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Watch: Behe and Metaxas Talk Evolution, Design, Implications, and Academic Freedom

David Klinghoffer | @d_klinghoffer

evolution

There’s so much to enjoy in the newly released video of Eric Metaxas interviewing Michael Behe for Socrates in the City. The city in this case is Bethlehem, PA, where Behe teaches at Lehigh University. Metaxas is hilarious, and Behe has a fine sense of humor himself. They make the science in Professor Behe’s already accessible new book, Darwin Devolves, even more accessible. Watch it here now:

A highlight: Behe’s last book, The Edge of Evolution, got a snide review from Richard Dawkins in the New York Times Book Review. Dawkins concluded by triumphantly calling as witnesses against Behe the 500 or so dog breeds. Listen to their “mocking barks and deep, baying howls of derision,” “every one descended from a timber wolf within a time frame so short as to seem, by geological standards, instantaneous.” Ergo, unguided Darwinian evolution.

As Behe explains to Metaxas, in fact the legions of mutated wolf descendants make precisely the point that’s at the heart of Darwin Devolves. They got to be that way predominantly by breaking genes, irrecoverably, that is by devolution from the primordial wolf ancestor. That’s what evolution does, for the most part, and it forms a hard boundary to what it can do. No matter the human intelligent design (to speak precisely) that went into breeding them, dogs can’t vary beyond certain fixed limits of what Eric humorously calls “dogness.” They’re an icon of evolution that demonstrates the very opposite lesson to the one Dawkins thought.

From the science they turn to the world view implication of denying life’s design and to hardly less grave subject of how even in America, scientists are not permitted to pursue and teach the truth as they see it. Behe recounts that he himself was on board with Darwinism until right around the time he got tenure and read a book by Michael Denton. 

Meanwhile, he’s seen careers devastated when other, more vulnerable figures in the science world spoke up too soon. Of course the establishment has other weapons to use even on the tenured. It’s how the “consensus” on evolution is maintained, you know.

Photo: Michael Behe and Eric Metaxas (screen shot), via YouTube/Socrates in the City.