Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution Paperback – 19 Jun 2006
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"A persuasive book. It will speak to the layman and perhaps even to professional evolutionists as well, if they are able to suspend for a little while their own judgment about origins, the ultimate black box." -- The Washington Times
"An argument of great originality, elegance, and intellectual power. . . . No one can propose to defend Darwin without meeting the challenges set out in this superbly written and compelling book." -- David Berlinski, author of A Tour of the Calculus
"Overthrows Darwin at the end of the twentieth century in the same way that quantum theory overthrew Newton at the beginning." -- George Gilder in National Review
"[Behe] is the most prominent of the small circle of scientists working on intelligent design, and his arguments are by far the best known." -- H. Allen Orr in The New Yorker
"When examined with the powerful tools of modern biology, but not with its modern prejudices, life on a biochemical level can be a product, Behe says, only of intelligent design. Coming from a practicing biologist. . . this proposition is close to heretical." -- The New York Times Book Review
Ten years ago, "Darwin's Black Box" launched the Intelligent Design movement: the argument that nature exhibits evidence of design, beyond Darwinian randomness. Today, the movement is stronger than ever, and the book is a classic and an international bestseller. At last, Michael Behe has updated the book with a major new afterword on the state of the debate. The Intelligent Design movement was born when a handful of scientists realized that nature exhibits characteristics that could not have evolved by random mutation. Prominent among them was Michael Behe, a microbiologist working in a field that Darwin could not even have imagined existing. Microbiology has discovered staggering complexity at the cellular level of life and during his research Behe made a stunning discovery: some parts of life are irreducibly complex. They cannot function without all of their parts. Yet, step-by-step genetic mutations would never produce all of those parts together at once. Some parts of the biological world must have been designed.From one end of the spectrum to the other, "Darwin's Black Box" has established itself as the key text in the intelligent design movement, the one argument that must be addressed in order to determine whether Darwinian evolution is sufficient to explain life as we know it, or not. See all Product description
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I appreciated the introduction to the complexities of systems at the molecular level that this biochemist knows and so he then explained clearly and made accessible to the layman. He made great use of metaphors to explain concepts in terms of real life examples. He also has a sense of humor too - not a dry book at all!
His elucidation of the theory of intelligent design is very well thought out. His arguments and presentation of the data is so good that it is no wonder everyone who hates his book because it challenges their dogma has not really tried to refute anything in it, but instead resort to mainly hit pieces that attack made up straw man arguments of things Behe never said, instead of directly and clearly arguing against things he actually wrote about (and it has been 23 years now since the first version came out).
Since science has advanced in these past years he has recently released a new book which should also be a good read: Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution. I think I will also get one of his previous books that I have heard is worthwhile follow up: The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism.
I have to say I really enjoy such clearly written, rational, logical books as these that are really scientific in the sense they look at the facts as clearly as possible and use that to formulate a reasonable theory. I am not impressed with theories of our origin that do not answer most questions, and rely on mostly rhetoric and wishful thinking.
There have been plenty of people who have very reasonably pointed out flaws, unanswered questions, and great improbabilities in the Darwinian theory of evolution that asserts life came into being in a gradual step by step process of random mutations over a very long period of time and so I have been skeptical about it before reading this book. Now this book gives me even more reasons to suspect neo-Darwinist theories are never going figure out the origin of life, despite promises and bluster. Science needs something better.
I was greatly encouraged to be inspired and excited by the awe and wonder of the natural world in all it's complexity and mystery.