Behe on Darwin: polar bear discussion (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 10, 2019, 14:23 (16 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have now read a Behe section on bacteria in glucose lactose culture. The bacteria always automatically eat all the glucose first and the automatically switch to lactose when the glucose is used up. All molecular steps are known. The bacteria have no independent thought to switch.

dhw: Maybe I've misunderstood the significance of this experiment, but why should they switch? Firstly, if they prefer glucose, it seems quite natural to me that they should gobble up their favourite first and only gobble lactose when there’s no glucose left. Secondly, how does this prove that there is no intelligence involved when they are confronted with new threats to their existence but, after millions of deaths, find a solution to the new problem? And has Behe informed you yet that the solution to all their problems was preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or that your God dabbles every time there is a new threat to their existence?

DAVID: The point was the proven automaticity of the switch.

dhw: Well, yes, if your favourite food runs out, you will automatically switch to your second available favourite. What is that meant to prove?

Automaticity, which you just stated.


DAVID: I have no idea about Behe's personal beliefs in God's role, in whom, I know, he believes but I have had the willingness to imagine how evolution might have been controlled, since Darwin is totally wrong about the mechanism and it is obvious it requires design and an designing mind. So make fun while it is obvious you have several theories that run off in all directions from your fence top.

dhw: Once again, please explain how the experiment proves that bacteria are automatons. I am not making fun. I have had the willingness to imagine various ways in which evolution might have happened, whether your God wished to control it or not. We have always agreed on our scepticism concerning random mutations, but Darwin himself was an agnostic and went to great lengths not to exclude God from his theory, and in my own small way I follow suit. Your logical case for design is not the issue here. Nobody knows your God’s mind, and the issue is your insistence that you do, since you refuse to consider any interpretation of his purpose and method other than your own. It will therefore be interesting to see to what extent your fellow believer Behe supports your anthropocentrism and your other fixed beliefs.

Currently in the early part of the book Behe is reviewing the contortions Neo-Darwinism was/is currently faced with as science investigates the fuller ramifications of DNA beyond just a coding system for proteins. I'm 90 pages in and I assume is is educating a lay reader for the arguments that will come. I suspect anthropocentrism will not be a subject for discussion.


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