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27.11.2015 02:41, Claire E-mail :
Hi, I wrote a cool book on Intelligent Design that you might like. It's free on Kindle until Midnight. You don't need a kindle to read it, you can just download the kindle reader app and read it on a desktop or laptop.

Kind regards,

19.01.2015 20:00, Gralgrathor E-mail :
Michael: "I wish to share with you an email"

O, hell. Just for kicks, then

Michael: "Both ideologies try to explain the problem of design and decay, life and death"

No, not as such.

First of all, Darwinism isn't an ideology. It's an explanation.

Second, Darwinism doesn't attempt to explain design. At most, it attempts to explain the appearance of design.

Michael: "Both see death as the key to a higher development of life."

Not really. Darwinism doesn't see death as anything other than the end of the life of an individual organism. Death plays a crucial part in the kind of evolution that produced all Earth's lifeforms existing today, yes, by creating space for new generations - but procreation, in Darwinism, doesn't necessarily lead to a 'higher development'. What comes next, in evolution, isn't necessarily bigger, stronger, smarter or better in any way - it's just next.

Michael: "Christians see these flaws as the product of a malevolent force, called Satan"

More to the point, they see these flaws - as Behe so eloquently demonstrated in his 'Edge of evolution' - as permitted or even created by the Designer.

Michael: "Darwinists see the existence of hostile or dangerous life forms [...] as the result of the mysterious interaction between random mutations and selective pressures"

There's nothing really mysterious about this process. There are many tiny details that can influence how the process produces its results, but in general lines, the process is well understood and can be easily demonstrated in labs and in the wild. In that regard, it's no more mysterious than knowing that the positions of the planets in the solar system are determined by gravitational interactions, but still being unable to predict their exact position a billion years ago, due to the staggering number of factors that must be included in the computation.

Michael: "The development of life forms hostile to humanity is an inevitable consequence of the evolutionary process."

As is the development of life forms hostile to, say, lettuce. Which, coincidentally, includes humans. I'm not sure what you're getting at with this bit.

Anyway, that was as much fun as I can handle for now. Cheers!

24.07.2014 19:57, Michael from Denver Colorado E-mail Homepage :
I wish to share with you an email i just sent out to many academics on the similarities between Darwinism and Christianity.

If you email me I can send you the email Meanwhile I will reprint part of it here:


Both ideologies try to explain the problem of design and decay, life and death occurring simultaneously in our world. Both see death as the key to a higher development of life. Christianity sees death as the gateway to a higher form of existence, while Darwinism sees death as the engine that drives the development of higher life forms in a process it terms “evolution.”

Just like artists and poets throughout the ages, both Darwinists and Christians are disturbed by the suffering and tragedy that mar our beautiful world. Christians see these flaws as the product of a malevolent force, called Satan and caused by sin and evil, that actively harms God’s perfectly benevolent original Creation. Jesus spoke of the flaws in our Creation in this parable:

Matthew 13:24-29 New International Version
The Parable of the Weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.

Darwinists see the existence of hostile or dangerous life forms (eg: sharks, snakes, predatory mammals, malarial mosquitoes, lethal microbes and viruses) as the result of the mysterious interaction between random mutations and selective pressures from the environment that cause a gradually increasing level of biological complexity throughout the biosphere. The development of life forms hostile to humanity is an inevitable consequence of the evolutionary process.

04.10.2010 07:07, gert korthof :
thanks for your comment.

I think malaria is a disease because it makes peoples lives miserable and prevents them living a full healthy life and fulfilling their capabilities.
I think diseases should be prevented. Just this is the task of the medical profession thousands of years.
Moreover, I think preventing diseases is a moral obligation, for everybody.
I would give money and encouragement to scientists trying to prevent malaria and eradicate it from the world.
I would teach my children to help sick people if they can, but never teaching "maybe malaria is good, maybe bad".

Furthermore, I think is morally wrong in the highest degree for any person to actively increase malaria in this world, let alone design malaria. That would be an act of bioterrorism.
To design malaria on purpose is the most extreme morally bad act I can think of. It is far more immoral than killing thousands of people in a war. I can't imagine a bigger crime against humanity.

So, (1) if the belief system of a person prevents him from clearly saying: "it is immoral to design malaria" then that belief system is immoral and the person that holds that belief system is immoral too.

(2) Behe's Designer contradicts the christian morally perfect God.
(because the Christian tradition NEVER said: maybe God is morally perfect or maybe not...)

03.10.2010 17:33, Chuck E-mail :
Behe specifically Excludes any speculation about the morality or intent of the designer. He stated very clearly that it is impossible to know anything about that.
Therefore; the entire section on the implied lack of moral virtue of said designer fails to refute any points made by Behe. In addition: Are you not placing an inordinately high value on your own moral standards by using them as the criteria to judge the rightness or wrongness of designs and design "failures" of this unknown designer? Behe addresses this arguement against intelligent design squarely, and without recourse to his own moral values, as you have done.

07.01.2010 10:02, gert korthof :
Thanks John!

06.01.2010 17:28, John Farrell from Boston, MA E-mail Homepage :
Great review. And an outstanding site. A superb resource and I want to express my thanks for all the time and hard work this has taken.

15.01.2008 03:31, Glenn Shrom E-mail :
If you want to understand what Behe's three arguments were with Miller and what idea of Miller's was being argued against, re-read DBB on those pages. But I can tell you right now, that Behe was not arguing against pseudogenes or obsolete genes, and that being the case, Behe did not make an about face to later on admit to the existence of pseudogenes.

Just from that little spell with Korthof, I am not too impressed. In the first section of the review, he tries to criticize Behe for not writing about intelligent design. It's long been known to people in the ID movement that arguments about the limitations of evolutionary explanations are NOT arguments for design. It seems to me that in DBB Behe set forth arguments FOR design, and in The Edge of Evolution Behe is talking about the limitations of evolution explanations. it is a good thing that they are two separate works, with two different objectives, and really on two different subjects or topics. Judge Jones missed the distinction that the ID movement already makes between those two distinct topics, and he acted like he was the one who could see it while the ID movement could not. Comparing these two works by Behe, one can see that the ID movement recognizes them as separate issues, even though Korthof wants them to both be lumped in together --- perhaps because he wants ID people to seem blind and ignorant like Judge Jones would have us believe.

15.01.2008 02:59, Glenn Shrom E-mail :
2. Korthof sets up a scenario in which Behe argues against pseudogenes. This completely ignores Behe's words in DBB p. 228: "During this process ... pseudogenes might occasionally arise and a comnplex organ might become nonfunctional. These chance events do not mean that the initial biochemical systems were not designed. The cellular warts and wrinkles that Miller takes as evidence of evolution may simply be evidence of age."

Korthof agrees with Behe's main argument: that unknown function does not mean no function at all. What he fails to do is to understand that Behe is not trying to arguing that pseudogenes are actually genes with an as-of-yet unknown function. Behe is contemplating functions which the pseudogenes once served, and which they can no longer carry out because of "age", the way they have been "left on autopilot to reproduce, mutate, eat and be eaten, bump against rocks, and suffer all the vagaries of life on earth" (still Behe in DBB p. 228) to the point of no longer functioning.

On pp. 227-228 Behe gives two types of explanations: functions which were programmed in at the beginning, but did not become operational until later on, ... and functions which at one time were operational but which later on ceased to function properly.

14.01.2008 22:50, Glenn Shrom E-mail :
I checked out f/korthof86.htm
I also checked out a section of Darwin's Black Box which is referred to. It's pp. 225-228 of the First Touchstone edition 1998.

Gert Korthof makes two charges relevant to this section:

1. Behe claims that "the design of life is perhaps packed into its initial set-up", yet he also talks about non-random mutations occurring late in the history of life. Korthof claims that these two ideas are incompatible, and that Behe can't have it both ways.

In DBB p. 227-228, however, Behe explains this. "Suppose that nearly four billion years ago the designer made the first cell, already containing all of the irreducibly complex biochemical systems ... One can postulate that the designs for systems that were to be used later, ... were present but not 'turned on'. In present-day organisms plenty of genes are turned off for a while, sometimes for generations, to be turned on at a later time."

Behe is speculating about a non-random mutation which is planned at the beginning and the cell is made to one day go through a designed mutation, but then it has to actually what for some day thousands or millions of years later for that mutation to actually take place.

09.01.2008 08:51, gert krothof E-mail :
I would never buy pharmaceuticals from the internet. Not for nothing are there strict regulations for medicines on the market. They are tested by government institutions to protect consumers.

30.10.2007 02:49, James Sowder :
I'm wondering why Behe doesn't address ERVs. How can you write a chapter on evidence for common descent without addressing ERVs? Am I wrong in reading the review?

I'm not referring to the blogger going by the name ERV; just to the content of the book.

17.10.2007 07:53, gert korthof E-mail Homepage :
<b>Apologies for all previous guestbook writers: </b>

due to unfamilarity with the motigo guestbook system, I missed all previous messages. They did never appear when I -almost daily- queryed for a list of guestbookposts waiting to be approved. It now appears that I pushed the wrong button. I am awfully sorry for that! All messages are published now.
Gert Korthof

21.09.2007 22:45, Vinod Bhardwaj E-mail :
Michael Behe suffers from doublethink just as most brainwashed people do. Evolution either took place with random variations or by non random variations. He believes that it was both. If man is an example of an intelligent being who does not write computer code randomly, why would the super intelligent designer do so? He would have only used intelligent changes and come out with the code of life in 6 days!

He also does not understand statistics or computers. The probability of some one getting lottery out of a trillion is 1 but the probability of a specific person getting is one in a trillion. A malaria virus to fight against a specific medicine would be quite low while the probability of any species evolving to anything with natural advantage is quite large. May be the malaria would not be there at all if the medicines had existed in the past but that would not rule out every other life form not being there or evolution not taking place.

Michael Behe also does not understand computers in the sense that a small piece of code at a higher level of a program can do a lot. As the organisms evolved in complexity even a small change in DNA could do a lot more than in a lower organism.

So I do not understand why he would call the designer intelligent if he writes code by trial and error most of the time and then suddenly does something extremely intelligent after a billion years. For Michael Behe it is easy to believe that the designer is very dumb as well as very intelligent.

Vinod Bhardwaj

30.07.2007 06:27, djlactin E-mail :
Typos are unavoidable in a document of this size.

But this one is particularly amusing: on the LAST line of your essay, you write:

"It is either design of common descent. "

Better change this one!

30.07.2007 04:53, djlactin E-mail :
This is a great trashing of MB.

/begin rant

I note, however, one error that I see commonly in pro-evolution arguments:

"the resistance mutation to warfarin has arisen independently about seven times in the same protein of rats. (77) "

This type of statement is almost Lamarckian: it implies that the mutation arose in response to the environmental challenge. In fact, evolution can only work on existing variation: in geek-speak, a challenge merely changes the selective coefficients of variants that already occur in the population.

You do not have to conclude that the resistance mutation arose 7 times individually: more parsimoniously, the variant allele existed in the population at low frequency, and underwent positive selection in seven different groups. (Note that the allele, being at low frequency in the population, need not occur in all samples. )

/end rant

Derek Lactin

27.07.2007 16:14, John Harshman from eukaryotic E-mail :
Your review came up in, and here is my response to one point in it. I'd be interested to know your response.

>> Theres a new critique of Edge of Evolution,
>> Either Design or Common Descent
>> by Gert Korthof
>> which addresses the silly notion of common descent with genetic
>> frontloading
>> f/korthof86.htm
>> Maybe you'll find some answers there.

It's a reasonable critique, with one fundamental exception. Korthof's
most important (to Korthof) criticism of Behe is that Behe allows for
both common descent (CD) and intelligent design (ID) through non-random
mutation. According to Korthof, this is impossible. To quote one such
statement in the review: "According to standard scientific logic, if CD
is true than it automatically follows that all species we see are
created by RMNS [random mutation and natural selection]."

But Korthof never justifies this claim. I know of no scientist who would
make such a claim, and Korthof gives no examples. He just says "Probably
all DNA evidence for CD is based on random mutation supplemented with
neutral evolution, genetic drift and horizontal gene transfer."

But he provides no evidence that this is true. As an evolutionary
biologist, let me specifically deny that assertion right here. The main
evidence for common descent relies on a nested hierarchy of similarities
and differences. The most parsimonious explanation for this hierarchy is
that it arose through a series of changes spread over a branching tree.
The evidence lies in the distribution of changes. The causes of those
changes are irrelevant to the pattern. God could have lovingly placed
each and every change, and it wouldn't matter to the pattern or to its
explanation. Korthof is wrong.

Mind you, I do think that the changes we see were produced by the
mechanisms Korthof mentions, and there is considerable evidence that
what we see is, at the least, indistinguishable from the results of such
mechanisms. My point is that this evidence is not relevant to inferring
common descent; the causes are not relevant to the pattern.

Why does Korthof make this claim? He doesn't explain that. If it's that
the word "design" implies de novo creation of species, then fine, let's
change the word. I propose that Behe's (apparent, but vaguely stated)
model of common descent with occasional divinely caused mutations be
called "intelligent tinkering" (IT), to distinguish it from typical
creationist models that incorporate separate creation of "kinds" (ID).
Behe definitely sees the advantages of such a model: it isn't
contradicted by nearly as much of the evidence as standard creationism is.

Let me repeat that except for this bizarre and unnecessary objection,
Korthof ably skewer's Behe's "logic".

22.07.2007 11:04, Enezio E. de Almeida Filho from Brazil E-mail Homepage :
As you know I am an IDist, but I couldn't help in cracking up not at Behe, but at your lousy Photoshop unintelligent redesigned comics. You can do a whole lot evolutionist better kind of work!

Best regards from Brazil,

Enezio E. de Almeida Filho

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