>to other areas of science. Their underlying concern is that Darwinism is
>materialistic religion masquerading as science.
Again, Darwinism needs a clear definition (probably another name, too!).
Scientific evidence for evolution is widely used as an excuse for atheism
but is actually irrelevant to the question of God's existance. Much effort
has been wasted on attacking the scientific evidence when the logic is at
fault. Materialism and naturalism are religions, hostile to Chritianity.
Geologic evidence showing the age of the earth or that major groups of
animals share common ancestors is simply scientific data, often
fraudulently pressed into service of naturalism.
>Dr. Michael Behe, a professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem,
>Pennsylvania has written a recent best-seller, Darwin's Black Box. Behe
>argues for "irreducible complexity," the idea that some complex features of
>living organisms, like mouse traps, cannot be made in tiny steps. All of
>the pieces of a trap, for example, must be present and in the right
>configuration for the trap to work at all. Behe, a biochemist, studies the
>molecular-size machinery of life, such as the motors that power flagella,
>the hairlike appendages that work mucous upwards in our windpipes. Few
>evolutionary biologists remain strict neo-Darwinians (Dawkins is an
>exception) because of insurmountable problems with the theory, but will
>still defend the "Darwinian mechanism" of random genetic variation acted
>upon by natural selection. Johnson argues that this might explain
>variations in finch beaks on Hawaii but doesn't tell us how finches came
>about in the first place.
Few evolutionary biologists believe that there are "insurmountable problems
with the theory". Behe seems to accept that random genetic variation acted
upon by natural selection can tell us how finches came about; just that it
doesn't tell us how life came about ("Darwinian mechanism" is a poor term
for this since Darwin didn't know about genes; "neodarwinian" is better).
>The edifice of Darwinism has stood firm for over a century, but cracks
>appear to be developing in its base.
Such cracks are often proclaimed in antievolutionary writing but do not
seem very wide to those believing in evolution as a major means of
creation; Johnson claims this is due to selective blindness on their part,
but his views have not yet gained much scientific creedance.
> Behe has searched for papers in the scientific literature proposing
>mechanisms >for how life might have started, and came up empty.
This is overgeneralization. Many mechanisms have been proposed. It's the
details that he found lacking. I disagree with his conclusion that this
reflects widespread failed attempts rather than lack of attempt, but in
either case the statement as it stands is untrue.
Department of Geology
CB 3315 Mitchell Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3315
"He had discovered an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus"-E. A. Poe, The