Answers in Genesis Reviews Behe’s Book

Everyone has heard about Darwin Devolves, the creationist book by Michael Behe, a Discovery Institute “Senior Fellow.” He’s a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, where his colleagues are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”.

Months before the book was available, the Discoveroids were gushing about it in literally dozens of posts. It was one of their Top Ten stories for 2018 — see Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2018 — #2. After that it was finally available for purchase in February of this year — see Behe’s Book Arrives — O the Joy!

Now the thing is being reviewed by the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Their title is Behe’s Latest Arguments: A Review of Darwin Devolves. The review was written by Dr. David W. Boyd, Jr., head of the Department of Biology at Bob Jones University, and by Dr. Brian Vogt, about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

New techniques and biochemical methods have progressed dramatically since Dr. Michael Behe published his first book, Darwin’s Black Box, in 1996. Behe ably uses his knowledge of newer research in Darwin Devolves (Behe 2019) to demonstrate that mutation and natural selection ultimately cause degradation rather than the evolution of new information that the modern Darwinian synthesis requires. Behe coined the term devolution to describe this degradation.

Ooooooooooooh! Mutation and natural selection cause degradation rather than the evolution. Darwin was a fool! Skipping a bit, they say:

As is well known, Behe’s approach to intelligent design is to make his case based on data and scientific arguments. Consequently, he rarely identifies who he thinks the intelligent designer is. [Who is it?] In this work, however, he clearly states, “Most people, including myself, are theists that will naturally tend to ascribe the design to God” (Behe 2019, p. 278).

Well yes. Of course! Skipping over an ark-load, they tell us:

One of the weaknesses of this book and the ID movement, in general, is its lack of a credible story to account for what we observe. While it does have the unifying idea that all life appears to be designed by an intelligent being, questions about who that being is and how the amazing diversity displayed in the universe was brought into existence are neither asked nor answered.

Don’t the AIG people know why the Discoveroids are so cautious about saying those things? Anyway, their review ends with this:

Behe provides an easily readable book that is well documented with an enjoyable story line. We recommend this book to creationists [Hee hee!] who want to find biochemical support for their ideas and to evolutionists who question the idea that mutation and natural selection can explain common descent. Though neither group would agree with all that Behe writes, both ends of the spectrum can find helpful ideas and thought-provoking arguments.

We’re all glad to see Behe’s book getting the attention it deserves. Probably the next stop in Behe’s rise to stardom will be an invitation to tour the Ark with ol’ Hambo himself. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Answers in Genesis Reviews Behe’s Book

  1. Our dear SC is puzzled:

    “Consequently, he rarely identifies who he thinks the intelligent designer is. [Who is it?]”
    I’ve got a hunch it’s not The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    “One of the weaknesses of this book and the ID movement, in general, is its lack of a credible story to account for what we observe.”
    But that’s entirely correct! What’s more, Young Earth Creacrap doesn’t have one either.

    “Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
    Heartwarming.

  2. Michael Fugate

    As Behe points out, biologists claim that common descent is caused by random mutation and natural selection. If this is true and if life is constantly evolving around us, then it should be possible to identify sequences of specific chemical processes that lead to common descent. To convincingly demonstrate such mechanisms, they would need to be shown in series of organisms that cross multiple levels of taxonomic organization. Phylogenetic trees based on molecular homological studies do not establish a mechanism at all, and so studies of a different nature would be needed.

    This is very convoluted- much of the difference between species is in timing during development or in response to other environmental cues. There won’t be a periodic table of speciation. Then again, any additional evidence wouldn’t change their mind. Unlike a real university, like where Behe works, these guys would lose their jobs if they had heterodox views.
    Vogt is a chemist at BJU.

  3. chris schilling

    It’s good, clean fun to see YEC’s and Discoveroids try to create distinctions where none really exist. It puts us Curmudgeonites in the position of the animals at the end of Orwell’s fable, peering in through the window, unable to tell the pigs and humans apart.

    “Consequently, he rarely identifies who he thinks the intelligent designer is.”

    Behe the saucy temptress does a dance of a thousand veils, teasing the wide-eyed YEC’s. Meanwhile, the more jaded spectators who’ve all seen the show before, depart for the exit, or demand a refund.

  4. “We recommend this book to creationists”
    I would be careful with that recommendation! Behe doesn’t believe in a 6-day creation, allows for millions of years of death and suffering, and even accepts common descent.
    He could easily lead a horde of YECs astray.

  5. Oh, but YECers accept common descent just fine – with kinds, starting off with the end of the Great Flood.

  6. Karl Goldsmith

    I thought they would have gotten Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson to review it, seeing how he has only written two articles in 2019.

  7. Behe most certainly did not coin the term devolution. The punk bank Devo was named for the concept of Devolution. Their first album thesis was the civilized man was devolving. Which the creacrappers try to prove as true every day.

  8. Of course Boyd and Vogt were probably not listening to a lot of punk in the late 70’s early 80’s. Still, do some research before publishing. Oh, I get it now.