Sunday, July 01, 2007

Behe tries again...

Michael Behe has published a new book called the Edge of Evolution. The first chapter along with a review by Richard Dawkins can be found in today's New York Times books section. From the first chapter, Behe is up to the same tired old tricks intelligent design folks have foisted on the unsuspecting public since before the last century and Dawkins' response is worth noting:

"Single-handedly, Behe is taking on Ronald Fisher, Sewall Wright, J. B. S. Haldane, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Richard Lewontin, John Maynard Smith and hundreds of their talented co-workers and intellectual descendants. Notwithstanding the inconvenient existence of dogs, cabbages and pouter pigeons, the entire corpus of mathematical genetics, from 1930 to today, is flat wrong. Michael Behe, the disowned biochemist of Lehigh University, is the only one who has done his sums right. You think?"

Dawkins is right, and I know what the intelligent design people are going to do with his comment. They are going to argue that Dawkins is merely appealing to authority. They are going to try to take advantage of the public's love of the underdog fighting against the scientific establishment. But not all underdogs are right. Some of them are merely cranks and that is what Behe, Johnson, Dembski and the other persistent advocates of Intelligent Design have become- cranks who for one reason or another just don't get the paradigm of modern evolutionary biology.

Granted there are those who legitimately think that the paradigms of evolutionary biology needs a fix, or at least a fine tuning. That may well be true, but it doesn't seem likely that such a shift will be to the liking to the intelligent designists.
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