Re: New Pope on Darwinism - NO!

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 12:05:49 EDT

I heard Roman Catholic evolutionist Michael Behe (and yes, you read that
description accuately) speak this past weekend at Dover High School, not 15
miles from my home. In response to questions from the audience, he very
clearly stated that he accepts the common descent of humans and other
organisms, and that he accepts that the universe is billions of years old.
He pointed out that his questions concern only whether or not Darwinian
mechanisms are completely adequate to account for the origin of complexity
in living things.

I've long felt that his views are very similar to those of Asa Gray, the
first American Darwinian. I would call Gray in some ways an advocate of
"intelligent design" while also being an evolutionist who endorsed natural
selection as operative to produce speciation. My sense is that Behe would
agree with Gray about that.

Now, it is true that Behe's approach to ID is minimalist; he described his
own view as "mere ID," since he accepts a lot of science that other IDs
don't, esp the part about common descent. He also clearly rejects the
reductionism that is very often seen as linked necessarily to Darwinism.
IMO, his type of TE position (er, excuse me, ID position) fits the new
pope's statement. And so did Asa Gray's position, and so does mine.

Ernst Mayr's position, on the other hand, very clearly did not.

Received on Tue Apr 26 12:07:16 2005

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