The C4ID Director and his Creator

In a second part of covering the CrISIS Campaign for the Cross Rhythms website (Creationism In Schools Isn’t Science – Part 2), Rebecca Duffett includes this wonderful interpretation of Dr Alastair Noble’s stance on origins:

Alastair Noble from the Centre for Intelligent Design believes that science points to a creator of some sort and doesn’t believe this idea can be eradicated from the science classroom, ‘The job of science is to look at empirical evidence and draw a conclusion from it, and you can’t bring to science a presumption that there can be no intelligence in the universe. If you do that you’re outdoing science; you’re outdoing philosophy. You’ve made up your mind what the answer’s going to be before you start.’

As in her earlier article (part 1), Rebecca gives no references or links to the evidence or sources for her statements, so I’m taking it as read that this is a reasonably accurate replay of Noble’s beliefs. Not a great surprise, given his church-related activity.

In fact, Noble’s got a pretty odd view of science here – at least based on this quotation.  Science doesn’t make a presumption that there is no intelligence in the Universe (I’m assuming Noble’s quotation is really referring to a creator’s (designer’s) intelligence, and there’s pretty obviously some intelligence on Earth): rather it awaits evidence that there is some intelligence out there.  Intelligent Design creationism would have us believe in some supernatural entity capable of designing everything around us, and indeed putting it in place (Noble’s ‘Creator’ in the above quotation).  This is where the sheer duplicity of ID creationists shines through: claiming Intelligent Design as science, when it patently is not.

 

Alastair Noble on Channel 4

Here’s a quick heads-up – the Centre for Intelligent Design’s director Dr Alastair Noble has a brief appearance scheduled for Channel 4’s silly god-spot 4thought on Wednesday evening at 7.55pm.

Should be fun to see how many fundamental errors get repeated…

Incidentally, the title for this week’s 4thought is the ill-considered “Is it possible to believe in God and Darwin?“.  Given that one of these figures is historical, and the other mythical…I guess that Channel 4 really mean “Is it possible to believe in God and evolution”!

Intelligent Design strategies

Barbara Forrest has published an interesting article on the absurd pro-creationist Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) (Respect Requires Repeal | Louisiana Progress). Forrest has a particularly strong track record in exposing the antics of creationists in the USA and was an expert witness in the famous 2005 Dover trial, which exposed Intelligent Design as a cynical scam intended to circumvent constitutional prohibition of religious teaching in US schools. Since 2005, the push to include creationist teaching has become rather nuanced, with legislation couched in ‘codewords’ which to the unaware can sound entirely reasonable.  For example, as Forrest observes:

The LSEA permits teachers to use “supplementary” materials in order to promote “critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

Recent anti-science legislation in the US (rarely successful, except in Louisana) revolves around including weaselly code words like “critical thinking” (which means the opposite – uncritical acceptance of biblical passages), “teaching the controversy”, “strengths and weaknesses of evolution”, and now “academic freedom”.  But what’s this got to do with the UK? I was quite struck by Forrest’s comment that

Virtually every significant creationism outbreak in the United States since 1999 has been the product of DI’s [DI is the Discovery Institute] aggressive execution of its “Wedge Strategy” for getting intelligent design into public schools. Typically, DI operatives arrive on the scene after local Religious Right groups do the initial spadework, a pattern that DI followed in Louisiana, where its proxy, the LFF, had promoted creationism for a decade.

A recent development in the UK has been the establishment of the Centre for Intelligent Design in Glasgow.  I’ve blogged several times about this outfit, and its rather shallow attempt to portray Intelligent Design as some kind of scientific theory.  But if we look at the three main figures at C4ID, we see a particular religious focus.

Dr Alastair Noble, C4ID’s Director, holds a PhD in chemistry and has considerable experience as a teacher (and has held numerous posts in relation to teaching).  From the BCSE website:

Noble is an elder of the Cartsbridge Evangelical Church in Glasgow (see http://www.cartsbridgechurch.com) and a lay preacher.[…] He is also Educational Consultant to (and former Education Officer of) CARE in Scotland.  […] CARE describes itself as “a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies, at the EU in Brussels and the UN in Geneva and New York.”

Alastair Noble is the most visible face of C4ID.  However there is a President (Professor Norman Nevin) and a Vice President (Dr David Galloway), though Professor Nevin and Dr Galloway seem to keep a rather lower media profile than their Director.

Professor Norman Nevin OBE, the President of C4ID, is a retired medical geneticist.  As far as BCSE can find out, he is a biblical literalist:

BCSE has done a considerable amount of research on Professor Nevin’s position on creationism; it suggests that he is basically a hard line Biblical literalist. We’ve presented the evidence on our bog at http://bcseweb.blogspot.com/search/label/Nevin. It also suggests that he has some severe shortcomings in his knowledge of the science he seems to use to back up his creationist position.

Professor Nevin is an elder in the largest Brethren church in Northern Ireland (the Crescent Church in Belfast – see http://www.iguidez.com/Belfast/crescent_church/). It’s large by any British standards and is believed to have a capacity of some 2,000 people.

Dr David Galloway is, in addition to being Vice President of C4ID, a surgeon and the Vice President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.  He’s a member of the Lennox Evangelical Church in Dumbarton.  According to the BCSE,

This church is about as fundamentalist as they get and openly promotes young earth creationism to children. It links to this web site – http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/index.html – which looks to be dedicated to promoting the work of young earth creationist Walt Brown.

Having said that, Dr Galloway’s website has a comprehensive (if incomprehensible to this reader) set of pages devoted to denying that life may have originated through natural processes and species evolved, again through natural processes.

So we have a trio of very religious individuals (from an evangelical and/or fundamentalist background), at least two of whom openly espouse creationism (I include Intelligent Design as creationism), running an outfit supposedly pushing a concept which they claim is not a creationist or religious concept, but one of science.

So, what’s this got to do with Forrest’s essay?  Well, Forrest’s observation that in promoting a creationist agenda, “Typically, DI operatives arrive on the scene after local Religious Right groups do the initial spadework” caught my eye.  Is this what’s happening in the UK?  I’ve blogged previously about the upcoming C4ID Summer School, to be held in what look to be rather splendid premises owned and run by the Elim Pentecostalists.  Looking at the instructors, one immediately notes the paucity of biologists – only two appeared to be biologists, and one of those is from the Discovery Institute.  Is this the beginning of the appearance of “DI Operatives” and their UK equivalents?

Once the summer school has been held, those of us outside the UK creationist and ID camp will no doubt find it hard to discover what went on at the summer school, as the application requirements are in places rather restrictive:

Applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the design argument. One purpose of the school is to build a network of emerging professionals across the disciplines who are conversant with the arguments for intelligent design. Because of professional sensitivities, participation in the conference will be handled in strict confidence and with anonymity.

At the risk of offending the C4ID triumvirate, perhaps they are doing “the spadework”, and gearing up to invite “DI Operatives”, while at the same time building up a network of professionals that will be working behind the scenes to promote Intelligent Design creationism.  A secret network, by the sound of it.  All very George Smiley.

Creationism, Holocaust Denial and The ID Crowd

My recent post,The Edinburgh Science Festival, Creationism and the Centre for Intelligent Design, on a recent debate on the gradual creep of creationism into schools held at the Edinburgh Science Festival, resulted in an email correspondence with Keith Gilmour, from whom this guest post comes.  Keith spoke at the event, and had a conversation with C4ID Director Dr Alastair Noble.

Creationism, Holocaust Denial and The ID Crowd

by Keith Gilmour

On Wednesday 20th April, I spoke at an event organised, by the Humanist Society of Scotland, for the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The topic was “The Threat of Creeping Creationism in Scottish Schools.” This took place in the University of Edinburgh’s Informatics Forum.

As a secondary school RME/RMPS teacher, I began my contribution with a summary of my school’s RME/RMPS curriculum before going on to highlight some of the unsolicited ID and creationist literature (books, DVDs, etc) that have been sent out to our school. Some had been addressed to the Head Teacher, some to the Science department, and some to my own.

I next went on to explain that, to any teacher objectively exploring the existence of God with teenagers, evolution is a lot like the holocaust – neither ‘disprove’ the existence of God but both present significant challenges to traditional theistic beliefs. From the RMPS perspective, it is the responses that are worth considering. Theists can either add one or both of these unpleasant realities to the many other objections to the faith position and abandon their belief in God – or they can find ways of reconciling them with their belief in a loving Creator (“This may be the best of all possible worlds”, “Part of a Divine plan”, “God shares in the sufferings of His creatures”, and so on).

Creationists and holocaust deniers, however, offer a third option – but, by requiring the rejection of overwhelming scientific/historical evidence, rule themselves out of any serious discussion and therefore ‘neither’ should be invited into schools to “talk to pupils.” And they exclude themselves further via everything else that they have in common. To wit, both object that a minority of highly educated people reject what 99% of scientists/historians accept – and that this fringe group will eventually be proved right. (For holocaust deniers, see Paul Rassinier, Robert Faurisson, Arthur Butz, The Institute for Historical Review, and etc). Both are notorious for quoting experts out of context (to give the misleading impression their crank view has some serious support), for mischaracterising scholarly debate (on details) as a failure to agree even on the basics, and for seizing upon any mistake (however minor) to argue that the entire field of study is riddled with incompetence, ignorance and deception. Both rely on a kind of ‘book disproved by its missing pages’ reasoning and are forever demanding ‘caught in the act’ evidence before they’ll believe a single thing (though usually only in this area of life). Both groups imagine themselves to be victims of a massive conspiracy that shuts them out of some imagined ‘debate’ and both accuse their critics of misunderstanding them (like we think holocaust deniers imagine no killings took place at all and evolution deniers believe nothing has evolved, anywhere – ever). Call them evolution/holocaust sceptics, if that seems more appropriate!

Following the debate, Dr Alastair Noble, Director of the risible Centre for Intelligent Design, claimed that it was “silly” and “scandalous” of me to draw this comparison. Perhaps he would now like to explain why.

As I understand it, Creationism is based on an unwillingness (or inability) to move too far away from a literalist interpretation of scripture. Proponents of Intelligent Design claim not to be starting from this point, whilst continuing to work hand in glove with their creationist ancestors/cousins/fellow travellers. In contradistinction, they claim to be basing their attitude to science on the complexities it uncovers. Were it not for the company they kept and the tactics they employed – and if they could content themselves with letting Science teachers stick to the facts unearthed – this would be respectable enough. Science teachers might even venture that some sort of fine-tuning intelligence or intelligences (aliens, perhaps) may or may not be responsible for all this complexity (DNA, the Goldilocks enigma, life from nonlife, the birth of the universe, etc) – that is, after all, the mainstream theistic view. But ID proponents cannot stop there. They
want pupils to be told that “an intelligent designer” is what the evidence points to. And they do not want to accept that they have wandered from Science into Theology and Philosophy. But no matter how furiously they insist otherwise, all that they are really doing is putting forward an updated version of the Argument From Design (i.e. that complexity implies a creator). The only change is the fact that they talk now about the complexity of computer software, instruction manuals and megacities, where William Paley relied upon the complexities of a pocket watch.

The reason creationists and the ID crowd want this in a Science class is that they presumably wouldn’t, in that context, feel obliged to follow it up with the inevitable philosophical objections – “Who designed the designer?” (or, if you prefer, “Who programmed the programmer?”), “Why imagine only one designer?”, “Why imagine the designer knows/cares we’re here?”, “How do we know the designer’s not dead?”, “Why the dithering, delays and design flaws?”, “Why all the waste and horror?”, “Isn’t the Goldilocks planet just a lottery winner?”, “Where is all this going, exactly?”

Following my encounter with Dr Noble, I now have a number of questions for him:

As well as being a proponent of Intelligent Design, does he also (perhaps separately) consider himself a creationist? Although they are coming at things from different angles, there is no reason he cannot be both.

During our post-debate discussion of Wednesday 20th April, Dr Noble objected to my suggestion that Intelligent Design growing out of Creationism was akin to the BNP having grown out of the National Front. Instead, he claimed a better analogy would be the IRA and Sinn Fein! Does he stand by this? And, if so, who is meant to be which?

Does he consider himself to be in ‘coalition’ with creationist groups?

Roughly what percentage of his beliefs does he imagine he might share with the average creationist?

If supernatural explanations can be considered suitable for Science classes, why not also History, Geography and Modern Studies?

Why does his website refer to both ID and Creationism as “theories”?

Does he agree with Michael Behe’s definition of Science (shown, in court, to encompass astrology)?

Does he condemn the ludicrous ‘Atlas of Creation’?

In what sense is “a supernatural designer” the “best explanation”? Or any explanation at all?

Dr Noble told me that the mind and the brain are not the same thing. What did he mean by this?

In addition, I would also appreciate answers to the questions raised, that same night, by my friend and colleague Professor Paul Braterman:

Why is the Centre for Intelligent Design promoting creationist materials such as Explore Evolution and Uncommon Descent?

Why is CID hosting the creationist Jonathan Wells as a summer school instructor?

Can Dr Noble honestly claim that his organisation’s core mission has nothing to do with Creationism?

In summary, teenagers studying Science in Scottish secondary schools simply do not need to be confused by the introduction of a theological/philosophical argument revamped by a pseudoscience (ID) quite happy to smuggle in nonsense like ‘irreducible complexity’ whilst leaving the door open for the even more ridiculous pseudoscience of Creationism. We would not invite a holocaust denier into schools to address our pupils and nor should we be inviting creationist speakers (or allowing ID and/or creationist materials) in to undermine our Biology teachers. Pupils are too easily taken in by conspiracy theories as it is!

Did you know, for example, that Tupac Shakur is still alive and well? That the moon landings were faked? Or that the Frosties kid really ‘did’ kill himself?

24/04/2011

C4ID’s Summer School

I notice that C4ID are holding a summer school to push Intelligent Design creationism to the already converted (Summer School | C4ID).  Their web publicity on that page still seems to be under development, so one may expect more information to come.  It’s a five day residential event.

Who’s speaking?

The usual crew, including Dr Alastair Noble and Dr David Galloway (two of the C4ID triumvirate), plus one or two other interesting names, including John Langlois, a barrister based in Guernsey.  Other participants include Dr Jonathan Loose (who is at Heythrop College, the Specialist Philosophy and Theology College of the University of London), Prof Guillermo Gonzales (an astronomer at Grove City College – a Christian school in Pennsylvania), Prof Steve Fuller (Sociologist, Warwick University), Professor Chris Shaw (Pharmacy, Queen’s Belfast – probably the only biologist), Dr Jonathan Wells (of the Discovery Institute, the people who cooked up ID as a facade for creationism), and a lawyer, David Williams.

Not many biologists.  One thing that occurs to me each time I peruse the current biological research literature is the huge amount of information published that is consistent with evolutionary theory and a huge global community of biological researchers, particularly in comparison to the paucity of biological researchers pushing ID creationism.  It’s a shame a bigger presence of biologists couldn’t be mustered for this event: were ID creationism really science, I would have thought this wouldn’t have been difficult.  But then again, I am not surprised.

Who may attend?

Interestingly, you must already be committed to intelligent design creationism:

Applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the design argument.
One purpose of the school is to build a network of emerging professionals across the disciplines
who are conversant with the arguments for intelligent design. Because of professional
sensitivities, participation in the conference will be handled in strict confidence and with
anonymity.

The application requirements include the request that applicant provide:

(1) a resume / c.v. (2) a short statement of your interest in intelligent
design and its perceived relationship to your area of work and life and (3) a letter of
recommendation from a person of standing who knows your work and is friendly towards ID.

So the upshot is this is an event to build a network of people who already believe in ID creationism.  It’s interesting that participation is to be held in secrecy: the mind boggles.  Whether it’s intended to protect the attendees or for more sinister aims isn’t clear (perhaps I’ve been reading too much pulp fiction!).  In several decades as a biology researcher, I’ve never attended a conference or workshop that had such a level of secrecy.   One other interesting observation: there’s some cash behind the school, as bursaries are being made available for up to 85% of the £600 attendance fee…

Where is it being held?

At the Elim Conference Centre, run by Elim Pentecostal Churches.  That in itself is interesting: one might have expected ID creationism, which masquerades as genuine science, to have gone for a more conventional venue.

Lack of understanding does not equal evidence for design.

The Centre for Intelligent Design generally makes its arguments that life as we see it around us must have been designed by some designer with unfathomable powers (pretty much a supernatural entity resembling a deity), from the starting point that if they (C4ID) cannot understand it, then it can’t have happened naturally. This, I suppose, comes from their religious origins – all religions seem to rely on the ostensible word of some deity relayed to the faithful from some authority figure.  Just this morning, I came across this excellent cartoon (The believer’s perspective vs the scientist’s perspective) from the excellent Calamities of Nature site, which nicely illustrates this:
Continue reading “Lack of understanding does not equal evidence for design.”

C4ID misrepresents science. Again

The dear old Centre for Intelligent Design creationism are misrepresenting science again (University finds brain’s complexity beyond belief).  Of course Alastair Noble and colleagues don’t want any of those nasty scientists leaving comments, so as per usual there’s no commenting facility.  As C4ID report,

They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith

At least C4ID don’t alter the “almost to the point”.

So, in essence, C4ID can’t understand how evolutionary and developmental biology can result in such complexity, so God a designer must have done it.  They then go on to say:

Yet there are scientists who appear on our TV screens all the time to tell us that life just popped into existence when the right bunch of chemicals appeared, and that the genetic instructions required to construct the awesome human brain simply evolved by themselves with no guidance at all.

Which somewhat economical with the truth.  The C4ID article links to an article at cnet.com (Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth) rather than the actual research paper, probably because they reckon (rightly enough) that their intended audience wouldn’t understand it.

Essentially it’s a technical paper showing how neural connections in the brain can be imaged.  It’s well outside my field of expertise which, since I’m an honest sort of chap, prevents me from pontificating away and drawing over-interpreted conclusions (would that the same could be said of C4ID!).  However, the paper’s conclusion is:

Conclusions
Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of AT for the proteomic examination of individual synapses in natural brain tissue with full preservation of neuroanatomical and circuit context information. As efficient automated analysis strategies are developed to complement the inherently high throughput of array tomographic image acquisition, this tool should open new doors to the large-scale bioinformatic exploration of the molecular diversity and architecture of synapses. One likely consequence of such exploration could be the development of new schemes for the differentiation and cataloging of molecular synapse types. By isolating specific subsets of synapses, a synapse catalog could help enormously in pinpointing the specific synapse changes involved in particular neurological disorders (Luescher and Isaac, 2009) or forms of neural plasticity (Micheva and Beaulieu, 1995; Knott et al., 2002; Hofer et al., 2009; Xu et al., 2009; Yang et al., 2009). AT’s unique abilities to extract simultaneously rich proteomic and fine-scale structural information also suggests that the method may substantially advance ongoing efforts to integrate the structural and molecular views of neuronal microcircuit function.

That doesn’t quite match C4ID’s story, does it.  As Cathy (to whom credit goes for spotting this) points out over at the BCSE Forum:

Wonder how the original authors would feel about that?

Still, rampant ‘economy with the truth’ is frequently associated with creationists, including this newfangled breed of Intelligent Design creationists (aka cdesign proponentsists).

C4ID hits back against Ekklesia’s take on ID creationism

Alastair Noble, the Director of the Centre for Intelligent Design, has responded to an article at the Ekklesia website, on behalf of C4ID (Intelligent Design is an explanation not an apolgetic – a response to Ekklesia). Noble doesn’t supply a link to the Ekklesia article, so here it is – ‘Intelligent Design’ is a flawed apologetic.

Dr Noble is a man who cannot (or will not) grasp an understanding of biological systems. I add the possibility “will not” because I suspect that his willingness to accept a natural explanation for the diversity of life around us is in large part informed by his religious beliefs. Indeed, it comes as something of a surprise that he emphasises that Intelligent design creationism

[…] is not a religious apologetic but a scientific explanation of the observed data.

In actual fact, and despite his protestations to the contrary, Intelligent Design creationism is not a scientific explanation. It is untestable and makes no predictions. Intelligent Design creationism was invented by the Discovery Institute with the explicit purpose of inveigling teaching of creationism into US schools, where it is prohibited by the constitution. Is Dr Noble really unaware of this?

I have worked my way through the document ‘An Introduction to Intelligent Design’ (my comments can be read here), which was prepared by Dr Noble and his colleagues at C4ID. Noble continues:

The information in living systems is real and raises, to an enquiring scientific mind, the question of its origin.  To make a valid inference about this we need to offer an explanation which is known to apply elsewhere and to operate in the way we propose.

In actual fact the scientific explanations of the origins and evolution of biological information are comprehensive and do explain its diversity. Intelligent Design makes no explanation of the diversity, unless a designer/creator did it. We may not yet know (and may never know) the chemical origins of complex biomolecules, but stooping to “I don’t know, so a supernatural entity must have been responsible” is rather unsatisfactory, and the kind of explanation nomadic goat herders in the bronze age might have come up with, without the benefits of the scientific method.

Well it’s not hard to see what it is.  The only known source of specified functional information is intelligent mind and to infer that the information in living systems has a similar source is entirely consistent with scientific deductions.  To propose the alternative that this all somehow self-assembled, which curiously almost everybody accepts without question, is contrary to all human experience and reason.  It is about as unscientific as you can be.

If this is not an argument from ignorance, I don’t know what is.

Dr Noble seems to think that the ‘establishment’ finds Intelligent Design creationism unacceptable because it departs from a ‘philosophy of materialism’…

I think what is really unacceptable to the establishment about ID is that it departs from the philosophy of materialism which now dominates the pursuit of science.  This philosophy says, essentially, that only physical or material processes can be considered as valid explanations.  Any other explanation, such as an intelligent cause of the universe, must be ruled out before you begin to assess the evidence.  ID, on the other hand, prefers to go where the evidence leads.

If, in the matter of origins, science wishes to cripple itself with a commitment to rule out, by definition, any non-material explanation for the universe such as intelligent causation, it might be better to do the honourable thing and leave the field because its tools are clearly inadequate to the task of assessing the actual evidence.  But there is no need for science to do that if it is prepared to go where the evidence leads.

And I think there we have it. This paragraph reveals Intelligent Design creationism for what it really is. Dr Noble advocates a non-material explanation for the universe. If he is indeed supporting ‘intelligent causation’, who or what is he proposing as the entity that performed this ‘intelligent causation’? If it’s not his particular deity, it’s remarkably close to the sort of power he attributes to his god. In my more mischievous moments, think that maybe this is some kind of super-deity, that created the god Noble worships?

Please Dr Noble, what is the evidence for a Designer/Creator, other than you cannot understand the science (or that you are blinkered by your religious beliefs)? Oh, and while we’re at it, please could you suggest what designed the Designer?

Noble concludes with a section entitled ‘Debate the Controversy’. Please. Intelligent and educated people realise there is no controversy. It is entirely manufactured by individuals with a religious agenda specifically because they don’t like the potential impact that evolutionary biology might have on their belief system.

So are we up for dialogue?  Of course we are.  That’s why the Centre for Intelligent Design (C4ID) is here.  If ID is soon to be debunked, as Bob Carling suggests, let’s have some credible scientific arguments and not the tired reiteration of neo-Darwinian speculation.

On the contrary, biology provides the best explanations of biological diversity, if anything the C4ID website is a tired reiteration of creationist bunkum masquerading as science.

C4ID and Behe’s tour

Michael Behe has a paper forthcoming in the December Quarterly Review of Biology, entitled Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations, and “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”.  It may well be interesting to find out what Behe has to say on mutations.

As one might expect, the biblical literalists at C4ID (who bizarrely promote ID creationism) are gearing up to make the most of it.  Elsewhere in that page, the C4ID crew enthuse about Behe’s reception during his tour, and list the main points he expounded as:

  • Design is not mystical. It is deduced from the physical structure of a system
  • Everyone agrees aspects of biology appear designed
  • There are structural obstacles to Darwinian evolution
  • Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination
  • Bottom line: Strong evidence for design, little evidence for Darwinism

Not much new there, though what the ‘structural obstacles to Darwinian evolution’ might be escape me!  And to claim that ‘Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination’ when one’s own views are based on religious texts is nothing short of bizarre.  C4ID go on to claim:

No academic paper was presented or question asked of Prof Michael Behe that in any way created difficulty except perhaps the lack of time to go into the detail he would have liked to.

The reports of Behe’s tour indicate that serious questioning was hampered by the way questions were submitted.

Significantly, if Intelligent Design isn’t science, then why did opponents attempt to undermine it by citing scientific papers, albeit ones that were largely irrelevant?

The point C4ID make is risible.  To demonstrate the unscientific nature of Intelligent Design creationism, the citation of scientific papers is rather important.  I would challenge C4ID to identify which papers they were, and why they were irrelevant.

Apparently more events will be organised. Oh good.

Behe’s UK Tour: Westminster Chapel gig

Notes from an Evil Burnee has a report on Behe’s Westminster Chapel talk (Michael Behe: still flogging the flagellum).  Well worth reading – the counclusion is:

It was an interesting but frustrating evening. Given the hype surrounding Behe’s week-long whistle-stop UK lecture tour I had expected something new. But it was the same old nonsense — indeed the same old non-science.