Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Behe and Irreducible Complexity — One More Time!

This one is hard to believe, but it popped up yesterday at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. The thing is titled Behe Answers Best Objections to Irreducible Complexity, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

On a new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe addresses what Philosophy for the People host Pat Flynn [Who?] considers some of the best objections to Behe’s central intelligent design argument.

You probably know who Michael Behe is, but for those who don’t, we’ll repeat what most of you already know. He’s not only a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, he’s also a tenured professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. His colleagues at Lehigh are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”.

Also, as most of you know, Behe was the Discoveroids’ star witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. We wrote about his catastrophic appearance there in Michael Behe’s Testimony. Remember that link, because we’ll refer to it soon.

Okay, back to the Discoveroids. They say:

As far back as the 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box [Link omitted!], Behe has argued that certain features in biology are irreducibly complex. That is, they require numerous essential parts, each carefully fitted to its task and integrated with the other parts, in order for the molecular machine or system to function at all.

Irreducibly complexity again? Groan! Wikipedia has a good article on it — see Irreducible complexity. Let’s move along. The Discoveroids tell us:

Two examples are the bacterial flagellum motor and the blood clotting cascade. Such systems are, in Behe’s words, irreducibly complex and could not have arisen through any blind and gradual evolution process. The better explanation for their origin: intelligent design.

This is exactly the same stuff Behe argued about way back in the Kitzmiller case. As we describe in our earlier post to which we already linked — his arguments were totally demolished. The Discoveroids continue:

Since Darwin’s Black Box became a bestseller a generation ago, Behe has attracted opponents in places high and low. Following the philosopher Alvin Plantinga, Flynn says that some of the attacks on Behe have been hysterical, but some have been more thoughtful.

Yes, Behe has attracted opponents. The big question is: Does he have any followers? (Other than his fellow Discoveroids, of course.) Ah well, let’s read on:

Flynn focuses the discussion on what he regards as some of the more substantive and interesting objections, beginning with one from a noted philosopher who is partly sympathetic to Behe’s work, Plantinga himself. Behe gamely responds. Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

And now we come to the end:

To see Behe’s responses to common and key objections collected in a single book book, get your copy of his newest book, A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael J. Behe Answers His Critics. [Amazon link.]

There’s not much we can say, except to remark that it’s rather amazing how Behe clings to his old and utterly rejected arguments. Well, he’s a Discoveroid, so what else would we expect?

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Can Life Start Without a Designer?

This one is really bizarre. We found it (where else?) at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. The thing is titled Energy Harnessing: Achilles Heel for the Origin of Life, and it has no author’s by-line. Why do we say it’s bizarre? Stay with us; you’ll soon find out. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Origin-of-life specialist [What?] Rob Stadler [Who?] joins a new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] to discuss the latest Long Story Short science video.

They say Stadler is an “origin-of-life specialist,” so maybe this will be interesting. Oh, wait — the word “specialist” before his name is a link to his book at Amazon: The Stairway To Life: An Origin-Of-Life Reality Check. We’ll get back to that later. Meanwhile, the Discoveroids tell us:

The cheeky video (below) investigates a problem that faces all materialist origin-of-life scenarios: To be viable, a cell must have sophisticated machinery, including ATP synthase, to turn raw energy into constructive energy.

That’s a problem of materialist origin-of-life scenarios. Obviously, supernatural scenarios don’t have those problems. Let’s see how the Discoveroids handle the situation. Their blog post continues:

But how could prebiotic chemicals harness raw energy on the way to evolving into a viable self-reproducing cell without first having the sophisticated machinery to harness raw energy and convert it to useful work? [Huh?] Are the energy sources that have been proposed for chemical evolution realistic?

They seem to be telling us that nothing could ever happen in Darwin’s “warm little pond.” Let’s read on:

In his conversation with host Eric Anderson, Dr. Stadler argues that, no, they aren’t. [Egad!] This isn’t the sort of hurdle that mindless natural processes can overcome, but it is precisely the sort of problem that a designing mind could solve.

Ah yes, a “designing mind” — that’s the answer! Or is it? Anyway, their post ends with this:

Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

That was certainly thrilling, but now let’s get back to Stadler’s book. Hey — we blogged about it two years ago — see There Is No Stairway to Life. The publisher is something called Evorevo Books. We couldn’t locate them then, and we still can’t. All Google hits on that name refer to this book and nothing else. Draw your own conclusions.

Okay, dear reader, we’re done here. Go ahead and watch the video. Then tell us all about it. We’ll be waiting.

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Behe Says Cats & Dogs Are Not Related

Once again, dear reader, we find our entertainment at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. We recently blogged about Michael Behe, one of their big-time geniuses — see Behe Says Astronomy and Biology Are Different — and now we’re doing it again.

The Discoveroids’ latest post featuring the great man is titled Behe Debates the Limits of Darwinian Evolution, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] wraps up a debate over evolution and intelligent design between Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe and Benedictine College theologian Michael Ramage.

Wowie — it’s a continuation of our last post! The Discoveroids say:

Both Behe and Ramage are Catholic, and they carry on their conversation in the context of Catholic thinking about nature and creation, in particular the work of Thomas Aquinas and contemporary Thomist philosophers.

That’s fascinating information. We never thought about Darwin’s work in that context before. The Discoveroids tell us:

Ramage seeks to integrate his Thomistic/personalist framework with modern evolutionary theory’s commitment to macroevolution and common descent.

Good luck with that! The post continues:

Behe doesn’t discount the possibility of common descent [A big concession from a Discoveroid!] but he lays out a case that any evolution beyond the level of genus — for instance, the separate families containing cats and dogs — cannot be achieved through mindless Darwinian mechanisms and, instead, would require the contributions of a designing intelligence.

Wow — that’s a wild performance of the “micro-macro mambo” — described in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Let’s read on:

Behe summarizes both the negative evidence against the Darwinian mechanism of change [Hee hee!] and the positive evidence in nature for intelligent design. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!]

That summary must have been a real ark-load! And now we come to the end:

Download the episode or listen to it here. [Link omitted]

Okay, dear reader — we know you’re going to watch Behe’s podcast. After you’ve recovered from what is certain to be a thrilling experience, come back here and tell us all about it.

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Behe Says Astronomy and Biology Are Different

Once again, we find our entertainment at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. Their blog entry is titled Michael Behe: It’s Not a Scientist’s Job to Be Led by Aesthetics, and it has no author’s by-line.

You known who Michael Behe is. He’s not only a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, he’s also a tenured professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. His colleagues at Lehigh are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. Also, as most of you know, Behe was the Discoveroids’ star witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. We wrote about his catastrophic appearance there in Michael Behe’s Testimony.

Here are some excerpts from the Discoveroids’ post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] continues the conversation between Catholic intelligent design biologist Michael Behe and Catholic theologian Matthew Ramage. [Whoever that is.]

What’s it all about? The Discoveroids tell us:

Both agree that nature points to a cosmic designer [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!], but Ramage says he prefers, on aesthetic grounds, the idea that the biological realm has the capacity, gifted by God, to evolve on its own without the need for intervention by God.

Egad, that sounds like blasphemy! Then what happened? The Discoveroids continue:

Behe notes that people have different aesthetic predilections, but it’s the scientist’s job not to figure out how he would have preferred things to have happened in nature, but to discover how they actually did come about.

Behe said that? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:

Behe also says that while the sun, moon, and stars do move according to fixed natural laws, it doesn’t follow from this that the many complex forms we find in biology arose purely through natural laws. The question of how they arose requires scientific investigation.

Right! Natural laws govern the firmament, while here on Earth, biology is governed by Oogity Boogity! And now we come to the end:

Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

Okay, dear reader — this sounds like a really wild discussion. How can you resist? If you watch the thing, come on back and tell us all about it.

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.