Comments on Devolves Back Cover

Love to. Let the scientific discussions begin :slight_smile:

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Go look at the attacks on Lenski, Lents and Swamidass on EVN. Behe won’t even acknowledge the accomplishments of @lents calling him a “lesser known” reviewer. That’s is not a personal attack?


Where does the cholesterol gene in Polar Bear stand? Should I stop my Lipitor and start eating seal meat and drinking milk shakes from Behe’s local McDonald’s?

Do you think that Di has or has not personally attacked me, @Nlents, and/or @Art? Some phrases thrown our direction:

  1. Incompetent
  2. Fraud
  3. Deceptive
  4. Hit-job
  5. Appalling
  6. Dishonest

I ask you to pair up as many of these phrases thrown at us with comparable statements that @art, @nlents, and I have made.

Please show me the smear coming from me? I’m asking questions about errors we identified in his book. I have not called him dishonest. They have called us dishonest.

How can I be painting him as dishonest when I haven’t called him dishonest? Are you not concerned about their effort to call me dishonest?

I personally don’t think you have called him dishonest. I don’t read ENV regularly so I don’t know what they have been saying in every case.

I was referring to Coyne’s piece this am.

The corrective opportunity I see with the four of you is to make sure you accurately argue against his claims. This is not just you guys but it goes back 20 years to when Ken Miller first took on irreducibly complexity and changed “formable challenge” to “can’t evolve” allowing for a minimal burden of proof.

There is a lot to discuss here that is constructive based on the empirical observations Behe has surfaced. Lets let the evidence lead us to reasonable conclusions what ever they are.

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Ah I see. Well I do not endorse all of Coyne’s language. I don’t think he is going to care what you think.

It would be helpful if you did take a perusal of what they have been saying about us. It is their pattern, but it doesn’t really seem fair to complain about Coyne much, when he is speaking no more negatively than they.

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More incredibly shoddy logic. The truth of the accusation is irrelevant to whether or not it is an ad hominem. Please take some time to go read up on it.

Mike Behe has never complained that I have quote-mined him. :slight_smile:

Why does Behe need to be “cleared” here? Why not give him the benefit of the doubt? Why bring this up at all if it is not relevant to what is between the covers of his book?

Note the “scientific” position held by the only two people who actually defended the scurrilous quote-mining done on the back of Behe’s book. Coincidence? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Because it shows character. No author or publisher with ethics would quote mine a negative review to spin as an endorsement on a book jacket. It’s a sign of a desperation to be taken seriously to the point of outright dishonesty. This can’t be played off as a mistake. It’s deliberately misleading and thus a form of lying. The version I reviewed didn’t have jacket blurbs yet or else I would have raised hell. I actually don’t think Behe had anything to do with it, but for my books, I was always asked to approve the jacket blurbs and I know they also confirmed the exact final wording with the blurbers themselves (bc They are often edited for space.) This looks really bad. Wow



Thank you. I would go one step further and ask why he is being called out to answer for it. Are we here to discuss Mike Behe’s character or his arguments?

Oh he definitely should clarify if he was involved in the deception. It’s his name on the cover. Authors should approve everything that goes out under their name. As I said, I was asked to approve all of these for my books. I’m giving Behe the benefit of the doubt as a courtesy but this looks really bad and he should apologize for the dishonesty done in his name.


Surely you’re kidding. How many articles and posts have we written about his arguments? I’m losing count! Honesty in public discourse is also an important issue. Totally fair game. You’re being argumentative for it’s own sake. Knock it off because it impresses no one.


This is about his arguments. The facts he uses to put forward his case call into question many things. One explanation is that he has poor character but this is not the most likely explanation.

@nlents what would you do if your publisher had done this to your back cover without approval? I would be hopping mad at them. I would send a private and public note apologizing to Orr and Shreeve, and I would publicly thank Coyne for picking this error out. I would place responsibility squarely on the publisher and myself, and thank critics for identifying this problem.

Then I would put it behind me by turning back to the rest of the book. If it came up again, I’d just keep directing people back to my public apology and retraction. Very quickly people would move on. That is how to manage the crisis in which Behe finds himself. Doing this, no one would have a right to call him dishonest.

What would you do @NLENTS?


I would do all of that yes, and probably quietly break ties with the publisher after the dust settled. Very public apology would be step one for sure.


I want to be crystal clear on this. The original post does not question Behe’s integrity. Rather it puts objective facts on the table. There are many explanations for these facts that do not include dishonestly, and I carefully refrained from rushing to judgement on Behe’s intentions and on his state of mind.

With three errors of this magnitude on the back of his book, I’m inclined to believe he was not consulted on it. If he was, I’m inclined to chalk this up to confusion on his part, not dishonesty. It is just so egregious an error, and so likely to be caught.

As issues continue to crop up I wonder if Behe has ever corrected one of his mistakes. That is a real question. It tells us what we can expect from him here and the extent to which we should trust his self appraisal of his work. This is not a question of integrity, per se, but of evidence.


You :

  1. Are Anonymous
  2. Have norelevant credentials
  3. Have no relevant knowledge.
  4. Misquote exclusively to defend him.

For any one of these reasons Behe has probably not even heard of you, let alone felt the need to respond to you.


I will scan over there and if they are acting out of hand I will see if I can influence through my channels. If you see anything out of line post it to me privately.


How do you know he’ll tell the truth? This is a man who continues to insist that his critics claimed chloroquine resistance required only one mutation. He is a proven liar.

Eh. Never infer deceit where incompetence, delusion, confusion, or misunderstanding could explains this just as well. That is a wise rule of thumb.

Behe really seems to believe what he is selling. I suspect it is most likely the ideological blinders that ENV knows are so powerful.

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