Tickets for Swamidass & Behe event are all gone. Every seat filled

I’ve just learned that all seats are gone for the Veritas Forum event. Eventbrite is tracking a waiting list of people in line for any tickets which may be released by people cancelling.

I think the theater capacity is 750 seats. The much bigger Rudder Auditorium was probably very expensive and beyond the Veritas Forum budget but that is just speculation on my part.

I’ve heard that Christian student organizations on the campus have done a good job promoting the event.

P.S. I’m leading a discussion of the Swamidass-Behe dialogue at a local church the following evening but I just learned that several of the people who had asked me to do that were among those unable to get their own tickets. So I may find myself having to first summarize and paraphrase the Veritas Forum event—or if too many are affected, perhaps the discussion will get cancelled entirely.


Still plenty of tickets for UK@TAMU. @swamidass , you’re bigger than college basketball in College Station!


@AllenWitmerMiller you and @cwhenderson can come as my personal guests.


Joshua, does that mean that you are getting us in through an extra set of tickets? Should I give my present ticket to someone else?

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@AllenWitmerMiller from the organizers:

We can seat these folks up front in the section we’ve reserved.


All NJ atheists (and theists) are invited to the after party at a former church now a bar/restaurant in Keyport NJ.

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Duly Noted … Tickets have sold out …


There is a chance a livestream will be made available. Standing room only and an overflow room…


Livestream would be great


That would be nice.

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Is there video/audio of this yet?

A transcript would be too much to hope for I suppose …

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I don’t think it starts for another 25 minutes or so.

Live video feed is here

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15 minutes in and Behe has already told a number of lies. He just stood up and claimed no one in the last 20 years has tried to explain the evolution of the flagellum, completely ignoring the work of Nic Matzke and others.

Lots of the usual ID talking points: Darwin can’t explain this blah blah blah, this is SOOOOO complex it can’t evolve blah blah blah.

ED1: Oh dear, he just broke out the Mt Rushmore argument. :roll_eyes:

ED2: Stock ID arguments. Life features look purposely designed so they must be purposely designed.


How is josh responding?

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Dr. S just took the podium, talking about his background.

ACK! Someone just knocked the camera out of focus.

OK Fixed now.

JS points:
Dawrinism isn’t modern evolutionary theory.
God could use evolution to design but such design couldn’t be directly detected
Science is the wrong tool to try and demonstrate God.

ED1: ID can’t explain the branching pattern of the genetic phylogenetic tree.
Now describing GAE

ED2: Analogies of natural life which look like human designs doesn’t make them designed.
Points out the DI’s “scientific dissent from Darwinism” claiming Darwinism is only RM+NS is false.


Behe back at podium.

Sound quality is terrible. Hard to make out what either man is saying.

ED1: hand waves away genetic phylogenetic tree an unimportant
Goes back to ID talking point - you can tell design just by looking at it.
Starts on how complex the biochemistry of life is, so that indicated design.
Misrepresents Neutral theory as opposing Darwinism
Claims biological life parts are purposely arranged. Keeps harping on “purposeful” but keeps mistaking function for purpose.


Dr. S back up

Emphasized his desire to find a peaceful middle ground while still disputing ID
Emphasizes IDists are all still Christians

ED1: points to problems with ID like why did God design fatal viruses.
Didn’t say anything about Behe’s second set of points.

ED2: taking questions from audience


Question: Expresses personal incredulity over how evolution produces complexity
Dr.S Answer : scientific processes aren’t always intuitive, we have empirical evidence evolutionary processes work

Behe: Repeats claim you know design when you see it. Offers analogy of finding a message and knowing it was designed. Offers analogy of Easter Island statues.

Dr S. Points out that analogies aren’t evidence and analogies break down when you look at the details. Points out ID arguments are intuitive, not supported with positive evidence.

Behe once again harps on the purposeful arrangement of parts, again confused function with purpose.

Dr. S again points out analogies “this looks like human design” are not evidence. Points out ID as done now is not science.

ED: Behe again goes back to purposeful arrangement of parts. Seems to be his only argument.
Behe whines how science hates ID and try to hold it back.

ED: Behe asked about his claim design often leaves “residue” (like sawdust at a carpentry shop). Behe deflects the question and instead claims the bacterial phage is exquisitely designed.

Dr.S again points out science is not equipped to answer questions about Theism.

ED: Behe whines evolution gives a false impression about how much science knows.

Session ends.


That seems to be the sum total of Behe’s logic. Someday someone needs to press him on the controls that he has done to lend even a tiny bit of credence to this line of reasoning.

I wasn’t much impressed with Tour’s question. It is annoying to hear someone imply that no one knows anything about chemical mechanisms in operation inside living cells.