Re: [asa] Behe's bad math

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Sun Jun 03 2007 - 23:32:15 EDT

David Buller wrote:
> "/If there is not a smooth, gradually rising, easily found
> evolutionary pathway leading to a biological system within a
> reasonable time, Darwinian processes won't work. /"
> [This seems to be the basic argument of the book, much like Darwin's
> statement about complex structures was for / Darwin//'s Black Box./]
> "What's more, scientists have catalogued myriad ways in which DNA can
> change. Not only can single units (called nucleotides) of DNA
> accidentally change when the DNA is copied in a new generation, but
> whole chunks of the double helix can accidentally either be duplicated
> or be left out. Very rarely all of the DNA in a cell is copied twice,
> yielding offspring with double the DNA of its parents. Other times
> active DNA elements resembling viruses can insert copies of themselves
> at new positions in the genome, sometimes dragging other bits of DNA
> with them. Opportunities for nature to alter an organism's DNA are
> virtually boundless."
> [This strikes me as a rather interesting paragraph. Much of Behe's
> argument is based upon the last quote, including the "smooth" and
> "gradually rising" clauses. Yet wouldn't DNA changes like this cause
> some jumps and gaps?]
David B has right here made a very good point, which I believe is
critical. Michael Denton has made a similar point. In his recent
writings he has said that when he wrote his book Evolution: Theory in
Crisis (1986) he made two errors. The first error was one of choice of
title -- he should have titled the book Darwinism: Theory in Crisis.
The second error was one made in ignorance of scientific advances at
the genomic level that have been made in the last two decades. He now
sees how large differences in phenotype can plausibly arise from small
changes at the molecular level. Denton was once a Fellow of the
Discovery Institute but now he is a critic of the Intelligent Design
movement as formulated and promulgated by Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe
and William Dembski.

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Received on Sun Jun 3 23:33:24 2007

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