The contention that biochemist Michael Behe’s intelligent design argument of “irreducible complexity” (IC) is not science was undercut in a recent issue of Science magazine which contains a paper purporting to falsify the theory. If it’s not science, why bother to try to falsify it? Further, the hapless case made against Behe’s theory–as Dr. Behe explains in his detailed response–shows that irreducible complexity is also good science. Unintentionally, this paper in Science puts the lie to the whole line used in the Dover trial against Behe and his theory of irreducible complexity. It will be interesting to see whether Science lets Behe reply to the Thornton paper in its pages. If you can’t find it in Science, you can read Read More ›
After scientist and science writer Forrest Mims described University of Texas ecologist Eric Pianka’s speech to the Texas Academy of Science in which he expressed a longing for an ebola virus to wipe out 90 percent of the world’s population, Pianka’s defenders quickly went on the attack, claiming that Mims had wantonly misrepresented Pianka. But several lines of evidence suggest that Mims described Pianka’s speech quite accurately.
Stephen Heller has an article at the Design Forum looking at semantics and asking who it is that owns the term intelligent design. It’s an issue that has a lot of relevance for Heller’s audience since they are all graphic designers. Design Forum is a part of the website of the AIGA, — American Institute of Graphic Arts. In Heller’s world “intelligent design” has a much different meaning than in my world. His concern seems to be that the phrase has different meaning for some people than it does for him and his colleagues. When I hear a graphic designer comment on intelligent design I know that most likely he’s talking about a graphic image of some sort. Or, these Read More ›
Washington, DC — Today, I participated in a panel discussion on intelligent design with the Reverend Barry Lynn at the University of Maryland’s Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. In the audience were reporters from newsmedia around the United States including the New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune and many others, as well as some international journalists, who asked questions of myself and Mr. Lynn. The “panel discussion” (do two participants make a “debate” or a “panel”?) was fun and there were many good questions from the reporters. During my opening comments, my primary points were that intelligent design is often described inaccurately by the media, who mischaracterize it by saying that “life is so complex that it couldn’t have Read More ›
Alan Leshner, head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is describing the proposed Academic Freedom Act in Oklahoma as “code language … to promote a narrow religious agenda.” Lawrence Selden responds: So I raise this question: Is “encourag[ing] critical thinking by exposing students to all sides of the scientific debate about evolution” really just “code language” for “promot[ing] a narrow religious agenda”? It seems to me that looking at the alleged “code language” that is being “injected” into Oklahoma law is the best way to decide. Selden’s full response is here.