Michael J. Behe A (R)evolutionary Biologist

Next Week: Responding to Ian Musgrave’s “Open Letter to Dr. Michael Behe”


Dear Readers,

Usually I use this space to address reviews of The Edge of Evolution that have appeared in print in journals, newspapers, or magazines. The reason is that usually print media recruit leading figures in evolutionary biology to write a review, and so those reviews represent the thoughts of some of the best minds in the field. Examining their thoughts, then, can quickly give us a good understanding of whether there are ready answers to the challenges and arguments posed by The Edge. After all, if reviews by the likes of Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne fail to engage the arguments of the book, and instead rely mainly on bluster and non sequiturs, then that’s solid evidence that no good replies exist.

This series of posts (besides this intro, there will be five posts over the next week) will be different. Here I will address a post on the blog The Panda’s Thumb by a man named Ian Musgrave. Musgrave, a professor at the University of Adelaide, wrote “An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Behe”, in which he questioned my earlier reply to a woman named Abbie Smith, who is a graduate student working on HIV. Musgrave asserts that my response to her was scientifically inadequate and uncivil. I disagree strongly on both counts. Next week I explain why. (I will quote portions of Musgrave and Smith’s posts. The posts can be read in their entirety onThe Panda’s Thumbblog. All references will appear with the final post.)

Michael J. Behe

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Michael J. Behe is Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. Behe's current research involves delineation of design and natural selection in protein structures. In his career he has authored over 40 technical papers and three books, Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, and The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, which argue that living system at the molecular level are best explained as being the result of deliberate intelligent design.