It’s great all the discussion that the book is generating. Thanks for posting these updates.
It seems like it is all the discussion we are generating @colewd . You are frends with Behe. How is he holding up? I hope he isn’t buying the hype that this is a “hit” on him. We just want to have a conversation with him about his work.
Ebola outbreaks in Africa generate lots of discussion too.
Another example of a gain in function is found in rock pocket mice. There were mutations in the m1cr gene that resulted in darker fur. The allele is strongly selected for in certain environments, and the authors contend that it is a gain in function since the allele is dominant.
Interestingly, the m1cr is a membrane protein like apoB, and the mutations in m1cr echo those seen in polar bear apoB:
I have not communicated with him recently. Will probably touch base after I read the book and send feedback. This conversation is happening before most people have read the book so maybe its better to give it some time.
My suggestion is to make sure when the points are debated his argument is understood clearly and represented exactly how it is stated. If his argument is changed he will probably let others with more rhetorical savvy carry his message.
If his argument is changed, shouldn’t he be up front about it?
Don’t forget @AndyWalsh who drew everyone’s attention to this in the first place, with his review.
The polar bear example comes from the publicly available first chapter. As it is his opening example, I think it’s fair game to discuss it. EN has enough time to angrily rant at us about the Andersson paper, but nothing about the polar bears. That should have been an air-tight case. I can’t wait to see how they try to spin this one.
Angry isn’t the right way to describe it @nlents. They are struggling to find a response.
You bet. Think of the review in Science as a general overview without too much detail about any one issue. The polar bear article is the first of the detailed look at his precise individual arguments. Several more are coming, so stay tuned.
Can you give us an itemized list?
Privately maybe. They watch these forums closely and there’s no way I’m telegraphing all my critiques so that they can choreograph their misinformation campaign ahead of time. If Behe had done what I did (contact the authors of the papers he discusses), he might have avoided all the errors he made. Or, he could have received the critiques from the normal process of peer review. There’s a reason why we cherish that process - it improves our work immensely! My first book had three anonymous peer reviews, experts in their fields. My second one had FIVE different reviewers (although they weren’t anonymous, one was a PhD scientist and another was an MD). Behe opted out of that process, so now he’s subjected to the harshness of public peer review. He knew that.
Did the authors of the papers Behe cite tell you he didn’t contact them?
Whether they had heard of him or not, all were surprised to learn that their work was being discussed in his book, so I think that answers it.
That’s upsetting. What makes something pseudoscientific isn’t necessarily the idea but the actions of the adherents of that idea. And that action by Behe just screams pseudoscience.
Did you let Mike know this?
I’ve been in communication with Mike, inviting many times into dialogue with us. He has not been willing. This is unfortunate. We would have helped him make the strongest case he could. At the moment, however, he is arguing 1+1=3. Very nice guy, but it isn’t fraud (!) or unkind to clarify publicly this isn’t the case, and that actually 1+1=2.