Dr. Phillip Klebba reprises his explanation to ID-theorist William Dembski about how the bacterial flagellum evolved. Dr. Klebba is a scientist doing research into cellular transport mechanisms, among other things. Here’s his page at the university. For the earlier exchange, see “Dembski vs. Masked Man” on Endogenous Retrovirus.
Other Oklahoma University articles about Dembski and Evolution:
- “Intelligent Design a poor excuse for science” by Richard Broughton
- “Why real scientists scoff at William Dembski” by Daniel Dickson-LaPrade
- “ID–religion masquerading as science” by Douglas Mock and James J. Krupa
- “If we’re intelligently designed, how do you explain Pro Wrestling?” by Chris Dearner
I throw in my two cents’ worth:
There is indeed a huge, huge logical fallacy at the base of Dembski’s argument. It’s the assumption that if you pick enough holes in evolution to let the air out, “God did it” is the only remaining conclusion. That’s known as a false dichotomy.In reality, there are a lot more than two choices. If the received explanation of evolution were not true, it would be back to the drawing board for everyone. If it isn’t random mutation plus natural selection plus sexual selection plus genetic drift, then perhaps it’s inheritance of acquired characteristics plus natural selection plus sexual selection plus genetic drift. There’s no reason to jump to the conclusion that unnatural causes are needed.
The result of pushing the false dichotomy is that ID proponents are ready to use every rhetorical trick in the book, misrepresent evolution, continue to quote falsified “facts,” and invent mathematical proofs based on strained assumptions that evolution can’t occur without angels pushing the molecules. Dembski’s arguments have been falsified again and again. Mutation produces new information. Mutation can produce improvements. Mutation can double the genetic material and then modify it (in spite of the “if I copied this paper I haven’t doubled my knowledge” rhetoric). Natural selection is neither directed by God nor random at a particular time and place. It is probabilistic, however. When Dembski claims that something is impossible and actual researchers explain step by step how that could happen, his argument is demolished. The fact that our evidence is always “pathetic” and his evidence is non-existent tells you who has the logic on their side and who is blowing smoke.