Despite the wackaloon letters PZ gets, Im being serious! It really is nice!
I encourage everyone to leave questions in the comments or send me emails if they want to know more about a topic, and I am just as happy to oblige a evilutionist as a Creationist. Especially when theyre nice about it!
So I got a Q from a nice fellow a couple days ago:
Hello there. I noticed your article in regards to the HIV variant that resulted in a new protein-protein binding site as a counterexample of one of Behe’s claims (that we have not observed such a thing in HIV). I just finished reading EOE and although I am on the “other side” (I believe in God, ID, etc) I’m still always interested in what your side has to say. You don’t have to answer this, but did you write that article because you are firmly opposed to Behe’s views, or simply because you felt insulted that the research you have been putting in to something as sensitive and important as HIV was not being recognized to some degree? Just curious…
Also, did you get a chance to read EOE or did you just familiarize yourself with the HIV stuff?
Goodluck in your doctorate,
First, to be perfectly clear, there is no reason why you should think you are on ‘the other side’ for believing in God. Certainly we could have some fun philosophical disagreements, but my evolutionary biology professors in college were a Quaker and a Lutheran. If they can come to terms with their faith and their science, I really dont have much patience with YE/OE/ID Creationists bellowing about the limits of their own deity. That is a personal problem, not an overlying theistic (or Christian) problem.
While both theistic evolutionists and ID Creationists say their deity initiated and guided evolution, ID Creationists take it a step further and proclaim they have ‘proof’ of exactly when and where their deity intervened. This ‘proof’ is composed entirely of misrepresentations of other peoples research (called ‘pubjacking’ and ‘quote-mining’) and arrogant claims beyond the scope of the Creationist in question. Case in point, Michael Behe. Michael Behe is not even passingly familiar with HIV-1 research, as evident by his humorous exclusion of the evolutionary history and trajectory of the HIV-1 protein, Vpu, which did precisely what Behe demanded in ‘Edge’. And despite Behes unfamiliarity with the topic, he was still arrogant enough to feel qualified to make proclamations of what HIV-1 can and cannot achieve through evolution.
I just wrote that essay to correct his errors.
He did not respond well.
And just because you currently consider yourself a supporter of Intelligent Design, I would like to highlight two more recent posts on the evolution of Vpu:
In the past year, Michael Behe has contributed nothing to the scientific community.
In the past year, the HIV-1 research that Michael Behe denounced as ‘pathetic’ and ‘unimpressive’ lead to the discovery of an entirely new component of our innate immune system.
Which horse are you going to bet on?
As to your other two questions:
1– I read ‘Edge’. Though I spent more time rolling my eyes and dry heaving than ‘reading’.
2– I dont care what Michael Behe does on Sunday mornings. All that mattered to me was that he was wrong. Incredibly, incredibly wrong.
Thanks for the email!