Thursday, October 04, 2007

What kind of scientist is Michael Behe?

Certain people seem attracted to "intelligent design" creationism because some (actually, very few) people with real Ph.D.'s advocate it. One of these is Michael Behe, a biochemist from Lehigh University. I have heard him described as “a scientist of the first rank.” People can argue over “rankings”, but there exist some objective measures as to how influential a scientist is and how good their ideas actually are. These measurements are generally of two kinds:

  • Number and kind of publications of the scientist;
  • Citations of these works (which show that the scientist's ideas are being used to do productive work).

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