On today’s ID the Future biologist Michael Behe and Philosophy for the People host Pat Flynn conclude their conversation (posted by permission here) about some of the best objections to Behe’s central case for intelligent design. One objection Behe and Flynn tackle in this episode: the idea of evolution overcoming the irreducible-complexity hurdle through co-option. That is, maybe the precursors to what would become one of today’s molecular machines, such as the bacterial flagellum motor, co-opted simpler machines being used for other purposes, allowing evolution to build a bacterial flagellum motor one small step at a time over thousands or millions of generations, even though the completed bacterial flagellum ceases to function at all when just one of its many key parts is removed. Behe has illustrated the idea of irreducible complexity with a mechanical mousetrap. Take away just one of its several key parts and it ceases to function even a little bit as a mousetrap. Evolutionist Kenneth Miller counters by noting that parts of the mousetrap could have served other purposes, such as a paper weight or a tie clip. Listen in to hear Behe’s explanation as to why such imaginative reasoning is no help to the evolution of irreducibly complex biological wonders like the bacterial flagellum. At the end of the conversation, Flynn points listeners to a web page where he has gathered his several conversations with Behe over the years, including two that involved debates with pro-evolution guests. That page is here. Flynn also calls attention to Behe’s four books, including his latest one, where he answers many objections posed by his critics, with many of the critiques appearing in high-level science journals. The book is A Mousetrap for Darwin. You can get it here and here in hardcover, paperback, or Kindle/eBook.
On today’s ID the Future Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe addresses what Philosophy for the People host Pat Flynn considers some of the best objections to Behe’s central intelligent design argument. As far back as the 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box, Behe has argued that certain features in biology are irreducibly complex. That is, they require numerous essential parts, each carefully fitted to its task and integrated with the other parts, in order for the molecular machine or system to function at all. Two examples are the bacterial flagellum motor and the blood clotting cascade. Such systems are, in Behe’s words, irreducibly complex and could not have arisen through any blind and gradual evolution process. The better explanation for their origin: intelligent design. Since Darwin’s Black Box became a bestseller a generation ago, Behe has attracted opponents in places high and low. Following the philosopher Alvin Plantinga, Flynn says that some of the attacks on Behe have been hysterical, but some have been more thoughtful. In this series Flynn focuses the discussion on what he regards as some of the more substantive and interesting objections, beginning with one from a noted philosopher who is partly sympathetic to Behe’s work, Plantinga himself. Behe gamely responds. This episode is used by permission of Pat Flynn. To see Behe’s responses to common and key objections collected in a single book book, get your copy of his newest book, A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael J. Behe Answers His Critics.