You are probably familiar with the Bloggingheads website. The site, founded by Robert Wright, features conversations between various bloggers, journalists and scholars on whatever issues it amuses them to talk about. The site has long featured scientists among its participants.

Two recent dialogues hurt that relationship. The first featured historian Ronald Numbers palling around with YEC Paul Nelson. Numbers seemed mostly uninclined to challenge Nelson on some of his more dubious pronouncements. Even more egregious was the dialogue between John McWhorter and Michael Behe, in which McWhorter drooled over Behe’s every word.

Among people who follow these things Robert Wright already had a poor track record, for his shabby, dishonest treatment of Daniel Dennett a while back. After conducting an interview with Dennett, Wright smugly reported that Dennett had essentially recanted a major portion of his life’s work by agreeing that there was a direction to evolution. As was clear to anyone who watched the interview, Dennett had made no such concession. Wright had simply twisted Dennett’s words.

At any rate, in repsonse to the two dialogues long-time Bloggingheads participants Sean Carroll and Carl Zimmer severed their ties with the site. Jerry Coyne and P. Z. Myers also announced they wanted nothing more to do with it.

I did not comment at the time, since I had mixed feelings about this decision. I can certainly understand where Carroll and Zimmer are coming from. On the other hand, I think the two dialogues were simply two separate instances of poor judgment and not some larger plot to try to mainstream creationism. If it had been me I would not have made the same decision as Carroll and Zimmer. (If it happens again, though, I will reverse that view.)

Now here comes Christianity Today to revive the issue. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, they get just about everything wrong. They article opens with:

An online clearinghouse for intellectual debate has discovered the apparent boundary for its controversial conversations: Intelligent Design.

Skipping ahead a bit:

Bloggingheads editor-in-chief Robert Wright reposted the interview four days later upon discovering the incident, but Behe says that action didn’t erase what happened.

“Reposting the interview didn’t make everything better,” says Behe. “Yanking it down in the first place sent the strong message that this is a topic that can’t be discussed rationally; it is beyond the pale, and an interviewer like McWhorter risks his career if he does otherwise.”

The decision to repost the interview prompted notable scientists Carl Zimmer and Sean Carroll to publicly disassociate with the website because they believe Intelligent Design is not a serious scientific idea worthy of debate.

There is no mention anywhere in the article of the previous incident with Numbers and Nelson. Rather a large oversight, wouldn’t you say? Focusing on Behe specifically, it is ludicrous to describe his dialogue with McWhorter as a rational discussion of important ideas. It was an advertisement for Behe, plain and simple.

As virtually everyone who has commented on this has noted, there is no objection to discussing creationism or ID in a forum like Bloggingheads. The objection is to allowing creationism to go unchallenged (as in the Nelson/Numbers dialogue) or to be endorsed (as in the McWhorter/Behe dialogue). That doesn’t fit into CT’s, “We’re so put-upon!” story line, however.

The article now cites four luminaries to support their view. Here’s the first:

Some religion history experts noted the ironic adaptation of Fundamentalist techniques on the opposite side of the evolution debate. “Recently ‘the new atheists’ have been characterized, even in some of the mainstream media, as like fundamentalists in their dogmatism,” said George Marsden, a noted professor of American religious history at the University of Notre Dame. “Breaking relations with those who associate with your enemies sounds a lot like classic American fundamentalist ‘second-degree separation.’ ”

Of course, the problem is not simply that Bloggingheads “associated” with creationists. It is that they effectively endorsed creationism as a legitimate viewpoint by pairing creationists with people unwilling or unable to challenge them. Had they paired Ken Miller, say, with Michael Behe, everyone on my side of this would have popped some popcorn before sitting down to watch.

Next up:

Others share similar criticisms of Intelligent Design yet disagree with such abandoning the debate. John Horgan, director of The Center of Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, does not support Intelligent Design, but neither does he want to stop the conversation. “ As long as these ideas remain influential, we need to keep arguing about them,” he said.

I agree completely. It’s just too bad Bloggingheads was not so keen on arguing about these ideas, preferring instead to make sure they went mostly unchallenged.

Next:

“If I had the money to invite Mike Behe to my university, I would, and the room would be filled. I have no trouble with presenting ideas,” said Denis Lamoureux, an evangelical professor at St. Joseph’s College in Alberta. “But it’s important to underline that the other side of the id gang, we’ve been blocked out as well.” Lamoureux says he has been fired from an evangelical college for his belief that God used evolution, and disinvited to a university lecture series for the same reason.

Kudos to Lamoureux for noting the obvious. The nation’s Christian institutions hardly have the best track record in promoting free discussion of ideas, especially on the issue of evolution.

And finally:

Eastern Nazarene College professor Karl Giberson, author of Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution, says it’s unfair for “scientific watchdogs” to say the Behe conversation should be suppressed. “This is not a conversation in the scientific community,” he says. “But it’s a very important conversation in American culture. Wright is under no obligation to constrain his coverage of this topic to serve the interests of the scientific community. … America is still trying to reconcile faith in God with faith in evolution.”

It would seem that, according to Giberson, scientists have no business telling Wright how to run his site, and also have no business disassociating themselves from the site when they disapprove of the decisions Wright makes. Charming.

Comments

  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    October 15, 2009

    Even if they outright refused to put out anything associated with creationism, what of that? Does anyone broadcast (or narrowcast) anti-plate tectonics “discussions”? Of course not, no one but crackpots are served by junk like that.

    Given the problem with IDCreationists today, it would be just as well to skewer Behe and his nonsense on Bloggingheads. Blathering about how skunks and flagella somehow can only be explained by magic certainly has no place in a venue supposedly dedicated to rational discourse.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  2. #2 garth
    October 15, 2009

    it’s weird that the behe discussion isn’t described anywhere as a discussion, but an interview. isn’t the point of the site to promote discussion? interviews are far less about discussion than they are about declaiming personal beliefs…

  3. #3 Russell
    October 15, 2009

    Personally, I’ve never seen the point to blogging heads. When I browse the web, why would I want to slow my information intake to the speed of people talking? That’s TV. This is the 21st century.

  4. #4 Carl Zimmer
    October 15, 2009

    And just a quick note to point out yet another mistake in that piece: I am not a scientist.

  5. #5 SLC
    October 16, 2009

    Of course, the problem is not simply that Bloggingheads “associated” with creationists. It is that they effectively endorsed creationism as a legitimate viewpoint by pairing creationists with people unwilling or unable to challenge them. Had they paired Ken Miller, say, with Michael Behe, everyone on my side of this would have popped some popcorn before sitting down to watch.

    It should be noted that Prof. Behe declines to debate anyone who is knowledgeable about evolution; his one and only such debate against Ken Miller resulted in the latter handing him his head. He has also refused to debate Abbie Smith of ERV on the grounds that she is only a graduate student. Horsepucky, he is afraid that Ms. Smith would do the same, which would be embarrassing.

  6. #6 eric
    October 16, 2009

    He [Behe] has also refused to debate Abbie Smith of ERV on the grounds that she is only a graduate student.

    Well, that excuse has a time limit, so I’m sure he’ll come up with another one soon.

    I think Zimmmer and Carroll made the right choice from a practical standpoint. Time and reputation is too valuable to have it spent on infomercials. Return to Bloggingheads when they (re)raise the quality of their “debate” format back to actual debates between knowledgable people of differing opinions.

  7. #7 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    October 16, 2009

    Giberson: Wright is under no obligation to constrain his coverage of this topic to serve the interests of the scientific community.

    Sure. And the scientific community is under no obligation to give Wright the time of day. One needs to understand that this sword cuts both ways.

  8. #8 Wes
    October 16, 2009

    The decision to repost the interview prompted notable scientists Carl Zimmer and Sean Carroll to publicly disassociate with the website because they believe Intelligent Design is not a serious scientific idea worthy of debate.

    That just goes to show how uninformed the author of that article is. Zimmer is a journalist (and a damn good one at that), not a scientist.

    Some religion history experts noted the ironic adaptation of Fundamentalist techniques on the opposite side of the evolution debate. “Recently ‘the new atheists’ have been characterized, even in some of the mainstream media, as like fundamentalists in their dogmatism,” said George Marsden, a noted professor of American religious history at the University of Notre Dame. “Breaking relations with those who associate with your enemies sounds a lot like classic American fundamentalist ‘second-degree separation.’ ”

    Yeah, ’cause when I think “new atheist”, Carl Zimmer and Phil Plait are the first names to come to mind.

    It seems to me from the article that their experts didn’t really know anything about the situation, and were just going by what the journalist told them. Maybe they got an email one days saying something along the lines of, “Hey! Did you hear about those evil dirty atheists who censored Christians just for speaking their minds? What do you think of that?”

  9. #9 sikiş
    October 17, 2009

    tahnksss

  10. #10 Tina
    October 18, 2009

    Michael Behe is not a Creationist – he is an IDer! There is a difference – even atheists (like myself) can be proponents of Intelligent Design….get this into your thick bloggerheads.

  11. #11 SLC
    October 18, 2009

    Re Tina

    1. It should be pointed out that Dr. David Berlinski, the faux mathematician and evolution denier, also purports to be an atheist.

    2. Prof. Behe is a creationist because he invokes the supernatural to explain such things as the blood clotting cascade and the bacterial flagellum. His invocation of the concept of irreducible complexity is a creationist notion.

    3. Intelligent design is not science because it violates the precepts of scientific inquiry in that it is non-falsifiable and is, in fact, a science stopper. One need only consider the episode of Newton vs Laplace on the stability of the solar system to understand that.

  12. #12 David
    October 18, 2009

    Hi everyone. I am new to this blog. Came across it by accident this morning. I spent some time reading this and and an earlier posting on “Sullivan and Theodity.” Some of the comments seem well developed and others don’t.
    For those who call themselves atheists, do you believe in any kind of higher power? If you do not, your correct title would be agnostic and not atheist.
    For those who object to intelligent design as non-scientific because it professes “magic” to explain the creation of life, the Theory of Evolution is just that – a theory. No matter how hard those who subscribe to it claim it to be true, it cannot be supported by anything that will make it a fact. It cannot be absoluely proven no mattter how well the arguments are constructed or duplicated in a lab. Therefore, under the rules of science, it cannot be declared a fact. Therefore, SLC, if you dismiss ID because it is non-falssifiable then you must dismiss evolution under the same reasoning. You can’t really prove it right or prove it wrong and none of us were there.
    I am a Christian and I find reasons to say that both theories have points that are plausible and both have faults I don’t know how to resolve. I, personally, belive the Bible to be correct but do not take a literal view of the passages on creation. Rather, they were an explanation to a people who were primitive and unable to understand their world beyond what they knew, could see or touch.
    There are a number of other arguments in the two articles I have problems with and would be happy to discuss them if anyone wishes. Thank you for your time. David

  13. #13 Tina
    October 18, 2009

    Re SLC:

    1. Dr. David Berlinski is an Evolution denying atheist! So what is your point here? He works for the Discovery Institute – good on him!

    2. It is a gross act of misrepresentation to say that Intelligent Design/Behe invokes the ‘supernatural’. ID invokes ‘intelligence’ without reference to questions about the “supernatural”. Are you Darwinian’s all deaf, dumb and blind?

    3. Intelligent Design is a science! Behe, and ID per se, use only verifiable empirical data to investigate ‘intelligent design’ information in DNA and complex machines in the cells.

    P.S. Laplace/Newton – Please – we are not dealing with any issues of divine intervention here. Maybe if YOU could forget GOD for a moment you might be able to understand the tenants of Intelligent Design Theory.

  14. #14 dış cephe
    October 19, 2009

    Great post.Thanks.

  15. #15 Lee Harrison
    October 19, 2009

    For those who call themselves atheists, do you believe in any kind of higher power? If you do not, your correct title would be agnostic and not atheist.

    Sorry David, that’s just wrong. ‘Agnostic’ is a statement about the possibility of knowledge, atheism is a lack of belief. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can be an agnostic, in the sense that you don’t think it’s possible to know anything one way or another about the existence of a god, and also be an atheist in that you just don’t believe in a god.

    the Theory of Evolution is just that – a theory. No matter how hard those who subscribe to it claim it to be true, it cannot be supported by anything that will make it a fact. It cannot be absoluely proven no mattter how well the arguments are constructed or duplicated in a lab. Therefore, under the rules of science, it cannot be declared a fact.

    Oh good grief. This silliness keeps on cropping up. Nothing can be absolutely proven outside of mathematics. Theories are not some lower order of certainly beneath facts. Theories are explanations of facts that make testable predictions and consistently survive those tests. Evolution is a theory in this sense. It is also a fact – species change over time. The theory at evolution is the explanatory framework for the observable facts of evolution.

  16. #16 Lee Harrison
    October 19, 2009

    Dammit! Last sentence: theory OF evolution…

  17. #17 SLC
    October 19, 2009

    Re Tina

    1. For the information of Ms. Tina, Prof. Behe testified at the Dover trial that, in his opinion, the intelligent designer was the Christian god. This is the view of virtually everyone everybody else at the Dishonesty Institute, including its founder, Philip Johnson. As became perfectly clear at the Dover trial, the notion that the intelligent designer was something other then the Christian god is nothing but a fig leaf to try to get ID taught in the public schools.

    2. Actually, in fairness to Dr. Berlinski, he rejects intelligent design also as well as the theory of evolution. IMHO, Berlinski is just a comedian looking for laughs.

    3. By the very definition of the intelligent designer, it is a supernatural concept because the only argument for him/her/it is that natural explanations based on methodological naturalism can’t explain certain observations (e.g. the bacterial flagellum, the human eye, the blood clotting cascade, etc.).

    Re David

    Therefore, SLC, if you dismiss ID because it is non-falssifiable then you must dismiss evolution under the same reasoning. You can’t really prove it right or prove it wrong and none of us were there./

    Horsepucky. In the first place, there is no such thing as proof in science. There is only evidence for or against a hypothesis or a theory. Proof is a mathematical concept (e.g. in plane geometry, two triangles are congruent if they have two sides and the included angle equal). In the second place evolution can be falsified.

    1. As the Nobel Prize winning biochemist, J. B. S. Haldane once remarked when challenged by an overeager Popperian, he growled that the finding of a fossil cat in the Pre-Cambrian would falsify evolution. Needless to say, the creationists are still looking for the fossil cat.

    2. The theory of evolution predicts that chimpanzees and humans have a common ancestor. However, chimps have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46. Therefore, evolution predicts that one of the human chromosomes will correspond to the union of two chimp chromosomes. Guess what, human chromosome 2 has been found to have 4 telomeres and 2 centromeres, just as evolution predicts. A good description of this is given by Prof. Ken Miller (no atheist he) in a video which can be found on Youtube. Failure to find such a construction would have been very serious for evolution.

  18. #18 Anton Mates
    October 19, 2009

    Tina,

    1. Dr. David Berlinski is an Evolution denying atheist! So what is your point here? He works for the Discovery Institute – good on him!

    Actually, Berlinski is an agnostic. And he’s the exception that proves the rule: he works for the DI, attacks evolution, but does not endorse Intelligent Design. He describes his attitude toward it as “warm but distant.” Steve Fuller is the same way–agnostic IIRC, criticizes evolution, doesn’t endorse ID.

    It’s possible to technically be an atheist or agnostic and endorse ID–I think the Raelians would probably qualify. But I can’t think of a single Discovery Institute ally who is such. The ID movement is not at all welcoming of “natural designer” positions.

    2. It is a gross act of misrepresentation to say that Intelligent Design/Behe invokes the ‘supernatural’. ID invokes ‘intelligence’ without reference to questions about the “supernatural”.

    Behe has said it’s implausible that the designer could be a natural entity. He’s also said that malaria was specially created by God.

    Steve Fuller, defending ID at Dover, said that the “ground rules of science” would need to be changed to accept the supernatural.

    Phillip Johnson, the godfather of ID, said, “We are taking an intuition most people have [belief in God] and making it a scientific and academic enterprise….We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator.” He’s also said, “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.”

    Bill Dembski has written that “any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.”

    In Of Pandas & People–you know, the ID textbook, the one that was a creation science textbook one edition previously, the one that gave us “cdesign proponentsists”–we read: “But what kind of intelligent agent was it? On its own, science cannot answer this question; it must leave it to religion and philosophy.” What sort of intelligent agents are only found in religion and philosophy, do you think?

    Yes, of course ID proponents say it’s possible to discuss ID without reference to the supernatural. That’s the entire point of the legal strategy. But somehow, whenever they’re advocating it to the general public–or to science students in public school–the supernatural always sneaks back in there.

  19. #19 Tina
    October 20, 2009

    SLC/Anton:

    To Christians like Behe Intelligent design infers a designer which thus infers God as designer. And to an atheist like myself it infers the innate capacity of any species to recognize imperatives and genetically engineer necessary survival responses to meet the purposes of these imperatives. Not random fortuitous mutations but engineered responses right down at the molecular/cellular level. Darwinian Evolutionary Theory simply cannot tolerate any thoughts of such an argument.

    Irreducible Complexity is really about genetic engineering…genetic engineering implies design…design implies intelligence. Science needs to explore the “nature” of this so called intelligence…

    These arguments over “religion” only detract from the science and evidence ID attempts to discuss.

    Does anyone even remember what Behe said in his conversation with McWhorter? (I know the gushing McWorter is unforgettable!)

    Anton – I have some good material about that fused chromosome – just have to find it. Your arguments are not as clear cut as you present them to be.

  20. #20 SLC
    October 20, 2009

    Re Tina

    1. The arguments about the fused chromosome to which Ms. Tina refers are probably due to Casey Luskin, a Dishonesty Institute flack. They have been totally discredited.

    2. The concept of irreducible complexity is an empty concept which has been totally discredited. Prof. Behes’ examples, namely the aforementioned blood clotting cascade, the bacterial flagellum, and the human eye have been shown not to be irreducible complex. For instance, Behe claimed in his book, “Darwins’ Black Box,” that all the proteins involved in the blood clotting cascade are required in order for blood to clot. He was apparently unaware that dolphins are missing one of the proteins and crustaceans are missing three of them. Their blood clots just fine. As was demonstrated by his Dover testimony and his debate with Ken Miller, Prof. Behe is remarkably ignorant for a grown man.

    3. The fact is that ID is nothing but a god of the gaps argument or alternatively, an argument from personal incredulity.

  21. #21 Tina
    October 20, 2009

    SLC – why am I being referred to as Ms.Tina? Why do you feel the need to introduce an appellation that highlights gender into this discussion?

    If ID is the god of the gaps then Darwinian Evolution Theory is the gap of the gods….but is there a third alternative? Science does not really know or understand what “life” really is and how it imbues matter.

    No doubt ID has many problems because of its associations with religion but still it offers the only real viable (presently) alternative to Darwinism.

    You say irreducible complexity has been discredited but really this is based on your beliefs and biased perspective.

  22. #22 SLC
    October 20, 2009

    Re Tina

    If ID is the god of the gaps then Darwinian Evolution Theory is the gap of the gods….but is there a third alternative? Science does not really know or understand what “life” really is and how it imbues matter.

    Oh, that’s really cute. Ms. Tinas’ statement is a typical citation of god of the gaps. As an example, in the time of Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler, science did not know or understand why the planets revolved around the Sun in elliptical orbits. It took a hundred years for Newton to provide an explanation with his theory of motion and the inverse square law of gravitation.

    For an explanation of what is meant by god of the gaps and arguments from personnel incredulity, I would suggest that Ms. Tina, instead of posting inane comments on random blogs, spend some time reading Ken Millers’ recent book, “Only a Theory,” which I am sure is available in her local libraries. Prof. Miller, who is a devout Catholic, certainly doesn’t accept a concept like gap of the gods. He carefully explains why irreducible complexity is nothing but an argument from personnel incredulity and god of the gaps. On the other hand, if Ms. Tina doesn’t like religious scientists like Prof. Miller, she might try Richard Dawkins’ latest book, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

  23. #23 Tina
    October 20, 2009

    Yes a copy of “The greatest Show on Earth” (a circus comes to mind here!)is being shipped to me as we speak. Its traveling companion is a copy of “Signature in the Cell” by Stephen Meyer!!!

    How about you reading “Signature in the Cell” also.

    And as for my so called inane comments – I think I have made a positive contribution to this dreary blog.

    Take a lesson from the Capernican Revolution…it took so long to accomplish because of a belief that persisted despite emerging contradictory evidence. And if Capernincus had not been so intent on saving the ‘erroneous’ phenomena he would not made those vital discoveries. Oh gosh I really don’t know what my point is here.

  24. #24 SLC
    October 20, 2009

    Re Tina

    There is a big difference between people like Ken Miller, Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers, etc. on the one hand and Steven Meyer, William Dembski, Philip Johnson, David Berlinski, Steven Fuller, etc. on the other hand. The folks in the former list are practicing biologists who are competent to discuss biological concepts. The folks on the latter list have no competence to do the same. Meyer, Fuller, and Berlinski have degrees in philosophy, Dembskis’ degree is in mathematics, and Johnson is a lawyer. Steven Meyer is no more competent to pontificate on evolutionary biology then he is to pontificate on quantum mechanics. Listening to clowns like Meyer, et al is about as productive as listening to Jenny McCarthy on the subject of vaccines.

  25. #25 Tina
    October 20, 2009

    Dear gender indeterminate SLC,

    One of my many criticisms of Richard Dawkins is regarding his incompetence in discussing biological concepts. His sustained use of human metaphors to describe non-human behavior is very bad science. The assessment of non-human behavior on the basis of human value judgements does not begin to describe the PURPOSES or the GENETIC IMPERATIVES of the behavior being discussed.

    Notions such as: selfish, cheaters, altruistic, biological arms race etc should be completely abandoned if Dawkins does not wish to attribute human-like intelligence, to the biological systems he discusses.

    I don’t think Dawkins can discuss biology without recourse to this misleading metaphorical language and explain in literal language what really is going on?

  26. #26 SLC
    October 20, 2009

    Re Tina

    1. It’s Dr. SLC (PhD in elementary particle physics) and I am male.

    2. The question as to whether Dr. Dawkins’ use of anthropomorphic metaphors for describing aspects of animal behavior is proper is a fair question. Oddly enough, Dr. Dawkins’ peers and colleagues do not seem to agree with Ms. Tina. As for example, Prof. Ken Miller has described Dawkins book, “The Selfish Gene as one of the most important books written on evolutionary biology in the 20th century. Certainly, Prof. Miller has no reason to lie, considering the vast difference between the two men on religious issues.

    3. However, if Prof. Dawkins is unacceptable to Ms. Tina, let me recommend, “Why Evolution is True,” by evolutionary biologist and Un. of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne. She will not find such metaphorical devices used in this book. Prof. Larry Moran of the Un. of Toronto praises the book highly, despite the fact that he does not agree with Prof. Coynes” adaptationist approach to the mechanism of evolution.

  27. #27 Tina
    October 20, 2009

    To SLC, Phd. [male gender, speaking in impersonal third person voice about Ms Tina who responds in first person active voice].

    The scientific world has been greatly seduced by Prof. Dawkins accessible literary style. And indeed it has now become the language that all Darwinians use.

    I’ve read most of Prof. Dawkins books and much on Evolution in general. I’ll soon be reading Prof. Dawkins latest book. I always examine the arguments…and as yet I fail to be convinced.

    Has Dawkinesque infiltrated Physics? Any altruistic photons? Sub-atomic arms races? Selfish neutrinos? Cheating particle/waves?. (Oh by the way I think physics will serve micro/cellular biology well with increasing understanding of quantum entanglement and the role this plays in inter-cellular communication.

  28. #28 Anton Mates
    October 21, 2009

    Tina,

    To Christians like Behe Intelligent design infers a designer which thus infers God as designer. And to an atheist like myself it infers the innate capacity of any species to recognize imperatives and genetically engineer necessary survival responses to meet the purposes of these imperatives.

    That’s great, but as the quotes I provided illustrate, the founders, leaders, publicists and political leaders of the ID movement don’t agree with you.

    So your hypothesis isn’t ID. If voices like yours become a significant factor within the movement that would change, but I don’t expect that to happen, well, ever. ID itself seems to be receding in popularity at the moment; the creationist base that backed it is switching over to more traditional forms of creationism. It was always a legal strategy first and foremost, and following its failure at Dover it’s been eclipsed by other strategies like “strengths and weaknesses” policies and “academic freedom” laws.

    None of that means that your hypothesis is wrong, or unsupported by evidence, although I do think that as well. But it’s just not the same as ID.

  29. #29 SLC
    October 21, 2009

    Re Anton Mates

    After rereading Ms. Tinas’ comment, it appears that she may be advocating Lamarckian evolutionary explanations.

    Re Tina

    Actually, physics is far weirder then evolutionary biology. In particular, consider quantum mechanics. Here’s three quotes from eminent physicists on the subject.

    Richard Feynman: If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics.

    Steven Weinberg: Quantum Mechanics is a completely preposterous theory which, unfortunately, appears to be correct.

    Lawrence Krauss: Nobody understands quantum mechanics.

    For example, the two slit problem defies rational explanation as does the concept of quantum entanglement.

  30. #30 Tina
    October 21, 2009

    Hi Anton!

    The intrusion of religion in ID is something I have to contend with – but the science is worthwhile. ID scientists offer a more accurate and in-depth source of biological analysis that Darwinian science does…So unless I fly with my own theory of the Genetic Imperative – ID will have to suffice.

    Dr SLC…the two split problem and quantum entanglement just go to show how much our ‘rationality’ is limited by our current level of understanding. We can understand and explain these things once we abandon existing scientific
    rationalistic prejudices.

    An poor old Lamarck – he certainly was on the right track!

  31. #31 qbsmd
    October 21, 2009

    Tina, I’m curious about exactly where your disagreement with evolution comes from.

    1. Do you accept a common ancestor for all known life on earth? If not, why not? Also, if not, do you believe in a common ancestor for each genus, family, …,kingdom?

    2. Do you believe natural selection happens, and can lead to speciation?

    3. Do you understand how irreducible complexity could be generated by natural selection (and therefore cannot count as evidence for ID)?

    4. What kind of empirical evidence do you believe would support intelligent design?

    5. Somewhat relatedly, what do you believe is deficient in the neo-darwinian theory of evolution?

  32. #32 Tina
    October 23, 2009

    dear qbsmd,

    1) The common ancestor of all life, based on molecular structure, would be Bacteria.

    2) “Natural selection” is as good as saying “if it exists then it has been selected”. Hmmm?

    3) Yes I can understand how theoretically: Selected A–> Selected B–> Selected C–> Selected D–>…, can be used to describe the pathway of irreducible complexity. BUT Natural Selection does not recognize that “C”, for example, is contingent to “A” and “B” and “D….,”.

    4)See behavior of “Bacteria”.

    5) The main deficiency in Neo-Darwinism is how it views the mechanism responsible for genetic variation as entirely blind to the adaptive needs and requirements of the organism. ID views these variations as directed, adaptive and purposeful.

  33. #33 Tina
    October 23, 2009

    qbsmd – a big ooops.

    In response (3) please delete ‘contingent’ to read as:

    BUT Natural Selection does not recognize that “C”, for example, is part of a continuum of “A” and “B” and “D….,”.

    Compare this to the contingency relationship of A, B, C, D in Darwinian terms.

  34. #34 Tina
    October 29, 2009

    Scientific Conference Refuting Evolutionary Theory – Nov 2009 in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s call for both sides of the Evolutionary debate to be heard.

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2009-press-scientific_conference_evolution.htm

  35. #35 Kevin (NYC)
    October 29, 2009

    “1. It’s Dr. SLC (PhD in elementary particle physics) and I am male”

    well.. if its a PhD from an elementary school I can’t think that its any good…..

    are you sure your male?

  36. #36 Tina
    October 30, 2009

    Kevin,

    Dr. SLC,(PhD in elementary particle physics)of masculine gender – will not be amused!

  37. #37 Kevin (NYC)
    October 30, 2009

    oh Miss Tina… I am sure he will be…

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