Darwin Devolves by Michael J. Behe News, Responses to Critics, Purchasing

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From Evolution.News

Darwin’s Desperation?

They used to just ignore us. That worked for many years. Rare appearances of the loathsome words “intelligent design” in scientific journals were quickly squashed, as Richard Sternberg can attest. Occasional payouts to avoid lawsuits, like at the California Science Center, could be dismissed as inconvenient hush money, quickly settled and ignored by the press.  Meanwhile, Darwinism marched on, confident and triumphant. Largely unimpeded by any need for debate, evolutionary biologists and psychologists, safe in the accepted custom of methodological naturalism, could spin their just-so stories without fear of contradiction. The media were willing accomplices, keeping the public submissive and quiet, satisfied with the daily illusions pouring forth from the ministry of

Behe Vindicated Again: Sherpas Climb Everest Easier, Because Darwin Devolves

How can Tibetans survive high altitudes that leave lowlanders gasping? The answer is found in broken genes. A new paper on the Tibetan genome vindicates what Michael Behe said in Darwin Devolves: evolution breaks things, but sometimes, like in the case of polar bears, the result can allow organisms to thrive in specific environments. Yes, this follows on the heels of last week’s Behe vindication; see here. A team of 16 scientists, writing in PNAS, sought to understand the genetic basis for Tibetan high-altitude adaptation in more detail. Tibetans and Nepalese, many of whom serve as guides for lowlanders wanting to conquer Mount Everest, routinely carry heavy burdens at altitudes above 14,000 feet, the average elevation on the Tibetan plateau. In its entry on Sherpa people,

Harvard Molecular Geneticist Vindicates Michael Behe’s Main Argument in Darwin Devolves

When Michael Behe’s book Darwin Devolves came out last year, critics were quick to pounce. Skeptic Magazine wrote that “In Darwin Devolves, Michael Behe continues to dig himself further into the hole he opened 20 years ago with Darwin’s Black Box.” Three Quarks Daily stated that Behe’s central thesis in the book, “is clickbait, the book title misleading, and the argument long since rebutted.”  That thesis is what Behe calls the “first rule of adaptive evolution,” namely that Darwinian processes tend to “Break or blunt any functional gene whose loss would increase the number of a species's offspring.” A review in the journal Science called Behe’s arguments “quixotic” and charged that “here are indeed many examples of loss-of-function mutations

Judge Michael Behe’s Case for Intelligent Design Yourself

“That Behe fellow is a known Christian. And he has been seen entering, and leaving, churches. And so therefore this idea of intelligent design, that’s a religious idea. That’s not science.”  With that line, summarizing the approach of many of his critics, biochemist Michael Behe got a laugh of recognition from the audience at the 2020 Dallas Conference Science & Faith this past January. You can watch his presentation now: https://youtu.be/24t2eCjPbq4 Behe got a laugh because, as with much of humor, he was caricaturing…but not by a lot. Here Professor Behe invites us to review the sweep of his argument for intelligent design, as he has presented it in his books and other publications, form Darwin’s Black Box to Darwin Devolves, from irreducible complexity to the

Helpful Devolutionary Mutations Are Rapid and Unavoidable: Paper Reinforces Darwin Devolves

An interesting paper that strongly reinforces the lessons of Darwin Devolves was recently published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.1 University of Michigan biologists Piaopiao Chen and Jianzhi Zhang looked at the effect of changing environments on the evolution of laboratory yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They grew 12 replicate cultures of a pure yeast strain separately for 1,120 generations in each of five disparate, challenging environments: 1) in the presence of the carcinogenic dye Congo Red; 2) in the presence of copper ion; 3) at pH 8; 4) in the presence of hydrogen peroxide; and 5) in the presence of the antibiotic neomycin. They also grew replicate cultures successively for 224 generations apiece in the five conditions  —  that is, the first 224 generations in

Behe and Swamidass Debate Evolution and Intelligent Design at Texas A&M

Biochemist and CSC Senior Fellow Michael Behe shared the stage with physician and computational biologist Joshua Swamidass this past Thursday evening at an overflow event at Texas A&M’s Rudder Theatre in College Station, TX.  The meeting, titled “God and/or Evolution?” was part conversation, part debate. Behe made the case for intelligent design in biology. Swamidass argued for methodological naturalism and modern evolutionary theory while also allowing for the separate de novo creation of Adam and Eve, an idea outlined in his new book. The format had Behe going first and then Swamidass responding. Then each speaker got a shorter chunk of time for follow-up comments, followed by a Q&A sent via tweets that were selected and read by the moderator.  Behe

Critic Josh Swamidass Meets Michael Behe Tonight at Texas A&M

Someone had a clever idea: stage a debate between biologist Michael Behe and his critic Joshua Swamidass on “God and/or Evolution?” Proof that it was a clever idea is that the event, tonight at Rudder Theatre at Texas A&M University, is already sold out. The sponsor, Veritas Forum, was urging as of yesterday, “If you are unable to attend tomorrow’s Forum, please cancel your order so we can release tickets to our waitlist.” Josh Swamidass was one of the trio of authors who reviewed Professor Behe’s book Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution in the journal Science. If you are disappointed that you can’t attend, don’t worry. You can assume that the debate will reprise the exchange over Darwin Devolves. But the review’s criticisms,

Philosophical-ish Objections to Intelligent Design: A Response to Paul Draper

Recently I was asked by several people whether I had ever responded to an old review of Darwin’s Black Box by Purdue University philosopher of religion Paul Draper. I had not done so, but will use the occasion to respond now and to clear up a couple of philosophical-ish objections that have been raised against intelligent design over the years. In 2002 Draper — then on the faculty of Florida International University — published a paper in the journal Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, entitled “Irreducible complexity and Darwinian gradualism: a Reply to Michael J. Behe.”1 Draper wrote that “My goal in this paper will be to show that, while this challenge is both more original and, with a few modifications, more powerful than many of

If Human Eugenics Wouldn’t Work, Human Evolution Has a Big Problem

Richard Dawkins got his wings clipped over the weekend, following a claim on Twitter that human eugenics, whatever its demerits otherwise, would certainly work. After all, it does with animals: “It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans?” It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology. — Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) February 16, 2020 He was quickly forced to backpedal a bit, “For those determined to miss the point,” saying he “deplores” it as a policy, “I simply said

Darwin Day Is Here! Discover the Cell’s Secrets with Michael Behe

Don’t look there too closely. Don’t worry, it all came together by chance. Show us your PhD in evolutionary biology. Don’t you trust the scientists? What right do you have to an opinion of your own? These are, in effect, the response from Darwinian evolutionists to doubts from the public that the wonders of the living cell evolved without intelligent guidance. Those doubts, though, are not unreasonable. A Beautiful, Accessible Video Today, for the birthday of Charles Darwin, celebrated around the world as Darwin Day, Discovery Institute is proud to launch a new, five-part video series. It’s Secrets of the Cell with Michael Behe. You can see Episode 1 here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4YngarAhh0M&feature=youtu.be Has there ever been a more beautifully produced