February 13, 2019 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin Debate Heats Up

Controversy surrounding Michael Behe’s latest book is just the tip of the iceberg.

The debate about Darwin vs Design may be heating up again. Michael Behe’s new book Darwin Devolves, coming out this month, has already gotten a trashing in Science Magazine by three evolutionists, Lenski, Lents and Swamidass. If Science would just print the responses to the review by Brian Miller, John West and Behe himself at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, Darwin might be pleased. Pleased? Yes, because he himself said,

A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859), Introduction.

The Darwinians claim that Behe has not responded to critiques by other evolutionists refuting his science. John West shows in his rebuttal that responding to critics is exactly what Behe has done repeatedly. In fact, the evidence for his replies is so clear, and the claims of Lenski et al. that he has not are so blatantly false, that West accuses them of either sloppy research of the literature or outright fraud. It appears that the Darwinians and their enablers at the AAAS want to head Behe off at the pass by influencing readers of Science to ignore the book when it hits the press. They even republished their Behe-trashing article on a public blog, perhaps in hopes of awaking rabid Darwinian attack dogs in social media to spread it far and wide.

By making a pre-emptive strike two weeks before Behe’s book came out, Science clearly has failed to fully state and balance the facts and arguments on both sides. If the past is a guide, they will certainly ignore any rebuttals submitted by Behe, even though he is a tenured biochemist at Lehigh University. But Dr Behe has made another run around the academic censors: he has published a 41-unit course on intelligent design and evolution. Now anyone can hear him fully state and balance the facts and arguments on at least his side of this important question. In the process, viewers will also hear Behe give a fair hearing about what all the leading Darwinists say, from 1859 to the present. In his mild-mannered, matter-of-fact, non-threatening style, Dr Behe does what he is good at: teaching.

Behe’s section on Darwinism and neo-Darwinism is so nonsectarian, in fact, that watchers might think he agrees with it. In the next segment, “The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis and Beyond,” cracks start to appear. Behe mentions many leading Darwinians who are not satisfied with neo-Darwinian theory. This is all before Behe even discusses the science of intelligent design in any depth. If neo-Darwinism were the solid edifice it is made out to be in the press, where it is taken for granted as obvious, why would so many knowledgeable biologists be admitting its severe weaknesses and looking for alternatives?

The Discovery Institute announced another milestone that shows the debate may be heating up. Recently their “Dissent from Darwin” list surpassed 1,000 scientists who publicly agreed with the statement,

We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism

As David Klinghoffer explains, this number is most likely just the tip of the iceberg. Many in academia know that their careers are at stake if they were to express agreement with Behe or speak well of intelligent design. That a thousand are willing to come out publicly (and many on camera in the Darwin Day video on Evolution News) could signal the approach of a tipping point when scientists feel safe to express their views in the open. When that day comes, Darwinism could collapse quickly, leaving many to wonder how it ever became such a dogma in the first place.

Dr Jerry Bergman, who contributed yesterday’s entry, has written extensively about how the Darwinians maintain their power through intimidation and persecution. Chapter 17 in the third volume of his Slaughter of the Dissidents series of books, Censoring the Darwin Skeptics, contains an account of what they did to me. Overheard recently was one relative telling his brother, ‘Don’t read it unless you are prepared to get really mad.’

Dr Bergman’s 3 books contain true stories of careers ruined by Darwinist bigots.

All three books are unique. They all contain personal case studies of Darwinian persecution, but they also go into detail about the underhanded tactics evolutionists use to keep people from even hearing any fully-stated facts and arguments on both sides of this foundational question: who are we, and where did we come from?

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  • mrsmith says:

    It may sound crazy and/or nearly impossible, but I think Michael Behe should sue Science magazine for defamation.

  • tjguy says:

    Behe, in a response to his critics wrote this: “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution: Break or blunt any gene WHOSE LOSS WOULD INCREASE THE NUMBER OF OFFSPRING. The rule summarizes the fact that the overwhelming tendency of random mutation is to degrade genes, and THAT VERY OFTEN IS HELPFUL. Thus natural selection itself acts as a powerful de-volutionary force, increasing helpful broken and degraded genes in the population.”

    To be honest, I’m not sure this can really be called a “Rule of Adaptive Evolution”. Evolution has no rules. It is not an entity and therefore does not “know” which genes, if degraded, might provide a benefit under certain conditions. It doesn’t seek out those genes. Sure, you can find some examples of mutated genes that do provide some benefit, but is this really “VERY OFTEN” the case?

    I’m on board with the degrading of the genome through evolution, but I don’t think few examples of benefit provided accidentally through mutations can really be considered a rule of adaptive evolution. I have not read the book though so I will withhold judgment for now.

  • tjguy says:

    Reading this new review of his book helped me better understand some of what he is trying to say: https://www.booksataglance.com/book-reviews/darwin-devolves-the-new-science-about-dna-that-challenges-evolution-by-michael-j-behe/

    From that review, I copied the following quote from his book:

    “Even as it helps a species to adapt to its present environment in strict conformity with Darwin’s theory, random mutation is much more likely to damage genetic information than to build it. Over time that relentless tendency fences life in, making it less and less flexible. In retrospect, the easy production of new species and genera by widely diverse organisms—plants, insects, reptiles, fish, birds, as discussed in Chapter 6—coupled with the failure to generate any new higher classification categories [family, order, etc.] are exactly what we should have expected from a blind process that can trade genetic inheritance for short-term gain (199).”

    This almost sounds like what creationists believe – that God created the original kinds and then evolution set in and created the vast number of species and genera. Sounds like an interesting book. I’m sure CMI and other organizations will publish a book review after it comes out. I’m anxious to read what they have to say.

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