Michele Bachmann on Nobel Prizes

Michele Bachmann official photo
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Michele Bachmann has taken criticism for saying that some Nobel Prize winners doubt atheistic evolution. She has better support than some people think.

What exactly did Michele Bachmann say?

At the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans yesterday, Michele Bachmann said that she “supported” intelligent design. She did not say that all schools throughout the country should teach intelligent design, or creation science (not the same thing), or anything else by order of the federal government.

What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.

Michele Bachmann earlier official photo

Michele Bachmann poses before an American flag. Photo: United States House of Representatives

The Congresswoman supports block grants to the States, grants that the States could spend as they see fit, with “minimal” federal direction.

That does not sit well with CNN or Gambit. Both organs misconstrued her remarks, though Gambit at least embedded an audio file. To be fair, the Daily Mail (London) got it wrong, too. Also, Michele Bachmann gave that as her answer to a question by Gambit of how many Nobel laureates support creation. The candidate did not shed any light on that issue.

What does the Nobel Prize have to do with this?

In 2006, Michele Bachmann said this about evolution (emphasis added):

There is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.

A high-school student named Zachary Koppelin took exception to that remark. He began a campaign, which he is still running, to have the Louisiana legislature repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act. That Act allows teachers, at their discretion, to introduce “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials” that might not teach that evolution is a fact. Koppelin made a list of 57 Nobel laureates who say that evolution is a fact, and challenged Michele Bachmann in 2006 to name some of the Nobel laureates who doubt evolution. Gambit repeated that question at the RLC yesterday.

Obviously Michele Bachmann did not expect that question. But several Nobel laureates have cast doubt on evolution after all.

Who, for example?

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein. Photo: Cesar Blanco. CC BY 2.0 Generic License

A free e-book titled Fifty Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God names, as the title implies, fifty. (This title is available in English and Russian.) The list begins with Albert Einstein. He famously said:

Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.

Einstein could not be an atheist and say that. (In fact, he was Jewish.) In fact he spoke scathingly of

the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who – in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium for the people’ – cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims.

That’s a direct dig at Karl Marx.

Sir John Eccles, who won the Nobel Prize for figuring out how nerve cells connect, said flatly that people are more than tissue, and more than nerves. A person must have a non-material mind, and Someone must have created that mind. He also said a few choice words about

a regrettable tendency of many scientists to claim that science is so powerful and all pervasive that in the not too distant future it will provide an explanation in principle for all phenomena in the world of nature, including man, even of human consciousness in all its manifestations. In our recent book (The Self and Its Brain, Popper and Eccles, 1977) Popper has labelled this claim as promissory materialism, which is extravagant and unfulfillable.

Yet on account of the high regard for science, it has great persuasive power with the intelligent laity because it is advocated unthinkingly by the great mass of scientists who have not critically evaluated the dangers of this false and arrogant claim.

And atheistic scientists still make that claim. They also call it “methodological naturalism.” They make a rule never to accept a non-material explanation, even when the statistics demand it. By convention, if events do not fall out as one expects, and the odds against what one observes are longer than nineteen to one, something else is happening that explains why events did not fall out that way. Those who work with statistics for a living talk about the null hypothesis, which says: “Nothing else is going on, other than what you would expect.” Evolution is the classic null hypothesis. And it has failed again and again. Eccles knew this, and he was not the only one.

Faulty logic

Even without these examples, people like Koppelin use faulty logic when they ask Michele Bachmann to “match” their list of Nobel laureates who believe in evolution—or as Eccles puts it, “promissory materialism.” They appeal to the authority of the Nobel Prize Committee and to the numbers of Novel laureates on their side. But they might not want to admit that the Nobel Committee has abused its authority.

Raymond Damadian invented Magnetic Resonance Imaging. For that he won the National Medal of Technology and a place in the Inventors’ Hall of Fame. Two other scientists built on Damadian’s work to make MRI practical. And they won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Medicine, while Damadian did not share in that honor. Even the secular media knew why: Damadian is a creation advocate, and a passionate one. This was so embarrassing that Damadian’s opponents tried to deny it.

Origins science has always had this problem. Evolution dominates it, and evolution advocates make sure that no creation advocate will ever receive any prizes, lest the prize-givers lend credence to creation science. But what about Sir John Eccles? Well, they missed him—because he kept quiet about his creation advocacy until he had his Prize and no one could take it away from him.

Last words

So Michele Bachmann was right to say that scientists do not agree that evolution is a fact. She was right to say that at least some Nobel laureates believe that life did not come about by chance, and something or Someone had to design it. And by the way: her critics are wrong to talk about “intelligent design creationism.” Intelligent design says only that life had a design. Creation science goes further: that the evidence favors the Biblical account.

And if Koppelin really wants an answer, he can look it up on the Internet, as your editor did. He might have to page past the first page in the Google rankings, but a little extra effort will reap great reward.

Featured image: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN-6). Photo: US House of Representatives.

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

52 Responses to Michele Bachmann on Nobel Prizes

  1. Camille says:

    An important component of modern science is methodological naturalism. What this means is that we only take conclusions based on the natural world. Otherwise, why not throw in any old religious text?
    Take Charles Darwin, for example.
    Darwin devised natural selection as the principle means of evolution after traveling the entire world and documenting his findings.
    When he came to the Galapagos Islands, for example, he observed different subspecies of tortoises all very similar, but with traits distinct to each island. Some tortoises had their shells with a groove allowing for the tortoises ‘ necks to extend upward, presumably to facilitate feeding.
    Islands with sparse food were found to have more of these tortoises, whereas islands where food was plentiful had turtles without the arched groove.

    The main contention scientists have with intelligent design is that there is no reason to believe, other than from various sacred texts, that life came from a creator. Intelligent design has no place in a science class, because it does not follow the rules of science. Perhaps, as an alternative, schools could provide theological classes? I would be amenable to that.

    • Dan Haggerty says:

      Camille, and others, have it exactly backwards when they say that the only support for intelligent design is “Sacred Texts”. It is Darwin’s Theory that has taken on the trappings of a sacred text in that today in the USA it is scientifically and culturally not permitted to disagree or even question its findings. Even though the “evidence” for Darwinism has either been systematically refuted or shown to have never existed. The best examples of refutation are icons of evolution such as the finch beak scenario or the peppered moth story, both of which are fraudulent, or the Phylogeny recapitulates Ontogeny which is based on faked drawings, but is still shown in textbooks that support the Darwinist theory of life. Darwin himself averred that failure to find transitional forms would probably invalidate his theory. That failure has not only been universally established, but the sudden appearance of all the major Phyla, or body plans all at once during the Cambrian explosion has turned Darwin’s idea of slow and gradual development of variation in life forms on its head.
      Darwinism has become an ideology that declares itself immune from criticism. Even the “bad old Church” was never this hostile to revolutionary scientific ideas. Intelligent design provides a sound alternative to this defunct theory through numerous critiques of Darwinism such as the fact of irreducible complexity that are fatal to it and by establishing that the basis of life is the DNA code, which, like all codes is the product of intelligence.

  2. John says:

    The overwhelming majority of scientists, particularly those in the field of biology, agree that evolution is real, it’s happening, and it has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

    Richard Lenski’s e. coli experiment is an excellent example of hard evidence for evolution. Despite some hilarious attempts to disprove Lenski’s work (Andrew Schlafly’s attempt being possibly the most widely known and widely mocked), it still stands as good science. Neither creationism nor intelligent design (which the wedge document proves are the same thing) has any evidence even close to what Lenski’s experiment provides for evolution.

    Those scientists that do not support the theory of evolution are typically not biologists or members of any relevant field of study, and those that disagree with the theory are still vastly outnumbered by those that hold the theory to be true. For everyone one scientist who claims evolution is wrong, you can easily find a hundred that say evolution is right.

    So Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann is wrong to say that scientists disagree on the validity of evolution, because that could not be farther from the truth. A few cranks may disagree here and there, but the consensus is that evolution is good science.

    And now you’ll claim that all of these scientists are involved in some conspiracy to deny the word of God. Where is the profit in that?

    • Camille says:

      Indeed. You get a lot of engineers claiming the expertise to deny evolution.
      Preemptive Contention
      ———————————-
      And to be clear, citing the scientific consensus is not an argument ad populum. Modern science follows a rigorous process called “peer review.” That means that each claim is examined carefully by a great multitude of scientists and is constantly up for reevaluation.

      • Diablo says:

        Hey now…there are a slew of Engineers, and not all of us are cranks. It not like we have the monopoly of people commenting far outside of their expertise. I have actually been screamed by an individual that swore up and down I was part of the 9-11 conspiracy for pointing out the obvious flaws in all of the conspiracy theories. Apparently my work in structural mechanics included covert ops.

        • Camille says:

          Forgive me if it seemed I implied that all engineers are cranks. I do not believe this to be the case. As a matter of fact, my parents are engineers, and both of them are atheists.

    • Adam says:

      So if there is a consensus it must be true? This is the worst argument ever for the truth. Just because most believe does not make it true. With that argument you have a paradox where most scientist believe in evolution but most people do not. Keep in mind that Physicist at one time had a consensus in the belief of the ether. If you don’t know what that is look it up. They also believe that all physics except a few minor things were complete at that time.

  3. Jake says:

    Hey so.. just because someone believes in God doesn’t mean they don’t believe in Evolution.

    They are not mutually exclusive, as your article treats them.

    Get a clue, please.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      You get a clue. And encourage anyone you know who tries to reconcile God and evolution to get a clue. The Bible does not allow for gradual change, or the claimed “deep time” spans.

      • Camille says:

        The bible is and always has been open to interpretation. As for a reconciliation of science and religion, you’ve all sorts of great propositions.
        My favorite would be the Omphalos hypothesis. Another good one would be non-overlapping magisteria.

      • Geno says:

        Terry wrote:
        “You get a clue. And encourage anyone you know who tries to reconcile God and evolution to get a clue.”

        Geno replies:
        Gee…. I was under the impression the “Designer” isn’t necessarily God. The fact is “ID” refers more accurately to “Intellectual Deception” than it does to “Intelligent Design.”

        The “Wedge Document” makes it perfectly clear who the “Desinger” is. I quote (from the first sentence of that strategic plan: ” … human beings are created in the image of God …”

        Other excerpts include:
        “Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man”
        ” re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature”
        “a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”
        “we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Chnstians”
        “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God”
        “To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life”
        “Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation”
        Link: http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

        Now, in the interest of accuracy, DI claims this document was intended as a fund raiser.

        It is only fair to point out the document goes on a lot about “strategy,” “goals,” “objectives,” and “plans” but I couldn’t find a single word…. not ONE …. about money. I get fund raising letters all the time and one thing every single one of them has in common is a mention of money.

        ID is a political, philosophical, and social movement, not a scientific theory. If you want it taught, teach it there, not in the natural sciences.

      • Bob says:

        Because the bible is a fallible book written by man.

        You show me Joseph Smith’s golden tablets, and then we’ll talk.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          And when did I ever make any case for the claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

      • Alistair says:

        Although it is probably true that you can not be an evolutionist and believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, this article implies that all who believe in a god don’t believe in evolution. This is false. Einstein (who believed in a god in nature sort of thing rather than a personal god) believed in evolution, as do all reputable scientists.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Now see here: you say that I’m overgeneralizing, and then do the same thing. Do you really think that no one esteems the reputation of any scientist who concludes, rationally and logically, that the origins of the universe, the earth, and life could not be as the uniformitarians insist that it was?

          • DinsdaleP says:

            Terry, fields of science are constantly being shaken up by people who have radically different ideas than the accepted conventions of the time. This can create controversy and even personal attacks, but in the end science is open to everyone to validate for themselves. You can hide an agenda, but there’s no way to hide the universe from people seeking to understand it better.

            Consider subjects like quantum mechanics, string theory, relativity, Bell’s Theorem to start. It’s easy to add other proposals, like the occurance of an extinction-event asteroid of 65 million years ago, or the idea that dinosaurs were warm-blooded animals instead of reptiles. Each of these concepts challenged what was accepted at the time. Each took hold because others could test the theories for themselves, and while some were debunked (cold fusion in a jar) the others found enough independent validation to become the new accepted conventions in the related fields.

            More to the point, studying the universe led to these conclusions without anyone providing the answers first, and the findings correlate across different disciplines. The beauty of science is that any one of these fields could be upended tomorrow by a radical new insight, and as long as the underlying theories can be understood and independently verified then followers of science will gladly abandon the old conventions for the ones that explain the universe better.

            However, what you keep expecting people to do is to validate your desire for creation science to be regarded as an equivalent discipline to naturalistic science. It’s not, and not because anyone has it in for faith, religion, or the value of spirituality in our lives, but because creation science starts off with a very specific set of foregone conclusions and then has to make every finding of nature conform to it.

            There’s a major problem with your proposal that Creation Science simply requires that a person be open to the possibility that supernatural forces shaped the universe. The main reason is that by definition supernatural forces – by definition – can’t be meaured or explained by naturalistic science, and science is not about saying “If I can’t explain it (yet) then ‘Alpha’ must be responsible”. The other reason, and the one that matters here, is that when you refer to “Creation Science” you aren’t focused on seeking whatever answers may come, you’re just using the term “Creation Science” as a smokescreen for “Biblical Rationalization”.

            That’s why when I asked you what a true creation scientist would estimate the Earth to be, based on verifieable science and the possibility that the world was created supernaturally, you cannot answer the question without starting with one, and only one, reference source to check your findings against. You don’t allow that the creation narrative of other faiths might be correct compared to the Bible, and you don’t concern yourself with any of them. It’s the Bible or nothing, and any findings in nature have to conform to it.

            That’s not science, Terry. That’s rationalization.

            If you really want to show an open mind, then open your mind to the possibility that creation narrative in the Bible can be accepted as allegorical rather than literal. This doesn’t devalue any of the positive aspects that Christian faith can impart, and it takes away the need to distort and attack principles of naturalistic science that don’t line up with it 100%.

          • Kyle says:

            Very well put, Dinsdale.

  4. Horace says:

    Poor job Terry. All I get from this is that Bachmann was wrong.

    She was wrong to suggest that there were Nobel laureates who believe in intelligent design. Not a single one of your examples shows a Nobel laureate who believes in intelligent design. Not one.

    Furthermore, she clearly did suggest that schools should teach intelligent design or creation science (it actually IS the same thing. See Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District). What else could she have meant by saying: “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide”? Whilst the use of the word “science” doesn’t sit well with the term “intelligent design”, you can be certain that was what she was getting at.

    I regret that this article utterly fails to do what it set out to achieve. Bachmann was wrong, in addition to which, she supports teaching silly unscientific dross to school children.

  5. Believing in God is not the same thing as doubting evolution or believing in intelligent design. So the essential claim being made here (that they would be the same) fails in general. There are other problems with this piece, but that seems to be sufficient by itself. This piece is deeply flawed and Bachmann was wrong.

  6. Paul Burnett says:

    Michele Bachmann said there are hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, who believe in intelligent design. But she cannot name “many” of them – she can’t name even one of them – because there aren’t any.

    Doubting the fact or the theory of evolution does not in any way equate to supporting the scientific illiteracy of intelligent design creationism. While a ridiculously small percentage of Nobel prize winning scientists may doubt evolution, not a one of them supports intelligent design creationism. Name one. You can’t.

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Astronomical Society, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics and essentially every other actual science organization in America have all condemned intelligent design creationism as a pseudoscience and expressed their support for the fact and the theory of evolution as the cornerstone of modern biological science. Name one actual science organization that has expressed doubt about evolution. You can’t.

  7. Chris E says:

    Einstein:

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” – Letter to Erik Gutkind

    And while Sir John Eccles was religious, or at least spiritual, there is not a scrap of evidence to support the idea that he did not accept that our evolution is a fact.

    The bottom line is like Bachman, you can’t find any Nobel prize winners, let alone any *biology* related Nobel prize winners that don’t accept evolution. Bachmann either voiced her profound ignorance on the subject (likely) or just flat out lied (plausible). And like the good little conservative toadies you are, you come running along desperately searching for straws to grasp at in the vain hope of rationalizing her words into something less than flatly ignorant and plainly untruthful.

  8. Kyle says:

    I would also be interested to know a Nobel prize winner who supports Intelligent Design. I would further argue that if you cannot find even one, the proper thing to do since you have already stated that you are interested in promoting truth here would be to retract your thesis and admit where this article features factual errors.

  9. Paul Burnett says:

    Terry wrote: “(Michele Bachmann’s) critics are wrong to talk about “intelligent design creationism.””

    This is a common complaint among supporters of intelligent design creationism. Nationally-known professor of philosophy Dr. Barbara Forrest has published a paper, “Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals” – available at http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/intelligent-design.pdf – which clearly explains that the modern “intelligent design” movement is a subset of creationism, and has nothing to do with actual science – other than its supporters’ clearly stated desire to destroy science as we know it today.

    Dr. Forrest has testified under oath in Federal court on the solely religious – not scientific – origins and nature of the intelligent design creationism movement. Her testimony was not refuted, and the creationists lost their case – in part because of Dr. Forrest’s testimony.

    Michele Bachmann is just one of many Republicans who really mean “creationism” when they use the code term “intelligent design” in their campaign speeches, which are laden with that and other code terms aimed at their fundagelical base.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Then Dr. Forrest is guilty of perjury.

      Now I am a creation advocate. I know who my fellow travelers are. I know what they are prepared to say, and what they are not prepared to say. From my perspective, ID theorists are “taking the easy way out” by not bothering to think about Who might have designed the marvelous machines that we call “living things”—including ourselves.

      You and those like you, jump to the conclusion that ID theorists are prepared to say that God is the Designer, because you know perfectly well that either life came about by accident, or Something beyond life designed life. Your trouble is that you’re still trying to defend a null hypothesis when every honest statistician has rejected it long ago.

      • DinsdaleP says:

        To recap from the article and comments above:

        Bachmann claimed that “hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.” She’s been challenged to back up that claim with specific names, and has declined to respond.

        Given the chance again this weekend to do so, she dodged and walked away rather than directly responding.

        Bachmann supporters like Mr. Hurlbut are doing her spin control for her by digging for semi-related quotes from less than a handful of examples, and claiming that this proves her right.

        Setting aside that articles like this don’t reach examples in the tens, let alone hundreds, they are missing the point. Intelligent Design as a specific term was only defined in recent years, and historic quotes from people made before the term was design are not suitable responses.

        Find a list of contemporary figures with Nobel credits, and the “hundreds and hundreds” of other supporting leaders in their fields who’ve come out in support of ID as it’s currently defined and debated, and we can have a discussion. In the meantime, her claim remains baseless and her unwillingness to answer it directly backs that assessment up.

  10. Paul Burnett says:

    Terry wrote: “Then Dr. Forrest is guilty of perjury” for her sworn testimony in Federal court about the proven facts about intelligent design creationism.

    That’s odd – I don’t recall that Dr. Forrest was charged with perjury. But the judge did write in his decision: “It is ironic that several of these individuals (sworn witnesses), who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the (Intelligent Design) Policy.” The creationists clearly lied, under oath, and were caught at it by the judge. Can you explain why creationists would lie, under oath, in Federal court, Terry?

    Similarly, can you explain why Michele Bachmann would lie about there being “many” Nobel prize winning scientists who believe in intelligent design creationism? She clearly stated that. Was that another deliberate lie, like her comment about her being a seventh-generation Iowan which has been thoroughly discredited? (See http://www.opednews.com/articles/Michele-Bachmann-Lies-Abou-by-Chris-Rodda-110405-107.html for the sordid details.) Or is she just confused?

    If we clearly can’t trust Michele Bachmann to tell the truth about her own ancestry, or even her ability to count the number of Nobel prize winning scientists who support intelligent design creationism, why should we trust anything else she says?

  11. John Doe says:

    Charles Hard Townes winner of noble prize in physics has said

    “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here. ”

    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/06/17_townes.shtml

  12. Paul Burnett says:

    “John Doe” wrote about Nobel prize winner Charles Hard Townes’s lukewarm endorsement of intelligent design, “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real.”

    Good one – thanks. While not very strong support, it’s support. I will grump that Townes is a physicist, not a biologist.

    But one is not “many.” Michele Bachmann is still wrong.

    • Kyle says:

      Townes goes on to say:

      “Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.”

      This is kind of a confused statement to me. I would argue that belief in intelligent design and evolution are mutally exclusive, but here Townes seems to embrace both.

      At the very least the argument cannot be made that Townes rejects the theory of evolution.

    • Kyle says:

      Actually, Townes does clarify somewhat further on in the interview:

      “People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading.”

  13. DinsdaleP says:

    Even if you want to count Townes as a Nobel-winning supporter of ID, thet statements of support cited above are weak at best.

    “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real.”

    “Seems to be quite real” isn’t a very strong statement when it comes to declaring that ID is a valid scientific theory that deserves equal standing in our classrooms. Many of the CGI effects in films today can create a visual experience that “seems to be quite real”, but that doesn’t make it real.

    “This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way.” I totally agree with that assessment, but that has nothing to do with proving how or why it came out that way. Statements of wonder at the improbable beauty and complexity of our existence make for great prose, but that’s not science.

    If you want a citation of a prominent scientist defending ID as valid science, then go and actually find such a thing, because somebody waxing poetic at how improbably cool everything around us is makes for good conversation, but poor science.

  14. John Doe says:

    Intelligent Design and evolution are not mutually exclusive. Some people are “theistic evolutionists”. They think that evolution could not of happened soley by chance so they belive that God directed the evolutionary process.

    DinsdaleP – We were discussing whether there are nobel laureates who believe in intelligent design not whether anyone can scientifically prove it. You can’t scientifically prove lot of things. If hurricane moved rocks on a beach to form its name it could of still happened by chance. You can’t scientifically prove it was design.

    I am sure there are other laureates besides Charles Hard Townes. He can’t be the only laureate in the world. Once you find one there will be others.

    • Kyle says:

      “I am sure there are other laureates besides Charles Hard Townes. He can’t be the only laureate in the world. Once you find one there will be others.”

      This isn’t evidence.

      Also, Bachmann said: “There is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

      The implication here is that hundreds of Noble prize winners believe in intelligent design. So far we have only seen one example, and a rather weak one considering the following quote by him:

      “People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one.”

    • DinsdaleP says:

      To John Doe,

      When I talk about people supporting ID needing to provide proof, I’m not saying that they have to prove every aspect of ID – I’m asking that they prove how ID itself is valid science, and worthy of being presented in science classes as a valid theory. That’s the test applied in Kitzmiller v Dover, and ID failed the test.

  15. aveskde says:

    Did anyone else go cross-eyed when they read the article and spotted the following:
    >>Even without these examples, people like Koppelin use faulty logic when they ask Michele Bachmann to “match” their list of Nobel laureates who believe in evolution—or as Eccles puts it, “promissory materialism.” They appeal to the authority of the Nobel Prize Committee and to the numbers of Novel laureates on their side.

    This entire article’s premise about creationism and Michele Bachmann’s premises were appeals to authorities which weren’t qualified to comment on the matter in the first place, and both were appeals to numbers and NOW the article chooses to undermine itself by attacking Koppelin about this?

  16. passerby says:

    You know, normally after someone said “But several Nobel laureates have cast doubt on evolution after all” they’d provide evidence that this claim was true…

    Oh, and this

    “By convention, if events do not fall out as one expects, and the odds against what one observes are longer than nineteen to one, something else is happening that explains why events did not fall out that way.”

    Has to be among the worst garblings of how statistics works I’ve ever seen.

  17. Kyle says:

    So Terry,
    Now that many people have pointed out multiple factual errors with this essay will you either defend your position or edit this article?

  18. Jason says:

    Please recant the original article. You are clearly defending something you want to be true but cannot back up with supporting data.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Read my keystrokes. I refuse.

      • Kyle says:

        So it appears I was correct then, Terry. You clearly don’t care about whether or not what you write here is true.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Not true. I care a great deal about the truth of what I say.

          What I couldn’t care less about, what I do not give an unripe fig about, is your opinion, or your evaluation of what’s true and what’s untrue. As Jack Nicholson famously said to Tom Cruise, you can’t handle the truth. And you haven’t been able to handle the truth ever since you invaded my comment space.

          • Kyle says:

            Terry, please look at the comment on this article alone. It’s not just me. Almost everyone here is refuting the factual claims made in this article. You are claiming there are dozens if not hundreds of Nobel prize winners who believe in ID. We have asked for examples and only ONE was provided, and that person doesn’t even reject Evolution.

            We have all given you ample time support your thesis, but you have refused to do so. WHY? If what you’re saying here is true why will you not defend it?

          • DinsdaleP says:

            Also, if you “care a great deal about the truth of what you say”, then you should at least correct this point:

            What you said in your ‘Last Words’:

            “She was right to say that at least some Nobel laureates believe that life did not come about by chance, and something or Someone had to design it.”

            What your own Bachmann quote earlier in the article says:

            “There is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

            “Many” is not “some”, and it’s disingenuous to defend Bachmann by moving the goalposts. The readers here have yet to see a list of contemporary Nobel Laurates who endorse I.D., because cherry-picking quotes from people who lived before the contemporary concept of ID was even defined is not a truthful defense, either.

            This is your forum, so no one is denying you a chance to make a fair, effective case. We just haven gotten one yet.

          • Geno says:

            Terry claims:
            I care a great deal about the truth of what I say.

            Geno answers:
            Really, Terry?

            You wrote an entire article about my discussions with Dr. Brown regarding the possibility of a debate between us. In that article, you made a number of clear statements of alleged fact that were false. For example, you claimed I had not advised Brown of my issue(s) with his model. The fact is I had listed those specific issues no less than a half dozen times…. and you knew it because Brown had provided you with copies of our negotiations.

            Not only that, but time after time, after time I’ve asked you to dust-off your engineering hat and do a few “back of the envelope” calculations to check out my claims regarding Brown’s model. To the best of my knowledge you have never done that.

            I hope you’ll understand if I’m just a bit skeptical of your claims that you “care a great deal about the truth” of what you say.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And I hope that you will understand why I am extremely skeptical of your claims. Everything you have just said is at complete variance with the facts as Walt Brown himself has given me to understand them. And the premises behind your calculations are not only false but absurd.

  19. […] For some-more information, including some-more minute quotes, see here. […]

    • DinsdaleP says:

      I’d like to point out that while there have been (very) few people acting like trolls, most of the contrarian feedback has been civil, and people are responding with logic and evidence rather than just generic criticism.

      Terry, you’re editing a blog that stakes a very clear and distinct position in an ideological landscape, and that’s going to draw responses from people representing other viewpoints. The stronger your position in some areas, the stronger the responses. That’s not an “invasion of comment space”, that’s healthy dialogue.

      If you’re saying that you’ve made all the points you intend to for this topic and that nothing else will be forthcoming, that’s your privilege. The readers of the thread can decide who has made the better case.

    • Geno says:

      Terry claims (about my comments regarding the discussion between Dr. Brown and myself about having a debate):
      “Everything you have just said is at complete variance with the facts as Walt Brown himself has given me to understand them”

      Geno answers:
      You were give complete the complete record of our discussions by both Brown and myself. You have agreed the information I sent you agreed with what he sent you.

      Why not try reading it for yourself rather than just accepting what Brown “has given (you) to understand?”

      The fact is I did clearly state my objection(s) to Brown’s model in my very first communication with him and in other messages.

      The fact is Brown wants to “reserve” the “right” to challenge me on other “related” issues, but has never once described those issues to me.

      It’s all there in the record, Terry. You have complete access to it…. from BOTH of us.

      BTW, no one has suggested this, but I want to make it explicitly clear…. I am not claiming Brown has refused to debate me or that he is “afraid” in some way of doing so. We simply have not been able to agree on the terms and conditions.

  20. Paul Burnett says:

    I want to congratulate Terry – and I do mean this sincerely – for not taking the low road that so many creationists take and simply removing all comments disagreeing with his hypothesis. If this were, for instance, the Uncommon Descent blog, the only comments visible would be those agreeing with Terry. Thank you for letting us disagree with you here – and get away with it.

  21. Geno says:

    Terry claims:
    “premises behind your calculations are not only false but absurd.”

    Geno answers:
    Really, Terry?

    Here’s the first premise…. If a lot of stuff is sent up to space by Brown’s model, some of it will fail to reach escape velocity and will fall back to Earth. Now, we may disagree about how much, but I think something less than 10% is much more than generous.

    If you want to talk about something that is “absurd,” let’s talk about cooling the Earth by the release of about half the water in Earth’s oceans as steam at around 700F having a “refrigerating” effect.

    How about some “basic refrigeration,” Terry? How much cooling will that steam provide as it cools from 700F to the ambient temperature? In my experience, in order to reduce the temperature of the surroundings, you must introduce something colder than them, not hotter.

  22. Paul says:

    Terry, I’m not trying to refute your opinion on evolution, but rather your defense of Bachman’s statement. The book you site is about Nobel Laureates who believe in God, not disbelieve evolution. Case in point, *Darwin* is listed on the front cover. Last time I checked, he believed in evolution.

    Oh wait, he originated it!

    Also, many of the other people listed died before Darwin’s time, ergo, they could not have had an opinion on Darwin’s evolution.

    It’s taking all the fiber of my being to not be snarky or sarcastic, but your argument is paper thin.

    You mention faulty logic, but you aren’t using any at all. The fact still remains, Bachman can’t name 2 Nobel Scientists who refute the theory of evolution.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That isn’t the point. The point is that, if evolution were as self-evident as you pretend, none of those learned men of science would have even thought about creation as an explanation. It took a classic Emperor’s New Clothes con job to get the scientific community to change its collective mind. And now it’s my job to change it back.

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