This episode of ID the Future features Darwin Devolves author Michael Behe. The Lehigh University biologist and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow sat down to answer some of the most common questions put to him about evolution and intelligent design, and here we collect his answers to three of those questions: (1) What are some new examples of irreducibly complex systems? (2) What are some objections to ID from well-known critics? And (3) Why aren’t you convinced by theistic evolution arguments?
On this episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe reviews the Long Term Evolution Experiment at Michigan State, where Richard Lenski’s team was initially excited to see what they thought was a new species forming in their flasks of E. coli. As Behe has written at Evolution News, one flask of E. coli in Lenski’s experiment evolved the ability to metabolize (“eat”) citrate in the presence of oxygen. But along with it came multiple mutations breaking genes, degrading genetic information, and ultimately increasing the bacteria’s death rates. It all goes to support Behe’s thesis in Darwin Devolves: evolution is good at creating niche advantages by breaking things; it isn’t good at building fundamentally novel form, the very thing the Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe and host Andrew McDiarmid discuss the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, now being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19, and how it may work on the cellular level against the coronavirus. The same drug was featured in Behe’s 2007 book The Edge of Evolution, as part of his demonstration that evolution has strict limits: It can do adaptive work for organisms with single mutations, but if just two coordinated mutations are required at once, evolution’s random processes have great difficulty even with natural selection helping them along. In cases where population sizes are enormous, as with malaria, it can eventually overcome the need for two simultaneous and coordinated mutations, but only just Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid and biochemist Michael Behe discuss the pandemic coronavirus known as COVID-19. The two move through a series of questions, some straightforward, others more speculative. What is a virus and where did this one come from? Why is it so much worse than other coronavirus strains? What sort of evolution is involved here? Does the human species have any ancient, shared genetic relationship with viruses? And why are there viruses in the first place?
On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Witt caught up with Darwin’s Black Box author and biochemist Michael Behe at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith conference, where the two discuss an idea that many wish would just go away, but hasn’t. Charles Darwin himself told us how his evolutionary theory could be overturned: identify a biological system that couldn’t possibly have evolved by “numerous success successive slight modifications.” It’s to Darwin’s credit that he put his theory in “empirical harm’s way,” to quote philosopher Del Ratzsch, but as Witt and Behe note, Darwin also cleverly placed the burden of proof on his opponents, an arguably dubious maneuver given that his proposed evolutionary mechanism has never once been observed Read More ›
On this ID the Future we continue a series of messages from a November 2019 symposium in Berkeley, California, presented in honor of the late Phillip Johnson, who played a crucial role in the flowering of the intelligent design movement. Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe discusses the closing sections of his new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. He compares evolutionary biology in Darwin’s time and today to the world of astronomy before and after the telescope was invented. The cell was a black box to Darwin and his contemporaries. Today we can explore that black box like never before, much better even than even two decades ago, allowing us to observe what evolution can actually do at the molecular level. According to Behe, the answer is, not much. Evolution can create niche advantages by breaking certain things, but it doesn’t build fundamentally new structures or new machines. Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid continues his series with Michael Behe about Behe’s new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. Here Behe explains the “Revenge of the Principle of Comparative Difficulty,” According to this principle, evolution it is much easier for evolution to create a new adaptive niche by damaging one or more genes than even the simplest new genes and irreducibly complex structures. Along the way, Behe also explores how biology got enamored of mathematical theory built on “hopeful ignorance” regarding the nature of genes.
On this episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe speaks further about his new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. Behe explains how evolutionists in the past had freedom to use their imaginations to suppose ways evolution could achieve major innovations, but new research at the molecular level now reveals obstacles previously unimagined. The most productive adaptations in nature tend overwhelmingly to be in one direction, Behe says, degrading or destroying genes, and no series of mutations have ever demonstrated the kind of coordinated effects needed to produce new systems.