5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blasphemies the Evolutionary Dogma
It truly amazing the lengths some "scientific" followers of the prophet Darwin will go attack this book. It seems Evolutionary detractors with all their extended courses in substantive Biology, never acquired even a basic understanding in elementary Logic. Merely attacking Behe and Creationists (of Which Behe is not) as Stupid and calling them repeately is a ad...
Published on May 7 2004 by M. Kerezman
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Formidable Challenge to Evolution
Michael Behe's notion of irreducibly complex systems presents a formidable challenge to evolution by natural selection. Behe discusses several such systems: Bombardier Beetle, cilium, flagellum, blood clotting system and the complement cascade which is involved in immunity, as well as the the molecular structure of cells and their various compartments. His idea is very...
Published on Feb 6 2011 by Bassim Zantout
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Reviews Tell All,
By A Customer
As far as self-proclaimed "skeptics" are concerned, I always find it amusing that they invariably are skeptical about the exact same things. If someone claims, for example, that they have proof of ESP, the cries of "fraud" and "insufficient evidence" start flying. On the other hand, if someone claims that life arose from non-living matter via a process of mutation filtered through natural selection, then the theory is crowned as sacred truth. The fact there is virtually no fossil evidence, other than a few remains that appear to be major transitional forms of a handful of speices, is irrelevant.
Methinks that the critics of intelligent design should just build their own churches, hire clergy, anoint Richard Dawkins as their Pope, and gather on the Sabbath to worship the bones of Australopithicus.
5.0 out of 5 stars Science should be more than "Presto, Abra-cadabra, Shazam!",
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars For many who believe in lies that aren't even theirs,
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful arguments,
By A Customer
At any rate, this masterpiece can be appreciated at all levels.
3.0 out of 5 stars irreducible complexity is just what evolution produces,
In the evolutionary technique, a computer manipulated a sequence that served as the blueprint or DNA for the circuit, describing how the gates were to be connected. The computer could then test the resulting circuit, compare the results with the desired results, and rearrange the gates using "genetic algorithms" on the blueprint sequence, and try again, over and over. The computer was not programmed with any knowledge about how the gates function, or given any "intelligence" other than the relativly simple genetic algorithms (similar to gene crossover, etc).
The resulting circuit took only 12 gates. Engineers couldn't figure out how it worked at first. What happened is that some of the gates ended up being fed intermediary voltages, in a way they weren't designed to operate, so they no longer operated like simple logic gates. So, the resulting design was "simpler" in needing fewer components -- but vastly more complex in understanding how it worked. No part of the design made much sense by itself. The circuit had to be analyzed as a whole, using much more complex techniques for circuit analysis than are needed for traditional logic circuits.
This little experiment gives evidence that evolution tends to produce "irreducably complex" designs, whereas human designers tend to produce understandable designs. Based on this, Behe's evidence that life uses "irreducibly complex" designs seems to give evidence for evolution rather than intelligent design.
Behe assumes that intelligent designers produce irreducibly complex design, without giving any evidence for that belief. A simple experiment contradicts his assumption.
Not that this proves creationism wrong. Evolution theory still has critical problems to solve, such as those involving probability and mutation, as well as initial conditions (creating the components that make evolution possible).
Don't bother voting -- this review won't help you much to decide whether to buy the book -- sorry!
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-scientific scientists,
Darwin wrote: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Any honest reading of this book would conclude that Behe demonstrates that Darwin's own criteria for the breakdown of his theory has now been met.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book makes sense!,
4.0 out of 5 stars The only unbiased review for miles.,
By A Customer
"More drivel from the peanut gallery !!!!!!!DARWIN was right!!!YOU WANT THE TRUTH ? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!! I read this book it su didley ucks!!!!!!"
If this reviewer did, in fact, read Behe's book, two things can be said of him: 1) he hated it, probably from the outset and 2) he is of rather minimal intelligence. The second observation cannot be said true of the other reviewers, hence they are able to write longer reviews.
Behe's is a well-written book and it makes its points clearly and solidly. You will either love it or hate it, depending on your predetermined agenda. And if you are unsure about the issue, it might just change your mind. But you should read the book and form your own opinions. This is the only branch of science (if macroevolution can be considered a scientific theory - naturalistic, yes, but scientific dependent on your definition of science) that is so hotly debated because it ultimately deals with religious issues, and you simply cannot take at face value what anyone else says. Think for yourself and don't let other people think for you.
2.0 out of 5 stars Old Idea, new face,
The author preposes that there are some organisms in the animal world that are incompatible with darwins theory of evolution. This is because they are what he calls "irraducibly complex": meaning that if one part of the system is taken away then the entire thing no longer works. He draws on cell biology to bak up his case, arguing that a system like a bacterial motor could not hace evolved by chance because if one part of it is remved then it will not fuction, and it is impossible that all the parts in the system could have evolved in a single mutation.
There is one fundermental flaw to this argument: the author asumes that the parts that make up a bacterial motor have no usful function by them selves. He could not be further form the truth. The six or so main parts that make up a bacterial motor ar still usful by them selves. With out a motor to turn the tail, the tail can still be used in other ways, such as injecting protine into other structures, exchanging DNA, ect. When you alie this to his thesis it completly falls apart.
And finaly, to all those creationists out there, even if there was any evidence of a designer, which there isn't, that would not mean that the designer was your god or took any intrest in human afirst or gave a damn wheather you did or didn't go to church on Sundays. For all you know the designer could be aliens or flying pigs! It should also be notised that Behe himslef has addmited that there are two few examles of irraducable complecity to rule out all of the theory of evolution and that the fossil record demostrates that evolution must have happened even with a little help from a creator, which there is no evidence to sugest ec=ven exists.
Sorry people, evolution is here to stay, and so far no strong argument against it has been come up with.
And on another note for all thoses people who claim that Einstiene belived in god, this is taken by his auto-biography:
He also says:"From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.... I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one".
Einstien thought that there was a possibility that there was a god, he also agknowlaged that there didn't need to be one for the univers to exist.
3.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the choir,
To help develop this subjective ability to be shocked and awed by the complexity of living systems, he discusses several biochemical processes in great detail. For this part, I give the book three stars. I never cared much for the wet and squishy sciences of biology and chemistry, but his treatment of biochemical processes makes me now see molecular interactions as a bunch of little machines. I can relate to that! And---indeed---we should be awed by the magnificence of these mechanisms. But his statement that these are irreducibly complex involves a leap of faith that those in the intelligent design camp will only be too glad to take and those in the evolution camp will not.
Early in the book I thought he would be making an argument for the weak anthropic principle. That is, living systems are so complex that they could only come about in a universe where the physical laws were set up automatically form complex systems (that eventually can become self-aware and come to marvel at their own complexity). But he gives short shrift to the weak anthropic principle. In fact, he dismisses it in a paragraph or so with the comment that people would probably find the concept silly.
The idea that the universe is set up to self-organize is behind the work of Stuart Kaufmann, whom Behe also discusses. But there is no real substantial discussion of the body of work on self-organization. Rather, he lets Kaufmann represent this body of work, then shoots him down with arguments bordering on ad hominem (e.g., mentioning that Kaufmann's former graduate advisor lambasted him in review of Kaufmann's book).
In short, I don't have any a priori interest in intelligent design, but I would be happy to listen to any carefully reasoned arguments for it where the conclusions followed convincingly from the premises. This book is not such an argument.
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Darwin's Black Box by Michael J. Behe (Paperback - Sep 2010)
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