My Thoughts On Behe

Last night I went to see Michael Behe speak at the UM (details of event sponsorship are here). Here's Myers account of the event - Here's another account of the event. I'm glad Paul let people know about this event as I've never seen a IDer in person and I wanted to see them in the flesh. Frankly, I wasn't impressed; in fact, I was pretty pissed off at Behe.

Why? He uses every dirty debating tactic in the book. He quote-mines - yep, he's still misquoting Dawkins (here's an example of what he does). He uses one example as a sweeping confirmation of his position. He makes it appear like "design is everywhere and everyone believes that." He uses blood clotting as an example of irreducable complexity. He made fun of scientists...oh, I'm sorry, they are backing a theory that is basically a myth in Behe's eyes. He tried to make jokes (which got chuckles from the Christians in the audience, but I wonder if some were laughing because the jokes weren't funny). Etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada...

I was mad. I was pissed. I'm not a biologist, but I could see right through his crap. He may be a smart man, but he's supposed to be defining a hypothesis. All he does is try to find fault with evolution via debating techniques. That's pathetic.

There was a Q&A session after Behe was done. I saw that Paul was down in the first row, lower-right part of the auditorium (I was back row, upper-left), and he really wanted to get a question in, but the moderator didn't pick him. Then everyone was formally dismissed, although Behe was going to stay for another 30 to 45 minutes to take questions. I got down to the front, and thankfully Paul made his way to the table to grill Behe. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear everything that was said so I hope Paul blogs about his discussion with Behe, but what I did pick up on were the following points:

  • Myers ripped Behe for his Dawkin's quote-mining. Behe acted suprised and said something to the effect of "I'll review them later." Behe, you ass-wipe, you know that you've been called on these quotes many times before; don't deceive people and act so surpised.
  • Myers took Behe to task on the blood clotting section of his presentation. This was the hardest part to hear - I simply couldn't pick up on what Myers and Behe were saying, but the bits and pieces I did pick up on sounded like Myers was making Behe sweat.
  • Myers asked Behe to formulate his hypothesis. When Behe stammered with a response, Myers stated the obvious: "Your topic is called: 'Toward an Intelligent Understanding of the Intelligent Design Hypothesis' - those are your words! What's your hypothesis?! How can we test your hypothesis" Behe had no answer.

At that point someone cut Myers off so others could get their point in (and whoever the guy was, he was an ass. Myers tried to say, "Behe's not answering my questions", to which the other guy said something like, "you've made your point - it's getting long." What a dick - I would've loved to see Myers completely grill Behe 'till there was nothing left). I had to get home, but I managed to quickly say hello to Paul and thank him for his blog and for making Behe squirm. We sorely need people like Myers who will drive hours to confront those who are making a mockery of science.

I'm sure the religious folk in the audience left secure in the knowledge that their Creator was watching over them. That's fine - I'm not one for stopping people to believe in what they want to believe in. I left happy that scientists have truth and the facts on their side and can use them to slice and dice the ridiculous claims that IDers made.

* Posted at 10.01.2005 09:58:17 AM CST | Link *

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