Pandas Thumb Fails to Refute Michael Behe on HIV Evolution

Pandas Thumb guest contributor Abbie Smith has posted an alleged refutation of Michael Behe. Behe stated in The Edge of Evolution that “in just the past few decades HIV has actually undergone more of certain kinds of mutations than all cells have endured since the beginning of the world.” However, Behe then observed that “those mutations, while medically important, have changed the functioning virus very little. It still has the same number of genes that work in the same way. There is no new molecular machinery.” Smith claims that Behe’s statement is refuted, but her evidence is nothing more than the fact that Human HIV-1 has a gene called Vpu which was present in HIV when it first infected humans, Read More ›

Sean Carroll Fails to Scale The Edge of Evolution (Part IV): Mistaking Protein Sequence Similarity for Natural Selection

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 4 of a 4-part response. The full response can be read here.] In Part I of this series, I discussed Sean Carroll’s misrepresentations of Michael Behe’s arguments in The Edge of Evolution. Part II exposed a citation referenced by Carroll which, rather than refuting Behe, actually confirms him. Part III explained the fact that many of Carroll’s citations discuss meager examples of evolution that Behe finds fall well within the humble creative capabilities of Darwinian evolution. Carroll has thus far failed to engage Behe’s actual arguments. Carroll does make an attempt to tackle the origin of a couple complex biological features. Yet these attempts fail because they confuse the evidence for common descent from sequence Read More ›

Sean Carroll Fails to Scale The Edge of Evolution (Part III): Is Carroll Scared of Approaching the Edge of Evolution?

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a 4-part response. The full response can be read here.] In Part I of this series, I discussed how Sean Carroll’s review of Michael Behe’s new book, The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, misrepresents and oversimplifies Behe’s arguments. In Part II, I discussed the fact that one of Carroll’s citations actually confirms Behe’s argument that there is an edge to evolution, and that evolution tends to not proceed forward when additional mutations decrease functionality. In this installment, I will discuss how many of Carroll’s cited papers report types of evolution that Behe readily concedes can occur, and are unimpressive examples within the “edge” of evolution. It’s Easier to Read More ›

Sean Carroll Fails to Scale The Edge of Evolution (Part II): Carroll’s Citations Actually Confirm Michael Behe’s Arguments

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a 4-part response. The full response can be read here.] In my previous post, I explained how Sean Carroll’s review of Michael Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution badly misrepresented Behe’s arguments. Behe has responded to many of Carroll’s arguments here, but unfortunately for Carroll, it gets much worse. One paper Carroll cites in an attempt to refute Behe actually explicitly confirms Behe’s position that there are limits to the creative power of Darwinian processes. Carroll argues that Behe claims that “multiple-amino acid replacements therefore can’t happen.” In contrast to Carroll’s misrepresentation, Behe’s actual position contends evolution can proceed forward where there is a stepwise advantage gained with each mutation, but Behe also Read More ›

Sean Carroll Fails to Scale The Edge of Evolution (Part I): How Carroll Misrepresents Michael Behe’s Arguments

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a 4-part response. The full response can be read here.] A few months ago we discussed my review of Sean B. Carroll’s book The Making of the Fittest, the book in which Carroll intimates that the salvation of our species hangs upon accepting Darwin. Carroll has now invoked his own religious metaphors in his review of Michael Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism in Science. While Michael Behe himself responds to Carroll here, I have a few comments which follow. Carroll postures himself as Thomas Henry Huxley debating Bishop Samuel Wilberforce in a famous 19th century debate over evolution. Carroll even opens the review by invoking Read More ›