Jason at EvolutionBlog has wrapped up the account of his experience at an ID creationism presentation in Nashville. The bulk of his conclusion of his five-post series centers on a wormy delivery from uberIDiot Michael Behe.
I can’t appreciate a creationist world view first-hand, so I may be wrong in assuming that regardless of their religious backgrounds, at least some of these Intelligent Design rebels are silently but solidly aware that they not only might be wrong, but are flat-out lying. I don’t just mean in the details and in terms of how they portray evolution; I mean about the whole shitball. I bet all of the prominent ID trumpets with science credentials are convinced — perhaps against their will — that “Darwinism” is an awfully solid and epistemologically appealing body of work.
Look at the Discovery Institute blog, and you won’t see anything in the way of actual support of ID. The entire site is nothing but a litany of complaints about evolution and the alleged stubbornness and truculence of its supporters. The ID position is the inverse of a hypothesis, an appeal to the foregone conclusions and programmed faith-based skepticism of science-wary, Bible-bopping America. If theIDiots had anything of substance to offer, they might still bitch about “Darwinists,” but first and foremost they would lay out the science, as even the most creationist-weary, religion-bashing scientists are happy to do in the course of these battles. The IDiots’ failure to do this is pathognomonic of noisemaking drones, and calling these people hacks and windbags and fools is being kind.
I wonder about Michael Behe most of all.
Whatever ideas Behe started with when he wrote Black Box, he’s not only been vociferously opposed ever since by the biology mainstream a la his comrades, but has been thoroughly and especially marauded at every turn. His claims about the “irreducible complexity” of the clotting cascade and bacterial flagella have been thrashed; his audience doesn’t understand or care about the scientific particulars, but the biochemist remnant in Behe seemingly has to grasp the failure of his many wishful-thinking-based positions. He was torn apart on the stand in Kitzmiller v. Dover, although there he publicly evinced pride and confidence in his own broken and inept testimony. From a professional standpoint, he’s been publicly ostracized at his own university. Then there’s his classic and serial misrepresentation of Russell Doolittle.
For a while, Behe almost single-handedly kept the entire contributorship of the Panda’s Thumb busy. These days, post-Dover, he doesn’t even appear useful to the DI. Having run out of pseudoscientific claims for the time being, he is evidently content to preach to the choir, shouting within a closed black box. He’s become a one-man traveling circus.
Some Christians are genuinely galvanized by opposing voices; interpreting mockery and resistance as fear and tacit acknowledgment of divine truth long been part of their perverse ethos. But, never having met the man, I don’t think this applies to Michael Behe. At one point, he had to think a little like a scientist, and — outward crankery notwithstanding — perhaps still can.
I’m guessing that he is well aware that everything he says about “Darwinism” and ID is not only sketchy, not only “out there,” but is flat-out balorkey, and that the circus act, being all he has, is a pure contrivance. He subsists on the sheer credulity of God-darkened America, an eager and thriving demographic so painfully exemplified by Jason’s would-be dining companions.
It would be interesting, if a tad draconian, to see what would come out of the mouths of Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski, at al. if you put them in a room together and loaded them up with thiopental sodium. The transcript from the ensuing conversation? Now that would be an ID book I’d gladly purchase and read.