Rebuttal to Paul Gross’ Review of The Edge of Evolution – Error #3: Ignoring Behe’s Rebuttal of Exaptation Speculation

[This four part series responding to Paul Gross can be seen in: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] An urban legend has cropped up among Darwinists that Michael Behe ignores indirect routes of evolution, commonly called “exaptation,” when he argues for irreducible complexity. In his review of The Edge of Evolution in The New Criterion, anti-ID biologist Paul Gross wrongly accuses that “Behe had failed to understand ‘exaptation’ (the use of an available part in function ‘B’ despite its original function ‘A’).” But in Darwin’s Black Box, Behe clearly accounts for exaptation and explains why it does not refute irreducible complexity: “Even if a system is irreducibly complex (and thus cannot have been produced directly), however, one can Read More ›

Rebuttal to Paul Gross’ Review of The Edge of Evolution – Error #2: Failing to Stay Positive

[This four part series responding to Paul Gross can be seen in: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] In Paul Gross’ review of The Edge of Evolution he wrongly claims Behe’s argument for design is merely a negative argument against evolution. Gross asserts that Behe argues for ID by “offer[ing] some claim that Darwinism is wrong, with the (unwarranted) conclusion that life is therefore the work of an intelligent agent.” (emphasis in original) This misrepresents Behe’s argument. Behe does not say that because Darwinian evolution has flaws, therefore intelligent design is proven correct. As Behe writes in the afterward to the new edition of Darwin’s Black Box: [I]rreducibly complex systems such as mousetraps and flagella serve both as Read More ›

Rebuttal to Paul Gross’s Review of Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution – Error #1: A Calculation Is not “A Mere Guess”

[This four part series responding to Paul Gross can be seen in: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] In 2005, Michael Behe published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Design for Living. Paul Gross has now reviewed Michael Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution in The New Criterion, using exactly the same title as Behe’s 2005 New York Times op-ed, accusing Behe of making so many mistakes that “it would need a book longer than The Edge to restate the model together with its already noticed (in print and online) errors and omissions.” Yet as I will recount in this four-part response, Dr. Gross’s review has many mistakes, and many of his key criticisms of Behe 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 ›