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Monday, September 10, 2007

David Warren defends Mike Behe, and offers boilerplate responses to Darwinists

David Warren offers the "boilerplate" replies he must provide (to conserve time for useful activities) to the Darwinists who write him in defense of their idol. Here I print here a few:

- On "intelligent design," Behe & company have been content to demonstrate that evolution through random mutation & natural selection can't work, & have averred that they specifically do not account for independently-operating biological machinery from the molecular level up that is both incredibly complex & incredibly precise. It does not follow that they are simple "creationists." For once again the critics construe a negative as a positive. Behe would be no more content to say "God intervened miraculously" at every step of evolutionary transformation than Richard Dawkins would be. He is saying that since complex precise systems require design, we must look for mechanisms of design, instead of pretending that "design is unnecessary."

- On Behe personally, I am outraged by the constant slandering & misrepresentation of a good, honest, intelligent man who is doing his best to pursue the truth according to his lights. In his case & several others I have had a good look at how the Darwin party pursues heretics. Behe is not a smooth political operator, but he is up against some real pros.

- I myself happen to disagree with Behe, & more with some other ID advocates, on various little points, & I think they are foolish sometimes to promote ID as if it were an alternative "general theory," when it is instead an attempt to get around an unworkable general theory: i.e. to remove untrue theoretical trash from the observable scientific landscape. But that doesn't
matter: for what I am defending is their freedom to pursue their studies without heresy trials.

- On my "tone" generally, I doubt it has changed. The difference is that you were earlier reading things you agreed with, then later reading things you did not agree with. But be assured, people who disagree with me on other topics get just as vexed. My views on Darwinism have been fairly consistent in print & elsewhere over the last thirty-something years, going back to when I was myself an atheist; & so, my vexing of Darwinist true believers is not something new. (Take that in: I myself, like many other free-thinking types, first realized that random mutation & natural selection could not explain the origin of a single species, long before I ever "accepted Christ as my personal Saviour." You may say that I am a religious nutjob, but you cannot say that my views on evolution are the product of my Catholic Christian faith.)

And if you think this is fun, you might also try O'Leary vs. the Darwinbots.

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They would have believed in creation if it WASN'T in the Bible?

Now and then someone has written to me to claim that it's just not true that mid-twentieth century physicists disliked the Big Bang because of the religious implications of the idea of a beginning to the universe. A contact, however, quotes Simon Singh's Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe:
The British physicist William Bonner, for example, suggested that the Big Bang theory was part of a conspiracy aimed at shoring up Christianity: 'The underlying motive is, of course, to bring in God as creator. It seems like the opportunity Christian theology has been waiting for ever since science began to depose religion from the minds of rational men in the seventeenth century'

Fred Hoyle was equally scathing when it came to the Big Bang's association with religion, condemning it as a model built on Judeo-Christian foundations. His views were shared by his Steady State collaborator, Thomas Gold. When Gold heard that Pius XII had backed the Big Bang, his response was short and to the point: 'Well, the Pope also endorsed the stationary Earth.'
Scientists had been wary of the Vatican'

However, this wariness sometimes bordered on paranoia, as noted by the English Nobel Laureate George Thomson: 'Probably every physicist would believe in a creation if the Bible had not unfortunately said something about it many years ago and made it seem old-fashioned.' (pp. 361-62

So Singh has apparently noticed some of the same kind of stuff as I have.

Also, at The Mindful Hack,

Religion profs who don't know much religion?

The Winnipeg Free Press review of The Spiritual Brain and my posted reply

What does Turkey's new, more religious prime minister portend? Maybe not what you think.

Iszatso? Liberal versus conservative brains in Greenwich Village

Mark Steyn punctures secularism

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