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Darwin's Black Box

The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution


Michael J. Behe (View Bio)
Hardcover: Free Press, 1996; Paperback: Free Press, 1998.

Darwin's Black Box

"Surely, then, contemporary Darwinists have answers to rebut critics like Professor Behe. [But] in fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation." — National Review

"It is an argument of great originality, elegance, and intellectual power.... [His] observations are apt to be source of astonishment.... 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

"A well-written and thoughtful statement of the biochemical challenge." — Detroit Free Press

"[Behe's] talent for lively exposition ...charmingly conveys biochemistry's hidden beauty. " — The New York Times Book Review

"Behe offers the thesis that biochemistry provides so many examples of 'irreducible complexity' in nature that not even Darwinian gradualism can explain their evolution and existence. Intelligent design alone, he says, provides an answer. He presents a modern-day version of the kinds of anti-Darwin arguments adduced a century ago: How could so intricate an organ as the vertebrate eye evolve through step-by-step chance mutations? Clearly there must be a designer at work, an eye-maker of an eye, just as there is watchmaker for a watch. Behe's contemporary examples are a biochemistry student's nightmare: How do you make a cilium? Cilia are those fine hairs that stick out from cells lining the lungs and sweep out debris or, when attached to a bacterium, allow the bug to swim. The fine structure and molecular motors that power a cilium are awesome. And what Behe does to the cilium he does in spades in describing the biochemical events that occur when you cut yourself and a clot forms, or when your immune system takes arms against an invader. He emphasizes how each molecular actor must come on stage and go off in precise order or else the process won't work." — Kirkus Reviews

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