virus: Re : Did Darwin's plane go down?

Hakeeb A. Nandalal (
Mon, 18 Nov 1996 22:51:50 +0000

Highlighted by Amazon Books :-

Darwin's Black Box : The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution
by Michael J. Behe Books:
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."

The New York Times Book Review, James Shreeve:
Coming from a working scientist . . . (Mr Behe's) proposition is close to
heretical . . . His best weapon is a talent for lively exposition.

With imagination and color, Behe introduces readers to the wonders of
vision, bloodclotting, cellular transport, and disease fighting, showing in
each case the delicate synergy of the machines of the human body. He argues
that these machines must have been designed--either by God, or by some other
higher intelligence. Line drawings.

Customer Comments

11/04/96, rating=9:
A controversial, engaging, compelling science read
Behe has done a superb job of marshalling and presenting evidence of
intelligent design. This book is surprisingly enjoyable to read., 09/09/96:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Darwin's Black Box I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The style is friendly.
The composition and logic are brilliant. The humor is appreciated. The use
of bullets to segregate the more technical topics from the remainder of the
text is helpful to those who do not have the technical background to
understand the more complex issues. For them, the appendix is also useful.
The term black box is a whimsical term for a device that does something, but
whose inner workings are mysterious- --sometimes because the workings can't
be seen, and sometimes because they just aren't comprehensible. Behe
brilliantly offers the biochemical reactions that occur within cells as an
opened "black box." He then demonstrates how the complexities of these
systems are unexplainable by Darwinian evolution. Behe presents the concept
of "irreducible complexity." "By irreducible complex I mean a single system
composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the
basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the
system to effectively cease functioning. " This book explains this concept
well. He uses groundhogs, elephants, mouse traps, and Rube Goldberg comic
strip analogies to make his point clearly. The enzyme systems, simple
chemical reactions and structural examples are great. The ultimate
"irreducible complexity" is demonstrated by the information that is
contained in the DNA that contains the code for these molecules. As a
physician I found the review of coagulation and the immune system useful.
Most of the information concerning the structure and biochemistry of cilia
is new to me. It is fascinating.The biosynthesis of AMP is overwhelming. I
am glad I am not a student now. The Krebs cycle was difficult enough. The
final chapter accurately defines the boundary limitations, prejudices, and
arrogance that prevent the present-day scientific community from examining
"the intelligent design theory" fairly. The comparison of intelligent design
to the Big Bang theory is profound. This book indeed opens Darwin's black
box.If,in the future, Intelligent Design theory becomes the accepted point
of view, Michael Behe certainly will be perceived as one of the pioneers of
the paradigm shift. Sid King MD

Something tells me this one won't make the David M. "suggested reading" list.

Hakeeb A. Nandalal