Bilbo Defends' Behe's Irreducible Complexity

If one goes to and clicks on the Intelligent Design category, and then clicks on search, then clicks on Authors, then types in Behe, and then clicks on Date, one will get this result:

There one will find that the last public exchange that Dr. Behe had with another scientist was in 2015, with Dr. Kenneth Miller.
One will also find a lengthy exchange with Dr. Laurence Moran in 2014.

Since Dr. Behe has just written another book, I’m willing to bet most of his free time in the last three years has been spent researching and writing the book.


Let me add that I think the criticism that Dr. Behe has not interacted recently on the Internet with scientists critical of his positions is somewhat in error.

That was not the point being made @Bilbo. He has interacted with some people. He has also entirely ignored legitimate critiques made by people and around now for years. The selectiveness is the issue.


Then let’s be clear: Behe has responded on the Internet to recent criticisms from scientists. He just hasn’t responded on the Internet to your criticisms or Art’s.

I’ve already suggested that you, yourself, Dr. Swamidass, should be able to formulate a response that Dr. Behe could make to your counterexample of endosymbiology. You claim to be familiar with Dr. Behe’s books. If so, then you already know what he has written about Lynn Margulis’s views. And that should give you a really big clue as to how he would respond to your counterexample

Art’s ol’ T-urf13 has been around for years. I discussed it with him way back at the website TelicThoughts. That website no longer exists, so perhaps we need to have that conversation again.

The stone bridge example? It begins with three stones in a row. Remove any one of them, and the bridge no longer exists. So we begin with an IC system. The fact that it evolves into a slightly more complex IC system doesn’t seem to be a huge problem for Behe’s argument.

Lastly, your claim that Behe has different definitions of ID, and this somehow poses a major problem for him. To be honest, I don’t see how it does. Assume his first definition is the one to go with. Where’s the problem for him?

No, that is not correct.

The first definition:

The problem is that we have observed in the laboratory (and in the wild) the evolution of IC1 systems. This has been directly falsified. IC1 tells us nothing about the evolvability of organisms.

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Please provide an example.

Do you have difficulty reading the link? Please let me know. It would be tragic if I am the only one able to see it. No wonder you would be confused…

Please confirm that you are able to see this on the original thread @bilbo. If not, it would explain a great deal of the confusion here. If you can read it, why make me quote it here? I’m confused. Couldn’t you have just quoted it here yourself?

Oh, just your endosymbiology and stone bridge examples. So you don’t plan on asking yourself what Behe would say to either of them, do you? I guess I’ll have to do your thinking for you, but in new threads, so that everybody can see them.

There are more. We have asked him directly and indirectly. You are free to put quotes you think are relevant.

Of course there are more examples too. All we need is one to make the point. There is no point in putting a long list out there till the ones that have been in the literature for decades are engaged.

IIRC, Behe revised his original definition of IC in response to criticism, which is appropriate. The second definition has also been criticized. Too bad Dennis Jones isn’t here, he loves quoting those definitions!

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Except @Bilbo is here quoting the first definition as if it still stands. I would respect it more if Behe just came out and put an end to this nonsense by acknowledging his firs definition of IC1 can be evolved by natural processes, and he has now moved on to a new definition. That would a legitimate move.

Instead, even his new book argues as if IC1 is not falsified, even though his definition has shifted to something else.

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Neither your endosymbiogenesis or stone bridge example refute Behe’s IC1, as I’ll show in subsequent threads. So if you have other examples, feel free to bring them up now.

We aren’t really interested in your defense of Behe. We are interested in what Behe has to say about it. Before you post any explanation of why these aren’t counter examples, can you at least state in your own words why we think this falsifies IC1 as a way of determining the evolvability of a structure? If you can’t restate the logic of the argument, this will be a doubly fruitless exchange.

Also, if this was not rebutted by the evidence, you are left to explain why he changed the definition. Why do you think he changed the definition?

I think he knows it is falsified by evidence, but doesn’t want to be clear about that publicly. It is beneficial to have confused IDists like yourself @Bilbo making the case for him, even though they are actually wrong.

When I discuss your examples, I will explain how you think they refute IC1. But you don’t want to hear my explanations? Just Behe’s? But what if my explanations fully refute your examples, based on what Behe has written? Perhaps Behe hasn’t responded to your examples, because he expects you to be able to figure out for yourself why they don’t refute him. Especially someone who claims to be familiar with his works.

Why did Behe change his definition? The one time I remember him suggesting a different definition was as a way to measure the amount of ICness of a system. It was not because he thought his original definition had been refuted. If you have evidence that it was because he thought his original definition had been refuted, please show it. Otherwise, you have just accused Behe of intellectual dishonesty with no evidence.

I did not accuse him of dishonestly. I said one possible explanation was silent omission, which is not dishonesty.

If you can accurately explain why I think it refutes IC1, I’d love to how where you think I went wrong in that assessment.

“I think he knows it is falsified by evidence, but doesn’t want to be clear about that publicly.”

That is an accusation of intellectual dishonesty.

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I did not say intellectual dishonesty. Still, if it were true, it is not trustworthy. it would certainly merit the reaction that he has received from the scientific community. Which is why I’d like him to clarify. That is why I’ve invited him into conversation on this: Inviting Behe and Axe into Dialogue.

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems he is best able to clear it up. I’d like to know what he actually thinks here. Right now it does not look like his being upfront (I did not say dishonest). If he can clear it up, that would be great. Maybe it is just a misunderstanding. Right now, the appearance is very bad, and I want him to clarify.

@Bilbo IIRC, the definition was changed in Behe and Snoke (2004). That might be a good place to start.

And then maybe Bilbo can explain where Behe went wrong in the redefinition.


The two places I quote Behe’s changing definition:

Note, that the second definition pops up in 2000. Was there yet another definition here?

Exactly where in the Behe/Snoke paper does he change the definition?