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

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From Evolution.News

No Triangulation as Michael Behe Headlines 2019 Westminster Conference

Scientists have been lining up to debate with Michael Behe over his new book, Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution, including the scientist most suitable to enter into a dialogue with him — National Academy of Sciences member Richard Lenski. This is an impressive book launch, and you can be part of it. If you’re on the East Coast of the United States, your upcoming chance to meet, hear, and learn from Professor Behe is the Westminster Conference on Science & Faith, April 5 and 6, near Philadelphia, PA. The theme this year: “Darwin Devolves: God, Design, and the Failure of Chance in Explaining Origins.” Behe will speak twice, both on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Other presenters from Discovery Institute include science historian

Kepler Versus Religion as a Football

When Jerry Coyne, writing in the Washington Post, wanted to poison the well for Michael Behe’s book, Darwin Devolves, he added to the usual list of trite insults against ID that Behe is a “pious Catholic.” How it’s possible to measure another biologist’s inner piety or devotion, especially a stranger you know only from reading his books about evolution, is one good question. But obviously Coyne’s point was to insinuate that Behe, due to his “piety,” is untrustworthy.  At the same time, for other evolutionists, being “devout” can turn into a compliment. That is, when applied to someone like biologist Kenneth Miller, “devout Catholic,” when he’s dismissing the idea that nature could supply evidence of intelligent design. Miller’s reported devotion becomes

Small Wonders: Scientists Reveal the Secrets of Amazing Little Insects and Crustaceans

In biology, the most amazing designs are often found in small things. In fact, it often seems that the closer you need to look, the greater the wonder. It’s as if someone set it there to hide, waiting for us. Here are some little guys worth knowing about, from among the insects and the crustaceans. Froghoppers “Froghopper insects can perform explosive jumps with some of the highest accelerations known among animals,” say three scientists in PNAS. The little hemipterans can withstand 400 g’s as they accelerate at 4,000 meters/second squared. They belong in a different suborder and family from the planthoppers that Evolution News wrote about in 2013, whose nymphs have gears on their legs to store elastic energy for their leaps.  Anything with “hopper” in its name is a

With Kenneth Miller, Behe’s Would-Be Nemesis, History Repeats Itself

As noted earlier by Evolution News, biochemist Michael Behe’s would-be nemesis Kenneth Miller, the Brown University biologist, is still out there reassuring the world that unguided “evolutionary mechanisms” comfortably explain the wonders of biology, including irreducibly complex ones. Ergo, no need for intelligent design.  Countering Behe We saw how Miller and fellow evolutionist Jerry Coyne promoted a study in PNAS that, it turned out, Cornelius Hunter had already blunted here the month before. Indeed, it’s “actually a very old and less-than-overwhelming story about the evolution of an antifreeze protein in an Atlantic codfish.” ID proponents have been talking about it for years. So now history repeats itself. Why do I say that? Check out a classic ID the

Behe Exposes Darwinism’s “Pretense of Knowledge”

For the science consumer, following the debate about Michael Behe’s latest, Darwin Devolves, is an education in itself. In the book, he discusses the “pretense of knowledge” (the phrase is economist Friedrich Hayek’s) that lies behind not just economics but, even more so, evolutionary biology. Just from reading his critics, it may sound to the uninitiated as if Behe is surely wrong — evolution has got everything figured out, after all — that is, until you read Behe’s replies. Exposing the pretense of understanding is one of his great gifts. On a new episode of ID the Future, Behe talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about the backstory behind his realizing just how much evolutionary biology pretends to know. While Darwin defenders prefer to insinuate it’s all because

For Dreams of Darwinian Evolution, First Rule of Adaptive Evolution Is an Insuperable Problem

This is the second in a series of posts responding to the extended critique of Darwin Devolves by Richard Lenski at his blog, Telliamed Revisited. Professor Lenski is perhaps the most qualified scientist in the world to analyze the arguments of my book. He is the Hannah Distinguished Professor of Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University, a MacArthur (“Genius Award”) Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. With hundreds of publications, he also has a strong interest in the history and philosophy of science. His own laboratory evolution work is a central focus of the book. I am very grateful to Professor Lenski for taking time to assess Darwin Devolves. His comments will allow interested readers to quickly gauge the relative strength of arguments against the

Why Animals Don’t Speak

Responding to evolutionist Jerry Coyne’s review of Darwin Devolves, Michael Behe notes the real reason he sees the gap between human and apes as too great to be spanned by unguided material processes alone. It comes from the “personal awareness that we can reason, speak, think abstractly, and so on — in other words, that we have minds.” This is contrary to Professor Coyne’s snide assumption that Behe’s thinking “stem(s) from the Christian belief that Homo sapiens is a special creation of God.” Why does it seem implausible that a material process can account for the human mind with its powers of speech and all the rest? If what separates us from other animals were material in nature, material alone, then perhaps we could look to a material process for an

Bullet Points for Jerry Coyne

As noted here earlier, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne reviewed Darwin Devolves for this past Sunday’s Washington Post. As you might expect, it’s written in the venerable style of Richard Dawkins’s review of The Edge of Evolution for the New York Times back in 2007: long on sneering, smearing, and assertion; short to nonexistent on telling readers what the book’s actual arguments are. Alas, Coyne’s piece has too little intellectual content to sustain any real engagement. So I’ll simply proceed from its beginning to its end, with lines from his review in bullet points and italics. My comments follow directly after each.  “intelligent design” arose after opponents of evolution repeatedly failed on First Amendment grounds to get Bible-based

Coyne: “The Tuxedo Is Fraying”!

Over the weekend I took a look at the hysterical attempt, via the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to link Mike Behe and Darwin Devolves with a measles upsurge and catastrophic climate change. That’s one approach to dealing with a book you don’t like. Now biologist Jerry Coyne weighs in at the Washington Post with his own review. It’s an improvement over the Science review, at least, as I count two whole paragraphs seeking to rebut the main thesis of the book that unguided Darwinian evolution is “self-limiting.” I’ll let others respond on that. While Coyne has nothing to offer to compare with madly tarring Behe with global health threats as the AAAS does, he offers a gem in his own way. It’s not too often you see a denser collation of

Measles “Hacking” the Body?

In previous articles I have discussed how biological organisms exhibit patterns that are highly analogous to computer programs written by humans. As everyone knows who works with computational devices, particularly with browser-based and mobile applications, those computer programs are vulnerable to attack by malware designed by humans to infect and harm a host computer. Malware steals valuable sensitive and confidential information that can be used to impersonate the victim for illicit gain, or can be sold to others for the same purpose. The key to malware is to circumvent security systems and avoid detection so it can hide out on a device over time and extract the maximum amount of confidential information for nefarious purposes. A specific type of malware is the computer