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DARWIN'S BLACK BOX: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution Hardcover – August 2, 1996
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Michael J. Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University, presents here a scientific argument for the existence of God. Examining the evolutionary theory of the origins of life, he can go part of the way with Darwin--he accepts the idea that species have been differentiated by the mechanism of natural selection from a common ancestor. But he thinks that the essential randomness of this process can explain evolutionary development only at the macro level, not at the micro level of his expertise. Within the biochemistry of living cells, he argues, life is "irreducibly complex." This is the last black box to be opened, the end of the road for science. Faced with complexity at this level, Behe suggests that it can only be the product of "intelligent design."
From Publishers Weekly
Charles Darwin's theory of life's evolution through natural selection and random mutation fails to account for the origin of astonishingly complex biomolecular systems, argues Behe, associate professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. In this spirited, witty critique of neo-Darwinian thinking, he focuses on five phenomena: blood clotting; cilia, oar-like bundles of fibers; the human immune system; transport of materials within the cell; and the synthesis of nucleotides, building blocks of DNA. In each case, he finds systems that are irreducibly complex?no gradual, step-by-step, Darwinian route led to their creation. As an alternative explanation, Behe infers that complex biochemical systems (i.e., life) were designed by an intelligent agent, whether God, extraterrestrials or a universal force. He notes that Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA's double-helix structure, proposed that life began when aliens from another planet sent a rocket ship containing spores to seed Earth. Perhaps Behe's plea for incorporating a "theory of intelligent design" into mainstream biology will spark interest. Illustrated. Translation and U.K. rights: Simon & Schuster.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
All in all, a great book for all who are interested in the raging debate between ID and evolutionary advocates.
grasp large numbers of chances over billions of years and form conclusions about whether the complexity of life on this planet is the result of a grand and intelligent design or the result of molecules bonding together randomly until a viable solution is found. It stems from the fact that as the Author mentions, in the case of blood clotting to close a simple skin wound involves 268 different chemical processes to turn on and off at the proper time. The Author's point is that it is too much to believe that in the eons leading up to the development of life that countless life forms bled to death because they had perhaps one, two, or 267 of the processes developed by random, but not neccessarily the correct 268 processes needed. The Author then points out that if all of the critical life processes needed hundreds of processes with numerous complex biochemicals what are the chances of life developing without adhering to a grand plan, Example, If the life form that developed the perfect blood clotting process did not develop a correct digestive or reproduction system then that blood clotting
process was all for naught. The large numbers involved cripple our ability to obtain a gut feeling for the probablities. After all if the sun was to not shine one day every 100,000 years, the people that experienced it would consider it a miracle, eventhough it may have happened 45,000 times since the earth had formed. This book will force you to think.
Did life spring from tidal pools of biochemical soups where an almost infinite number of chances over billions of years actually succeeded, or is there a push, a plan of Life for this planet.