Yeah… I didnt go see ‘Darwins Dilemma’ last night.
At least when I watched EXPELLED I was in the comfort of my own home and could do dishes/vacuum/watch other movies when I got bored. But Id be trapped in a theater!
Also, I got no response to my debate request re: Wells HIV/Evolution Denial… I just dont understand why ID Creationists dont want to debate me… 🙁
Meyer was in town to hawk his new book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. Based on his talk, Meyer is attempting to revive the magic of Darwin’s Black Box; in 1996 Michael Behe argued that there were too many ‘gaps’ in our knowledge of molecular biology, and that these gaps were too big to fill. Behe’s arguments have not aged well; undaunted by his doubts, science has filled many of his gaps, and left his broad generalisations looking rather silly. Nonetheless, Behe’s book provided a very fruitful model – it created the illusion that there was something to the ID argument. Behe’s model was much more successful that the one that Jonathan Wells used in Icons of Evolution (rehash old, debunked ideas and hope no-one notices) or Dembski used in his books (be utterly incomprehensible so that it’s almost impossible to debunk you). Although he seems to have gone for the Behe model, Meyer’s selection lacked Behe’s originality – while Behe blazed new ground for creationists when he addressed molecular biology, Meyer went with an old creationist favourite, the origin of life.
I actually think Meyers choice of ‘origin of life’ was a bold choice. Meyer is not a biologist. I mean, hes got some earth science degree, but ‘Origins’ research is dominated by virologists, astrophysicists, biochemists– waaaaaaay beyond Meyers knowledge base. Waaaaaaaaay off. Behe could bullshit biochem, cause hes a ‘biochemist’, but for a geologist/philosopher to try to bullshit astrophysics… thats bold!!
Meyers unfamiliarity with the topic he wrote a book about was obvious from his presentation. There was no science in his talk. None. We went from quotes from elderly/dead men, to ‘Its like, SO NOT PRO-BABBLY, MAN!’ Meyer used words like ‘protein’ and ‘DNA’, but only to say ‘IS SO NOT PRO-BABBLY PROTEIN EVOLVED! IT PERFECT AND NOT PERFECT MEANS IT DONT WURK!’ ‘DNA AND SCRABBLE DONT WURK! HAHAHA!’
I was waiting (in vain) for him to say something about the RNA world and evolution/population dynamics of RNA populations… but we just got ‘RNA WORLD. NOT PRO-BABBLY!’
The presentation was entirely superficial.
Meyers bullshitting got real funny in the Q&A, when he was asked questions that contained words that he was unfamiliar with, ie the ‘Alu/ERV/pseudogene’ question, which took him 10 minutes to kinda ‘correct’ his stupid answer, and the ribozyme question (ribozyme was the answer to the persons Q. Took Meyer a long time to get to that answer, and he only kinda ‘got it’ after bumbling through 20 other potential (but wrong) answers). Meyer would incorrectly use ‘science words’– there were several times when Ian and I looked at each other and said “That word… I dont think it means what you think it means…” and laughed.
We have a lot of oral tests in grad school. Have to answer questions after our seminars. The most valuable piece of advice I got from an upperclassman, the one piece of advice I give every young ‘un, is “Dont bullshit.” There are people asking you questions that know more about Topic X than you. They are not idiots. They know bullshit when they hear it. Meyers talk/Q&A was like listening to a kid who had a test on ‘Origins’… but played HALO3 all night instead of studying.
To the scientists in the room, he looked like an idiot. Not just an IDiot. For Meyer to stand up and put his name on such shit, yes, I think thats bold.