News Flash: Behe Admits He Was Wrong!

Apparently Michael Behe, after only 105 days after being challenged on it, has conceded he was wrong about a particular scientific claim. Read more about what else he and others did in the mean time here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02070086354372691880 ERV

    Know whats funny? Scientists screw up and admit defeat all the time. Our visiting speaker last Monday admitted he thought regulatory T-cells were a load of bull 25 years ago, and of course, now we know they are real.Its not a weird occurrence.But a Creationist admitting theyre wrong is a ‘News Flash’ that we are all going to bookmark.btw, you made it over to After the Bar Closes, right? I forgot to send you the link after you were banned :( hehehehe!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13036816926421936940 Edward T. Babinski

    I’m a former YEC who left the fold in the 1980s, and edited Theistic Evolutionists’s Forum, Monkey’s Uncle, and, later, Cretinism or Evilution, back in those pre-website, pre-blog days. And later edited Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists (published by Prometheus Books). Great stuff on your blog contra-I.D., Behe, Dembski, et al I exchanged some emails with Dembski (google: Babinski Dembski). My ironic response to I.D. and creationism can be found online, it’s titled, “Why We Believe in a Designer,” and it’s had quite a few readers who found it to be of interest both scientifically and comedically. You may enjoy some of the biological info it contains. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/4/part2.htmlAlso google: babinski cetacean evolution Cheers!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17336244849636477317 John Pieret

    This view of Behe might might amuse you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Could you please be more specific? Thank you. Otherwise, it sounds like the typical ID response – ‘the other side has made mistakes too’. This is precisely the difference between science and intelligent design. Science progresses by exposing flaws in earlier understandings; ID progresses, according to the Wedge document, by pursuing a 20-year strategic plan to become the dominant paradigm, not (God forbid!) to actually test and critically examine its hypothesis and claims.Why don’t you ask a specific question about a specific alleged error on the blog of a mainstream scientist in the relevant field, rather than here? Are you afraid the truth might be too much to bear?

  • Anonymous

    I’m referring to Behe’s responses, there were a few points that were made out to be significant biochemical changes but were in fact only due to similar conformational changes due to a change in only two nucleotides. I think they should apologize to Behe for that. There are also other critiques in other ID blogs that have been thus far ignored.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05010720416554077787 Ian Musgrave

    Anonymous saidthere were a few points that were made out to be significant biochemical changes but were in fact only due to similar conformational changes due to a change in only two nucleotidesThis is of course completely incorrect. In all cases we were talking about completely new binding sites. For example, the Golgi targeting binding site is not present at all in the SIV vpu, and results in a major increase in infectivity in the HIV virus, making HIV-1 subtype b the most successful strain of HIV (until the plasma membrane targeting subtype C came along). A new binding site is not a “similar conformation state” by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Anonymous

    Thats simply not true. Another point was:”The feature both Vpus have in common, CD4 degradation, is carried out in completely different ways. HIV-1 Vpu requires two casein kinase II sites. You could almost call it irreducibly complex – if you dont have both CKII sites, CD4 isn’t degraded. Yet some SIVcpz Vpus have only one CKII site, and instead utilize a simple string of negatively charged amino acids in place of the second site.11 Different ways of performing similar tricks with totally different amino acids. I think that’s biochemically significant as well.”Which Behe showed to be not biochemically significant. ID critics never seem to want to actually admit their own errors.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05010720416554077787 Ian Musgrave

    Anonymous said…Which Behe showed to be not biochemically significant.No, all he showed was that he could handwave around the development of one of the most important classes or regulatory binding site in the cell. Kinase binding sites are what keep our cells communicating within and between each other, without them the cells literally fall apart. So for Behe to consider this “biochemically insignificant” is a major piece of handwaving. See this post dealing with binding sites.

  • Anonymous

    So as you can see James, instead of dealing directly with my post and admitting error, they just change the subject and go on a tangent.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Actually, I’d say that is what you are doing. So far, every claim you’ve made has been responded to. Even though you are an anonymous nobody who seems unwilling to accept the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of experts, and is unwilling to even identify themselves, you are getting intelligent responses. Whether you are willing to listen and learn something is another question.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01188669658942522617 minimalist

    I love creationist logic. Addressing an issue head-on and showing how a binding site IS in fact significant biochemically and evolutionarily is “changing the subject and going on a tangent”.The comment actually makes sense when you consider that to a creationist, the main issue is ALWAYS “are you going to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior”. Everything else, including the “pathetic” science, is a “tangent”. It’s only the vector to try to get the God-virus into people’s minds.Anonymous, just read the post Ian linked to. Come back when you can respond directly to it (Behe hasn’t).

  • Anonymous

    james I don’t thin you even understand these issues, none of my claims have been addressed.

  • Anonymous

    Tim, how exactly did he respond to me? Show me specifically what the development of casein kinases has to do with the fact that this:”Different ways of performing similar tricks with totally different amino acids. I think that’s biochemically significant as well.”is in fact not true? That a negatively charged residue can mimic the function of the CKII at the site of phosphorylation has been known for at least a decade, it is not a significant biochemical change, and that is what the debate was about.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    OK, so you are still hiding your identity, you have yet to show that you know anything about this subject (all you did was quote someone else and try to appear intelligent by saying “See, what about this?”), you seem not to even know that proper names should begin with capital letters, and you also believe I am more concerned with weight loss than thinking. Please try harder – I have been really happy with the standard of discourse on this blog up until now. Please don’t spoil it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    OK, now that’s more like it! :)

  • Anonymous

    Thats even more evidence that you don’t understand anything, I’ve been talking about the same thing since day 1.

  • Anonymous

    lol you guys are…interesting. I’ll stop harrassing your blog now :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01188669658942522617 minimalist

    I don’t know how to respond to someone who thinks “Thats [sic] simply not true” is an adequate response to someone who has been very specific about the development of novel binding sites.Anonymous seems to think that “Behe said it’s insignificant; I believe it; that settles it.” and that “I CAN’T HEEEEARRR YOUUUUU THAT’S NOT TRUE LALALA” constitutes sufficient rebuttal.I don’t think I can respond to such thoroughly ignorant obstinacy in a way that won’t lower the discourse here significantly, and Prof. McGrath doesn’t want that. I could more politely recommend that Anonymous actually read Ian’s posts (all parts) for comprehension, and explain why the casein kinase binding site is “insignificant” and Behe’s own example of the hemoglobin site is significant. But I suspect it may fall on deaf ears.(And no, “because Behe said so” is not an acceptable answer.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05010720416554077787 Ian Musgrave

    Sorry I’m a bit late, work and all that.Anonymous cited:“Different ways of performing similar tricks with totally different amino acids. I think that’s biochemically significant as well.”Very. Remember casein kinase binding sites are not any old binding sites, they are critical regulatory binding sites and exemplars of a whole range of regulatory binding sites. The fact that you can generate casein kinase binding sites by multiple pathways strikes at the very heart of Behe’s claim that binding sites have only “one true configuration”, which must occur via a set number of amino acid changes occurring simultaneously. The development of the CK binding site shows that this model is fatally flawed.Anonymous wrote:is in fact not true? That a negatively charged residue can mimic the function of the CKII at the site of phosphorylation has been known for at least a decade, it is not a significant biochemical change, and that is what the debate was about.Your discussion here is entirely muddled. It’s not a negatively charged residue mimicking the function of CKII, but a string of negatively charged sites providing a binding sequence for CKII other than the known canonical sequence. Again, its significane is manifold, but mostly it shows that Behe’s model for developing binding sites is wrong.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01188669658942522617 minimalist

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but Behe says something to the extent of “if both sites accomplish the same thing, what prevents human HIV from drifting to a negatively-charged sequence like in SIV?”Uh… does that not work against Behe’s own statement that it’s an “insignificant” difference? If it’s insignificant, then by Behe’s own worldview we should see the HIV CKII site mutate into a CKII-like one.So then, is it “insignificant” yet subject to Behe’s imaginary limitations on evolution? Is he claiming there is some auxiliary binding site? No surprise Anonymous’ thinking is so muddled, when Behe’s own post is such a morass of half-formed ideas borne out of simple denial.It’s up to him to demonstrate these things, and show that it’s not, for example, simply that the SIV vpu is constrained by some other sequence differences. That would take work and experimentation, though, and Behe’s fingers are too busy plugging his ears.


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