On a new episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid chats with Michael Behe about the pre-publication response to Behe’s new book, Darwin Devolves, which is out next week. The review in Science by Lents, Swamidass, and Lenski was the subject of a detailed reply by Behe at Evolution News, “Train Wreck of a Review: A Response to Lenski et al. in Science.”
Science is, of course, the leading science journal in the United States. This was their big chance. Despite the demonstrated multitude of problems with what they wrote, lead author Nathan Lents has responded that, “We stand by our review.” The way people use language, to say you “stand by” something or someone often reflects an implicit recognition that your cause is badly damaged. For an even more detailed treatment of Lents’s own misrepresentation of Behe, see here.
However, Professor Behe seeks to give the benefit of the doubt. “Darwinists,” he explains, “are famously slow to recognize problems for their theory.” He is waiting patiently for them to catch up.
Behe notes the oddity of having three authors on a book review — “It seems to me there’s something weird going on.” Agreed. I can’t recall a precedent for it. Yet despite the combined brainpower, the reviewers could not muster a substantive reply to his book’s main point. Maybe, Behe speculates, “They’re going to save their big points for when they aren’t writing in Science Magazine.”
The Ordinary Darwinian Process
The lesson of Darwin Devolves is, as Behe tells McDiarmid, that “It’s so much easier to break stuff than to make stuff.” The ordinary process of Darwinian evolution is one where “You’re going downhill. You’re losing genetic information.” The authors of the review assume that the unguided evolutionary mechanism is, nevertheless, up to the task of crafting life’s wonders. This is typical question-begging. Behe: “Strange as it may seem to people who aren’t in the field, it seems many Darwinian biologists have trouble separating the question of what has happened in life from how it happened in life.”
The latter is the question posed by Darwin Devolves. The publication date is next Tuesday. So that gives you, now, exactly four days to pre-order if you want to get the great perks that come along with doing so.
Photo: Michael Behe, waiting patiently, in a scene from Revolutionary: Michael Behe and the Mystery of Molecular Machines.