Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Fri Apr 24 2009 - 20:36:57 EDT

Your objection regarding the term "Darwinian" is a verbal technicality,
Dave; my point remains the same if you change it to "neo-Darwinian means",
or if you add in any number of newer "mechanisms" which are currently mooted
around (drift, etc.), and call it "neo-neo-Darwinian means". All of them
are chance mechanisms, ultimately, when all the fancy language is stripped
away. The task of neo-neo-Darwinism, then, is to prove that chance can
produce integrated complex systems. Behe's argument is that it can't. He
may be right, or he may be wrong, but there is no point in obfuscating the
issue. The choice is, and always has been (since the days of the ancient
Greeks) "by design or by chance".

The problem with TE (at least in most of its formulations) is that it is
simply unclear about the extent of the complexity-building powers it allows
to chance. To read TE writers, the cause of mutations etc. is sort of
chance, and sort of God's action, and sort of neither, and sort of both --
that's what TE sounds like, to an outsider seeking theoretical clarity. It
sounds vague.

ID, on the other hand, is razor-sharp in clarity on that point. It draws a
line in the sand. It says that chance is simply not sufficient. It says
that there must be an input of intelligence. The input might be before the
Big Bang, with no further inputs necessary (front-loaded naturalistic
evolution). It might be at one or more points after that (intervention,
quantum-concealed or otherwise). ID does not specify. But it says that the
input is necessary.

Tell me, Dave: do you believe that chance mechanisms -- include the whole
passel of them if you want -- could, *utterly unguided by God or some other
intelligence*, turn atoms into Adam, molecules into Mendel, bacteria into
Bohr? And if you do believe that, why do you bring God into the picture at
all? And if you don't believe that, how does your view differ substantially
from Behe's, except in jargon?


----- Original Message -----
From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)

> But "purely Darwinian means" are no longer relevant in biology, unless
> one desires to be anachronistic. Darwin, for example, had no
> understanding of genetics, and even the rediscovery of Mendel's work is
> now vastly superceded. I have read numerous references to irreducible
> complexity, but they seem to represent /ipse dixit/, with various
> experiments indicating that the complexity can be produced by natural
> processes. Indeed, from what I've encountered, "irreducible complexity"
> seems closely equivalent to "God of the gaps."
> Dave (ASA)
> On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 18:24:04 -0400 "Cameron Wybrow"
> <> writes:
>> Uhhh, Bernie ...
>> This is not an accurate representation of Behe's thought.
>> Let me modify your words to make them correct:
>> > Behe 1: "I have no problem with biological evolution of humans
>> from
>> > apelike creatures, *or with biological evolution generally*."
>> >
>> > Behe 2: "Evolution *by purely Darwinian means* is impossible
>> because of
>> > irreducible complexity."
>> Note that Behe 1 is entirely compatible with Behe 2.
>> If I may add a general remark, addressed not just to Bernie but to
>> everyone
>> here: why are ID proponents' arguments so often misrepresented and
>> mischaracterized here? A couple of months ago someone
>> mischaracterized
>> Behe, and Ted Davis had to jump in to correct the person, with an
>> exact
>> quotation from Behe. And over the last several months I've noticed
>> several
>> remarks which suggest to me that some people here are not reading
>> the actual
>> works of Behe, Dembski, and other ID theorists, but are criticizing
>> them
>> based on hearsay. I find this disturbing, especially since a number
>> of
>> people here have Ph.D.s. Is it not part of doctoral-level training
>> to
>> acquire the habit of reading sources carefully before one criticizes
>> them?
>> Cameron.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Dehler, Bernie" <>
>> Cc: <>
>> Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 4:59 PM
>> Subject: RE: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)
>> > Hi Ted-
>> >
>> > Gregory is pointing out the confusion in ID circles. Did
>> evolution happen
>> > or not? I suppose Behe could host a debate featuring two
>> opponents:
>> > himself vs. himself.
>> >
>> > Behe 1: "I have no problem with biological evolution of humans
>> from
>> > apelike creatures."
>> >
>> > Behe 2: "Evolution is impossible because of irreducible
>> complexity."
>> >
>> > ...Bernie
>> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
>> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> ____________________________________________________________
> Discover how much can a college degree can change your life. Act now.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Apr 24 20:39:11 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Apr 24 2009 - 20:39:11 EDT