Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 2757 on December 8, 2006 07:28 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2748

Reasonable Kansans has a positive writeup of a lecture Behe gave yesterday in Kansas. It seems that the “intelligent design” activists are still smarting from their loss in Dover a year ago. It looks like Behe and his DI breathern are trying out some new talking points about the trial.

It’s worth a read to keep up with the continuously morphing public relations campaign of the “intelligent design” activists: Reasonable Kansans: Behe Lecture.

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #149128

Posted by bob on December 8, 2006 9:05 PM (e)

1. Design is not mystical. (Only the casual agent of design is mystical.)
2. Everyone agrees that aspects of biology appear to show design. (Everyone also says appearances can be deceiving)
3. There are structural obstacles to Darwinian evolution. (Just don’t look too closely. Just because it has been shown that not all the parts of a flagellum or mouse trap are needed doesn’t mean that they are not all needed. Oh, wait…)
4. Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination. (Grand IDism rests on unimagined discipline.)
5. There is strong evidence for Design and little evidence for Darwinism. (As told in a 101 analogies.)

Comment #149130

Posted by Gary Hurd on December 8, 2006 9:34 PM (e)

The only person to have any advantage from this post is the pathetic author of “Reasonable Kansans.” Reed, you are beating a dead horse. “aka … foreskins” is not a well regarded author, or even ragarded at all. There is not a single comment attached to his miserable crap.

Why bother?

Comment #149134

Posted by Jack Krebs on December 8, 2006 10:50 PM (e)

I think what is pertinent here is that the blog reports some of the talking points that Behe used to downplay the Dover decision. It seems like the DI continues to try to find ways to mitigate the impact of their defeat, in part by discrediting Judge Jones. I may be wrong, but I think this may be the first time since Dover that Behe has talked at length publicly about the Dover decision and his role in it. That’s why the blog was worth pointing out, not because of the commentary.

Comment #149135

Posted by djlactin on December 8, 2006 10:52 PM (e)

Gary: There is now, and it’s a slam.

Comment #149137

Posted by Forthekids on December 8, 2006 11:17 PM (e)

“I think what is pertinent here is that the blog reports some of the talking points that Behe used to downplay the Dover decision.”

ROTFL - You mean the facts?

Hey guys - ID is spreading like wildfire all over the world at this point. It doesn’t seem to me that the good Judge’s decision has slowed it down any.

The problem that I foresee for you people is that when you misrepresent the facts, it comes back to haunt you.

But, by all means, keep on doing what you do best. It’ll catch up with you eventually.

Comment #149140

Posted by Richard Simons on December 8, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

Forthekids finished the report of Behe’s lecture with

It’s time for you boys to work on your compromising skills because ID isn’t going anywhere.

Which is what I always thought!

Comment #149142

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on December 8, 2006 11:54 PM (e)

FTK is right; ID is spreading internationally. Just look at Libya.

(Yeah, I know it is low.)

Comment #149147

Posted by Sir_Toejam on December 9, 2006 12:24 AM (e)

But, by all means, keep on doing what you do best. It’ll catch up with you eventually.

waterloooooooo!!!!

LOL.

so much projection in such a short span of words.

like CW, i recommend this person sign up as a volunteer subject for the pych studies being conducted by the Dawkins Institute.

Comment #149148

Posted by Gary Hurd on December 9, 2006 12:24 AM (e)

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on December 8, 2006 11:54 PM (e)

FTK is right; ID is spreading internationally. Just look at Libya.

(Yeah, I know it is low.)

No Reed, it is not “low” it is directly to the point. The far-right and their religious extremist allies are deadly. It is only scraps of paper that keep them in check. Only a matchstick away….

Comment #149152

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on December 9, 2006 12:50 AM (e)

Via the wonders of modern technology I have heard the Behe lecture. Fun quotes:

Behe, referring to Judge Jones being one of Time‘s most influential people of the year, said

Time magazine got the wrong guy. If they wanted the person who was behind the reasoning of the Dover school decision, they should have had Eric Rothschild, or perhaps some other members of his team.

Eric Rothschild has a big smile, but this just might make it bigger.

Behe, claiming that there isn’t actually a fair analysis of the ID arguments in the Kitzmiller decision, says that instead,

[t]here is just the former head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which is an honorable job, but does not prepare one for the types of discussions that came up in this trial. A former head of the Liquor Control Board, who signed off on a tenditious brief by a product liability trial lawyer, which touted the side of his clients, and caricatured and denigrated the arguments of the other side, as briefs by trial lawyers have done since the beginning of time.

Irony meters to low-gain, everyone…because I’m about to point out that Behe got into ID because he was annoyed at the dismissive treatment that Science magazine gave Phillip Johnso-KABOOM!

Comment #149160

Posted by Millipj on December 9, 2006 4:00 AM (e)

To FTK: Is that wildfire as in the destructive force, causing widespread damage but ultimately leaving the forest stronger?

or wildfire as in the medieval weapon?

Both could apply to ID.

Comment #149161

Posted by Richard Wein on December 9, 2006 4:20 AM (e)

“He then showed a picture of a duck, and stated that if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. He said design is an In-duck-tive argument. (cute humor)”

If Behe walks like a quack and quacks like a quack…

Comment #149167

Posted by C.Loach on December 9, 2006 6:41 AM (e)

c’mon then FORTHEKIDS. Give us your prediction as to when ID will “win” and Darwinism “lose”. How long will it be before ID is taught in schools all over the world? 5,10,20,50,100 Years? Longer? 1000, 2000? I just posted a similar comment at your blog, will you let it appear i wonder? My prediction is no, you will not because then you might have to respond with a prediction. And whatever you say, we’ll be here in X years to point and laugth.

Comment #149169

Posted by Ron Okimoto on December 9, 2006 7:15 AM (e)

It is a pretty shoddy tactic to try and shoot the messenger and attack Judge Jones. If the ID perps had spent as much time working on their problems as they do lying about everything to make themselves feel better they would have probably given up on the ID scam early enough so that they wouldn’t look like the bogus slock miesters that they are.

Just think if they had come out back in 1999 when they figured out that ID was just scam and that it didn’t have a prayer and admitted that fact when they put out the teach the controversy replacement scam. Meyer put out the replacment scam and discussed the legal implications that year. If ID were all it was cracked up to be why did they need a replacement scam that didn’t even mention that ID had ever existed? They probably wouldn’t have to make excuses for their lame performance in Dover. Maybe if Meyer had told the Ohio board straight that there was nothing to teach about ID in the public schools Dover might not have happened. Instead he left them with a lie and claimed that the decision to teach ID should be made at the local level. Why did the Discovery Institute try so hard to get the Dover rubes to drop their efforts to teach ID if that had any semblance of being true?

Anyone that trusts anything that these guys say is worse than hopeless at this point. Just try and find ID mentioned in the latest name change (critical analysis) creationist scam. Who wouldn’t wonder about the perps that are running the replacment scam when they are the same perps that lied to everyone about ID and they know that they can’t even mention ID in the new scam.

Comment #149173

Posted by Richard Simons on December 9, 2006 7:59 AM (e)

Forthekids:

Last time I saw you appear here and retreat in a huff I twice tried to post to your blog asking for a clear statement of the theory of ID but it never appeared. Surprise, surprise!

Perhaps now you are here again you will tell us the theory of ID and how it could be falsified?

Comment #149174

Posted by Forthekids on December 9, 2006 8:17 AM (e)

Hey Richard,

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

I’ve no doubt you have a wonderful analysis of how that could be accomplished. Should be interesting.

Comment #149175

Posted by Forthekids on December 9, 2006 8:18 AM (e)

Hey Richard,

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

I’ve no doubt you have a wonderful analysis of how that could be accomplished. Should be interesting.

Comment #149176

Posted by Grey Wolf on December 9, 2006 9:02 AM (e)

forthekids wrote:

Hey Richard,

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

I’ve no doubt you have a wonderful analysis of how that could be accomplished. Should be interesting.”

Ah, yes, the classic creationist rote answer - faced with a question they cannot possibly answer because it would show how vacuos their statements are, they ask the same thing back, in hopes of diverting the attention.

forthekids, Richard asked first. Lets hear your answer before bringing up rabbits in precambrian and other such examples.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #149177

Posted by Richard Simons on December 9, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Forthekids said

Hey Richard,

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

I’ve no doubt you have a wonderful analysis of how that could be accomplished. Should be interesting.

If you are so ignorant about the theory of evolution, yet so willing to express opinions about it, there is no point in bothering with you.

Comment #149179

Posted by Steve T on December 9, 2006 9:45 AM (e)

Forthekids wrote:

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

I’m going to assume that when you say “Darwinian evolution” you mean “evolution by selection.”

At the risk of sounding condescending, the answer to your question is obvious and is a standard part of any decent science curriculum.

1. Treat the statement as a hypothesis.
2. Make a prediction of what you would see if the hypothesis were true.
3. Test the prediction.

Here’s an example of how it works …

1. The diversity of life on Earth can be explained by selection over time.
2. If this is true, then the age of the Earth would need to great enough to allow for selection to operate over enough time to account for the observed diversity.
3. All rigorous geological studies indicate the Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old.

It has been well argued that this length of time is sufficient to allow for evolution by selection.

Thus, evolution by selection could have been falsified. It wasn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that it could have been.

If you care, this example has an interesting history behind it. If I remember the story properly, after Darwin published the Origin of Species, many scientists offered scientific (not religious) objections to the theory of evolution by selection. One of them was by Lord Kelvin, who argued that the current temperature of the Earth was too high to indicate that the Earth was anything more than several million years old. Darwin himself acknowledged this as a serious scientific objection to his proposed mechanism for evolution. Thus, (now pay close attention, ‘cause this is important) Darwin himself acknowledged that his theory could be falsified. Of course, later studies that took into account the heat produced through radioactive decay (which Lord Kelvin didn’t know about in the late 1800s) demonstrated that the Earth was billions, not millions, of years old. Thus, the theory of evolution by selection was not falsified through this line of hypothesis testing. It wasn’t, but it could have been. Remember, there’s a difference between being falsifiable and being falsified.

Another way to look at this is to say, Dude, this is well established history. If you bothered in the slightest to learn what the hell you are talking about, you wouldn’t make yourself look like a friggin’ idiot blathering out lackwit implications that evolution by selection isn’t falsifiable.

While I’ve got your attention, let’s try another exercise in the hypothetico-deductive method.

1. The appearance of design is proof of design.
2. If this hypothesis is true, then there ought to be no way to produce something that looks designed without design.
3. Place a bucket of sand and marbles mixed together outside through the winter where you get freezing and thawing, wind, and earth trembles. Then observe.

The sand and the marbles become (gasp) sorted into layers, looking like they were purposefully designed that way. Thus, the prediction (“no way to produce …”) fails and the hypothesis (“appearance of design is proof of design”) is falsified.

This is the way science works. Deal with it. Better yet, try it yourself. You might learn something.

Comment #149183

Posted by Mike Z on December 9, 2006 10:27 AM (e)

Steve T -
Nicely done. Of particular note is the way both Darwin and Kelvin recognized the scientific reasoning at play, and both were willing to be refuted by good evidence. That’s scientific honesty.

Comment #149186

Posted by waldteufel on December 9, 2006 12:01 PM (e)

Steve T …your post was really great. Well put, succinct, and would be very informative
to anyone but a brain-dead creationist or IDiot.

Comment #149190

Posted by SteveF on December 9, 2006 1:02 PM (e)

I picked up a copy of the 10th aniversary edition of Darwins Black Box. Had a look at the new section; its around 20 pages of not much at all.

Comment #149192

Posted by Gerard Harbison on December 9, 2006 1:31 PM (e)

If ‘Reasonable Kansans’ is reasonable compared with other Kansans, what a horrible thing to say about Kansas!

Comment #149194

Posted by k.e. on December 9, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

Behe has to be the most unself aware IDista on the planet ( I know it’s a big call)

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on December 9, 2006 12:50 AM (e)

Behe, claiming that there isn’t actually a fair analysis of the ID arguments in the Kitzmiller decision, says that instead,

[t]here is just the former head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which is an honorable job, but does not prepare one for the types of discussions that came up in this trial. A former head of the Liquor Control Board, who signed off on a tenditious brief by a product liability trial lawyer, which touted the side of his clients, and caricatured and denigrated the arguments of the other side, as briefs by trial lawyers have done since the beginning of time.

Irony meters to low-gain, everyone…because I’m about to point out that Behe got into ID because he was annoyed at the dismissive treatment that Science magazine gave Phillip Johnso-KABOOM!

This Behe guy has a Ph.D. right?

Please tell me it’s for unintended humor.
He plays the absent minded professor for maximum affect.
Look everyone we are a caricature and I’ll get a lawyer to prove it.
Now where did I put my denigrations.

…searches pockets, forgets question, drifts off and dreams about meeting god.

What I said them already?

Comment #149195

Posted by mark on December 9, 2006 1:52 PM (e)

1. Design is not mystical. It is deduced from the physical structure of a system.

We detect design when we see a purposeful arrangement of parts. The more parts there are and the more precise the purpose leads to a stronger case for design.

Whenever some people see a bunch of parts that function in some way, they perceive a purpose that is fulfilled. Just like that pothole in the road, so intelligently designed to fit the volume of water that’s in it, which no doubt is the purpose of the hole.
Several of Behe’s points suggest he is living in that World where up is down, in is out, goodbye is hello. His PAP can only be explained by “poof”, yet he complains there is no substantial evidence for evolution; no wonder his colleagues at Lehigh sought to distance themselves from him.

Comment #149196

Posted by Boo on December 9, 2006 2:56 PM (e)

There’s a very simple way to get rid of ID once and for all: just let them win. Every biological research group, university, whatever in the world announce that from now on, they stand ready to use ID principles to guide all of their research. This would create the ultimate horror for ID advocates: ID would actually have to produce something. At that point, there would be exactly two options for ID advocates: either admit they can’t produce anything operating from ID principles, or work from evolutionary principles but pretend it’s ID. After all, pretending reality is something other than it is may work fine for press releases and making criticisms of others, but human beings can’t actually create something out of nothing.

Comment #149199

Posted by Mike Elzinga on December 9, 2006 4:05 PM (e)

The political tactics of the ID/Creationist crowd haven’t changed since at least the mid 1970s. After every major defeat, they continue to behave in public as though nothing happened, some of them even claiming that they won. Then there are the ones that claim they were treated unfairly.

The Wizards of ID at the Discovery (of their navel) Institute have spent something like 4 megabucks on their political campaign, so they apparently have some motivation to give it the appearance of success.

Our local newspaper continues to print letters-to-the-editor that are recitations of the standard ID camp follower theme (i.e., “ID is a real science with lots of research to prove it and scientists are too cowardly to debate with the ID scientists”). Most of these are arguing that the science community and the courts are suppressing ID’s findings. They are also attempting to make their language and definitions of science the memes that the wider public uses when they think about or discuss evolution and science.

There is still a large segment of society that thinks allowing debates to take place in the classroom will help settle the issue. Part of their argument is that debating the “controversy” in class is more interesting than the standard science course and students will learn more as a result. When they express this on the internet or in the newspaper, they seem to think that people who know nothing about science will be able to figure out who is lying by watching these debates. The Idiot/Creationist crowd appears to be taking political aim at these so-called “reasonable” types.

Comment #149203

Posted by Inoculated Mind on December 9, 2006 4:44 PM (e)

Hey Mike… if they write letters, write some letters yourself. I think every scientist should get in the habit of writing letters to newspapers about important issues.

Comment #149208

Posted by Anton Mates on December 9, 2006 5:21 PM (e)

Forthekids wrote:

Behe went on to show in detail that Jones’ written 139 page decision was filled with cut and paste sections from Rothchild’s documents. Whenever Jones wrote on an academic issue, he provides a lightly edited “drag and drop” from the trial lawyer’s documents. Behe said that some judges do this to a certain extent, but not on as large a scale as Jones did. This made Behe wonder if Jones even understood all of the academic issues that were being presented to him if he had to copy so much from Rothchild’s documents.

You mean Jones based his decision on actual evidence provided by expert witnesses, rather than just making up his own scientific claims? That bastard!

Comment #149209

Posted by Steve B on December 9, 2006 5:27 PM (e)

BOO,

you are absolutely wrong, letting ID into universities will do nothing but corrupt good science. The right way to get rid of these inferior and unfit IDists is to exterminate them or at least put them in camps. This should be obvious since all they do is hinder evolutionary progress with their presence.

Comment #149210

Posted by Anton Mates on December 9, 2006 5:27 PM (e)

J. Mahoney wrote:

Darwinism has spread internationally. Just look at Adolf Hitler.

Yup. If it hadn’t spread internationally, the Nazis wouldn’t have had to ban it.

Although I suspect that’s not exactly what you were trying to claim.

Comment #149215

Posted by Sir_Toejam on December 9, 2006 5:39 PM (e)

Darwinism has spread internationally. Just look at Adolf Hitler.

are you trying to Godwin this thread?

give it up already.

Comment #149216

Posted by hooligans on December 9, 2006 6:23 PM (e)

This one is FORTHEKIDS … Darwin was also unsure how variance in organisms could he heritable. His theory led to the hypothesis that there must be some means or method of transmitting the traits from one generation ot the next … and guess what came later? DNA!

Comment #149219

Posted by Doc Bill on December 9, 2006 6:30 PM (e)

Behe is just trying to deflect the blame for killing ID at Kitzmiller to someone other than himself.

And by killing ID I mean killing it as a subject for public school science which is what this was all about.

However, Behe is responsible for the death of ID by his very testimony. First, he testified that ID is not science. In order for ID to be considered science the very definition of Science would have to be changed to consider such stirling concepts as Astrology as science. Way to go, Behe!

Second, Behe destroyed his own credibility as an expert on the stand by waving away actual research with a flick of his evolved hand. Ignorance and apathy: don’t know and don’t care.

So, in two parts Behe was responsible for the demise of ID as a science topic in public schools.

Thank you, Behe, you did a service to us all.

Comment #149220

Posted by BC on December 9, 2006 6:31 PM (e)

ForTheKids wrote:

What is very interesting is that there are many people who are not philosophical naturalists, yet they disagree with design as well. There is no objective reason for this

… except of course evidence. I thought this was a pretty telling statement by ForTheKids. She seems to think that the only reason people believe in naturalistic evolution is to reinforce atheism. If someone isn’t an atheist, “[t]here is no objective reason for” supporting naturalistic evolution? Ha. What a joke.

Comment #149222

Posted by David B. Benson on December 9, 2006 6:43 PM (e)

While not biological evolution, the spreading use of Evolutionary Algorithms, including but not limited to the Simple Genetic Algorithm, demonstrates that the basic principles of the Theory of Biological Evolution do, in fact, lead to acceptable solutions. And do so without ‘design’…

Comment #149225

Posted by Mike Elzinga on December 9, 2006 7:00 PM (e)

Re. Comment #149203 by Inoculated Mind:

Yup, I have done just that. A couple of my “Viewpoint” articles, as they are called in our local newspaper, got good reviews, even from people outside the circulation area of the local paper. For a while, there was a lull in the diatribes by the ID cultists, but it has flared up again.

I suspect there is another set of talking points being circulated in some of the local fundamentalist churches. I’m seeing a flare-up of this stuff on some of the religion TV channels also, and it looks very similar to what is being printed in the letters to the editor. The Discovery Institute isn’t the only organization circulating this stuff. There appear to be other clandestine groups besides the bigger, well-known players that are doing this more furtively. Some of it is clearly “evolutionist baiting”.

Comment #149226

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 9, 2006 7:07 PM (e)

Hey guys - ID is spreading like wildfire all over the world at this point. It doesn’t seem to me that the good Judge’s decision has slowed it down any.

Really? What would be an example of a noteworthy success for the ID movement in the last year?

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

For example, if analysis of the fossil record with respect to time failed to demonstrate that over time, previously absent traits appear and then persist in descendants of the organism in which the trait appeared with complexity accumulating over time in this fashion, that would falsify evolution.

Or if analysis of biological organisms demonstrated that there is no mechanism by which traits might appear over time, or demonstrated that traits once acquired are not passed down to descendants and do not accumulate, or demonstrated that the methods by which traits move between organisms is somehow immune to “fitness” selection effects. Those would provide falsification as well.

This is just “darwinian evolution”, of course, which is quite a vague and general thing; if one were talking about the modern understanding of evolution, where evolution happens by a series of quite specific mechanisms, methods of potential falsification abound.

Comment #149229

Posted by Monimonika on December 9, 2006 7:20 PM (e)

One (okay, two) things that I think should be made clear:

“Jones also made the statement in his decision that Behe said, “Those papers were not good enough”. In fact, Behe did not say this. Those are the words Eric Rothchild tried to put in his mouth while Behe was on the witness stand. Behe actually said that they were wonderful articles, that they were very interesting, but that they simply don’t address the question as he posed it. They address a different question.”

and

“Another misperception came out in the Q&A session. Behe was asked if he believed astrology was science because he had been quoted all over the media as saying astrology would fit in with his definition of science.

Behe stated that at that point in the trial they were discussing the definition of science. He was asked if astrology was science and Behe said he stated astrology was considered science in the 13th and 14th century and that it in part led to astronomy. He was referring to historical times, not current times. But, the media only picked up his reference to astrology being acceptable in his definition of science.”

It would seem that either of these claims can be refuted/proved by the court transcripts (which I know are available). The thing is that I don’t have the time (or rather, the patience) to sift through the transcripts looking for the particular sections referred to above to see what the context was.

Can someone in the know get the record straight? I know, I’m lazy (and worse) for asking this of someone else.

Comment #149231

Posted by Henry J on December 9, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

Re “Jones has been called everything from a megalomaniac to a Neanderthal.”

Wouldn’t that imply that the one doing the calling accepts the common ancestry part of evolution? ;)

Henry

Comment #149237

Posted by Henry J on December 9, 2006 8:46 PM (e)

Re “Jones has been called everything from a megalomaniac to a Neanderthal.”

Wouldn’t that imply that the one doing the calling accepts the common ancestry part of evolution? ;)

Henry

Comment #149238

Posted by Henry J on December 9, 2006 8:48 PM (e)

Might’ve known it (the blog s/w) was gonna do that…

What happened to the preview function that it no longer shows the already existing replies in the thread? Argh.

Comment #149253

Posted by Liz Craig on December 9, 2006 10:40 PM (e)

Guys,

FTK has proven over the past year or two on the KCFS Discussion Forums (before finally being banned) that she understands nothing about science, and that she disbelieves anyone who *does* understand science.

FTK has consistently promoted Walt Brown’s “Hydroplate” “theory.”

‘Nuff said.

Comment #149255

Posted by Unsympathetic reader on December 9, 2006 11:20 PM (e)

FTK writes:

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

Well, it has been in some instances. For example, researchers insert new DNA sequences (such as restriction enzyme sites) into organisms that are not the product of Darwinian selection. Additionally, there is neutral drift which is an additional mechanism of evolution that can be distinguished from selection.

So I’d say that there are obvious cases of evolution and changes in the characters of organisms that are demonstratively not Darwinian.

Let us also not forget that falsifying Darwinian evolution or making it untenable is the precise goal of Behe’s discussions about irreducible complexity.

Comment #149256

Posted by PvM on December 9, 2006 11:28 PM (e)

How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

Well, it has been in some instances.

Nope, what has been shown is that there are also other mechanisms of evolution

Comment #149259

Posted by tomh on December 9, 2006 11:39 PM (e)

Monimonika wrote:

Can someone in the know get the record straight?

The advantage of dancing around all sides of an issue is that you can go back later and cherry-pick whatever quotes make you sound reasonable. To see how foolish Behe sounds just read his cross and re-cross, Day 11 and 12 - it’s really very short.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller…

Comment #149260

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on December 9, 2006 11:55 PM (e)

Monimonika wrote:

the court transcripts

As it happened, I looked this up before your question; I was curious too.

It turns out that in his deposition, Behe didn’t make any historical reference on astrology:

Q And now the term is used, “The divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects.”

That’s the scientific theory of astrology?

A That’s what it says right there, but let me direct your attention to the archaic definition, because the archaic definition is the one which was in effect when astrology was actually thought to perhaps describe real events, at least by the educated community.

Astrology – I think astronomy began in, and things like astrology, and the history of science is replete with ideas that we now think to be wrong headed, nonetheless giving way to better ways or more accurate ways of describing the world.

And simply because an idea is old, and simply because in our time we see it to be foolish, does not mean when it was being discussed as a live possibility, that it was not actually a real scientific theory.

Q I didn’t take your deposition in the 1500s, correct?

[snip]

Q And I asked you, “Is astrology a theory under that definition?” And you answered, “Is astrology? It could be, yes.” Right?

A That’s correct.

Q Not, it used to be, right?

A Well, that’s what I was thinking. I was thinking of astrology when it was first proposed. I’m not thinking of tarot cards and little mind readers and so on that you might see along the highway. I was thinking of it in its historical sense.

Q I couldn’t be a mind reader either.

( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day11pm.ht… )

So Behe stated both versions. (But the age was Rotshild’s statement.) How that affects the decision I don’t know. But you could ask Johnson. :-)

He also hadn’t read all immune system literature, where as I understand it much progress is made. (See posts her at PT.) Which literature was successfully published in a peer-review system, while ID don’t publish or test:

Q. We’ll get back to that. Now, these articles rebut your assertion that scientific literature has no answers on the origin of the vertebrate immune system?

A. No, they certainly do not. My answer, or my argument is that the literature has no detailed rigorous explanations for how complex biochemical systems could arise by a random mutation and natural selection and these articles do not address that.

Q. So these are not good enough?

A. They’re wonderful articles. They’re very interesting. They simply just don’t address the question that I pose.

Q. And these are not the only articles on the evolution of vertebrate immune system?

A. There are many articles.

[snip]

Q. And I’m correct when I asked you, you would need to see a step-by-step description of how the immune system, vertebrate immune system developed?

A. Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions.

Q. And you haven’t undertaken to try and figure out those?

A. I am not confident that the immune system arose through Darwinian processes, and so I do not think that such a study would be fruitful.

Q. It would be a waste of time?

A. It would not be fruitful.

[snip]

Q. And the fifty-eight articles, some yes, some no?

A. Well, the nice thing about science is that often times when you read the latest articles, or a sampling of the latest articles, they certainly include earlier results. So you get up to speed pretty quickly. You don’t have to go back and read every article on a particular topic for the last fifty years or so.

[snip]

Q. You conclude the chapter called “Publish or Perish” by saying, “In effect, the theory of Darwinian molecular evolution has not published, and so it should perish,” right?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. And then all these hard working scientists publish article after article over years and years, chapters and books, full books, addressing the question of how the vertebrate immune system evolved, but none of them are satisfactory to you for an answer to that question?

A. Well, see, that again is an example of confusing the different meanings of evolution. As we have seen before, evolution means a number of things, such as change over time, common descent, gradualism and so on. And when I say Darwinian evolution, that is focusing exactly on the mechanism of natural selection. And none of these articles address that.

Q. Again at the same time you don’t publish any peer reviewed articles advocating for the alternative, intelligent design?

A. I have published a book, or – I have published a book discussing my ideas.

[snip]

Q. Professor Behe, isn’t it the case that scientists often propose hypotheses, and then set out to test them themselves rather than trusting the people who don’t agree with their hypothesis?

A. That’s true, but hypothesis of design is tested in a way that is different from a Darwinian hypotheses. The test has to be specific to the hypothesis itself, and as I have argued, an inductive hypothesis is argued or is supported by induction, by example after example of things we see that fit this induction.

Q. We’ll return to the induction in a few minutes.

A. Yes, sir. Mr. Rothschild, would you like your books back? They’re heavy.

( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day12pm.ht… )

Comment #149261

Posted by Mark Studduck, FCD on December 9, 2006 11:56 PM (e)

In a post posted some many posts above, Steve T straw-mans ID when he gives his example of marbles, sand, snow, and such, arranging themselves into an indicator of Design which is only apparent but really only naturally caused, outside during winter. (What a crappy sentence. Oh well, no time…)

When dealing with the design hypothesis (for it doesn’t exactly seem to be formulated as a scientific theory) set forward by today’s Intelligent Design proponent/activists/theorists/fans, you must understand their argument a little better or when they read your posts here they will just shrug their sholders and comment to themselves (and one another) about how you really don’t understand their writings or haven’t ever read them.

Here are two of the errors made by Steve T without going very deeply into it. (really, some of you ought to read at least a few of Dembski’s books.)

1. You cannot falsify Design by showing some example that looks designed but wasn’t really designed. Trust me, there are good reasons for this and one may find them in various sections of No Free Lunch, The Design Revolution, etc. I’m not going to spell them out for a bunch of people who consider themselves informed critics of ID. (little hint… FP’s)

2. The apparent arrangement/design naturally produced by the given experiment above would hardly count as a reliable indicator of intelligent design. (that is, specified complexity, or more simply put, a thing which would make it to the last node of Dembski’s Explanatory Filter)

Just trying to help out,

MS

Comment #149265

Posted by Unsympathetic reader on December 10, 2006 1:18 AM (e)

FTK asks: How about you tell us how Darwinian evolution could be falisified?

Me: Well, it has been in some instances.

PvM: Nope, what has been shown is that there are also other mechanisms of evolution

Darwinian mechanisms were demonstrated to not occur in some specific instances; which was exactly my point. But the fact is, evolution (even before Darwin suggested some mechanisms) was not an idea that always enjoyed strong support in the past. Over time, something happened (actually a lot of things happened as scientific knowledge advanced), that lead to the general acceptance of evolution in science. If there were good and strong arguments against evolution in general then the idea would no longer enjoy the support it has today. Thus Darwinian evolution and evolution in general could in principle be dumped in the future. Unlikely perhaps, but it suggests the “How can Darwinian evolution be falsified?” question is a naive one with regard to the development & evolution of scientific thought.

Again, if Behe and Dembski think Darwinian evolution is unfalsifiable or undeniable, then why do they persist in trying to demonstrate the opposite?

Comment #149266

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on December 10, 2006 2:49 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #149276

Posted by Sir_Toejam on December 10, 2006 5:12 AM (e)

You cannot falsify Design by showing some example that looks designed but wasn’t really designed

then is your point that “Design” by the definition the IDiots use is unfalsifiable? because that’s essentially what you are saying here (not surprisingly, it’s correct, but I’m not sure you are hitting the nail on the head as to exactly why).

the explanatory filter is completely unusable in practice. WD40 himself has demonstrated this repeatedly, albeit unintentionally.

If YOU are going to try to play ID educator, do try to go into a bit more detail as to why these things are logically false to begin with if you want to exhort others into arguing against ID correctly.

The apparent arrangement/design naturally produced by the given experiment above would hardly count as a reliable indicator of intelligent design

believe me, Steve’s argument holds up quite well when you consider the “average” ID supporter, who never usually even gets far enough to consider what “apparent” design means to begin with. He wasn’t addressing “intelligence” but rather simply the “perception” of design, which you damn well know lies at the very heart of the ID argument to begin with.

with that in mind, who frackin cares whether WD40 thinks Steve’s example is or is not a good analogy of “intelligent design”, since the whole concept is vacuous on the face of it, and yes, really IS based on exactly the kinds of human perceptions that would lead one to think of steves bucket of sand and marbles as “designed”.

Comment #149285

Posted by Steve T on December 10, 2006 8:37 AM (e)

I agree with both Mark S and STJ about the weaknesses and relevance of my “testing a design hypothesis” example. I really wasn’t trying to provide a definitive test of ID but was responding to something the FTK said in summarizing Behe’s sermon lecture.

Comment #149322

Posted by shiva on December 10, 2006 6:54 PM (e)

What is the matter with you? Attacking Judge Jones is the name of the game. If you think that Behe’s KU speech was hard on Jones, you ain’t seen nuthin’. Jones has been called everything from a megalomaniac to a Neanderthal.

Behe is trying the old soccer trick. As we say in another language; if you can’t get the ball, hit the kaal (leg); and if you can’t hit the kaal get the aaL (the man)!

Steve T,

Define design - an operational definition would do. As for the sand and marbles thing, you are saying it ain’t design because you know how it happened and who did it. And as for the other thing (flagella and all that) you don’t know who did or how it is done but it is design! Wah Bhai wah! You are catching up with the larger crowd of IDists. Bad boy - you shd read what you hack out before you post it. Even Dave ‘gravity is the strongest force’ Scott has learned his lesson.

Comment #149325

Posted by Inoculated Mind on December 10, 2006 7:11 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'blockquote'

Comment #149326

Posted by Steve T on December 10, 2006 7:33 PM (e)

Shiva wrote:

Define design - an operational definition would do.

To create or contrive for a particular purpose or effect.

As for the sand and marbles thing, you are saying it ain’t design because you know how it happened and who did it.

Not exactly. I’m saying it isn’t design because I know it wasn’t the result of an effort to create or contrive a pattern for a particular purpose or effect.

I have no interest in debating the semantics of design. I was responding to FTK’s summary of Behe’s sermon lecture (“if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, …”).

And as for the other thing (flagella and all that) you don’t know who did or how it is done but it is design!

Well, if you want to call the consequence of natural selection over time “design,” then I suppose you’ll call flagella (“and all that”) designed. Like I said (repeatedly at this point, so please get a clue), I was responding to FTK’s summary of Behe. Last time I looked, that was the topic of this thread. Behe was talking about ID.

Wah Bhai wah! You are catching up with the larger crowd of IDists. Bad boy - you shd read what you hack out before you post it. Even Dave ‘gravity is the strongest force’ Scott has learned his lesson.

WTF?

Comment #149348

Posted by Andrew McClure on December 11, 2006 2:20 AM (e)

shiva wrote:

Behe is trying the old soccer trick. As we say in another language; if you can’t get the ball, hit the kaal (leg); and if you can’t hit the kaal get the aaL (the man)!

See, now my knowledge of soccer is a bit limited, but from what I’ve watched, it seems like the most effective strategy in soccer is to fall down, pretend to be injured, claim the members of the opposing team have been kicking you and demand you get to take penalty shots, and, uh…

Oh… wait.

Wow, I guess Behe really does know his soccer.

Comment #149553

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 8:37 AM (e)

He was asked if astrology was science and Behe said he stated astrology was considered science in the 13th and 14th century and that it in part led to astronomy. He was referring to historical times, not current times.

Actually, this to me sounds reasonable (though I’m completely ignorant of the history of astrology), and I never understood why the science side continued with the much touted “Behe thinks astrology is science” straw-man. I mean, astrology, alchemy, reading-of-entrails, whatever, can remain scientific for a couple of years before they’re falsified. Remember, there was nothing better; so these were the best scientific conjectures of the time.

At the very least, it’s a bit sensationalist to say that Behe things astrology is science. I mean, the guy’s Catholic; it’s not reasonable to state that the guy believes that there’s a valid scientific basis for astrology. And the transcripts of the trial is indicative of this.

Comment #149646

Posted by tomh on December 11, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

GuyeFaux wrote:

At the very least, it’s a bit sensationalist to say that Behe things astrology is science.

That’s because no one says that, at least no one who has read the transcript. The discussion was about the definition of science, which Behe was trying to stretch to include ID. This is from his cross examination on Day 11.

“Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?

A Yes, that’s correct.”

Comment #149676

Posted by slpage on December 11, 2006 11:50 AM (e)

Gary writes:

“There is not a single comment attached to his miserable crap.”

Par for the course. ‘Forthekids’ is a typical creationist that can only prosper when engaging in hero worship, purposeful willful ignroance, and, of course, censorship.

Comment #149677

Posted by slpage on December 11, 2006 11:52 AM (e)

FTK:

“The problem that I foresee for you people is that when you misrepresent the facts, it comes back to haunt you.”

Well,y ou and Walt Brown and your sundry ID heros know all about that, don’t you?

of course, it really doesn’t seem to matter to you people.

Comment #149678

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on December 11, 2006 11:54 AM (e)

To “J. Mahoney”

Hi, Larry! You already used that name, or had you forgotten?

Comment #149700

Posted by Mark Studduck, FCD on December 11, 2006 12:28 PM (e)

Excellent post GuyeFaux.

To answer your pondering of “why the science side continued with the much touted “Behe thinks astrology is science” straw-man.” see the post given above about cheating in soccer.

Both side also are fighting a rhetoric war for the hearts and minds of the less educated masses. It simply looks bad and colors ID to associate it with astrology. In the same way that the IDist associate darwinism with Hitler.

Textbook anti-academic debating tactics.

MS

Comment #149701

Posted by infamous on December 11, 2006 12:30 PM (e)

BC said:

“… except of course evidence. I thought this was a pretty telling statement by ForTheKids. She seems to think that the only reason people believe in naturalistic evolution is to reinforce atheism. If someone isn’t an atheist, “[t]here is no objective reason for” supporting naturalistic evolution? Ha. What a joke.”

DaveScot uses the same argument as FTK over on UD a lot. The problem is they use the term “design” in a very general sense, whereas ID uses the term design in a very specific sense. I (and I assume most other TE’s) agree that there is, in a sense, “design” in the universe. I don’t, however, find that we can detect blatant design in “IC” or “CSI” “molecular machines,” or what have you… they do the same things with words like “unguided” and “random.” I think that TE’s are a huge threat to ID because we totally ruin their argument that evolution is somehow reliant on atheism and we threaten to bring reason to the Church with us and expose their lies…

Comment #149711

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 12:52 PM (e)

But this is an excuse to be disingenuous:

Both side also are fighting a rhetoric war for the hearts and minds of the less educated masses. It simply looks bad and colors ID to associate it with astrology. In the same way that the IDist associate darwinism with Hitler.

Yes, I know they started it, but still.

Just quoting this as is:

“Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?

A Yes, that’s correct.

This is a quote mine because Behe qualified this statement in a material way. He meant that astrology was science at some point in its history. This is an important distinction. The substance of his claim is reasonable, whereas the quoted statement is not.

So really this is quote-mine plus a straw-man plus an ad-hominem. I strongly disagree that it should be used from the side of intellectual honesty.

Comment #149718

Posted by Mike on December 11, 2006 1:06 PM (e)

Please note everyone:

Dawkins and Miller are mentioned in the same breath.

The reference to counter argument is the “Beyond Belief” conference which equated science with atheism.

Forthekids may not even be conscious of doing it, but he, like Dawkins, etal., equates, not just evolution, but science in general with atheism.

The irrational insistance of linking science with atheism is insanely self-defeating. What’s the tragedy?
1. Its unnecessary. Humanism doesn’t need to prove anything. How evolution takes place is irrelevant to morality, or theology.
2. The strawman controversy buries the crucial facts that our society needs to learn: “What is science?” “How do you distinguish science from psuedoscience?” “How do I interpret what the scientific community is telling me?”

This is completely insane! Cut it out! Get your culture war out of my biology!

Comment #149755

Posted by tomh on December 11, 2006 2:16 PM (e)

This is a quote mine because Behe qualified this statement in a material way. He meant that astrology was science at some point in its history.

This is simply not true. Do you even read the transcripts? The question is his definition of “scientific theory” and he goes on to talk about his own definition of the word theory, and of course he throws in history and everything else he can think of, but the bottom line is that under his definition of scientific theory both ID and astrology have to be included. That doesn’t mean he thinks astrology is true. He then goes on to directly contradict the sworn testimony he gave in his pre-trial deposition;

“Q And I asked you, “Is astrology a theory under that definition?” And you answered, “Is astrology? It could be, yes.” Right?

A That’s correct.

Q Not, it used to be, right?

A Well, that’s what I was thinking….I was thinking of it in its historical sense.

Q I couldn’t be a mind reader either.”

So now he wants to be credited for what he was supposedly thinking, not what he said.

For anyone who hasn’t read the transcripts, particularly Behe’s section, I highly recommend it. You can’t buy that kind of entertainment.

Comment #149775

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 3:18 PM (e)

This is simply not true. Do you even read the transcripts?

Yes, I’ve read the transcripts. Here’s the important qualification:

Behe: And simply because an idea is old, and simply because in our time we see it to be foolish, does not mean when it was being discussed as a live possibility, that it was not actually a real scientific theory.

And, like I said, that qualification makes this exchange reasonable:

“Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?

A Yes, that’s correct.

Without it, Behe sounds ridiculous; with it, he sounds completely sane.

So how are unqualified statements about Behe including astrology within a definition of science not disingenuous? Generally the claim goes something like this: “In order for ID to be included as science, its definition needs to be changed so that it includes things like astrology.” This implies that science, before Behe’s change, does not include astrology, whereas post-Behe it does. But this implication is refuted by his stated qualification that things like astrology can become unscientific over time, which I think is a reasonable position.

Behe makes plenty of ridiculous statements that require no qualifications, so I don’t see why the science side need to hang on to this one.

Incidentally, according to the decision, Judge Jones III did not see it my way. I think it’s one of a few sore point in an otherwise well-written and lucid decision.

Comment #149781

Posted by Sir_Toejam on December 11, 2006 5:59 PM (e)

And, like I said, that qualification makes this exchange reasonable:

NO, it doesn’t.

Behe was specifically being asked about his definition for science as it stands TODAY, not a thousand years ago, or even a hundred.

indeed, the transcripts led me to doubt his sanity even more than the constant attemtps to spin it he has conducted since.

your interpretation is way off here.

Comment #149784

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 6:07 PM (e)

I gotta run, but:

Behe was specifically being asked about his definition for science as it stands TODAY, not a thousand years ago, or even a hundred.

He wasn’t specifically asked about it until after he gave his “troublesome” reply. I can only find the trial transcript at the moment and not the deposition, but I don’t think his definitions of science were every temporally qualified. Please correct me if you know better (in a hurry, can’t find deposition).

TBC, I hope.

Comment #149785

Posted by tomh on December 11, 2006 6:14 PM (e)

GuyeFaux wrote:

Yes, I’ve read the transcripts. Here’s the important qualification:

This is silly. The transcripts are here for anyone to read and draw their own conclusions. Fortunately, the doubletalk and contradictions of Behe didn’t confuse the judge the way they confused GuyeFaux.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller…

Comment #149792

Posted by Doc Bill on December 11, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

Astrology become unscientific over time?

Who are you trying to kid!?! We’re talking modern science, right? Scientific method and all that.

Astrology was never scientific. Ever. It predates science for a start. Second, astrology has always been about fortune telling. It’s mystical. It’s witchcraft. Astrology is not nor has ever been science.

Behe killed ID at Kitzmiller and one of the weapons he used was astrology. The topic of astrology as science was raised at Behe’s deposition taken months before the trial. Behe had months to prepare for Rothschild’s questioning, but still managed to screw the pooch. Behe thought he could skate by with his old mousetrap and Mt. Rushmore routine, but it didn’t wash because Rothschild was prepared. Behe was pinned to the mat with his own words.

Behe was put on the stand as an expert witness. Expert Witness. Not some boob pulled off the street. However, when you’re stuck with a cow’s pseudoscientific ear like ID there’s only so much of a silk purse you can spin out of it. Behe tried to backpedal and say, well, he was thinking in the historical sense when he said that astrology could be considered science. Behe knew he was screwed because he had used the present tense twice on the stand and once in deposition. Rothschild didn’t even need to drive the point home because the Judge heard the entire exchange. It was obvious that Behe was inventing stuff on the fly. Even in an historical sense Astrology was never and could never be described as science. Behe hoped that nobody would notice or argue that point. He was wrong. Again.

But, why quibble? Astrology requires mystical intervention and so does ID. Behe wasn’t lying when he said that the definition of science would have to be broad enough such that astrology could be considered scientific in order for ID to be considered scientific. On the contrary, Behe needed that definition in order to drape ID with even a thin scientific mantle. Behe needed mystical interventions to be at least considered, at least tolerated before ID could even get its foot in the door. It didn’t wash.

In the transcripts you can see Behe squirming like a worm on a hook trying to contort a definition of science and scientific theory to fit ID’s requirements, but he can’t do it. In the end it’s Behe, himself, who demonstrated that ID is a will-o’-the-wisp, smoke and mirrors; an unsubstantiated notion. And he did it in public and under oath. It’s laughable and pathetic that after a year Behe is trying to explain what it meant. It’s too late. The decision has been made. It’s over in Dover.

Thank you, Behe, Elvis has left the building.

Comment #149810

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 9:44 PM (e)

Who are you trying to kid!?! We’re talking modern science, right? Scientific method and all that.

It’s not a position I take that astrology at any time was scientific (I grouped it with the reading of entrails), merely that it’s plausible that it was.

But I get your position nonetheless, that astrology was at no point scientific. But this was certainly not demonstrated in court (neither was the obverse, I know).

And I’ve read the trial transcripts (but not the depositions), so no need to link to them again. Where (under oath) does Behe unequivocally state that he’s willing to include modern astrology under the umbrella of science? And that’s the insinuation, is it not? That Behe et al are trying to change the definition of science so that it will include modern astrology?

Comment #149818

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 9:56 PM (e)

The decision has been made. It’s over in Dover.

I realize this; but it never sat well with me this business with astrology. Seems if you’re gonna throw out astrology you need to throw out a bunch of other plausible-at-the-time but wrong theories of the world. Like half of Aristotle’s sciency sounding ramblings come to mind.

Can’t a case be made for astrology at one point having been scientific? It made predictions about the world based on observable phenomena, did it not? The predictions happened to be wrong, but so what?

Comment #149824

Posted by Doc Bill on December 11, 2006 10:27 PM (e)

No. The case can not be made for astrology having been science every.

Astrology and astronomy developed in parallel, but at no time did or does astrology have any predictive power. Astrology always had to do with the gods and the affairs of man. Always. Fortune telling by the stars.

Behe was totally wrong about astrology simply falling out of favor. Didn’t happen. Astrology is with us today.

The other thing that Behe brought up, aether, is a different matter. It was postulated that an aether filled the void and that waves propagated through it. That was subject to testing and ultimately proven to be incorrect; no aether.

Finally, recall that Behe likened ID to the early days of the Big Bang theory as being “unpopular” and that the Big Bang finally became popular (who knows, maybe it got breast implants) while ID still has acne. That, again, is historically wrong and Behe is not so stupid nor so illiterate that he is unaware of this. Mind boggling as the Big Bang was, it was based on physical observation (galaxies receeding) and had predictable components (the microwave background radiation at something like 3 Kelvin) that were later detected and the theory has been fleshed out over the years by a series of predictions and confirming observations.

The Big Bang didn’t just become popular, it gained acceptance through test after test, prediction after prediction.

ID is nothing like that and Behe knows it. No tests for ID. No predictions for ID. No confirmations for ID. No soup for ID!

ID put their best and brightest on the stand at Kitzmiller. Behe was the Expert Witness, not some Boob from Bethlehem (Pa., home of Lehigh U.) and Behe proceeded to stab ID over and over again. Flagellums and parts and Big Bang and astrology, stab, stab, stab, stab. You didn’t see that much stabbing in Hitchcock’s Psycho! And Eric Rothschild handed the knife to Behe every time.

It’s all there in the transcripts in bloody detail. A year later the armchair revisionists can argue that Behe meant this or Behe meant that, but the bottom line is that Behe had the responsibility as the Expert Witness to be clear and concise and honest.

And I think he was.

He was clear and sort of concise and he honestly killed ID.

Comment #149826

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 11, 2006 11:00 PM (e)

A year later the armchair revisionists can argue that Behe meant this or Behe meant that, but the bottom line is that Behe had the responsibility as the Expert Witness to be clear and concise and honest.

Don’t get me wrong, armchair legalizing is what I’m doing, but that’s the point of this thread, no?

Ok, back to astrology:

Astrology always had to do with the gods and the affairs of man. Always. Fortune telling by the stars.

This fact, that astrology always was fortune telling by the stars, would absolutely blow Behe’s argument out of the water.
However I don’t know if this statement is true or not (like I said, I’m ignorant about the history of astrology). And, I’ve read nothing in the transcripts that speaks to its truth, which means the court doesn’t know it either. Therefore, “astrology was scientific” ought to seem plausible to the court, no? In which case Behe’s application of science to astrology should’ve been plausible as well.

Ultimately, the court decided that astrology always was a bunch of hocus pocus, but I don’t see on what grounds other than the its colloquial understanding of modern astrology (i.e. horoscopes).

But now I’ve moved the goalpost, since originally I wasn’t talking about this detail of the court’s decision. And, like I said, if it were ascertained that astrology was never useful in a scientific manner, then Behe’s schtick about “I’m using the archaic definition of astrology” is bogus.

Comment #149827

Posted by demallien on December 11, 2006 11:04 PM (e)

GuyeFaux, I think you are really going out on a limb on this one. The whole discussion about whether Behe was talking about astrology 400 years ago, or today is completely irrelevant. As others have noted, astrology, in much the same way as ID, was never science. There was never an explanation for how it worked, only mystic mumbo jumbo. The fact that Behe thinks that this could have been considered science in the past is still a damning indictment.

The fact that he repeatedly referred to this idea in the present tense in his testimony only makes his error worse.

At any rate, he blithered on so incoherently, that he can’t complain if he’s “quote-mined” by people trying to find a coherent phrase or two in all of the mixed up ummms and ahhhs, and half-finished sentences. I can tell you that when I read the transcripts of the trial for the first time, I came away with the same opinion of what Behe had said as most other people in this discussion. That opinion is that the so-called “quote-mine” is substantially correct in it’s interpretation of what Behe was saying. Even Judge Jones came away with this as his understanding.

Comment #149829

Posted by Doc Bill on December 11, 2006 11:33 PM (e)

Ouch, Guido! Skewered me with my own point. I hate it when that happens.

True, true, what Doc Bill says and what the court heard are two different things, he said shifting his carcass in his armchair.

I see your all too sharp point that what was said and interpreted in court, and what we may or may not know about a subject are two different things. After all, it all depends on the definition of the word “is.”

However, from the ruling it appears that the Judge got the sense that Behe was full of hot air. And the big dominos that fell post-Kitzmiller in Ohio, Michigan and Kansas are no coincidence following that decision.

Comment #149845

Posted by tomh on December 12, 2006 1:53 AM (e)

GuyeFaux wrote:

Where (under oath) does Behe unequivocally state that he’s willing to include modern astrology under the umbrella of science? And that’s the insinuation, is it not? That Behe et al are trying to change the definition of science so that it will include modern astrology?

No, that’s not the insinuation. The insinuation, as you call it, is that they are trying to change the definition of scientific theory so that it includes ID. In so doing Behe admits that it would also have to include astrology. If you want it spelled out …

The definition of theory they refer to is from page 11 of Behe’s 125 page expert witness pre-trial statement, found here
http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/experts/behe.pdf

The following is from pages 132-133 of Behe’s 272 page pre-trial deposition, and he has already stated that under his definition of scientific theory, ID would qualify. The deposition is found here.
http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/depo/2005-05-19_depo…

Q. Using your definition of theory, is Creationism – using
your definition of scientific theory, is Creationism a
scientific theory?
A. No.
Q. What about creation science?
A. No.
Q. Is astrology a theory under that definition?
A. Is astrology? It could be, yes.
Q. Are you familiar with the term hypothesis as it is used
in science?
A. I am not sure an hypothesis has any singular meaning in
science. I have certainly heard the word hypothesis and
have a vague, general understanding of what it means,
yes.

I included the hypothesis question so you can see I didn’t cut off anything exonerating, besides it gives a nice example of his general style and why the deposition ran 272 pages. If this doesn’t sound like he’s referring to astrology in the present day as something that would fall under his definition of scientific theory, well I give up. This is the only place in the entire document that astrology is mentioned, and for him to say on the stand at trial that he was thinking of it as ancient history is beyond belief.

If that doesn’t satisfy I can’t help you anymore.

Comment #149854

Posted by Lev Bronstein on December 12, 2006 4:37 AM (e)

Evolution is IRREFUTABLE.

There is change.

The fit survive.

If they didn’t surive, they weren’t fit.

Therefore atheism is true.

So there.

Comment #149861

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on December 12, 2006 5:21 AM (e)

Mike wrote:

out of my biology

You are restating this. A creationist statement makes you throw a fit because Dawkins is mentioned.

And the answer remains the same. Dawkins has a larger goal. He has started a foundation for “Reason and Science” ( http://richarddawkins.net/foundation,ourMission ).

ST wrote:

Behe was specifically being asked about his definition for science as it stands TODAY

Yes, of course; and tomh noted this too. But I missed that. Too much ID soup and too little coffee.

Comment #149882

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 12, 2006 9:10 AM (e)

Thanks tomh for the deposition transcript.

A. Is astrology? It could be, yes.

So I guess here he should’be said “It could’ve been.”

After all, it all depends on the definition of the word “is.”

Well, it’s the word “can” that’s under question here.

Away from the courts and back to reality:

There was never an explanation for how [astrology] worked, only mystic mumbo jumbo. The fact that Behe thinks that this could have been considered science in the past is still a damning indictment.

The fact that he repeatedly referred to this idea in the present tense in his testimony only makes his error worse.

I think I’ll have to concede this point. He never explained what about astrology made it science and why this definition also did not include creationism at one point or another. Ultimately in court, the judge decided the guy was full of shit (on other grounds) and decided the astrology question afterwards.

Comment #149905

Posted by tomh on December 12, 2006 11:08 AM (e)

GuyeFaux wrote:

He never explained what about astrology made it science and why this definition also did not include creationism at one point or another.

This is covered in his definition of “scientific theory” from his expert witness statement,(1.2.2, p. 11), part of which reads,

“… a “scientific” theory should not tailor its claims to agree with authoritative sources, such as the scriptures of any religion or the statements of any religious or governmental leaders, …”

This rules out creationism but in his view allows ID as a scientific theory.

Comment #149909

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 12, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

… a “scientific” theory should not tailor its claims to agree with authoritative sources, such as the scriptures of any religion or the statements of any religious or governmental leaders, …

Which doesn’t rule out astrology because…?

Comment #149915

Posted by tomh on December 12, 2006 12:17 PM (e)

GuyeFaux wrote:

Which doesn’t rule out astrology because…?

I’m sorry, it seemed obvious. Astrology has never “tailor[ed] its claims to agree with authoritative sources, such as the scriptures of any religion or the statements of any religious or governmental leaders.” (From Behe’s definition of scientific theory).

It’s a form of divination that has never (as far as I can tell) been associated with religion or government, in fact, from the Columbia Encyclopedia, “The Chaldaeans and the Assyrians were the first to discard their sky gods in favor of a nondeistic system of divination.” The Christians long waged war against it.

Comment #149918

Posted by GuyeFaux on December 12, 2006 1:13 PM (e)

It’s a form of divination that has never (as far as I can tell) been associated with religion or government, …

I suppose this is obvious from Behe’s point of view. Astrology is a heretical so therefore not derived some authority. This is wrong (astrology is mentioned several times in the Bible, for instance), but I guess I see his point.

Comment #149925

Posted by Raging Bee on December 12, 2006 2:08 PM (e)

Astrology has never “tailor[ed] its claims to agree with authoritative sources, such as the scriptures of any religion or the statements of any religious or governmental leaders.” (From Behe’s definition of scientific theory).

This may be true for astrology in general, but I’m quite certain that specific astrologers tailored their predictions to please whatever powerful dude was breathing down their necks at the time. And since astrologers’ claims were untestable, they had a lot more wiggle-room – perhaps I should say bend-over-room – to do so than scientists as we know them today.

Comment #150012

Posted by shiva on December 12, 2006 10:07 PM (e)

Steve T

To create or contrive for a particular purpose or effect.

Active voice, bhai. Don’t try to sneak out by using the passive.

As for the sand and marbles thing...

Not exactly. I’m saying it isn’t design because I know it wasn’t the result of an effort to create or contrive a pattern for a particular purpose or effect.

You are saying it ain’t design because you watched it all the time. And you are saying something is design even though you haven’t watched it, and have no clue what its purpose is. Terrible anumana, I mean inference. A quick read of Gangesa and Navya Nyaya would help you a lot. No wonder you guys get badly beaten in debate.

I fail to understand the fuss over Behe’s bow to astrology, as if that is the kookiest thing he believes in! Behe went in unprepared, it seems, and was clean bowled when cornered about astrology! The guy is so ignorant that he doesn’t know that the astronomy predates astrology, the latter being a vulgarisation of the former. These guys are so busy reading each other’s trash (except Billy Boy who reads his own trash) that they have gone rusty on history of cultures. Comics indeed!