Behe declares victory on all fronts

Apparent evidence for ID

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#41  Postby Rumraket » Dec 20, 2014 3:26 pm

BooBoo wrote:In a talk in South Korea, Michael Behe has admitted doing a "victory dance" in his office based on new evidence that he claims supports his ID contentions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlvYn0WrHaY

1. Chloroquine resistance does indeed require exceptionally rare, simultaneous, mutations (the edge of evolution):

This is Behe's original and wrong claim. Simultaneity is not required, and probably not how CCC evolves.

Also, the result cannot be extended to the general evolution of extant biodiversity. In Behe's view, almost any and all mutational change is deleterious and/or lethal, so to him it looks miraculous that we have so many organisms that work so well, with such huge genomes that evolved through so many mutations. He is trying to extend this chloroquine resistance case to the rest of life and say that, see if this single thing requires two improbable mutations to happen simultaneously, and everything else leads to death and extinction, the fact that we exist must be a miracle because evolution cannot have done this, it would be too improbable.

He would be right if in fact everything else, like in this particular case of chloroquine resistance in malaria, leads to death and extinction. But it does not, so he isn't. His extrapolation is unwarranted, and his original claim of SIMULTANEITY (not just specific order, SIMULTANEITY) is also false.

Sorry.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#42  Postby patient zero » Dec 20, 2014 5:42 pm

Shrunk wrote:Nice quote mine, too:

Fair enough; if you demand a very specific pair of amino acid changes in specific places in a specific protein, I agree, the odds are going to be very long on theoretical considerations alone, and the empirical evidence supports the claim of improbability for that specific combination.

But now Behe pulls a classic creationist switcheroo. He has one number, a very tiny probability of one in 1020 for one specific result, and he’s going to use this magic CCC value to claim that no significant evolution can have occurred in humans in ten million years of evolution. Not ‘it’s highly unlikely that humans would have acquired this predetermined pair of amino acid changes in a particular protein,’ but ‘no useful pair of amino acid changes anywhere in any of their gene products.’ No, you’re thinking: he couldn’t possibly have said something that stupid. But yes, he really did.

Wouldn't quote-mining Myers be against the FUA since he is a member? :ask:
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#43  Postby Rumraket » Dec 20, 2014 7:17 pm

patient zero wrote:
Shrunk wrote:Nice quote mine, too:

Fair enough; if you demand a very specific pair of amino acid changes in specific places in a specific protein, I agree, the odds are going to be very long on theoretical considerations alone, and the empirical evidence supports the claim of improbability for that specific combination.

But now Behe pulls a classic creationist switcheroo. He has one number, a very tiny probability of one in 1020 for one specific result, and he’s going to use this magic CCC value to claim that no significant evolution can have occurred in humans in ten million years of evolution. Not ‘it’s highly unlikely that humans would have acquired this predetermined pair of amino acid changes in a particular protein,’ but ‘no useful pair of amino acid changes anywhere in any of their gene products.’ No, you’re thinking: he couldn’t possibly have said something that stupid. But yes, he really did.

Wouldn't quote-mining Myers be against the FUA since he is a member? :ask:

Meyers is not a member, he was banned.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#44  Postby Shrunk » Dec 20, 2014 7:23 pm

Rumraket wrote:
BooBoo wrote:In a talk in South Korea, Michael Behe has admitted doing a "victory dance" in his office based on new evidence that he claims supports his ID contentions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlvYn0WrHaY

1. Chloroquine resistance does indeed require exceptionally rare, simultaneous, mutations (the edge of evolution):

This is Behe's original and wrong claim. Simultaneity is not required, and probably not how CCC evolves.


TBH, I'm not sure that Behe ever claimed that the mutations had to be simultaneous. It's confusing, though, because some of his calculations rely on the presumption of simultaneity, as I've pointed out above. But that may be because Behe just didn't understand the (high school level) math that was involved in his calculations.

The argument of the Edge of Evolution is easy to misconstrue. As a result, even some of Behe's critics have offered invalid responses. Part of the reason for that is that Behe has an undeserved reputation for being smarter than the average creationist. But the argument in Edge is exactly the kind of imbecility one would expect from Ray Comfort or Ken Ham, just gussied up in more "sciency" sounding language to make it sound respectable.

First of all, it is important to note that Behe is not saying that chloroquine resistance (CR) could not have arisen thru evoluton. His claim, rather, is that CR represents an "edge" to evolution. It is the limit of complexity that can be achieved by evolution alone. Anything more complex than this requires the intervention of a "designer" (whom Behe believes to be his lord and saviour Jesus Christ).

Behe also claims that the evolutionary process which led to the development of CR required 1020 cell replications (the malaria parasite is unicellular). Therefore, any trait that is more complex (i.e. which requires more mutations) than CR would require proportionately more cell reproductions, and this quickly leads to numbers of reproductions that are practically impossible.

That figure of 1 in 1020 is very crucial to Behe's argument. So where does he get this figure? This is another frequent source of confusion. Some often assume that this is the result of some sort of calculation, but actually he simply lifts the figure from a paper by malaria researcher Nicholas White:

Resistance to chloroquine in P. falciparum has arisen spontaneously less than ten times in the past fifty years (14). This suggests that the per-parasite probability of developing resistance de novo is on the order of 1 in 1020 parasite multiplications.


That's it. I bet when White wrote that almost offhand remark, he had not idea he would be overthrowing the entire theory of evolution, and proving the existence of God at the same time! Of course, that assumes that Behe is correct in interpreting this figure as representing the likelihood of any trait of the complexity of CR arising thru evolutionary processes. However, it would seem that Behe stopped reading at the point he found a number that was convenient for his theological argument, because White continues:

Mutations may be associated with fitness disadvantages (i.e., in the absence of the drug they are less fit and multiply less well than their drug-sensitive counterparts). Another factor that may explain the discrepancy between in vitro and much lower apparent in vivo rates of spontaneous mutation is host immunity. Even a previously nonimmune individual develops a specific immune response to a malaria infection. This response is systematically evaded by the parasite population through programmed antigenic variation of the main red cell surface–expressed epitopes. In falciparum malaria, P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which is encoded by the var multigene family, changes in 2–3% of parasites each asexual cycle (15). The untreated infection is characterized by successive waves of parasites, each comprising largely one antigenically distinct surface phenotype. It is likely that this specific immune response directed against the immunodominant surface antigens will reduce the probability of the usually single mutant parasite ever multiplying sufficiently to transmit as for P. falciparum; there is only a 2–3% chance that the genetic event causing resistance would arise in the antigenically variant subpopulation that will expand to reach transmissible densities.


IOW, Behe takes the 1 in 1020 as the number of times the CR trait has arisen. But that is based on the number of times a resistant strain has been observed to have arisen. This likely represents only a fraction of the times that it has actually arisen. There are a number of factors that could lead to a resistant strain coming about, without its being observed. White summarizes some of these factors in a table:

Image

What Behe has done is assumed that the observed prevalence of the resistant strain is due to #1 alone, and discounted all of the other factors. It should also be obvious that those factors pertain specifically to this particular set of mutations in this particular organism, and have no application in any other situation, so even if he had taken them into account it would have limited implications for evolution as a whole

So the 1 in 1020 figure can be easily dismissed, And, with it, the entire premise of Behe's book.

A couple other issues arise that, I admit, I had not even considered until I wrote this post.

First of all, why the big deal about the number of mutations that lead to CR? Behe's argument, taken at face value, is based entirely on what he interprets as an empirical estimate of the number of replications required for a CCC trait to arise. Whether CR required only one mutation, or a thousand, it would still take 1020 replication events to arise. So why he's going on at such length about the number of mutations is a bit of a mystery.

Secondly, there is a logical error to his argument even more fundamental than all of the above. What he is essentially saying is "CR in malaria represents the absolute limit of what evolution can achieve. Therefore, it is beyond the ability of evolution to produce something like human beings with the ability to do differential calculus." But why does he pick CR of all the possible traits he could have chosen? Because it apparently arises uncommonly. But so do many other traits. Evolutionary theory does not in any way predict that there will not be traits that arise only rarely.

Behe could just as easily have argued "The ability to do differential calculus is the absolute limit of what evolution can achieve. Therefore, CR in malaria is easily achieved by evolution."

Or, better still: "The ability to do differential calculus has never evolved in the malaria parasite. So this is beyond the 'edge of evolution.' Therefore, the ability of humans to do differential calculus could not have resulted from evolution." Such an argument would have been dismissed out of hand, and Behe would never have been so foolish as to propose it (I don't think). Yet I can't really see how it is any weaker than the argument he makes based on CR in malaria.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#45  Postby WayOfTheDodo » Dec 21, 2014 11:10 am

DougC wrote:
Wiki say
'In the United States and Canada, tenure is a teacher or college professor's contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause. It is awarded after a probationary period.'


My bold. How about being a moron?


Being either completely incompetent or constantly lying through his teeth isn't a good enough reason?
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#46  Postby WayOfTheDodo » Dec 21, 2014 11:12 am

BooBoo wrote:The paper also admits


Why are you using the word "admits"?

What Behe has long argued is that a single mutation, on its own, is going to be harmful and so will be actively selected against.


How harmful, and are all harmful mutations selected against immediately (or can it happen across several generations)?

By the way:

2. Mechanical gears are found in grasshoppers: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6151/1254

3. Fiber optics are found in the eye: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/14070 ... s5319.html


So humans designed grasshoppers and eyes? Since mechanical gears and fiber optics are human creations, I mean... Nice argument. So you and Behe believe that we regular humans are in fact God since we humans apparently designed all life.

Awesome! Gotta love creationist logic.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#47  Postby Rumraket » Dec 21, 2014 11:21 am

BooBoo wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
And Summers' paper confirms that. So they were right.


No, the paper does not state that at all.

Yes it does, it's just that one of the mutations would be deleterious, not outright lethal.

So yes, the does in point of fact confirm that.

BooBoo wrote:It confirms that two mutations are necessary and, crucially, that "the mutations be added in a specific order to avoid decreases in chloroquine transport."

Yes, necessary for effective chloroquine resistance. Not necessary to avoid lethality, the mutation has lower fitness associated with it, it is not lethal. Lower fitness is not synonymous with instant extinction, evolution can in point of fact progress through periods of lower fitness. Some times, passing through a valley is required to find another peak in the fitness landscape. This is evolution 101.

See for example: http://pleiotropy.fieldofscience.com/2014/07/death-of-fittest.html
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#48  Postby GenesForLife » Dec 21, 2014 7:17 pm

BooBoo wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
That was already known long before Behe made the claim, as shown by the references in Larry Moran's blog post. And Behe's argument is based on the odds of those two mutations occurring simultaneously in the same individual. He's strawmanning his opponents if he's claiming that they had argued that chloroquine resistance only required one mutation, which is absurd.


Behe's critics have long argued that chloroquine resistance could have evolved one mutation at a time, cumulatively. Unfortunately for them it turns out that it requires two mutations to both be present for even rudimentary transport activity to be possible. Natural selection works among individuals, so Behe is right to suppose that a simultaneous mutation is likely necessary, allowing for the less likely scenario of horizontal gene transfer.


Not exactly - anything non-lethal is still likely to persist; with many tumour suppressor genes you need both copies to be inactivated in a lineage for malignant transformation to happen - often you lose one copy and then you lose the other in a second hit because the first hit persists.

Another example is retinoblastoma - needs two hits, and people who get familial retinoblastoma are born with one hit, and then another hit takes place - nowhere is there a requirement for two simultaneous hits (note that one functional copy still blocks malignant transformation, and transformation is a phenotype that is selected for; hence the emergence of tumours). Likewise with BRCA-mutations and familial ovarian and breast cancers, where one mutant copy is inherited, but doesn't confer a phenotype that results in selectable transformation on its own, but with a loss of heterozygosity event that takes out the second hit, does. There are examples abound of traits that are selected for that need two hits in cancer evolution, and without any kind of requirement for simultaneity.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#49  Postby Shrunk » Dec 22, 2014 2:18 pm

Yeah, but cancerous tumours are evil, so obviously they will be produced by EVILution. Nice things, however, can only be designed by God. Like, um, malaria .
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#50  Postby Shrunk » Dec 22, 2014 2:21 pm

Rumraket wrote:
BooBoo wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
And Summers' paper confirms that. So they were right.


No, the paper does not state that at all.

Yes it does, it's just that one of the mutations would be deleterious, not outright lethal.

So yes, the does in point of fact confirm that.

BooBoo wrote:It confirms that two mutations are necessary and, crucially, that "the mutations be added in a specific order to avoid decreases in chloroquine transport."

Yes, necessary for effective chloroquine resistance. Not necessary to avoid lethality, the mutation has lower fitness associated with it, it is not lethal. Lower fitness is not synonymous with instant extinction, evolution can in point of fact progress through periods of lower fitness. Some times, passing through a valley is required to find another peak in the fitness landscape. This is evolution 101.

See for example: http://pleiotropy.fieldofscience.com/2014/07/death-of-fittest.html


As was mentioned, Larry Moran provides a reference demonstrating that strains with only one mutation have been observed in the wild. So Behe's claim has been empirically disproven. Don't think he'll be doing any victory dances over that. He'll just hope none of his sycophants will notice. Which, as BooBoo has demonstrated, they won't, even if the evidence is put right under their noses.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#51  Postby Shrunk » Dec 22, 2014 2:23 pm

BTW, I have to say, being previously unaware of (or having forgotten) BooBoo's views on this subject, I originally thought his OP was mocking Behe, so obvious was Behe's denial of the evidence.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#52  Postby Rumraket » Dec 22, 2014 4:16 pm

Shrunk wrote:Yeah, but cancerous tumours are evil, so obviously they will be produced by EVILution. Nice things, however, can only be designed by God. Like, um, malaria .

Also, tumors and cancers are diseases, so it's not evolution, it's devilusion. Sorry, I meant Devil illusion. Devil, devo, devolution! See, it's all a satanic hoax.

Loss of function. No new information. Disease. Dead end. etc. etc. Time to bring in all the usual talking points. This handy little guide will help you how to become a superb ID proponent by educating you on how to interpret what you read about evolution from non-ID/creationist sources.

It will also help you understand how creationists think when they read evolution-related material.

Normal word - Cdesign proponentsist interpretation:

Rare = never ever.
Ulikely/improbable = impossible.
Likely = rare/baseless guess.
Theory = guess/baseless faith.
Guess = biased wish/atheo-materialistic faith.
We don't know = and you never will, therefore god!
Not fully understood = not at all understood, impossible to understand, magic/miracles required.
Unexpected result = all naturalistic explanations ever have been falsified.
Neutral mutation = not beneficial, therefore impossiblee/doesn't exist, cannot be fixed.
Natural selection = Orthodox neo-Darwinistic "party line".
It has a chance of one in 10^16 = It has a chance of one in 10^77
Maybe = biased guess (see: Guess).
Could have = couldn't and didn't (see: Guess).
Beneficial mutation = loss of function/tradeoff and/or loss of information.
New function = loss of information/information was already there.
New information = no new function.
New information and function = still belongs to the same class of enzymes (ex. hydrolases), so not really new.
Improved function = no new information, ability was already there.
Mutation = destroys information, always degrades. Guided by god, not random.
Millions of years = ad hoc excuse invented to explain why we don't see 20 million year macroevolutionary change in a few months of experimental evolution.
Took billions of years = same excuse as above, just worse.
Ancestral Sequence Reconstruction = *crickets*
Molecular phylogeny = phyloschmylo, it's more Darwinist math-tricks.
Observation/experiment = hoax and/or only creationists properly understand the result.
Demonstration = hoax.
Statistics = Wat?
Statistically significant = Nyah nyah! Darwinist math-tricks.
Complex = impossible to evolve, must be designed.
Complicated = Impossible to understand.
Complexity = praise the lord!
Information = immaterial soul-stuff that refutes materialism and all naturalistic expanations ever.
Quantum = immaterial soul-stuff that refutes materialism and all naturalistic expanations ever. Cannot possibly evolve.
Experiment shows how mutations can... = It's still just a bacterium/fruitfly/dog-kind.
Ape = monkey
monkey = ape
evolutionist = ape-monkey
homosexuality = bestiality and rape by ape-monkeys.
evolution = materialism/naturalism/scientism/darwinism/chance/fair coin/abortion/euthanasia/racism and genocide.
darwinism = materialist religious faith.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#53  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Dec 22, 2014 4:35 pm

WayOfTheDodo wrote:
What Behe has long argued is that a single mutation, on its own, is going to be harmful and so will be actively selected against.


How harmful, and are all harmful mutations selected against immediately (or can it happen across several generations)?


That is the one glaring fact that every creationist will leave out when it is most convenient; that if a mutation isn't likely to kill the host or substantially hinder it from or before reproduction, the mutation is perfectly capable of spanning many generations.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#54  Postby VK-machine » Dec 22, 2014 5:24 pm

BooBoo wrote:1. Chloroquine resistance does indeed require exceptionally rare, simultaneous, mutations (the edge of evolution): http://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/E1759.abstract

If he has evidence of a massive act of bio-terrorism being perpetrated then he should pass that evidence to the FBI (or other law enforcement agency).
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#55  Postby Shrunk » Dec 23, 2014 1:09 am

VK-machine wrote:
BooBoo wrote:1. Chloroquine resistance does indeed require exceptionally rare, simultaneous, mutations (the edge of evolution): http://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/E1759.abstract

If he has evidence of a massive act of bio-terrorism being perpetrated then he should pass that evidence to the FBI (or other law enforcement agency).


That is an absolutely brilliant argument, one I have never heard before.

After all, the ID creationists always insist the designer does not have to be God. It could be anyone or anything. Even intelligent beings from another planet. If alien beings are invading earth and genetically engineering pathogens to kill us more effectively, shouldn't we be investigating this with all the resources at our disposal?
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#56  Postby Rumraket » Jan 01, 2015 12:09 am

Shrunk wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
BooBoo wrote:In a talk in South Korea, Michael Behe has admitted doing a "victory dance" in his office based on new evidence that he claims supports his ID contentions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlvYn0WrHaY

1. Chloroquine resistance does indeed require exceptionally rare, simultaneous, mutations (the edge of evolution):

This is Behe's original and wrong claim. Simultaneity is not required, and probably not how CCC evolves.


TBH, I'm not sure that Behe ever claimed that the mutations had to be simultaneous. It's confusing, though, because some of his calculations rely on the presumption of simultaneity, as I've pointed out above. But that may be because Behe just didn't understand the (high school level) math that was involved in his calculations.

Well, I don't have Behe's Edge of Evolution book so I can't check. I guess we will have to dig it up somewhere to really verify what is original claim is. Though it seems Kenneth Miller did the research here:

Parasites and Drugs
Behe’s “Edge” argument rests on two basic points. The first is that a beneficial, selectable trait
like chloroquine resistance can arise only after multiple, simultaneous mutations emerge at
random. The target for those mutations is the gene for PfCRT, a membrane transport protein. In
chloroquine resistant strains, mutant versions of this protein are able to pump the drug out of the
cell’s digestive vacuole, enabling the parasite to survive.

As Behe puts it, the data argue “that a first, required mutation to PfCRT is strongly deleterious,
while the second may partially rescue the normal, required function of the protein, plus confer
low chloroquine transport activity.”6 Since that first “required” mutation is so deleterious, it
couldn’t possibly spread through the population while waiting for the second to appear. Natural
selection would weed out the deleterious mutation unless the second one popped up beside it in
the same organism. That, according to Behe, accounts for the very low frequency of chloroquine
resistance and validates his analysis.
Quite frankly, he must be secretly hoping that nobody actually looks at the details in the PNAS
paper.


Looks like he really did, initially start out asserting that simultaneity of two mutations was required, because one was supposedly (in his view) so strongly deleterious it could never linger around in the population and wait for the other compensatory one to offset it's effect.

So he was wrong. Case closed. :lol:
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#57  Postby trubble76 » Jan 01, 2015 1:25 pm

I'm no biologist but It seems to me that even if we accept that a particular trait is extremely unlikely, we have not disproved evolution, as that is a method by which life makes the extremely unlikely happen, and even if some people decide that it has disproved evolution, this still doesn't make the Jewish god that the Abrahamic faiths worship any more plausible. This sort of shit just makes creationists look more stupid and more nasty to me.
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#58  Postby DavidMcC » Jan 01, 2015 3:14 pm

I see that, in his opening remarks in the video, Behe continue to plug away at the central nonsense that Darwinian evolution is impossible, because it requires what he calls "irreducible complexity" (IC). It seems that, after all these years, her STILL doesn't grasp the fact that the evolution of a complex biological system (and even a single cell is complex) occurs by co-evolution of the parts (and the parts may specific bio-molecules). Co-evolution inevitably produces the appearance of IC. A simple analogy is the construction of a house, using scaffolding that is later removed, presumably leaving Behe to come along afterwards, and claim that houses must be IC!
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#59  Postby Shrunk » Jan 08, 2015 2:12 am

A bit of an update on this story: A creationist named MarioNovak recently joined the board, and inadvertently provided a link to an article that challenged Behe's claims about the evolution of chloroquine resistance. The significance is that this article actually provided the sort of calculations of the likelihood of a CCC arising thru evolutionary processes that he demanded in his "challenge" to PZ Myers, Ken Miller and other evolutionary scientists. And even though Behe makes no mention of this in his challenge, we know he was aware of this article because he actually wrote a letter to editor in response, which was published in the journal.

This is all detailed in the following thread, which also includes much other hilarity, and plagiarism besides!

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/evolu ... l#p2151099
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Re: Behe declares victory on all fronts

#60  Postby BooBoo » Jan 25, 2015 9:27 pm

Rumraket wrote:
This is Behe's original and wrong claim. Simultaneity is not required, and probably not how CCC evolves.


You can read Behe's response to Ken Miller's criticism here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/01/ke ... 92691.html

He also responded to other critics before:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2644969/
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