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

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Game of Thrones: As Darwinism Dissolves, Top Evolutionists Scramble for a Successor

If you ask your typical garden variety evolutionist, he will tell you that all is well in the land of Darwinia. But if you look behind the right curtains, you find that some highly placed, mainstream evolutionary biologists concede that neo-Darwinism is in deep crisis. They acknowledge its imminent fall even as they cling to the hope that some purely blind, materialistic version of evolution can be cobbled together to replace it. Such thinking was front and center at a recent University of Cambridge event, held April 1 to 4 on the campus of Churchill College. Entitled “Evolution Evolving,” the meeting sought to encourage novel thinking about evolution, starting from the premise that existing textbook theory fails to explain many of the most interesting and important

Two Schemes to Defeat the Second Law

In a recent post at Evolution News , Michael Egnor quoted “universal Darwinist” John Campbell: The second law is one of the most fundamental laws of physics, and states that the total entropy — that is, disorder — of an isolated system can only increase over time. Darwinian processes may be viewed as nature’s method of countering this universal tendency towards disorder and non-existence. My reaction was: finally, a Darwinist who says what they all really believe about the second law, which is: we have a scheme that can defeat (“counter”) it. “To Heck with It” Understandably, most do not want to say, “To heck with ‘one of the most fundamental laws of physics,’ we have a scheme that can beat it.” So they have developed creative ways to avoid having to

Two Ways for ID Critics, Both Lame

Following the publication of Yale polymath David Gelernter’s wonderful essay at The Claremont Review of Books, “Giving Up Darwin,” we’re seeing, yet again, two ways for Darwinists to approach the subject of intelligent design and Darwin skepticism. Both are pretty lame. This week we had Razib Khan’s article at National Review, urging that ID proponents aka “evolution deniers” not be engaged, out of deference to evolution’s sparkling contribution to Western civilization. This from a self-described geneticist (actually he’s a PhD candidate) who himself engaged for years with the racists of the alt-right and whose name still appears on the homepage of a website featuring Holocaust deniers. Khan doesn’t mention Gelernter, but he does repeatedly refer to Michael Behe

Déjà Vu at National Review

Some guy once wrote that there’s nothing new under the sun. He must have had political conservatives’ pro-Darwin arguments in mind. Yesterday National Review posted an essay by Razib Khan. (See here and here for more on that.) Khan is a Wikipedia-described atheist, writer, and doctoral student in genetics. He is also a self-described conservative. The essay seeks to assure conservatives that Darwin’s theory is “a crowning achievement of Western civilization and a rejoinder to the modern myths of the Left.” Conservatives should happily embrace whatever is claimed in Darwin’s name because “The science built upon the rock of Charles Darwin’s ideas is a reflection of Western modernity’s commitment to truth as a fundamental value.” What’s more, coos Khan,

I Don’t “Fear” Evolution

“Conservatives Shouldn’t Fear Evolutionary Theory,” writes Razib Khan for National Review, as noted already. Interesting about the title of the piece: conservatives shouldn’t “fear evolution.” I don’t fear evolution. I’ve studied it professionally for nearly forty years, and regard large parts of the theory as generally sound. I am skeptical of many claims of evolutionary theory, however. Ironically, the sound or well-supported parts of evolutionary theory are readily incorporated into a design perspective, and really only make sense from that perspective (see Michael Behe’s new book, Darwin Devolves). What’s worrisome to me about Khan’s article is its quasi-hagiographical tone: evolution, he writes, is “a crowning achievement of Western civilization.”

The “Fearing Evolution” Trope

Writing at National Review, Razib Khan explains why “evolutionary biology is nothing for conservatives to fear,” since “it is one of the crowning achievements of modern Western civilization.” He takes aim at our colleague Michael Behe and urges against “rehashing the same old debates.” But as I’ve watched it over the past couple of decades, the evolution debate has itself rapidly evolved in interesting directions. Khan links to criticisms of Behe’s new book, Darwin Devolves, from snarling atheist Jerry Coyne. However, he doesn’t mention Professor Behe’s own extensive replies to his critics, collected on the book’s website. Readers will find those stimulating, as they will the confession of the latest scientist to abandon belief in Darwinism — Yale

On Book Tour, Marcos Eberlin Sparks Thought About the ID Movement

World-renowned chemist Marcos Eberlin, author of the new book Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose, is currently on a book tour, with events in Dallas, Southern California, Colorado, and Seattle, and elsewhere. I heard his insightful and joyful presentation last week to the Southern California Chapter of the Science & Culture Network, and his remarks sparked thoughts for me. During the Q&A, an attendee asked why intelligent design proponents don’t just come out and explicitly say the designer is God. It’s a question I’ve heard from students I’ve taught at Biola University. A couple of years ago I wrote here about why the ID movement, in not identifying the designer, isn’t being coy. I wanted to revisit this topic. As Far as It

Polar Bear Seminar: This Is the End

Recent months have witnessed a debate between Michael Behe and his supporters, on one hand, and Behe’s critics on the other, over arguments in his book Darwin Devolves about mutations in polar bear genes. The discussion has now come to end. Having heard what critics have to say and having responded extensively, we believe the evidence comes down decisively on Behe’s side.  Barring startling new revelations from the research community, nothing more needs to be said for now. But because this conversation has been intense, technical, and complex, it seems fitting to offer a concise summary. (Along with apologies if, like us, you are suffering from a bit of polar bear fatigue.) Find the full Seminar here. Behe’s Case Behe’s main thesis in Darwin Devolves is that adaptive

Polar Bear Seminar: New Evidence That Michael Behe Is Right

A major question in the ongoing debate over Darwin Devolves is whether Michael Behe was correct to claim that the polar bear gene APOB experienced degradative mutations. At first blush it may seem surprising that this particular gene has become such a focus of the debate. After all, Behe in his book provides many examples of genes experiencing adaptive yet degradative mutations. Perhaps all the attention is because APOB is one of the examples he gives at the beginning of the book.  Whatever the reason, there are some things that are clear about APOB that most everyone agrees on, and some things that are less clear. The latter, unsurprisingly, remain disputed. Given what is known, Behe’s thesis is reasonable. It is backed up by good evidence. What follows is a review of some

Read Carefully, Nature News Conspires to Refute Darwinism

The mainstream media avoid any hint of questioning Darwinian evolution, of course. On the contrary, they cast skeptics as bad citizens. The science news itself, though, tells a different story, if you read it carefully. Here are nuggets of news to chew on. The subjects vary tremendously, but from different directions they converge on intelligent design.  Habitability Leah Crane writes in New Scientist, “We’ve found 4,000 exoplanets but almost zero are right for life.” Any surprises there? An Earth so finely fit for millions of species bears the hallmarks of a privileged planet. “We have found more than 4,000 planets orbiting distant stars,” she writes, “but it turns out that probably none of them have the right conditions for life to evolve, making Earth even more