Criticisms of "Darwin's Black Box"

David J. Tyler (
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 17:29:46 GMT

An interesting article has appeared on the Leadership University
site. Source:
It opens as follows:
Rebuttals to Common Criticisms of the Book Darwin's Black Box
Robert DiSilvestro, Ph.D. Biochemistry Associate Professor, Human
Nutrition, The Ohio State University

# 1. This is a new version of the God of the gaps.
# 2. Gene duplication provides the complexity.
# 3. Evolution can create systems from genes that are already around
for other purposes.
#4. Some steps of evolution are no longer seen, but were there before
a system looked irreducibly complex.
#5. Some seemingly complex systems initially worked at a simpler
level, which eventually evolved to a more complex, even an
irreducibly complex system.
#6. We have examples of criticism 5 (simpler versions of more
complex biological systems).
#7. Today, we can see examples of genetic evolution that support some
of the above criticisms.
#8. "I don't know how it could happen" doesn't equal "It couldn't

The book Darwin's Black Box, by biochemistry professor Michael Behe,
has challenged the idea that Darwinian evolution explains many of the
complex biochemical systems we see today. Instead, Behe proposes,
these systems are the result of intelligent design. The book's message
has been received with great enthusiasm by many people, including many
evangelical Christians. On the other hand, much of the biological
research community has dismissed the book. This dismissal is based on
various criticisms. Sometimes, the criticisms are made fairly simply,
while at other times, they are dressed up with many complex
biochemical details. Whether the objections sound complicated or not,
the most common objections distill down to about eight basic
criticisms. I contend that these criticisms are flawed. Below, I
provide a very short summary of the basic ideas of the book, and then
briefly describe the eight main criticisms and give my rebuttals to
Hope this is of interest.

David J. Tyler.