Michael J. Behe A (R)evolutionary Biologist


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A Darwinist Recognizes (Some of) the Stakes in the Intelligent Design Debate

Here is a Darwinist with a fair and clear-headed understanding of the intellectual and spiritual stakes in the evolution debate. Or rather, some of the stakes. Jamie Milton Freestone is a postdoc at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Writing at Areo, he asks bluntly, “Does Darwinism Conflict with Religion?”  He’s probably right that many people, including otherwise thoughtful ones, don’t give the question any serious thought. And he’s right that it all depends on how you understand what “evolution” means. His comments on intelligent design are remarkably civil, and I was amused by his designation of our colleague Michael Behe as “the intelligent design equivalent of Dawkins.” That might not be too far

Humans Evolving? Armed with the Evidence, the Story Breaks Down

Editor’s note: Eric Anderson is an attorney, software company executive, and co-author of the recently released book, Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell.  This past week, science readers woke up to breathless headlines about our own continuing evolution. The evidence? An extra artery in the forearm of some adults. This time it wasn’t about some obscure bird on a remote island. This was us — hard evidence that humans are still evolving! Given this personal interest factor, the story quickly spread. "Evolution arms us with an extra artery,” as Cosmos quipped. A Science Alert headline was more direct, both about the observation and the implications: “More Humans Are Growing an Extra Artery in Our Arms, Showing We’re Still Evolving.” Reporting in the Journal

Really? Editors Claim They Were “Unaware” of Article’s Intelligent Design Connections

As John West reported, the co-Chief Editors of the Journal of Theoretical Biology capitulated to intelligent design (ID) critics and added a disclaimer to a groundbreaking peer-reviewed article on intelligent design. They say they were “unaware” that the authors had added the keyword “intelligent design” to the paper. Is this complaint credible? Let’s take a look. The implication is that the editors — Denise Kirschner, Mark Chaplain, and Akira Sasaki — did not realize the article was about intelligent design. That is three people, working together, all failed to notice the obvious. Further, it’s implied that the authors inappropriately snuck intelligent design into the keywords when, it would seem from the disclaimer, this was unwarranted. But if the paper is about ID,

Breakout Paper in Journal of Theoretical Biology Explicitly Supports Intelligent Design

As John West noted here last week, the Journal of Theoretical Biology has published an explicitly pro-intelligent design article, “Using statistical methods to model the fine-tuning of molecular machines and systems.” Let's take a closer look at the contents. The paper is math-heavy, discussing statistical models of making inferences, but it is also groundbreaking for this crucial reason: it considers and proposes intelligent design, by name, as a viable explanation for the origin of “fine-tuning” in biology. This is a major breakthrough for science, but also for freedom of speech. If the paper is any indication, appearing as it does in a prominent peer-reviewed journal, some of the suffocating constraints on ID advocacy may be coming off. The authors are Steinar Thorvaldsen,

Despite Darwinists’ Cancel Culture, Intelligent Design Has a Breakthrough in Biology Journal

In its September 21 issue, the Journal of Theoretical Biology published a major peer-reviewed article on fine-tuning in biology that favorably discusses intelligent design. The article explicitly cites work by Discovery Institute Fellows such as Stephen Meyer, Günter Bechly, Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe, and Robert J. Marks. The article is co-authored by Steinar Thorvaldsen and Ola Hössjer. Hössjer is a professor of mathematical statistics at Stockholm University who is favorable to intelligent design.  This is a big deal for the mainstreaming of ID.  The Journal of Theoretical Biology is a top peer-reviewed science journal. According to CiteScore, it is the 25th most cited journal in the area of general agriculture and biological sciences, and it is in the top 12

New Research Finds Molecular Machines Are Even More Amazing than Behe Realized

Images of the molecular machines that Michael Behe brought to public attention 21 years ago were dim and fuzzy at the time but were convincing enough then to make a strong case for irreducible complexity. Now, new imaging techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy allow scientists to look at individual parts of the machines at near-atomic resolution. ATP Synthase In 1997, John E. Walker shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Paul Boyer and Jens Skou for discovering that ATP was synthesized in cells by a rotary engine. He was 56 at the time; now, at age 79, he is still engaged in research on the mechanism of ATP synthase (see our animation). Co-authoring a paper in PNAS,1 Walker and two others used cryo-electron microscopy to examine the motor at higher resolution than was

Behe on Denton's Latest: "The Universe Miraculously Got [It] Right"

We're just the few days out from the Monday, September 28, release of Michael Denton's new book The Miracle of the Cell. Michael Behe comments: Michael Denton is the world’s most profound thinker about the fundamental physical and chemical requirements for the existence of a humanoid species such as ourselves. By gathering and synthesizing facts from an enormous range of scientific observations, Denton shows with overwhelming force that the universe was made for intelligent, technology-using beings of roughly our size — beings whose very existence depends precariously on a myriad of physical details that the universe miraculously got right. Anyone who wonders whether nature shows any signs of purpose needs to read The Miracle of the Cell.Michael J. Behe, Lehigh University

Plastic-Eating Microbes — “Rapid Evolution” May Not Be Darwinian at All

Environmental scientists warn frequently that the world is drowning in plastic. In addition to the plastic bottles that circle in gyres out at sea, synthetic microfibers from the laundry loads of millions of people each week are being found at coral reefs and in almost every bucket of sea water dredged up by marine biologists. According to Wired, “A single pair of jeans may release 56,000 microfibers per wash.” Run the numbers and multiply that by billions of people wearing blue jeans, and you glimpse the scope of the problem. Blue jean fibers have been found in the Arctic. Marine biologists are rightly concerned about the rapidly rising accumulation of plastics and synthetic fibers at sea, and the impacts these could have on sea turtles, fish, coral reefs, and the entire marine

Famed Biologist Jørn Dyerberg Explains His Turn to Intelligent Design

If, like me, you’ve got a bottle of fish oil capsules in your refrigerator as a health supplement, you can thank University of Copenhagen biologist Jørn Dyerberg, who co-discovered the role of omega-3 fatty acids in promoting a healthy heart. This realization followed from his study in the 1970s of the Inuit people of Greenland. He has been hailed as a “Living Legend” by the International Union of Nutrition Scientists. And he’s a proponent of intelligent design. On a new episode of ID the Future, Dr. Dyerberg recounts his turn toward ID, recognizing irreducible complexity in the Krebs cycle, a process shared by the cells of all aerobic life. Also called the citric acid cycle, it could not have sprung into being by unguided evolution, as Dyerberg reasoned.

On the Swamidass Hypothesis — The Cheese Stands Alone

Joshua Swamidass wonders why I reviewed The Genealogical Adam and Eve (GAE) unfavorably. Other ID advocates, he notes, such as Sean McDowell or Walter Bradley, liked the book. And scientists not explicitly affiliated with ID, such as the UK botanist and geneticist Richard Buggs, or Rice University synthetic chemist James Tour, also liked it. Indeed, they did. Buggs said that Swamidass might be nominated for a Templeton Prize. Tour put him on the list for a Nobel Peace Prize. With respect to GAE’s main thesis, however, these reviewers were diplomatically neutral or politely non-committal. Read their comments, at the links above, and you’ll see what I mean. What they did not do — what no one, to my knowledge, has done yet — is agree that the GAE scenario is true, in the everyday

Dembski: “Recent Studies Have Vindicated Wallace” Over Darwin

The newly released Intelligent Evolution: How Alfred Russel Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism offers a direct encounter with the thought of A. R. Wallace, who co-discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection only to adopt a proto-intelligent design view. Over this, he subsequently broke with Darwin. The book is edited by science historian Michael Flannery and it includes a rich selection of accompanying background material. “Three Powerful Claims” William Dembski writes in his preface to Intelligent Evolution that “Flannery advances three powerful claims”: 1. Darwin developed his theory of evolution not from painstaking field analysis by testing hypotheses against the evidence and following it dutifully wherever it led, as he and his supporters to

Listen: Michael Behe Answers Your Questions About Intelligent Design

A new 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? Download the podcast or listen to it

A "Lush" World Defies Materialist Explanations, as Behe and Denton Confirm

It is well known, and accepted in scientific circles, that the conditions on our planet are extremely fine-tuned for life: the Earth is just the right size, it is just the right distance from its sun, our sun is the right type of star, our atmosphere has many rare and lucky features — the list goes on and on.  A few of these fine-tuned features are documented in Episode 4 of Science Uprising. Of course materialists have an explanation for it all: there are many planets in the universe, only a very few are suitable for life, but we are here because our Earth is one of these rare planets.  It is also well known, and documented in the same Science Uprising episode, that not only is our Earth an ideal planet for life to thrive, but our whole

Beauty, Coherence, Semiotics, and the Coronavirus — Webinar Series Continues Thursday

Please join us for the third in a series of webinars on Covid-19 from an intelligent design perspective, organized by our U.K. sister, the Centre for Intelligent Design. In this free lecture, Thursday, July 30, at 12 pm Pacific time or 8 pm British, Dr. Hugo van Woerden, a public health physician, explains why he does not believe that philosophical and methodological naturalism can give a holistic explanation for some of the features of the coronavirus, including its coherence and complexity. Find the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfnk0ii9XCc You can watch archived versions of the two previous classes in the series, taught respectively by biologists Michael Behe and Jonathan McLatchie, below: “The Biochemical Basis of Covid-19”“The Molecular Biology of

Darwinist: ID Could Have Redeemed Itself by Leaping to Prejudged Conclusion on COVID-19

Just when you thought Darwinists had exhausted their imagination and couldn’t come up with any silly new put-downs of intelligent design, along comes science historian Adam Shapiro. He has an article at American Scientist, unveiling a brand new zinger. Give him credit for novelty if not for coherence. His argument is that ID, a disreputable and unscientific theory, could have redeemed itself in the coronavirus pandemic by proclaiming that the virus is no lab-designed bioweapon. He offers the usual bouquet of misrepresentations. There is the Judge Jones trope, whereby a federal judge in Harrisburg, PA, is fit to determine that “intelligent design’s appeal to nonnatural explanations or supernatural creators is not scientific.” But ID is not an “appeal” to the

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