4 Replies to “Mike Behe Webinar now at YouTube

  1. 1
    tragic mishap says:

    Great interview, although I would recommend skipping Behe’s presentation which ends at about 48-50 minutes in. It’s very, very simplistic and old hat for anyone here.

  2. 2
    RexTugwell says:

    This is not a criticism, simply an observation: I’m surprised at the lack of commentary here at UD offered on Dr. Behe’s webinar last Saturday. I do agree with tragic mishap that it was somewhat non-technical but I’m sure Behe was targeting those less familiar with ID, what it is and how to articulate it. His more technical writings and talks are found all over the Internet for anyone interested in what he says about his two books and his defense of both.

    That being said, I think the interchange (54:00 to 1:20:00) between Behe, Zachary from Texas and Blake was very enlightening if a bit long. The dialog is worth pointing out in detail and hence the long post.

    @1:13:19 Behe says, “We knew about machinery. We know about all sorts of things. Now we find such things in the cell. So we’re making the [design] induction from what we know to what we’re discovering”. To which Zac replies, “And what we know is human design. That’s my point”

    Here Zachery reiterates his appeal to human design for the 20th time. Then Blake steps in and paints him into a corner.

    Blake says, “Can I jump in real quick, just a follow up on the point if what you’re saying is true Zac. So imagine we see these objects off coming from Andromeda. So we know it’s not human. They hover over earth, they’re over the White House. They’re right over New York City. They’re very strategically placed on important points on the world. They’re just metal objects. [We understood] that they’re floating and then they shoot down and explode these exact areas. Can you conclude design at that point?”

    Zac repeats “Yeah, by inferring from what we know about human design. Yeah”.

    Behe, “And how do you make that inference? Can you spell that out a little bit?”

    Money quote ahead: Zac replies, “Because what we see is some object flying around. We know that humans make objects that fly around intentionally. We see we infer from human weapons we know that if we see some explosion, we see something come down. That’s very similar to humans dropping a bomb. All the language used to describe these aliens in these movies is all inferring from human design. Our own experience. We can’t go beyond that.”

    Of course at this point I’m screaming at my monitor. Zac here can’t seem to make the short step from inferring design from flying objects and destructive weapons to inferring design from electrically driven propulsion devices to navigate through a liquid medium i.e. outboard motors (human design) to bacterial flagella.

    To repeat, Zac grants the legitimacy of inferring design from objects using human artifacts but refuses to grant design to molecular machines which also exactly correspond to human artifacts: outboard motors, clamps, clocks, digital information storage, retrieval and translation systems.

    Blake concludes, “Going back to the aliens point: You keep wanting to put “human” in front of it. That’s fine if you want to call it human design but at the end of the day human design being the reference point doesn’t exclude us from recognizing alien design when it happens. And you had granted that because you acknowledged that if we saw these disks from the Andromeda galaxy that we know aren’t human, on the basis of our recognition of human design we can recognize design simplicatur. So that’s all we need. We can recognize human design like the outboard motor and that allows us to recognize design simplicatur so we can come to the design conclusion in biology just the same way we can come to the design conclusion in the case of Independence Day. That’s my thought”

    Here Zac, no doubt seeing Blake’s point, abandons the appeal to human design and tries to reference the context of natural functions and the supernatural. Sorry Zac. Too late.

  3. 3
    Eric Anderson says:

    RexTugwell:

    Thanks for posting the exchange (saves me from listening to it and joining you in screaming at the monitor).

    There is no logical reason to refuse to consider design in biology while accepting it in other areas. It is pure, unadulterated philosophical bias. The “human” red herring is one of many obstacles trotted out to preclude rational discourse. It fails for multiple reasons, which have been discussed before.

    It also places the anti-ID claimant in the uncomfortable position of having to retract their position as soon as humans do design something meaningful in biology — a state of affairs that by some limited accounts has already occurred, and by all accounts grows closer every day.

    —–

    Incidentally, this argument that we can only accept a limited subset of design inferences that (in the claimant’s subjective and undefined opinion) are similar enough to human designs, is one that has been trotted out by Elizabeth Liddle and company from time to time. I addressed it in detail here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....inference/

    —–

    Incidentally, this “Zachary from Texas” wouldn’t happen to be our own beloved Zachriel by any chance?

  4. 4
    RexTugwell says:

    Eric, if you’re asking me, I don’t know. However, from what I could gather from Dr. McLatchie’s final minute of the webinar, it sounds like Zachary will be an upcoming guest on JM’s Apologetics website.

    Topic: Molecular Evidence for Evolution

    May be an opportunity to get some questions answered.

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