This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Behe's Empty Box

Behe's Empty Box - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

"...nothing worthwhile has come from Behe during that time."

That is an understatement.

Behe: "...from the evidence, I think intelligent design is the best explanation."

Does one need to know more from this guy? I think not.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 12:21:00 UTC | #183399

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 2 by Oromasdes1978


I find it very odd you still get letters about this chap, I suppose the religious mind is not something one can possibly fathom, but with all he has been through do you not think throwing in the towel would be a good thing? (Thinking about it I am perfectly sure his knowledge of where his towel is would be a more suited case for Sherlock Holmes or Morse after a good pint of Oxford ale!). I would have thought after all that has happened to Behe his credibility has sunk to such lows that digging or gargantuan sized drills would have to be incorporated to find it!

Well, please keep up the good work in persuading people that irreducible complexity is in fact a swear word and I will keep learning better truths, I promise! :)


Sat, 14 Jun 2008 12:34:00 UTC | #183405

LaTomate's Avatar Comment 3 by LaTomate

Isn't Michael Behe the one who testified in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in favor of creationism in front of a conservative judge and lost?

Why isn't the word out about that? Why would anyone want to listen to his explanations anyway after that?

What a sad state of affairs. They lose and yet keep coming back to waste everyone's time and effort with their rubbish.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 12:51:00 UTC | #183409

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 4 by EvidenceOnly

Behe's box contains NO scientific evidence.

His box, however, is like the (lack of) discovery institute filled to the rim with lies for jesus. From that angle, it is definitely not empty.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 13:21:00 UTC | #183433

brian thomson's Avatar Comment 5 by brian thomson

The link to the H Allen Orr article on that page is bust, but it's online at Boston Review, here. Good stuff.

Also, Behe's responses to Orr and other critics are here. Sample quote:

"Professor Ruse asks if I have the right to appeal to design as a scientist. Well, many scientists already appeal to design. I mentioned the SETI program earlier; clearly those scientists think they can detect design (and nonhuman design at that.) Forensic scientists routinely make decisions of whether a death was designed (murder) or an unfortunate accident.

Oh, the agony...

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 13:29:00 UTC | #183439

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 6 by Lisa Bauer

Michael Behe? The guy Time magazine saw fit to write about Dawkins in their Time 100 list? I guess somebody thinks he's still important!

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 14:51:00 UTC | #183472

LochRaven's Avatar Comment 8 by LochRaven

EvidenceOnly - Just to add to that, my bowels aren't empty either, but we all know what they contain. :-)

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 15:01:00 UTC | #183476

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 7 by Oromasdes1978

Layla Nasreddin

Yes, that be the same Behe, a very silly man indeed, so silly that he got his arse well and truly booted into obscurity when he started making ridiculous and erroneous claims about Flagellum Motors at the Dover Drubbing, I mean, Trial!

He is not important, more of the black sheep of the family who never evolved! :)

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 15:01:00 UTC | #183475

SPS's Avatar Comment 9 by SPS

Pardon me for recycling part of my post on Dinesh D'Souza's blog entry with a slight edit:

I know some here have been making assertions about science in defense of their faith. I am curious. Would you be as comfortable making these claims in an auditorium full of evolutionary biologists, physicists, mathematicians, etc? Would you be open to being shown incorrect?
Some have posed that intelligent design/creation make sense, because certain things are 'impossible'. Why do you then credit a creator in doing the impossible whose methods you do not know, and who believers readily admit they cannot comprehend? Why do you not allow for the first, and allow for the second? Why are you searching for an evidence based god? If evidence is important then where does that place the importance of your faith? Would you still believe without "evidence". If you would believe without evidence doesn't this reveal you as biased against it?
A yes or no answer will suffice for most of these questions, but answer as you wish.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 16:08:00 UTC | #183486

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 10 by mordacious1


Twin towers behind you in your avatar? Subtle point about religion.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 16:39:00 UTC | #183488

Pythagoras's Avatar Comment 11 by Pythagoras

The idea of irreducible complexity needs to be hit on the head. The whole idea of irreducibly complex systems as disproving evolution is logically unsound. It just indicates a lack of imagination.

If a system is irreducibly complex, i.e. removing any one part will stop it from functioning; does that imply that it could not have evolved? The answer is NO it does not! The whole irreducible complexity argument is invalid from the outset. Since evolution can add and remove parts, and parts can serve multiple purposes, there is no reason that the parts in an irreducibly complex system evolved for the purpose they currently have. The parts may have been part of another system which originally served a different purpose. The system that the parts evolved to support may have changed or disappeared.

There are plenty of known examples of this kind of thing. The mammalian ear comes to mind. I'm sure biologists could come up with many more.


Sat, 14 Jun 2008 16:46:00 UTC | #183490

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 12 by mordacious1


Irreducible complexity has been demolished so often it is ridiculous. Each and every argument that the cretinists have, has been trashed by the scientific community and others over and over again (and in public forums, like Dover). Yet they keep bringing them up. The Dover trial should have been on the four major networks, then maybe people would listen and learn. I doubt it though. Plus they would have had to bump, "Dancing with the Stars".

The believers look at Kirk Cameron's crocoduck, and say "yeah, that evolution stuff is nonsense". Let's face it, alot of these people are just too damn stupid to walk and breath at the same time.

There, I got that out of my system for the day.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 17:16:00 UTC | #183493

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 13 by Lisa Bauer

mordacious1 wrote:


Twin towers behind you in you avatar? Subtle point about religion.

Uh, yeah, why do you think I chose that picture? My life was affected, indirectly, by those two buildings (and their destruction) far, far more than I would ever have dreamed...go figure.

I've been looking this guy up on Google and he seems a right...well, I won't say it. The adjective "mendacious" comes to mind. (By the way, did you know there's such a thing as CreationWiki? I didn't!)

Where IS John Catalano these days, incidentally?

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 19:30:00 UTC | #183506

Vinelectric's Avatar Comment 14 by Vinelectric


Tried to follow your example.I've never been to Afghanistan, but still...

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 22:11:00 UTC | #183522

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 15 by Lisa Bauer


Very nice!

I still have the ticket for the observation deck at the World Trade Center, from when I dragged family members all the way to NYC, so it really hit hard. "I was there!"

Incidentally, I like the name of that site -- The World of Richard Dawkins. "It's Richard Dawkins's world, we just live in it," as the snowclone (a kind of linguistic meme) would have it.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 23:08:00 UTC | #183553

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 16 by rod-the-farmer

I tried the creationwiki web site, and it is down. There is, however, one link that works. "Locations of visitors to this page

which is rather telling in that the bulk of the people are from the U.S., despite there being versions in other languages, according to the main page.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 01:39:00 UTC | #183578

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 17 by Enlightenme..

^^I went with my brother and a friend in May 2000, and May 2001, I might just scan one of my view from the top photos to make another avatar (yours could do with a bit of photoshopping for exposure balancing, Layla)
I also have some from a couple of ferry rides to NJ and Liberty.
I haven't been back since (my mate moved from Queens, so no floor to kip on!)
Right, I'm off to do some gliding over Wiltshire.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 01:57:00 UTC | #183579

stevencarrwork's Avatar Comment 18 by stevencarrwork

Michael Behe wrote in Darwin's Black Box 'In The Blind Watchmaker Richard Dawkins tells his readers that even if a statue of the Virgin Mary waved to them, they should not conclude they had witnessed a miracle. Perhaps all the atoms of the statue's arm just happened to move in the same direction at once - a low-probability event to be sure, but possible. Most people who saw a statue come to life would tell Dawkins that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy, but they couldn't make him join the Church of England.'

Was Behe telling the truth about Richard Dawkins here, when he claimed that Dawkins would not consider a waving statue a supernatural event?

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 02:08:00 UTC | #183580

Ian's Avatar Comment 19 by Ian

The section he's referring to is on page 159 of my Penguin edition - it's in the index. :-D

No, not quite. The way I read it, Richard is trying to illustrate the difference of something which is impossible in principle and something which is merely massively unlikely. There is no law which states that all the atoms in an object can't move in unison, but it's only one vanishingly small possibility among all the permutations in which the billions of atoms could move.

Behe is telling the truth in order to decieve, a common tactic among the religious.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 02:47:00 UTC | #183593

nalfeshnee's Avatar Comment 20 by nalfeshnee

I think the only link one needs to give people interested in ID is the page.

If you follow that link, you will see an empty page, with the words "Coming soon".

Somehow, I doubt it.

ID has no resources - just like Behe's empty box.

(Incidentally, the blog is worth reading for its comedy value.)

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 03:52:00 UTC | #183610

stevencarrwork's Avatar Comment 21 by stevencarrwork

So Behe was telling the truth? Dawkins would never regard a waving statue as a sign from God, and would prefer an explanation that he himself says that is just so improbable that it beggars belief?

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 04:07:00 UTC | #183613

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 22 by Steve Zara

Was Behe telling the truth about Richard Dawkins here, when he claimed that Dawkins would not consider a waving statue a supernatural event?

I wouldn't. It is at least conceivable that such a move is possible using something like a Star Trek transporter. Or, someone could be influencing my mind. Or, Paul Daniels could be around somewhere.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 04:43:00 UTC | #183617

Wosret's Avatar Comment 23 by Wosret

"Yes it is clear from the 'evidence' that the universe was intelligently designed. Which evidence is that exactly? Well, my intuition, my hopes and dreams, my ignorance, and most powerful of all, the fact that you can't prove that it wasn't!"

"Now look over there while I play the switch-a roo with 'intelligent designer' and 'the christian god'."

More amazing than the water to wine one.

damn do these people love to obfuscate and hide in ambiguity. Then switch stuff up when you aren't looking.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 04:51:00 UTC | #183619

Wosret's Avatar Comment 24 by Wosret

It is never justified to call anything a supernatural evident. I think that Hume demonstrated this beautifully, and clearly. It presupposes a knowledge of nature that no one possesses. Without omniscience no one knows what isn't possible to occure by natural processes.

The very best we could say is, "that contradicts what we know about nature." if something that fitted that description were to occure, but of course the best explanation would be that our understanding of nature was wrong. Which is quite possible, since such knowledge is merely probabolistic, and fallable.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 04:55:00 UTC | #183620

Billy Sands's Avatar Comment 25 by Billy Sands

I think the only link one needs to give people interested in ID is the page.

Just got this encouraging article about declining christianity off it
I'll post it on the hellmoith thread just for DR

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 05:05:00 UTC | #183621

Mark Smith's Avatar Comment 26 by Mark Smith

Was Behe telling the truth about Richard Dawkins here, when he claimed that Dawkins would not consider a waving statue a supernatural event?

A waving statue would be just that, a waving statue. Interestingly, most 'professional theologians' distinguish between amazing events and 'true miracles', the latter being ones which have an accompanying message (explicit or implicit) from the divinity and tending to do good. Behe might have been better picking something like an amputee 'miracled' a new leg.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 05:49:00 UTC | #183626

beeline's Avatar Comment 27 by beeline

Am I the only one who noticed what an INCREDIBLY GREAT COLLECTION OF LINKS and INFORMATION there is on that page by John Catalano. An incredibly detailed and structured knowledge resource for everyone.

He sounds like an excellent guy.

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 05:55:00 UTC | #183627

Diocletian's Avatar Comment 28 by Diocletian

Thanks Richard for reminding us about Catalano's website - and a huge thanks to Josh for creating the even more evolved site!

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 06:09:00 UTC | #183629

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 29 by Border Collie

Unfortunately, it's important to keep up with the Behe's of the world because their brand of tripe is the only education that much of the US receives. In a country where the school systems have gone to hell, many people get most or all of their "education" from church, religious schools, TV, tabloids, etc. which is to say, no education at all. Yippie ki yo ...

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 06:59:00 UTC | #183637

AdrianT's Avatar Comment 30 by AdrianT

It is important that refutations of pseudo-science are available and easily accessible.

Simply refuting Behe's suppositions does not mean "irreducible complexity" stories about flagellum, the HIV-1 virus go away.

Only 3 months ago, one of the main Christian newspapers in the netherlands, Nederlands Dagblad, printed a silly article entitled "science says God exists", referring both to Behe's claims and about how remarkable snowflakes are, among others. (article in question is at following link:

It really is like trying to stop weeds growing in the garden. So well done in providing a reference point that can help combat this!

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 07:03:00 UTC | #183639