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Hello Again, Michael Behe! - Comments

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 1 by BAEOZ

when I recently attended a presentation by William Dembski, I found out that a PhD in a field of mathematics automatically makes one an authority in microbiology, quantum mechanics, and even architecture.
Oh, I gotta get me one of them Mathematics PhDs. Then I can mix it with Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, A.C. Grayling, etc because I'll be so knowledgeable. Yay me!

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 20:55:00 UTC | #82343

John Done's Avatar Comment 2 by John Done

"Oh, I gotta get me one of them Mathematics PhDs. Then I can mix it with Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, A.C. Grayling, etc because I'll be so knowledgeable. Yay me!"


And I'll be sure to become learned in theology in order to truly understand that which Dawkins and the "New Atheists" cannot grasp!

No, I am seriously considering taking a course in theology. Because of my Catholic upbringing it's had a hold on my attention for some time, and it seems to be fairly useful when dealing with the faithful (or at least it *should* be, as some keep claiming). Don't worry, I will be studying philosophy and maybe psychology as well, in order to gain a professional understanding of something, you know, REAL.

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:29:00 UTC | #82350

Chris Bell's Avatar Comment 3 by Chris Bell

John Done:

Don't get your hopes up. I have never seen anyone (even lapsed theologians) be able to pin down and refute theological claims.

A religious person may attribute that to the "divine" nature of the claim, but as an atheist I have a different explanation. The claims are themselves not true, or describe things that are not true. You can't contradict something that is not true. You can't undermine a description of something that is ever changing.

The "that's not my God your describing" people can never be beaten because, if they were to be beaten, they would just change their description of their God.

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:40:00 UTC | #82352

dsainty's Avatar Comment 4 by dsainty

John Done: I am seriously considering taking a course in theology.


I took a paper in theology, though I seem to recall there were few fellow atheists present (Sam won't mind me using the term, we're all friends here :)

I learned all kinds of things about the Roman Catholic franchise that I found myself surrounded by as a child. But what startles me most is that I can't recall meeting a single member of that church before or after that knows even the basics of what they have bought into.

Catholic in name only, they all have just made up their own stories as they go along; mysteriously always making themselves out to be exactly aligned with God's conception of a good person.

So it's a frustrating exercise. Just when you think you might actually get a handle on what it is these people believe they move the goal posts yet again...

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:58:00 UTC | #82355

John Done's Avatar Comment 5 by John Done

I am well aware of the intellectual ambiguity of mainstream believers. I want to figure a way to make theological discussion of anything impossible without adhering to a more objective, comprehensive code of reasoning that, when presented well enough, you'd have to be completely insane to decide to depart from it (literally, you'd be detached from all reality). The twists and turns of theological rationality (or lack thereof) and common religious experience are what intrigue me, and I want to better understand it so that I can deprive it of its flexibilty. I want to grasp belief and truth itself, as the believer sees it, whatever form it takes. That's why I brought up psychology. Also, to describe oneself as learned in theology at least takes away the claim that I hadn't looked into this and that I don't "understand".

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 22:02:00 UTC | #82357

Shuggy's Avatar Comment 6 by Shuggy

This is only marginally relevant, but it might as well go here.

The Catholic Church opposes condoms because they prevent the transmission of life.

The tranmission of death, however, is quite OK by the Catholic Church.

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 22:57:00 UTC | #82365

JamesDB's Avatar Comment 7 by JamesDB

I liked the part about her not even wanting to give him the time of day but felt like he needed a good bashing.
And thats just what he seems to have gotten.
Will this be just another one of those things behe decides are irrelevant to his "work" and pretend it never happened.
It seems quite likely.

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 23:59:00 UTC | #82367

Dunc-uk's Avatar Comment 8 by Dunc-uk

Why on earth does every mention of Michael Behe link to a picture of Lindsay Lohan? Am I missing something?

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 00:47:00 UTC | #82392

Marcus Hill's Avatar Comment 9 by Marcus Hill

I'm glad to have other people acknowledge that I'm an authority on everything. I've got the Mathematics PhD to prove it!

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 01:50:00 UTC | #82415

beeline's Avatar Comment 10 by beeline

I don't have a PhD at all, but I really REALLY believe some things A LOT, so that must mean I'm right, yeah? :-D

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 01:53:00 UTC | #82419

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 11 by Diacanu

I watched Behe on C-Span-2 once almost immediately after having finished up TGD, and since it was fresh in my mind, I caught him in all kinds of flat out lies.
Both about evolution, and about Dawkins.
He's still whipping out his precious bacterial flagellum argument.
He's hanging onto that one with a deathgrip the way D'souza hangs onto Stalin.
What an awful little man.
Made me sick.
And I swear, he has to know he's lying.
Whether he's lying for money or for Jesus, I dunno.
There's just no way he could have any illusions as to what he's doing.
He sickens me more than D'Souza, and that's saying something.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 01:57:00 UTC | #82421

Bueller_007's Avatar Comment 12 by Bueller_007

"And I swear, he has to know he's lying.
Whether he's lying for money or for Jesus, I dunno."

The guy's got nine kids.

I think he believed he was onto something at first, but now he's just in it to sell books to the credulous.


And I thought I'd post the little message his university has about him again, just because it's so much fun:

"The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of 'intelligent design.' While we respect Prof. Behe's right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific."

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 02:51:00 UTC | #82434

Major Bloodnok's Avatar Comment 13 by Major Bloodnok

Dunc-uk:

Why on earth does every mention of Michael Behe link to a picture of Lindsay Lohan? Am I missing something?

The answer's in the first footnote at ERV's site. It's got something to do with some film that I've never seen.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 04:34:00 UTC | #82450

newatheist's Avatar Comment 14 by newatheist

And I swear, he has to know he's lying.
There really should be some serious study into the religious mind. Rule number one is "evolution is wrong." Rule number two is if something more or less proves evolution is right, see rule number one.

Or hold fingers in ears and repeat "I know god did it, I know god did it..."

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 05:04:00 UTC | #82455

Calilasseia's Avatar Comment 15 by Calilasseia

Just read the ERV blog piece.

I'm still sightly mystified about the Lindsay Lohan pics (showing my age here?) but one thing that I'm not in the least bit mystified about is the fact that ERV gave Behe a SERIOUS bitchslapping in the best way possible - by demonstrating in a scientifically rigorous fashion that his ideas are unfit to wipe baboon posteriors clean.

ERV rocks!

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 06:30:00 UTC | #82488

apaeter's Avatar Comment 16 by apaeter

I think it's because in his article Behe referred to Smith as displaying a "high school" attitude. The movie Mean Girls, written by Tina Fey and starring Lindsay Lohan, is about a clique of nasty, vain, and generally unpleasant girls called The Plastics in high school. I think that's all there is to it. Plus, Smith apparently recognizes the fact that some people can only take so many scientific acronyms in a row - then we have to distract ourselves, preferably with nubile dames. Well done!

About the article itself: Good on her; and it's pretty amazing that my dislike for Behe can still increase.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 07:17:00 UTC | #82502

jimbob's Avatar Comment 17 by jimbob

Behe -- rhymes with "Tee Hee" doesn't it?

Check out http://www.neuralgourmet.com/2005/12/18/doonesbury_12_18_05 for an appropriate cartoon!

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 07:55:00 UTC | #82512

konquererz's Avatar Comment 18 by konquererz

"Don't get your hopes up. I have never seen anyone (even lapsed theologians) be able to pin down and refute theological claims.

A religious person may attribute that to the "divine" nature of the claim, but as an atheist I have a different explanation. The claims are themselves not true, or describe things that are not true. You can't contradict something that is not true. You can't undermine a description of something that is ever changing."

I disagree, I grew up studying the bible diligently. I can slam most any theological theories. You don't do it by proving god doesn't exist or that Jesus wasn't god or what ever. You do it by simply using scripture to prove opposite views within the bible over and over until they are so confused they throw up. lol. Its not really that easier, but the more a person believes in a literal bible translation, the easier it is to "slay the dragon"! I love it!

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 08:20:00 UTC | #82521

MikeV's Avatar Comment 19 by MikeV

"I'm still sightly mystified about the Lindsay Lohan pics"

Maybe if enough of us do it, Google will end up showing pictures of Lindsay Lohan when you look up "Michael Behe".

Actually, maybe we should just link him to weasels.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 09:36:00 UTC | #82540

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 20 by sidfaiwu

The blog post was very interesting. But I wonder how that sort of critique can be translated into something with more wide-spread appeal. Sa Smith's rebuttal may be dead on, but it was well above my head, and the above the heads of many others as well, I'm sure.

I've said it many times before, there is often a difference between being right and being effective. I finally saw a documentary that does a good job of illustrating the pitfalls of only focusing on being right. Check out Flock of Dodos if you're interested.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 09:39:00 UTC | #82541

GoatBoy36's Avatar Comment 21 by GoatBoy36

John Done,

I took a couple courses in philosophy a few years ago, with the Open University. I was debating with a few Christians on the internet at the time. As the first course description said: The course will teach you to argue effectively. This is a transferrable skill.

Right now I'm listening to the bible on CD while commuting - the NLT version which is ok - and might take a course or two afterwards.

dsainty, I agree that many Christians don't know what's in their holy book & just make it all up as they go along (at least that's been my experience). I've always thought that this alone undermines any argument by learned theists who try to say to the likes of RD that he hasn't studied theology enough to comment on it - does this mean that most of their "flock" don't have any idea what they're doing when they troop in to listen to him speak on Sunday morning? Because sure as anything, most of them haven't even read the one core text never mind anything else!

Still it would be good when debating online to be able to respond to the tired old objection by saying, actually I studied theology at university. That would be pretty cool!

If anyone's interested in taking any courses, do a Google for the university of London, uni of Exeter, the Open University and if you're living up in the frozen north like me, Aberdeen Uni.

gb.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 11:05:00 UTC | #82556

cyris8400's Avatar Comment 22 by cyris8400

To everyone who's wondering, the Lohan thing comes from some grudgingly dismissive ad hominem remark Behe made about ERV (she had published a paper critical of his claims about AIDS on the Panda's Thumb site).

As she can be seen (as anyone critical of pseudoscience can be seen) as toothed in her criticisms, Behe called her a "mean girl". There's a catty and teenage-ish movie with Lindsay Lohan in it by the same title, thus, ERV uses that as a hilarious petty insult.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 13:38:00 UTC | #82614

cyris8400's Avatar Comment 23 by cyris8400

Oh, and, for anyone here who doesn't understand her occasional genetics or virology terms, see her "Quick Translation for Laymen II":

http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/2007/11/quick-translation-for-laymen-ii.html

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 14:18:00 UTC | #82625

Flavius_Josephus's Avatar Comment 24 by Flavius_Josephus

Behe wasn't just shown to be dead wrong, as usual, but what was great is that ERV, as Calilasseia mentioned in an above post, gave Behe a much deserved bitch slapping.

If one reads all of their interactions (see ERV's first post to Behe), Behe deserved every ounce of it!

Yes, ERV, you rock! Job well done.

It's also funny to note that it took Behe almost 2 months to post his pitiful repsonse to ERV the first time around. I think he is getting cold feet?

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 16:52:00 UTC | #82664