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Behe on Joseph Thornton’s Work: “A Big Monkey Wrench that Even I Did Not Expect”

David Klinghoffer

In Darwin Devolves, Michael Behe demonstrates the limitations of unguided evolution from the work of “dyed in the wool” Darwinists themselves. We’ve focused so far on National Academy of Sciences member Richard Lenski at Michigan State, with whom Behe has had an extensive back-and-forth.

Lenski has conducted the famed Long Term Evolution Experiment on which Behe draws extensively. But another outstanding researcher, Joseph Thornton at the University of Chicago, also comes in for praise and examination in the book. Professor Behe talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about Thornton’s work, which throws “a big monkey wrench [in the strained argument for Darwinism] that even I did not expect.”

Download the podcast or listen to it here.

It was interesting to see fellow University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne casually shoehorn Thornton into a Washington Post review of Darwin Devolves as a supposed defeater for irreducible complexity. As Behe noted here, “I spent half of Chapter 8 on Thornton’s work, discussing why it shows deep and unexpected problems for Darwinian evolution. Coyne not only doesn’t summarize my argument, he doesn’t even tell readers I make one.” That is typical.

Photo: A monkey wrench, by Andrew Plumb, via Flickr (cropped).