With all respect for Behe as a person, his science has turned out to be highly incompetent in the field in which he writes—biology. Since he chose to take his science to non-professionals many of whom have not had more than one college course in biology (if that), you are correct: BioLogos needs to show that he, bless his heart, is professionally incompetent; one of our God-given tasks (to be frank this is the way we see it) is to demonstrate this to a public which (unlucky as they are) doesn’t have the biology background to know better.
That is quite the mission from God. Nothing coming from Biologos shows me that any one there actually understands Michael Behe’s arguments in their strongest form. Biologos has shown itself to be fairly incompetent at reviewing books at times, among other things.
I hate to see people like Darrel Falk ratchet up the rhetoric like this.
How exactly is Behe “professionally incompetent”? That is quite an insult. Are you going to back it up? Does he have any professional competence at all in your opinion?
How did he get a PhD and tenure if he is professionally incompetent?
Which ID proponents are professionally competent and which are professionally incompetent?
Do you think this really furthers the discussion?
Darrel Falk’s reply to me:
Thanks for asking for clarification. I will give you my thoughts. Michael, in my opinion, was a brilliant young scientist who worked in a great lab and did very fine work in molecular biology. Being highly creative, he came up with a very interesting idea. He developed the idea, and successfully communicated it in an inimical and highly talented manner.
Many of us in science get exciting ideas which we are absolutely certain must be correct. My wife would be able to tell you how many times I was convinced I was on the verge of a national academy-level discovery, if not a Nobel prize. I never was. More often than not, scientists are wrong about their initial ideas. Even Nobel prize winners succeed because they are willing to hold lightly onto what they think will turn into their greatest ideas. Being willing to be wrong regularly may even be one of the most important attributes of a highly creative mind.
Michael, in my opinion, got backed into a corner. He took his highly creative idea to the public and it became married to a whole social movement. Under those conditions it is very difficult to let go if it turns out to be wrong. (Remember, highly creative people are likely wrong as often as they are right.) Because of that Michael’s idea became much different than the typical scientific hypothesis. He couldn’t let go because there was so much at stake. Under those conditions it is possible to allow yourself to become engaged in ad hoc reasoning and to keep convincing yourself that you are right even when, under normal circumstances, you would have long since been able to move on.
His work has long since transitioned into that ad hoc phase and he is, despite his sincerity, (i.e. probably unwittingly) misleading the public because he is unable to say that what happens to all of us, happened to him as well. My prayer for Michael is that God will be close to him. Had we been as brilliant as Michael was at the beginning, it would have happened to us as well. He was also very brave and he did what he thought was right. I admire him for all of that. For the sake of the public, it is time to say, “I too was wrong and I need to stop tilting at windmills.” Michael is in my prayers—not so much that he will see that he has been wrong—my concern is more for him personally. I pray that God will help him feel reassured that he is loved by Him who is source of all that really matters in life.
My reply to Darrel Falk:
So you can’t be any more specific than that about how Behe is “incompetent”? Your explanation is a classic case of Bulverism, by the way.
Is it only his “idea” that makes him incompetent? Is he competent except for his idea of irreducible complexity?