The scientific vacuity of ID: Dembski and the flagellum

On ERV’s blog we find an article titled Irreducible Complexity Reflects Human Ignorance about Phillip Klebba, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma. It was Klebba’s relentless questions during the Q&A of Dembski’s talk at the Trinity Baptist Church Oklahoma University in Norman Oklahoma which forced Dembski to admit to the level of ignorance that is required for ID.

The Baptist Trinity Church had invited Dembski “to penetrate the university campus with the gospel” (source). After all, what better way to introduce the students to the gospel than through the ideas of William Dembski? Dembski presented a talk titled “Why Atheism is no Longer Intellectually Fulfilling: The Challenge of Intelligent Design to Unintelligent Evolution”. During the Q&A, Dembski found out that the students were not impressed by his arguments. While Dembski may have contributed to the successes of Atheism on the University, he also managed to show to the audience present why ID is scientifically vacuous.

Countless blogs have already commented on Dembski’s talk and the disastrous Q&A session where Dembski was to admit that he would never accept an evolutionary explanation for the flagellum but also where Dembski admitted that he doubted that apes and humans shared a common ancestry.

Klebba’s relentless questions forced Dembski to admit that

… [N]o amount of detail would ever convince him of evolution. No matter how much evidence you had, he wanted ‘evidence + 1’. I shit you not, Dembski retreated to the YES fossil defense– For every fossil you find, you create two more gaps. Dembski modified this to for every step in the evolutionary process science discovers, it creates two more half-steps to explain. He even pulled a classic-quack move, and made a plea to quantum mechanics.

Seems that Salvador has managed to confuse Dembski with his nonsensical arguments involving QM. Thanks Sal, you’re one of the best evolution defenders in disguise, I kid you not.

Klebba has written an OP-ed in the OU student newspaper in which he states:

Phillip Klebba wrote:

As a researcher who understands the biochemistry that was the main subject of the lecture, I was surprised to find the discussion much less substantive than I anticipated.

It was a bit more like the naive questions of a teenager than the keen insights of an erudite philosopher.

The Elders of the Baptist Trinity Church invited its people to pray for Dr Dembski and the college students…

We also need people to commit to pray faithfully for this event. Pray for Dr. Dembski, for our college students, for believing professors who will be involved, and for the gospel to be proclaimed with boldness and power!

Seems that the Lord listened and indeed equipped the college students with the knowledge necessary to expose the vacuity of ID.

Praise to the Lord for exposing the scientific vacuity of ID and the flawed understanding amongst Christians who believe that evolutionary theory somehow undermines the concept of a God. Little do they realize that their own actions do more to undermine both science and religious faith since they failed to adhere to St Augustine’s fair teachings

Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) in his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim) provided excellent advice for all Christians who are faced with the task of interpreting Scripture in the light of scientific knowledge. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

Source: Saint Augustine on Science and Scripture

Read more about how well Dembski performed

Ontogeny: The Dembski Affair by Matt Dowling

IIDB ‘live’ report by Golfvixen

Dembski at OU: Why Atheism is no Longer Intellectually Fulfilling

Much more on the aftermath of Dembski’s Waterloo

PZ on How to organize against a creationist lecture

Erv Part 1

Erv Part 2

Erv part 3

In the mean time UcD has remained silent and there are rumors that the flagellum has disappeared from the site’s masthead, only to reappear shortly thereafter. Seems ID is having some not so intelligent ‘design’ problems.