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

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Sun Apr 26 2009 - 16:34:46 EDT


You do not understand the meaning of "chance". I chalk this up to your
apparent unfamiliarity with the history of philosophical discussions about
nature. The "false dichotomy" I've set up between design and chance is
agreed upon by Lucretius, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Hobbes, Bacon, Aquinas,
Augustine, Darwin, Bergson, Lecomte du Nouy, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan,
Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, etc. How many of these authors have you
read, Dick?

Your bulbous nose example is ridiculous. The contested part of Darwinism is
not about bulbous noses. The contested part of Darwinism -- and by the way,
I've read Darwin's *Origin of Species* from cover to cover (have you?) -- is
about whole new body plans arising gradualistically, with each intermediate
stage being functional. Clearly you have not read the scientific literature
which challenges the likelihood of this. I think you ought to, before you
speak glibly about the alleged powers of mutation and natural selection. If
I may recommend six books by people with Ph.D.s in relevant areas of
science, I suggest Behe's two books, Denton's two books, Dembski's *No Free
Lunch*, and Dembski and Wells's *The Design of Life*. I have read all of
these from cover to cover, in some cases taking extensive notes as I read.
I would also recommend the articles of David Berlinski on evolution,
published in the journal *Commentary*, and his books touching on the

As for your implied charge of stubbornness on my part, let me say that I am
willing to learn from anyone here who can teach me anything at all about
theology or science. I've learned from Ted Davis about the theology of
Boyle, for example, and I hope to learn something from Mike Gene about
design theory in biology and from Gregory Arago about the philosophical
foundations of social science and from George Murphy about Lutheran theology
and from other people about things in their areas of expertise. I also hope
to learn something about the mechanisms of evolution. For starters, I would
like you to teach me the detailed genetic pathways by which the camera eye,
the cardiovascular system, the fin-to-foot transition, winged flight in
birds, the human brain, the nostril-to-blowhole transition, the gill-to-lung
transition, etc. were achieved, or even could have been achieved. I would
also like to know how the first living cell arose from non-living matter
without intelligent intervention. When I have learned any of these things
from you, or from anyone else here, I will gladly admit the awesome creative
powers of chance combinations of atoms, random mutations, and natural

Since you have been "engaged in these discussions for quite some time now",
perhaps you have some scientific publications in this area which you could
direct me to. Perhaps you have written a book providing the details of the
evolution of the camera eye? Or perhaps one of your scientific colleagues
on this list has done so?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dick Fischer" <>
To: "'Cameron Wybrow'" <>
Cc: "ASA" <>
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 2:58 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)


Please drop the "chance" rhetoric. Evolution comes about through random
genetic mutations and natural selection which is not chance at all.

A nucleotide substitution might result in a person with a large and bulbous
nose, for example. A person sporting such a protrusion might find it
difficult to attract a help mate. That person might remain single and pass
from life's scene leaving no bulbous-nosed progeny - natural selection at
work. But those prospective mates made rational choices based on upon a
physical appearance they found objectionable. The same holds true for other
physical characteristics that may be appealing or unappealing.

So if we wish to make progress in these discussions, show some ability to
learn from those of us who have been engaged in these discussions for quite
some time now. You are trying to set up a false dichotomy and win debating
points. Most of us, on the other hand, may be knowledgeable in this area,
but still earnestly seek better, more refined answers.

Dick Fischer, author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham

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Received on Sun Apr 26 16:35:37 2009

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