Nathan Lents: My Experience With Discovery

Your paraphrasing of his word to you certainly does explain a lot because Klinghoffer was definitely the nastiest one toward me, and also the most dishonest. But I’m afraid I don’t accept his excuse of “this is how it is in political theatre” (or however he would say it). These are serious scientific conversations and I just want to yell him to “SHUT UP, GROWN FOLKS IS TALKING!” But that would be me becoming like him.

2 Likes

Behe is a kind man. I have no ill-will towards him and never heard him say anything rude to anyone. However, I’m still waiting for him to clear up confusion on the Irreducible Complexity argument (Which Irreducible Complexity Argument?). His exchange by proxy with @art was pretty surprising: Behe and Hunt: Irreducible Complexity and Numerology.

That is good to hear. @pnelson is usually very kind. I observe he advocates for less adversarial approaches, to his credit. I can’t say I agree with @Pnelson on the science, but I think he is worth engaging. In all honestly, more than once he has forwarded me an amazing paper that has just been published. Certainly, we are usually reading it in totally opposite ways, but give credit where credit is due. He reads the literature and has a good nose for finding interesting papers. He is certainly engaged with real science, even if we disagree on it. You might enjoy talking to him.

2 Likes

If I recall, didn’t Ann Gauger come at you too?

I don’t recall. Several of them wrote articles and I may have lost track. Egnor was the MD who was both really nasty and really wrong at the same time and then never acknowledged the errors he made.

1 Like

Can do! Thanks!

1 Like

3 posts were split to a new topic: Alice Roberts: Can Science Make Me Perfect?

The really interesting thing is, the apparently unconsidered perspective that a designer might have good reasons for not employing “perfect” or even the “most optimum” design for any particular organism, because the goal is to create a balanced ecosystem, NOT to create an impregnable monster within it. In Genesis chapter 1, in “day six,” for example, God says things are “very good,” NOT “perfect.”
And so, inoptimum design is not, in fact, an evidence of overall design failure.
As for the DI being politically conservative, generally, that’s true, but the Center for Science and Culture is where the ID effort is located, and it is not discernably political, at its heart.
That extremists from all sides are, occasionally, guilty of such unwarranted attacks and mischaracterizations is a simple fact of life. It is unfortunate, not in the public interest from either extreme, and beneath our common dignity --but, there it is. At least I can rest assured that Christians of whatever ideological stripe they prefer do, at least, have a sense that they will both answer for, and be corrected in their errors some day. None of us is unaccountable, and mea culpa, as well!

2 Likes

I cannot agree with this. A great many articles on Evolution News mix critique of evolution theory with critique of liberal politics, “social experiments” (meaning marriage equality) and so forth. It was born of right-wing politics and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

4 Likes

Honest question: so then why did the designer almost give us the ability to make vitamin C? Why do we have a broken version of the GULO gene at all - where’s the design in that? Evolutionary theory provides a complete explanation of the existence of pseudogenes and GULO. What is the explanation from design?

4 Likes

If he designed us by a process of common descent, why not? Evidence for a prior history is just evidence for common descent. It is not evidence against design per se.

Well, the explanation from design could be evolutionary theory. Maybe God designed us using an evolutionary process that left evidence of past history, you know, like just like evolution.

Of course, to be clear, we are not talking about most ID versions of design. Here I am referring to what your Christian colleagues like myself and Francis Collins might believe.

2 Likes

Okay, then that’s not intelligent design at all, it’s theistic evolution. I know it sounds like I’m harping on semantics, but mixing “design” with “evolution” just invites confusion, imo

2 Likes

I agree that scientists get to define the meaning of words like evolution. We need to keep science secular, and keep theology out of it. Who gets to determine meaning of words with theological meaning like design?

Beats me. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Well there must be some agreement regarding the meaning, because I see people say, quite often, that they don’t see evidence for design.

1 Like

The niche is the biological designer. Who designs the niche? Dunno!

2 Likes

At least in part, organisms carve out their own niches.

2 Likes

None more so than Homo sapiens sapiens. But I was just pointing out we skeptics shouldn’t worry about avoiding saying “design”. It’s conceivable that some omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immaterial entity brought about the Universe with the properties that result in the terrestrial biota we see now and the myriad extinct organisms that have gone before.

The idea adds nothing to understanding but it’s essentially harmless.

4 Likes

I really appreciate what you are saying here, and I think that it really, fundamentally, changes the conversation. Many would disagree, I think, with your sentiment, though, so I’m interested to see how others respond.

Doesn’t it add potential explanations that otherwise would not be considered?

1 Like

Such as?

1 Like

It seems, and I could be wrong (often am), that once one opens the door to considering such a force who has brought about the universe with the properties you described, that the door would also be open for that same force to meddle.

2 Likes