Dr Behe: Scenario of "God's Pool Shot"


(George) #1

This YouTube video records Dr Behe discussing one of his book chapters. The scenario is presented as a possible one… but clearly as the leading candidate.

The answer is provided to @colewd (aka Bill Cole) as an ID response to an ID question.

It is all about how design can be incorporated into an evolutionary sensible model.

At 1 hour 23 minutes:

Those who attempt to dismiss his robust descriptions are in the unenviable position of producing a quote from Behe that is supposedly closer to his alleged actual viewpoint!

(Bill Cole) #2

Hi George
The discussion of common descent and the pool shot are at 1 hour 23 minutes in. The key difference between Mike and Ann is that Mike does not engage in historical discussions like common descent and Ann does. His strategy is to focus on inferring design from what can be observed.

As far as the pool shot goes he calls it a logical possibility.

(George) #3

I have re-watched your question and Behe’s answer. Yes, Behe says it is a possibility… but there is no indication to suggest it his least favorite scenario.

He devoted a whole chapter to it. So… if this isnt Behe’s main position, you should have no problem explaining what his main position really is and why it wasnt even mentioned as an alternative when he was answering your ID-context question!

Frankly, Behe would do well to specifically add @swamidass position on a specially created Adam/Eve… since the two of them both agree on the possibility of Evolution-led-by-Design.

(Bill Cole) #4

Mike is a very smart guy with a very clear strategy which is to focus on inferring design from current observables.

There are others who can carry the Adam/Eve banner like Joshua and Ann. There are no shortage of sandboxes to play in with this subject :slight_smile:

(Dan Eastwood) #5

I will repeat my previous observation that Behe’s pool shot analogy is entirely compatible with the multiverse hypothesis. ie: in some possible universe such a pool shot exists.

OK, it’s possible, but not very satisfying.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

Part of Behe’s strategy is to collapse design into fine tuning, denying God’s action in evolution. I think he misdiagnosis why biologists reject his argument. It is not because we oppose God’s action, but because IC is not a valid argument: Which Irreducible Complexity Argument?

This also is why he will never affirm the de novo creation of Adam. This is an unspeakable error in his brand of ID, which denies God’s action. He misdiagnosed the problem.

(George) #7


So you can come to peace with Behe differing from much of the ID spectrum?

(Bill Cole) #8

These are independent people with independent opinions. This is healthy condition.

(George) #9


Have you listened to Behe in the linked video? Frankly i couldnt find special creation anywhere.

Behe , like i do, seems to promote God-Guided Evolutionary processes!

If someone has a quote which states the opposite, i definitely want to doscuss it !

Fine tuning, by itself, is not the problem. Its when it is presumed to “prove God” that it goes overboard!

(George) #10


I found the pool shot scenario perfectly compatible with my God-Guided Evolution … with no mullti-verse of any kind!

(Dan Eastwood) #11

It’s compatible with multiverse, as in the exists a universe is which that perfect pool shot occurs, without directly mentioning multiverse.

This is just me, but Behe is talking about front-loading, not God-Guided Evolution. Guiding the paths after the cue has been struck is a different proposition, IMO.

(George) #12


Well not quite.

Behe is discussing Front Loading the way @eddie and i discussed front-loading over at BioLogos.

Our front–loading should not be confused with the version where DNA in single cells secretly held the genetic code of future life forms so no mutation was needed.

And our front-loading should not be confused with Deism (!)… because God remained actively involved with all of creation. I believe @eddie would agree that my last sentence is “necessasarily true” as long as free will is presumed to be i involved.

(Dan Eastwood) #13

It seemed like Behe was suggesting that all the particle trajectories were lined up at the Big Bang to cause all that we see now. Behe seems Deistic - I understand that is not your position.

In fact this isn’t something I’m likely to quibble about in the first place. :wink:

(George) #14


The Dr Behe version of a front-loaded universe appears to be IDENTICAL to my view of God-Guided Evolution (plus God-Guided Everything Else)!

The terminology needs a bit of tweaking sometimes: to the degree that God exercises miracles, and to the extent Free Will operates, front-loading needs to be periodically reset - - which is not an aspect of Deism.

(Dan Eastwood) #15

Ah … so your view is identical to Behe’s pool shot except where it is not:wink:

In that respect I am also in complete agreement with you, aside from all those points where I am not.

Sorry. I shouldn’t tease, but you set yourself up for that.

(George) #16


Dont you find it interesting that @swamidass spends more time discussing special creation than Behe seems to?

It is uncovering these nuanced distinctions that is the whole point of PeacefulScience.Org!

Because it would be a small matter for Behe to add de novo Adam/Eve… the only important difference is that Behe thinks science can verify Irreducible Complexity (and Joshua doesnt! ).

Before joining here I would have bet $100 that there were even more big differences… and i would have lost the bet!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #17

Behe will never do that @gbrooks9, because he misdiagnosed the problem. He thinks IC and ID was rejected by Scientists because they are opposed to miracles. For this reason he will never recognize the de novo creation of Adam, becuase he thinks it will cause the rejection of all his work.

I see it differently. I think scientists rejected IC because it is an invalid argument, and they have no problem with miracles if you play by the rules. The case Ive made on Adam appears to demonstrate that miracles alone are not the problem.

Given that difference in diagnosis and corresponding difference in strategy, it seems self evident who was closer to reality. Behe however is a nice guy, but will not likely change.

(George) #18


I understand the logic. The irony is that you may pave the way for Dr Behe!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #19

Not really. We have different goals. He put all his eggs in the ID basket, and I put none there.

(George) #20


“Not really” … to the irony? Or to the possibility thay Behe might move even closer to your position?

I assume the latter … since it would be, indubitably, an irony!