PvM posted Entry 1602 on October 24, 2005 01:22 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1597

In the following exchange, Behe seems to be uncertain as to what intelligent design really does. When asked about exaptation, he answers that exaptation is consistent with intelligent design (but what isn’t…). He then claims that intelligent design ‘only focuses on the mechanism of how such a thing would happen’.

Q. But it is certainly, exaptation – for example, a bird wing developing from some kind of feathered structure on a dinosaur that didn’t necessarily allow flight, that’s what evolutionary biologists propose, and they call it exaptation?

A. That’s entirely possible, and that’s consistent with intelligent design, because intelligent design only focuses on the mechanism of how such a thing would happen. So the critical point for my argument is, how such things could develop by random mutation and natural selection.

Q. And again, intelligent design doesn’t describe how it happened?

A. That’s correct, only to say that intelligence was involved somewhere in the process.

Things get more interesting when Behe repeats a claim he seems to have used almost as often as the reference to the Big Bang namely

A. Yes, it’s improbable.

Q. Okay. And you haven’t – and based on that, you conclude that intelligent design is a much more probable explanation?

A. Not just based on that, based on the purposeful arrangement of parts.

“Based on the purposeful arrangement of parts”. Now think about this for a moment, the use of the term purpose is used to conflate with function. Otherwise the argument would be “we recognize design because of the design of the parts”. Now we have reached a problem for intelligent design, namely that by using the term ‘purposeful’ instead of the more appropriate term ‘function’ they cannot exclude natural processes as having caused this function to arise. In other words, intelligent design is based on a simple appeal to ignorance.

Let’s look at this more carefully so that the confused ID proponent may also appreciate the problem. Behe argues that known natural pathways are improbable to explain ‘X’, since ‘X’ has functioning parts, one can infer ‘design’. But the statement says nothing about the ‘designer’ and thus any process which can cause the appearance of teleology, such as for instance evolutionary processes, needs to be considered. Since Intelligent Design does not propose any explanation, pathways or mechanisms (although ID proponents seem to contradict themselves occasionally), intelligent design cannot even compete with the ‘we don’t know’ explanation. In fact, lacking any positive, independent evidence, there is no reason to conclude that an intelligent designer was involved.

This is important since many ID proponents seem to be confused about this, even though Dembski and other IDers have stated, often almost as a side note, that inferring design does not mean inferring a designer. As Welsey Elsberry has so aptly observed in the early years of ID, intelligent design’s design inference cannot exclude a fully natural designer.

Why is this important? Very simple: We know of various ‘purposeful arangement of parts’ which evolved, thus the conclusion is simple: due to the obvious risk of false positives (although Dembski denies sometimes that such false positives exist and accepts false positives at other times), the ID design inference cannot compete with ‘we don’t know’ since it is an appeal to ignorance.

That we have examples of purposeful arrangements by intelligent designers is of no help since we have examples of purposeful arrangements by evolutionary processes. Or alternatively, while ID proponents may argue that evolutionary processes known so far, are unlikely to explain a particular purposeful arrangement of parts, it cannot compete even with this hypothesis as it lacks any measure of probability. In other words, even though the probability of a particular purposeful arrangement of parts via evolutionary mechanisms may be small, the probability of such a system having arisen via an intelligent designer may be even smaller. And since ID refuses, for obvious reasons, to limit its designer or provide means, motives, opportunity, it fails to provide a scientifically relevant alternative.

And that my friends, is the reason why intelligent design is scientifically vacuous, flawed and misguided. That intelligent design is forced to defend its claims in court, under oath, seems quite helpful in establishing how vacuous ID scientifically really is. And the Discovery Institute seems to realize this as it is quick to ask the judge to not rule on the issue of intelligent design and science, since ID can be ‘useful’ for scientific discussions. Of course, so can any other creationist argument be argued to be useful for scientific discussion. In order to establish if ID is scientifically relevant, and thus has a secular purpose, it is essential that the courts rule on the issue of intelligent design and science.

Given the quality of the testimony of intelligent design proponents, I am not surprised that the Discovery Institute must be very worried.

Further in the testimony, Behe testifies as to what the concept of irreducible complexity really is. When confronted with a statement Behe supposedly made in a newspaper about the flagellum and the Type III Secretory System, he confirmed that even if the Type III Secretory System were ancestral to the flagellum, the flagellum would still be irreducibly complex (and thus ‘designed’).

Q. Okay. And then you go on to say that you still think – well, I’ll leave that. Your argument is that, even if the type III secretory system is a pre-cursor to the bacterial flagellum, is a subset, the bacterial flagellum is still irreducibly complex because that subset does not function as a flagellum?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. And, therefore, the bacterial flagellum must have been intelligently designed?

A. Well, again, the argument is that, there is – that when you see a purposeful arrangement of parts, that bespeaks design, so, yes.

The discussion then continues about ‘slow design’ where Behe paints himeself even more in a corner. The plaintiffs’ lawyer is doing an incredible job in showing how Behe’s claims are just an ‘empty box’.
Behe, under cross, admits to the following

Q. Good. In slow design, same thing. At some point, we had a subset of the proteins, and eventually, we got to the whole thing?

A. That’s right. The crucial question – the only question is the mechanism.

But intelligent design has NO mechanisms to offer, so once again it seems that ID remains scientifically vacuous.

Q. Okay. So in the case of evolution, there is mechanism that’s been proposed, natural selection?

A. Yes.

Q. And you’ve agreed that natural selection certainly is a phenomena that operates in the natural world?

A. That is correct.

So Behe has now admitted that so far the only issue is of ‘mechanism(s)’, in other words, ‘slow design’ or ‘evolutionary design’ differ only in mechanism(s) involved. And evolution has identified plausible mechanisms.

Behe is now confronted with a major problem, how to make a case of design. Predictably he returns to ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’ but the lawyer does not let him off that easily and forces him to admit some remarkable ignorance and tautology.

Q. Then we’ve got slow design, and there we have no mechanism at all, no description of a mechanism?

A. We have no description of a mechanism. We do infer design though from the purposeful arrangement of parts.

Q. Now yesterday, I asked you some questions about the designer’s abilities. And you said, all we know about its abilities is that it was capable of making whatever we have determined is design. That’s the only statement we can make about the designer’s abilities?

A. Yes.

Q. And in terms of the designer’s – as a scientific statement?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And the only thing we know scientifically about the designer’s motives or desires or needs is that, according to your argument, the only thing we would know scientifically about that is that it must have wanted to make what we have concluded as design?

A. Yes, that’s right.

Q. In fact, the only way we can make the statement scientifically that a designer exists is that it made whatever we conclude was design?

A. Yes, that’s right.

Can we say circular reasoning…

Behe tries to move the goalposts but the lawyer is quick to point out Behe’s previous testimony

And as my work with David Snoke shows, that even getting small changes in pre-existing proteins, that is parts, is no easy task. So the question –

Q. Unless you have a whole ton of soil?

A. I’m sorry?

Q. Unless you have a whole ton of soil?

A. So that’s actually an excellent question. Did those parts themselves also have to be designed? And I think right now, the question is open.

Behe is then asked about whether or not intelligent design, in this case for the flagellum has been tested. Since Behe proposed a way to test ‘scientifically’ if the flagellum could evolve, and since such a test was never performed we now are treated to the following amusing exchange

Q. Okay. So you can’t claim that the proposition that the bacterial flagellum was intelligently designed is a well-tested proposition?

A. Yes, you can, I’m afraid. It’s well-tested from the inductive argument. We can, from our inductive understanding of whenever we see something that has a large number of parts, which interacts to fulfill some function, when we see a purposeful arrangement of parts, we have always found that to be design. And so, an inductive argument relies on the validity of the previous instances of what you’re inducing. So I would say that, that is tested.

It’s ‘well tested’ from the inductive argument although it has not really been tested and the test proposed by Behe has never been performed.

Scientifically vacuous…

And before taking a recess for break, Behe makes the following statement about ID which accentuates the vacuity.

Q. And before we leave the blood clotting system, can you just remind the Court the mechanism by which intelligent design creates the blood clotting system?

A. Well, as I mentioned before, intelligent design does not say, a mechanism, but what it does say is, one important factor in the production of systems, and that is that, at some point in the pathway, intelligence was involved.

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Comment #53438

Posted by sanjait on October 24, 2005 3:45 AM (e)

That lawyer is pretty good. I haven’t been following the case very closely, so I don’t know anything about him, but I’m certain that finding a lawyer’s talent for formal logic and a scientist’s knowledge and understanding of evolution in the same individual is quite rare.

However, I think he missed an opportunity. Behe’s proposed experiment, putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations to see if a flagellum pops up, is a preposterously inaccurate model for actual evolution, for multiple reasons.
1. 10,000 bacterial generations is the countless generations of bacterial evolution in the billions of years bacteria have been on earth, according to evolutionary theory.
2. Evolutionary theory posits that intermediate structures existed that would have been necessary for the formation event of the flagellum, which Behe and Demski et al willfully ignore in thier models.
3. Evolution is also non-directional. In Behe’s model, being of relatively few generations, if anything would likely result in a rudimentary motility system that didn’t resemble the eubacterial flagellum. If given a more realistic number of generations and time (if we could wait around a few million or billion years), it may result in a motility system that is analagous but not identical or even homologous to the eubacterial flagellum, but with comparable complexity. The observation that some archaea have such a nonhomologous flagellum, that an analagous system evolved independently, is evidence for this hypothesis.

The fact that Behe’s proposed experiment is so far off I think is something that can be explained to a lay person (like a judge), and would really damage behe’s claim to expertise on the matter. We should nail him on it every chance we get.

Comment #53441

Posted by DrFrank on October 24, 2005 5:32 AM (e)

Behe’s proposed experiment, putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations to see if a flagellum pops up

Alternatively, we could test ID by putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations and see if God pops up.

Comment #53442

Posted by God on October 24, 2005 6:03 AM (e)

“but I’m certain that finding a lawyer’s talent for formal logic and a scientist’s knowledge and understanding of evolution in the same individual is quite rare.”

Did you mean informal logic?

Comment #53443

Posted by Ron Okimoto on October 24, 2005 6:15 AM (e)

The really amusing thing is that we don’t see the Discovery Institute scam artists taking Behe’s testimony apart. How many times have they claimed that ID isn’t about mechanisms? Here is the incompetent Behe, claiming that ID is all about the mechanism, and he has to do it for obvious reasons. A birds wing obviously evolved from a tetrapod limb. He has to argue that the designer did it, but the only difference between the design inference and biological evolution is how the designer did it. He can’t even deny that the designer could have used natural mechanisms to accomplish the design. He has to claim that he can see evidence for non natural mechanisms, but he doesn’t have the evidence. All the IDiots are in the same boat.

Comment #53447

Posted by Eugene Lai on October 24, 2005 6:44 AM (e)

wrote:

Behe’s proposed experiment, putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations to see if a flagellum pops up, is a preposterously inaccurate model for actual evolution, for multiple reasons.

A bigger problem is that, the success or failure of such experiment does not prove/disprove IC in any way.

It is almost impossible prove a negative via experimentation. In practice no experiement is exhaustive enough to categorically reject the possibility. Trying to do so is like shooting a moving target that respawn.

That impossibility is what IDists hinge on.

What the plantiff’s lawyer could have done is ask Behe that if bacterial flagellum evolves in a lab, whether IC can still stand on other alledgedly irreducibly complex “machines”, like the bloodclotting system. If he answer yes, then IC cannot be disproved by his own proposed test. If he answer no, he has to explain why not.

Still, the lawyers did a pretty good job all things considered.

Comment #53457

Posted by Bagaaz on October 24, 2005 7:54 AM (e)

I’ve read all of the Behe transcripts up to and including day 11. Does your post cover day 12? If so, where did you get the transcript from?

I would have liked to see the lawyer take Behe to task about the paper he wrote on how long it would take a population of 1 billion bacteria to experience the right mutations to create an irreducibly complex feature. I think the lawyer hinted at it but I think he should have asked Behe how long it would have taken using the amount of bacteria in a ton of soil and actually get him to do the calculations.

I think Behe said 20,000 years for 1 billion bacteria, the lawyer asked how much bacteria there are in a ton of soil and he said 10 to the power 16, which means that it would take 0.002 years for an irreducibly complex feature to happen through mutation alone (no selection going on) in a ton of soil.

That’s about 17.5 hours.

That would have been funny. Very funny.

Comment #53468

Posted by John Timmer on October 24, 2005 9:34 AM (e)

RE: the two year selective experiment for flagella

The worst thing about this experiment is that it will almost certainly result in both sides claiming victory, simply because the bacteria would most likely not evolve a flagella. There are, presumably, other ways to propel a bacteria, and when a chaotic mixture of re-used proteins from elsewhere in the cell get thrown together to make some unexpected means of propulsion, the biologists will say “see, it worked!”, while the ID folks will say “see, that’s not a flagella!”. No wonder nobody’s seen the point in doing the experiment.

Comment #53470

Posted by Skip on October 24, 2005 9:45 AM (e)

“…but I’m certain that finding a lawyer’s talent for formal logic and a scientist’s knowledge and understanding of evolution in the same individual is quite rare.”

Oh, I think he had some help with the topic. Right, Nick?

Comment #53481

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on October 24, 2005 10:48 AM (e)

Behe’s proposed experiment, putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations to see if a flagellum pops up, is a preposterously inaccurate model for actual evolution, for multiple reasons.

A bigger problem is that, the success or failure of such experiment does not prove/disprove IC in any way.

Yes it does. If you start from scratch and in just a few years get a flagellum as we know them, that’s a miracle.

Comment #53482

Posted by jim on October 24, 2005 10:54 AM (e)

While everyone seems to agree that ID cannot be tested in any meaningful way, it seems to me that Behe’s insistance that he can detect design can be. Why doesn’t someone create a moderately complex problem in chemical synthesis (“Start with A,B,C… and a list of elementary reactions and create a pathway to X,Y,Z.”). Have a bunch of undergrads solve it as well as an evolutionary computer code. Then ask Behe or someone else to pick out the solution that was not “designed”.

Comment #53488

Posted by Mark Duigon on October 24, 2005 11:30 AM (e)

There’s another problem with Behe’s test. The probability of evolving a specified feature is not the same as the probability of evolving a novel feature which may prove very useful. So perhaps Behe’s test should be the evolution of any novel, useful feature, say, the ability to eat nylon. What would be the probability of that ever happening?

Comment #53489

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 24, 2005 11:32 AM (e)

That’s an excellent point on the choice of the word purposeful. It is ambiguous, and could mean either
functional, which is still unproven
or
designed, which would be circular logic, since it is being used as an indication of design.

Comment #53499

Posted by Alienward on October 24, 2005 12:15 PM (e)

Ron Okimoto wrote:

The really amusing thing is that we don’t see the Discovery Institute scam artists taking Behe’s testimony apart. How many times have they claimed that ID isn’t about mechanisms? Here is the incompetent Behe, claiming that ID is all about the mechanism, and he has to do it for obvious reasons.

Behe wound up saying ID “focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism” and “it does not propose a mechanism” and then admitted the proposed mechanism ID focuses on is really natural selection. I think the ID will be ok with that. Unfortunately for them it shows ID is just creationism. Behe is quite the one man clown show:

Q Back to my original question. What is the mechanism that intelligent design proposes?

A And I wonder, could – am I permitted to know what I replied to your question the first time?

Q I don’t think I got a reply, so I’m asking you, you ve made this claim here, “Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose.” And I want to know what is the mechanism that intelligent design proposes for how complex biological structures arose?

A Again, it does not propose a mechanism in the sense of a step-by-step description of how those structures arose. But it can infer that in the mechanism, in the process by which these structures arose, an intelligent cause was involved.

Q But it does not propose an actual mechanism?

A Again, the word “mechanism” – the word “mechanism” can be used broadly, but no, I would not say that there was a mechanism. I would say we have an aspect of the history of the structure.

Q So when you wrote in your report that “Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism,” you actually meant to say intelligent design says nothing about the mechanism of how complex biological structures arose.

A No, I certainly didn’t mean to say that. I meant to say what I said in response to that last question, that while we don’t know a step-by-step description of how something arose, nonetheless we can infer some very important facts about what was involved in the process, namely, that intelligence was involved in the process.

And let me go back one more time to the Big Bang theory. Again, we don’t have a mechanism for the Big Bang, but we can infer some important events about what happened, and that was that it happened in some explosive manner, it happened a distinct time ago and so on.

So additionally, I might say, that it also focuses on other proposed mechanisms that purport to explain the purposeful arrangement of parts. And so I think it is quite accurate to say that that’s exactly where intelligent design focuses.

Q So it actually – it focuses on other proposed mechanisms, by that you mean natural selection, don’t you?

A No, just a natural selection, complexity theory and so on. But certainly the most widely accepted, and then the one that you would have to convince most people – or explain to most people is not well supported is the one which is the currently accepted explanation of natural selection.

Q Okay. And so in terms of mechanism, it’s just a criticism of Darwinian evolution’s mechanism and not a positive description of the mechanism?

A No, I disagree. I say that while, again, while it does not give you a step-by-step description of how such things occurred, it does tell you something very important about the cause or the way in which these structures arose, and that was through the actions of an intelligent cause.

Q So, Professor Behe, why don’t we go to your deposition and see how you answered the questions then, okay?

A Okay.

Q Could you look at page 179 of your deposition.

A Yes.

Q I asked you, “What is the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose according to intelligent design theory?”

A Yes.

Q And you answered, “Intelligent design does not propose a mechanism, it simply tries to support the conclusion that intelligent activity was involved in producing the structures.”

A Yes. And that language, I think, is completely consistent with what I was trying to say here today, that it does not tell you step by step how something was proposed – or how something was produced, but nonetheless it says something very very important about the origin of the structure, and that is that intelligent activity was involved in producing it.

Q And then further down the page at line 24 I asked you, “In terms of the mechanism, it’s just a criticism of Darwinian evolution’s mechanism and not a positive description of a mechanism.” And what did you answer, Professor Behe?

A I said “that’s correct.” But again, I think this is completely consistent with what I just said. Again, it does not propose a step-by-step description, but it – but it proposes or it accounts for some very important features of what was involved in it’s origin, and that is intelligent activity.

Comment #53500

Posted by BC on October 24, 2005 12:17 PM (e)

Behe’s proposed experiment, putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations to see if a flagellum pops up, is a preposterously inaccurate model for actual evolution, for multiple reasons.

A bigger problem is that, the success or failure of such experiment does not prove/disprove IC in any way.

We can already get a good idea of how IDists will respond. If you look at experiments on abiogenesis, which produced complex molecules, here’s what creationists and IDists said:

Wells says that the Miller-Urey experiment should not be taught because the experiment used an atmospheric composition that is now known to be incorrect. Wells contends that textbooks don’t discuss how the early atmosphere was probably different from the atmosphere hypothesized in the original experiment. Wells then claims that the actual atmosphere of the early earth makes the Miller-Urey type of chemical synthesis impossible, and asserts that the experiment does not work when an updated atmosphere is used.

In other words: if the experiement actually resulted in producing a flagellum, IDists might claim that the conditions where the experiement was done was different than the one where the flagellum historically appeared and that actual conditions would’ve made it impossible for the flagellum to arrise through evolution.

Comment #53501

Posted by Jim Wynne on October 24, 2005 12:22 PM (e)

And of course frontloading is another obvious fallback position, regardless of the fact that it makes no sense.

Comment #53502

Posted by Steve LaBonne on October 24, 2005 12:24 PM (e)

Re Alienward’s last post- Along with redefining “science” and “theory” to mean their opposites, we can now see that Behe’s performed the same service for “consistent”. Nice hat trick.

Comment #53508

Posted by Brian Spitzer on October 24, 2005 1:17 PM (e)

From jim:

While everyone seems to agree that ID cannot be tested in any meaningful way, it seems to me that Behe’s insistance that he can detect design can be. Why doesn’t someone create a moderately complex problem in chemical synthesis (”Start with A,B,C… and a list of elementary reactions and create a pathway to X,Y,Z.”). Have a bunch of undergrads solve it as well as an evolutionary computer code. Then ask Behe or someone else to pick out the solution that was not “designed”.

There’s a freeware program on the Web called Framsticks that allows one to design and/or evolve “organisms” that fulfill certain goals in a fairly realistic physics environment. For example, you can select for “organisms” that move rapidly. I’ve used it as a demo to show the efficacy of mutation and selection to undergrads.

The Framsticks site has an archive of “organisms” that people have sent them– either those that are especially outstanding performers or interesting for some other reason. Some are designed, others evolved from scratch. I went through their collection of “fastest runners” and found that it’s pretty easy to tell the designed ones from the evolved ones. The first difference is that all of the designed “organisms” look like quadrupeds or hexapods or wheels, while the evolved “organisms” come up with ways of getting around that I never would have thought of.

The second difference, of course, is that the evolved “organisms” tend to move much, much faster.

–B

Comment #53512

Posted by John on October 24, 2005 1:47 PM (e)

As you know, ID is unfalsifiable, so real-life experiment cannot disprove it. Suppose we get a flagellum. What will stop IDiots from arguing that a Designer helped with it? Obviously, such an experiment must exclude the potential influence of a designer, but since in ID framework we cannot exclude supernatural designer, a successful experiment refuting ID is hardly possible.

Comment #53513

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 24, 2005 1:55 PM (e)

Obviously, such an experiment must exclude the potential influence of a designer, but since in ID framework we cannot exclude supernatural designer, a successful experiment refuting ID is hardly possible.

Thus the requirement for Methodological Naturalism in science. If we cannot assume the lack of a supernatural meddler, no scientific experiment would mean anything, in any field of scientific exploration.

Comment #53516

Posted by sanjait on October 24, 2005 2:20 PM (e)

“Suppose we get a flagellum. What will stop IDiots from arguing that a Designer helped with it?”

Of course, such an experiment would never result in a flagellum. But, if it did, it would be interesting to see how the public would respond to ID claims that intelligence was involved. They claim not to identify the designer, but there aren’t many non-deities who could sneak into the lab and put a flagellum on a bacteria. I suppose a scientist could do it, but would likely leaving a telling genetic trace of the vector used (e.g. “how did this plasmid get here…”)

Anyway, that would leave the IDists claiming that God came down and miraculously put the flagellum in there. The public would be skeptical of someone pointing to a tube of bacteria and calling it a miracle. The underwhelming crudeness of it would make people doubtful. People are apt to believe that God created man and the universe in some unfathomable way at some unknown time in the past, but they would mostly have a harder time believing that God plays cheap parlor tricks in test tubes for no apparent reason.

Comment #53520

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 24, 2005 2:32 PM (e)

The public would be skeptical of someone pointing to a tube of bacteria and calling it a miracle. The underwhelming crudeness of it would make people doubtful. People are apt to believe that God created man and the universe in some unfathomable way at some unknown time in the past, but they would mostly have a harder time believing that God plays cheap parlor tricks in test tubes for no apparent reason.

Dude, “the public” routinely sees the face of the holy virgin in things like grilled cheese sandwiches.
Nothing is “too crude” to be a miracle.

Comment #53522

Posted by JohnK on October 24, 2005 2:38 PM (e)

After Paul Nelson announced at Friday’s AEI symposium Behe was now now doing this experiment, the “How would you control for the designer(s) possible activities during your flagella experiment?” question was directly posed (to John Calvert IIRC). And completely ignored.
Dembski, with his characteristic brilliance, has already proposed the designer(s) may employ zero-energy, infinite wavelength quantum field effects to alter quantum probabilities in chemical reactions. Teach the controversy!

Comment #53523

Posted by Alan on October 24, 2005 2:42 PM (e)

Slightly off topic but as the relevant thread is disappearing over the horizon, I thought I would link the response from Dr. K. John Morrow, one of Behe’s reveiwers see here

Comment #53524

Posted by Flint on October 24, 2005 2:42 PM (e)

More of Behe’s testimony on the details of mechanism. This is the sort of exchange that defies all attempts at logical parsing…

A. That’s entirely possible, and that’s consistent with intelligent design, because intelligent design only focuses on the mechanism of how such a thing would happen.

Q. And again, intelligent design doesn’t describe how it happened?

A. That’s correct, only to say that intelligence was involved somewhere in the process.

Huh?

Comment #53525

Posted by Russell on October 24, 2005 2:46 PM (e)

Behe squirmed:
Again, the word “mechanism” — the word “mechanism” can be used broadly…

For instance, an anally retentive pedant fixated on pathetic details might use the word “mechanism” to mean “the physics and chemistry of how something happens”. The Intelligent Design Theorist, on the other hand, might use the word “mechanism” to mean “Not only do we have no *&#@!ng clue, we have no idea how to get one!”

I would say we have an aspect of the history of the structure.

I would say this guy is an embarrassment to biochemistry PhD’s everywhere. I wonder where “mechanism” might be taken to mean “an aspect of the history of a structure” anywhere in any biochemistry text or article worth the paper it’s printed on.

Comment #53528

Posted by Henry J on October 24, 2005 2:57 PM (e)

Re “the designer(s) may employ zero-energy, infinite wavelength quantum field effects to alter quantum probabilities in chemical reactions.”

So, the, um, “designer” uses something that (1) has no energy with which to do anything, and (2) can’t be aimed at any target smaller than the universe due to its large wavelength.

Did I miss something along the way?

Henry

Comment #53533

Posted by Flint on October 24, 2005 3:13 PM (e)

Henry J:

It may not have any discernable meaning, but it *sounds* scientistical as all hell. Remember it’s a PR battle. You have time for one 10-second sound bite. Your task is to sound like Einstein to the ignorati. There won’t be time for your questioner even to say “huh?” You’ve been sensible enough to answer someone who wouldn’t know a quantum from a koala, but knows enough not to show it. Your fallback position is “what tests have you performed that show I’m wrong?”

It’s not a hard game to play, really.

Comment #53534

Posted by Norman Doering on October 24, 2005 3:15 PM (e)

Bayesian Bouffant wrote: “… choice of the word purposeful. It is ambiguous, and could mean either functional, …”

No! It’s not ambiguous. It’s a trap! A semantic trap. The language is loaded with a bomb – don’t use it. It can not mean functional.

He just smuggled in teleology without anyone noticing. Anyone remember the theology professor, earlier witness, who was saying that science can tell you how the water boils, but theology (teleology) tells you why – he wants a cup of tea? That’s purpose. It’s not function, it’s not a synonym.

“…by using the term ‘purposeful’ instead of more appropriate term ‘function’ they cannot exclude natural processes as having caused this function to arise. In other words, intelligent design is based on a simple appeal to ignorance.”

I think you’ve all made a very subtle error in your analysis that could bite you in the ass later if you argue with an IDer. When Behe says: “Based on the purposeful arrangement of parts,” the word ‘purposeful’ smuggles in teleology and you can’t say evolution is teleological, can you? Purpose is always an answer to the theological “why” question and not the mechanistic “how” question.

A mechanistic “natural processes” answer does exclude the “Why” questions.

At this point the lawyer should be bringing up the testimony of an earlier witness that seems forgotten. Anyone remember the theology professor who was saying that science can tell you how the water boils, but theology (teleology) tells you why – he wants a cup of tea?

Thus you cannot really say: “…we have examples of purposeful arrangements by evolutionary processes,” without saying evolutionary processes are teleological and thus fall into a semantic trap set by the IDer.

What the IDers seem to be ultimately ignorant of (what we all are at this point) is intelligence itself – intelligence has to remain an unknown to IDers. Purpose and teleology cannot have natural explanations for them. But at some point in evolution we would expect to see the naturally evolving precursors to intelligence and purpose as humans know them.

Comment #53546

Posted by JohnK on October 24, 2005 4:08 PM (e)

Norman wrote:

intelligence has to remain an unknown to IDers. Purpose and teleology cannot have natural explanations for them.

Yes. This has been for many years an intergral part of ID, although rarely dwelt upon. Paul Nelson, in his lectures, assigns “intelligence” a third metaphysical category, neither natural nor supernatural. Dembski actually once defined “intelligence” as “the ability to make a choice” - synonymous with “free will.” Stephen Meyers, when the topic of explainability and “intelligence” arose at a conference I attended, with a broad grin said “But you can’t explain this!” as he flicked something -a paper clip I thought- into the audience. ID should actually be called VP, Volitional Purposivity.

This is why they quickly change the subject when you question them on using their alleged ID detection techniques on not just the products of beavers, but spiders and slime molds. Although the trusty regress of design via a designed proxy is always available to them. Hall of mirrors stuff.

Comment #53547

Posted by JohnK on October 24, 2005 4:14 PM (e)

Henry J wrote:

Did I miss something along the way?

Perhaps Dembski’s next book. $29.95 at Amazon. Small price to pay to learn how to focus the unfocusable.

Comment #53565

Posted by Steve S on October 24, 2005 5:18 PM (e)

Dembski, with his characteristic brilliance, has already proposed the designer(s) may employ zero-energy, infinite wavelength

No. Just no.

Comment #53566

Posted by DAE on October 24, 2005 5:20 PM (e)

“Behe’s proposed experiment, putting a non-flagellated bacterial culture under selective pressure for 10,000 generations to see if a flagellum pops up, is a preposterously inaccurate model for actual evolution, for multiple reasons.”

Another flaw in this experiment is that it is impossible to define what selective pressures would result in the evolution of the bacterial flagellum. Behe is putting forth “natural selection” as if it happens in the same mystical fasion as ID. Natural selection is a contingent process, it doesn’t just happen out of time and place as his experiment suggests.

Comment #53575

Posted by PaulC on October 24, 2005 6:21 PM (e)

Q. Unless you have a whole ton of soil?

A. I’m sorry?

Q. Unless you have a whole ton of soil?

A. So that’s actually an excellent question. Did those parts themselves also have to be designed? And I think right now, the question is open.

Is it my imagination, or does Behe shrink instinctively from any discussion of scales of time and population that might actually be sufficient to result in the evolution of complex features. From the previous testimony, it sounds as if he believes 1 billion is a very large population and 20,000 years is a very long time. But aside from being a bit daunting for humans to contemplate, these scales are miniscule.

I don’t assume that Behe is even being dishonest. It may really just be some kind of mental block.

Comment #53577

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 24, 2005 6:27 PM (e)

denial breeds dishonesty. that’s how it defends itself.

Comment #53579

Posted by sanjait on October 24, 2005 6:35 PM (e)

“Dude, “the public” routinely sees the face of the holy virgin in things like grilled cheese sandwiches. “

While this accurately describes some people, when we talk generally about “the public”, we by default refer to the majority. Most people see neither miracles in grilled cheese nor a few rounds of bacterial evolution.

Comment #53581

Posted by joewlarson on October 24, 2005 6:40 PM (e)

“whenever we see something that has a large number of parts, which interacts to fulfill some function, when we see a purposeful arrangement of parts, we have always found that to be design”

oh lord, i love that one. “something that has a large number of parts, which interacts to fulfill some function, when we see a purposeful arrangement of parts” – oh, you mean like all the trillions of organisms out there plus a few million man made things? and so you are saying, the vast minority of things which are man made where found to be designed, therefore the overwhelming majority which are those living things with functional collections of parts must fall into that same category?

idiot!

Comment #53584

Posted by sanjait on October 24, 2005 6:46 PM (e)

“whenever we see something that has a large number of parts, which interacts to fulfill some function, when we see a purposeful arrangement of parts, we have always found that to be design”

I haven’t read any of the ID books, and don’t plan to, but is anyone here aware if anywhere Behe actually defines the terms “function” or “purposeful” as stated in this context? As noted, Behe seems to conflate them.

We have a conception of “function” in biology as something that enhances fitness. More generally, a “function” could be anything that does anything, good or bad. If a tree falls on the ground, the ground serves the function of holding it up. Is it then designed? I’m honestly curious how IDers perceive these terms, or if they even bother thinking about the requirement for specific definitions in this sort of context.

Comment #53590

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 24, 2005 7:07 PM (e)

if they even bother thinking about the requirement for specific definitions in this sort of context

tinkin’ ain’t got nuttin’ ta do wid it.

as we found out from Blast “It’s just intuitive”

lol.

Comment #53629

Posted by Norman Doering on October 25, 2005 12:04 AM (e)

PaulC asked: “Is it my imagination, or does Behe shrink instinctively from any discussion of scales of time and population that might actually be sufficient to result in the evolution of complex features?”

It’s not your imagination. Behe has to be asked very, very directly about that issue.

At first I was impressed with the lawyer questioning Behe, but the more I think about the questions not asked, the less impressed I am.

Comment #53630

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 12:10 AM (e)

well, the best thing to do is not to compare the questions asked to those any of us might have asked, but to those the average lawyer might have asked.

using that measure, i still think he did quite well.

after all, they have to react to where the witness leads them many times, and not just rely on a script.

Comment #53634

Posted by Norman Doering on October 25, 2005 1:00 AM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote: “i still think he did quite well. – after all, they have to react to where the witness leads them many times, and not just rely on a script.”

Hmmm… In that light I’m again impressed.

But… when I do write the script – for what may be the next “Inherit the Wind” – the lawyer is finally going to have a script and get at things faster instead of dancing around and painting Behe into tighter and tighter corners.

Comment #53637

Posted by K.E. on October 25, 2005 3:36 AM (e)

Norman
Then you would have something that was Designed!
The unpredictable nature of the human mind always produces things far more interesting. It is predictable to a certain extent by examining Myth as Campbell has shown.
But seeing the slow tortuous unraveling of a reasoning mind trying to hold onto a deeply held infantile vision of the infinite make me for one see Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” in a new light.
http://samuel-beckett.net

Beckett at least got a Nobel Prize (1969)more Fundy angst.

Behe “The Man Who Thought He Saw God”
helps man(me) see “Waiting for Godot” in new light.

Comment #53638

Posted by Norman Doering on October 25, 2005 4:37 AM (e)

K.E. wrote: “… seeing the slow tortuous unraveling of a reasoning mind trying to hold onto a deeply held infantile vision of the infinite make me for one see Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ in a new light.”

I thought the original “Inherit the Wind” did a pretty good job of showing “a reasoning mind trying to hold onto a deeply held infantile vision of the infinite,” considering the limitations of time and drama you get a man falling apart who can recite all the names of the books of the Bible but doesn’t know what’s in them. And he dies in court.

Thanks for the insight though. I’ll have to try for a little of that “reasoning mind breaking down” stuff.

Comment #53782

Posted by Eric Murphy on October 25, 2005 6:25 PM (e)

But… when I do write the script — for what may be the next “Inherit the Wind” — the lawyer is finally going to have a script and get at things faster instead of dancing around and painting Behe into tighter and tighter corners. wrote:

Actually, having worked trials before (but don’t worry, I’m not an attorney), I’m impressed with Rothschild’s questioning of Behe. Actually, you do have to dance around and paint the witness into tighter and tighter corners. Because ultimately the judge is going to be reading the transcript, and if you leave any doors open for the Defendants to squeeze through, the judge is going to find them. It gets tedious, but believe me; it’s necessary.

Which is also why some questions don’t get asked. The transcript doesn’t really give you a feel for how long these sessions go on. A 120-page transcript is probably four hours of questions and answers. You have to make the important points, leave out the unimportant details, and not drive the judge crazy with minutiae. And, you have to do it all while thinking on your feet, anticipating which way the witness is going to jump, not ask questions you won’t like the answers to, and meanwhile avoid objections from the other side.

It’s kind of like juggling chainsaws while tap-dancing.

Comment #53999

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 26, 2005 11:23 PM (e)

Norman Doerring wrote:

I thought the original “Inherit the Wind” did a pretty good job of showing “a reasoning mind trying to hold onto a deeply held infantile vision of the infinite,” considering the limitations of time and drama you get a man falling apart who can recite all the names of the books of the Bible but doesn’t know what’s in them. And he dies in court.

Norman, you do know, don’t you, that “Inherit the Wind” is almost pure fiction? Jennings Bryan, for example, entered into the debate because–at the time–the theory of “survival of the fittest” was being used as an excuse for eugenics, not because he was a creationist. I know how hard it is for Darwinians to be weened from myth, but you might want to look into what really happened at the trial.

Comment #54022

Posted by Norman Doering on October 27, 2005 5:33 AM (e)

BlastfromthePast wrote: “Norman, you do know, don’t you, that “Inherit the Wind” is almost pure fiction?”

Yes, I know it’s fiction. Reality is always too complicated for 90 minute films and ID/creationists to absorb completely.

Comment #54158

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 27, 2005 9:26 PM (e)

Norman Doerring wrote:

Yes, I know it’s fiction. Reality is always too complicated for 90 minute films and ID/creationists to absorb completely.

And who, exactly, tries to deny that the bacterial flagellum is irreducible?

I can hear you now: “It looks designed. It looks irreducibly complex. But it isn’t. It just isn’t!”

Comment #54161

Posted by K.E. on October 27, 2005 9:58 PM (e)

Hey blasty
Haven’t you heard ?

IC is dead, it died on the witness stand in court.

It was killed by Behe’s “The man who imagined he could read God’s mind” his own hands, he woke up long enough to tell the whole world.

“Its from the horses mouth, in black and white, done and dusted, game over”

Comment #54162

Posted by jeffw on October 27, 2005 9:58 PM (e)

And who, exactly, tries to deny that the bacterial flagellum is irreducible?
I can hear you now: “It looks designed. It looks irreducibly complex. But it isn’t. It just isn’t!”

The only thing that’s irreducible is the stupidity of creationists. The bible is the critical part. If you take it away, creationism/ID won’t function at all.

Comment #54170

Posted by K.E. on October 27, 2005 11:45 PM (e)

Or more precisely a littoral interpretation of Gen.1 & Gen.2

Comment #54210

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 28, 2005 9:05 AM (e)

Nothing but ad hominem‘s. You can’t refute the argument, so impugn motives and imply prejudice–as if you’re capable of being free of prejudice.

Comment #54214

Posted by jeffw on October 28, 2005 9:55 AM (e)

You can’t refute the argument, so impugn motives and imply prejudice

LOL. I guess you’re right. The wedge document has no ulterior motives.

Comment #54231

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 28, 2005 2:26 PM (e)

And who, exactly, tries to deny that the bacterial flagellum is irreducible?

why, you yourself did blast. go back and look at all the articles you have posted to argue for pant-loading, and you will see it for yourself.

look at the very eye argument you posited earlier, and you will see it there too (hell, i even gave you extra examples so you could see it from different angles)

I no longer care that you have chosen to be blind, but your sanity is now in question as well.

If you want to present a rational argument to refute/debate, please do so, but to imply we are prejudiced in general because we even pander to your continuing nonsense and non-arguments is a bit deceitful, don’t you think?

so… here’s an argument (in multiple parts) for you to refute:

-you are ignorant

i hypothesize this because you have rarely (ever?) exhibited any base knowledge of the subjects you spout about. to test this, I asked you to exhibit your knowledge of the basic subjects behind evolutionary theory by taking a simple exam. you refused, so I can’t reject my hypothesis yet

-you are intractable

I hypothesize this because after many months of constant and regular rational addresses of your ‘arguments’, you have presented no evidence in support, nor any rational counter, other than collapsing into your current MO of accusing everyone who disagrees with you of “prejudice”.

-you are a hypocrite

I hypothesize this because you regularly accuse others of exactly the things you yourself exhibit most often as character flaws; lies, deceit, impugning motives, and prejudice.

-you are blind

I hypothesize this because any time someone refutes one of your blitherings with actual evidence, you respond as if it didn’t exist, so you must not be physically capable of seeing it. It’s possible your text-sound translator is malfunctioning. Better get that fixed.

meh, i could keep going, but i think you get the idea.

“Why do you persist, Mr. Anderson?”

I’ll keep chasing you around this board until i get too bored to continue, or you actually bother to agree to take an exam, or you even bother to answer the metaphorical question positied in the sentence above.

Comment #54246

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 28, 2005 5:45 PM (e)

You can’t refute the argument,

What argument? The IDers have already told us they don’t HAVE any argument to offer. No mechanisms to propose. No effects to observe. Nothing.

so impugn motives

We don’t need to “impugn” their motives; the IDers were kind enough to put their motives plainly in writing for the whole world to read at their leisure. You can do so right here:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/wedge.html

Of course, the IDers are now quite busily lying under oath in an attempt to deny those motives which they themselves have set out so clearly and plainly for everyone to see ….

Now, then, Blast, I believe you were about to point out to us where the genes for cobra toxin are hiding in the garter snake’s DNA …. ?

Comment #54248

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 28, 2005 5:46 PM (e)

And who, exactly, tries to deny that the bacterial flagellum is irreducible?

(sigh) Dude, do try and keep up, would you?

Comment #54269

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 28, 2005 11:07 PM (e)

Sir Toejam wrote:

If you want to present a rational argument to refute/debate, please do so, but to imply we are prejudiced in general because we even pander to your continuing nonsense and non-arguments is a bit deceitful, don’t you think?

No, it’s not deceitful at all. I make arguments you can’t even follow intellectually, and then you convince yourself that you know more. Aren’t you just deceiving yourself?

I don’t even bother with you guys that much any more because you can’t keep up. You’re a lost cause.

But I will continue to point out to you the weaknesses in your thinking–just for the fun of it.

Comment #54271

Posted by Flint on October 28, 2005 11:16 PM (e)

But I will continue to point out to you the weaknesses in your thinking—just for the fun of it.

If you were ever to do such a thing, most of us would be very delighted to see it. But unfortunately, all your post contains is your side of a set of mutual insults.

I try to follow the actual arguments you present. I find them without redeeming qualities on the merits. But arguments on false merits are the exception. The norm is an exchange of insults. The pattern is:

Creationist: Here’s my argument.
Evolutionist: Here’s why your argument fails
Creationist: You are deceiving yourself.
Evolutionist: No, you are.
Creationist: No, NO, it’s YOU, you liar!

Notice where the dialog inevitably breaks down: the evolutionist refutes the argument, the creationist retreats to content-free denial, and both sides devolve into insults.

Comment #54273

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 28, 2005 11:28 PM (e)

i personally see no problem with that pattern, Flint, so long as every issue starts with the first 2 points in your list.

Comment #54274

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 28, 2005 11:31 PM (e)

No, it’s not deceitful at all. I make arguments you can’t even follow intellectually, and then you convince yourself that you know more. Aren’t you just deceiving yourself?

gees, talk about projecting.

Comment #54275

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 28, 2005 11:33 PM (e)

oh, sorry blast, i forgot, you never went to school.

here’s what projection means:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

Comment #54276

Posted by roger Tang on October 29, 2005 1:19 AM (e)

No, it’s not deceitful at all. I make arguments you can’t even follow intellectually,

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHHHAHHH!

GAWD! That was the FUNNIEST thing I’ve seen in the last six months….

Comment #54279

Posted by K.E. on October 29, 2005 2:45 AM (e)

sssshhhhhh he might be
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid

Comment #54281

Posted by K.E. on October 29, 2005 3:03 AM (e)

Blasty use the Bible and Behe for Science on Sunday

The rest of the week use critical thinking

It is a skill no religion will teach you. It is the skill scientists in their work value above all else. You are not born with it is something you learn.
Take a course in it or get a book.

Go back to the begining and OPEN YOUR MIND do not start with

“I already know the answer so I will make the evidence fit my preconcieved answer”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

Increase the weighting when the claims have strong support especially distinct chains of reasoning or different news source|sources, decrease the weighting when the claims have contradictions.

Adjust weighting depending on relevance of information to central issue.

Require sufficient support to justify any incredible claims; otherwise, ignore these claims when forming a judgment.

Comment #54282

Posted by K.E. on October 29, 2005 3:14 AM (e)

And while you are at it take one of these pink pills

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_and_effect

You will need to read AND understand these because there is going to be a QUIZ and you are going to have the chance to prove to the whole world
that you are indeed

A. Smart enough to go back and re-read and understand Lenny’s and STJ’s very patient, helpful and understanding assistance to get the fine points of something that obviously excites you !

B. Or …..

Comment #54288

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 29, 2005 9:02 AM (e)

I make arguments you can’t even follow intellectually

BWA HA HA HA HA AH HA HA HA AH AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good one, Blast.

I hear “pride” is a sin, Blast. Ever wonder why?

Comment #54289

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 29, 2005 9:04 AM (e)

Blast, show us the parts where we can’t keep up in the simple statement: “garter snakes do not have any frontloaded cobra toxin genes”.

Or are you just hoping everyone will forget what a crashing idiot you showed yourself to be in that argument?

Comment #54294

Posted by Red Mann on October 29, 2005 10:12 AM (e)

Blast, its S&A Red again. You most assuredly do not

make arguments you can’t even follow intellectually, and then you convince yourself that you know more.

I’m a reasonably intelligent, nearly 60 year old, retired Navy guy whose been around. Even had some college education (computer science). I think I have a pretty good intellectual grasp of science and the scientific method, and you do not make any sense with your “arguments”. You just make a lot of unsupported claims and throw in some scientifically sounding words now and then. You never actually answer the questions the people here ask (like mine), you can’t come up with any clear evidence of your claims, and when the posters here, who have been actually very patient with you, question you, you resort to name calling. The posters here do know more than you about anything to do with science. This site is for defending real science against, and exposing, the non-scientific ID and creationist purposeful distortions and outright lies that are constantly spouted. As people have endlessly pointed out to IDers and creationists, even if some supernatural force does act on nature, there is no way to prove or disprove it using science. You can believe that “the designer” did something all you want, but nobody else has to believe it, just because you say so. You, Heddle, Neurode, EvoPeach and the rest keep coming back with the same old nonsense, get corrected on it, learn nothing, then come back for more. it’s a waste of bandwidth, but hey, the lurkers, who come here looking for answers, can see that you and your ilk have none.

Comment #54304

Posted by Steve S on October 29, 2005 11:53 AM (e)

it’s a waste of bandwidth, but hey, the lurkers, who come here looking for answers, can see that you and your ilk have none.

and that’s the most important thing about Panda’s Thumb, I think. When undecideds see the desperate and uninformed attemps Blast, Sal Cordova, etc make to destroy the last 140 years of science, they get it.

Comment #54426

Posted by WFB on October 30, 2005 7:58 PM (e)

Q. Okay. And then you go on to say that you still think — well, I’ll leave that. Your argument is that, even if the type III secretory system is a pre-cursor to the bacterial flagellum, is a subset, the bacterial flagellum is still irreducibly complex because that subset does not function as a flagellum?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. And, therefore, the bacterial flagellum must have been intelligently designed?

A. Well, again, the argument is that, there is — that when you see a purposeful arrangement of parts, that bespeaks design, so, yes.
*******

A major problem with intelligent design is the concept that one, anyone, can spot a “purposeful arrangement of parts.” If a human eye was intelligently designed, was an ape’s?, a snake’s?,a fish’s?, a wasp’s?, a fly’s, a fruitfly’s?, a Planaria’s?, a euglenid’s?

1) Where will the line be drawn? Who will draw the line? What happens if two people disagree on where the line should be drawn? Do we vote?
2) Can one construct a system of objective criteria by which “intelligent design” or “purposeful arrangement” can be defined? Or must a human make the decision (or even Hal)?

Comment #54463

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 31, 2005 5:47 AM (e)

IC is just as subjective as the term “cute”

just because something can be described, doesn’t make it objective in the least.

If i utilized the constant lack of objective critical thought that IDiots do, i could easily conclude that atoms are “irreducibly complex”, until i learned about quantum theory, and quarks, gluons, etc.

IC just stems out of “Ignorance Apologetics” if you will. It’s just an excuse to imply knowledge out of ignorance, and somewhere somebody makes some money out of doing so, by bilking those who simply don’t know better.

most people think biology to be an “soft” or “easy” science for some reason, but ask any physicist who has a buddy who does field research in biology who has the easier job.

When you start actually looking “under the hood” you find that life is messy, chaotic, and UNINTUITIVE; folks like Blast can’t get used to this idea because they refuse to open the hood to take a gander, or else when they do, they don’t bother to ask their local mechanic what the heck it is they are lookin at.

Comment #54464

Posted by K.E. on October 31, 2005 6:09 AM (e)

Yeah disecting all those Himalayan Sleeping Frogs

And the field trips

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1686972

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=Tennessee%20Fainting%20Goat

Comment #54698

Posted by morbius on November 1, 2005 8:23 PM (e)

I make arguments you can’t even follow intellectually

Only because they’re incoherent.

I can hear you now: “It looks designed. It looks irreducibly complex. But it isn’t. It just isn’t!”

Audio hallucinations are a serious condition – I’d have that checked right away.