A Fair Hearing for Behe

Adam
Design

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

We are giving Behe a fair hearing, but he faces honest critique from scientists. This is how science works, and it is the best we can do.

image

This photo from last month shows the reality of Peaceful Science’s relationship with DI. Nathan Lents, my coauthor, discusses science and theology with Walter Bradley, one of the founders of Intelligent Design. They were both guests at the January workshop on the Genealogical Adam and Eve. There were scholars from across the whole spectrum engaging the grand questions together. There was no acrimony. This is the reality, and it is more inspiring than the theatre.


Gauger and Swamidass: A Conversation About God and Evolution
(S. Joshua Swamidass) pinned globally #2

(Jordan Mantha) #3

I made the big time! I’m the third wheel in that picture. It even vaguely looks like I’m a participant :wink:


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

I know @Jordan! I debated labeling you, but decided not to make your name word searchable obvious on this one. You can thank me later :wink:.


(Curtis Henderson) #5

Some%20other%20guy
I fixed it for you, Jordan :slight_smile: You’re welcome!


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

You were in the small group with @NLENTS and Bradley for a while. Can you please tell us the positive things you observed @Jordan?


(Jordan Mantha) #7

I don’t think I quite caught the significance at the time, I was just happy to be there. Looking back, it was a pretty amazing thing to have Bradley, @NLENTS, and others having a discussion of GAE. I was in another group with @kkeathley and Bradley I think as well. Overall, it was a very productive discussion for me and both Bradley and @NLENTS had good contributions.

In particular, I have to say, I was extremely impressed with Lents’ willingness to participate in discussions about the Bible and theology where he really didn’t have to. He could have just stuck to the science bits and “checked out” for the rest. Instead he was a very engaging conversation partner.

There were no verbal grenades, just a good honest discussion of what GAE could mean, what the strengths and weakness of the arguments were, etc. I didn’t get an “us” vs “them” feeling at all, that can form so easily in such divergent gatherings. In fact, for the most part people were going out of their way to be friendly to those with different views. It was much more a “let’s find a path forward together” kind of discussion. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of something that diverse, academic, and friendly. Usually at best you get 2 out of those 3 :wink:


(Nathan H. Lents) #8

I concur with all of this. It also helped me see why the GA project is so important and why I’m happy to be a part of it even though I am not personally invested in the question at all.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #9

In the second one, we had WLC alongside @AJRoberts and @Agauger. This reminds me, a book…I need to finish it soon!


(Jordan Mantha) #10

And frankly, I had never really thought of atheists as conversation partners. Instead, I had a blast and I’m now sharing @NLENTS book Human Errors around the department. (Don’t worry, I’m suggesting they buy their own copy :wink: )


(Nathan H. Lents) #11

We all have much to learn from each other. That’s the lesson I took from the weekend. Thanks for the free publicity for the book! :slight_smile:


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #12

@NLENTS I know the answer to this by many readers will not. Do you think you will “pay a price” with our colleagues in science for participating in this and engaging with DI and ID? Or will it be seen positively?


(Nathan H. Lents) #13

I actually don’t know. I suspect it will be seen as foolish and ill-advised by some, as a waste of time but ultimately harmless by others, and as worthwhile and important by others. What I can’t begin to say is what the relative proportion of those three opinions might be. For me, I don’t see that I have much to lose. I certainly hope I’m not wrong about that!


(Guy Coe) #14

@NLENTS – It takes courage to “waste your time” in search of constructive dialogue and mutual understanding. Enjoying your whimsical and informative book! Not sure about some of the company you keep, though… don’t get me started on that @swamidass fellow. ; )