Creationist ‘neurosurgeon’ Michael Egnor has more up on EvoNews, concluding with:
In fact, most research and education in medicine involves the implicit assumption of design. The best medical research is the search for patterns recognizable as design, and the best teachers teach their students, implicitly or explicitly, to search for design and purpose in human biology. Evolutionary biologists who teach anatomy, and physiology, and microbiology, and molecular biology in medical schools contribute much to modern medicine by teaching those important subjects. Evolutionary biology itself, however, is superfluous to medicine.
1) …implicit assumption of design: Actually, it’s quite explicit! The relationship between structure and function is one of the most fundamental concepts in biology. This is what natural selection is all about – defining circumstances and mechanisms which facilitate the descent with modification of a structure or design. Only Egnor is suggesting that this means a leprechan- or FSM-like designer is the only possible explanation for structures in nature.
2) …the search for patterns recognizable as design: Absolutely! And evolutionary biology is the best research for explanations of recognizable patterns in biology. Evolutionary biologists even do things called experiments on the patterns and causes of patterns in design. Imagine that! What’s funny is that Egnor seems to think that studying patterns of design and their natural history is “superfluous to medicine.” Maybe he should tell his car mechanic that physics is superfluous to engine performance too!
3) …Evolutionary biologists who teach anatomy, etc., contribute to medicine… evolutionary biology itself, however, is superfluous to medicine: let me get this straight – did he just say that teaching the evolution of anatomy, etc., contributes to medicine, but evolution doesn’t contribute to medicine? If I read that correctly, I believe that’s a tautology.
Now, Michael Egnor might not understand biology well enough, and think that selection doesn’t have anything to do with, say, the structure/design of the central nervous system. He also might be deliberately trying to confuse terms (e.g. selected/designed anatomical structures). Either way, he almost gets it right: Evolution of “anatomy, and physiology, and microbiology, and molecular biology” DOES contribute very significantly to modern medicine, and that’s why understanding evolutionary biology is vital for understanding anything in biology, for that matter.
Lesson of the day: anyone, even neurosurgeons and revolutionary scientists, can make bogus arguments from authority.
Other posts on Egnorance (the list just keeps growing):
- Egnor: At It Again
- Egnor and Natural Selection
- The Real Question Is Would You Want Egnor As Your Doctor?
- Egnorance: The Egotistical Combination of Ignorance and Arrogance
- Pigheaded Egnorance, Antibiotic Resistence, and Tautologies
- Dr. Michael Egnor: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
- The Egnor Challenge: Day 2
This is just a brief list, but the Egnor Challenge issued by Orac pretty much sums it up:
…instead of his usual evidence-free assertions brimming with unjustified confidence, some actual evidence to support his claims. Inquiring minds want to know: Will Dr. Egnor show us some of these wonderful insights into human biology and disease provided or facilitated by the design inference or will he simply keep repeating the same misinformation?