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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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Published on 27 Nov 2010 by Virginia Lynes-lumsden

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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disingenuous, but thought-provoking
Gosh, what a funny old book. Subtitled 'The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution', Behe's work starts as an intelligent dig at some apparent holes in the Darwinist literature and ends as a not-quite-overt Creationist tract.

Behe is a biochemist, and also, as we learn 15 pages from the book's close, a Roman Catholic. His argument is a compelling one: that...
Published on 11 Oct 2011 by Mark Hurst


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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written with valid, strong and convincing scientific data ..., 15 July 2014
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Well written with valid, strong and convincing scientific data as evidence for his theory. It is just a shame he stopped short of identifying The Designer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Darwin's riders re the theory of evolution - riveting!!, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Darwin's Black Box (Paperback)
Interesting read… bearing in mind what is thought and taught today.. even Darwin had his provisos!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Nov 2010
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Dogma is Challenged: A Different Perspective, 8 Dec 2012
This review is from: Darwin's Black Box (Paperback)
I recommend Behe's book not because he offers a knock-down refutation of Darwinian evolution (he may or may not have done that), nor because he makes a great case for design as an alternative (this is probably the weakest part of the book), but because his book provides a fascinating insight into what happens when someone challenges scientific orthodoxy. That this is the tenth anniversary edition is helpful because, in a new afterword, Behe examines some of the criticisms that have been offered against the book's main idea: irreducible complexity. This is particularly interesting because one can see first-hand (by reference to the original text, and the voluminous online "rebuttals") the way in which Behe's ideas have been systematically misrepresented by the scientific community, and even within the US legal system. Thus for anyone interested in the way ideas can come to be dogma, and how such dogma is defended by fair means and foul, Behe's book provides the staring point for a fascinating case study. It is also a fairly clear and well written introduction to some of the extraordinary discoveries of molecular biology and, when all is said and done, does seem to present a challenge to the current evolutionary paradigm which, I think, has not yet been fully addressed.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disingenuous, but thought-provoking, 11 Oct 2011
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Mark Hurst (Bedfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darwin's Black Box (Paperback)
Gosh, what a funny old book. Subtitled 'The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution', Behe's work starts as an intelligent dig at some apparent holes in the Darwinist literature and ends as a not-quite-overt Creationist tract.

Behe is a biochemist, and also, as we learn 15 pages from the book's close, a Roman Catholic. His argument is a compelling one: that Darwinists focus almost exclusively on gross anatomy, yet the kinds of changes they invoke on the road to, say, the human eye, are never elucidated at the detailed molecular level. This, says Behe, is a gigantic con trick since the smallest phenotypic effect can require intricate and massive changes at the level of biochemistry and hence would not be attainable by natural selection.

It's a good idea, and somewhat convincing in the context of Behe's examples. His argument centres on 'irreducible complexity', which suggests that there are systems in biology that simply could not have evolved gradually, and he eventually (on page 193) comes clean and states that the systems he's described (cilia, blood clotting, etc.) were 'clearly' designed by an intelligent being.

The examples Behe considers are deliberately complex, yet his assertion that such systems are irreducibly complex is undermined by his own attack on the 'argument from personal incredulity' - just because he considers such system irreducible doesn't necessarily mean that they are so. His mousetrap example is particularly unconvincing, although we shouldn't let this obscure his basic point, which is that if natural selection can't explain an irreducibly complex system, we must, on Darwin's own admission, discard it as a natural philosophy.

Behe certainly has some interesting things to say about questioning our beliefs and why we hold such beliefs in the first place, but ultimately his message will stand or fall on details that we laymen must take on trust. His suggestion that science must explain the actual detailed route by which any evolutionary step took place seems ill-founded, and it all goes a bit pear-shaped towards the end, when he reveals his Creationist agenda.

For all that, it's a thought-provoking read.
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17 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Behe's empty box, 12 Mar 2010
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Consider the lottery :- 1 in 10,068,347,520 chance of winning. Millions of people enter every week and there are many winners to prove that long odds are not the same as impossible.

Consider the concepts of eternity and infinity ( the first is accepted by creationists / ID Apologists to explain why the creator does not have a creator ) :- for example Michael Behe and his ID cohort suggest the chance of the eye evolving is 1 in a number larger than all the atoms in our universe. But this lottery has played out for an eternity and therefore the evolution of our universe from its Big Bang to its final big Crunch is just one throw in the universal lottery that accepting eternity must have taken place an infinite number of times. Therefore the occurence of highly improbable events such as the evolution of the eye will have happened not just once , twice or even many times, it will have occured on an infinite number of occasions. It will also not have happened on an infinite number of occasions. If the concept of infinity is added to eternity do we have a multiverse containing an infinite number of universes all playing the eternal big bang big crunch lottery.

We will never be able to fully comprehend eternity / infinity. I find the ideas of the ID apologists including Michael Behe in this book to arrive at their creationist theory totally incomprehensible. They totally ignore the concept of eternity until it is necessary to explain the creation of their supernatural creator. The work of Darwin, Dawkins and all their colleagues to understand how our finite world has come about is to be applauded. To take the puzzle they are assembling cover it with a cloth labelled the work of God - no more enquiry required is a total insult to the nature of humanity. As with all puzzles some pieces may well be in the wrong place, some may well be lost but our scientists must continue and not be held back by the ID movement.
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31 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to think about what we've been taught, 19 Mar 2006
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This review is from: Darwin's Black Box (Paperback)
This book is, quite simply, compelling. I've checked out Behe's credentials, and they are sound. The scientific basis of his theories is sound.
And this is the heart of the matter. "ID" is getting a lot of press at the moment, and a lot of bad press. It is being put down, as one reviewer noted, as being unscientific and unprovable. For this reason scientists and educationalists are trying to burn the theory at the stake. Big problem...
Because evolution is unscientific and unprovable too.
This is the point, ultimately, of this book and of the endorsement for it. Behe may not have all the answers, and he may indeed be wrong, but the fact is that this is a more-than-equal and opposite theory to evolution. The evidence for evolution is the same evidence as exists for 'creationism', and only the interpretation differs. This is not, then, conclusive proof by means of evidence for evolution. The only reason evolution prevails, in spite of it's lack of evidence and profound violations of the observable laws of science, is because it is taught dogmatically, and we have a term for beliefs which are taught dogmatically... religion.
Evolution is religion. Without doubt. Cut through the mythology, and it was founded, heralded, and promoted amongst profoundly atheistic gnostic circles which themselves promoted the 'God is dead' movement. Scientific 'discovery' should never be rooted, according to evolutionists, in religious or philosophical predisposition, because we can indeed all make assertions and then set about making interpretations of data to support.
Fact: Darwin was qualified only as a theologian. He was a third rate botanist, a self-declared naturalist by hobby, and his theories formed the basis of the foundation of 'modern science' pitting him (and the theory) at odds with scientific minds far greater than his both before his time and after it.
Now evolution is on intellectual life-support, and is bolstered only by it's compulsory and exclusive teaching in schools, over-exposure in the media, and the selective exclusion of dissenting scientists from commentary on the subject.
Time to get informed? 'Darwin's Black Box' is a great, if not exhaustive, initiation into exploring the world of 'irreducibly complex' biological life and the nature of genetics.
Quite amazing that the schools still teach a version of science that asserted pattern and process to genetics before ever understanding or examining genetics, and that in the light of the fact that genetics do NOT agree with evolution, evolution is STILL taught.
No one is asking you to believe in God by reading this book. Don't be fooled by criticism. Science like this can adequately affirm the existence of a creative intelligent designer as a logical and inevitable conclusion. It does not attempt to define the identity of the designer. Religion can do that job adequately, and is a whole other subject.
Don't be put off by anti-religious commentary. There is, intellectually, no such thing as a non-religious person. We all have a religion of some kind. To 'scientific' atheists, evolution is the religion... the dogma of origins and explanations, irrespective of proof.
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16 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not science, 6 July 2009
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This book fills all the criteria of bad science. In a nut shell, it looks at where the edge of science is and then claims that there is nothing more out there so there's no need to look any further. Many of the claims in the book have since been disproved. It even turns out that the author was in court over a topic relating to this book and admitted under oath that the actively disregarded evidence which contradicted his assertions. Further than this it is wholely disrespectful to the achievements of past scientists.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evolution bungcum , Follow the Science, 26 Sep 2010
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Evolution has become a 'RELIGION',Followed by those that without science. This scientific document will help to cut out the fairy stories and mith's presented up as science by the Evolution adherents.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gavin Cox Review, 17 May 2009
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Mr. G. M. Cox (UK) - See all my reviews
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An excellent read, Behe is very engaging and often humorous and uses illustrations that explain highly complex ideas in ways which are understandable and memorable. 10 years on this special edition has shown Behe's landmark ideas of irreducible complexity and ways to detect design have remained unchallenged. This book will continue to be a land mark in biology for years to come. Ten out of ten!
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Darwin's Black Box by Michael J. Behe (Paperback - 19 Jun 2006)
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