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Michael Behe: There are no “trenchant” criticisms of ID

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Michael Behe: Darwin Devolves - YouTube

ID stalwart Behe was asked to identify some. Here’s an excerpt:

I simply have not received any criticisms, real criticisms, that have made me reconsider how I view the complexity of the molecular basis of life. There are, however, some rhetorical difficulties that anybody arguing for intelligent design faces. And here are two of them:

The first one is that, because the subject matter is really pretty difficult, you have to talk about proteins and regulation and so on and most people aren;t used to thinking about that, it’s easy for somebody who wants to snow the audience to bring in a lot od technical details, and say that oh, we’ve got this under control and the public simply can;t then judge easily for themselves …


David Klinghoffer, “Q&A with Biochemist Michael Behe: What Is the “Most Trenchant Criticism of ID”?” at Evolution News and Science Today

The complexity is that Darwinism sticks deeply in the heads of shallow people. It explains everything, especially the sociology of their personal lives. Which is what really matters. So trenchant criticisms generally don’t really happen much though outbreaks of rage often do.

Maybe our readers can offer some genuine trenchant criticisms.

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14 Replies to “Michael Behe: There are no “trenchant” criticisms of ID

  1. 1
    bill cole says:

    I agree with Mike. The counter arguments are generally straw-man arguments that the people unfamiliar with molecular biology will not recognize as such.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    The counter-arguments are either lies, misconceptions or misrepresentations. That is the sum of the anti-ID position.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Over on Peaceful Science, a molecular biologist named John Mercer said there was scientific evidence that vision systems evolved via blind, mindless and purposeless processes. Yet he never presented any and the person who asked for such evidence was attacked.

    That is what passes for the science against ID under Dr. Swamidass.

  4. 4
    Sven Mil says:

    He’s waiting for a scientific argument against a completely unscientific claim?
    Tell him not to hold his breath.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Sven Mil- What Dr. Behe is asking for is evidence for blind watchmaker evolution, ie the alleged scientific alternative to ID. So clearly you are just another clueless troll intent on spewing ignorance as if it’s an argument.

    BTW, seeing that ID’s claims are testable it means they are scientific. On the other hand there isn’t any methodology to test the claims of blind watchmaker evolution, ie evolution by means of blind, mindless and purposeless processes.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Perhaps Dr Behe has conveniently forgotten the less-then-favorable critiques of his past works from other scientists, whether “trenchant” or not. For example this review of Darwin’s Black Box by Kenneth Miller which began as follows:

    Perhaps the single most stunning thing about Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe’s “Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” is the amount of territory that its author concedes to Darwinism. As tempted as they might be to pick up this book in their own defense, “scientific creationists” should think twice about enlisting an ally who has concluded that the Earth is several billion years old, that evolutionary biology has had “much success in accounting for the patterns of life we see around us 1,” that evolution accounts for the appearance of new organisms including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and who is convinced that all organisms share a “common ancestor.” In plain language, this means that Michael Behe and I share an evolutionary view of the natural history of the Earth and the meaning of the fossil record; namely, that present-day organisms have been produced by a process of descent with modification from their ancient ancestors. Behe is clear, firm, and consistent on this point. For example, when Michael and I engaged in debate at the 1995 meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation, I argued that the 100% match of DNA sequences in the pseudogene region of beta-globin was proof that humans and gorillas shared a recent common ancestor. To my surprise, Behe said that he shared that view, and had no problem with the notion of common ancestry. Creationists who believe that Behe is on their side should proceed with caution – he states very clearly that evolution can produce new species, and that human beings are one of those species.

    He may not have found the criticisms of others persuasive but they are certainly out there and it is misleading to pretend otherwise.

  7. 7

    .
    Sev’s hapless rhetoric against Michael Behe comes in the form of a critique of DBB, were he agrees with common descent, written almost a quarter-century ago.

    Powerful stuff.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Perhaps Dr Behe has conveniently forgotten the less-then-favorable critiques of his past works from other scientists,…

    Forget them? He laughed at them!

    He may not have found the criticisms of others persuasive but they are certainly out there and it is misleading to pretend otherwise.

    No one has ever demonstrated that blind and mindless processes can produce what Behe says requires an intelligent designer. No one. The criticisms amount to nothing but whining.

  9. 9
    Sven Mil says:

    “Look at how complex this is”
    “Look at these gaps in our understanding of billions of years of evolution”
    That’s not science and it’s not an argument. It’s disinformation and indoctrination when people like you, ET, are out there cluelessly promoting it.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Sven Mil, If all you can do is misrepresent ID and not produce any evidence for your position, why even bother? It is obvious that you don’t know what science is. You are clearly a willfully ignorant troll.

  11. 11
    bill cole says:

    Sven Mil, If all you can do is misrepresent ID and not produce any evidence for your position, why even bother?

    Thats all evolutionists do is argue against themselves by building straw-man arguments. I have not seen ID challenged in any legitimate way so far. What we see in biology looks like the product of a mind. Both in the purposeful arrangement of parts and the code contained inside DNA.

  12. 12

    .
    Sven, living organisms must be specified among alternatives in order to exist (and be heritable). You, nor anyone else, has even a conceptual way to accomplish that without fully confirming Michael Behe’s point about irreducible complexity. In other words, you cannot connect your imagination to extant biology without going through Mike Behe’s front yard. You can either recognize that fact and show a little respect (if not for Behe, then for the practice of science itself) -or- you can continue to do your little hit and run rhetoric.

    Either way, the documented facts will remain the same.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Heh. It really doesn’t matter what we say. Sven is right, all “they” read and hear is:

    “Look at how complex this is” “Look at these gaps in our understanding of billions of years of evolution”

  14. 14
    john_a_designer says:

    Invoking the fallacious God-of-the-gaps criticism is nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual dodge to create a straw man by grasping at straws… If that’s all you’ve got you don’t have much.

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