Ken Miller’s Double Standard: Improves His Own Arguments But Won’t Let Michael Behe Do the Same (Updated)

In a recent post, I noted that Ken Miller misrepresented Michael Behe’s arguments on the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade in his book, Only a Theory. When I blogged at the end of last year about Miller’s similar mistakes at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, Dr. Miller responded by making me aware of something I did not previously remember: apparently Michael Behe wrote the section in Of Pandas and People on blood clotting. The treatment of the blood clotting cascade in Pandas (1993) could possibly be subject to Miller’s arguments, but as I showed, Behe’s treatment of the topic in Darwin’s Black Box (1996) would not be refuted in any way by Miller’s arguments. To summarize and review, Read More ›

Ken Miller’s Only a Theory Misquotes Michael Behe on Irreducible Complexity of the Blood Clotting Cascade

Recently, I posted responses to some errors in Kenneth Miller’s book Only a Theory and promised to end the series with a look at Dr. Miller’s treatment of the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade. (For those prior posts, see here and here.) Discussing Ken Miller’s treatment of the blood clotting cascade in Only a Theory first requires a little backstory. Last December 2008 and early January 2009, I published a series of 3 posts that responded to Ken Miller’s arguments, during the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, about irreducible complexity and the blood clotting cascade (BCC). (For the posts, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) Those posts showed that in his Dover trial testimony, Dr. Miller misrepresented Read More ›

Francis Collins and the Overselling of Evolution

In two recent posts (here and here), I discussed the continuing misrepresentations of intelligent design by Francis Collins, whose confirmation as head of the National Institutes of Health in the Obama administration was announced on August 7. Today I would like to shift the focus to Dr. Collins’ misrepresentation of evolutionary biology–or more precisely, to his misrepresentation of the scientific usefulness of evolution to biology. Collins has every right to endorse neo-Darwinian evolution if he wishes, but his view of evolution’s value to scientific research is pretty much over-the-top. In a recent interview, he claimed: Trying to do biology without evolution would be like trying to do physics without mathematics. There is no doubt that modern neo-Darwinian theory has had Read More ›

How Evolution Can Allow for Trivial Developmental Leaps

Some evolutionary-development researchers must be taking cues from the PR team that overhyped “Ida.” A recent article on ScienceDaily was titled, “How Evolution Can Allow For Large Developmental Leaps,” but the article documents nothing of the kind. It begins by discussing a long-recognized problem in evolution: “when it comes to traits like the number of wings on an insect, or limbs on a primate, there is no middle ground. How are these sorts of large evolutionary leaps made?” I appreciate the author’s acknowledgment that functional intermediate forms can be a problem for Darwinian evolution. I then expected the article to discuss how “large evolutionary leaps” might occur, but instead, it went on to discuss research that showed trivial biological changes Read More ›

Eugenie Scott Coaches Scientists to Talk About Evolution Without Revealing Any Weaknesses

Eugenie Scott plays many roles in the evolution debate. Now, in a recent enlightening interview in Science News, she offers her wisdom as a media coach for scientists talking publicly about evolution. Her most important piece of advice? Never use terminology that could imply any real weakness in evolutionary biology. Dr. Scott counsels: To put it mildly, it doesn’t help when evolutionary biologists say things like, “This completely revolutionizes our view of X.” Because hardly anything we come up with is going to completely revolutionize our view of the core ideas of science…. An insight into the early ape-men of East and South Africa is not going to completely change our understanding of Neandertals, for example. So the statement is Read More ›