Creationism Battle in Texas Is Heating Up

The Discovery Institute is shifting into high gear for the struggle to preserve their creationist gains in Texas. As we reported in Texas Turmoil About Science Standards, Texas is trying to revise their public school science standards for biology, which were last revised in 2009 to include a requirement (backed by the Discoveroids) for students to analyze “all sides of scientific evidence” for evolution.

The effort to keep creationism in the science standards is, so far, being spearheaded by Jonathan Witt, a Discoveroid “senior fellow.” Witt has an article today in the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Michael Behe and Revolutionary: The Truth Will Out, Today! That sounds exciting! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Biologist Michael Behe is the star of the new documentary [link omitted] which goes on sale today. The film tells the hitherto largely untold story of how Behe wandered (and wondered) his way into intelligent design, how his work ignited a furor in the scientific community, was subsequently vindicated, and where the ID revolution is headed today.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, he’s been “vindicated.” Everybody knows about Michael Behe. Not only is he a Discovery Institute “Senior Fellow,” he was the Discoveroids’ star witness in the Kitzmiller case — see Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony. Behe’s colleagues at Lehigh University are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”.

The Discoveroids are going all-out in Texas. They’ve deployed Behe! Witt tells us:

Dr. Behe spoke to packed auditoriums twice in the Dallas-Forth Worth area last week, following sneak peek screenings. I was able to attend the second of the two screenings. Behe got a standing ovation, and the questions after the screening were mostly friendly — though not all of the questions were softballs.

Wowie — the auditoriums were packed, and Behe got a standing ovation. We’ll skip Witt’s thrilling account of the question-and-answer session. Then he describes Behe’s new video, which seems to be all about the flagellum, which Behe insists is too complex to have evolved. That means it must be the work of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! Somehow, none of that is mentioned in Wikipedia’s article on Evolution of flagella.

Witt’s entire post is about the flagellum. It’s boring, and Behe’s claims are debunked in the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims — see Bacterial flagella are irreducibly complex. We’ll jump to the end, where Witt tells us of “Behe’s final words of encouragement to the audience,” which were:

Those Darwinists bent on suppressing the truth often succeed, but they can only succeed for so long. In the end, the truth will out.

And so it goes in Texas. We’ll continue to look in on that situation from time to time.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Creationism Battle in Texas Is Heating Up

  1. michaelfugate

    Where was Behe speaking?

    WHEN: Sunday, October 9, 2016, 7:30 PM

    Denton Bible Church
    2300 East University Drive
    Denton, TX 76209

    WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2016, 6:30-8:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM)

    Kingsland Baptist Church
    20555 Kingsland Blvd.
    Katy, TX 77450

    but ID is not religious, no, no no!

  2. Thanks, michaelfugate. I didn’t know that.

  3. Breaking news: the crocoduck has been found! Well not exactly, but an insect version of it.

    Translation of the header: “This bizarre prehistoric insect is partly locust, partly wasp and partly cockroach”.

    The original article requires a subscription:

    Does anybody know how to reach the Banana Man?

  4. Damn Dunglish. “how to contact the Bananaman”.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    Reading about Trump recently, someone says he has perfected ‘the big lie’, a lie that is so far out there, that your brain doesn’t immediately dismiss it if you are open to the premise of it. Behe, me thinks, also has this skill.

  6. Verily, the system is rigged against ID!

    Problem is, rather than Dumpf’s bombastic confidence, Behe comes across more like Rodney Dangerfield. He gets no respect.

  7. I have corresponded with Behe. he is of the opinion that tracing the flagellum to earlier pore structures is irrelevant, because only when all the pieces are in place does it become a flagellum. I leave it to you and your readers to spot the fallacy (hint: Plato’s Footnote, right now, has a long thread going called “Against Biological Platonism”)

  8. Witt writes: “Those Darwinists bent on suppressing the truth often succeed, but they can only succeed for so long. In the end, the truth will out.”

    Hmm this sounds familiar.

    One of Ham’s favorite refrains: “Sadly, many people are blinded to the truth of the history recorded in God’s Word because they are actively suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, as Romans 1 makes clear.” Source.

    Yet another example of I.D. and YEC convergence? Methinks yes. I imagine the rough draft of Witt’s article included the full reference to Romans 1:18 but that such an overt tip to Christianity is bad politics for I.D. Because, as we all know, I.D. is just about the science! *wink*

  9. By “standing ovation” they mean the audience was full of chickens who, when Behe finished, all laid eggs.

  10. Denton Bible Church – home of the Cattle Ministry

    The Cattle Ministry of Denton Bible Church strives to honor God by providing wholesome beef to North Texas residents in need.

    Speaking of slaughtered, that’s what happened to Witt in the comments on his article in the Star Tribune. Two creationists tossed out some weak tea “rubber glue” comments, but they were smacked down, too.

  11. michaelfugate

    So Witt’s defense of ID is that evolutionary biology still has unanswered questions? As long as these remain, God might have done something, somewhere, and at some time? Holding out hope, is he? Good thing he isn’t holding his breath or Wesley Smith will be mad (can’t have deaths on Smith’s watch).

    The links are bad in Witt’s article, but you can track down the quote mine from Thornton and DeSalle – they are discussing how phylogenies can be used to answer questions about how duplicated genes take on new functions. They even explain some ways of doing it. Given the paper is from 2000, I am sure people have made progress on the topic by now… Witt will likely never know nor, if he did, report that progress.

  12. “We’ll skip Witt’s thrilling account of the question-and-answer session.” proclaims The Sensuous One.

    Now why would that be? After all, the portion of the ENV article that dealt with the Q&A session – the question, follow-up question and Behe’s answers took up fully 2/3 of the text. Why skip it? It’s always what TSC chooses to “skip” in his brilliant commentaries that I find fascinating. Behe and Witt explain why the T3SS as a flagellar precursor is a fantasy.

    And not a word about Gunter Bechly from the same article; the German scientist who built a shrine to Darwin’s Origin of Species at the state museum of natural history in Stuttgart. Unfortunately he made one mistake. You can read about it here.

    So tell me, Curmie: when did chemotaxis and signal transduction evolve and integrate with the evolution of the flagellum? Before, during or after? The Wikipedia link you provided doesn’t mention anything about it.

  13. Correct. Someone who sounds a lot like me pointed that out in the comments. Also, that was a quote mine (Thornton and DeSalle). They say exactly the opposite of Witt’s intent in the very next sentence.

    To paraphrase, “There are things missing (Witt stops here), but current research is filling in the gaps. (T and D continuing)

  14. KevinC

    You take seriously the opinion of someone who would build a “shrine” to Darwin? That’s your kind of “thinking,” I guess. Apparently God exists because you can’t find a Wikipedia link. That’s a whole new version of “God of the missing links!”

  15. michaelfugate

    No KevinC, what Bechly actually did was convert to Christianity. You left out that little tidbit.

  16. Ahhh, the bacterial flagellum. Proof of the Intelligent Designer!

    Darwin’s unguided, natural evolutionary processes can explain the wing of the falcon, the neck of the giraffe, the ears of the bat and the legs of the cheetah. But GOD, the All-powerful Creator of the Universe must get personally involved when it is time to stick the hair onto a germ’s rump.

    That should make them cheer “Hallelujah!” in the pews.

    And to think this is the issue that this guy has decided to devote his life, his professional reputation, and his expensive education in promoting.

  17. michaelfugate, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the tidbit. I don’t know when he converted to Christianity but in the DVD Revolutionary he describes himself as coming from a family that was “totally secular” and “agnostic”. He was “not baptized” and “totally irreligious”. If his conversion was due to his acceptance of ID, then all the better. But that’s really irrelevant. The fact remains: he embraced ID when he read ID books and, at the time, did not have a religious worldview. I think that’s grand and I think that’s what keeps atheist malcontents awake at night.😉

  18. Yeah KevinC, we’re kept awake every time someone says: “you can’t explain this, therefore a supernatural intelligent agent did it”. We’re terrified by the stunning historical success of that argument.

  19. michaelfugate

    Why would it keep me or anyone else awake at night? Does it keep you awake at night when someone gives up religion? People are doing giving religion up in droves. Does it make you worry you might be wrong? I think it is called projection, KevinC.

    I have no idea why Bechly converted to ID and Christianity – nor which occurred first. I can’t imagine believing in ID without Christianity or at least certain kinds of theism. I can imagine believing in Christianity without ID; I have pointed out before that ID requires a very bizarre view of God.

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