Darwin’s Black Box thrust Michael Behe to the forefront of the intelligent design movement. The Lehigh University biochemist has haunted the dreams of Darwinists ever since. Each of his three books sparked a firestorm of criticism, in everything from the New York Times and the journal Science to the private blogs of professional atheists. Over the years, Behe has had a delightful time rebutting each attack, and now his responses are collected in a single volume entitled A Mousetrap for Darwin.
The book’s title alludes to Behe’s homey illustration for his idea of irreducible complexity. A mousetrap with a missing part doesn’t work just a little worse. It doesn’t work at all. The same goes for the bacterial flagellum pictured on the cover of the new collection. Ditto for an array of other ingenious molecular biological machines discovered in recent years. Can mindless evolutionary processes arrange biochemical parts into these complex functional wholes one small step at a time? Behe argues that a raft of new evidence — from the study of evolving microbes to the mutations in animals from dogs to polar bears — suggests that blind evolution cannot. Rather, Darwin’s mechanism works principally by breaking things for short term benefit. It doesn’t build anything fundamentally new.
What does? Intelligent design. According to Behe, one of the most powerful arguments that he is on the right track is the sheer vacuity of the attacks leveled against him, many offered by undeniably brilliant scientists. But are those criticisms really as empty as he thinks, or has Behe met his match? Look for A Mousetrap for Darwin on Amazon this fall and decide for yourself!
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