Contributing to Behe’s sense of martyrdom


I think I'm liking the Kitzmiller case.

Not only is it looking like the creationist side is going to go down hard, but it's also accomplishing something very useful: it's exposing the incompetence, hypocrisy, and pariah status of one of the current Icons of Intelligent Design, Michael Behe. He's a guy the Discovery Institute loves to trot out as a star of their show. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry! He's a professor at a respectable university! He published articles in real scientific journals! He has published a bestselling book!

It's no wonder the DI peddled away from this trial as quickly as their tricycle would take them…Behe is getting eviscerated. And all the lawyers had to do was expose his own words.

Continue reading "Contributing to Behe's sense of martyrdom" (on Pharyngula)


New Scientist article

Under cross examination, ID proponent Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, admitted his definition of “theory” was so broad it would also include astrology. … Rothschild suggested that Behe’s definition was so loose that astrology would come under this definition as well. He also pointed out that Behe’s definition of theory was almost identical to the NAS’s definition of a hypothesis. Behe agreed with both assertions. … “You’ve got to admire the guy. It’s Daniel in the lion’s den,” says Robert Slade, a local retiree who has been attending the trial because he is interested in science. “But I can’t believe he teaches a college biology class.” …

How unfortunate that Dembski turned down the chance to testify.

Bayesian Bouffant wrote: “How unfortunate that Dembski turned down the chance to testify.”

I think Dembski was smart enough to know what was going to happen. The moves he’s making on his own web sites are interesting.

I agree Norman.

The moves he is making ??

Judging by the company Dembski keeps it would do him no good to have his pants ripped off. His cheer squad would simply cheer louder and that would remove any semblance of doubt as to their saneness.

The people that really matter his– scientific peers would no doubt be left just shaking their heads.

Dembski of course doesn’t need to prove he is an idiot by getting into the stand he already knows he is an idiot.

He has science envy and status envy at the same time.

And the easiest way to make yourself feel good if the best in world think your a fool?… surround yourself with people more foolish than yourself that way you’ll always be the best in your own mind.

Behe says IDC qualifies as a scientific theory if you redefine “scientific” and “theory”. I guess I can’t argue with that.


to paraphrase another famous prevaricator…

i guess it depends on what the definition of “is” is :p

otoh, the really scary thing about the folks behind ID is that redefining science and theory is exactly what they are about, eh? If they didn’t try to change the rules of the game, nobody would be that concerned.

they obviously don’t care if they win in court now… because their goal is to change the courts, and thereby the interpretation of the law itself.

I just stopped laughing.

Behe shifts the burden of proof:

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A leading advocate of “intelligent design” on Wednesday questioned whether his critics have enough scientific evidence to discredit his ideas as he testified in a federal trial over whether the concept can be discussed in a public school biology class.

Intelligent design vs. stack of science books

he is “quite skeptical” of science texts.

well, duh. he’d have to be to maintain his position eh? the only burden he has shifted is towards the mental health department to pick him up before he gets even more looney.

Behe has freed himself of all burdens, of proof or otherwise. he is a free man. free, but only in the way those who have completely abandoned reality can be.

sir_toejam Wrote:

to paraphrase another famous prevaricator…

i guess it depends on what the definition of “is” is :p

There too, the official ID position is “don’t ask, don’t tell.” :-)

You know I’ve had a thought. I know what I would like to do if I were the attorney at the Dover trial. I would get a standard highschool textbook and get Behe or his unctuous ilk to highlight the nits they didn’t like. Then I would suspend the trial for a month or so while I did the necessary work.

This work would involve chasing down every reference, every research team, every individual scientist, right back to the oldest retired relevant guy.I would then get them to bring in every relevant research paper, every relevant lab book and every relevant living scientist they could get to come along. That is I would show every written transcript of every experiment that supported the conclusions objected to in that textbook and have it brought in by every living exponent or experimenter that was possible to get.

It would be a bit of a squeeze! Mind you the after court conversation would be ASTOUNDING and the jury would get the best science education available!

I would then get Behe or the oleagenous IDCist of choice to show what he/she had that a) explained the data brought in by the multitude, and b) refuted it. I would then get each scientist to take Behe or whoever through the data piece by piece. This might take a few years. Kind of like show and tell on big scale!

Of course the entire thing would be videoed. The next time we had some IDCist want to rearrange the universe to suit their religion, all we would have to do is hand them the several hundred thousand DVDs of the court case and say “Don’t take it up with me, take it up with them.”.

Might even work at shutting them up! Hell, it might even work at educating the ignorant bastards about actual science.

You know I’ve had a thought. I know what I would like to do if I were the attorney at the Dover trial. I would get a standard highschool textbook and get Behe or his unctuous ilk to highlight the nits they didn’t like.

I’d take the opposite approach — I’d asak him what it is, specifically, about ID that he’d like to teach. Whaqt does he think the designer did. What mechanisms does he think the designer used to do whatever he thinks it did. Where can we see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything.

Behe’s response?

(sound of crickets chirping)

That sums it all up, right there.

Bayesian Bouffant Wrote:

How unfortunate that Dembski turned down the chance to testify.

True. It would have been nice to get the Uri Geller of Information theory on the stand in addition to Behe. But if we had to choose one or the other, I would rather Behe. Behe is the one with actual scientific credentials that Debmski does not have. And Behe just is not a slick. I think he is an easier target for the lawyers then Dembski. At least’s Behe’s version of pseudoscience deals with real things like cell structure. Discrediting that is far easier than a bunch of mathematical equations with no real connection to the real world. Sure it is doable, but what can be done with Behe will be more dramatic than what can be done with Dembski. It cannot be underestimated just how important it is not mere to beat them, but to utterly humiliate them in this contest.

Still. A bunch of money (20 grand if memory serves) went from the law firm fighting for ID into Dembski’s personal finances. I really like that because 1) I rather to money be spent on whatever Dembski enjoys than in the actual organization we are opposing and 2) so people can see that Dembski was getting paid…

And of course this is not likely to be the last trial. We might just get him on the stands when almost all-but-certain upcoming Kansas case goes to trial.

otoh, public knowledge that you can be bribed in order to support the DI’s lies will just encourage more scientists down on their luck to sell out to the DI.

meh, whatchya gonna do, eh?

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on October 19, 2005 10:11 AM.

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