Welcome to ARN-Announce
Dennis Wagner, editor
Number Sixty-six, June 4, 2007
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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
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.
Free Press (hardback, 320 pages), 2007
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
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
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.
"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
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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