Rebuttal to Paul Gross’ Review of The Edge of Evolution – Error #2: Failing to Stay Positive

[This four part series responding to Paul Gross can be seen in: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] In Paul Gross’ review of The Edge of Evolution he wrongly claims Behe’s argument for design is merely a negative argument against evolution. Gross asserts that Behe argues for ID by “offer[ing] some claim that Darwinism is wrong, with the (unwarranted) conclusion that life is therefore the work of an intelligent agent.” (emphasis in original) This misrepresents Behe’s argument. Behe does not say that because Darwinian evolution has flaws, therefore intelligent design is proven correct. As Behe writes in the afterward to the new edition of Darwin’s Black Box: [I]rreducibly complex systems such as mousetraps and flagella serve both as Read More ›

Rebuttal to Paul Gross’s Review of Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution – Error #1: A Calculation Is not “A Mere Guess”

[This four part series responding to Paul Gross can be seen in: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] In 2005, Michael Behe published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Design for Living. Paul Gross has now reviewed Michael Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution in The New Criterion, using exactly the same title as Behe’s 2005 New York Times op-ed, accusing Behe of making so many mistakes that “it would need a book longer than The Edge to restate the model together with its already noticed (in print and online) errors and omissions.” Yet as I will recount in this four-part response, Dr. Gross’s review has many mistakes, and many of his key criticisms of Behe Read More ›

“Fossils. Fossils. Fossils.” Does Ken Miller Win?

Ken Miller was recently quoted in a campus news article saying, “We have the fossils. … We win.” Professor Miller’s logical fallacy was pointed out years ago by those who attempted to clarify reasoning in paleontology, systematics, and evolutionary biology, and it led some scientists (like Colin Patterson) to the conclusion that a paleontological pattern may support or falsify an evolutionary hypothesis, but it can never absolutely prove one (i.e. fossils can’t make Darwinism positively “win”). As a result, some scientists (e.g., Brower, 2000) proposed a strict separation between paleontology and systematics on the one hand, and evolutionary theory on the other. Unfortunately, this clear-thinking approach has been largely abandoned or ignored by most paleontologists and evolutionary biologists. Those who Read More ›

Human-Chimp Evolution Dialogue (Part 2): Author of Science‘s “The Myth of 1%” article Backpedals, Promotes the “Myth” of 1%

In Part 1, I recounted how Darwinists are deeply invested in the rhetorical value of the emotional argument that humans and chimps have a 98% – 99% genetic similarity. Anthropologist John Marks reports that sometimes Darwinists even use this statistic to contend that our lives are “meaningless”! To explore this debate, I recently blogged about a Science news article entitled “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%” that reported that the 1% human/chimp genetic difference statistic was a “myth,” because “studies are showing that [humans and chimps] are not as similar as many tend to believe.” The Science news article reported that improved genome comparison modeling methods indicate that humans and chimps are “6.4%” genetically distinct from one another. Apparently my Read More ›

Human-Chimp Evolution Dialogue (Part 1): An Exchange with Jon Cohen, Author of Science‘s “The Myth of 1%” Article

From a technical scientific perspective, the degree of genetic similarity between humans and chimps seems to be of questionable relevance when one is trying to determine whether two species share a Darwinian past. After all, designers regularly re-use parts that work, especially programming components, so there’s no reason to presume that mere genetic similarity necessarily implies common descent over common design. Moreover, even if such genetic similarities were to imply common ancestry, they don’t demonstrate a plausible stepwise Darwinian evolutionary pathway. Nonetheless, on a rhetorical level, the claim that humans and chimps are 99% the same is a powerful emotional argument aiding those seeking to evangelize for Darwinism. For example, last year a cover story of Time magazine proclaimed: “chimps Read More ›