Opinions Re. What M. Behe May Believe About Common Descent


(George) #1

My dear spin-master, he does not tentatively present the Pool Shot Scenario as a fringe possibility…

At the very least, he treats it as a core possibility. And its not treated like this by most other ID supporters… including those posting on this thread.

You csn go “spin” something else now.

Intelligent Design and Common Descent
(George) #2


I am willing to apologize if i understand what im apologizing for that is valid . She can decide how important the process is for me to offer the apology willingly.

(Bill Cole) #3

Why don’t you start by not using the word denialist on a discussion board. This is a word used by politicians to shame opponents into submission. Someone is making a different judgement on the data then you is not a denialist they are simply someone with a different opinion.

(Herculean Skeptic) #4

Everyone’s just fine with a simple, unwilling apology. :1st_place_medal:

(George) #5

Ill make un unwilling apology if others are willing to do so as well. :smiley:

(Herculean Skeptic) #6

Hahahah… I was actually hoping you’d say that you would make an unwilling apology if others were unwilling, too.

(Edward Robinson) #7

George, why do you find it so difficult to concede a point?

You are twisting and turning, trying to make something out of a supposed difference between a “fringe possibility” and a “core possibility”, even though Behe never used the terms “fringe” or “core”.

The point is not whether the pool-shot analogy is a “fringe” or “core” idea within ID. The point is that Behe did not present the pool-shot analogy as his own view of how evolution happened, and your comments to Ann Gauger refer to that analogy as “Behe’s view”. Why not just admit that you overstated things, that you aren’t sure that this is “Behe’s view”, and therefore that you can’t fairly ask Ann Gauger to treat that as “Behe’s view”?

Your line of questioning sets up a false polarization, with Behe occupying an extreme position of “front-loading.” You have set things up so that if Ann denies the “front-loading” scenario, she is repudiating the thought of Behe. You are trying to create a division among ID proponents based on a misreading of what Behe has said.

If you want to know Ann’s view on how evolution happened, whether it happened, how much of it was guided vs. unguided, etc., you are free to ask her to clarify. But demanding that she clarify her view in a framework invented by you – one in which an idea which Behe entertains is labelled as the view which Behe defends – is illegitimate.

(George) #8


Why is it so impossible for you to accept the first clear testimony by Behe (to which someone has ever specifically directed me) that actually makes great sense?: the Pool Shot Scenario is brilliant, precise and clear!!!

With his words, Behe represents the willingness to assert a scenario that is more scientifically comprehensive than even @swamidass!!!

One: Joshua allows for special creation of Adam/Eve. In contrast, Behe’s Pool Shot Scenario would exclude that event (unless Behe wants to use Joshua’s logic to include it)!!! But otherwise, Behe offers Evolution-Designed-by-God as the logic behind the Pool Shot Scenario!

Two, in contrast to Joshua, since Joshua does not think science can confirm design (where it seems Behe does think so).

(Edward Robinson) #9

First, it isn’t “clear testimony” to Behe’s own view of how evolution happened. Did you listen to the same interview that I did? He makes it clear that he is talking about a logical possibility. He never asserts it as his own view.

Second, it isn’t the “first” time Behe has expressed this possibility, nor is it the first time you have been apprised of it. Many times on BioLogos I explained to you Michael Denton’s “front-loaded” view, and told you that Behe is open to Denton’s view as a possibility. So the contents of this interview should not be new to you.

As for whether Behe’s pool shot scenario would exclude Adam and Eve, I’m not sure about that. It doesn’t rule out the possibility that after the naturalistic evolutionary process has produced anatomically modern human forms, God does something special in relation to a particular couple. Of course, this would then move into the territory of Behe as Catholic rather than Behe as scientist. But I don’t think the two ideas are incompatible.

But for what it’s worth, I agree with you that Behe has not offered Joshua’s scenario.

Still, as has been pointed out by others, Joshua does not say that genetics compels acceptance of his scenario; it only allows for its possibility. I haven’t actually heard Joshua say, “And I personally believe this is how it happened.” I’ve only heard him say, “This could have happened, without violating anything we know about genetics.” So Joshua, like Behe, allows for a range of possibilities.

I think we have to be careful about pigeonholing people. It is pretty clear what Richard Dawkins and Ken Ham believe, but a number of people in between those extremes (Joshua, Ann, and Mike Behe) seem to have qualified positions that leave some doors open.

(George) #10


You have a bizarre notion of what a personal interview is intended to be.

Produce the sentence from the interview that you think gets the closest to your assertion… and we can all discuss it.

(Edward Robinson) #11

The onus is on you, not me, to produce such a sentence. You are the one claiming that Behe endorses the pool-shot view as what really happened in evolution, as opposed to something that could have happened in evolution. Point me to the part of the interview where he states unambiguously that he thinks the pool-shot view is what actually happened.

(George) #12

Nahhhh… that is your signature move…and its bogus. Im telling you there is NO sentence. You say there is. Produce it!

(Edward Robinson) #13

Exactly! There is NO sentence where Behe states, as his own personal view, that evolutionary outcomes were all caused by a very clever pool shot made by God at the time of the Big Bang. So why do you keep insisting that this is Behe’s view, when you can’t find a statement in the interview – or anywhere else in his work – that supports your claim?

(George) #14


How in the world would you be able to say this UNLESS Dr Behe said something like “… this is not really my view, but…” or something equivalent.

If he said NOTHING like this (which is my view) I wouldnt be able to give you a quote to prove that. In fact, I dont believe he characterizes his views in any special ways!

Soooo… it is up to you to show or corroborate!

(Bill Cole) #15

George, I am with Eddie here. He does not know how life’s diversity unfolded, the pool shot is only a possibility.

He granted common descent “for the sake of argument”. He is focused on the design hypothesis he is not really interested in studying history as common descent requires.

(George) #16


So you have an exact quote you can share with us? Or are you just spit-balling it like @Eddie?

(Bill Cole) #17

I thought you listened to the conversation I posted. " I grant everything else for sake of argument" Behe

(Edward Robinson) #18

Actually Bill, though as an ID-sympathizer I am broadly on your side, I think you are are misreading Behe – even Behe as he appeared in the interview. I think he has been very clear over the past 20 years (a) that he thinks the evidence for common descent is strong and (b) that he personally accepts descent with modification, all the way up to the pre-human primate forerunners of man. I didn’t see him as pulling away from common descent in the interview. For example, I didn’t hear him say, “Ten years ago I accepted common descent, but now I’m not so sure, but I’m willing to grant it for the sake of argument.”

I agree that Behe chooses to focus on the question of design rather than the question of common descent, but I don’t think that is because he accepts common descent “only for the sake of argument.” I think he focuses on the question of design because the question of design is where both the scientific and religious rubber hit the road. He thinks that Darwinian notions of evolutionary mechanism fail on the scientific front, and doubtless as a Catholic he thinks that Darwin’s anti-teleology fails on the religious front. In other words, common descent can be true, Darwinism can be false, and traditional Christian belief can still be retained. Since it is Darwinian mechanism rather than common descent per se that is the problem, then it makes sense to focus on Darwin vs. design.

If Behe is seriously in doubt about common descent, then why is everyone else at Discovery (or so it seems) under the impression that he accepts it? Could they be so mistaken about his thought, after working with him for so long?

(George) #19


I watched parts of the video, but i dont know where your quote fits in with the talk. I cant even recall if those exaxt eords were used.

This is why i ask for the exact quote in context.

Do you have it? Or can you locate it?

(Bill Cole) #20

Hi Eddie
Were really not in a different place here. Common descent is not important to Behe he thinks it is trivial as it explains only one part of evolution and that is the similarities.

His strategy is not to focus on history but to infer design from current observables.

We all believe in some level of common descent. This includes you, me, Joshua, Ann, Mike and Paul N.