Alright, I waded through Behe’s Edge of Evolution.

It provides no positive argument. At all. Counting here its argument from incredulity just for what it is: what biologists can’t readily explain to Behe’s satisfaction must allow for some other explanation. His acceptance of some features of evolution turns out to be complete non-acceptance because he’s enthused by the presumably magical cause at nearly the lowest level, the level everything above it developmentally biological rests upon, so-to-speak. If he has an idea about a superior explanation he offers it nowhere in his book.

Behe, from his Amazon blog. “Like Coyne, Carroll simply overlooks observational evidence that goes against Darwinian views.”

The biologist’s understanding of biological development may come to views that refine or overturn Darwin, but, when this happens, biologists will apprehend a demonstrably superior expanation of how this biological development occurs in nature. Behe hasn’t offered anything explanatory at all.

Behe: “That data demonstrates random mutation doesn’t explain the elegance of cellular systems.”

Okay, said elegant systems are explained by what theory of Behe’s?

By the way, pragmatically, the hallmark of design is anticipation of the prospective result of agency-in-application-to-a-result. Where there is design there is likely to exist evidence of anticipation. This allows us to discern the marvelous apparent undesigned representational veracity of the cloud looking like a bunny rabbit from a designed drawing of a bunny rabbit. Consider what cognitive features anticipation, thus design, are predicated by, contingent upon. You may arrive at a thrilling insight.

On July 1 Richard Dawkins demolishes Behe in the NYT Book Review pointing out that his central hypothesis has already been subjected to definitive experimentation.

But let’s follow Behe down his solitary garden path and see where his overrating of random mutation leads him. He thinks there are not enough mutations to allow the full range of evolution we observe. There is an “edge,” beyond which God must step in to help. Selection of random mutation may explain the malarial parasite’s resistance to chloroquine, but only because such micro-organisms have huge populations and short life cycles. A fortiori, for Behe, evolution of large, complex creatures with smaller populations and longer generations will fail, starved of mutational raw materials.

If mutation, rather than selection, really limited evolutionary change, this should be true for artificial no less than natural selection. Domestic breeding relies upon exactly the same pool of mutational variation as natural selection. Now, if you sought an experimental test of Behe’s theory, what would you do? You’d take a wild species, say a wolf that hunts caribou by long pursuit, and apply selection experimentally to see if you could breed, say, a dogged little wolf that chivies rabbits underground: let’s call it a Jack Russell terrier.

Read the review for the astonishing payoff!

Leave a Comment

Filed under science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *