Michael J. Behe

Michael J.

American Biochemist, Author and Intelligent Design Advocate, Professor Of Biochemistry at Lehigh University and Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture

Author Quotes

Designing life, it could be pointed out, does not require supernatural abilities; rather, it requires a lot of intelligence.

I agree that evolution is quite compatible with religious views. The compatibility or lack of compatibility, however is irrelevant to the scientific question of whether Darwinian evolution of biochemical systems is true.

Inferences to design do not require that we have a candidate for the role of designer. We can determine that a system was designed by examining the system itself, and we can hold the conviction of design much more strongly than a conviction about the identity of the designer. We can know things were designed because of the ordering of independent components to achieve some end.

It's dangerous to your career to be identified as an ID proponent.

No studies asking detailed questions of molecular evolution are to be found. In fact, evolutionary explanations even of systems that do not appear to be irreducibly complex, such as specific metabolic pathways are missing from the literature.

Scientists such as Einstein, Eddington, and Hoyle fudged and twisted in their efforts to resist a scientific theory (the big bang) that flowed naturally from the data because they thought they would be forced to accept unpleasant philosophical or theological conclusions. They weren't; they had other options.

The bottom line is that clusters of proteins have to be inserted all at once into the cascade. This can only be done by... the guidance of an intelligent agent.

The most essential prediction of Darwinism is that, given an astronomical number of chances, unintelligent processes can make seemingly-designed systems, ones of the complexity of those found in the cell. ID specifically denies this, predicting that in the absence of intelligent input no such systems would develop. So Darwinism and ID make clear, opposite predictions of what we should find when we examine genetic results from a stupendous number of organisms that are under relentless pressure from natural selection. The recent genetic results are a stringent test. The results: 1) Darwinism?s prediction is falsified; 2) Design?s prediction is confirmed.

The strong appearance of design [in nature] allows a disarmingly simple argument: if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, then, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, we have warrant to conclude it's a duck. Design should not be overlooked simply because it's so obvious.

To say that Darwinian evolution cannot explain everything in nature is not to say that evolution, random mutation, and natural selection do not occur; they have been observed.

Despite many of his misguided examples, Paley's first paragraph concerning the watch is exactly correct - no one would deny that if you found a watch you would immediately, and with certainty conclude that it had been designed. The reason for the conclusion is just as Paley implied: the ordering of separate components to accomplish a function beyond that of the individual components. His argument would have been greatly improved if he had said less.

I believe the evidence strongly supports common descent. But the root question remains unanswered: What has caused complex systems to form?

Instead of an analogy for natural selection acting on random mutation, the Dawkins scenario is actually an example the very opposite: an intelligent agent directing the construction of an irreducibly complex system.

It's the nature of bureaucracy, I think, to issue statements like this.

Origin of life workers have never demonstrated that the intermediates in the synthesis of AMP either would have or even could have existed in a prebiotic soup, let alone the sophisticated enzymes for interconverting the intermediates.

Since each step necessarily requires several parts, not only is the entire blood clotting system irreducibly complex, but so is each step in the pathway.

The cell is a machine (for example) the mechanism that the cell uses to make AMP is automated, ... and far from simple.

The National Academy of Sciences treats intelligent design in a way what I consider utterly misleading. Talk about scholarly malfeasance!

The theory of Darwinian molecular evolution has not been published and so it should perish.

Typically a protein chain has 50 to 1,000 amino acid links.

Despite some remaining puzzles, there's no reason to doubt that Darwin had this point right, that all creatures on earth are biological relatives

I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it.

Intelligent design relies on physical, empirical, observable evidence from nature plus logical inferences.

It's unnerving to think that many of our important ideas about the way the world works were simply picked up unreflectively from the cultural milieu in which we found ourselves.

Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles as our ability to be confident about the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.

Author Picture
First Name
Michael J.
Last Name
Birth Date

American Biochemist, Author and Intelligent Design Advocate, Professor Of Biochemistry at Lehigh University and Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture