Darwin’s Black Box

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Light rail tram transportation in motion through stone archway
Archway in Sydney Australia, licensed from Adobe Stock

Responding to Criticisms of Irreducible Complexity of the Bacterial Flagellum from the Australian Broadcasting Network

Time flies. Published in 1996, Michael Behe's book Darwin's Black Box represented a major development in the modern articulation of the scientific argument for intelligent design. Critics continue to make the same arguments, which still fall flat for the identical reasons they did years ago. We've documented this repeatedly. Yet they keep coming at us. Read More ›
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Photo by Chris Morgan, © Discovery Institute

Michael Behe: A Biography

Michael Behe (born 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania) is a biochemist and an influential intelligent-design theorist. A Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, he received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. His dissertation was on aspects of sickle-cell disease, and his postdoctoral work Read More ›

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Darwin’s Black Box Celebrates New 10th Anniversary Edition

Seattle — Ten years ago, biochemist Michael Behe helped to launch the modern intelligent design movement. when he outlined the theory of irreducible complexity in his book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, which dared to question the basic tenets of Darwinism.   Arguing that unintelligent accounts failed to explain the development of irreducibly complex systems such as blood clotting, the Read More ›

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Alpha-galactosidase (3d structure), administered as enzyme repla
Alpha-galactosidase (3d structure), administered as enzyme repla

Comments on Ken Miller’s Reply to My Essays

Kenneth Miller, Brown University Professor of Biology and author of Finding Darwin's God, has posted a response to my essays. I think it should be plain to most open-minded readers that he is struggling to fend off examples that weigh heavily against Darwinism. I do, however, want to make a few additional comments, in just two areas, to keep the issues in focus. Read More ›

Darwin’s Black Box: A Review by Ray Bohlin

What do mouse traps, molecular biology, blood clotting, Rube Goldberg machines, and irreducible complexity have to do with each other? At first glance they seem to have little if anything to do with each other. However, they are all part of a recent book by Free Press titled, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael Behe. Michael Behe is Read More ›

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Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems

Some biochemical systems require multiple, well-matched parts in order to function, and the removal of any of the parts eliminates the function. I have previously labeled such systems "irreducibly complex," and argued that they are stumbling blocks for Darwinian theory. Instead I proposed that they are best explained as the result of deliberate intelligent design. In a recent article Shanks and Joplin analyze and find wanting the use of irreducible complexity as a marker for intelligent design. Their primary counter-example is the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, a self-organizing system in which competing reaction pathways result in a chemical oscillator. In place of irreducible complexity they offer the idea of "redundant complexity," meaning that biochemical pathways overlap so that a loss of one or even several components can be accommodated without complete loss of function. Here I note that complexity is a quantitative property, so that conclusions we draw will be affected by how well-matched the components of a system are. I also show that not all biochemical systems are redundant. The origin of non-redundant systems requires a different explanation than redundant ones. Read More ›
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Virtualization of Understanding

Philosophical Objections to Intelligent Design

I. Is Intelligent Design Falsifiable? Some reviewers of Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) have raised philosophical objections to intelligent design. I will discuss several of these over the next few sections, beginning with the question of falsifiability. To decide whether, or by what evidence, it is falsifiable, one first has to be sure what is meant by “intelligent design.” By Read More ›

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View of red, blood-like liquid patterns
Photo by Cassi Josh on Unsplash

In Defense of the Irreducibility of the Blood Clotting Cascade

In Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution I devoted a chapter to the mechanism of blood clotting, arguing that it is irreducibly complex and therefore a big problem for Darwinian evolution. Since my book came out, as far as I am aware there have been no papers published in the scientific literature giving a detailed scenario or experiments to show how natural selection could have built the system. However three scientists publishing outside science journals have attempted to respond. Read More ›
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“A True Acid Test”

In this essay I reply to what I consider to be the most important claim made by any critic of intelligent design: that direct experimental evidence has shown that evolution can indeed generate irreducibly complex biochemical systems. As I will show below, the claim is false. Read More ›
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Stack of documents with paper clips on office table. Space for text

Irreducible Complexity and the Evolutionary Literature

Although several persons have cited numerous references from the scientific literature purporting to show that the problem of irreducible complexity I pointed out in Darwin's Black Box is being seriously addressed, the references show no such thing. Read More ›