Behe’s Critics Use Faulty Logic to Allege Creationist Connections to the Origin of Irreducible Complexity

Quarterly Review of Biology (QRB) published an error-filled article attacking Michael Behe and intelligent design (ID) as penance for publishing Behe’s article. So much for the claim from critics that Behe’s QRB paper had nothing to do with ID. In any case, the critical article by Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke, and Johan Braeckman uses fallacious logic to attempt to connect Michael Behe’s arguments from irreducible complexity to young earth creationism. There argument seems to be that if anyone anywhere who is a creationist has ever talked about an idea that sounds like irreducible complexity, then that was necessarily one of Behe’s sources for his ideas. Behe’s critics thus quote Henry Morris and other creationists talking about how some biological features Read More ›

Michael Behe’s “First Rule of Adaptive Evolution” Could Undermine the Evolution of Functional Coding Elements

After reviewing the effects of mutations upon Functional Coding ElemenTs (FCTs), Michael Behe’s recent review article in Quarterly Review of Biology, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution’,” offers some conclusions. In particular, as the title suggests, Behe introduces a rule of thumb he calls the “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: “Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.” In essence, what Behe means is that mutations that cause loss-of-FCT are going to be far more likely and thus far more common than those which gain a functional coding element. In fact, he writes: “the rate of appearance of an adaptive mutation that would arise from the diminishment Read More ›

Michael Behe’s Quarterly Review of Biology Paper Critiques Richard Lenski’s E. Coli Evolution Experiments

In a previous post, I discussed Michael Behe’s recent paper in Quarterly Review of Biology, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution’,” which reviews much recent work in the field of bacterial evolution. He devotes particular space, however, to the research of Richard Lenski, who has now grown over 50,000 generations of E coli in the lab to study its evolution. Lenski’s work was cited by Richard Dawkins most recent book (The Greatest Show on Earth) as the ultimate refutation of irreducible complexity. Dawkins’ book, however, made a straw man argument by discussing a misguided attack on Lenski’s work by Conservapedia editor Andrew Schalfly, completely ignoring critiques of Lenski’s research by Behe in The Edge of Read More ›