Just in time for Academic Freedom Day, Feb. 12 (aka Darwin Day), graduate student Michael Barton at Montana State University boasts of regularly going into his local bookstore and purging books critical of Darwin from the science section of the store and reshelving them in the religion section. This past Sunday Barton posted a report about his most recent act of vandalism: Today I moved [Michael Behe’s] The Edge of Evolution and [Benjamin Wiker’s] The Darwin Myth away from the shelve directly under where copies of Dawkins’s The Greatest Show on Earth were, and placed them next to—I just had to—the Adventure Bible and the Princess Bible in the religion section. Whatever Barton claims, his actions constitute censorship, pure and Read More ›
More than a thousand people attended the second day of the Legacy of Darwin ID Conference this weekend in Castle Rock, Colorado. Saturday morning started off with a strong talk by Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, who synthesized the main points of his books Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution. Behe, in his usual winsome and accessible style, drove home just how much empirical evidence has accumulated in recent years demonstrating the sharp limits to the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection and random mutations. During the question period that followed, two people offered long-winded “questions” to Behe that seemed to come straight from the talking points of the National Center for Science Education.
[This four part series responding to Paul Gross can be seen in: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] In his review of Michael Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution, Paul Gross wrongly claims that cosmic fine-tuning is rejected by mainstream physicists. Gross writes that “as proof of intelligent design [Behe] now hitches it to the strong anthropic principle: a universe fine-tuned for human life, and not by accident. … mainstream … cosmology remain[s] unimpressed.” First, cosmic design is a minimal component of Behe’s book, which primarily focuses on biological design. Second, there are a variety of respected physicists who believe that cosmic find-tuning is a valid inference from the data. Indeed, Gross seems to have forgotten that numerous Read More ›
[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 ›
[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 ›