Michael J. Behe A (R)evolutionary Biologist

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“Safe to Question” — Another Graduate of Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design Shares Her Story

Behind every Iron Curtain is a private network of dissenters, who come out into the light when the curtain falls. That was the case with the old Soviet Union. And so it is in the tightly policed world of evolutionary biology with its “great evolutionary firewall,” guarding against expressions of fundamental doubt about neo-Darwinian theory. Discovery Institute is populating a community of dissenters in academia with the annual all-expenses-paid Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design, to be held this year from July 10 to 18 in Seattle. The application deadline is March 4. Intended for current undergraduate and graduate students plus a few teachers and professors, the Seminars run on two parallel tracks:  The C.S. Lewis Fellows Program on Science and Society; and  The

Who Really Inherited Darwin’s Legacy? You Might Be Surprised to Learn

Herman Bouma directs the National Association for Objectivity in Science. He came to my attention last year when Sarah Chaffee reported here and here on his experience being strong-armed and tossed out by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) at their conference in St. Louis. His offense? Merely showing up for a scheduled and approved presentation he was set to deliver to anyone interested in attending. NSTA officials and security guards hustled him out. Darwin and His Apostles The presentation was supposed to be in praise of Charles Darwin for Darwin’s willingness to engage respectfully with critics. Bouma recalls the incident in an article today for CNSNews, for Darwin Day. Bouma makes a great point about the difference between Darwin himself and his latter-day

Darwin Day Is Here! Discover the Cell’s Secrets with Michael Behe

Don’t look there too closely. Don’t worry, it all came together by chance. Show us your PhD in evolutionary biology. Don’t you trust the scientists? What right do you have to an opinion of your own? These are, in effect, the response from Darwinian evolutionists to doubts from the public that the wonders of the living cell evolved without intelligent guidance. Those doubts, though, are not unreasonable. A Beautiful, Accessible Video Today, for the birthday of Charles Darwin, celebrated around the world as Darwin Day, Discovery Institute is proud to launch a new, five-part video series. It’s Secrets of the Cell with Michael Behe. You can see Episode 1 here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4YngarAhh0M&feature=youtu.be Has there ever been a more beautifully produced

Michael Behe on the Design Idea That Won’t Go Away (and Shouldn’t)

On a new episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Witt catches up with Darwin’s Black Box author and biochemist Michael Behe at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, where the two discuss an idea that many wish would just go away, but hasn’t. Download the podcast or listen to it here. 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

A Summer Seminar Grad Tells How Her Life Was Changed

We’re now less than a month out from the deadline for U.S. applications for the Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design. The Seminars, intended for current undergraduates and graduate students, run from July 10 to 18, 2020, here in Seattle. I just received this from a graduate, Beth. She reports that her life was changed — and not just in one way!  As Beth mentions, both Seminar tracks (Natural Sciences and C.S. Lewis Fellows) are subsidized by the friends of Discovery Institute, including housing, meals, materials, and even travel as needed. Describing her own experience, she writes: I was 19 and a junior at my university when I received the letter of acceptance for Discovery Institute’s Summer Seminar on Intelligent Design. “Congratulations, you have been accepted

Cancel Culture Comes to Poland

The term “cancel culture” has recently come to mean the practice of boycotting, or denying a speaking platform to, people whose ideas are considered offensive. I experienced it recently in Warsaw, Poland. Fundacja En Arche (the En Arche Foundation, or roughly, the Origins Foundation) is a Polish group that focuses on the scientific and philosophical issues of Darwinism and intelligent design. Although often labeled “creationist,” it is not about biblical creationism (whether young Earth or old Earth). In many ways it is a lot like Discovery Institute.  A Job Well Done A major part of the foundation’s work so far has been translating into Polish books such as Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial, Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Michael Behe’s

ID Literature and the Great Evolutionary Firewall

Peer-reviewed literature is supposed to be the gold standard in any given scientific field, though it both lets through junk science at times, and at others, excludes solid science, whether for ideological or other reasons. The gatekeepers are only human, prone to bias or wish fulfillment. The humans who police the gatekeepers are also prone to hallucinate. See a couple of posts on that subject from earlier this week, here and here.  These provisos having been stated, there is of course value in this literature. That’s why Evolution News spends so much time analyzing it. We haven’t talked about this in a while, but the body of peer-reviewed articles supporting intelligent design is impressive. You can find an extensive discussion of it here. Remember, this is just the

Looking Forward to Darwin Day? Check Out the Trailer for Behe’s Secrets of the Cell

For Darwin Day, February 12, we are a launching a new five-part series with biochemist Michael Behe, Secrets of the Cell. You can see the splendid trailer now: https://youtu.be/immmGKV3wuU It was Dr. Behe’s insight that the view of evolution as driven by unguided, purposeless processes alone can’t survive an up-close encounter with the “black box,” unknown to Charles Darwin, the cell. Celebrate Darwin’s birthday by coming here, to Evolution News, next Wednesday and sharing the secrets of life, in a beautiful and accessible new series, widely with your friends and

New Head of Brazilian Education Agency Supports Free Speech in Origins Debate

Brazil just tapped a distinguished scientist and university official to head one of the agencies overseeing the country’s system of higher education. His name is Benedito Guimarães Aguiar Neto, and he is a strong defender of free speech in science, including free speech in the growing scientific debate over design and purpose in nature. A respected university scientist in the field of electrical engineering, Dr. Neto has more than 100 publications to his name. He also has an exceptional record as a leader in higher education in Brazil, the fifth most populous nation on Earth. Neto has been a leader in science education in his country, and he has served as President of the Council of Rectors of Brazilian Universities. Just as important, Neto has championed diversity of thought

Coming on Darwin Day, a New Video Series — Secrets of the Cell with Michael Behe

The cell is what biochemist Michael Behe has called evolution’s “black box,” its spectacularly complex, superbly designed contents unknown to Charles Darwin. When the box was opened by modern science, it was a turning-point moment for the articulation of the modern theory of intelligent design. A revolution followed, fundamentally challenging how scientists discuss the history of life. Of course that revolution remains ongoing. To reach ever-wider audiences of the skeptical and the unconvinced, whether in academia or the general culture, is the central mission of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. What better occasion for that could there be than February 12, also known as Darwin Day? The birthday of the great man is an occasion each year for atheists

A Forest, Not a Tree? Nelson Asks Why Universal Common Descent Needn’t “Pay” for Failures

Philosopher of biology Paul Nelson recalls the expectation, a scientific standard when he was an undergrad, that all living things would turn out to share a universal genetic code. How could they not if, as Darwin argued, there is only a single, universal tree of life? On a classic ID the Future podcast with host Brian Miller, Dr. Nelson discusses the implications of this failed prediction. Download the podcast or listen to it here. The question is a weighty one since it has emerged that there is no universally shared code, but, instead, many variants. When evolutionists realized this, they performed a sidestep, supposing that since the prediction flopped, it must be the case that the code can itself evolve. But this deft move allows universal common ancestry a luxury that other

The Long View: Michael Behe Pays Tribute to Phillip Johnson

On a new episode of 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. Download the podcast or listen to it here. On today’s episode Lehigh University biology professor Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, The Edge of Evolution, and Darwin Devolves, tells about his earliest memories of Phillip Johnson and speaks about the long history of science: how ancient science pointed to purposeful design in life, and how current science is coming full circle. Considering this long view, the conclusion of design is as strong as or stronger than it has ever been. Photo: Phillip and Kathie Johnson at

Mystery of Life’s Origin Authors Reunite for Dallas Conference on Science & Faith

There was a wonderful turnout this past Saturday for the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, with more than 1,400 in attendance. A highlight was the reunion of the three scientists who sparked the modern intelligent design revolution. That was in 1984 with the publication of The Mystery of Life’s Origin. The pioneering authors, biochemist Charles Thaxton, materials scientist Walter Bradley, and geochemist Roger Olsen, are pictured above (from right to left, Thaxton, Bradley, Olsen), being interviewed by Stephen Meyer about the paradox-filled intellectual world of origin-of-life researchers. To Carry On a Legacy The audience, which had already nearly filled the parking lot 45 minutes before the event began, were rewarded with a very entertaining conversation celebrating

Dallas Conference Youth Track — Intelligent Design for Kids

I know that my own children, who are of middle and high school ages, have a rather, shall we say, incomplete understanding of the theory of intelligent design. Why would that be, considering that their dad is immersed in the subject? Well, in part because the science is challenging and the books for the most part are not written with kids, even smart kids, in mind. Nor are many of the lectures and videos you can listen to or watch.  Parents have brought this fact to our attention. So at last year’s Westminster Conference, in Philadelphia, we experimented with a separate youth track. It was such a wonderful success that we are doing the same thing at this month’s Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, January 25 in Denton, TX. Teleology Without Tears It will be led by

Dallas Conference Will Unveil Intelligent Design’s Original Edition

We are just a couple of weeks out from the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, Saturday, January 25 in Denton, TX. Until today, though, we have withheld one important piece of information about the event: it will be the launch of a wonderful new book from Discovery Institute Press. Actually, it’s an updated, expanded edition of a classic: The Mystery of Life’s Origin: The Continuing Controversy, the 1984 Ur-text or original edition of the modern theory of intelligent design, now with new supplementary essays by scholars extending the work. This is very exciting for us because the three co-authors, biochemist Charles Thaxton, materials scientist Walter Bradley, and geochemist Roger Olsen, will all be on hand for a panel discussion. To Spark a Debate The new edition

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