Home » Intelligent Design, Religion » Tying up loose ends: ReMine, Behe, ERV, Illustra Media, Botnik

Tying up loose ends: ReMine, Behe, ERV, Illustra Media, Botnik

I mentioned My retreat from public view, but I have a few loose ends to tie up.

First, I had promised Walter ReMine a few weeks back that I would help advertise the first part of his response to Ian Musgrave. I point UD readers to Walter’s essay Haldane’s view of Haldane and also a discussion at ARN’s ID Observatory here. I indicated Walter’s work had been funded by the Discovery Institute and Walter’s work should not be ignored.
[See: Part of the Discovery Institute’s secret research program uncovered.]

Second, I mentioned in ERVs challenge to Michael Behe that I had found a possible misprint. The possible misprint is in the bibliography, page 283, Note 17 which reads “Ibid”. It might be better to revise note 17 from “Ibid” to this reference: A Selective Sweep Driven by Pyrimethamine Treatment in Southeast Asian Malaria Parasites . [HT: KC at Telic Thoughts for initiating the inquiry].

I have offered my editorial suggestion publicly. I have also suggested to Mike publicly (on C-SPAN no less) to give more attribution to Edward Blyth instead of Charles Darwin. The readers can see my reasons here: Blythian evolution explains antibiotic resistance, not Darwinism and Was Blyth the true scientist and Darwin merely a plagiarist and charlatan?.

I’m sure Mike Behe and others would be appreciative of any editorial recommendations or improvements to his work. With this in mind I initiated a dialogue with ERV’s Abbie Smith which began here: ERV’s challenge to Michael Behe. Which leads me to a third loose end to tie up.

My third loose end which I would like to tie up is that I would like to apologize to Ms. Smith if I have said anything that may be construed as an accusation of dishonesty on her part. Some concern has been expressed that any suggestion of dishonesty could be damaging to her career and I do not wish to damage Ms. Smith’s career as I’m in a similar boat as her. I vigorously disagree with her on various matters, but this should not imply that I am accusing her of lying or dishonesty. Perhaps I made some ill-tempered remarks, but it was not my intent to accuse her of lying or dishonesty. I simply disagree and at times was very irritated….

It would be unfruitful at this point to re-hash the minutia of our exchange. Rather, I would hope the discussion proceeds, and that cause of truth is furthered through the process of collegial and free discussion. I certainly want academic freedom to prevail where people have a chance to explore ideas, and even if that means arriving at a null result at the end of a search, that is still a valuable data point for future explorations.

I wish Ms. Smith success in her AIDS research, and she can accept or reject my analysis of her critique of Behe. I still believe my analysis is materially correct. Ms. Smith even conceded the following here about the NON-novelty of Vpu in HIV here:

Nononono! Vpu isnt a new gene created in the past 100 years! The original Vpu probably originated a long time ago

Her admission relates to something I hammered on here. I do not claim her equivocations were deliberate, but I believe they are still mistakes nonetheless. My vigorous wording may have ventured into the area of her motivations, and for that I apologize and retract any insinuation of dishonesty, but I believe that my analysis still has merit.

Her other points I believe need revisiting, and I would encourage Ms. Smith not to dismiss my analysis merely because I’m not a specialist in her field. But I would admonish Ms. Smith that she perhaps under-appreciates the level of expertise in the ID community in the field of information dynamics within biology. And judging from her writings and those of most in evolutionary biology, I think her knowledge of the information science and technology leaves much to be desired. The typical ID theorist is light years ahead of the typical evolutionary biologist in these matters. They may not like it, but that is the state of affairs. I encourage her to set her ego aside and revisit her critique of Behe. There is a chance she is not rendering a charitable understanding of the writings of this biochemist for a lay audience.

However, I thank her for bringing more attention to the discussion of Mike’s work, and it is my hope that the readers can walk away from our exchanges with greater knowledge of the issues involved. I point the readers to her very colorful responses to my analysis here. I will simply have to let the discussion proceed without me at this point. But in sum, I do not accuse Ms. Smith of lying, dishonesty, or incompetence. I simply exercise collegial academic first amendment privilege to express my disagreement. Perhaps one or both of us are mistaken, but being mistaken is not the same as being dishonest or incompetent. I extend the olive branch in the spirit of furthering science, academic freedom, and a collegial environment for further exploration.

Fourth, I would like to remind readers of the Treasure Trove of ARN.

Here is a sample of what you can get at ARN: Illustra Media Sample, you can purchase the full video here.

I hope you all enjoy the video!

Fifth, to quell any speculation — I was not Botnik. :-)

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5 Responses to Tying up loose ends: ReMine, Behe, ERV, Illustra Media, Botnik

  1. Considering the colorful and pointedly nasty way in which ERV chose to address your arguments, I find this post very gracious and humble. Sal, you deserve to be treated much better…

    All the very best to you in your future endeavors.

  2. I thought you were remarkably well restrained even though they made many slanders against you.
    I was impressed in how quickly you sized the situation up and found the flaws in her argument.
    Though she won’t admit it publicly I’m sure you taught her a good lesson in how weak the Darwinian theory is when scrutinized. She assumed positive proof, She found nothing but hot air.
    But ERV did give you a compliment…You just have to know how to speak Darwinese…I’ll translate for you…When she called you a “stupid stupid cow” she was really saying “You caught me, Why didn’t I think of that idea, thanks for pointing that out for me.”

  3. Edward Blyth must be rolling on his grave, seeing that his natural selection theory being used in ways he did no intend.

  4. It’s ironic that a “stupid stupid cow” could desacralize the “sacred cow” of his adversary. Somehow, this community labors under the worshipful misconception that you need a neo-Darwinian framework to do medicine. Your only crime was turning over the altar.

    In terms of courtesy, nobody ever gets it exactly right. We can never know for sure whether someone is truly misguided or being dishonest or, perish the though, that we may be wrong. When one side commits to a “zero concession policy,” the only thing the other side can do is probe and find out whether a good faith dialogue is taking place. That includes probing for insincerity and dishonest tactics, qualities that I have found in abundance when I interact with Darwinists.
    Suffice it to say, it is always the stronger of the two parties that examines his conscience and offers the olive branch.

  5. Some concern has been expressed that any suggestion of dishonesty could be damaging to her career and I do not wish to damage Ms. Smith’s career as I’m in a similar boat as her.

    Sal, I think your behavior in this skirmish has been the most valuable proof of how Dembski’s advices (which you reposted some days ago) can be usefully meet during a discussion with angry NDE supporters. Concerning the damage of Ms. Smith’s career don’t worry; she has already obtained this result with her dogmatic attitude.

    But I would admonish Ms. Smith that she perhaps under-appreciates the level of expertise in the ID community in the field of information dynamics within biology. And judging from her writings and those of most in evolutionary biology, I think her knowledge of the information science and technology leaves much to be desired. The typical ID theorist is light years ahead of the typical evolutionary biologist in these matters. They may not like it, but that is the state of affairs.

    I will be more explicit than you are allowed to be in this moment. In scientific academia is worlwide well know that the great majority of the students (both graduate and undergraduate) in biology faculties have severe difficultes in understanding Maths, Computer Science and all other subjects that do require some minimal mathematical modeling. Obviously there is always some rare exception to this rule but the general idea is that most of these students would simply be unable to attend courses in the above subjects.

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