Sean Carroll Reviews Behe's "Edge of Evolution"

It's a good read, also check out MarkCC's review

It's another example of cranks not recognizing talent - or rather the absence of it. And Sean Carroll hits pretty hard in his review making the point that there are so many basic errors in the book that Behe isn't doing ID any favors. He ends with this:

The continuing futile attacks by evolution's opponents reminds me of another legendary confrontation, that between Arthur and the Black Knight in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Black Knight, like evolution's challengers, continues to fight even as each of his limbs is hacked off, one by one. The "no transitional fossils" argument and the "designed genes" model have been cut clean off, the courts have debunked the "ID is science" claim, and the nonsense here about the edge of evolution is quickly sliced to pieces by well-established biochemistry. The knights of ID may profess these blows are "but a scratch" or "just a flesh wound," but the argument for design has no scientific leg to stand on

The article included this picture - which I am shameless stealing from now on to mock this tendency:
i-6dc20c7ace2a6700cccf1467778094dc-blackknight.gif
CREDIT: JOE SUTLIFF, AFTER MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL

I think Carroll was channeling one of my commenters...

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Well, see... What will happen once *all* of its limbs are removed is that they will entomb it in a glass case, like the Catholics do saints, then tell everyone to come and look at how perfectly preserved it is, just like it was in life, and how that is proof of the miracle of God's approval of it. I mean, what else could possibly allow such a thing to remain so "untouched" by time, the weathering from constant attack and the slow decay of its non-arguments? Only something divine can remain so "perfect" and unchanged, in the face of reality. lol

great links, especially the second one. Thanks.

By Daddy Dave (not verified) on 09 Jun 2007 #permalink

think Carroll was channeling one of my commenters...

Once again you give me far too much credit, man.

It was, uh, the other way around. I 'borrowed' the idea from Carroll (and that illustration).

It really is such a common denialist tactic though.

By minimalist (not verified) on 10 Jun 2007 #permalink

Constant arguemants yet the dispute over Creation vs. Evolution could be solved today,

If evolutionists want to end the arguments all they have to do is, get their brilliant heads together and assemble a 'simple' living cell. This should be possible, since they certainly have a very great amount of knowledge about what is inside the 'simple' cell.

After all, shouldn't all the combined Intelligence of all the worlds scientist be able the do what chance encounters with random chemicals, without a set of instructions, accomplished about 4 billion years ago,according to the evolutionists, having no intelligence at all available to help them along in their quest to become a living entity. Surely then the evolutionists scientists today should be able to make us a 'simple' cell.

If it weren't so pitiful it would be humorous, that intelligent people have swallowed the evolution mythology.

Beyond doubt, the main reason people believe in evolution is that sources they admire, say it is so. It would pay for these people to do a thorough examination of all the evidence CONTRARY to evolution that is readily available: Try answersingenesis.org. The evolutionists should honestly examine the SUPPOSED evidence 'FOR' evolution for THEMSELVES.

Build us a cell, from scratch, with the required raw material, that is with NO cell material, just the 'raw' stuff, and the argument is over. But if the scientists are unsuccessful, perhaps they should try Mother Earth's recipe, you know, the one they claim worked the first time about 4 billion years ago, so they say. All they need to do is to gather all the chemicals that we know are essential for life, pour them into a large clay pot and stir vigorously for a few billion years, and Walla, LIFE!

Oh, you don't believe the 'original' Mother Earth recipe will work? You are NOT alone, Neither do I, and MILLIONS of others!

By James Collins (not verified) on 12 Jun 2007 #permalink

Hi there MarkH.
Not to worry, included are the first 2 paragraphs from the Craig Venter work you mentioned. Notice those scientists are in the process of making a bio-computer and etc., not something that is alive. Yes they are doing some fantastic work, but the complexity of a 'simple' living cell is almost infinitely more complex than anything man can assemble. On top of this; in the future, if by some miracle scientists were able to make a cell from scratch, they would certainly have to admit (if they were honest)that Only a God of infinite knowledge and power could have designed and 'built' such a marvel as the 'simple' cell.

Also note that Craig V. et-al are essentially using already existing components, like the DNA for example.

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- They're called "synthetic biologists'' and they boldly claim the ability to make never-before-seen living things, one genetic molecule at a time.

They're mixing, matching and stacking DNA's chemical components like microscopic Lego blocks in an effort to make biologically based computers, medicines and alternative energy sources. The rapidly expanding field is confounding the taxonomists' centuries-old system of classifying species and raising concerns about the new technology's potential for misuse.

PS: The only 'misuse' would be to claim that their work is simple. If time should last, perhaps it could be simplified, now they are working hands on, in the future they might be able to automate some of the stages.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Jun 2007 #permalink

Ah, perfect goalpost moving! Now we have to recreate organism from scratch from what we know about genes - but we can't use those genes we already know about!

You guys don't really get molecular cloning do you? From a technical standpoint it's difficult to just create DNA strands of any significant length. DNA synthesis without a template can be done - it's how we make PCR primers, but we can't make much more than short sequences because of these technical limitations. It's easier to PCR those sequences out of other genomes.

But I shouldn't be surprised. Anything that would actually resemble the experiment that would finally satisfy the creationist would of course be inadequate. If you didn't move the goalposts you wouldn't be denialists.

Of all of the common misconceptions about evolution, the one that really seems to get skeptics hung up is the "walla [voila?], life" part. It's that bizarre assumption, that a single complicated cell sprung from nothing but independent and isolated parts (i.e. without any 'near-life' precursors), that really seems to get people in a tizzy. That unfortunate assumption gets extended to every aspect of evolution ("how can something as complex as an eye just randomly happen?"), and really reflects a misunderstanding of random variation and selection, and of evolution in general.

One thing though: It's NOT a moving goalpost. It's simply an INCORRECT goalpost. The skeptic will only accept evolution as plausible if 'life' is created by an intelligent designer (a person) in a way that is wholly unlike evolution? Really? How entirely reasonable.

Just wondering how all you folks who claim an intelligent designer either wholly created the universe and everything in it OR set the whole thing up to evolve on it its own came about? Did this amazingly complex creature simply appear one day? or did some other amazingly complex creature create it? If so, who created that one?

Your arguments are spurious and incomplete. Evolution is both elegant and simple. There is NO evidence against it (any human remains in the precambrian folks? I think not). IDers point to a lack of fossils as "evidence" against evolution, but evidence can only be positive. So until you dingbats can show anyone a solid piece of positive evidence that evolution is wrong, sit down and shut up!

I see James Collins has provided his standard post, the one he's submitted dozens of times before to various sites. If 'Anonymous' is the same person, that's the first time I've seen him respond to anyone - not that I've done an exhaustive search. I'm not sure why he considers it such a killer argument. Is he saying that people should be able to do in a few decades what took his god millions of years to accomplish?

James (if you can bring yourself to reply) - please identify some of this wonderful evidence contrary to evolution that is at Answersingenesis, because all I've ever seen there has been long-refuted criticisms of evolution, based on lies and deception.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 13 Jun 2007 #permalink

I see James Collins has provided his standard post, the one he's submitted dozens of times before to various sites.

I knew I smelled plagiarism when I read that comment...

- JS

Brian,

I wonder which James Collins is the more embarrassed? (The ASU one, I'm sure) :)

By Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Jun 2007 #permalink

Here I am again folks. Lay it on.

It sure is amazing how much attention you can get when you prove that someone is believing a grand old lie.

PS: God did not take millions of years, only six days. Instead of creating everything in billions of deadly years, He chose the quick and safe way to Create it all.

Your talk about the 'make me a cell' is just that. Sure they are desperately trying, but they even admit that the 'simple cell' is so complex that it might not ever be accomplished.

People who do not believe this extreme complexity are either purposely lying, or they are ignorant of the science involved here and are simply parroting the teachings of their professor, who parroted the sayings of his professor, etc.

You non believers, are desperate to prove there is no God, but there is ample evidence in the Bible (via. prophecy and fulfillment) that God did exactly what He inspired the writer of Genesis to write. And other portions of the Bible also.

Here's something you can look forward to. In Revelation 8:8 you will learn about the Asteroid that has our name on it and is scheduled to strike the Mid Atlantic, very probably in your lifetime. It will create a Tsunami nearly 3 miles high. All life will be swept away from every shore encircling the Atlantic, for many miles inward.

Of course the event of Revelation 8:7 comes first, and perhaps what you are reading in your newspaper about the fires out west is a preview of a coming attraction, perhaps even a WAKE UP call.

It certainly is not that event yet, but it might be a hint of a warning of the event soon to take place. God desires that you make yourself ready, and if it takes fear to convince then at least the outcome will be good for all that repent.

You can continue in denial, but if you do, you prove that you are science and LOGIC deficient. But it's your privilege, it's America you know.

By James Collins (not verified) on 10 Jul 2007 #permalink

"PS: God did not take millions of years, only six days. Instead of creating everything in billions of deadly years, He chose the quick and safe way to Create it all."

So which one are you denying, millions of years or billions of years? If you don't think it makes a difference, that might help explain why you think evolution is impossible.

Your talk about the 'make me a cell' is just that. Sure they are desperately trying, but they even admit that the 'simple cell' is so complex that it might not ever be accomplished.

People who do not believe this extreme complexity are either purposely lying, or they are ignorant of the science involved here and are simply parroting the teachings of their professor, who parroted the sayings of his professor, etc.

1. What's your point? Cells are complex and hard to manufacture in a human life time. So what?

2. Premeditated straw man. No one's denying that cells are complex.

You non believers, are desperate to prove there is no God, but there is ample evidence in the Bible (via. prophecy and fulfillment) that God did exactly what He inspired the writer of Genesis to write. And other portions of the Bible also.

1. Malicious lie about atheism. We typically don't want to and never need to disprove theism. You're the ones making the extraordinary claim. Prove it. Pray for God to make something from nothing in front of James Randi. (After you provide a set of protocols that prevent you from cheating, of course.)

2. Circular reasoning. Try catching up with the standard arguments against Biblical non-prophecies.

Here's something you can look forward to. In Revelation 8:8 you will learn about the Asteroid that has our name on it and is scheduled to strike the Mid Atlantic, very probably in your lifetime. It will create a Tsunami nearly 3 miles high. All life will be swept away from every shore encircling the Atlantic, for many miles inward.

Pardon me if I don't believe all you people who've cried "wolf" for centuries through insane means of deriving stuff. When was that last comet due? Towel Day 2006?

It certainly is not that event yet, but it might be a hint of a warning of the event soon to take place. God desires that you make yourself ready, and if it takes fear to convince then at least the outcome will be good for all that repent.

Doesn't that qualify as terrorism? Sounds like God is an evil, evil person without a shred of ethics or morality.

News flash: The ends do not justify the means. Morality isn't relative, either.

You can continue in denial, but if you do, you prove that you are science and LOGIC deficient. But it's your privilege, it's America you know.

This, from a person who spends his time evading the issue, lying about our point of view, and actively avoiding serious discussion.

I think I'll kill this thread too. Collins has nothing to offer but idiocy and endless denialism. If only I had my laptop...

Describe to the world how the first living cell came into being and the argument is over. If you can't, you are believing in an absurd postulate.

Of course you and I know you can't come up with an answer. The reason? Life is way too complex to have come into being by the sloshing back and forth of amino acids in a cozy crack in a rock, 4 billion years ago. I guess the reason evolutionists get so riled up when I want proof of their 'theory' is because they subconsciously know that their theory is a fairy tale.

By James Collins (not verified) on 11 Sep 2007 #permalink

James Collins is a deluded liar. He says nothing at all, being so blinded by the words of sheepherders that he can't see reality in his face.

Try http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html James. All your petty objections have been heard and swept away a thousand times. You are a deluded liar.

That was a realy god drawing and the movie fucking rocks!!