Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

New Michael Behe book: A Mousetrap for Darwin – free webinar

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November 21:

In 1996 Darwin’s Black Box thrust Michael Behe to the forefront of the budding intelligent design movement. The Lehigh University biochemist and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow has haunted the dreams of Darwinists ever since. Each of his three books sparked a firestorm of criticism, in everything from the New York Times and the journal Science to the private blogs of professional atheists. Behe says he has had fun rebutting each attack. And now the bulk of his responses are collected in a A Mousetrap for Darwin, scheduled for release next month from Discovery Institute Press.

The book includes more than a hundred of his essays along with several original pieces, including a new introduction, epilogue, and behind-the-scenes details about some of his battles with well-known scientists and, in one case, a federal judge. Behe’s razor-sharp logic, wry sense of humor, and accessible style are on display throughout.

Evolution News, “November: In a New Book, Michael Behe Springs a Trap for Darwin” at Evolution News and Science Today

Guaranteed to be fun unless you are an imploding New Atheist. If so, please implode in an eco-friendly way and pick up after yourself.

7 Replies to “New Michael Behe book: A Mousetrap for Darwin – free webinar

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Behe has been prominent a lot longer than ’96. I first heard of him in ’81 when a Christian friend sent me some of his writings, hoping to convert me to Christianity. The Christianity part didn’t take root (unnecessary entity), but the ID part definitely did.

  2. 2
    Timaeus says:

    “I first heard of him in ’81 when a Christian friend sent me some of his writings, hoping to convert me to Christianity.”

    Are you sure you are talking about Behe? I’m unaware of anything written by Behe as early as 1981 that would have been of any use for converting anyone to Christianity. I expect his publications at the time would have been about the molecular biology of malaria. I suspect that either your date is wrong, or you have confused Behe with some other writer.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    The date isn’t wrong. It’s possible that I’m conflating, but I have a fairly clear memory of reading something by Behe.

  4. 4
    Timaeus says:

    Polistra, if your date is correct, then it’s a mystery what religious writings of Behe you could have come across. Certainly Behe was not using “intelligent design” as an apologetic for religious belief in 1981. Behe did not even become an ID proponent, or even skeptical about Darwinism, until after he read Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, which was published in the US in 1986 (in England in 1985). So whatever religious writings he may have produced in 1981 would not have made any use of “design” as an apologetic strategy.

    Further, Behe has not, even since becoming involved in ID, produced anything like a religious work, though he has commented on possible implications of design for religious belief. He has indicated that the designer is completely compatible with the God of theistic religions, including Christianity, and he has said that he personally thinks the designer is the Christian God, but he hasn’t written any books or articles trying to convince people to become Christian or even theist based on the evidence of design in nature.

    So what “religious” writings might he have published in 1981? I trust you are well-enough informed to know that Behe is Roman Catholic, so if the writings you are remembering are Bible-thumping and preachy in nature, they would not have come from Behe but from some Protestant writer, which would fit with my suspicion that you have equated Behe with someone else, maybe someone with a name like Beame, or Beech, or the like.

    On the other hand, if the writings you remember were Catholic in orientation, they *might* have come from Behe, but it seems unlikely. Behe is a well enough known figure to ID’s enemies — who dig up every tiny grain of background on ID proponents — that surely if he had written religious works back in 1981 they would have dragged out those works to “prove” that he was just a “creationist in a cheap tuxedo” who tried to disguise his religious agenda with his invention of “intelligent design.” Anyone willing to go through Of Pandas and People documenting every typographical clue that the book had been altered from a creationist book would be quite willing to scour the internet and other sources for past religious writings of Behe, especially at the time of the Dover Trial, when proving that Behe had an unstated religious motivation would have been most useful to the anti-ID cause.

    On balance, it seems that the probability that Behe wrote any religious works prior to 1981, or even prior to his involvement in ID, is pretty close to zero. If you can’t provide evidence of such work — the name of an essay or a pamphlet or a web column — we are all quite right to dismiss your statement here as the product of a hazy memory of something you read a long time ago which might have been written by someone with a name spelled something like “Behe”.

    If I may make a suggestion, why don’t you write to your former Christian friend and ask him or her who the author was that he/she recommended, and what books/essays were recommended? That could clear the matter up.

  5. 5
    Timaeus says:

    Polistra:

    I did some further research. Behe has not published any articles specifically on theology or Christian apologetics, ever. He has touched on Christian theology in his books and articles connected with intelligent design. But all of those discussions are no earlier than Darwin’s Black Box in 1996. There is nothing prior to 1996 on theology or religion, and even since 1996, nothing *exclusively* about theology or religion. A false memory of a 1981 article on religion has crept into your mind. You’ve either got the wrong author, or the wrong date.

    Further, as I mentioned above, Behe was not writing about ID until 1996, so when you say that “the ID part” of Behe’s writing in 1981 “took root” in your mind, you have the wrong date. You couldn’t possibly have read anything by Behe about ID until Darwin’s Black Box.

  6. 6

    .
    Hello Timaeus,

    It’s a nice surprise to see your name in the comments section. I hope you and yours are all safe and well.

  7. 7
    Timaeus says:

    Thanks, U. B. Glad to see you are still around. Thanks for asking about me. No symptoms of deadly viruses in my home yet. (In fact, that’s true of all my friends and family members, and as far as I can tell, of all of my correspondents, so I’m not sure what’s going on, unless the vast majority of people who pick up the virus are a-symptomatic.) I don’t check this site regularly, as in the old days, but sometimes I am brought to it by a mention of something — in this case, Mike Behe’s upcoming book. Polistra’s claim interested me, because I love Mike Behe’s writings and would rush out to buy anything he wrote on religion, but alas, it seems Polistra is in error, and must have been thinking of some other author.

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