After our discussion yesterday, I sent Dr.Laughlin and email. I asked him directly how he felt about using his quote for this purpose. This is a direct quote from his response:
"No, I don't like having my words used for ideological purposes. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do about it. The deeper subject matter of UNIVERSE is belief systems and how they color perceptions even when they shouldn't. You have to expect that people will misread a perfectly clear statement that beliefs corrupt perceptions as supporting their own particular beliefs. In other words, you hold a mirror up to show how ugly the queen is and she sees only how beautiful she is! "
Truth in ID FYI ping. Start at post #58.
“After our discussion yesterday, I sent Dr.Laughlin and email. I asked him directly how he felt about using his quote for this purpose. This is a direct quote from his response:”
I’d like to know what you told him before he replied. If you told him that I was using his quote for “ideological purposes,” then you misrepresented me. In fact, I used his quote to discredit the “ideological purposes” of evolutionists. If you told him that I used it to indicate that he advocates ID, then you lied. I specifically said otherwise in plain English.
I don’t have any special reverence for Laughlin other than to acknowledge that he won a Nobel Prize. I read his book and found it interesting but very confusing in many places. If he “denies” ID in any way, I really don’t care. But if he is going to deny what he said in plain English about the Darwinian Theory, then he should make it clear that he is retracting his statement. If not, then he should shut up.
This reminds me of the time when some Republicans quoted MLK on the ideal of colorblindness, only to be scolded by his wife. Apparently only bona fide liberals or leftists are allowed to quote MLK — even though we have a national holiday named after him.
I think Laughlin’s quote is worth repeating:
“Much of present-day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends antitheories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!” Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel-laureate physicist
Why don’t you email him again and ask him which part of this quote he would like to retract or revise.
I said nothing about his quote except that it contradicts what you are claiming about evolution, which it clearly does. For you or him to claim that I am using his quote for “ideological purposes” simply by quoting him is ridiculous.
Newton saw not just “evidence,” but *proof* if ID in the mechanics of the solar system. The simplest living cell is arguably far more complex than the equations of motion of the solar system, and that complexity was completely unknown in Newton’s time, so I have no reason whatsoever to believe that Newton would change his views on ID. I just wish more scientists these days would have the guts acknowledge that the anti-ID emporer has no clothes.
Youve given us a direct quote from Dr. Laughlin. Now perhaps you would be so accommodating as to give us a direct quote of how you put the proposition to Dr. Laughlin that elicited his response.