Bloggingheads Explains

In a new segment, Bloggingheads chief Robert Wright and Bloggingheads correspondent George Johnson go on for 75 minutes about the trauma of a pair of heretics (me and Paul Nelson, on separate segments) appearing on their site. I would urge everyone who doesn’t have pressing matters to attend to, such as the need to wash your hair, to tune in for the full time. It’s really fascinating in its way to see two grown men in such a hand-wringing lather. It’s also fascinating to see that neither of them in 75 minutes offers a reason for the correctness of their own views, or the wrongness of ours. The closest they come is when George Johnson invokes the hoary “methodological naturalism.”

Reducible Versus Irreducible Systems and Darwinian Versus Non-Darwinian Processes

Recently a paper appeared online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled “The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine.” As you might expect, I was very interested in reading what the authors had to say. Unfortunately, as is all too common on this topic, the claims made in the paper far surpassed the data, and distinctions between such basic ideas as “reducible” versus “irreducible” and “Darwinian” versus “non-Darwinian” were pretty much ignored. Since PNAS publishes letters to the editor on its website, I wrote in. Alas, it seems that polite comments by a person whose work is the clear target of the paper are not as welcome as one might suppose from reading the journal’s Read More ›

Behe: Back on Bloggingheads TV

The editor-in-chief of Bloggingheads TV, Robert Wright, has re-instated my interview with linguist John McWhorter on that website. Wright was away last week when the brouhaha occurred. It’s good to see that a steady editorial hand is back in charge.

Bloggingheads TV and Me

I’ve just been through the weirdest book-related experience I’ve had since a Canadian university professor with a loaded rat trap chased me around after a talk I gave a dozen years ago, threatening to spring it on me. Last week I got the following email bearing the title “Invitation to Appear on Bloggingheads TV” from a senior editor at that site: Hi, Michael– I’d like to invite you to appear on Bloggingheads.tv, a web site that hosts video dialogues between journalists, bloggers, and scholars. We have a partnership with the New York Times by which they feature excerpts from some of our shows on their site. Past guests include prominent thinkers such as Paul Krugman, Paul Ehrlich, Frans de Waal, Read More ›

What Michael Behe actually wrote in TIME

TIME Magazine asked me to write an entry on Richard Dawkins for “The TIME 100” this year. After their editing, it came out rather more insipid than I wrote it. They asked for 400-500 words, but pared it down to 187 — and that’s after adding their own phrases (e.g., “deeply unsettling to proponents of intelligent design,” “the rigor he brings to his thinking,” “the Bible advises us,” etc.)! The entry, as I originally wrote it, follows below: Of his nine books, none caused as much controversy — or sold as well — as last year’s The God Delusion. Yet the leading light of the recent atheist publishing surge, Oxford University’s Richard Dawkins, has always been a man driven by Read More ›