Discoveroids: The Wall Between Faith & Science

This just popped up at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute: Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, January 18-19: “Tear Down This Wall!” It was written by Klinghoffer Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Those are the historic words of Ronald Reagan, in 1987, directed against the wall then dividing the eastern and western portions of the city of Berlin — “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!” A similarly artificial and oppressive divide separates the realms of faith and science, a wall that needs to be demolished.

An “artificial and oppressive divide”? Not really. If creationists have evidence, we’ll look at it. If their “theories” make testable predictions, we’ll test them. Otherwise, they’re in Time Cube territory. Anyway, Klinghoffer says:

That’s the provocative thesis of the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, to be held just two months from now, January 18-19, 2019. Join philosopher of science Stephen Meyer [a Discoveroid senior fellow], radio host and bestselling author Eric Metaxas, theologian and Privileged Planet author Jay Richards, and Rice University synthetic organic chemist James Tour [praised by Jack Chick — see James Tour at the Jack Chick Website] as we breach the fabled wall.

Skipping a paragraph with links about registration and pricing, he tells us:

Whether science can cast light on the eternally urgent questions [Like what?] has been a subject of debate by philosophers going back to the Middle Ages and beyond. It’s also, obviously, very much of the moment today. From the announcement of the event by Discovery Institute:

[He quotes his Discoveroid masters:] According to a nationwide survey, more than two-thirds of atheists and one-third of agnostics believe that “the findings of science make the existence of God less probable,” while nearly half of self-identified theists believe “the findings of science are neutral with regard to the existence of God.” But what if there is another option? [Ooooooooooooh!] What if the discoveries of science actually lend support to belief in God?

That has never happened, despite creationist claims to the contrary. So now they’re having a whole conference about that creationist clunker. He continues:

At the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, we’ll tackle subjects including “The Return of the God Hypothesis,” “The Miracle of the Universe,” “The Privileged Planet,” “The Mystery of the Origin of Life,” and “Darwin’s Doubt.” There will be plenty of opportunities for the audience to participate — questioning, challenging, and learning from a group of stellar scholars. [Hee hee!] Find the full schedule here. [Link omitted.]

Wowie — just what you were looking for! Let’s read on:

One view, favored in the media and academia, says that faith stands separate from science, or that science has displaced faith. [The fools!] For religious believers, the timid option seeks to shelter one’s religion, walling it off from either scientific challenge or scientific support. [Cowards!] Another perspective seeks validation of religious doctrines and treats science as a resource to back those up.

Is there any other option? Yes! Here it comes:

But the most daring and dynamic possibility asserts the value of a genuine conversation. It extends respect to faith and science and seeks to learn what we can from both, following the evidence wherever it leads. Now that is exciting.

Are you excited, dear reader? Of course you are. Klinghoffer tells you what to do:

Please consider participating in this important event. The location is the Park Cities Baptist Church [Perfect location!], Dallas, TX. But do take action before December 14!

If you decide to go, tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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83 responses to “Discoveroids: The Wall Between Faith & Science

  1. Of course, it was Klinghoffer’s side that built the wall that nobody wanted and wasn’t needed, it was built on the wrong site, millions of people walk past the wall without realizing it’s even there, and everyone wonders what the heck ol’ Crazy Dave’s yammering on about again. Sounds more like Trump’s wall than the Berlin Wall.

    Otherwise, a spot on analogy.

  2. Also, there’s some amazing article over at EN that totally vindicates Behe and the rest, and also proves ID once and for all but nobody has the guts to talk about it.

    (Don’t worry, KevinC, I’ve got you covered. I just saved you 45 minutes!)

  3. Other subjects explored at the conference Klinghoffer failed to mention:

    — “Denying Darwin’s Darwinian Darwinness — How to capitalize on Darwin’s
    name to sell your Useless Book.

    — “Reconciling Faith and Science — on Faith’s terms.”

    — “The Return of the Return of the Return of the Failed God Hypothesis.”

    — “Re-writing History: Kitzmiller vs Dover.”

  4. The Usual Suspects get together for another “Conference on Science and Faith”. Religion celebrates, Science (and the general public) does not even notice it happened. Preaching to the choir, much? Net effect: zero.

  5. Of course the Dumb Idiots want no wall between faith and science, just like they want no wall between church and state. The only place for walls is between mutually contradicting tenets of the faith. Only a (eccch-p’too!) rationalist would think different, and they’ll change their tune, come The Day.

  6. Take an example of a scientific explanation which has achieved consensus acceptance. Then give us an example of an alternative explanation involving the supernatural. Then there would be something to talk about. Only then. Short of that, all talk is idle.

  7. Michael Fugate

    Park Cities Baptist – what do they believe?
    We believe in the authority and holy inspiration of Scripture. The Bible was written by men [definitely not women and certainly not by someone who is nonbinary] divinely inspired and is the record of Gods[sic] revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction [if someone doesn’t agree, kill them]. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth [I wonder how they define this?], without any mixture of error, for its matter.

    Man and woman were created by the special act of God [but not intersexes or the transgendered], in His own image [then where did females come from?], and is the crowning work of His creation [then why does the Bible say he regretted creating humans? Like the Edsel was the crowning achievement of the Ford Motor Company?].

  8. There has been a persistent note of desperation in DI communications over the past few months. They’ve already vacillated on the question of the identity of the “designer”. Now they hold “this important event” (their words, not mine) at a Baptist Church. I mean, it’s not like Dallas would be short of venues to hold an event.

    The DI has come out of the closet.

  9. Cruzing in Victory

    @Mark Germano thanks for the time saving assist. However you forgot to mention TSM’s cherrypicking of ENV articles will further corroborate Darwin Devolves. Their usual drivel notwithstanding, the silence from the Curmbots will be equally entertaining. But I’ve got my popcorn ready.

    @TomS I’ve preordered my copy of Sober’s The Design Argument

  10. “Those are the historic words of Ronald Reagan”
    Isn’t it heart warming that Klinkleclapper has the same hero as our dear SC? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist – I immediately admit that this is an unfair cheapo).

    “Otherwise, they’re in Time Cube territory.”
    The point of Klinkleclapper of course it that he wants to tear down the wall between the natural territory that can be and is researched with scientific methods and TC territory. Apparently our dear SC isn’t thrilled by this idea; neither am I.

    “That’s the provocative thesis of …..”
    Eh? Since when are “provocative” and “badly outdated” synonyms? Up to at least 1750 this thesis was part of scientific consensus.

    “It’s also, obviously, very much of the moment today. From the announcement of the event by Discovery Institute”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! Some IDiot announcing something doesn’t exactly make something “eternally urgent”.

    “But the most daring and dynamic possibility”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! The IDiots from Seattle have repeated ad nauseam the same debunked clunkers for more than 20 years now! The growth of a sequoia is more dynamic than IDiocy.

    “asserts the value of a genuine conversation.”
    Yeah, that’s why only IDiots are allowed to “lecture”.

  11. @Hrafn is a pessimist: “Net effect: zero.”
    Well, at least Klinkleclapper’s propaganda of the conference gave me a few good laughs.

    @TomS is modest today: “Then give us an example of an alternative explanation involving the supernatural.”
    Let them theists first reach say 85% consensus about that alternative explanation. Then we may talk.

    @Tedinoz misrepresents the IDiots from Seattle: “The DI has come out of the closet.”
    Of course not. They have been Expelled from the scientific discourse and hence have no choice but seeking church asylum.

  12. “following the evidence wherever it leads.”

    I do not understand. If I believe in God on faith, I do not need evidence. If I am convinced of the existence of God by arguments from (say) fine tuning or privileged planet or biocomplexity, I do not need faith.

    Or are they asking us to have faith that the existence of God can be established by their evidence?

  13. @Cruzing
    Let me know if you discover any way of addressing Paley’s puzzle about how it makes sense for the omnipotent to be constrained by design.

  14. Cruzing in Victory

    @TomS Unlikely to discover that in Sober’s book. No? Don’t you plan on reading it also?

  15. @FrankB
    Yes, I am modest on this point. I do not seek even a minimum consensus. Even just a hint, a wisp of idea that can be provisionally entertained. After all, it isn’t as if there has been any work expended on positive results in this area. What can one expect?

  16. @Paul Braterman
    The traditional position has been:
    Faith seeking understanding.

  17. @TomS, thanks. What does that mean?

  18. Cruzing in Victory

    Or has it slipped your mind that it was Sober’s book you were so anxious to read?

  19. @Paul Braterman
    The Stanford Ecyclopedia of Philosophy has a brief discussion of the phrase in their article on Saint Anselm, section 2.1
    There is a huge literature on that phrase. In Latin: Fides quaerens intellectum.

  20. Hey, KevinC, you didn’t answer the question TomS asked.

  21. Regarding the wall between science and Oogity Boogity, there’s a much more appropriate historical quote than Reagan’s. Reagan was right, the Berlin Wall should have been torn down. But some walls are necessary. I’m thinking of what Cicero said in his First Oration Against Catiline:

    “As, then, this is the case, O Catiline, continue as you have begun. Leave the city at least; the gates are open; depart. That Manlian camp of yours has been waiting too long for you as its general. And lead forth with you all your friends, or at least as many as you can; purge the city of your presence; you will deliver me from a great fear, when there is a wall between you and me. Among us you can dwell no longer — I will not bear it, I will not permit it, I will not tolerate it.”

  22. Regan?

    Don’t you mean “Goneril”?

  23. Thanks, @TomS

    Anselm, not, as I had wrongly imagined, Aquinas. Claiming that his arguments for the existence of God should convnce an ntelligent unbeliever, and he states what he regards as the defining attributes of God:

    “If anyone does not know, either because he has not heard or because he does not believe, that there is one nature, supreme among all existing things, who alone is self-sufficient in his eternal happiness, who through his omnipotent goodness grants and brings it about that all other things exist or have any sort of well-being, and a great many other things that we must believe about God or his creation, I think he could at least convince himself of most of these things by reason alone, if he is even moderately intelligent. (M 1)”

    One may not end up accepting his claim, but it is at least clearly stated. How very unlike today’s creationists.

  24. Very sly, Megalonyx. Yes, I committed a typo (which is now fixed).

  25. All Praise Be to the Great and Beneficent Hand of Correction!

  26. Hey Mark Germano, I don’t think I was directly asked a question by TomS although I asked him 2 questions which have yet to be answered.

  27. What wall is there between faith and science? Does scientific work even make sense without faith in its unverifiable presuppositions? We all walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). Our goal should be to embrace a reasonable faith (Is. 1:18).

    I think it would be more constructive to build a wall between science and history. The distinction is often blurred, leading to confusion. Whatever should be on the science side of the wall is no more controversial among creationists than it is within the general community of scientists. The origins controversy rages when scientists take off their scientist hat, put on their historian hat, speculate about origins and the ancient, unobservable history of life on earth, and imagine that this work is still somehow in the realm of science. A scientist who is a creationist or likes ID theory could do this too. Curmudgeon, build that wall!

  28. He asks you the same question every time you show up. But, you’re right, this time it wasn’t in the form of a question. So I guess you got me.

  29. I don’t understand why anyone would be interested in my reading list, or my religion, or my shirt collar size.

  30. I’m interested in none of the above. You mentioned Sober’s book a while back so I thought I’d read it and pick it apart. Something no one here would dare attempt with Behe’s book.

  31. Michael Fugate

    But if you invent a god to do all the things you like, then you have to invent another one to do all those you don’t. Then another for those on the fence. I think one could conclude that the human brain is fine-tuned for inventing agents – hey didn’t that bush just move?

    You can read Sober’s argument here:
    And all the other philosophical papers that laugh at the “probability theory” of creationists.

  32. Michael Fugate

    I have read Behe’s books, Well’s books, Meyer’s books, the inane book on Theistic Evolution. The science is crap, the philosophy is crap, the theology is even crap.

    But I am sure the DI will be jumping on this – proving that God speaks! or is is goD?

  33. @KelvinC: ” I don’t think ….”
    This part of your sentence is completely correct. The rest totally not.

    “Something no one here would dare attempt with Behe’s book.”
    As if it contains anything new that hasn’t been picked apart a gazillion times.

    @TomG butchers his own language: “Does scientific work even make sense without faith in its unverifiable presuppositions?”
    Faith in scientific presuppositions doesn’t makes sense. Trusting them does. Good job demonstrating you don’t understand the difference between faith and trust; shame on you for needing a Dutchman like me to point this out to you. My native language unfortunately doesn’t make this distinction.

    “I think it would be more constructive to build a wall between science and history.”
    For creacrappers it would indeed. For mentally healthy people far less so. Historical research uses methodological naturalism just like say physics. Philosophy of science recognizes three levels if methodology. On the most general level, the one that concerns philosophy of science, historical research is the same as research in physics.
    Of course you would prefer research of physicists at the Big Bang being called history ie non-science as well. Unfortunately that wall of yours is artificial and largely imaginary. Evidence for the Big Bang, something especially YECers avoid to discuss like the plague, is just as observational and repeatable as any lab experiment.

  34. @Michael Fugate, a wonderful article. Here’s an extract:

    There have been several occasions, says Cheng, when the animal communicator’s advice has proved eerily accurate. For example: “I had a cat who was having a breathing problem and the owner spoke to an animal communicator, who said the cat needed acupuncture.”

  35. Well this IS a surprise! Michael Fugate, TSC’s resident poo stabber, has read Behe’s books. Let’s see if you’re telling the truth MF.

    What is the very limited trait p. falciparum has evolved to deal with the mutation that causes sickle cell disease?

    Nobody help him.

  36. The fact remains that no one has proposed an alternative explanation for the sort of things that evolutionary biology gives an explanation for. Whatever puzzles that remain about evolutionary biology, even if there were a fatal flaw, there is no alternative waiting to take its place.
    For example, Behe wrote, in”Darwin’s Black Box”, p. 5
    “For the record, I have no particular reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all arganisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no reason to doubt it.”
    And one of the analogies in his book, on pages 13-14, is about “Little Jumps, Big Jumps”.
    “Suppose a 4-foot-wide ditch in your backyard …” and find your neighbor on your side of the ditch, explaining, “I jumped over the ditch.” Behe tells us that that is OK. But
    “If the “ditch” were actually a canyon 100 feet wide …” and Behe goes on to say that the neighbor’s explanations have become unbelievable. But Behe does not tell us what he, Behe, is going to propose as an explanation for the neighbor’s crossing of the ditch. What if the neighbor said, by way of explanation, “A spirit carried me over”, – no, wait, rather – the neighbor says, “I got over the ditch by intelligent design”.
    OK, so my neighbor doesn’t want to tell me what happened.
    Elsewhere. Behe has expanded on that lack of explanation
    “Possible candidates for the role of designer include: the God of Christianity; an angel—fallen or not; Plato’s demi-urge; some mystical new age force; space aliens from Alpha Centauri; time travelers; or some utterly unknown intelligent being.” “The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis,” Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2001), p. 165.

  37. Karl Goldsmith

    “What if the discoveries of science actually lend support to belief in God?” So the designer is God! They sound more like Ken Ham all the time. I see that new book Darwin Devolves seems to just be the creationist argument as used in Bacterial Resistance, it’s all just deletion mutations in various genes.

  38. Michael Fugate

    Another Sober paper What Is Wrong With Intelligent Design

    And another link to the earlier one The Design Argument

    What say you – anonymous ID supporter?

  39. Cruzzie, Tommy! Am I glad to see you! Klingy told me he was sending in the troops. A word of advice… they can get a bit bored ‘round here when you just run the company line. They’ve twigged to ‘Brandolini’s Law’ -you know the one, Klingy goes on about it all the time. So they’re getting a bit Bolshie and they’re more likely to ask for some scientific data than sayin’ they’ll read this book or that.

    Hey, boys, see ya in Dallas, eh!

  40. Michael Fugate

    So Kelvin – I am supposed to have memorized a book written 10 years ago? The “Edge” spends most of the book discussing malaria. Plasmodium can alter its antigenic diversity and evade our immune system. Plasmodium binds to RBCs and invades – if it avoided invading HbS containing RBCs that would be a means to not be killed; as it would invade non-sickling RBCs only.

    You will notice that both of his previous books are books of speculation not experiment not test. It is very clear that he just really doesn’t want evolution to be true and he is trying to justify that want to himself. Good things come from intelligence and bad things come from nature. Which is why things like weapons are good things, right?

  41. Michael Fugate
    Sean Carroll on “Edge”.

    And this from Nick Matzke – sums it up
    Criticism: Behe is driven not by science but by his mistaken but obsessive-held view that evolution is “random” in a metaphysical sense meaning “purposeless.” Behe’s reply: “Wasn’t it Darwin himself, we are constantly assured, who based his theory on ‘random’ variation?” Surreply: The word “random” does not appear in the Origin of Species. Search for yourself. Darwin based his theory on natural selection, which is nonrandom. The source of variation was unknown. But thanks to Behe for proving my point – for him, evolution = randomness = purposelessness = no God or meaning of life, this is precisely why he keeps playing the same old game: set up an all-at-once chance event as if it were a good model for a gradual evolutionary process operating under the guidance of natural selection, then declare the all-at-once chance event wildly improbable, then infer ID and thereby rescue the world from the purposelessness which is somehow produced by mere description of a physical process.

  42. Some thoughts about “random”.
    Mendel, I believe, did introduce chance into genetics. If one is worried about randomness, then one should be looking for an alternative to Mendelian genetics. Or about the randomness in which sperm makes it to the ovum first. Or the randomness in ordinary life, how it came to be that one’s grandparents got together. How it was that one’s great-great-grandfather survived the Battle of the Somme; or how one’s great-great-grandmother survived the Epidemic of the Flue.
    But then, what is “an act of God” but uncontrollable chance? What regularities does God obey in creation?
    “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11

  43. Michael Fugate

    Not to mention, chemistry (Behe’s supposed area of expertise) relies on random movement of molecules. Yet, we can detect evolution because of deviations from random death and random mating. Go figure.

  44. Not to mention that of course IDiots use the word “random” in an ambiguous way – quite often they actually mean “caused without a purpose or intention”.

  45. “So Kelvin – I am supposed to have memorized a book written 10 years ago?”
    Wow! I didn’t expect that answer. Hee hee

    It is now painfully obvious that Michael Fugate has not read The Edge of Evolution so I throw the question open to all Curmbots (especially those who fancy themselves “scientists”:

    What is the very limited trait p. falciparum has evolved to deal with the mutation that causes sickle cell disease?

    C’mon people. This isn’t difficult.

  46. A: It was intelligently designed

  47. @KelvinC: the only thing that’s painfully obvious is that things go terribly wrong for you as soon as you start trying to think. For one thing scientists have better things to do then reading all crap your hero Behe has produced: namely doing science.
    I’ve a question for you. When and where did your hero Behe admit that according to his views astrology is science too?

  48. It has been a long time since I read “the Edge of Evolution”, but as I recall the argument that Behe puts forth about malaria, it struck me at thw time that he was pointing out the “arms races” between (1) evolution of humans of defenses against malaria (2) design by humans of defense against malaria and (3) evolution of malaria to counter defnses. As I recall, Behe pointed out that:
    (2) vs. (3), design vs. evolution, evolution has repeatedly won. Every time that humans have cleverly designed defenses against malaria,, malaria evolved a counter
    (1) vs. (3), evolution vs. evolution. Such as sickle-cell mutation against malaria. If my recollection is correct, Behe didn’t point to a victory for malaria against sickle-cell.
    In brief, Behe’s text struck me at the time that it was confirming “Orgel’s Second Rule”: Evolution is cleverer than you are.

  49. @FrankB
    IMHO Behe is sincere, too sincere for the defense of creationism. As I recall, the point that he was trying to make about astrology was a valid point, but expressed in an unfortunate way. At one time, astrology was accepted by many people, many people would refer to it as “scientia” (“knowledge”), and it dealt with observable phenomena (as well as unobservable, even unreal, penomena). Astrology could project the motions of the heavens, both to the past (such as at the moment of one’s birth, at the place of one’s birth – the place being a factor because of the globe shape of the Earth).
    When I read Behe’s books, I was often struck by this naive sincerity. As Behe was laying out his arguments, he has this unfortunate tendency to tell us, inadvertently, about things which called into question “intelligent design”. A friend of mine from way back when, told me that he was sympathetic to “intelligent design”, but hadn’t read much about it. So he read “Darwin’s Black Box”, and became a supporter of evolution.

  50. @Mark Germano – wrong

    @FrankB offers this lame challenge (being void of other ideas no doubt)

    “When and where did your hero Behe admit that according to his views astrology is science too?”

    Behe’s testimony included this of which you are apparently unaware:

    There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless would fit that — which would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and many other — many other theories as well.

    Yes astrology has gone the way of ether, immovable continents (what was the consensus at the time plate tectonics was proposed?) and eventually your precious creation myth THE MULTIVERSE!!!!.

    @TomS – So you read EoE too. okaaaaay. Behe explicitly rejected the characterization of the conflict between malaria and humans as an “arms race”. If Behe’s text struck you at the time that it was confirming Orgel’s Second Rule, you weren’t paying attention…or didn’t finish the book.

  51. @Michael Fugate
    I read Sean Carroll’s review of EoE you linked to. He should be embarrassed. I wonder if he ever asked Science to retract it once Behe and others responded to it.

    You did read Behe’s response. Right?
    Who am I kidding? 🙂

  52. Yeah, so he explicitly rejected that.
    Of course, saying that one explicitly rejects such-and-such is not enough.
    His arguments very often work against the point that he is trying to make.
    Anyway, once again you are trying to change the subject.

  53. Michael Fugate

    Kelvin, On what basis should Carroll retract? Can you be less vague and more concrete? Something about science – which you obviously don’t understand. What point are you trying to make about EoE? Behe is not doing science – you did read the book didn’t you? It is just a sneer with some lame probability argument that would convince no one – except you.

  54. Michael Fugate

    Kelvin, this is your chance to shine. Lay out the “theory” of intelligent design for us – something that Behe didn’t do in EoE. All he did, and all ID has ever done, is say evolution can’t do X. It has never uttered a single word on how God oops ID can do X or did do X.

  55. The trait in question wasn’t intelligently designed? What’s this all about, then?

  56. Michael Fugate

    Kelvin? Please don’t keep me in suspense any longer – tell me this obscure factoid and its page number – I am sure it is important somehow.

  57. Michael Fugate

    Behe claims that there is no evolutionary arms race between Plasmodium and HbS. Why isn’t there one? What happens to the Plasmodium individuals who infect HbS humans? Do they survive to reproductive age? Do they reproduce? Are there still humans who don’t have HbS in the population? Why doesn’t everyone carry HbS?
    Can you answer all these questions, Kelvin?

  58. Mark Germano sums it all up perfectly:

    The trait in question wasn’t intelligently designed? What’s this all about, then?

    Thank you Mark. Lenin would have been proud of your usefulness. For those of you who haven’t read the book – that’s all of you including TomS and Michael Fugate – the subtitle of EoE is The Search for the Limits of Darwinism.
    Behe sets a well-documented, well-researched limit for what RM and NS can achieve. Darwinists’ faith-based belief is that the sky’s the limit.

    Oh boy! A new email heralding another great article by TSB. I wonder if he’ll be reporting on how Nathan Lents will be reviewing Darwin Devolves. Fingers crossed.

  59. “Can you answer all these questions, Kelvin?”
    I can because I ready the book. Good grief

    Are these rhetorical questions?

  60. And Behe, in supposing to find the limits of evolution, gives us examples of the limits of intelligent design when faced with evolution.
    Of course there are limits to evolution. Evoltion is subject to the laws of nature. Evolution cannot make use of nutronium-organesson chemistry.
    Limits to intelligent design? I would not dare to sugest my own ideas. Leave it to Behe to give us examples.

  61. Was the trait in question intelligently designed or not?

  62. Michael Fugate

    When these intelligent designers need to make two simultaneous mutations, do they just know which ones to make by intuition or by a comprehensive understanding of every protein tertiary structure possible or do they need to use trial and error like we would – trying out each possible combination to see if it is better or worse? Once you answer, tell how you know which one it is.

  63. Michael Fugate

    So try Kelvin to answer, let’s see if you understood the book and understand evolution.

  64. It is, at any rate, another red herring, whether Behe or Kelvin understand anything.
    The main point is that, whatever weakknesses evolutionary biology has – and to be sure, there are problems, for that is what keeps evolutionary biologists busy – it is a very strong discipline, which explains very much, and has very good experimental and theoretical backing – and no one has ever suggested an alternative explanation.
    In particular, no one has described “intelligent design”, who does/did it, what happens, when and where it happens, why or how it results in the variety of life. One small point being that no one has managed, as far I know, to address the issue that William Paley raised (and tried to answer, but failed) about what sense it means for an unconstrained agent to resort to constraints.
    In the case of “irreducible complexity”, someting like it has been around for 300 years and has not been fruitful. The last I’ve heard, Behe has admitted that it needs some work.

  65. Michael Fugate

    But it is a teachable moment for Kelvin – he has a platform to demonstrate to us how ID works. He never explains anything – we ask why the pieces at the DI site support intelligent design or why they excite him and we get no explanation – just snark.

    He just evaded my questions – which he claims he could easily answer – but he doesn’t even try. I am becoming convinced that it is all hat and no cattle when it come to our dear Kelvin – as they say, but I guess that applies to all of ID.

  66. …that applies to all of ID

  67. @Mark Germano
    There is no trait. That’s the point. After ten thousand years and a population of 10^23 organisms, malaria is stumped at how to evolve a solution to evade sickle cell trait/disease. A single point mutation (HbS) and Darwinism can’t overcome it. Orgel’s Second Rule indeed.

  68. @Michael Fugate
    Intelligent design is not necessary to acquire simultaneous mutations. Darwinian processes are sufficient to obtain such mutations. Your “gotcha” question is further proof that you really didn’t read the book. I’ll leave you to wallow in your own ignorance. Happy Thanksgiving!

  69. Thank you for confirming my memory of Behe’s book of some 10 years ago. As memory is so fallible, it is always good to have confirmation or disconfirmation. You say that the sickle cell mutation dates to 10,000 years ago. The latest I’ve read says 7300 years. No big deal, but I’d like to get a verifiable number.

  70. You’re right. No big deal. Especially when you consider it took Orgel’s Second Rule at least 50,000 years to kick in and find the single point mutation of HbS in our genome.

    Wow! Ain’t Darwinian evolution grand!!

  71. No one believes that there is no limit to evolution. Despite billions of years of evolution, no form of life has evolved, nor is expected to evolve, anti-gravity.
    Behe’s examples tell us about the limits of intelligent design, and that design can fall short of evolution: All of the designs against malaria have so far been beaten by evolution. Intelligent design has not been able to produce life from scratch. Outside of the world of biology, Wikipedia has several lists, such as
    “List of visionary tall buildings and structures”,where intelligent design is not enough to make something.
    Of course, no one has addressed the question:
    Who has done what, when and where, how or why intelligent design results in the variety of life on Earth.
    And I’m still waiting for someone to attempt an answer to Paley’s question, other than Paley’s own obviously flawed attempt.

  72. Michael Fugate

    So the book had no point – is that it? or was it merely to show that Behe doesn’t understand evolution?

    Because neither you nor Behe could answer my simple questions, it is no wonder you don’t understand why Plasmodium has not evolved in response to HbS. And your comment to TomS, verifies that.

    Are you ever going to tell us how ID works? No, I thought not.

  73. Michael Fugate

    And since Kelvin has the book memorized, I don’t remember much about population genetic modeling in it. Changes in HbS frequencies, selection coefficients, etc. There was hypothetical adaptive landscape, but it was there for show not for any relevance.
    Can you tell me the fitness of Plasmodium infecting different individuals?
    Fitness of Homo genotypes with and without malaria?
    You can if Behe discusses it and you read it, no?
    Help me out here tell me how malaria proves ID.

  74. I try, mostly, to avoid making this personal.
    (One of the reasons being that I am all too aware of my own faults.)
    So I prefer to observe that there is no descripton of how ID works. Why it works. When, where. What happens when it works, Who, if anyone or anything, works ID.
    Of course, making ID a secret means that it’s difficult to criticize it. So when an advocate of ID bothers to say something about ID, it makes a tempting target. There is no shame in not being able to telll us anyting about ID. Lots of very clever people over the years have not been able to.

  75. Michael Fugate

    I think I get it now. The reason that Plasmodium has not evolved a solution to HbS is because God keeps it from happening. Every time a beneficial mutation pops up, God squashes it. Saving us. We do have something to be thankful today.

  76. Michael Fugate

    Then why advocate for something you don’t understand?
    He has yet to tell us what is in the book – perhaps because there isn’t anything?

  77. @Michael Fugate
    Now there’s an exercise in futility: arguing over a book you never read.

    Why you think Paley’s “puzzle” is a showstopper for ID is somewhat mystifying. So a designer working within the constraints of his own laws is a bullet to the brain for ID? Is that correct?

    Let’s do a thought experiment and see if the converse helps at all.

    In our thought experiment, we go back to the moment of creation. Seeing how his beloved creature, TomS, has him boxed into a corner with an airtight argument, our hapless designer ponders a new universe. An obvious dunce, our omniscient designer – Blessed be he – gives epsilon the value of 0.006 instead of the current value of 0.007. As such, our new universe is comprised entirely of hydrogen…typical know-nothing designer

    Anyway, being omnipotent, our designer is still able to somehow create a world where TST hosts a snoozefest blog and all his Curmbot reprobates faithfully contribute with their vacuous comments.

    From time to time in hyrdo-universe hydro-Tom will interject that hydro-Paley’s hydro-puzzle has not been answered. “After 200 hydro-years,” says hydro-Tom with an air of hydro-triumph, “no one has been able to answer his hydro-puzzle.”

    And what would the hero of our story proclaim? “So you see,” continues hydro-Tom, “he can’t be much of a hydro-designer if he can only create anything meaningful outside the constraints of his own laws.”

    Sorry TomS. Your showstopper is a non-starter

  78. @KekvinC
    You did not describe a design.

    For example, you said that the agent has specified epsilon=0.006 and therefore the universe is comprised entirely of hydrogen. Why? Is the agent constrained by the value of epsilon?
    There is no reason why an omnipotent agent would chose any value of epsilon, for his omnipotence makes any mixture of elements equally possible. As well as any mixture of elements consistent with life, or whatever goal that the agent wats.
    You haven’t made sense out of the agent designing the value of epsilon. Not even that there is such a thing as epsilon.
    Yuo have started your scenario with a moment of creaton. Why is there a moment of creation? Why design moments of time?
    You are imposing on the agent some vague concept of “design”. But in saying that there is a moment of creation, and that there are consequences of the design, that is enough to put constraints on the agent.

  79. Sorry TomS. Your questions are IMHO completely childish and ridiculous.

    “Why is there a moment of creation?” Are you for real? Have you completely convinced yourself that your incoherent questions are actually refuting theism? You do your side no favors by posing such questions.

    I read your comment to a friend of mine (Ivy league educated) and after 3 repeats he still doesn’t know what the lake of fire you’re talking about.

    No worries. We’ll have more to talk about when Behe’s book comes out.

  80. I am not refuting theism.
    I am impressed that a friend of yours is Ivy league educated.
    I can accept that I can’t write clearly, which is why I often quote William
    “Why resort to contrivance, where power is omnipotent? Contrivance, by its very definition and nature, is the refuge of imperfection. To have recourse to expedients, implies difficulty, impediment, restraint, defect of power.”

    Why is there a moment of creation? I assume that an Ivy League education will, somewhere, bring up the ancient question about the “Eternity of the world” (see Wikipedia and elsewhere).

  81. Michael Fugate

    Clearly you haven’t read it eIther. So it is a standoff. Get back to us when you have something to add about the designer. It is clear that you, have nothing to back ID.
    I just listened to that amazing video by Stephen Meyer on the bacterial flagellum, what impressed you? Was it that he never mentioned the studies he claimed backed Behe? Was it his description of when where how and why the designer made the flagellum de novo? Or was it his claim that all evolution like Behe’s thesis in EoE (which you haven’t read) that because HbS is non-beneficial always, then it is representative of all non-directed evolution?

  82. As long as we have the intelligence of an Ivy Leaguer, there is the observation of Immanuel Kant, in speaking of the Physico-Theological Proof (his name for the Argument from Design):
    “This proof can at most, therefore, demonstrate the existence of an architect of the world, whose efforts are limited by the capabilities of the material with which he works, but not of a creator of the world, to whom all things are subject.” Critique of Pure Reason A 627, B 655

  83. @Michael Fugate
    This is one of the reasons that I don’t like to get into personalities. Who cares who read which book? Or who went to which schools?) The question is, is there a coherent concept of “Intelligent Design” whch can offer an alternative to evolutionary biology in explaining the diversity of life on Earth? (Or even, is there a coherent concept of “Intelligent Design” which applies to the omnipotent or the supernatural? Or whch does not assume dependency on the laws of nature?)