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

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No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology?

Some biologists might shudder at the thought of eliminating Darwinism from their scientific work. A “Darwin-ectomy” sounds more painful than a tonsillectomy or appendectomy. To hard-core evolutionists, it might sound like a cephalectomy (removal of the head)! If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts should make research incomprehensible.  If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage. Here are some recent scientific papers in the

Dallas Conference on Science & Faith Will Teach “How to Ask”; Register Now for Early Bird Price

Yesterday, Sarah Chaffee pointed out a remarkable article in the top science journal Nature, “Stop the science training that demands ‘don’t ask’.” It was remarkable because of the candor in its admission that conventional science education indeed demands that we “not ask” certain things. Often, science instruction substitutes atheistic assumptions for critical analysis, particularly when attention turns to questions that could be considered of ultimate importance. Most of us, in our education, were trained in that stifling way of thinking. We have to struggle mightily to think outside its constraints. And in that effort, we need help. Coaching, you might say. “How to Ask” What you need is a daylong immersion experience, re-training you in how to ask, and how to

If Only Michael Behe Taught a Course on Intelligent Design…

Imagine an alternative reality, somewhere out there in the fabled multiverse. In this reality, everything is the same as in our familiar universe except that, in academia, the argument about intelligent design is openly entertained rather than broadly suppressed.  In this reality, Michael Behe is still a controversial biochemist at Lehigh University. Not everyone likes his views on ID, but his ideas are freely debated without recourse to shaming or intimidation and, intriguingly, his colleagues at Lehigh permit, indeed encourage, him to teach a special seminar on design versus Darwinian theory. The course is titled something like, “Controversies in Biology: Investigating Evolution and Intelligent Design.” Of course in our familiar universe, Dr. Behe is not allowed to teach

World Magazine: Darwin Devolves Is Science Book of the Year; Foresight Makes the Short List

Hearty congratulations to Discovery Institute authors Michael Behe and Marcos Eberlin for new praise they’ve received for their recent books! Dr. Behe’s Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution was recognized by World Magazine as Science Book of the Year: Darwin Devolves is our Science Book of the Year because it shows that the evolutionary process can build or create nothing at the genetic level, but it can make a creature look different.  World editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky elaborates: Michael Behe, a 67-year-old biochemistry professor who has taught at Lehigh University since 1985, has helped to create nine children and two major theories. His first book, Darwin’s Black Box, focused on “irreducible complexity,” the idea that major

Excellent Adventure: Behe Barnstorms Brazil

On a new episode of ID the Future, Darwin Devolves author and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe sits down with host Rob Crowther to discuss Behe’s recent speaking trip to Brazil, and where he sees the Darwinism/design debate heading in the next few years. Download the podcast or listen to it here. Oh, and check out these excellent travel snaps, courtesy of our friends Marcos Eberlin and the folks at Discovery Institute’s branch at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo. In their conversation, Behe enthuses about Brazilian food and hospitality, and says the students at the schools where he spoke were refreshingly open to considering the evidence for intelligent design. It was typical of what he finds elsewhere, he says. There is a generational

Berlinski Banters Entertainingly with ID-Friendly Muslims

I had the following dream last night. In it, mathematician and Darwin skeptic David Berlinski was stretched out on a red couch, schmoozing entertainingly with a couple of ID-friendly, C.S. Lewis-quoting Muslim chaps. Dr. Berlinski stretched out so far that the pair of interviewers were confined to one distant end of the couch, though they didn’t seem to mind. They cracked up at all his jokes, as I did, too. Dr. Berlinski held a cane with a golden head which he used to illustrate points, and he appeared not in his usual splendid attire but, much more casually, in a cut-off jean jacket over a t-shirt. It was quite a fun dream and went on for about 45 minutes or so. I’m kidding, actually: it wasn’t a dream, though there is arguably an element of the surreal. It was a video from the

Coyne, Bechly, Miller, Berlinski: Scientists Debate David Gelernter’s Darwin Apostasy

This year when three scientists preemptively reviewed Michael Behe’s major book Darwin Devolves in the journal Science, Behe sought a chance to reply. The editor turned him down. So here’s some progress to report: Jerry Coyne “reviewed” Yale polymath David Gelernter’s recent knockout essay confessing the gravest doubts about Darwinian theory. Coyne wrote for the online magazine Quillette. When three Discovery Institute scientists sought an opportunity to reply and defend Gelernter, they were granted the opportunity! A Challenge for any Biologist Go ahead and check out the exchange for yourself. I challenge any biologist, or any thoughtful adult, to read Coyne and then the response from our colleagues, paleontologist Günter Bechly, physicist Brian Miller, and mathematician

Darwin Devolves — Evidence Keeps Rolling In

Several new papers have appeared that reinforce key points of my recent book, Darwin Devolves. (Hat tip to Paul Nelson.) The first one — “Quantifying the pathways to life using assembly spaces” — is from a group of theoreticians at Arizona State and the University of Glasgow. (The work was discussed by one of the authors, Sara Imari Walker, at a meeting this July in Italy, “Mind Matters: Intelligence and Agency in the Physical World.” Walker is a frequent collaborator of Paul Davies.)  Reeking of ID The paper investigates phenomena that reek of intelligent design, but the authors ascribe design either to an extrinsic agent or to (presumably undirected) evolution. Herein, we present the foundations of a new theoretical approach to agnostically quantify the amount of

Peppered Moths and More: Intelligent Design Takes Ownership of Evolution Icons

Intelligent design is taking ownership of some of the characters in Jonathan Wells’s book Icons of Evolution. Darwinians never had a rightful claim to them.  Peppered Moths Rare is any article about peppered moths that does not celebrate them as supreme examples of Darwinian evolution by natural selection. An open-access paper in Nature Communications Biology breaks that mold by focusing on a new skill in this species: the ability to “feel” color. Before adult peppered moths can fly into the tops of trees and challenge Darwinism there (unless they are tacked onto the trunks), they have to live as caterpillars. The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology summarizes new findings about camouflage in the larval stage: It is difficult to distinguish caterpillars of the peppered

Molecular Motor Threads a Spiral Staircase

Let’s get acquainted with another irreducibly complex molecular motor. This one is a master at unfolding proteins, even the tough nuts that are hard to crack. Its method is ingenious. One shouldn’t think that icons of intelligent design in biochemistry are restricted to the few favorites, like the bacterial flagellum, kinesin, and ATP synthase. There are thousands of them — tens of thousands! Each one is fascinating in its own way. Today’s focus is on one, called the “Cdc48 ATPase complex,” or Cdc48 for short. It’s another ATPase (meaning, it uses ATP for energy) with an important job: unfolding proteins. Most proteins, you recall, are folded into globular shapes. Some of those can get pretty tightly wound, held together with electrical charges and mechanical forces.