Reading Behe... Any thoughts?

AJ Crowl (
Wed, 19 May 1999 21:28:47 +1000


Well I decided to bite the bullet and actually read the book that started
the current ID furore - "Darwin's Black Box" - and my first leaf through has
left me a bit disappointed with Behe's argument style. I'll be a bit more
specific on that another time, but one thing springs to mind as I read it...
his basic argument impressed me as being: Darwinists haven't explained the
origins of various complexly interconnected biochemical mechanisms in living
things, therefore it was designed. Is that an impression that I share? To me
that's not quite starting off correctly. Shouldn't he have laid down his
cards and said "I want to show that these systems had to be designed. I find
no explanation of them in naturalistic terms, therefore let's consider the
possibility of design... what would it require? That no naturalistic
explanation is possible? Or better analogies between human design and
biological design?

questions that his approach has generated... what would make something
designed obviously so?

And are naturalistic explanations ruled out by some a priori principle that
can be demonstrated? As far as I can tell, no. And no one seems to have set
out to do so. Behe seems content with the "failure of imagination"
argument - "we can't imagine how therefore it can't happen", which is
totally 'unfair' considering the complexity of the systems and hypothetical
formative environments - what human head could hold such and manipulate it
so as to imagine it? Not mine.

If former posts have covered this specific territory before, direct me to
them [if convenient] or name a good reference. I've followed most of the
main reviews, but something more in-depth might be better. Personally I'm
currently neutral on this issue at this level of biological description
since it's a relatively unknown field - lots of territory yet to be
explored. I'm finding Behe's style a bit annoying though, so a better ID
reference might be appreciated. At an organismic level Darwinism seems
reasonable and well supported by the data, but God's fingerprints might well
be in the details. If cellular regeneration is one miracle God can do then
working at the microlevel might well be His calling card.


Is your God image an idol?