do believe it but it doesn't mean they don't make money off it. And then little brainwashed minions like FTK and AFdave come along and spread the word to people who are now damm near as dumb as they are.

Ask Steve story about deep south rednecks.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 15 2007,13:00   

Quote
but the money doesn't hurt.


I rather view it more like another enabler.

for example, in Behe's case, he's tenured faculty at a decent Unveristy.  while he might not be drawing a lot of grant money, unless he's a complete idiot when it comes to finances (or he spends his money on hookers and crack), he's likely doing just fine wrt to income.

now Dembski, OTOH, I could imagine him being short enough on the cash front that it becomes a significant motivating factor.

meh, I guess I'm just saying that the commonalities exhibited by these folks don't appear to be best explained from the monetary motive alone.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 15 2007,13:24   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 15 2007,13:00)
Quote
but the money doesn't hurt.


I rather view it more like another enabler.

for example, in Behe's case, he's tenured faculty at a decent Unveristy.  while he might not be drawing a lot of grant money, unless he's a complete idiot when it comes to finances (or he spends his money on hookers and crack), he's likely doing just fine wrt to income.

If I am not mistaken, Behe has 9 children.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 15 2007,13:25   

9?!

*sigh*

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
khan



Posts: 1525
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2007,09:14   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 15 2007,13:25)
9?!

*sigh*


Home-schooled.

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

Frequency is just the plural of wavelength...
-JoeG

  
Reciprocating Bill



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Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2007,10:47   

There are other factors operating here beyond psychological states (lying? delusional?) and possible monetary motivations. IMHO the most important, perhaps implicit in what some have said here, is community identification, membership and commitment.

I would argue that, with the publication of DBB, Behe joined a community of ID "scholars" and advocates who, at least at the outset of the movement, believed they were on to something substantive and important that would advance their particular brands of Christian faith. He also effectively resigned from the community of scientists as he ignored critiques of his book and devised his own, idiosyncratic definition of science. Community allegiance is itself a very powerful motivator; his membership in the ID community will buffer him from the harshest consequences of his resignation from the scientific community.  Behe's latest book appears to be an act of determined advocacy on behalf of the community of which he is now a member.

BTW, most of us are subject to similar factors.  I am not a scientist, but I admire and identify with the ideals and methods of the scientific community, and cannot conceive of "switching sides" in part because I can't imagine myself a member of the ID/Christian communities. In addition to the fact that I disbelieve the central tenets of Christianity, particularly in its simple minded fundamentalist guise, much of that community strikes me as homely in the manner of the photos below. A portrait of the intellectual heart of these communities would be analogously homely.

Of course, what arouses my greatest admiration is the scientific engine of "distributed cognition" and professional communication and debate by means of which theoretical concerns drive and are put to empirical test across large programs of inquiry and research. But community membership and identification are somewhat behind that admiration. I think that is what is so intriguing about posters such as FTK; her paranoid distrust of the world community of science, which most of us here so much admire, is difficult to fathom.  Until one inspects the community of which she is a member, and to which she is deeply and generatively committed.

[edit] oops... forgot to include my pics, from a collection of "worst album covers ever" I encountered somewhere:









But then my favorite recording of all time is Uncle Meat (FZ and the Mothers of Invention):



--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2007,13:38   

heh, that country church one I think is all cast from the MadTV show.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2007,07:52   

Bill, one question, have you read the book and do you have any real justification for this crap you're spouting beyond hatred?

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2007,10:33   

Quote (skeptic @ June 17 2007,07:52)
Bill, one question, have you read the book and do you have any real justification for this crap you're spouting beyond hatred?

That would be two questions, Skept.

[minor edits]

No, I haven't read the book, and I don't think I critiqued the content of the book in any specific terms above.  I've read others of Behe's essays, as well as a considerable quantity of both ID literature and the scientific critiques of same (generally, I'm getting somewhat sick of the entire topic, as it is clearly going nowhere fast). As I stated in my post, I generally trust the motives and process of the scientific community, and those who have already reported upon the emptiness of Behe's latest effort.  

What my post argues is that community identification, membership, and commitment motivates us all, in part, in choosing sides in debates such as these, that Behe resigned from one community and joined another, and that his actions can be understood in that light. I also asserted that what differentiates the scientific community from that with which Behe identifies is a distributed, community process of theory and research that actually increases knowledge of the natural world.  

I also reported my own identification, as well as the fact that I find the extremes of fundamentalist Christianity to be intellectually and aesthetically homely in a manner self-parodied by these album covers (which are real, so far as I can tell).  One needn't look that far to find other examples, however; I also find the buildings, music, sets, oratorical style, etc. employed by contemporary mega-churches and televanglists, regardless of how well monied, to be unbelievably cheesy. But then, as indicated above, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention are my idea of a good time (You didn't see that wink?)

That's all just my opinion - I don't think it reflects hatred, however. I gather you don't agree.      

[Edit]  So, you think the above is crap.  What, you don't think community identification is important? You don't think Behe switched sides? You don't think he is motivated and buffered by his current identification and membership?  You don't think science increases our knowledge of the natural world? You think ID does? You find the aesthetics of contemporary fundamentalist Xtianity to be fine, fine, super fine?

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2007,13:17   

skeptic:

did you read the first book?

was it a grand expose of intellect and veracity?

or was it a piece of crap?

guess what:

don't even need to read the next one to know that the same level of intellect was applied to it.

or did we need to do the merrygoround with Anne Coulter's books again, for comparison?

reasonable assumptions can be made from the various excerpts that have been posted around the web; certainly enough to spur at least humorous reaction if not in depth critique.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:05   

The mistake you make, Bill, is to assume that Behe is no longer a part of the scientific community.  He will tell you himself that he is a heratic but he is still a scientist.  He is trained and educated in science, he has published in peer-reviewed journals as a scientist.  His single sin is that he has turned his back on the established rheotoric and attempted to juxtapose his overridding belief in God with the data as he sees it.

He hasn't given up on science but the scientific community has given up on him, lol, I couldn't resist.

I've read the first book and I'm reading the second book and I always find him interesting even if I disagree with his method.  I suggest you read his books and you may find them interesting but you will certainly see how badly Behe wants them to be true.

And, Ichy, I'm actually suprised that you haven't read them.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:32   

Quote
He will tell you himself that he is a heratic but he is still a scientist.


bill is actually not mistaken.

can you show us the recent work in biochemistry Dr. Behe has been breaking ground with in his lab?

note:

NOT any work his putative grad students (does he have any?) are doing, but research he has himself published IN HIS OWN FIELD, not regarding the issue of "naturalism vs. materialism?"

go ahead, I'll wait.

to compare, did you check out any of the discussion as to why Gonzales was denied tenure?

it warn't because he was an IDer, and he himself stated his reason for challenging tenure had nothing to do with ID (heh, at least BEFORE his challenge was rejected).

it was quite clear he had become completely UNPRODUCTIVE in his field (astronomy), exactly like Behe has done in his field (biochemistry).

so, both qualitatively and quantitatively, bill is correct.

gee, aren't you supposed to have a background in biochemistry?

seems you should be aware of what a publication in the field looks like, yes?

Quote

And, Ichy, I'm actually suprised that you haven't read them.


you have a reading comprehension problem. I never said I didn't gander at the first one, I never saw a reason to read the second one, since from his initial position, there was no logical progress that COULD be made.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:33   

Quote (skeptic @ June 18 2007,16:05)
The mistake you make, Bill, is to assume that Behe is no longer a part of the scientific community.  He will tell you himself that he is a heratic but he is still a scientist.  He is trained and educated in science, he has published in peer-reviewed journals as a scientist.  His single sin is that he has turned his back on the established rheotoric and attempted to juxtapose his overridding belief in God with the data as he sees it.

He hasn't given up on science but the scientific community has given up on him, lol, I couldn't resist.

I've read the first book and I'm reading the second book and I always find him interesting even if I disagree with his method.  I suggest you read his books and you may find them interesting but you will certainly see how badly Behe wants them to be true.

And, Ichy, I'm actually suprised that you haven't read them.

Hmm, most recent 5 results on Pubmed from Behe MJ:
Quote
1:
Behe MJ, Snoke DW.
Related Articles, Links
Free Full Text Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues.
Protein Sci. 2004 Oct;13(10):2651-64. Epub 2004 Aug 31.
PMID: 15340163 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
2:
White S, Meier W, Lovell F, McCoy A, Robinove CJ, Creelan TF, Brun R, Gordon I, MacWest R, Collier IE, Gish DT, Hartmann WK, Behe MJ.
Related Articles, Links
No Abstract Educators have hard choices; nationally, not just in Kansas.
Science. 2000 Aug 11;289(5481):869-71. No abstract available.
PMID: 10960317 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
3:
Behe MJ.
Related Articles, Links
Abstract Tracts of adenosine and cytidine residues in the genomes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
DNA Seq. 1998;8(6):375-83.
PMID: 10728822 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
4:
Behe MJ.
Related Articles, Links
No Abstract Embryology and evolution.
Science. 1998 Jul 17;281(5375):348. No abstract available.
PMID: 9705708 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
5:
Mahloogi H, Behe MJ.
Related Articles, Links
Abstract Oligoadenosine tracts favor nucleosome formation.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jun 27;235(3):663-8.
PMID: 9207216 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Is he still a working scientist? Does he only publish in journals not indexed by Pubmed (yep, I'm too lazy to crosscheck other databases)? Seems like he's completely quit ever since DBB was published in 1997.

--------------
"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:35   

Quote
He hasn't given up on science but the scientific community has given up on him, lol, I couldn't resist.


yes, we all know how much you enjoy being wrong.

but hey, you tell em, Galileo!

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:40   

Quote
1:
Behe MJ, Snoke DW.
Related Articles, Links
Free Full Text Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues.
Protein Sci. 2004 Oct;13(10):2651-64. Epub 2004 Aug 31.
PMID: 15340163 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


And he probably wishes he hadn't published that one. It would have destroyed Irreducible Complexity, had IC not been destroyed years prior.

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,19:59   

Quote (skeptic @ June 18 2007,18:05)
The mistake you make, Bill, is to assume that Behe is no longer a part of the scientific community.  

That is certainly what I am asserting. Whether that is a mistake or not is debatable.
     
Quote
He is trained and educated in science, he has published in peer-reviewed journals as a scientist.

He clearly once was a member of the scientific community.
     
Quote
[He]...turned his back on the established rheotoric and attempted to juxtapose his overridding belief in God with the data as he sees it.

This is not doing science, and Behe has done little else since DBB. Rather, he has adopted the idiosyncratic (and empirically barren) definition of science advocated by the ID community, as recorded in his Dover testimony, and thereby essentially resigned from the commitments of contemporary science.
     
Quote
...you will certainly see how badly Behe wants them to be true.

Because, in part, of his generative committment to the ID community and its goals, which he obviously would like to further.

What I have argued is that he resigned from the scientific community and joined the ID community with respect to his identification, membership, and commitments. As it happens, that community does no science whatsoever, because IDC is incapable of generating researchable predictions.  

(I offered this as an alternative to "He is a liar" and "He is delusional" because I have HATRED in my heart.)

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,22:08   

I consider Protein Science a serious journal and a publish date of 2004 is more recent than 1997, I think...

Anyway, you have his motivation and methods wrong.  He is not commited to the ID Community, such as it is, and forsaken science.  The Edge of Evolution is a back-to-the-drawing-board endeavor. Here's my take on it:

ID is nothing more than a philosophy.  The world appears this way so it must be true.  Now the only real way you can argue this point is in the abstract but Behe is sticking to his guns.  he believes there are enough instances in nature that prove design is required and all he has to do is keep presenting them until the evidence amounts in his favor.  If he were to turn his back on science he would chuck this whole idea and reduce his arguments to the abstract.  But he doesn't because he believes it is only through science that his point will be proven.  The one thing about this book that really bears some attention is the general theme.  if RM+NS are not sufficient to explain all of evolution then where are the limits and where must other mechanisms come into play.  Now I understand his motivation for asking the question but regardless of that it's a really good question and I have a feeling it will be asked more and more.

this is my biggest problem with the environment that we live in today.  Even if you ask a really good question you run the risk of having you character destroyed because you're motivations were not pure.  I'd hate to be Newton today.  Who knows what kind of he11 we'd put him through.

p.s. I'm not comparing Behe to Newton before you ramble off down that road.

  
Doc Bill



Posts: 1039
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,22:39   

Dear sceptic,

In a word:  rubbish.

Behe has abandoned science.  What science is in either of his books?  None.  Oh, yes, other people's science but Behe's interpretations of other people's work is neither science nor correct, as has been demonstrated in the unrefuted rebuttles to his work and his testimony in court. So, forget that line of reasoning.  It doesn't hold water.

It's not a matter of asking a question.  A four-year old could ask the question.  "Why is there air, Daddy?  How did the flagellum evolve, Daddy?"

However, Behe crosses the line when he declares in the Edge that malaria was designed.  He says that.  In print.  With no proof whatsoever.  None.  It's an assertion and no more. It's a statement made buy a dimwit and with that single paragraph Behe lost whatever shred of scientific credibility he had remaining, which I can't imagine was must after his Kitzmiller performance which certified him as an active member of the Crackpot Fraternity.

That Behe pontificates that malaria couldn't have arisen naturally is an assertion of his with zero evidence to support it.

The onus is on Behe to support his conjecture and to this day he has not done so.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,23:09   

Quote (skeptic @ June 18 2007,22:08)
I consider Protein Science a serious journal and a publish date of 2004 is more recent than 1997, I think...

Anyway, you have his motivation and methods wrong.  He is not commited to the ID Community, such as it is, and forsaken science.  The Edge of Evolution is a back-to-the-drawing-board endeavor. Here's my take on it:

ID is nothing more than a philosophy.  The world appears this way so it must be true.  Now the only real way you can argue this point is in the abstract but Behe is sticking to his guns.  he believes there are enough instances in nature that prove design is required and all he has to do is keep presenting them until the evidence amounts in his favor.  If he were to turn his back on science he would chuck this whole idea and reduce his arguments to the abstract.  But he doesn't because he believes it is only through science that his point will be proven.  The one thing about this book that really bears some attention is the general theme.  if RM+NS are not sufficient to explain all of evolution then where are the limits and where must other mechanisms come into play.  Now I understand his motivation for asking the question but regardless of that it's a really good question and I have a feeling it will be asked more and more.

this is my biggest problem with the environment that we live in today.  Even if you ask a really good question you run the risk of having you character destroyed because you're motivations were not pure.  I'd hate to be Newton today.  Who knows what kind of he11 we'd put him through.

p.s. I'm not comparing Behe to Newton before you ramble off down that road.

If you are fairly representing his position, then Behe is wishing upon a star that future scientific inquiry will "prove" his position by, in essence, failing to account for specific instances of biological complexity.

Meanwhile, he asks no testable, researchable questions and makes no contributions that advance the science he claims to honor in any way relevant to the hypothesis with which he is now notoriously identified. This is because he has embraced a position that, however philosophically appealing, is inherently incapable of generating such predictions, and is therefore outside science proper. In that sense he HAS turned has back on science - all the while peeking between his fingers with hopes that no discoveries render his favorite examples obsolete.  

Pointing to instances of complexity in biology and simply claiming - hoping - that they cannot be natural phenomena does not science make. This is ID of the gaps, pure and simple.

If this weren't bad enough, Behe often misrepresents the gaps. He stubbornly ignores research literature that documents the slow elimination of his favorite "gaps," such the massive literature on evolution of the blood clotting cascade, as so pointedly demonstrated at Dover.  This is the component often identified as dishonest.

"Malaria was designed."  Hence my new cover for his book, which characterizes the designer he apparently envisions:



--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,04:36   

PERSECUTION! PERSECUTION!

Oh wait, there isn't any persecution.

Skeptic,

Behe is not asking important questions, he is muddying the waters and making cash from his consumer base of scientifically illiterate, god centred, wishful thinkers. It's a scam, a snake oil sales pitch. Nothing more, nothing less. How sincere Behe is in his desire to believe what he writes is true is totally irrelevant. His sincerity or otherwise has no bearing on the accuracy of his claims.

You say "You'd hate to be Newton in the modern climate", sorry Skeptic, and trust me I am being very polite about this, but you are talking through your arse. (Not only because Newton was a) highly powerful and influential and b) very unpleasant, but c) used his unpleasantness and influence and power to scupper other scientists, notably Liebniz) Science proceeds precisely by bucking dogma. Look at things like the Penzias and Wilson discovery of the cosmic microwave background, very very controversial, no character assassination. Look at the discovery that H. pylori can cause stomach ulcers, very controversial, no character assassination. I could go on and on, with example after example, the whole point is these guys let the evidence do the talking for them. They didn't resort to the sort of fevered egotism of Behe and Dembski etc, nor did they try to have their views taught in schools by a combination of political and legal pressure. Nor did they simply recycle old well refuted claims and ideas that we know, in some cases we've known this for centuries, are wrong ON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE. Key distinction: evidence.

ID is manifestly NOT a different "interpretation" of the available evidence, a mere philosophical choice or personal preference. It is fundamentally the rejection of the scientific method and an appeal to ignorance and prejudice. Full stop. At every turn the IDCists ignore the data, cherry pick things they think help them (but often don't) and generally perform all the acts we know they love from their slightly more honest previous incarnations as YECists. A great example was Behe's testimony at Dover regarding (IIRC) the evolution of the immune system where, when faced with a decent stack of data, had waved it away saying that even though he hadn't read it, even though he wasn't aware of it, it simply wasn't enough. Let that little gem sink in. Behe flat out stated that no matter what the evidence was, it would never be sufficient. THAT is a total abrogation of one's moral and scientific responsibility as a scientist. I don't care who does something like that, whether they agree with me and others about some topic or not, that single act removes you from the scientific community. Behe might well be a prof at a university, he might well have tenure and in the past have published, but he is no longer a scientist. He's merely occupying a position (and teaching etc no doubt) that a better scientist could make good use of. If he was generating new ideas instead of recycling well known bullshit that was refuted decades and centuries ago, I'd have some sympathy. If he was doing productive research and was wrong about something, but promoted it heavily because that's what the evidence appeared to say, I'd have some sympathy. He isn't, so I don't.

Back to your claim of "important questions". Behe ain't asking them. The cartoon version of evolution, i.e. "RM+NS", is a simplification. The relative importance of horizontal gene transfer, evo-devo, sexual selection, sympatric versus allopatric speciation etc etc etc in individual cases and general cases are all being discussed in the scientific literature today. Mechanistic discussions, mathematical modelling and epidemiology, philosophical discussions are all occurring right now. Thousands of hard working scientists are, right now, hard at work trying to tease out answers to big questions, questions that have meaning and can be answered by the evidence. Behe is doing NONE of this, IDCists are contributing not a single thing to these discussions. Not because of prejudice and persecution, but because they have nothing useful to add. The questions they are asking were answered in the 1800s (perhaps the early 1900s) at the very latest. They were logically fallacious questions even then (as Russell and others showed), but they at least had the vague merit of being topical possibilities.

Please get over this "persecution" nonsense. It simply isn't happening. Oh and while I think of it, any progress on defending your claims about atheists yet? We don't need to get all formal if you haven't got the first chance of defending even a basic claim.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,07:20   

Quote

Even if you ask a really good question you run the risk of having you character destroyed because you're motivations were not pure.


Hwang Woo-suk and Jan Hendrik Schön asked really good questions, but they also cheated. Science isn't a forgiving profession. Once you demonstrate that you are willing to lie about the data or lie about the process, you can pretty much count on finding a new career. Folks who were sincere, but sincerely misguided, like the folks who promoted "N-rays", have discovered that for themselves. Even the biologists who caved in to administration demands to erase scientific findings that contradicted policy are discovering that, though in any detailed analysis they were victims of extortion.

Now that we know how "intelligent design" came to be as a supposed field of inquiry (as a synonym for "creation science"), people who continue to promote it are acting in furtherance of a sham. Why should the community of scientists ignore that and act like these folks are innocent? Why do they deserve a special dispensation to escape the outcome that awaits those who otherwise show themselves to be anti-science?

Science is a Harsh Schoolmistress

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,10:08   

Quote
He is trained and educated in science, he has published in peer-reviewed journals as a scientist.


I read this and all I can think is, "Keanu Reeves is an actor, he has appeared in movies."

nuf said.

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But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,16:41   

Remember, I don't agree with Behe.  I don't believe that ID can be scientifically proven and he has backed hinself into a corner in attempting to do so.  His only recourse is to use the preponderance of evidence method.  Again, I understand what he is doing, don't agree with it but understand it.

Let me put it to you this way,  I place Brian Greene and Behe in the same catagory.  Both are relating a theory composed largely of someone else's ideas that can not be empirically supported.  Greene's ideas challenge no necessary dogma and hence are no threat and even more interestingly indirect methods to support this theory are now being contemplated or tested.  What happens if some method arises to test Behe's claims, I don't believe this is possible, but what if?  This is why no question should ever be off limits to science.  Each new day brings new data and who knows which direction it will lead us; we have to be willing to follow.  Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."  That justs screams of agenda (i.e. global warming).

Anyway, I'm not threatened in the least bit by Behe's books.  I can read them and disagree with them, find some value here and there and go on without losing my mind and civility.  Maybe that's just me or maybe the scientific community needs to develop more tolerance and open-mindedness.  It always amazes me how much anger there is out there, but that's not just science so maybe it's a sign of our times.

Two quick points;

Louis, I think we may actually be right on topic and,

I'm sure that there are many people who think Keanu Reeves is a fine actor...I sure like him.  :D

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,17:23   

Quote
I'm sure that there are many people who think Keanu Reeves is a fine actor...I sure like him.


that fits.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,18:38   

I knew you'd like that.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,19:14   

Quote
Let me put it to you this way,  I place Brian Greene and Behe in the same catagory.  Both are relating a theory composed largely of someone else's ideas that can not be empirically supported.

Who's theories? Witten's, Feynman's, Bohr's, Einstein's, Newton's, Galileo's, Kepler's, Aristotle's? The mathematical description of natural forces has been investigated for centuries. They've been supported by evidence, which gives us some idea that we're on the right track. Behe's IC is just wrong, there's no other word for it, there's a wealth of evidence that contradicts what he says.

Quote
Greene's ideas challenge no necessary dogma and hence are no threat and even more interestingly indirect methods to support this theory are now being contemplated or tested.  What happens if some method arises to test Behe's claims, I don't believe this is possible, but what if?  This is why no question should ever be off limits to science.  Each new day brings new data and who knows which direction it will lead us; we have to be willing to follow.

We should follow the data, and the data has shown us that Behe is wrong. End of story.

Quote
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."  That justs screams of agenda (i.e. global warming).

This is the only way for ID to be successful; if we stop doing science and ponder at how marvelous a creation the flagellum/immune system/gonads are. You're walking a thin line between skepticism and denialism.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,20:15   

Quote
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."

Skept, I would argue that, were the American public to be convinced of the value of ID and to allocate of billions for ID research - IOW, the book was wide open - NOTHING of scientific value would emerge from that effort.  This is because ID simply cannot be expressed as a scientific utterance capable of positive empirical traction.  I gather you agree.  There IS no line of scientific inquiry here - in the sense of a dialog between theory and empirical test of predictions arising from that theory.    

The only book I was interested in seeing slammed shut was the attempt to wedge ID into science classrooms, where it manifestly does not belong because it is NOT SCIENCE.  Presenting it as such can only damage the capacity of young people to critically discern and apply genuine scientific reasoning.
Quote
It always amazes me how much anger there is out there...

What aroused anger in me, and many others, is the patent dishonesty of the principals of the ID movement in advancing their stealth agenda within our schools. You know the drill.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,05:18   

Skeptic,

Three things:

1)  
Quote
I place Brian Greene and Behe in the same catagory.


Erm, in a word: no. M-theories may at the moment be unconfirmed, and perhaps may never be (hence won't be science in the same way that say QED is science), however they do have the distinct advantage of being coherent, mathematically rigorous explanations of current phenomena. They are also testable. There are experiments one can do to test these ideas. Granted, some of those tests are beyond our technological reach today, some are very close to being done and some are planned and begun already.

IDC doesn't fall into this category. Firstly there are no experimental tests that can be done to demonstrate IDC. None have successfully been proposed. It's unfalsifiable. Secondly, IDC (and YEC etc etc ) is based on old ideas that have already been tested and found wanting. Which brings me to the second thing.

If you mean that Greene is populariser of scientific ideas and so is Behe, then wrong again. Behe is not popularising scientific ideas. Behe is proselytising his faith under a veneer of scientific sounding jargon in order to fool his target market and perhaps himself. Which way you fall on that issue depends on your ideas about Behe's sincerity. Greene might be popularising M-theories etc, but he is clear about a) where these ideas fall within the scientific understanding of the universe and b) their unproven nature. The comparison is at best a very poor one.

2)  
Quote
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."


No one is doing this. IDC is not science, this has already been demonstrated by the evidence. What IDCists are doing is clinging to ideas and claims that are already disproven. No one is trying to shut down an unpleasant but lucrative area of research, all people are doing is trying to prevent ideas that are already known to be false from being recycled  under different names and taught as evidence supported facts (when they are not) because these ideas have, for some people, a religious significance. This religious significance is the ONLY reason these ideas are still being touted at all.

No question IS off limits to science. IDC is not off limits at all. It's an old set of old ideas most of which are either incoherent or simply wrong. That's it. No one is trying to censor anything or prevent any enquiry. What people ARE saying is that these ideas have already been tested, found wanting, and we have other ideas that have also been tested and worked out well. Let's move forward with what works rather than dogmatically adhere to ideas from the past which we already know to be wrong just because they provide some religious succour to some people.

Your agreement with Behe (or not) is moot. No one cares. The fact that you STILL do not grasp that the IDCists are not promoting a scientifically valid, let alone a scientifically productive hypothesis, and the fact that you continue to present some poorly thought out wishy washy "democracy of reality" relativism illustrates very clearly that you don't understand the issues at all. Sorry if that's harsh, but this isn't a difficult thing to grasp and you seem to be trying very very hard not to grasp it.

3)  
Quote
It always amazes me how much anger there is out there...


I'm a working scientist. It's a hard, rewarding job and I love it. To have my job made even more difficult by people who lie, come up with stupid objections, recycle old well refuted anachronisms because they like them, and who try to subvert the scientific method and science education because of their non-scientific prejudices is very likely to make me angry. No ideology. No clash of faiths or worldviews. Just simple frustration at having my job made more difficult by irrelevant bullshit. Try to understand that.

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,09:15   

Louis, you say tomato and I say tomato.  Whether Greene or Behe advance scientific ideas is a matter of opinion.  I know you disagree but beauty is in eye of the beholder.

You guys are contradicting yourself somewhat.  ID is not science as thus can neither be proven nor disproven.  Behe attempts ring hollow but that doens't mean he's wrong or he's lying.  He's just deperate, I'd say.

Quote
Your agreement with Behe (or not) is moot. No one cares. The fact that you STILL do not grasp that the IDCists are not promoting a scientifically valid, let alone a scientifically productive hypothesis, and the fact that you continue to present some poorly thought out wishy washy "democracy of reality" relativism illustrates very clearly that you don't understand the issues at all. Sorry if that's harsh, but this isn't a difficult thing to grasp and you seem to be trying very very hard not to grasp it.


You're way off here.  I've stated firmly that ID is not science and to be honest I have no idea what a "democracy of reality" is.  The problem as I see it is the attack dogs have been called out and no one even stops to see what they're savaging anymore.  You guys need to go back and read the book before jumping in with both feet.  At least then you'd have you're own ideas and not have to rely on the opinions of others.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,09:53   

Quote
You guys are contradicting yourself somewhat.  ID is not science as thus can neither be proven nor disproven.

IC: Wrong.
ID: Not testable.
IC does not imply ID, thus there is no contradiction.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,09:55   

Skeptic,

No it is not a matter of opinion or not whether Greene is writing popular science, it's a matter of the evidence. Behe is advancing ideas that we KNOW are wrong already, they are old ideas. How the fuck are you STILL missing this simple distinction?

IDC is a series of ideas, there are claims that can be disproven in it (and have been) and there are claims that are not open to disproof (and thus not science). This is why I and others have been using the plural of the word "idea", it's used to imply that there is more than one idea behind it. Try to understand this.

I've read Behe's first book and excerpts from the second book (I haven't got hold of a free copy yet, I won't buy it). I couldn't care less about someone else's review except for the simple fact that no one has turned up any new claims from the second book yet. Trying to accuse us of aggressive bias is beginning to get pathetic Skeptic. That bias doesn't exist, as you've had explained to you several times.

The relativism you are expressing is in your disapproval for the critiques of Behe's new book that have appeared. Again, try to comprehend this very simple fact: Behe has not come up with any new claims that either a) are unfalsifiable nonsensical non science or b) aren't already known to be wrong. Whatever he is doing it is not science. It might be sincere, or beautiful to some, but it isn't science and it isn't productive. THAT is why people are annoyed with this drivel.

Like I said before, I'm beginning to think you are trying very, very hard not to understand this.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
JohnW



Posts: 2767
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,10:08   

Quote (skeptic @ June 19 2007,16:41)
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."

Skeptic, sometimes it's time to shut the book.  All science is provisional, and the book can always be reopened if spectacular new evidence comes to light.  But if someone is flogging a long-discredited set of ideas, and they are doing so for theological reasons, with dodgy evidence and flat-out-wrong methodology, do we even have a scientific line of of inquiry?

Where should we draw the line, skeptic?  Geocentrism?  Phlogiston?

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,11:08   

Quote (JohnW @ June 20 2007,10:08)
Quote (skeptic @ June 19 2007,16:41)
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."

Skeptic, sometimes it's time to shut the book.  All science is provisional, and the book can always be reopened if spectacular new evidence comes to light.  But if someone is flogging a long-discredited set of ideas, and they are doing so for theological reasons, with dodgy evidence and flat-out-wrong methodology, do we even have a scientific line of of inquiry?

Where should we draw the line, skeptic?  Geocentrism?  Phlogiston?

Phrenology was better Science that ID - it was testable.  Wrong, but testable.

However, Dr. Behe, I just happen to have a set of calipers here... We will see if you indeed are the pinhead that people have intimated that you are.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,11:14   

Phrenology? I like Pratchett's take on it:

Retrophrenology. If it's possible to discern a person's character from the bumps on their head then it should be possible to give them bumps on the head to change their personality.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,12:26   

Quote (skeptic @ June 20 2007,09:15)
Louis, you say tomato and I say tomato.  Whether Greene or Behe advance scientific ideas is a matter of opinion...

*Picks self of the floor*

OK.
Greene explains why his ideas can't be tested yet but goes on to to state how some tests may be possible in the future.
Behe says "gee this is too difficult to explain so God did it".
Skeptic claims "the difference between those two statements is just a matter of opinion".
FFS! Skeptic, you claim to be studying a rigourous post graduation degree do you not? One that is "harder/more rigorous" than biology? What is it?

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,14:35   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ June 20 2007,12:26)
Quote (skeptic @ June 20 2007,09:15)
Louis, you say tomato and I say tomato.  Whether Greene or Behe advance scientific ideas is a matter of opinion...

*Picks self of the floor*

OK.
Greene explains why his ideas can't be tested yet but goes on to to state how some tests may be possible in the future.
Behe says "gee this is too difficult to explain so God did it".
Skeptic claims "the difference between those two statements is just a matter of opinion".
FFS! Skeptic, you claim to be studying a rigourous post graduation degree do you not? One that is "harder/more rigorous" than biology? What is it?

hey, if you had read skeptic's original thread he made when he first came here on the ToE, you'd find that he basically thinks everything is a matter of opinion.

he's a relativist, and doesn't even know it.

funny, I thought he would take a look at Behe's older biochemistry work and start telling us that the results of repeatable lab experiments are all a matter of opinion too.

skeptic; I personally think your mind is trying to rationalize a large bit of dissonance by using a relativist approach.  Your attraction to Behe's pop-pseudoscience books is exactly the same attraction a lot of people have to it; it attempts to rationalize projected belief structures with the reality of scientific evidence.  having studied biochemistry (at least at some point in your life), you should be able to tell the difference between science and pseudoscience.

relativism isn't a part of science, sorry to say.  I know you want it to be, because that would make things much easier to resolve for you, but it simply ain't so.  Part of you knows this.  Listen to that part.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,17:15   

I had an idea today so let's see how this strikes you guys.  Let's elevate this beyond Behe for a moment.

Let's consider the hypothesis that RM+NS plays some role in evolution but doesn't complete the picture.  Louis has already listed some of the other identified mechanisms and I think we can agree on this so far.

So in what cases do we clear evidence that only RM+NS are working and in what cases does the evidence point towards other mechanisms?  Even given general acceptance that NS is ubiquitous, where is RM sufficient to explain the variation necessary for evolution and in what cases is it found wanting?  Now, remember, we're not trying to prove design.  Even if RM is ultimately eliminated as an adequete source of variation to support evolution that still brings us no closer to support for design.  Take a shot at that and we'll see what comes of it.

By the way, Ichy, my immediate thought about the relativism label was to reject it but the more I thought about it, in matters of epistemology, I do lean towards a strong relativist position but I'm not sure that is mutually exclusive with scientific inspection.  If fact, I think that just makes me a skeptic.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,17:20   

Quote
Let's consider the hypothesis that RM+NS plays some role in evolution but doesn't complete the picture.  


Kimura, for one, beat you to it long ago.

did you want to go over the neutral mutation theory and genetic drift arguments again?

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,17:50   

No, no need.  Let's look at the limits.  What drives the mechanisms involved, unless we're reading to dismiss RM right now?

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,18:09   

if you understood the role of neutral mutation and genetic drift, you'd also understand it was never proposed as a replacement mechanism for selection operating on random mutations.

why do you assume one was meant as a replacement for the other?

there are plenty of examples in the literature of both mechanisms operating on different populations under different circumstances.

which parts are you confused about?

the selection part?  the mutation part? when genetic drift would cause more variation than selection?

are you wondering why traits don't become fixed in any given population?

where exactly does your confusion lie?

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 21 2007,00:39   

I think I'm confusing you by what I'm asking.  lets take the three mechanisms you've named.  Under what conditions will one operate over the others?  How much variation can we get from RM as opposed to NM?  This is what I'm getting at.  We're not replacing one with the others we're just catagorizing which is applicable where.

Looking at the emergence of traits, in many instances RM (as described) is all that would be required.  Can it describe speciation?  If not, what mechanism can and is there any objective way to test this?  And then based upon the two mechanisms as a continuum at what point between single traits and speciation does one end and the other take over?  Complicating matters further, throw the third mechanism in and then what do we get?

These are the kind of questions that immediately pop into my head.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 21 2007,13:07   

Quote
Under what conditions will one operate over the others?


well, that's been the fun part.  determining absolute levels of selection pressure in the field can be quite daunting, but for specific traits, it's been done.

In such cases it's been quite clear the role selection plays in the direction a specific trait will follow.

see the work of John Endler on guppies in Trinidad for a great example.  such a good example, in fact, that the PBS evolution site even made a neat website out of it where you can test predictions.

Quote
How much variation can we get from RM as opposed to NM?


this is a non-sequitor.

whether a mutation is generated by a random base substitution, for example, is not relevant to whether it is neutral within a given population.

the "neutral" is wrt fitness, given the current fitness landscape of a given population.

IOW, where the selective pressures on a given trait are very weak, the trait can vary quite a bit and still be neutral wrt to fitness.  

so the point is not that you are comparing "random" to "neutral"; you are comparing "neutral" to "selected".

How mutations are generated aren't relevant to whether they are neutral.

you're committing essentially a category error here.


Quote
in many instances RM (as described) is all that would be required.  


yup.  this is what leads to the idea of genetic drift.  but that does not exclude the role of selection when there is a significant fitness difference that can be shown within variations on a trait.

Quote
Can it describe speciation?


huh?

do you mean are there demonstrated cases in the field of random mutations leading to speciation?

If so, then yes, there are thousands.  the easiest ones to analyze are some of the relatively recent cases of polyploidy in plants, that I'm sure you have seen mentioned either here, on PT, or Pharyngula several times over the last year, even.

Quote
And then based upon the two mechanisms as a continuum at what point between single traits and speciation does one end and the other take over?


again, huh?

do you mean at what point does the level of change indicate we have a new species?

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Patrick Caldon



Posts: 68
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 22 2007,07:58   

Quote (skeptic @ June 21 2007,00:39)
I think I'm confusing you by what I'm asking.  lets take the three mechanisms you've named.  Under what conditions will one operate over the others?  How much variation can we get from RM as opposed to NM?  This is what I'm getting at.  We're not replacing one with the others we're just catagorizing which is applicable where.

Looking at the emergence of traits, in many instances RM (as described) is all that would be required.  Can it describe speciation?  If not, what mechanism can and is there any objective way to test this?  And then based upon the two mechanisms as a continuum at what point between single traits and speciation does one end and the other take over?  Complicating matters further, throw the third mechanism in and then what do we get?

These are the kind of questions that immediately pop into my head.

You'd do well to read a book.  

A friend one recommended to me Mark Ridley's "Evolution", and it's very good on describing this sort of thing - for instance he has a chapter (chapter 7) which goes into great detail on the very questions you're asking, describes the various competing theories in their historical context, cites a number of lab and field experiments which attempt to get to the bottom of the difference between drift and selection.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 01 2008,20:46   

@%$&, I didn't realize how far Behe's book has fallen.

Dawkins's last book, released 2 years ago:

Quote
The God Delusion:

Product Details

   * Hardcover: 416 pages
   * Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1 edition (September 18, 2006)
...
   * Amazon.com Sales Rank: #2,652 in Books


Behe's last book, released 1 year ago:

Quote
The Edge of Evolution:

# Hardcover: 336 pages
# Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (June 5, 2007)
...
# Amazon.com Sales Rank: #129,674 in Books


Wow. Nobody is reading it.

Edited by stevestory on July 01 2008,21:58

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,08:52   

LOL!

Mike Behe's new book, out for 1 year:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #279,101 in Books


Charlie Darwin's old book, out for 150 years:
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #27,149 in Books

Hey Behe:


   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,09:00   

Still, he's doing better than:

Teh Design Matrix: A Conscilience of Crap

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #232,368 in Books

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,09:05   

It's impossible to translate sales rank into copies sold, but from several guesstimates I see on teh intarwebs, I'd estimate Behe is selling roughly a copy a week, Gene maybe a copy or two a month.

Intelligent Design--Catch the Fever!

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,09:07   

They're both doing better than Denyse:

http://www.amazon.com/Design-....6651776

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #431,427 in Books

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,09:42   

What, a dozen blogs of continuous "buy-my-book"-ing doesn't work? Shocking.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,12:12   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 21 2008,07:42)
What, a dozen blogs of continuous "buy-my-book"-ing doesn't work? Shocking.

"Why Intelligent Design Fails" (paperback) is #349,607 in Books.

It has been out for over 2 years. (The hardcover is out of print).

Edited by Dr.GH on Aug. 21 2008,10:15

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
JohnW



Posts: 2767
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,12:18   

Spatula Brain is out in paperback next month, and Amazon are going to have to hire temps for the shipping rush:  
Quote
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #550,293 in Books


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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
bystander



Posts: 301
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,18:21   

Darwin's black box is doing better at #9,146. I guessed that it might be doing well. My impression is that if a fundie buys only one book on ID this would be the one.

I think that the "God Delusion" holds a similar place for atheist literature, not that other books on the subject do as badly as the other ID books.

  
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