I Agree With Behe

Society
Design

#22

Perhaps the approach used. Did you give Mike Behe a chance to comment before the review was published? Think if someone wrote a piece like that and published in Science about some work you did.


(Guy Coe) #23

Mung is right about the opportunity to try a collaborative follow-up approach where you can test the waters about Behe’s willingness to engage. Wonder if we can find contact information for him, even independently of DI. The perception of an unwillingness to dialogue can easily be a mutually exclusionary dynamic. My two cents.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #24

Sadly @mung is not right.

Of course I reached out to him. They have not been willing to engage on the science, though I did get some kind emails back from him. In one email to @colewd, Behe assured us he would address the problems we were raising with IC (and Turf13 @art) in this book. He did not. That is one reason it is correct to say he is not engaging with critique.

I offered to let one person at DI preview the review. This is highly unusual, and was a gesture of good will. They declined. We offered to clarify any questions they had about the review. They also declined, and instead fired the PR machine up.

ID complains that scientists don’t give them a fair hearing. Well, here we are. We want to give them a fair hearing, but they have to show up. If they don’t, it leads to reviews like the one we wrote. It didn’t have to be this way. It is just honestly our assessment of their science.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #25

If that happened I would be honored. As I wrote in my last blog post, to be reviewed in Science is an honor. I should be so lucky!


(Guy Coe) #26

So, even if scientific theory can demonstrate a reliable and likely completely “natural” pathway by which things developed over time, that doesn’t negate the idea that nature itself was designed that way, nor that no intelligence has been similarly involved at any point down the line, whether subtly or dramatically. So why is the issue a matter of a forced choice between “intelligent design versus evolution” when the two are not mutually exclusive?
I know that comes fairly close to your views, even if you’d word it differently. Affirming that much to them gets you seated at their table, in the metaphorical environment of a rotating dinner party. You’d be expressing a view less deistic than Behe. My one cent!


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #27

@Guy_Coe the problem isn’t in affirming Design. I’ve done this repeatedly, including in a widely read blog post yesterday. The problem comes from making a bad argument for ID. That is where things fall apart. Scientists don’t have a problem with Design, but they detest stubborn bad arguments.

With Behe we agree on just about everything. I just don’t think that 1+1=3, and I think I have a right and obligation to say this. This shouldnt be like kryptonite for DI, but we are watching them melt before our eyes. They caught the car. We want to give them a fair hearing. Let them come.


(Guy Coe) #28

Only some of them.


#29

@mung That is what the peer review process is all about. You get your work reviewed by experts in the field BEFORE you publish. Usually the peer review process IMPROVES the quality of the work. Sometimes the peer review process finds errors so great that it sends you back to the lab to totally revise your work. This may lead to unexpected discoveries. Let’s say that @nlents finds a major flaw in Behe’s results, Behe then goes back and confirms his prior results. Behe has just made a discovery. showing that the experts were wrong. Behe then publishes work to great acclaim. That’s how science works. Experts are not experts for long. As soon as you reach the pinnacle of your field, new results makes you look like the old guy with old results.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #30

@nlents endorsed by @patrick. @swamidass and @art unmentioned.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #31

Huh? Help me understand.


#32

Really appreciate your article. I wish more was written about this agreement on an old earth and common ancestry. 90 percent of everything published by you and BioLogos is in agreement with Behe. In fact, you and BioLogos have more in common with him than RTB. One could even agree with Behe on IC and deny an historical Adam! I tentatively took that position for a while.

I also think the mention of non-Darwinian mechanisms will perk a lot of ears up. I wish Venema did this more. He could make his case more easily.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #33

Actually, I have more in common with RTB than either with BioLogos or Behe. Did you know this?


#34

Common ancestry is a big deal and RTB denies it. Maybe it’s a matter of emphasis.

Feel free to explain.

Do you just mean that you both affirm an historical Adam?


(Curtis Henderson) #35

:rofl::rofl::rofl: It’s about time!


(Nathan H. Lents) #36

That’s what I’m talking about!


(Guy Coe) #37

There are plenty of ID folks, like me, who do not feel compelled to deny common descent. It’s the whole “either or” approach where I locate the problem.


(John Harshman) #38

Yes, please.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #39

Well, honestly, I’m not really in the RTB camp either. I’m sort of homeless.


(John Harshman) #40

Come on now. You said

You can’t expect to get away with that without an explanation.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #41

Eh, I suppose today I just like RTB the best of those three groups. We don’t really agree on common descent, but they have and continue to be kind to me. DI has a wide enough tent to include people like Behe, but they have a non-friendly fire rule I’m breaking in spades, and I just don’t agree with their arguments. BioLogos? Well, that is a story I’d rather pass on right now. RTB, however, continues to be kind to me.

More details on this some day, but we just approved a consulting plan between RTB-PS to help them assess their model. This means, in due time, you’ll be getting answers to many of the questions you’ve asked of them. Their model is not my model, but maybe we can work with them to improve theirs. There is also an a real chance they will adopt some version of the genealogical Adam and Eve.