An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Behe (Part 3)

Dear Dr. Behe

I have just read your first response to my open letter to you. Is this what your argument is reduced to? A list of examples of Ms Smiths alleged uncivility to you. I find this rather sad

Yes, science is about civil discourse. And we, as experienced scientists are guardians and upholders of this discourse. We teach by example. If someone is discourteous to us, we reply courteously, and continue to reply courteously in the face of adversity. We keep to the topic and discuss the substantiative issues raised. We do not engage in petty sexism, we do not completely ignore someone’s core argument and discuss trivialities.

This is my central disagreement with you [1]. You avoided the issue. As educators, we lead by example. What example do you think it sets to avoid the major substantiative issue that Ms Smith raised?

Dr. Behe, regardless of how you feel about the tone of Ms Smiths discourse, you need to engage with the fact that HIV-1 M Vpu is a viroporin, a new mini-“molecular machine” that has arisen since HIV evolved from SIV. In science, there can be no greater discourtesy than ignoring a key, substantial argument. Until you engage with Vpu viroporin, your professionalism is on the line.

Yours sincerely

A male featherless biped named Ian Musgrave[2,3]

[1] The casual sexism issue is important too, but I leave that to others. [2] As I said before I’m a Senior Lecturer in the Australian system. Even though it is roughly equivalent to a US professorial appointment, calling me a professor is misleading. Dr. Musgrave is my appropriate title. [3] Once again Dr. Behe. I invite you to be co-respondent on “The Vpu Debate” blog, to avoid all this backing and forthing.