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Michael Behe on Why Lenski’s Experiments Show Devolution, Not Evolution

Photo: Richard Lenski’s LTEE, by Brian Baer and Neerja Hajela [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

On a classic episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe reviews the well-known Long Term Evolution Experiment at Michigan State, where evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski’s team was initially excited to see what they thought was a new species of E. coli forming in their flasks. As Behe has written here at Evolution News, one flask of E. coli in Lenski’s experiment evolved the ability to metabolize (“eat”) citrate in the presence of oxygen. But along with it came multiple mutations breaking genes, degrading genetic information, and ultimately increasing the bacteria’s death rates. It all goes to support Behe’s thesis in his book Darwin Devolves: evolution is good at creating niche advantages by breaking things; it isn’t good at building fundamentally novel forms, the very thing the grand narrative of modern evolutionary theory purports that it does. Download the podcast or listen to it here.