Intelligent Design and the Artist’s Soul (Part 3)

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at Professor Scot McKnight’s Beliefnet blog, Jesus Creed. The first post in this series is found here, and the second here. The Origin of Beauty Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt’s masterful book A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature gives the following illustration of how modern scientific reductionists treat nature and the arts: Imagine hearing the following account of one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s symphonies: ‘We have been able to prove that this particular symphony is actually reducible to a series of notes that happen to be played both at the same time in chords and one after another, creating a string of disturbances in the air caused by Read More ›

Intelligent Design and the Artist’s Soul (Part 2)

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at Professor Scot McKnight’s Beliefnet blog, Jesus Creed. The first post in this series is found here. Intelligent Design and the Deity In the predominant narrative, Charles Darwin was a humble scientist who proposed a strictly scientific theory. Upon publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, religious folks like Bishop Wilberforce voiced theological objections to it; and thus began the most salient episode in the ‘war between science and religion.’ Many Christians adopt a similar narrative, but suggest this was all a misunderstanding; Darwin’s theory simply has nothing to do with religious or philosophical questions. If I may be so bold, I’d like to suggest that both narratives are wrong.

Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution

Update: On May 4, 2009, The New York Times, perhaps unsurprisingly, came out with a story casting the swine flu as an example of evolution, titled “10 Genes, Furiously Evolving.” Similarly, the staunchly pro-evolution site LiveScience.com has an article on the swine flu that opens by mocking Darwin-skeptics, stating: “Anyone who thinks evolution is for the birds should not be afraid of swine flu. Because if there’s no such thing as evolution, then there’s no such thing as a new strain of swine flu infecting people.” As is discussed in Luskin’s piece below, such a claim is a cheap-shot that completely mis-states and misrepresents the position of Darwin-skeptics. A few years ago, the media was abuzz over the scare of Read More ›

How Kenneth Miller Used Smoke-and-Mirrors to Misrepresent Michael Behe on the Irreducible Complexity of the Blood-Clotting Cascade (Part 3)

In Part 1, I showed how Ken Miller purported to refute Michael Behe’s arguments about the irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade, but actually badly misrepresented Behe’s arguments to Judge Jones. In short, the purported knockout experiments (in the form comparative biochemistry) that Ken Miller cited to Judge Jones, where the blood-clotting cascade still worked in the absence of certain factors, dealt entirely with factors that Behe specifically did not claim were part of the irreducibly complex core of the blood-clotting cascade. Behe explained this problem in Miller’s argument to Judge Jones, but apparently Behe’s testimony fell on deaf ears. In Part 2, I discussed how Miller might not have even refuted the more expansive arguments for irreducible complexity of Read More ›

How Kenneth Miller Used Smoke-and-Mirrors to Misrepresent Michael Behe on the Irreducible Complexity of the Blood-Clotting Cascade (Part 2)

In Part 1, I showed how Ken Miller misrepresented Michael Behe’s arguments about the irreducibility of the blood-clotting cascade to Judge Jones during the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, such that Judge Jones wrongly ruled that “scientists in peer-reviewed publications have refuted Professor Behe’s predication about the alleged irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade.” To briefly recap, Miller told Judge Jones that Behe’s discussion of the blood-clotting cascade in Darwin’s Black Box was “essentially identical” to the discussion of the blood-clotting cascade in Of Pandas and People, implying that any critiques of Pandas also applied to Behe. But unlike Pandas, Behe explicitly did not argue that all of the components of the blood-clotting cascade were required for it to function properly. Read More ›