Home » Christian Darwinism, Irreducible Complexity, News » Christian Darwinists get it wrong at BioLogos … but isn’t that the job they are supposed to do?

Christian Darwinists get it wrong at BioLogos … but isn’t that the job they are supposed to do?

The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism In “At BioLogos, Confusion over the Meaning of ‘Irreducibly Complex’” (Evolution News & Views, July 9, 2012) Michael Behe tries respondingto Trinity Western’s Dennis Venema’s attempt to misunderstand “irreducible complexity”:

A correspondent recently pointed out to me that Dennis Venema, associate professor of biology at Trinity Western University, has posted a series of essays criticizing my work on irreducible complexity and intelligent design at the theistic-evolutionary website BioLogos. Although I don’t usually respond to arguments that are simply posted on blogs (life is too short), I’ll give a brief reply here.

I’ve read Professor Venema’s six posts and all of the comments. Most of the pro-ID points are right on the money. However, there are a couple of points that no one mentioned that I think are important for the discussion.

First of all, Venema confuses “irreducibly complex” with “essential for the viability of the organism.” The two concepts are not the same. For example, a person can survive with a missing blood clotting factor, where the IC clotting system is broken. Thus the factor is needed for the clotting system to work, but is not necessary for the viability of the organism. On the other hand, a factor can be essential for life but not irreducibly complex. A simple example is hemoglobin. It is not IC, but an organism will die without it. Thus Venema is mixing up concepts. …

But isn’t that the point of Biologos’ existence: Darwin is dead, but Christians can’t be allowed to know, because of all the Christian profs making a living electrifying the corpse?

See also: Mike Behe on a new journal paper admitting that Darwinian evolution can’t do complex systems

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3 Responses to Christian Darwinists get it wrong at BioLogos … but isn’t that the job they are supposed to do?

  1. Well, News, I like your writing style. “Electrifying the corpse.”

  2. “Imagine an analogous mechanical system…” – Michael Behe

    “The most basic formulation of ID is that biology is divine technology.” – Steve Fuller

    “Darwin is dead, but Christians can’t be allowed to know…” – UD News

    I’m pretty certain that all of the leaders of BioLogos, who are likewise all Christians, are well aware of Darwin’s passing. Perhaps several of them have even walked on top of Darwin’s tomb in Westminster Abbey, as I have. Has News done the same?

    William Paley is dead too and so is A.R. Wallace. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped the latter from becoming “effectively the founder of the modern intelligent-design movement.” Nor did it stop Wallace from having been a pall-bearer at Darwin’s funeral.

    “It would have been unfortunate if anything had occurred to give weight and currency to the foolish notion which some have diligently propagated, but for which Mr Darwin was not responsible, that there is a necessary conflict between a knowledge of Nature and a belief in God.” – Bishop Goodwin

    In private correspondence I asked a question to Michael Behe about ‘computational irreducability,’ i.e. a concept put forward by British scientist Stephen Wolfram. This was the point at which the conversation ended; Behe didn’t respond. It seems he is seeking to propagate an entirely independent theory of ‘irreducability’ that does not easily compare (or agree) with other contemporary scholarship.

    One might wish to speak of the ‘irreducibility’ of the human spirit created in imago Dei, but of course, that would and could have nothing to do with IDM-ID because it is completely about ‘science’ and absolutely not at all to do with religion or theology. The IDM-ID conversation is only about biology and organisms, not about ‘divine technology,’ so criticisms of ‘irreducability’ by Dennis Venema thus count as worthy of rebuttle by Behe in ‘irreducably’ biological language.

  3. —-”In private correspondence I asked a question to Michael Behe about ‘computational irreducability,’ i.e. a concept put forward by British scientist Stephen Wolfram. This was the point at which the conversation ended; Behe didn’t respond.”

    Perhaps he was too much of a gentlemen to point out that your question was– how should I put this–not richly conceived.

    —-”One might wish to speak of the ‘irreducibility’ of the human spirit created in imago Dei, but of course, that would and could have nothing to do with IDM-ID because it is completely about ‘science’ and absolutely not at all to do with religion or theology.”

    Did it ever occur to you that the human spirit is immaterial and does not, therefore, have parts?

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