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Evolutionist Attacks Behe Book’s Title

David Klinghoffer


Wow, this is lame. Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True has learned of Michael Behe’s forthcoming Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA that Challenges Evolution. (Preorder it now to get the excellent free perks.) Of course he’s unhappy about it, but check out the ridiculous objections. He doesn’t like the title:

Let me point out here that the phrase “that challenges evolution” has an unclear antecedent, either the new science that challenges evolution — what he clearly means — or the DNA itself that challenges evolution. Bad title!

Since we’re nitpicking, “that challenges evolution” is a relative clause, not a phrase. (A clause has a verb in it.) And there’s nothing “unclear” about what the relative pronoun “that” refers to. DNA is a molecule and obviously a molecule in itself doesn’t “challenge” an idea such as evolution. But the “New Science about DNA” can, and does. Coyne himself says that’s what Behe “clearly means.” So if it’s “clear” according to Coyne, how can the antecedent be “unclear”?

He goes on to complain that HarperCollins “should be ashamed at [sic] itself for publishing the biology equivalent of flat-Earthism.” Only someone who has not understood the challenge of ID to Darwinism could write that sentence. Coyne threatens to read Behe’s book: “I’ll have more to say about it after I’ve read it.” Yeah, sure. He’s said as much before and, as far as I can recall, not followed up on it.

But here is the lamest thing of all: a prominent participant in a debate, decrying an idea he doesn’t understand and on which he hasn’t bothered to educate himself. Professor Coyne should go back to posting cat videos and pictures of his meals.

Photo: Michael Behe, author of Darwin Devolves, via Discovery Institute.