Monday, April 10, 2006

CBC's "Sunday Edition" a few years ago gave long airtime to an appallingly uncritical interview with Michael Behe, with the breathless and uncritical interviewer being Michael Enright. Behe made his claims about irreducible complexity, and I recall no rebuttal (my recollection might well be wrong).

Now it was true at the time that there are great gaps in the understanding of the formation of proteins. And of course now the gaps are being chipped away at. This post describes the situation nicely.

Many Canadians laugh at the backwardness of the US Intelligent Design advocates. They should not forget this nonsense is being taught seriously in the Toronto high school system funded by the Ontario government.

4 Comments:

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Martin said...

I have never been able to distinguish Behe's argument form that of Paley...the watchmaker analogy. Biology is full of redundancy/ambiguity and much of Behe's argument (to the extent that he is not simply overly demanding about proof) rests on fairly strict mapping of molecule to function and vice versa. I am unimpressed with the idea of irreducible complexity: in science we present theories to explain bodies of often otherwise unrelated facts; we test the consequences of such theories and update them. But just because physicists cannot deal with particulate interactions much beyond two particles doesnt mean that we should not accept (i.e. use) Kinetics/mechanics.

Every 2 years I update my notes for my courses. I am always startled by the new discoveries at the molecular level that further strengthen the idea that all life has a common ancestor. Darwin's arguments apply even at this level.

The telling fact is that Behe is more concerned with criticising evolution than in supplying a reasonable replacement for it as a scientific explanation of biodiversity. I agree with him that much remains to be discovered; but I dont agree that that means that what we have discovered is false.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

"I agree with him that much remains to be discovered; but I dont agree that that means that what we have discovered is false."

Amen. :-)

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Martin said...

Great quote!!! I dont know who said it but wow is it crisp. To extend Aristotle's list of fallacies, Behe's is an "argument from incredulity". Because he cannot conceive of evolution effecting such change, it cannot happen.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Hmm I think you said it!

 

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