Andrea Bottaro posted Entry 2138 on April 28, 2006 08:48 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2133

I just can’t imagine how stressful it is to be an ID advocate. You’ve got all this maze of sound-bites and talking points to navigate, all vetted by professional Public Relations operatives and carefully studied to send the appropriate message, and then you get distracted one moment, open you mouth and - BAM - you mess it all up. Here’s one more example. Do you remember ever hearing ID advocates proclaim that “we should follow the evidence wherever it leads”? If not, you haven’t been paying attention (don’t worry, you can still catch up here or here, for instance). If you believed the ID advocates’ spin, however, you probably should have read the small print, because apparently there’s at least one exception: you are allowed not to follow the evidence after all, if doing so will take you to conclusions that may challenge your religious beliefs. In fact, it’s actually better not to even try to follow it there, just in case.

At least, this is what Michael Behe seems to suggest in the Christian magazine First Things in response to a letter by a born-again geologist who says he/she adopted a young-earth Creationist position following his/her religious conversion. Behe says:

I appreciate Jackie Lee’s and Carmen Catanese’s letters, which together help to illustrate the breadth of freedom available to a Christian interpreting the physical evidence of nature. The danger to Christians from osmosing alien, materialistic presumptions, I think, far outweighs the danger of being wrong about any particular scientific point. (Emphasis mine.)

Behe himself claims to agree with the scientific consensus that the Earth is billions of years old, so presumably he must feel there is nothing exceedingly “osmotically” dangerous in sharing the scientific conclusion about the Earth’s age based on all the available empirical evidence. Still, he declares it is preferable to deceive oneself into believing in a 6,000 years-old Earth if one thinks that following the evidence will result in exposure to “materialistic presumptions”. Astonishing, if you ask me, coming from a scientist. Does Behe apply the same defensive approach when reaching his own conclusions about evolution? One certainly has to wonder, because in the original article that inspired Jackie Lee’s letter, Behe clearly indicates that acceptance of evolutionary theory carries the risk of exposing oneself to materialism.

Sadly, Behe calls this fearful denial of reason and empirical data “the breadth of freedom available to a Christian interpreting the physical evidence of nature”. Orwell would be proud.

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Comment #99210

Posted by Andrew McClure on April 28, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

It really seems Behe, Dembski et al have really let their guard slip a LOT since the Dover decision about the whole “we can’t link ID to Christianity in public” thing. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me? Do you think they’re about to just give up the pretense altogether?

Comment #99211

Posted by Leigh Jackson on April 28, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

Newspeak good “behespeak” better.

Comment #99214

Posted by Fred Gray on April 28, 2006 8:21 PM (e)

Yes, that would be the smart thing to do. Also honest thing.

Comment #99215

Posted by Doc Bill on April 28, 2006 8:28 PM (e)

Behe returned his lab coat long ago.

He is no longer a scientist, degree notwithstanding.

Therefore, what Behe says about science is not astonishing at all. Clearly, Behe is a supernaturalist.

Perhaps the Delta Pi Gamma could chip in and buy him a pointed hat with stars and crescent moons. That is, if Harold would pay his dues…

Comment #99216

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on April 28, 2006 8:28 PM (e)

Newspeak good “behespeak” better.

That would be “Newspeak good “behespeak” doubleplusgood”

:)

As for Behe, I think he’s realised that his scientific career from backing ID has gone completely down the toilet. The last thing he published in eight years was an immensely flawed computer model that doesn’t even support his basic concept of IC. The only recourse now that he’s basically got no scientific recourse is to join in with the nuts and creationists. At least that way he can continue writing pure garbage, publish the usual talking points (not even updated really) and such forth and get royalties for it.

Comment #99217

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 28, 2006 8:39 PM (e)

There is no further reason for the IDistas to continue to pretend that they are not simple creationists of one flavor or another. They have been outed in the most public way posible.

So, I predict a growing willingness to admit their religious agenda, after all, it is the only card they have left to play.

ID and its parent “creation science” are merely attepmts to cover a stunted and incorrect reading of Genesis with the mantel of science. Behe, and Dembski offered to provide “proof” of God that turned in to “poof” of God. Along the way, these creationists have joined with other antiscience forces such as the HIV deniers, the global warming deniers, etc…

I guess the science deniers figure, “If you can’t beat them, and can’t join them- try to deny they even exist.” So, I expect renewed “missing links” , more “all mutations are deadly,” and “evolution violates the Laws of Nature arguments. The Behe IC and Dembski SC/EF/CSI/SCI/BS.BS/BS will disapear. Wells will be rehabilitated. Guillermo will be cheered as the new genius of creationism/ID. A new creationist text opposing natural origins of life will be published (will Shapiro write the forward?).

Comment #99218

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 8:53 PM (e)

It really seems Behe, Dembski et al have really let their guard slip a LOT since the Dover decision about the whole “we can’t link ID to Christianity in public” thing. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me? Do you think they’re about to just give up the pretense altogether?

The pretense itself was just a legal strategy.

Well, once that strategy is beaten to a bloody pulp in open court, there isn’t much reason to maintain the pretense any more, is there. (shrug)

The creation ‘scientists’, oddly enough, did the very same thing after they got crushed in the Edwards v Aguillard case.

Once again, we see that ID has done nothing, nothing at all, that creation “science” didn’t already do twenty years ago.

Comment #99219

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 28, 2006 8:57 PM (e)

So, I predict a growing willingness to admit their religious agenda, after all, it is the only card they have left to play.

And, once Howie cuts off the money spigot, it’s the only way the DI-ers can avoid having to get real jobs.

Comment #99228

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on April 28, 2006 10:08 PM (e)

Behe also “clarified” his position on common ancestry in that December 2005 First Things article:

Even now, I am sometimes singled out by Darwinists as the most “reasonable” Intelligent Design proponent, because I’ve written that I think common descent is true. I’m embarrassed to admit that I derive some odd, involuntary pleasure from being thought the “best” of the lot. My reaction is especially irrational because some of my Intelligent Design colleagues who disagree with me on common descent have greater familiarity with the relevant science than I do.

I suppose Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells must be the ID colleagues that have “greater familiarity with the relevant science” that Behe is referring to – they are the big “experts” on common ancestry, especially Paul Nelson.

In other words, Behe accepts common ancestry, but defers to creationist “experts” who know more about it. This is getting pretty darn close to Phillip Johnson’s bold stand on the age of the earth.

Reference: p. 19 of Michael Behe (2005). “Scientific Orthodoxies.” First Things 158, pp. 15-20. December 2005. Bold added.

Comment #99233

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on April 28, 2006 10:24 PM (e)

The full reference for that Behe quote on the age of the earth:

p. 3 of Michael Behe (2006). “Godly Science (Correspondance).First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life. 161, pp. 2-3. March 2006.

HTML: http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0603/corre…

PDF: http://find.galegroup.com/ips/infomark.do?&c…

Comment #99252

Posted by Enlightened Atheist on April 29, 2006 1:39 AM (e)

Very objective Mr Behe. One has to wonder why those godless atheistic scientists are ignoring your evidence for intelligent design. Oh yeah we know. They obviously fear the existence of God and are suppressing the “evidence” against themselves. Sure.

Michael Behe at Calvary Chapel, March 6th, 2002:

“But a Darwinist cannot invoke angels adding staples to traps, because the angels are on OUR side”

Comment #99293

Posted by Emanuel Goldstein on April 29, 2006 7:30 AM (e)

Uh, why do you keep claiming that you are following the evidence wherever it leads?

Balderdash.

As you well know, there a certain things that are not allowed to even be considered before the investigation even starts.

Accurate or not, that is a methaphysical positon as much as any.

Quit lying.

Comment #99295

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on April 29, 2006 7:54 AM (e)

Mr. Goldstein:

they do so because Creationists think that their “truth” trumps all evidence, that nothing can contradict their scriptures, and that the reward for “witnessing” to their “truth” will be so eternal life.

Clearly, they CANNOT AFFORD to follow the evidence; the stakes are too high.

Comment #99296

Posted by Frank J on April 29, 2006 8:03 AM (e)

Maybe it’s a “what have we got to lose” reaction to setbacks in Dover, Ohio, etc., but from recent Behe and Dembski comments I am detecting a hint of the Gosse Assertion. Not necessarily in what they personally believe, but what they think their audience should believe.

Comment #99298

Posted by mark on April 29, 2006 8:12 AM (e)

…the breadth of freedom available to a Christian interpreting the physical evidence of nature.

As Heckyl said to Jeckyl, “We’re cartoon characters–we can do anything.”

Comment #99303

Posted by wamba on April 29, 2006 8:35 AM (e)

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Comment #99312

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 29, 2006 9:57 AM (e)

As you well know, there a certain things that are not allowed to even be considered before the investigation even starts.

Once again, for all the lurkers, my standard response to this standard fundie BS that “science unfairly rules out our religious opinions boo hoo hoo”:

The scientific method is very simple, and consists of five basic steps. They are:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe

2. Form a hypothesis that potentially explains what you have observed

3. Make testible predictions from that hypothesis

4. Make observations or experiments that can test those predictions

5. Modify your hypothesis until it is in accord with all observations and predictions

NOTHING in any of those five steps excludes on principle, a priori, any “supernatural cause”. Using this method, one is entirely free to invoke as many non-material pixies, ghosts, goddesses, demons, devils, djinis, and/or the Great Pumpkin, as many times as you like, in any or all of your hypotheses. And science won’t (and doesn’t) object to that in the slightest. Indeed, scientific experiments have been proposed (and carried out and published) on such “supernatural causes” as the effects of prayer on healing, as well as such “non-materialistic” or “non-natural” causes as ESP, telekinesis, precognition and “remote viewing”. So ID’s claim that science unfairly rejects supernatural or non-material causes out of hand on principle, is demonstrably quite wrong.

However, what science DOES require is that any supernatural or non-material hypothesis, whatever it might be, then be subjected to steps 3, 4 and 5. And HERE is where ID fails miserably.

To demonstate this, let’s pick a particular example of an ID hypothesis and see how the scientific method can be applied to it: One claim made by many ID creationists explains the genetic similarity between humans and chimps by asserting that God — uh, I mean, An Unknown Intelligent Designer — created both but used common features in a common design.

Let’s take this hypothesis and put it through the scientific method:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.

OK, so we observe that humans and chimps share unique genetic markers, including a broken vitamin C gene and, in humans, a fused chromosome that is identical to two of the chimp chromosomes (with all the appropriate doubled centromeres and telomeres).

2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.

OK, the proposed ID hypothesis is “an intelligent designer used a common design to produce both chimps and humans, and that common design included placing the signs of a fused chromosome and a broken vitamin C gene in both products.”

3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.

Well, here is ID supernaturalistic methodology’s chance to shine. What predictions can we make from ID’s hypothesis? If an Intelligent Designer used a common design to produce both chimps and humans, then we would also expect to see … ?

IDers, please fill in the blank.

And, to better help us test ID’s hypothesis, it is most useful to point out some negative predictions — things which, if found, would FALSIFY the hypothesis and demonstrate conclusively that the hypothesis is wrong. So, then — if we find (fill in the blank here), then the “common design” hypothesis would have to be rejected.

4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

Well, the IDers seem to be sort of stuck on step 3. Despite all their voluminous writings and arguments, IDers have never yet given ANY testible predictions from their ID hypothesis that can be verified through experiment.

Take note here — contrary to the IDers whining about the “unfair exclusion of supernatural causes”, there are in fact NO limits imposed by the scientific method on the nature of their predictions, other than the simple ones indicated by steps 3, 4 and 5 (whatever predictions they make must be testible by experiments or further observations.) They are entirely free to invoke whatever supernatural causes they like, in whatever number they like, so long as they follow along to steps 3,4 and 5 and tell us how we can test these deities or causes using experiment or further observation. Want to tell us that the Good Witch Glenda used her magic non-naturalistic staff to POP these genetic sequences into both chimps and humans? Fine —- just tell us what experiment or observation we can perform to test that. Want to tell us that God — er, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Designer — didn’t like humans very much and therefore decided to design us with broken vitamin C genes? Hey, works for me — just as soon as you tell us what experiment or observation we can perform to test it. Feel entirely and totally free to use all the supernaturalistic causes that you like. Just tell us what experiment or observation we can perform to test your predictions.

Let’s assume for a moment that the IDers are right and that science is unfairly biased against supernaturalist explanations. Let’s therefore hypothetically throw methodological materialism right out the window. Gone. Bye-bye. Everything’s fair game now. Ghosts, spirits, demons, devils, cosmic enlightenment, elves, pixies, magic star goats, whatever god-thing you like. Feel free to include and invoke ALL of them. As many as you need. All the IDers have to do now is simply show us all how to apply the scientific method to whatever non-naturalistic science they choose to invoke in order to subject the hypothesis “genetic similarities between chimps and humans are the product of a common design”, or indeed ANY other non-material or super-natural ID hypothesis, to the scientific method.

And that is where ID “theory” falls flat on its face. It is NOT any presupposition of “philosophical naturalism” on the part of science that stops ID dead in its tracks —- it is the simple inability of ID “theory” to make any testible predictions. Even if we let them invoke all the non-naturalistic designers they want, intelligent design “theory” STILL can’t follow the scientific method.

Deep down inside, what the IDers are really moaning and complaining about is NOT that science unfairly rejects their supernaturalistic explanations, but that science demands ID’s proposed “supernaturalistic explanations” be tested according to the scientific method, just like every OTHER hypothesis has to be. Not only can ID not test any of its “explanations”, but it wants to modify science so it doesn’t HAVE to. In effect, the IDers want their supernaturalistic “hypothesis” to have a privileged position —- they want their hypothesis to be accepted by science WITHOUT being tested; they want to follow steps one and two of the scientific method, but prefer that we just skip steps 3,4 and 5, and just simply take their religious word for it, on the authority of their own say-so, that their “science” is correct. And that is what their entire argument over “materialism” (or “naturalism” or “atheism” or “sciencism” or “darwinism” or whatever the heck else they want to call it) boils down to.

There is no legitimate reason for the ID hypothesis to be privileged and have the special right to be exempted from testing, that other hypotheses do not. I see no reason why their hypotheses, whatever they are, should not be subjected to the very same testing process that everyone ELSE’s hypotheses, whatever they are, have to go through. If they cannot put their “hypothesis” through the same scientific method that everyone ELSE has to, then they have no claim to be “science”. Period.

Apologies to all the PT regulars who have already seen this a bazillion times before.

Comment #99318

Posted by Frank J on April 29, 2006 10:42 AM (e)

Since it refers to Behe too, it’s somewhat relevant to this thread, but, following Lenny’s “Why ID is not science” my recent Talk Origins post uses William Dembski’s own words (with my added comments) to show why ID is not science:

WD: You’re asking me to play a game.

No, you’re already playing a game. We’re asking you to stop.

WD: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.”

We’ll settle for less detail, since we’ve had a few years’ head start. Unless you count Paley, in which case you had the head start. But we don’t just need “causal mechanisms,” we also need you to tell us what those mechanisms explain. You know, the “what happened and when” of biological history. Even YECs can do that part, so we’re confident that you can too.

WD: ID is not a mechanistic theory,…

It isn’t a theory, period.

WD: …and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories.

ID can’t match any level of detail, which is why you no longer demand that it be taught in schools. So you just promote the phony “critical analysis” of evolution, which insulates all the other attempts at “theories”, e.g. YEC, OEC, saltation, front loading, etc., from a real critical analysis. Nice trick, I must admit.

WD: If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots.

Yes it does. You conveniently overlook the fact that when a designer is detected in forensics and archaeology - using the “side information” that those fields have that yours lacks - investigators continue to “connect the dots” by determining what the designer did, when and how. In contrast, the object of your game is to get your critics to dwell on whether or not there is a designer. That saves you from having to say what the designer did, when and how. And you don’t want to do that because you know that the answer is “it’s still evolution.” Maybe not your “Darwinism” caricature, but still evolution.

WD: True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.

Then what exactly are the “fundamental discontinuities?” They must not be biological because Michael Behe made it clear that there is “biological continuity” (his phrase for common descent at the Kansas Kangaroo Court), and you have not challenged him on it. So for all your gyrations about “the” flagellum, barring any extraordinary evidence to the contrary, the most reasonable explanation is still that modern flagella originated “in vivo” not “in vitro.” Likewise humans are “modified monkeys,” not “modified dirt.” And the process is still evolution.

But we understand. You can’t say too much because you need YEC political support. We know the game. Like astrology, which Behe likened it to at Dover, ID continues to fool millions of people, but it fools no biologists except the handful who already sold out to pseudoscience.
And since the sell-outs seem to know that it’s a scam, we can’t necessarily say that it fools them either.

Comment #99324

Posted by frank schmidt on April 29, 2006 11:10 AM (e)

Behe in December 2005 First Things wrote:

When I lecture in favor of the idea that intelligence is explicitly needed to explain some aspects of biology, the response is not typically, “Gee, that’s interesting, but I disagree.” Instead, people become angry, denouncing the mildest of challenges to materialism as unspeakable heresy.

Well, Duh, Mike. You go off and tell a bunch of people looking for testable explanations for observable results that their life’s work is doomed to failure (this is the recurring theme of DBB), and they get testy. Surprise, Surprise.

On the other hand, you advocate a definition of “science” that must allow for teaching ideas that, when tested, consistently fail the test, like astrology. No, that shouldn’t upset anyone at all.

You reveal yourself as an anti-scientist by your own words. Time to retire, buddy.

Comment #99329

Posted by Frank J on April 29, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

When I lecture in favor of the idea that intelligence is explicitly needed to explain some aspects of biology, the response is not typically, “Gee, that’s interesting, but I disagree.” Instead, people become angry, denouncing the mildest of challenges to materialism as unspeakable heresy.

Behe, rivaling Dembski for the title of “king of chutzpah,” is specifically baiting those in the audience who “become angry, denouncing the mildest of challenges to materialism as unspeakable heresy” to drown out the others. He knows darn well that the most devastating criticisms of the ID strategy come from those (e.g. Kenneth Miller) who believe that God is ultimately responsible for life, and who politely, and meticulously disagree that “intelligence is explicitly needed to explain some aspects of biology.”

Comment #99331

Posted by Glen Davidson on April 29, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

Say whatever it takes, seems to be the idea. I assume that Behe really is comfortable with the old earth, but just as one pretends to be scientific in order to promote the ID agenda, one supports any rejection of evidence when that becomes the most obvious route left.

ID was fine with most (not all) creationists as long as it looked like a winning strategy. But it seems more like a sell-out the moment it quits selling to anybody other than the anti-scientists. What’s Behe supposed to do, attempt to appeal to the science and legal sides, which have both resoundingly rejected him and his ideas?

Johnson said it from the first, that the strategy was to destroy science (through his mislabeling the scientific method as “materialism”, then clearly opposing “materialism”). Behe is only following that logic, by noting that any fact about the world is deniable so long as it is religiously “sound”. He has operated according that that notion all along, so it should not be surprising if he is willing to also say it post-Dover.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #99336

Posted by jeannot on April 29, 2006 12:03 PM (e)

Was’nt Behe then one who declared that astrology is science?
*snicker*

Comment #99361

Posted by Lovelace on April 29, 2006 1:42 PM (e)

Well, let’s be fair to Astrology. It does produce a few testable hypotheses. It’s just that they get disproven pretty easily.

Comment #99362

Posted by BC on April 29, 2006 1:43 PM (e)

“The danger to Christians from osmosing alien, materialistic presumptions, I think, far outweighs the danger of being wrong about any particular scientific point.”

Well said Dr. Behe! Well said! Now we must distance ourselves from all the dangerous materialist science. The materialistic germ theory should be replaced by Augustine’s: “All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to these demons; chiefly do they torment fresh-baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless, newborn infants.” Afterall, this materialistic, godless germ theory robs God as being the force behind life and death. And this materialistic theory of gravity takes us dangerously close to the idea that naturalistic, atheistic forces are at work in our world - rather than God. Dangerous, dangerous ideas are these! Better to rid ourselves of these “scientific” falsehoods - even given the possibility that they are right - than endanger our immortal soul.

Comment #99366

Posted by k.e. on April 29, 2006 2:12 PM (e)

Ah.. Frank J you said:

…He [Behe] knows darn well that the most devastating criticisms of the ID strategy come from those (e.g. Kenneth Miller) who believe that God is ultimately responsible for life, and who politely, and meticulously disagree that “intelligence is explicitly needed to explain some aspects of biology.”

I read “intelligence is explicitly needed to explain some aspects of biology” and immediately thought about the usual suspects (Behe Dembski Nelson Berlinski etc) and wondered if their religious beliefs had a deleterious effect on their intelligence i.e. made them stupid.

The whole popular idea that something known by the word ‘god’ is intelligence or can be intelligent (first person singular) is just simple Freudian projection by, strangely, people who have spent a great deal of their life grinding out a Ph.D.[or two] and so may stake a claim to ‘intelligence’ in a conventional sense, but at the cost of self awareness at that critical stage in life when one actually BECOMES an adult. An intuitive understanding of art, culture in context outside of their own very limited field is simply unlearned. In fact their over education is confused to be ‘intelligence’.

The fact that a few sycophants latch onto their pseudo science mumbo jumbo and then inflate their already inflated delusions of their own capability leads to an ego inflation feedback loop.

At what age do these people finally deflate ? 60 yrs at least in the notorious Larry case although he could be called a child in some aspects of his makeup. For those who plainly are not that intelligent, by academic success measure i.e.very well educated, the stakes for having a superior ‘intelligence’ as the great old delusion are far less.

I look forward to a long period of DI/ID deflation. But just in case I’m putting a medieval church Sheela-na-gig above my front door to ward off any proto Behes.

Comment #99368

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 29, 2006 3:03 PM (e)

Behe, rivaling Dembski for the title of “king of chutzpah,” is specifically baiting those in the audience who “become angry, denouncing the mildest of challenges to materialism as unspeakable heresy” to drown out the others. He knows darn well that the most devastating criticisms of the ID strategy come from those (e.g. Kenneth Miller) who believe that God is ultimately responsible for life, and who politely, and meticulously disagree that “intelligence is explicitly needed to explain some aspects of biology.”

Right. In the political sense, ID’s deadliest enemy are the theistic evolutionists, who have the potential to insert a wedge of their own between IDers and their religious Christian supporters. IDers try at every opportunity to equate “Christianity” with “ID”, with the logical conclusion therefore being that all good Christiasn ought to support ID. Alas, Christians like Miller easily thrash that conclusion to the ground, potentially cutting off ID from its only base of support and its only source of political power.

To prevent that, IDers have no choice but to do everything in their power to reframe the fight as “science vs religion” and “atheism v theism”. It’s not. It’s a fight between “a tiny lunatic fringe of fundamentalists” and “everyone else – including most mainstream Christians”.

Comment #99374

Posted by wamba on April 29, 2006 3:15 PM (e)

It’s a fight between “a tiny lunatic fringe of fundamentalists” and “everyone else — including most mainstream Christians”.

Where, sadly, according to most polls, the definitions of “tiny” and “most” might be open to debate.

Comment #99378

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 29, 2006 3:58 PM (e)

Where, sadly, according to most polls, the definitions of “tiny” and “most” might be open to debate.

I think most of people who vote for fundie candidates are nose-holders, not disciples.

After all, the Republicrats don’t exactly offer any other choice for them.

Comment #99380

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 29, 2006 5:30 PM (e)

Andrew wrote:

It really seems Behe, Dembski et al have really let their guard slip a LOT since the Dover decision about the whole “we can’t link ID to Christianity in public” thing. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me? Do you think they’re about to just give up the pretense altogether?

My take on the reason that the Discovery Institute ID scam artists openly started claiming that Christians should be upset about the Dover ruling was to try and cover their dishonest behinds. Their only recourse after demonstrating how bogus and dishonest that they had been during the past decade was to wrap themselves in religious indignation and hope that the rubes that they had scammed would look the other way. Hopefully they wouldn’t expect the rubes to accept their dishonesty and scamming as acceptable behavior to further the cause, but you never know what kind of guys want to support the ID scam artists.

Comment #99385

Posted by Jason on April 29, 2006 6:24 PM (e)

Here’s what one “REAL IDer” has to say about that:

http://telicthoughts.com/?p=656#comment-11925

chaosengineer wrote:

The idea of teleological design in life has been fought by people on your ’side’ of the aisle for years, and those forces won in Dover with a ruling that ID *is* religion.

It’s worth remembering that the Dover decision was a victory for the real Intelligent Design movement.

The Dover school board’s scheme had nothing to do with modern ID research. They were trying to hijack ID’s good name in order to sneak Biblical Literalism into the public schools, and then they lied about it when they got caught.

That’s a good thing, because now ID is no longer of any use to them. They’ve got no choice but to move on to some other kind of trickery, which means that real ID supporters can start concentrating on their research and begin the long process of salvaging their repuation.

What you said is that you would vote against tenure for what a candidate “claims” or “thinks” about ID - IOW, his/her beliefs and expression, things clearly under the protection of the Constitution’s first amendment, civil rights law, fair employment practices and your own university’s policies.

How so?

People who support real ID don’t fall into a protected class. Dr. Myers thinks that they’re crackpots. Maybe he’s wrong, but that’s his privilege. There’s no law that says he has to support people even if he thinks they’re crackpots.

People who support Dover-style fake ID are religiously motivated, so they have a certain amount of protection from discrimination. But this doesn’t give them carte blanche to do whatever they want. If someone’s religious beliefs compel them to reject the scientific method and lie about it, then they’re not qualified for a teaching position.

See? Demski, Behe, and the DI are FAKE IDers. They are just trying to get religion into the classroom. The REAL IDers, (insert name here), can finally get their time in the spotlight now.

Comment #99386

Posted by steve s on April 29, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

which means that real ID supporters can start concentrating on their research

That nearly caused a few ounces of Yuengling to decorate my screen.

Comment #99408

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on April 29, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

Funny how not a single paper on ID has been published aside from some awful reviews, data-less projections and that horrible computer model. ID needs to have a research theory to work with before they can go anywhere.

Comment #99411

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 29, 2006 11:34 PM (e)

The Dover school board’s scheme had nothing to do with modern ID research. They were trying to hijack ID’s good name in order to sneak Biblical Literalism into the public schools, and then they lied about it when they got caught.

Gee, now I’m curious. When Dembski, Meyer, Behe and the other DI-ites wrote, in the Wedge Document, that one of the “governing goals” of ID was to have “Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation”, were they *real* IDers, or were they being *fake* IDers …?

Comment #99412

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 29, 2006 11:35 PM (e)

which means that real ID supporters can start concentrating on their research

Kind of like OJ looking for the “real killer”, eh?

Comment #99422

Posted by Registered User on April 30, 2006 1:23 AM (e)

Behe

The danger to Christians from osmosing alien, materialistic presumptions, I think, far outweighs the danger of being wrong about any particular scientific point.

Translation: you’re better off lying for Jesus than lying for the devil.

The interesting follow-up question for Behe: how in hell would he know?

Behe is a genuine scumbag. Too bad I ran out of pity for his problems years ago, when he was first told to get psychological help.

Comment #99425

Posted by Registered User on April 30, 2006 1:35 AM (e)

Behe

I’m embarrassed to admit that I derive some odd, involuntary pleasure from being thought the “best” of the lot.

Geebus. Talk about a “cry for help.”

No, “Dr.” Behe, there ‘s nothing “odd” about taking pleasure from being considered the “best.”

If you really looked in the mirror and took your shrink’s advice, “Dr.” Behe, you’d realize that your so-called “involuntary” pleasure was actually a driving force for much of your behavior. After all, you were never going to be the “best” biochemist. You weren’t even going to come close.

So why not go find a bunch of thumb-suckers and compete with them?

Congratulations, “Dr.” Behe. Say hi to the “best” ID peddling-lawyer and the “best” ID-peddling mathematician for me.

Or maybe I’ll say hi to them for you, like I sometimes do.

Heh.

Comment #99475

Posted by Alan Smithee on April 30, 2006 9:01 AM (e)

Behe … is no longer a scientist, degree notwithstanding.

Therefore, what Behe says about science is not astonishing at all. Clearly, Behe is a supernaturalist.

“I see you have quite gone over to the supernaturalists.” - Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

The danger to Christians from osmosing alien, materialistic presumptions, I think, far outweighs the danger of being wrong about any particular scientific point.

If God is really responsible for the world around us, and the world around us tells us evolution is how life came to get the way it is, how is that “alien” and “materialistic”? As a Christian, I think it’s a lot more dangerous to think facts have to be ignored to save my soul or something.

Comment #99481

Posted by wamba on April 30, 2006 9:41 AM (e)

which means that real ID supporters can start concentrating on their research

Heh, heh, and what was stopping them before this?

Comment #99482

Posted by steve s on April 30, 2006 9:58 AM (e)

Heh, heh, and what was stopping them before this?

James Bond: “Who would pay a million dollars to have me killed?”

M: “Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors … the list is endless!”

Comment #99490

Posted by k.e. on April 30, 2006 12:30 PM (e)

which means that real ID supporters can start concentrating on their research

Heh, heh, and what was stopping them before this?

Start ? Behe stopped when he decided Go…er I mean the Intellectual Decider er Intelligence Dead-spot er Illiterate Despot er Intellect Disorder Intelligent Architect (who’s that behind the curtain) miraculously pulled a fully formed functional flagellum out of his hat. Why? well as his testimony plainly says on the stand at Dover …..he was tooling down the road, daydreaming, and saw the signs…… for mind readers and he had an epiphany(a crossed wire in the gray matter).
“Wouldn’t it be nice….” he said….. “If you could read the mind of god” interrupted the lawyer …….and the rest…..as they say is history.

So tweedle dumber the “REAL IDer” referred to further up the thread must be hanging out for another pseudo scientist to paint a pretty picture, since God-did-it ain’t too scientifical an’ all that…. no siree…REAL IDer’s don’t believe in airy fairy girly faith.

Those agnostic IDers are just the cake.

Behe whose main claim to ID fame, in his own daydream seems, to be that he supports common descent…. but heck he can always put a call in direct to her upstairs via CC-wireless, as far as he’s concerned the ID crowd could go to hell, he knows he’s going to be saved, the guy in the funny hat in the Vatican told him so.

Comment #99493

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 30, 2006 12:37 PM (e)

That nearly caused a few ounces of Yuengling

Porter, I hope …. .?

Comment #99500

Posted by steve s on April 30, 2006 1:11 PM (e)

Lager.

Comment #99514

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 30, 2006 3:57 PM (e)

Ah, well … I suppose it must be good for SOMETHING.

;>

Comment #99548

Posted by Frank J on May 1, 2006 4:59 AM (e)

Alan Smithee wrote:

Behe … is no longer a scientist, degree notwithstanding.

As you probably know, every field of science has a small % who sell out to pseudoscience. Money isn’t always the main motivation, but in Behe’s case I’d bet that he has profited much more from his book and DI association, than from Lehigh.

Comment #99564

Posted by Corkscrew on May 1, 2006 10:09 AM (e)

Behe … is no longer a scientist, degree notwithstanding.

Uh… maybe I’m overexposed, but this seems a little “no true scotsman”ish. I think you really need to elaborate further on what you mean by “scientist”, and how Behe has breached that definition, if this statement is to be justified.

One possible line of reasoning:
1) A scientist is someone who aims to achieve as predictive an understanding of the world as humanly possible
2) Behe’s statement suggests that his priority is not predictivity but rather conformance with a specific religious position
3) Hence, Behe isn’t a scientist

Comment #99572

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 1, 2006 10:53 AM (e)

What really strikes me about Behe’s “Scientific Orthodoxies” (the article kicking off the letters and Behe’s anti-science response) is that he is so very ignorant of science and of the philosophies of science.

Where Einstein and the QM guys were generally quite aware of what philosophically makes science into science, Behe apparently learned no philosophy at all, but simply absorbed a lot of criticisms of “materialism”. There is absolutely no indication that he even has a reasonable idea of what “materialism” even can mean, let alone capable of creating intelligent ruminations about Hume and Kant, which would at minimum be necessary for the IDiot to begin a coherent discussion of science.

It’s all just reaction. Materialism is bad, non-materialism is good. And the fool knows nothing of the slippery nature of “materialism” once one begins to deal with it intelligently. Kant was no “materialist”, and he probably stands as the most crucial philosophical influence within 20th century science, via positivism.

There isn’t really a whole lot more to say, since Behe doesn’t even begin to have an educated view of science and its putative relationship to “materialism”. Once again he is simply showing his ignorance, the vast wasteland out of which he and his cohorts produce their “thought”.

I did like this, though:

Even now, I am sometimes singled out by Darwinists as the most “reasonable” Intelligent Design proponent, because I’ve written that I think common descent is true. I’m embarrassed to admit that I derive some odd, involuntary pleasure from being thought the “best” of the lot. My reaction is especially irrational because some of my Intelligent Design colleagues who disagree with me on common descent have greater familiarity with the relevant science than I do.

First of all, I think that he’s claiming to be Elvis well after it was announced that Elvis has left the building. He sounded as stupid as any IDiot at Dover, and I suspect that there is very little preference given to Behe’s version of this particular nonsense any more. Yet it seems that he wants to claim something in that paragraph, which reminds me of the fight over diminishing respect and resources that appears in collapsing political movements (like Perot’s dying party being fought over by Buchanan and the “cosmic consciousness” physicist, back in 2000).

And I like his admission that some of the IDiots who reject common descent know more than he does. Like we had any doubt as to Behe’s ignorance, after Dover. I’d have liked to have thought that Behe was at least intelligent enough to use pattern recognition to know that common descent occurred, even though he is too ignorant of science and philosophy to recognize that he is arguing against the causal chains that make such inferences reasonable. But apparently he’s just too simplistic even to question what seems not to threaten his ethereal existence (well, ethereal up to the point where he’s raking in cash). So that the people whose conclusions are even worse than his own turn out to be more knowledgeable–at this point I’m not really surprised, and I’ll provisionally believe Behe on this (unlike on most other matters).

It looks to me like Behe unconsciously knows that his position of being “the best” of the IDiots is declining or worse. Perhaps he began to understood this fact instinctively between the writing his article and when responding to his fellow anti-scientist, and just threw in the science towel. He’s no longer the “best”, but is merely another discredited charlatan, so he may as well tell his fan that anything bolstering religion is preferable to following the evidence.

He’s been rejected by science, but not by ignoramuses like himself who are too poorly educated even to know that science is hardly founded upon “materialism” (actually, a number of good scientists don’t know that either, but they don’t make fools of themselves by trying to remake science without the relevant philosophical foundation to understand the philosophical bases of science). He looks fondly back to when he was considered the “best” of the morons, not even knowing that what is irrational is how poor it is to be king of the dungheap. But he “forges ahead” with his ignorant attacks on science, pleasing the ill-educated and reaping the only respect he can get any more, the respect of fools.

Was it really worse being a mediocre professor who would die virtually unknown? Was his “spiritual life” so empty that he had to reveal his spiritual lack and dearth of philosophical understanding to the world? Or had he simply reproduced too much not to sell out to the highest bidder, apparently the stupid who were in search of reassurance from the mediocre?

I don’t think it was simply the latter, though, since he seems to have learned poorly in college, and made a life out of his misperceptions regarding “materialism”. As with many, his intellectual failings become the basis for trying to remake the world into one that accepts his lack as “brilliance”. Why else would he appreciate being considered the “best” of the clearly flawed? This also seems to explain most, if not all, of the CSC fellows.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #99576

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 1, 2006 11:19 AM (e)

I should have mentioned, once again, that there is nothing more materialistic than suggesting that life is designed analogously with computer chips. Behe, who thinks he is an anti-materialist, is one of many who believe humans to be not much more than sophisticated robots (I’m sure he posits something to prevent this, a soul or some other meaningless concept, but scientifically he is unable to notice any distinction between life and machine–while we have a huge evolutionary reason why the two are different).

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #99578

Posted by Frank J on May 1, 2006 11:27 AM (e)

Glen Davidson wrote:

There isn’t really a whole lot more to say, since Behe doesn’t even begin to have an educated view of science and its putative relationship to “materialism”. Once again he is simply showing his ignorance, the vast wasteland out of which he and his cohorts produce their “thought”.

Once again it’s up to me..

That or he has a very educated view of science, “materialism,” and even evolution, but we can’t tell because he can’t show it and spin the misreresentations at the same time.

Note in your excerpt how he placates his anti-common descent audience by saying that others who claim to deny it know the subject better. While that’s a masterpiece of spin for nonscientists, I don’t buy it for a minute. While he may not be the world’s #1 authority on common descent (or evolution) he has had opportunity and reason to study it more than most biologists, and certainly more than any (pseudo)scientist who claims to deny it.

If ID really were about science, or even honest religious belief, they’d be debating their differences, not deferring them for the sake of the big tent.

Comment #99579

Posted by Lynn on May 1, 2006 12:33 PM (e)

Registered User quoted Behe:

“The danger to Christians from osmosing alien, materialistic presumptions, I think, far outweighs the danger of being wrong about any particular scientific point.”

Then kindly translated for us:

“Translation: you’re better off lying for Jesus than lying for the devil.”

I think a more accurate translation of Behe’s meaning is “You’re better of lying for Jesus than *speaking truth* for the devil.”

Lynn

Comment #99582

Posted by k.e. on May 1, 2006 1:31 PM (e)

Bravo Lynn
As one of those Xtians pointed out once the Devil makes a better theologian than many so called Xtians.

When you sell your soul for Mammon who do you serve ?

The thing that saves Behe is he couldn’t lie TO SAVE himself.
Obviously deluded but disarmingly honestly deluded.

Unlike his fellow creationists except wild bill Dembski he has yet to get on a stand and face the acid test. Although I think he would take the money and run away with some lame excuse like he did at Dover. His ego is so damn huge he makes the Enron guy on the stand now (Lay?) look like a pansy.

Coffee break over heads down.

Comment #99587

Posted by bigdumbchimp on May 1, 2006 2:14 PM (e)

Uh… maybe I’m overexposed, but this seems a little “no true scotsman”ish. I think you really need to elaborate further on what you mean by “scientist”, and how Behe has breached that definition, if this statement is to be justified.

How about some actual research and peer review instead of massive public relation campaigns.

Comment #99590

Posted by Corkscrew on May 1, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

How about some actual research and peer review instead of massive public relation campaigns.

Works for me.

Comment #99591

Posted by chaos_engineer on May 1, 2006 2:57 PM (e)

I noticed my “real ID vs. fake ID” message got quoted up above, so I thought I’d expand on it.

Back in the day, I was reading sci.math on Usenet, where a guy named Archimedes Plutonium was explaining that he’d disproven Fermat’s Last Theorem by finding a counter-example. People explained the flaw in his proof: He was using infinite strings of digits, which aren’t “numbers” in the context of Fermat’s Last Theorem.

He was a bit of a kook, so he just kept insisting that his definition of “number” was the “right” one, and the whole thing collapsed into a huge flamewar.

When I came back to the group a few weeks later, he was still ranting away, but some other people had realized that he’d re-invented p-adics, and that led to some interesting discussions.

I think the same thing applies to ID. Even if the researchers are complete crackpots, there’s still a chance that they’ll stumble onto something interesting…but that assumes that they’re doing research, and not just producing lawsuits and press releases.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any real ID researchers. Some of the people over at Telic Thoughts seem to have the right motives, but they’re not doing any original research.

Comment #99602

Posted by k.e. on May 1, 2006 5:14 PM (e)

Chaos_engineer said:
Some of the people over at Telic Thoughts seem to have the right motives

I wish I could agree with you CE but every single IDer that I have come across has fallen in love with pseudo science.
Pseudo scientists exist in all sorts of fields not just evolution, their ego drives them. IDers fall into a predictable range between YEC and agnostics but not atheists(interestingly). And if they say they are atheists they are lying…..That about sums them up. Oh and not one of them is doing any research, except quote mining old science papers to find a gap for their delusion, which for them is like finding gold except its fools gold. And no matter what….when the evidence is as plain as the nose on their faces, reality does not disabuse them of their wishful thinking.
The absolute best thing that will come out of ID is the proof, if any is needed, that ordinary people will believe extraordinary stories despite all the facts.
Gullibility plus neurosis or psychosis are useful to the blind who wish to lead the blind. (I think I’ll copy write that last sentence)

Comment #99608

Posted by Russell on May 1, 2006 6:45 PM (e)

Gullibility plus neurosis or psychosis are useful to the blind who wish to lead the blind. (I think I’ll copy write that last sentence)

Or, as I’ve always said, the most successful used car salesman is the one who is able to convince himself first.
[©2004, all rights reserved.]

Comment #99610

Posted by steve s on May 1, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

Comment #99587

Posted by bigdumbchimp on May 1, 2006 02:14 PM (e)

How about some actual research and peer review instead of massive public relation campaigns.

They can’t do research. And I don’t mean they’re merely too dumb, I mean they have to accomodate the Young Earth Creationists. You can’t come up with a theory of the history of life which accomodates Young Earth Creationism. It would be like trying to come up with a theory of the US which accomodates the South winning the Civil War. There’s just too much evidence against it, it won’t jibe.

Comment #99614

Posted by bigdumbchimp on May 1, 2006 8:09 PM (e)

They can’t do research. And I don’t mean they’re merely too dumb, I mean they have to accomodate the Young Earth Creationists. You can’t come up with a theory of the history of life which accomodates Young Earth Creationism. It would be like trying to come up with a theory of the US which accomodates the South winning the Civil War. There’s just too much evidence against it, it won’t jibe.

Yep. But they sure are proficient at spreading the bullshit around.

Comment #99634

Posted by Frank J on May 2, 2006 4:56 AM (e)

Russell wrote:

Or, as I’ve always said, the most successful used car salesman is the one who is able to convince himself first.
[©2004, all rights reserved.]

Then why do they never seem to buy the “kind” of car that they sell?

In pseudoscience, and especially anti-evolution, I think that the exact opposite is going on. The slickest arguments - from the perspective of the public, if not those of us who see right through them - come from those who seem to know that they are peddling nonsense.

Comment #99636

Posted by Frank J on May 2, 2006 5:05 AM (e)

steve s wrote:

It would be like trying to come up with a theory of the US which accomodates the South winning the Civil War. There’s just too much evidence against it, it won’t jibe.

So they just advocate a “critical analysis” of the “Civil War” for high school students, knowing quite well that the phony “open mindedness,” strategically placed before students really learn anything substantial about the Civil War, will allow them to accommodate their wishful thinking that the South won.

Comment #99637

Posted by k.e. on May 2, 2006 6:12 AM (e)

Frank J wrote:

The slickest arguments - from the perspective of the public, if not those of us who see right through them - come from those who seem to know that they are peddling nonsense.

Right on Frank I am 100% positive Dembski fits that hat he was in no hurry to get in front of a decent lawyer at Dover.

So they just advocate a “critical analysis” of the “Civil War” for high school students, knowing quite well that the phony “open mindedness,” strategically placed before students really learn anything substantial about the Civil War, will allow them to accommodate their wishful thinking that the South won.

Did I say none of them were atheists above ? I should also have said all of them are right wing nut jobs and the ones that say they aren’t are lying. Next one of them will be saying they have won in Iraq and to prove it the Dear Leader will land on an an Aircraft Carrier..
OK I’m listening, won what ?
Democrazy?or the promise of privatized 3rd world oil for the cost of a quick blitzkrieg paid for by Iraqi cash?,yeah right. If I were the Iraqis I would be asking for my money back and who REALLY IS paying for dirty oils dirty war ? .
Funny how they get a brand of democracy that they ALL want whether they like it or not, what they WILL end up with is a fractured bunch of theocracies.
AND speaking of fundamentalist ideological theocracies bent on destruction.
Google VICHY ON THE TIGRIS or The Baghdad Vichy. Not a pleasant reality much like the non existence of any deity.
Its time for a nice cold cup of reality.

Comment #99647

Posted by Corkscrew on May 2, 2006 7:55 AM (e)

OK I’m listening, won what ?

I… uh… think he was talking about the American Civil War, not the Iraq situation. It’s a good analogy, I may steal it.