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Welcome to ARN-Announce
Dennis Wagner, editor

Number Sixty-six, June 4, 2007

ARN-Announce is the on-line announcement and information service of Access Research Network. ARN generates announcements to the current ARN Announce list as information becomes available. You have received this message because your email address was submitted to this list. Subscription and Unsubscription information is at the end of this message.

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IN THIS ISSUE OF ARN-ANNOUNCE:

  • NEW BOOK: The Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe
  • I Was On the Global Warming Gravy Train by David Evans

The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism

Michael J. Behe
Free Press (hardback, 320 pages), 2007

Most design advocates will readily admit that Darwin’s theory of random mutation and natural selection explains some of the variation and adaptation we find in the biological world, but the theory cannot be extrapolated backwards to explain everything about our universe in single theory of materialistic randomness.  Until now, advocates on both sides of the debate tended to lob examples like Malaria Drug Resistance and the Bacterial Flagellum, like grenades into each others camp to make their point from the “evidence”.  In this book Behe is on a mission to try and define the “Edge of Evolution” that demarcation line between Darwinism and Design.

When Michael J. Behe's first book, Darwin's Black Box, was published in 1996, it was instrumental in launching the intelligent design movement. Critics howled, yet hundreds of thousands of readers – and a growing number of scientists – were intrigued by Behe's claim that Darwinism could not explain the complex machinery of the cell.

Now, in his long-awaited follow-up, Behe presents far more than a challenge to Darwinism: He presents the evidence of the genetics revolution – the first direct evidence of nature's mutational pathways – to radically redefine the debate about Darwinism. How much of life does Darwin's theory explain? Most scientists believe it accounts for everything from the machinery of the cell to the history of life on earth. Behe points out that Darwin’s theory is a mixture of several unrelated, entirely separate ideas including: random mutation, natural selection, and common descent. The evidence for each must be carefully examined.

Darwin's proposed mechanism – random mutation and natural selection – has been accepted largely as a matter of faith and deduction or, at best, circumstantial evidence. Only now, thanks to genetics, does science allow us to seek direct evidence. The genomes of many organisms have been sequenced, and the machinery of the cell has been analyzed in great detail. The evolutionary responses of microorganisms to antibiotics and humans to parasitic infections have been traced over tens of thousands of generations.

As a result, for the first time in history Darwin's theory can be rigorously evaluated. The results are shocking. Although it can explain marginal changes in evolutionary history, random mutation and natural selection explain very little of the basic machinery of life. The "edge" of evolution, a line that defines the border between random and non-random mutation, lies very far from where Darwin pointed. Behe argues convincingly that most of the mutations that have defined the history of life on earth have been non-random.

Although it will be controversial and stunning, this finding actually fits a general pattern discovered by other branches of science in recent decades: The universe as a whole was fine-tuned for life. From physics to cosmology to chemistry to biology, life on earth stands revealed as depending upon an endless series of unlikely events. The clear conclusion: The universe was designed for life.

Go here to view the table of contents or to order your copy today.

Reviews

"In The Edge of Evolution Michael Behe carefully assesses the evidence of what Darwin's mechanism of random mutation and selection can achieve in well documented cases, and shows that even in those cases that maximize its power as a creative force it has only been able to generate very trivial examples of evolutionary change. Could such an apparently impotent and mindless force really have built the sophisticated molecular devices found throughout nature? The answer, he insists, is no. The only common-sense explanation is intelligent design."

Michael Denton, M.D., Ph.D., author of Nature's Destiny

"In crystal-clear prose Behe systematically shreds the central dogma of atheistic science, the doctrine of the random universe. This book, like the natural phenomena it so elegantly describes, shows the unmistakable signs of a very deep intelligence at work."

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., Research Psychiatrist, UCLA, and author of The Mind & The Brain

"Until the past decade and the genomics revolution, Darwin's theory rested on indirect evidence and reasonable speculation. Now, however, we have begun to scratch the surface of direct evidence, of which this book offers the best possible treatment. Though many critics won't want to admit it, The Edge of Evolution is very balanced, careful, and devastating. A tremendously important book."

Dr. Philip Skell, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at Pennsylvania State University, and member of the National Academy of Sciences.


I Was On the Global Warming Gravy Train

A new addition to the ARN Global Warming Resource List is an article by David Evans that is making the rounds in the blogosphere.  Evans is a mathematician and engineer who spent six years doing global warming-related research for the Australian government. He jumped on the funding gravy train as a true believer, convinced by the early data that a strong link existed between carbon emissions and climate change, but in time became more skeptical, as new scientific evidence made the causal connection seem more tenuous. His "confession" reveals that the debate is no longer just about the evidence, although he is still hopeful science will win out in the end.


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A FEW NOTES ABOUT ARN ANNOUNCE

ARN-Announce describes many of the upcoming events and new articles, books, videos and other resources on Intelligent Design. Please forward this message to several of your friends and colleagues to let them know about the resources available at Access Research Network (www.arn.org). Back issues of ARN-Announce can be found at www.arn.org/announce.htm


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ARN-Announce is produced by Dennis Wagner (dwagner@arn.org)

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6.04.07