A week ago I described here at UD my debate with atheist Lewis Wolpert. A blogger who goes by “Manic Street Preacher” sent me three unsolicited emails about his reaction to the debate, which was not positive. Denyse O’Leary briefly adverted to this blogger here.
I finally had a look at what this blogger wrote. I can’t say I was impressed with the argumentation or erudition, but I do have to credit him for chutzpah. He writes (go here):
Dembski repeated the common straw man that scientists in Darwin’s day knew nothing about the inner workings of the cell, and thought that they were mere “blobs of protoplasm”. Well, Dembski should take a look this drawing out, which was made by Darwin himself:
See, they show the inner workings of the cell and clearly show its complexity. Scientists in Darwin’s time, in fact, had quite a good understanding of what cells were, and they were not simply “blobs of protoplasm”. This is yet another creationist hoax which is easily debunked.
I don’t mean to be argumentative, but the insides of the cells depicted here do look to me like blobs. But qualitative interpretations like this aside, the fact is that Darwin had no conception of molecular biology or the intricate nano-engineering that Michael Behe, for instance, describes in the cell. Moreover, it’s straightforward to examine the actual history of the scientific understanding of the cell to realize that the cell in Darwin’s time was conceived as simple, indeed so simple that it could spontaneously generate. Jonathan Wells and I describe some of this in HOW TO BE AN INTELLECTUALLY FULFILLED ATHEIST.
But perhaps the easiest way to see that “Manic Street Preacher” is blowing smoke is to do a search on “Bathybius Haeckelii” — slime dredged up from the ocean floor thought to be the primordial living matter. This proved to be a big embarrassment to Huxley and Haeckel. The details here are unimportant. What is important is that biologist of Huxley’s and Haeckel’s stature thought that life could be so simple as to be the result of this slime.
“Manic Street Preacher” reminds me of Joey Bishop in the movie A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN. Bishop, caught in flagrante delictu with another woman by his wife, denies all wrong doing (and, if he were a Darwinist, would accuse his wife of infidelity). Eventually, the wife, suitably cowed, accepts the denials and agrees that nothing happened. Well, here at UD we don’t let Darwinists get away with such nonsense. Darwin and his contemporaries didn’t have a clue about the complexity of the cell. History bears this out, Darwinian revisionism notwithstanding.