21 Replies to “ID has been very, very good to its critics

  1. 1
    dchammer says:

    So… All I can figure is that you must have ducked out during a party at the mansion, to go rifling through Heff’s desk with your 007 camera. Eh?

  2. 2
    late_model says:

    So Bill what was the mansion like?

  3. 3
    DaveScot says:

    They appear to have paid him by the pound. About $10 per…

  4. 4

    I think I’ll wait until the article appears in the “best of” article edition, sans pictures.

  5. 5
    Bombadill says:

    haha, good garsh.

  6. 6
    Mr Christopher says:

    I wonder how close it was to $200 an hour?

  7. 7
    Mr Christopher says:

    This is a weird post. I mean all the expert witnesses for the defense in the Dover trial were paid $100 an hour, Mr Dembski was paid $200 an hour (even though he did not testify).

    Everyone who has written a book on ID has been paid a royalty. Since when is getting paid to present your ideas bad? Mr Dembski himself said he would rather devote his time writing books over trying to get published in science journals, one reason he gave was book writing paid a royalty. Nothing wrong with that at all.

    Writers write articles and get paid for them (or at least hope to get paid for them). Why is that bad? That’s how a free market capitalist society works.

    Yes, for some people writing books or articles can pay off and allow one to even make a living at it. Why is that bad?

    And if ID advocates liek Dembski and Behe get paid for presnting their criticisms of Darwin, why should those who write articles/books criticizing ID not get paid?

    I am dissapointed in the spirit of this post.

  8. 8

    The capitalist in me smiles…

  9. 9
    keiths says:

    Excellent points, Mr. Christopher.

  10. 10
    Bombadill says:

    Mr Christopher, Dembski and Ruse are friends. They exchange emails and joke with one another. I think you are missing the humor in this.

  11. 11
    Bombadill says:

    Although they respectfully disagree, of course.

  12. 12

    Mr. Christopher: You are fast becoming boring and in danger of getting booted from this forum. Who do you think sent me the copy of the check? And in the email he himself remarked that “Intelligent Design is werry, werry good to me.” Lighten up and chill out. As for my cashing in on ID, I’ve admitted as much before and in the same terms: http://www.idthefuture.com/200.....to_id.html. Think of ID and evolution as an arms race in which the arms manufacturers on both sides cash in. Let that thought cheer you this holiday season.


  13. 13
    keiths says:


    I thought you had a mole in the Playboy office. 🙂

    It’s nice that you and Ruse are on good terms. I wish that were more generally true between the two sides of this debate.

  14. 14
    Mr Christopher says:

    Well guys I totally missed the punch line, my apologies. I thought if this guy was being critical of ID why not address his concerns (I do not read playboy so I have no idea what he said)

    Boot me if you wish but I saw not a hint of an inside joke. Without that hint it did appear to be knocking the guy for making money.

    But maybe I should lighten up. This whole trial thingy and the aftermath has obviously been bugging me. Some other guy asked that I be banned the first time or two I posted here. I don’t have a problem finding another place to voice my concerns. I’ll do that.

    Anyhow, merry Christmas!

  15. 15

    Mr. Christopher: No hard feelings. Stick around!

  16. 16
    Red Reader says:

    Just more evidence that philosophical naturalism has a moral agenda.

  17. 17
    DaveScot says:

    I’d like to point out I’ve never called Ruse a girly-man but given he’s been published in Playboy and all their [cough] content providers get at least one invite to a party at the mansion, and we haven’t yet heard of any associated debauchery, it raises certain questions…

  18. 18
    Benjii says:

    Ruse on playboy!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH…I’m sure those girls will drool over some hairy British guy. I love that!

  19. 19
    PjB says:

    Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

  20. 20
    PjB says:

    You know what really bothers me about Michael Ruse? His Eurocentric arrogance.

    He seems like a fairly nice guy for the most part but he comes across snobish towards Americans. The first time I heard him speak my only thought was “Who is this guy?” I mean, Americans fought for religious freedom when Europe was content to stay slaves of state sponsored churches.

    Britian still REQUIRES religious studies in school. America doesn’t.

    Let’s skip the Germans. They’ll probably try to take over the world again someday due to their superiority complex.

    How about the Communist states? Come on. Thank God that atheistic ship of fools finaly ran aground.

    France? A beautiful country. Very cosmopolitan. Enjoyable to visit. I’ve even had a French girlfriend. A role model? Not on your life.

    Michael…I like Canadians. I mean where would American culture be without William Shatner? In the spirit of Ruse’s article at another website, I’ve even made love to a couple of Canadians. But what have they really contributed to the world?

    No, I think America is head over heals above any of these countries. And Michael, you know what? Most Americans don’t even know who you are, let alone care what you think about us. So try to come down from your snobbery and you might get a better hearing around here.

  21. 21
    keiths says:

    Off topic —
    Sorry to butt in on this thread, but PaV asked me for a response to his latest posts on an older thread, and I wanted to respond on a fresher thread that was not about to “scroll off” the first page of the blog.

    PaV’s posts are on the old thread at

    Pav compares his Big Bang chain argument to the designer chain argument:
    “It is no more, nor any less, obvious than inferring from CSI that there is a ’supernatural designer’.”

    The difference is that the Big Bang theory is agnostic about the origin of matter and energy. Nothing about the theory itself requires the nature of the origin to be specified.

    Dembski’s CSI ideas, in contrast, do directly imply the nature of the ultimate CSI source. The designer chain argument indicates that this source must be supernatural, unless someone can show that the argument is invalid. See this thread:

    PaV wrote:
    “…we have a judge who…based on the testimony of one expert witness, Miller, has decided that ID is not science.”

    I wrote:
    “The judge’s conclusion that ID is not science rests on a lot more than this one point, PaV. Read the “Whether ID is Science” section of the opinion.”

    Pav objects:
    “What makes you think I haven’t read that section? Is it just because I don’t agree with your ‘judgment’?”

    No, it’s because you claim the judge’s finding is “based on the testimony of one expert witness” when in fact, as the section in question makes abundantly clear, it rests on five or six different reasons and the testimony of multiple expert witnesses.

    “But what the judge seems to infer…is that Behe’s argument has been countered by…‘peer-reviewed’ evidence, and that, in the face of this refutation of Behe’s assertions, Behe has done nothing to ‘correct’ his theory, nor to, let us say, ‘bolster’ his theory by addressing NS more directly; in other words, the build-up, through blind-chance occurrences, of the biological structures that Behe cites as IC.”

    You’re conflating two issues here. They are separate in the judge’s mind, as this statement from the opinion shows:
    “In addition to Professor Behe’s admitted failure to properly address the very phenomenon that irreducible complexity purports to place at issue, natural selection, Drs. Miller and Padian testified that Professor Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity depends on ignoring ways in which evolution is known to occur.”

    [PaV then writes at length claiming that the judge misunderstood IC.]

    PaV, Behe claims that he has identified a property of certain systems, irreducible complexity, that CANNOT come about except through the action of an intelligent designer. Whenever we find an IC system, according to Behe, we can be sure it was designed.

    The judge is pointing out, as the expert witnesses did, that Behe’s definition of IC does not show that a designer is necessary, because it fails to allow for the possibility that precursor systems had different functions from the final system.
    The burden of proof is on Behe to show that evolution cannot produce what he calls IC systems via intermediate stages of differing function. His concept of IC, as defined, is insufficient because it deals with only a single function for the system and its precursors.

    “If ‘evolutionary theory’ can’t provide a mechanism for how these structures came about, then, at the very least, the theory is tentative, or incomplete (and not a fact).”

    Every theory is tentative in that sense. As I wrote to taciturnus on another thread, “The ‘essence of the Darwinian project’ is not to describe in detail every evolutionary transition that ever occurred on the face of the earth, but rather to elucidate the details of the mechanisms driving evolution. In the same way, physics seeks not to empirically account for the motion of every particle in the universe. Identifying the rules and regularities is enough.”

    Pav intones:

    True. In other words, evolution predicts that exaptation should occur. Padian and Miller point to the jaw-to-middle-ear transition as a perfect example of what an exaptation should look like. The fact that it occurred is therefore one more piece of evidence that evolutionary theory fits the facts.

    “You don’t KNOW that jawbones have ‘evolved’ into middle-ear bones. You only KNOW that reptiles have jawbones in that part of their anatomy, and that mammals have middle-ear bones. All the rest is pure supposition. (Show me the fossil record where we see small, gradual changes leading little-bit by little-bit from one to the other.)”

    The evidence is much stronger than you seem to think, PaV. There is an impressive series of intermediate fossils. But if “little-bit by little-bit” means you’re expecting something as fine-grained as the frames in a movie, forget about it. Fossilization is not that dependable. (And, by the way, IDers cannot show a frame-by-frame sequence of the designer in action. Do you think that should invalidate ID?)

    For a description of the sequence of transitional forms showing the migration of jaw bones into the middle ear, see

    “In making your point about IC you said: “Judge Jones says this to point out that an IC system CAN be produced by natural selection if the precursors have a different function or functions from that of the IC system.” And now you’re saying that it DOESN’T MATTER whether the TTSS is a precursor to the flagellum. So which way would you like to argue it, since you can’t have it both ways?”

    Again, the whole point is that Behe’s IC definition does not suffice to show that an IC system is unevolvable. The existence of the TTSS shows that a subset of the flagellum exists with a different function. This is precisely what Behe’s IC concept fails to address. And if you improve Behe’s IC definition to cover precursors with different functions, then the existence of the TTSS shows that the flagellum is not IC under the improved definition. Behe needs to come up with a system that is demonstrably IC under the new definition. And it won’t do to simply say, “Evolutionists haven’t come up with a sequence of transitional forms leading to this system. Therefore the system is irreducibly complex.” This is just a designer-of-the-gaps argument.

    PaV writes, regarding the idea of precursors with different functions:
    “Let’s say they all had a prior function. How did they come to function together as a whole? The odds of that happening by chance is the product of the odds of each component occurring by chance. If you have ten components, with the probability of each component coming about by chance being one in a million, then the probability of the entire IC system coming about by chance is 1 in 10^60th power.”

    You’ve misunderstood the concept of precursors, PaV. Nobody’s claiming that a bunch of separate components with different functions magically assemble, all at once, into the final system. The final system can be approached, a step at a time, as long as the entire system at each step has a useful function. The system as a whole at a particular intermediate step is what we mean by a ‘precursor’.

    Some other points:
    1. Since each precursor has a useful function, the genetic changes encoding it will spread throughout the population. The odds for taking the next step improve proportionately.

    2. There’s more than one way to build a flagellum, so in evaluating the odds, you need to take all of the possibilities into account.

    3. Furthermore, evolution is not aiming at the flagellum or any other particular complicated structure. Evolution has no foresight and cannot “prefer” certain immediate changes based on their long-term usefulness. So the question is not “what are the odds, if we ran evolution again, of getting exactly the same sequence of changes and ending up with the flagellum?” The probability of winning a lottery with any particular set of numbers is minuscule, but someone wins almost every time nonetheless. To evaluate the odds fairly, you would need to know all of the multi-step walks through “mutation space” where each step is useful (or at least neutral). The flagellum might come later, or not at all, or by a different sequence of changes. Or we might end with something else entirely.

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