Re: Dembski and Nelson at MIT and Tufts

Kevin O'Brien (
Mon, 5 Apr 1999 17:28:29 -0600

>Well, I do have some minor experience in Biology.

Just college course and lab work, or actual research? In what fields? For
how long?

>If that makes me
>arrogant, so be it, but I would consider it a privilege to only be as
>arrogant as Paul Nelson. He strikes me as being rather humble, given his
>credentials and expertise.

None of it in biological research (he told me his credentials). You at
least have a leg up over him, but you still lack the experience that someone
like even I have in biological research. To therefore imply, as you have on
occasion, that you know how to evaluate biological evidence better than
career biologists (as in the peppered moth case) is in fact arrogance.

>>But you ignored my question: if a non-geologist came to your college and
>>spoke to you and your colleagues, saying in essence that you guys were all
>>wrong in your thinking and research, and he was going to set you straight,
>>what would your reaction be?
>I would listen to what he had to say, and attempt to evaluate it in the
>best light possible. After all, he is the one out on a limb.

Very generous, but in fact I've seen you react more forcefully on this
listserv to those who challenge your geological expertise. My feeling is
that you and your colleagues would give him the scientific equivolent of the
Bronx cheer, then dismiss him, as you have done to so much of what you
oppose on this listserv.

>Kuhn has asserted that it is ususally people from outside the formal
>training of a disipline (or those very young in it) who make the major

Which in fact is largely not true, though it has happened occasionally.

>If you fail to hear them, or deliberately ignore what they
>are saying, you deserve to be left in the dark.

Then maybe you should treat evolutionary topics like the peppered moth a
little more gently.

Kevin L. O'Brien