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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Intelligent design and high culture: Mike Behe is not a creationist, but who cares?

Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, author of Edge of Evolution, a powerful challenge to essentially magical claims for what Darwinian evolution can do, protests - in his usual pacific way - the ridiculous claims that it can produce vast amounts of intricate machinery in a short period of time.

Of course, the American Scientific Affiliation list (= God dunit - hallelujah! - but we would never know, from the world we live in) has a huge investment in misrepresenting him.

A key issue is whether he is a creationist - that is, does he think that specific divine acts of creation are necessary?

Recently, he wrote me to say,
I tried to make my views as clear as possible in my books, and I even have a section in Chapter 10 of Edge of Evolution entitled "No Interference" where I say ID is compatible with absolutely no "intervention" (although, of course, in reality there may have been intervention -- who knows?).

Here's the money quote:

"But the assumption that design unavoidably requires “interference” rests mostly on a lack of imagination. There’s no reason that the extended fine-tuning view I am presenting here necessarily requires active meddling with nature anymore than the fine tuning of theistic evolution does. One can think the universe is finely tuned to any degree and still conceive that “the universe [originated] by a single creative act” and underwent “its natural development by laws implanted in it”. One simply has to envision that the agent who caused the universe was able to specify from the start not only laws, but much more." (p. 231)

[Some tenured nobody] apparently has not read my stuff too closely.
Oh, I wouldn't worry about that, Mike. Don't count on any of those people reading your stuff too closely. I remember the ridicule they heaped on you when that very fine book first came out.

It was Jackal City's night out.

Here is my view, for what it is worth: The ASA list types think they can front God to people who really should believe in materialism - as Darwin - in reality - did, from his early adulthood, and not as a result of his science research.

[I will post on that topic soon].

So the ASA types would give us the right to believe in God - on their terms. (= cringing in front of glamourous atheists, and so forth ... )

But suppose we just kick them all upside the full moon, and believe the evidence instead?

If there's a down side, it must be when they land. And that down side is for them, not us.

Indeed, that is the change that is taking place right now. So hang in.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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