Behe’s letter in the WSJ responding to Feb. 13 article by Sharon Begley

Originally published at The Wall Street Journal

“We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity; but we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”

So lamented Colorado State University biochemist Franklin Harold in “The Way of the Cell” (Oxford University Press, 2001). Ms. Begley reports the very latest “wishful speculations.” The flagellum, an astonishingly complex biological outboard motor that some bacteria use to swim, has in recent years been found to be even more sophisticated. Not only does it have a rotary nanomotor that has been dubbed “the most efficient machine in the universe,” but we now know it also contains intricate protein pumps that allow it to construct itself, something no human-made machine can do. With breathtaking chutzpah but bizarre logic, a few rather unreflective Darwinists are spinning the increased complexity, which they neither predicted nor explained, as a public relations reprieve for their moribund theory. It’s like contending that, although wheels, chassis and a steering column give a car the appearance of intelligent design, when the fuel pump is discovered then happenstance is a better explanation.

The Darwinian imagination is a marvel to behold. No wonder Darwinists try to rule out intelligent design “as a matter of principle.” It surely can’t be ruled out by the evidence.

Michael J. Behe
Professor of Biological Sciences
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, Pa.

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.