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

We are not inferring design to account for a black box, but to account for an open box.

Evolution means a process whereby life arose from non-living matter and subsequently developed entirely by natural means.

In many biological structures proteins are simply components of larger molecular machines.

It is often said that science must avoid any conclusions which smack of the supernatural.

Many people, including many important and well respected scientists, just don't want there to be anything beyond nature. Like young earth creationists, they bring an a priori philosophical commitment to their science that restricts the kinds of explanations they will accept about the physical world. Sometimes this leads to rather odd behavior.

Proteins that work in a cell fold up into very precise structures automatically.

Symbiosis theory (that some organelles in cells are derived from earlier organisms incorporated into later cells) may have important points to make about the development of life on earth, but it cannot explain the ultimate origins of complex systems.

The cumulative results (of biochemical research) show with piercing clarity that life is based on machines - machines made up of molecules!

The reasons that a designer would or would not do anything are virtually impossible to know unless the designer tells you specifically what those reasons are.

There is an elegant trick for making very many different antibodies without requiring enormous quantities of genetic material to code for the proteins.

We can look high or we can look low in books or in journals, but the result is the same. The scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of the immune system.

A man from a primitive culture who sees an automobile might guess that it was powered by the wind or by an antelope hidden under the car, but when he opens up the hood and sees the engine he immediately realizes that it was designed.

As biochemists have begun to examine apparently simple structures like cilia and flagella, they have discovered staggering complexity, with dozens, even hundreds of precisely tailored parts. Darwinian theory has given no explanation for the cilium or flagellum.

Creationism is a theological concept but intelligent design is a scientific theory. One can be a creationist without any physical evidence. That's 180 degrees different from intelligent design.

A rigorous theory of intelligent design will be a useful tool for the advancement of science in an area that has been moribund for decades.

As can be seen even by this limited number of examples proteins carry out amazingly diverse functions.

Darwin said "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would completely break down."

A system is irreducibly complex when it has no functional physical precursors.

As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it.

Darwin's mechanism of natural selection would actually hinder the formation of irreducibly complex systems such as the clotting cascade.

All proposed gradual evolutionary schemes involve the initial availability of the end product (say D), then the subsequent development by some organism, of the ability to manufacture that end product (D) from another existing available intermediary (say C) which is not in such short supply in the primordial alphabet soup. Schemes like these work backwards to end up with the known A-BC-D scenarios.

As the number of unexplained, irreducibly complex biological systems increases, our confidence that Darwin?s criterion of failure has been met skyrockets toward the maximum that science allows.

Dawkins explanation (s are) is only addressed to the level of what is called gross anatomy.

Almost all of the 20 naturally occurring types of amino acids have been detected in origin of life experiments.

As the number or quality of the parts of an inter-reacting system increase, our judgement of design also increases, and can reach certitude.

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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