RE: Behe responds to Dover debacle

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Thu Feb 09 2006 - 12:31:38 EST

Mike Behe spoke last evening at Harvard, to something like 65 people, and I
understand from someone who was there (someone who is not very sympathetic
with his ideas) that he came across very, very well, and that he engaged
hostile questioners rather effectively. I have myself always had that
impression of him, having heard him speak at least half a dozen times now.

In fact, it's hard to slip more than a razor blade between Behe's views and
those of the first American Darwinian, Asa Gray. Both believe(d) in common
descent; both believe(d) that the biggest danger in evolution is that it can
lead people NOT to draw the design inference; both believe(d) that
"evolution is led along certain beneficial lines," as Gray put it; both
believe(d) that God acts in and through natural processes all over the
place; both believe(d) that the larger picture of the universe makes more
sense in light of theism/design than otherwise, and that natural theology is
still possible in the wake of evolution; both believe(d) that the historic
creeds of the church (Nicene and Apostles) are good summaries of the
essential contents of Christian faith; both believe(d) in the bodily
resurrection and other miracles of Jesus' life, and in the incarnation as
traditionally understood.

I understand if/when people have become disappointed with Behe, since he
keeps singing the same song as people chip away at his arguments. I am
somewhat disappointed myself. What he really needs, is five years quietly
to think and to write and to talk to people without political things getting
in the way. Unfortunately, given the politics of science, that just isn't
going to happen at this point in his life. I continue to credit his
originality, his integrity (his message is never tailored to an audience,
with contradictory things being said in different places, he justs shoots
straight every time I hear him), his strength of conviction, and his

As for his specific views on Dover, we differ on several points. My own
views on this will be out next week in "Religion in the News," at which time
I'll send the URL to the list.

Received on Thu Feb 9 12:34:18 2006

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