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Behe on Darwinism’s “Socially Inherited Dependence on Classical Yet Irrelevant Math”

David Klinghoffer

“Natural selection, irreducible complexity, and random mutation all reinforce each other to make Darwinian evolution very limited,” explains biochemist Michael Behe on a new ID the Future episode. That means Behe must tackle a tough question: if the limits of Darwinian evolution are so clear, as he shows in his new book Darwin Devolves, why do gifted scientists like Richard Lenski and Joseph Thornton persist in hanging on to the failed theory, against the evidence of their own experiments? 

Talking with host Andrew McDiarmid, Behe traces the errant thinking to an outdated mathematical picture taken from Ronald Fisher (1890-1962) and his 1930 book, The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. This highly influential work was written before scientists knew what genes actually are. It’s not surprising that Fisher missed the role of broken genes in containing the creative potential of unguided evolution.

Through “a socially inherited dependence on classical yet irrelevant math,” present-day researchers are saddled with Fisher’s own “hopeful ignorance.” Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Photo: Ronald Fisher at age 23, via University of Adelaide [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.