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Friday, January 14, 2011

ID theorist Mike Behe tries to keep Darwinist Jerry Coyne focused

Mike Behe
Society must, after all, continue the fight against ADD (attention deficit Darwinism):
Try as one might to keep Darwinists focused on the data, some can't help reverting to their favorite trope: questioning Darwinism simply must be based on religion. Unfortunately Professor Coyne succumbs to this. Introducing his blog post he writes:
What role does the appearance of new genes, versus simple changes in old ones, play in evolution? There are two reasons why this question has recently become important.... The first involves a scientific controversy.... The second controversy is religious. Some advocates of intelligent design (ID)--most notably Michael Behe in a recent paper--have implied not only that evolved new genes or new genetic "elements" (e.g., regulatory sequences) aren't important in evolution, but that they play almost no role at all, especially compared to mutations that simply inactivate genes or make small changes, like single nucleotide substitutions, in existing genes. This is based on the religiously-motivated "theory" of ID, which maintains that new genetic information cannot arise by natural selection, but must installed [sic] in our genome by a magic poof from Jebus. [sic]
Jerry Coyne

Anyone who reads the paper, however, knows my conclusions were based on the reviewed experiments of many labs over decades. Even Coyne knows this. In the very next sentence he writes, inconsistently, "I've criticized Behe's conclusions, which are based on laboratory studies of bacteria and viruses that virtually eliminated the possibility of seeing new genes arise, but I don't want to reiterate my arguments here." Yet if my conclusions are based on "laboratory studies," then they ain't "religious," even if Coyne disagrees with them.
Professor Coyne is so upset, he imagines things that aren't in the paper. (They are "implied," you see.)
For more, go here.

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