Unfortunately, Professor Larry Moran has been caught quote-mining in his blog post God Plays Bridge. And he doesn’t save the best for last: he quotes-mine right at the start. In case he accuses me of quote-mining, I will quote the Prof’s quote-mine (this blog post is not intended to be a tongue-twister regardless of what you might suspect):
“The creationists tell us that anything in biology with a probability of 10^39 or less is impossible.”
I searched and searched the web and didn’t find any sites saying that a biochemical system with a probability of origin less than 10^39 is more adequately explained by an intelligence, so I can confidently conclude that Prof. Moran is referring to what I said, and only to what I said (I suspect that in lieu of being caught quote-mining Prof. Moran will attempt to claim that he wasn’t referring to what I said per se’; we shall await further developments). So, where does he quote-mine me?
For starters, Prof. Moran confuses “impossible” with “intelligent design is a more adequate explanation.” What I said precisely was this,
“intelligent design proponents need only demonstrate that the odds of a particular biochemical system evolving are 10^-40 or less in order for intelligent design to be a more adequate explanation for the origin of such a biochemical system.”
Where did I say that if the odds of a particular biochemical system evolving is 10^-39 (or for that matter 10^-40) then it is impossible (to evolve I suppose is what Prof. Moran meant)? I did not say such a thing; I only said that in such a scenario intelligent design is a more adequate explanation for the origin of that system. Either I’m aging far sooner than I expected and Prof. Moran is seeing something I said that I can’t see or Prof. Moran is quote-mining. Take your pick.
This quote-mining business gets even more interesting when we see that Prof. Moran himself condemns quote-mining and has a lot to say about this dirty business (here, here, here, and here). Talk about double standards.
Anyway, Prof. Moran tries yet again to refute my argument regarding the probability of a Darwinian origin of biochemical systems, this time using a bridge game as an analogy (incidentally, I don’t play bridge). I believe I sufficiently responded to his analogies with a reference to a peer-reviewed paper, and once again I will remind our dear professor that his arguments contradict the very arguments advanced for common descent; namely, the argument from ERV insertion sites.
I wonder if Prof. Moran plays bridge? If he does, I wonder if that was when he thought up that lovely quote-mine?