Creationist Wisdom #1,032: Behe and Galileo

Today’s letter-to-the-editor — like so many lately — appears in the Concord Monitor of Concord, the state capital of New Hampshire. It’s titled Science supports intelligent design, and they don’t have a comments feature.

As with the two letters we wrote about in #1,029: Double Drool, this one is also responding to Evolution Is a Fact.

In fact, it was written by Joseph, who wrote one of those two earlier letters. Because he isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. Excerpts from his new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

In his Jan. 28 letter, Russell Rowland said that evolution was a fact. Not only was the title of the letter “Evolution is a fact,” he also reiterated that claim in the text of his letter. [That’s discussed in our “Double Drool” post.] In a Feb. 8 letter, Jim Seidel said that not only does a majority of the scientific community reject Michael Behe’s analysis but his own biology department at Lehigh University rejected his analysis.

We often point out and link to the Lehigh rejection of Behe’s “science.” Here it is again: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. Joseph isn’t impressed, and he tells us why:

What Seidel did not say was that the biology department did not have an answer to refute Behe. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] Are we going to repeat the mistake of the 17th-century at a cost to our student population?

What 17th century mistake is Joseph talking about? He explains:

In 1633, Galileo studied the scientific research of Copernicus. Copernicus, through mathematics, theorized that the Earth revolved around the sun – heliocentric theory. Galileo wrote his research substantiating that theory.

Yes, but Galileo didn’t make a mistake The Inquisition did — see Galileo affair. So what’s Joseph talking about? He continues:

Because the scientific community overwhelming refuted Galileo’s analysis [What?], he was reported to the political power of the day, the pope. Galileo was tried and convicted of heresy. The pope agreed to not have Galileo hanged if he agreed not to publish his analysis.

The scientists were against Galileo, and the Pope was lenient? That’s Joseph’s understanding of what happened? And Behe’s situation is analogous to Galileo’s? This is far more amazing than we expected. Let’s read on:

I can take you up to the top of a hill in my town and prove, with the naked eye, that the sun revolves around the Earth. [He can “prove” it?] But we all know that is not true.

There may be hope for Joseph. He doesn’t think the Sun orbits the Earth. Here’s the end of his letter:

Do justice to our students and teach intelligent design theory alongside of evolution and let them decide for themselves how they got here.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We were wrong. There’s no hope for the guy at all. Great letter for our collection, however.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

8 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,032: Behe and Galileo

  1. “If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon, but does not generate even an attempt at an explanation, then it should be banished.”
    Michael Behe
    Darwin’s Black Box
    p. 186

  2. I’ve asked this here before, can anyone explain how Behe got promoted to Full Professor?

  3. I think it happened before he converted to ID.

  4. @CS, I’m not sure when he was promoted to Full Professor, but in the acknowledgements to my copy of Of Pandas and People he is listed as Associate Professor. I’m not sure if those acknowledgements referred to the date of the first edition (1989) or the second (1993). Behe wrote the section on the mechanism of blood clotting for the second edition. Darwin’s Black Box was 1996, and he is listed as “Professor of biochemistry” on the back of my 1998-vintage Touchstone paperback.

    All of this leaves me uncertain as to the exact sequence of events, but the list of references in his Wikipedia entry shows that he was publishing genuinely scientific journals about details of DNA structure (which of themselves give no clue to his thinking about ID or evolution) as late as 1998. It could well be that his colleagues decided, even after he had been identified with ID-style criticism of naturalistic evolution, that his record of other research, not tainted by this issue, was weighty enough to justify promotion.

    If I have been one of the colleagues involved in that decision, and if the situation is as I hypothesise, I suspect that I would have suppressed my urge to show him the instruments, force him to recant, and confine him to house arrest, and voted in favour of promotion.

  5. I don’t have any information about Lehigh or Behe, but I have heard that some schools make the promotion to full professor automatic upon a fixed period of years. Most schools, I believe, make it contingent on performance, usually in research.

  6. @TomS, I have never heard of such a promotion being automatic. There may be a strong presumption that anyone who successfully made the cut for promotion from assistant to associate, and thereby earned tenure, would all being well make it to full professor in six years or not much more, provided always that the research programme remained vigorous, but some people whose research languishes remain permanently as associate Professor

  7. “The pope agreed to not have Galileo hanged if he agreed not to publish his analysis.”
    Aha, that’s why Dialogo was published in 1632, a year before the trial, and Discorsi in 1638. Already at this point I’ve lost all hope for Joe.

    “the scientific community overwhelming refuted Galileo’s analysis”
    Joe perhaps means “rejects”, because indeed the scientific consensus at that time was the Tychonic System (I refer to Wikipedia), which quite unscientifically was totally neglected by Galilei. In that sense contemporary scientists indeed were against him.
    But such things – and especially how and why later scientists accepted Galilei’s model (and next generations rejected it again) fly way beyond Joe’s creacrap head.

  8. Michael Fugate

    Scientists have been wrong in the past, therefore they are wrong about evolution or anything else you don’t want to be true. So easy.