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Behe on Darwinism’s Rescue Helicopters


Darwinian evolution is a 19th-century scientific theory of biological origins, from before genetics, before advanced microscopy, a time when the scientific understanding of the basis of life was foggy at best. It sounds improbable that such a theory would survive unamended into the 21st century. In fact, some Darwinists insist that Darwinism has been superseded, even killed off, by alternatives — just not anything suggestive of intelligent design. More sensibly, such “adds-ons” are understood as efforts to rescue the original theory.

On a new episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about these alternatives — the rescue helicopters of the world of evolutionary biology — that seek to save the creaky relic of unguided evolution. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Who’s Rescuing Whom?

Some favorite rescuers include, perhaps most prominently, neutral theory, along with evolutionary developmental biology, natural genetic engineering, game theory, and the multiverse. About rescue animals and their owners, you often hear that it’s hard to say who is rescuing whom. Would anyone be talking about the completely evidence-free multiverse if it weren’t for the need to save materialist theories from their own inadequacies? The big problem, though, with all of these add-ons is that none begins to explain how complex innovations in life arise. But that is what we really mean when we talk about “evolution.”

The conversation is based on Part 2 of Behe’s new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. The book has been the subject of intense scientific debate, most recently in the form of an exchange with colleagues Greg Lang and Amber Rice in Dr. Behe’s own department at Lehigh University. Behe responds to them here, here, and here. Without giving anything away, I can tell you that in the discussion sparked by Darwin Devolves, there is much more to come!

Photo credit: A rescue helicopter, by U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read, via Flickr.