Oct 032007
 

This post is created to hold the OT comments from Methodological Naturalism: Is it Necessary for Science?

  23 Responses to “Pixie’s Misrepresents Behe on Common Descent”

  1. Tel

    Since when does a Darwinian like you ever wanted testable science? Why don’t you show us how Darwinist have tested that a fish turned into an amphibian.

    Since the 1800s, I think. The fish to amphibian claim is part of the theory of common descent, and there is plenty of evidence for that (talk to Denton and Behe about it). Predictions that would falsify common descent are what Salvador likes to call the “jewel of perfection”, for instance. Evidence for the specific evolution of an amphibian to a fish would be the predicted discovery of fish-amphibian intermediates and a very close genetic match between fish and tetrapods.

    That depends on how you define supernatural. A supernatural event can be merely something that occurs infrequently and we lack the knowledge of how such an event would work in a normative sense.

    No, the frequency is irrelevant. And it is not that we lack the knowledge (that would imply that two hundred years ago there was much more supernatural than there is today) but that we cannot get that knowledge.

    Christians believe that Jesus walked on water. Do we know how that worked from a physics point of view? No. Does that mean that it didn’t or couldn’t have happened because it is not within a MN framework? Of course not, unless you hold to a PN view of MN.

    As I said, merely not knowing how it worked does not maker it supernatural. At one time people did not know how lightning worked, but it was not supernatural.

    However, if we assume Jesus walking on water was supernatural, what that means is that science cannot study it. Science (and therefore MN) cannot say it did not happen.

    But then again we are not really arguing about religious supernatural causation are we? We are talking about inferences of design which Darwinists have conveniently labeled as supernatural. The IDists and creationists based their inferences on what we current know empirically from science to infer design,

    That is fine as far as it goes, but to be science the IDists need to produce a hypothesis about what actually happened, to generate bold predictions based on that hypothesis (predictions, that is, that specify what must necessarily be true if the ID hypothesis is correct, and bold in that they contradict what biologist believe modern evolutionary theory predicts).

    ID makes a point of not having a hypothesis.

    Think about abiogenesis. ” Now, how is he going to support that claim?

    Scientists propose hypotheses about abiogenesis, and test those hypotheses in the lab and by examining rocks. The hope is one day they have a model for what might have happened. Lacking a time machine, we will never actually know.

    Finally I agree with Donald that even from a strictly logical argument supernatural activities and explanation cannot be ruled out a priori in science unless you assume a PN view of MN.

    I agree too.

    I would concede that a supernatural event cannot be tested in a normative sense but nevertheless it can be authenticated and acknowledged in the anomaly as anomalies of science.

    Sure. In science we say “don’t know”.

    Pix

  2. Tel: Since when does a Darwinian like you ever wanted testable science? Why don’t you show us how Darwinist have tested that a fish turned into an amphibian.

    Pixie: Since the 1800s, I think. The fish to amphibian claim is part of the theory of common descent, and there is plenty of evidence for that (talk to Denton and Behe about it). Predictions that would falsify common descent are what Salvador likes to call the “jewel of perfection” , for instance. Evidence for the specific evolution of an amphibian to a fish would be the predicted discovery of fish-amphibian intermediates and a very close genetic match between fish and tetrapods.

    In other words, the answer is no. Pixie has absolutely no empirical evidence to demonstrate that a fish has or can turn into an amphibian.

    BTW, dear readers, please take notice of Pixie’s subtle obfuscation with his attempt to equate Darwinian common descent with Behe. Pixie also has a bad habit of quoting mining IDist and misrepresenting them. The truth is common descent can be independent of the evidence (or lack thereof) for Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

  3. Sorry Donald, Tel seems to be derailing this thread into an evidence for common descent argument (and his favourite topic, accusing me of dishonesty).

    In other words, the answer is no. Pixie has absolutely no empirical evidence to demonstrate that a fish has or can turn into an amphibian.

    Ah, I see what you mean. There is evidence enough to convince scientists, atheists and theists alike (like Behe and Mike Gene). But I agree I have no evidence that might shake the faith of a creationist.

    BTW, dear readers, please take notice of Pixie’s subtle obfuscation with his attempt to equate Darwinian common descent with Behe.

    Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin). They both believe all life descented from (approximately) one organism. They both believe amphibians evolved from fish.

    Pixie also has a bad habit of quoting mining IDist and misrepresenting them.

    This is untrue. Unfortunately, Tel reads my posts through creationist coloured glasses. I have not quote mined Behe and Denton, as should be obvious as I did not quote them at all. I have not misrepresented Denton and Behe. Both believe in common descent, both believe amphibians evolved from fish. Where is the misrepresentation? Sadly, Tel is a bit ready to accuse atheists of dishonesty.

    The obfuscation is entirely Tel’s (though I suspect unintentional). I was talking about common descent. I was not talking about Darwinian evolution, but Tel would like the reader to think I am. Thus he uses the term “Darwinian common descent” to connect two entirely different things, Darwinian evolution, which Behe rejects, and common descent, which Behe accepts. The truth is that common descent can be independent of Darwinian evolution.

    The truth is common descent can be independent of the evidence (or lack thereof) for Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

    Well, yes. But here is where the real obfuscation lies (though I do wonder if Tel understands why). Tel asked “Why don’t you show us how Darwinist have tested that a fish turned into an amphibian.” Darwinian evolution suggests how fish evolved into amphibians. Behe, Denton and Gene may well disagree with how a fish evolved into an amphibian (and if so, perhaps Tel can enlighten us about what they think happened – though more likely he will not, prefering his accusations of misrepresentation to actually informing his readers about something).

    The truth is that Behe, Denton, Gene, myself and pretty much every scientists around the world accepts common descent. That means we all accept that amphibians evolved from fish, even if we disagree about how it happened. No misrepresentation on my part, Tel.

  4. Tel seems to be derailing this thread into an evidence for common descent argument (and his favourite topic, accusing me of dishonesty).

    Once again I need to correct Pixie and set the record straight. It was Pixie who brought up “common descent” not I, as I indicated in my last comment. Also I didn’t say dishonest (although if he thinks the shoe fits”), I said insincere, a minor difference.

    Tel: Pixie also has a bad habit of quoting mining IDist and misrepresenting them.

    Pixie: This is untrue. Unfortunately, Tel reads my posts through creationist coloured glasses.

    Sadly, what I said is true and well documented. The documentations are lengthy but if one would read through the threads, Pixie’s hypocrisy and insincerity will become clear.

    Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

    This is patently untrue and Pixie is attempting to replay his documented insincerity. Behe may have at one point in his life believed in Darwinism but since the writing of his book DBB and becoming an IDist, he has rejected Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

    Thank you Pixie for once again you have demonstrated you ability to misrepresent others.

  5. Tel

    Pix: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

    Tel: This is patently untrue and Pixie is attempting to replay his documented insincerity. Behe may have at one point in his life believed in Darwinism but since the writing of his book DBB and becoming an IDist, he has rejected Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

    What? I said they believe in common descent. You respond that is “patently untrue“, and that Behe rejects Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS. And we all know you know the difference, because earlier you said “The truth is common descent can be independent of the evidence (or lack thereof) for Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

    Then you accuse me of being dishonest (or “insincere”, but we all know what you mean)! Incredible.

  6. Pixie: What? I said they believe in common descent

    NO! Actually what Pixie said was this.

    Pixie: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

    Then you accuse me of being dishonest (or “insincere”

    I don’t have to accuse you of anything. Who does Pixie think he is fooling?

  7. Tel, I cannot believe you want to dig yourself further down. Did you know that common descent was originally proposed by Darwin?

    Anyway, looks like we need to delve deeper into this thread to see where this dispute comes from.

    Tel: Why don’t you show us how Darwinist have tested that a fish turned into an amphibian.

    Pix: Since the 1800s, I think. The fish to amphibian claim is part of the theory of common descent, and there is plenty of evidence for that (talk to Denton and Behe about it). Predictions that would falsify common descent are what Salvador likes to call the “jewel of perfection” , for instance. Evidence for the specific evolution of an amphibian to a fish would be the predicted discovery of fish-amphibian intermediates and a very close genetic match between fish and tetrapods.

    So it would seem that Tel brought up the subject via his question about fish evolving into ambiphians. If fact he first mentioned “common descent” back in post 4. So it is not entirely true when he said: “It was Pixie who brought up “common descent” not I, as I indicated in my last comment.

    But back to the real issue. I am very specific that I am talking about common descent, and very clear that it is the theory of common descent that Denton and Behe accept. The word “evolution” does not appear at all.

    But this is not important to Tel, who has an axe to grind. He reads all my posts through his creationist blinkers, and so sees Darwinism everywhere:

    Tel: In other words, the answer is no. Pixie has absolutely no empirical evidence to demonstrate that a fish has or can turn into an amphibian.
    BTW, dear readers, please take notice of Pixie’s subtle obfuscation with his attempt to equate Darwinian common descent with Behe. Pixie also has a bad habit of quoting mining IDist and misrepresenting them. The truth is common descent can be independent of the evidence (or lack thereof) for Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

    Pix: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin). They both believe all life descented from (approximately) one organism. They both believe amphibians evolved from fish.

    Despite Tel’s claims, the truth is that I was very clear that I was talking about common descent, and I was not talking about “Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS”. The obfuscation is entirely on Tel’s part. He is the one dragging Darwinian evolution into the discussion, not me.

    And Behe and Denton both accept common descent. Tel is not even disputing that, and that is all that I claimed. But he does like to dig that hole.

    Just to ram the point home, this was my original claim again:

    The fish to amphibian claim is part of the theory of common descent, and there is plenty of evidence for that (talk to Denton and Behe about it).

    Now perhaps Tel can explain what it is about that statement that he thinks is wrong. But I doubt it.

  8. So it would seem that Tel brought up the subject via his question about fish evolving into ambiphians. If fact he first mentioned “common descent” back in post 4.

    My mistake, I admit that I was the first to bring up the words “common descent” in this post.

    The difference between a Christian and an atheist like Pixie is that I am willing to admit that I made a mistake. Let’s see if Pixie will have the moral fortitude to admit that he has been misrepresenting Behe over and over again. He would not do so in the past and I doubt that he will here.

    Also please notice how sneaky Pixie is with his last comment,

    Despite Tel’s claims, the truth is that I was very clear that I was talking about common descent, and I was not talking about “Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS”

    He conveniently left out his words in parenthesis (as originally proposed by Darwin). Clearly he was talking about Darwinian common descent and not just common descent. Pixie has a habit of distorting Behe’s view of common descent.

  9. He conveniently left out his words in parenthesis (as originally proposed by Darwin). Clearly he was talking about Darwinian common descent and not just common descent. Pixie has a habit of distorting Behe’s view of common descent.

    Oh, come on Tel. This has got to the point where you are looking ridiculous. Let us look at the order this happened:

    Pix in post #8: The fish to amphibian claim is part of the theory of common descent, and there is plenty of evidence for that (talk to Denton and Behe about it).

    Tel in post #10: BTW, dear readers, please take notice of Pixie’s subtle obfuscation with his attempt to equate Darwinian common descent with Behe. Pixie also has a bad habit of quoting mining IDist and misrepresenting them. The truth is common descent can be independent of the evidence (or lack thereof) for Darwinian evolution aka RM&NS.

    Pix in post #11: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin). They both believe all life descented from (approximately) one organism. They both believe amphibians evolved from fish.

    Let me spell this out to you Tel. You accused me of misrepresenting Behe in the post before the one you are now quoting.

    I very clearly originally said “common descent”. People can go back and look at post 8. I do not mention Darwin. I do not mention evolution. I specifically say “common descent”. And you then accuse me of misrepresenting Behe in your next post.

    He conveniently left out his words in parenthesis (as originally proposed by Darwin).

    No, Tel, I did not leave that out. It is there in its correct place in the chronology of what happened (a bit more than half way through the post). I said “as originally proposed by Darwin” after you accused me of misrepresenting Behe, so it is quoted – in full – later in the discussion.

    This may come as a shock to you Tel, but Darwin was the guy who originally proposed common descent.

    Now I suggest you actually go back and read posts 8, 10, 11 and 21. See who said what when, and stop posting this nonsense. It is great that you can admit your mistakes; I hope you have the honesty and humility to consider the possibility that you might have made more than one.

    Oh, and the difference between an atheist and a Christian like you is that I can see the good in people, and I will tend to assume they made an honest mistake.

  10. Let me spell this out to you Tel. You accused me of misrepresenting Behe in the post before the one you are now quoting.

    I very clearly originally said “common descent” . People can go back and look at post 8. I do not mention Darwin. I do not mention evolution. I specifically say “common descent” . And you then accuse me of misrepresenting Behe in your next post.

    Pixie the Master of Obfusaction and Equivocation Pixie must think the readers are stupid or something. When does a Darwinist and ID critic when he says “common descent” he really meant “intelligently designed common descent” . Does Pixie really want us to believe that’s what he meant whenever he uses the phrase “common descent” he actually meant “intelligently designed common descent” and not “Darwinian common descent” ? What a liar!

    You don’t have to take my word for it, but Pixie made it clear in his own quotes. I did say in post #10 that Pixie claims that Behe accepts “Darwinian common descent” . If that is not what he meant, he could have easily corrected me and said he did meant “intelligently designed common descent” . Instead he affirmed what I said by saying in post #11, “Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin) ” . That’s right his response was that Behe accepts “common descent as proposed by Darwin” . This proves that when he said in post #8 that Behe accept “common descent” Pixie did mean to say that “Darwinian common descent” . Now I caught him misrepresenting Behe and he doesn’t have the moral fortitude to admit that he was wrong so he has to contrive this lie.

    Oh, and the difference between an atheist and a Christian like you is that I can see the good in people, and I will tend to assume they made an honest mistake.

    No Pixie, my best friend is an atheist/agnostic, which is why I said an atheist like you and not atheists in general. You have a zero concession policy that refuses to acknowledge your mistakes and this is not the first time. You defend people like Avalos and Harris who seek to deny freedom of academic dissent from IDists and Creationists, while you called Christians “bigots” . No Pixie, not all atheists have allow their PN so cloud their minds against Christians.

  11. Pixie must think the readers are stupid or something. When does a Darwinist and ID critic when he says “common descent” he really meant “intelligently designed common descent” . Does Pixie really want us to believe that’s what he meant whenever he uses the phrase “common descent” he actually meant “intelligently designed common descent” and not “Darwinian common descent” ? What a liar!

    I am beginning to think one of my readers is stupid.

    Tel, when I say common descent, what I mean is common descent. Not evolution. When I say “evolution”, what I mean is evolution. When I say “common descent”, what I mean is common descent. It is not difficult. It is not confusing. What I say is what I mean.

    Your argument seems to be that I am misrepresenting Behe because I said he accepts common descent, but that really when I said common descent what I meant was evolution. Can you not see how ridicous that argument is.

    Just suppose for a moment that I had really meant common descent and not evolution. What do you think I woukld have posted?

    Think about the question you asked. What evidence is there that a fish evolved into an amphibian? This is a question about common descent, and not about evolution.

    You don’t have to take my word for it, but Pixie made it clear in his own quotes. I did say in post #10 that Pixie claims that Behe accepts “Darwinian common descent” . If that is not what he meant, he could have easily corrected me and said he did meant “intelligently designed common descent” .

    Ah, so this is all down to your deliberate obfuscation with the term “Darwinian common descent”. I see.

    Common descent was originally proposed by Darwin You did know that right? Darwinian common descent means to me common descent, a theory of common descent that was originally proposed by Darwin. As opposed to Darwinian evolution, a theory of evolution that was originally proposed by Darwin.

    And as you point out, I affirmed that in post #11, “Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin)“. See, Behe and Denton do accept common descent, and it was originally proposed by Darwin.

    Oh, and when I said “common descent”, what I meant was – can you guess – common descent!

    The problem is that you did not. When you said “Darwinian common descent” what you meant was Darwinian evolution. The problem is when I say “common descent” you assume I mean evolution. Why not assume I mean common descent when I say “common descent”?

  12. Tel, when I say common descent, what I mean is common descent. Not evolution. When I say “evolution” , what I mean is evolution. When I say “common descent” , what I mean is common descent. It is not difficult. It is not confusing. What I say is what I mean.

    That’s not quite true.

    Pixie: Evidence for the specific evolution of an amphibian to a fish would be the predicted discovery of fish-amphibian intermediates and a very close genetic match between fish and tetrapods.

    Your argument seems to be that I am misrepresenting Behe because I said he accepts common descent

    Wrong again. Pixie misrepresents Behe because he said Behe accepts common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin). We all know Darwin was not an advocate of common descent by design. The last I checked the Origin of Species promotes a form of common descent that is through naturalistic variation and natural selection. For Pixie to continue to insist that Behe supports this form of common descent is dishonest and abhorrent.

  13. Looks like Tel is grasping at straws again.

    That’s not quite true.

    Yes it is actually.

    Wrong again. Pixie misrepresents Behe because he said Behe accepts common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin). We all know Darwin was not an advocate of common descent by design. The last I checked the Origin of Species promotes a form of common descent that is through naturalistic variation and natural selection. For Pixie to continue to insist that Behe supports this form of common descent is dishonest and abhorrent.

    I have to admit to not getting what his problem is, so let us break this down into small steps.
    1. Behe accepts the theory of common descent, that all organisms have a single (or approximately single) common ancestor
    2. The theory of common descent was originally proposed by Darwin.
    3. Behe accepts common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).
    4. Behe would agree with me that there is good evidence for common descent.
    5. Behe believes in some form of evolution, and that humans, for example, have evolved from the single common ancestor, and that amphibians evolved from fish.
    6. Behe disagrees with mainstream science about the mechanism of evolution, rejecting variation and natural selection (or rejecting that it is solely variation and natural selection).
    7. Behe would agree with me that there is reasonable evidence that amphibians evolved from fish.
    8. Behe would disagree with me about how amphibians evolved from fish.

    I really do not think any of them are contentious. Indeed, I am sure Tel will be forced to admit that all are true (not publicly, he will just brush them off or ignore them). However, remember the above as I review what I said.

    Post #8, in reply to “Why don’t you show us how Darwinist have tested that a fish turned into an amphibian” I said: The fish to amphibian claim is part of the theory of common descent, and there is plenty of evidence for that (talk to Denton and Behe about it).

    Tel, dear creationist that he is, likes to take things out of context. But remember what we were discussing. He did not ask about how a fish evolved into an amphibian. If he had, I would not cite Behe, because Behe rejects Darwinian evolution. We disagee about how evolution happened.Instead, Tel asked about whether it happened at all. And on this point, Behe and I agree. We both accept common descent. We both believe fish evolved into amphibians. We both believe it is well supported by evidence.

    Post #11, in reply to “Pixie has absolutely no empirical evidence to demonstrate that a fish has or can turn into an amphibian“, I said: There is evidence enough to convince scientists, atheists and theists alike (like Behe and Mike Gene).

    Note that here again we are clearly talking about whether the fish evolved into an amphibian. Tel asked the question, and repeated it in his respond, so you might imagine he would realise that.

    Later in the same post I said: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin). They both believe all life descented from (approximately) one organism. They both believe amphibians evolved from fish.

    So now I am claiming that Behe accepts common descent (which is true), that common descent was originally proposed by Darwin (which is true), and that Behe believes amphibians evolved from fish (which is true). And yet Tel claims I am misrepresenting Behe.

    I guess it is just possible that Tel worded his question badly, and what he was really asking was: What evidence is there that fish evolved into amphibians by Darwinian evolution? If that is what he was thinking, that might explain his absurd behaviour trying to pursue this issue. One might hope that he would check his facts before throwing around accusations of dishonesty, but there you go.

  14. I am sure Tel will be forced to admit that all are true (not publicly, he will just brush them off or ignore them).

    What I am forced to admit is that Pixie is the Master of Obfusaction and Equivocation. Why is it that with Pixie’s voluminous nonsensical bloviating, he is still unable to explain how Behe agrees with Darwin’s idea of common descent? The mechanism for Behe’s common descent is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS. Even a Master of Obfusaction and Equivocation like Pixie still can’t fool rational people into forcing a square peg into a round hole.

  15. Why is it that with Pixie’s voluminous nonsensical bloviating, he is still unable to explain how Behe agrees with Darwin’s idea of common descent? The mechanism for Behe’s common descent is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS.

    But it is all common descent. Behe accepts common descent. He agrees with Darwin’s idea of common descent. What we disagree on is the mechanism of evolution that results in common descent, but that was not an issue.

    And, of course, as I predicted, Tel brushed off those eight points.

    Interesting how the brave, honest Christian has a web page dedicated to my character assassination on which I cannot respond. Tel was already convinced I was lying before I first posted on this thread. This argument (which has now completely derailed Donald’s discussion) is a result of Tel’s prejudices.

  16. An atheist like Pixie with his jaundice view of Christians and his blind support for other atheist bigots would continue to mock Christians. We now have 30 comments in this thread and Pixie’s endless irrelevant droning but still he has yet to explain how Behe agrees with Darwin’s idea of common descent? The mechanism for Behe’s common descent is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS.

    Pixie: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

  17. teleologist: What I am forced to admit is that Pixie is the Master of Obfusaction and Equivocation..

    If there was any confusion, The Pixie has certainly clarified his statement sufficiently. That’s what one is supposed to do. Behe accepts Common Descent. According to Behe, humans descended from non-human apes which descended from even more primitive forebearers. Behe does reject orthodox mechanisms of evolution.

    In any case, The Pixie is not the subject of this thread. I note the thread dedicated to that purpose is closed for comments. So much for a discussion of Methodological Naturalism. This thread is no longer readable for its original purpose (spam-to-content ratio too high).

  18. An atheist like Pixie with his jaundice view of Christians and his blind support for other atheist bigots would continue to mock Christians. We now have 30 comments in this thread and Pixie’s endless irrelevant droning but still he has yet to explain how Behe agrees with Darwin’s idea of common descent? The mechanism for Behe’s common descent is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS.

    But both are common descent. And common descent was originally proposed by Darwin.

    Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

  19. But both are common descent. And common descent was originally proposed by Darwin.

    Why don’t you go sell this to your rabid atheist friends like PZ Myers?

  20. I suspect, Tel, that everyone but you already knows it.

    But I am curious. Which bit do you disagree with? Both are common descent? Or common descent was originally proposed by Darwin? Or both?

    Or is that another question you will duck?

  21. I have not ducked any questions. What Pixie is asking is nonsensical. I’ve made it very clear that Behe’s concept of “common descent” is not the same as Darwin’s concept of “common descent” . When does a Darwinist and ID critic when he says “common descent” he really meant “intelligently designed common descent” . Does Pixie really want us to believe that’s what he meant whenever he uses the phrase “common descent” he actually meant “intelligently designed common descent” and not “Darwinian common descent” ?

    The fact is it is Pixie who has been ducking the question, opting to be the Master of Obfusaction and Equivocation.

    We now have 20 comments in this thread and Pixie’s endless irrelevant droning but still he has yet to explain how Behe agrees with Darwin’s idea of common descent? The mechanism for Behe’s common descent is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS.

    Pixie: Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

    I think the readers know who has been ducking this question.

  22. Tel, you really need to get a grip. Why not e-mail Donald or someone and see how they see this? Or ask a friend to read the thread (just the first four or five posts should be enough). Seriously, you are making yourself look ridiculous, and a second opinion of someone you trust might make you realise just how vacuous your position is.

    I’ve made it very clear that Behe’s concept of “common descent” is not the same as Darwin’s concept of “common descent” .

    Well, yes it is. The theory of common descent says that all organisms have a single common ancestor. As far as I am aware, Behe agrees with that. Here is what Behe actually says:

    I want to be explicit about what I am, and am not, questioning. The word “evolution” carries many associations. Usually it means common descent — the idea that all organisms living and dead are related by common ancestry. I have no quarrel with the idea of common descent, and continue to think it explains similarities among species. By itself, however, common descent doesn’t explain the vast differences among species.
    That’s where Darwin’s mechanism comes in. “Evolution” also sometimes implies that random mutation and natural selection powered the changes in life. The idea is that just by chance an animal was born that was slightly faster or stronger than its siblings. Its descendants inherited the change and eventually won the contest of survival over the descendants of other members of the species. Over time, repetition of the process resulted in great changes — and, indeed, wholly different animals.

    So Behe has no quarrel with common descent. He does not say common descent with design, or qualify it at all. And he even sums it up nicely for us – “the idea that all organisms living and dead are related by common ancestry“. For him (and the rest of the world) there is only one common descent. A theory proposed by Darwin, and accepted by Behe and by me.

    Where we disagree is the mechanism. As I said before and as Behe makes clear here.

    The mechanism for Behe’s common descent is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS.

    No, common descent has no mechanism. The mechanism for Behe’s evolution is ID and Darwin’s mechanism is unguided variation and NS.

    Behe accepts common descent. Common descent was originally proposed by Darwin. Behe and Denton accept common descent (as originally proposed by Darwin).

  23. On another thread I stated exactly what I mean by common descent (back in January; I have only just come across it again):

    I have been and will continue to use common descent to mean specifically that all organisms are descended from a single or very limited number of organisms (and for convenience I will say it is a single ancestor). No one is disputing that every breed of dog has a common ancestor.
    The theory of evolution is just one way that we could have common descent; common descent is not restricted to that (afterall Behe and Denton accept common descent). Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution.

    I have been consistent in my use of “common descent”, and the way I use means I am not misrepresenting Behe. When I said “common descent” on this thread, what I meant was common descent, not common descent by whatever mechanism.

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