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 two books, 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. Most recently, in Darwin Devolves, Behe advances his argument, presenting new research that offers a startling reconsideration of how Darwin’s mechanism works, weakening the theory’s validity even more.

The books have been reviewed by the New York Times, Nature, Philosophy of Science, Christianity Today, and many other periodicals. Darwin's Black Box was internationally reviewed in over one hundred publications and named by National Review and World magazine as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th century.

Behe has presented and debated his work at major universities throughout North America and England.

Archives

A Mousetrap for Blind Evolution, and Larry Moran

Today’s ID the Future concludes our series on A Mousetrap for Darwin, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe’s new book on evolution and intelligent design. Here Behe and host Eric Anderson tackle an objection to Behe’s work from evolutionary biologist Larry Moran. Moran says that while the Darwinian process may find it difficult to find any particular solution requiring evolutionary innovation, there are countless possible solutions to a given problem, not just the one solution that evolution did hit upon and that is under investigation. According to Moran, Behe failed to take this into account, a factor that greatly enhances the chances of blind evolution to engineer novel solutions to ecological challenges. Behe counters that Moran’s objection misses the force of Read More ›

A Mousetrap for Darwin, and Another for Richard Lenski

Today’s ID the Future extends the discussion of A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael Behe Answers His Critics, the newest book from Discovery Institute Press. Here the focus is on Parts 4 and 7 of the new book, and in particular Richard Lenski’s Long Term Evolution Experiment at Michigan State. What has this long-running project demonstrated? As Behe explains in the book (and elaborates on in today’s podcast), “The study has addressed some narrow points of peculiar interest to evolutionary population geneticists, but for proponents of intelligent design the bottom line is that the great majority of even beneficial mutations have turned out to be due to the breaking, degrading, or minor tweaking of pre-existing genes or regulatory regions. There have Read More ›

Michael Medved Spotlights Michael Behe and His New Book

Today’s ID the Future features an excerpt from the Michael Medved Show spotlighting intelligent design proponent Michael Behe. The two Michaels do a quick flyover of Behe’s hard-hitting new book, A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael Behe Answers His Critics. Along the way they discuss some random mutations often touted as proof of evolution’s power, including some found in dogs. On closer inspection, this dog of an argument for evolution won’t hunt. Tune in to hear Behe’s lucid explanation.

Michael Behe’s New Book Dispels Malaria Evolution Fog

Today’s ID the Future provides another peek at A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael J. Behe Answers His Critics. Here Behe and host Eric Anderson discuss the new book’s section on malaria evolution. Evolutionists say malaria’s ability to evolve resistance to the antimalarial drug chloroquine is powerful evidence of unguided microbe-to-man evolution. Behe discusses how this evolutionary innovation required two coordinated mutations and lies at the outside edge of what blind evolution can manage. But many innovations in the history of life require three or more coordinated mutations, which Behe argues is so improbable as to lie beyond the reach of blind evolution. If so, this would discredit evolutionary theory. Drawing from his new book, Behe discusses various attempts to discredit Read More ›

Michael Behe’s Mousetrap on the Edge

On this ID the Future Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe dives deeper into A Mousetrap for Darwin. Behe and host Eric Anderson pivot to the new book’s section defending Behe’s earlier work, The Edge of Evolution. In that earlier book, Behe reviewed hard data from evolution studies of malaria parasites, HIV, and E. coli, showed that blind evolutionary processes face severe limits as to what they can build, and argued that intelligent design was required for the origin of life’s great diversity. In this new conversation Behe touches on some of the attempts to refute that argument and suggests why those refutations fail. For a more in-depth look at his defense of The Edge of Evolution, get your copy of Read More ›

Behe: Blood Clotting Remains a Mousetrap for Darwin

On this ID the Future, Michael Behe continues discussing his new book, A Mousetrap for Darwin, with host Eric Anderson. Here the focus is the blood clotting cascade. Behe has argued it’s irreducibly complex, like a mousetrap, and that blind evolution couldn’t build it one small functional step at a time. Behe says a better explanation is that it was intelligently designed. His critics have responded to his argument over the years. Here Behe returns the favor. His most prominent interlocutor on the matter is the recently deceased Russell Doolittle. Behe shows that Doolittle misread the paper he relied on to refute Behe. Professor Behe also responds to Kenneth Miller and Keith Robison. According to Behe, his critics have managed Read More ›

Michael Behe on the Battle of the Mousetraps

On this ID the Future, Michael Behe responds to the attacks on … his mousetrap. Behe used the common mousetrap to illustrate the idea of irreducible complexity, showing how various mechanical contrivances need all of their main parts to function, and to show how irreducible complexity poses a major challenge to Darwinism’s idea of gradual, step-by-step evolution of some biological machines. Most of the attacks on Behe’s argument have focused on the irreducibly complex biological systems he spotlighted, such as the outboard motor known as the bacterial flagellum. But some of his critics fixated on the mousetrap itself, and argued that the mousetrap wasn’t actually irreducibly complex. Behe rebuts these counterarguments and explains why he’s convinced they fail. The discussion Read More ›

Michael Behe on the Growth of ID via the Growth of Science

On this ID the Future, Michael Behe continues discussing A Mousetrap for Darwin, his newest book. Understanding of the cell has grown “by leaps and bounds” since the 1990s, when Behe’s first book appeared. Fresh discoveries have revealed ever more complex structures inside the cell. As Behe explains, it isn’t just the bacterial flagellum that’s irreducibly complex; the “hook” region inside the flagellum is, too. Evolution’s proper place of study has moved from gross anatomy and population genetics to biochemistry. In his conversation with host Eric Anderson, Behe says that intelligent design theory’s predictions are coming true over time, while for every step of increasing knowledge, it gets “worse and worse” for the theory of evolution by undirected unintelligent processes. Read More ›

A Mousetrap for Darwin: The Interview, Pt. 1

On this ID the Future, Eric Anderson interviews Michael Behe about Behe’s new book, A Mousetrap for Darwin. In this episode, Behe explains that he was spurred to build this collection of essays by a review in the journal Science claiming he had never answered his critics on key points. That annoyed Behe, because he had, multiple times. A Mousetrap for Darwin compiles more than a hundred of his responses, some of them from difficult-to-access places. The book also contains fresh material from Dr. Behe, including some lively behind-the-scenes details about his interactions with colleagues and critics. In this episode, the Lehigh University biochemist answers misconceptions about irreducible complexity, responds to the claim that “molecular machines” is a misnomer, relates Read More ›

Michael Behe Reads from His New Book

On this ID the Future, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe reads from A Mousetrap for Darwin, his latest book making the case against blind evolution and for intelligent design. The volume contains some brand new material alongside a substantial collection of essays he’s written over the years in response to critics of his three previous intelligent design books. His pro-Darwin critics have jumped all over Behe. Some have even claimed he’s ignored their objections. A Mousetrap for Darwin gives the lie to that charge. Behe has answered his critics, and done so decisively, in everything from the New York Times and prominent blogs to major science journals. Listen in as he lays the groundwork for his fourth fascinating book, in Read More ›

Citrate Death Spiral

Michigan State University biologist Richard Lenski and collaborators have just published a terrific new paper.