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Friday, March 21, 2008

Fun in Guelph

Katie Kish has a brief description of my visit to Guelph on her blog Liberal Debutante [Larry Moran At Guelph. I stole the photograph from her, I hope she doesn't mind.

The question about the evolution of the bombardier beetle was really a question about irreducible complexity in general and I tried to answer that question rather than the specific question that was asked. I was pretty sure that Dawkins had refuted the bombardier beetle "paradox" with real examples of transitional forms but I wasn't sure about this and didn't know the reference. (I said at the talk that I thought it was in The Blind Watchmaker).

Ryan Gregory, who I met for the first time on Wednesday night, has come to the rescue with a posting on Genomicron [Bombardier Beetles]. He has even found a video of Richard Dawkins "exploding" the myth of exploding bombardier beetles. Go and watch it on Ryan's blog.

There's an important lesson here. It is 2008. The evolutionary "problem" represented by the bombardier beetle was addressed—and refuted—by evolutionary biologists over 20 years ago and yet it's still being raised today by creationists as if it were a serious problem. What does that tell you about creationists?

Dealing with IDiots is very frustrating.


  1. I thought your answer was quite reasonable, though I doubt he grasped it fully. I was somewhat surprised that the bombardier beetle, rather than the flagellum (which is what is normally flogged, pun intended), was mentioned. Aside from experiencing frustration at some of the questions, it was an enjoyable evening and it was very nice to finally chat face to face. Thanks again.

  2. I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend, and I missed a chance to meet you face-to-face.

    In your impression, were there many IDiots at your presentation, or just a few annoying people?