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

The anxiety is that if the supernatural were allowed as an explanation, then there would be no stopping it. Is this a reasonable fear?

The fact that biochemical systems can be designed by intelligent agents for their own purposes is conceded by all scientists, even Richard Dawkins.

The scientific community is not so frail that it's healthy skepticism will turn into gullibility.

There must be an identifiable purpose for the system, the purpose that requires the greatest amount of the system's internal complexity.

When we descend from the level a whole animal to the molecular level, then in many cases we can make judgement on evolution because all of the parts of many discrete molecular systems are known.

For example, both humans and chimps have a broken copy of a gene that in other mammals helps make vitamin C... It's hard to imagine how there could be stronger evidence for common ancestry of chimps and humans. ... Despite some remaining puzzles, there's no reason to doubt that Darwin had this point right, that all creatures on earth are biological relatives.

In some other cases we can say that like anything, it could have been designed, but we cannot tell for sure.

It turns out that the cell contains systems that span the range from obviously designed to no apparent design, keeping in mind that anything might have been designed.

Modern biochemistry has shown that the cell is operated by molecular machines.

Science can observe a comet's lingering effects on the modern earth. Similarly, science can see the effects that a designer has had on life.

The argument against intelligent design based on' imperfection' is flawed because it asserts that just because something does not fit our idea of the way things ought to be, then it is evidence against design.

The fact that most biology texts act more as cheerleaders for Darwin's theory rather than trying to develop the critical faculties of their students shows the need, I think, for such statements.

The scientific literature contains no evidence that natural selection working on mutation can produce either an eye with a blind spot, and eye without a blind spot, an eyelid, a lens, a retina, rhodopsin, or retinal. (Debaters reach their) conclusion in favor of Darwinism based solely on an emotional feeling of the way things ought to be.

This continues the venerable Darwinian tradition of making grandiose claims based on piddling results. There is nothing in the paper that an ID proponent would think was beyond random mutation and natural selection. In other words, it is a straw man.

When you start putting constraints on science, science suffers.

For more than a century most scientists have thought that virtually all of life resulted from natural selection working on random variation.

In the 19th century the anatomy of the eye was known in great detail and the sophisticated mechanisms it employs to deliver an accurate picture of the outside world astounded everyone who was familiar with them.

It was a real disappointment. It's hard to say this chills the atmosphere, because if you're publicly known as an ID supporter, you can already kiss your tenure chances goodbye. It doesn't help.

Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred? There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations. Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that? the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster.

Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted.

The argument from imperfection overlooks the possibility that the designer might have multiple motives, with engineering excellence oftentimes relegated to a secondary role.

The first point one has to get straight in discussions like this, is that ID is not the opposite of evolution. Rather, it is the opposite of Darwinism, which says life evolved by an utterly unguided, undirected mechanism. If god directed the process of evolution, or rigged the universe to produce complex life, then that is not Darwinism - it is intelligent design.

The scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of the immune system.

Those in other fields than biochemistry should not invoke design until the molecular sciences show that design has an effect at those higher levels. But researchers should also hesitate before claiming that a particular biological feature has been produced substantially by another mechanism, such as natural selection. Instead, detailed models should be produced to justify the assertion that a given mechanism produced a given biological feature.

Whichever way we turn, a gradualistic account of the immune system is blocked by multiple interwoven requirements.

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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