Michael Behe's Edge of Evolution
Michael Behe's answer to Ken Miller
Posts that reveal the failure of scientists to demonstrate macroevolution. Bacteria have not been able to put two useful mutations together to improve or evolve from their natural state. This despite scientists artificially stresssing or altering their environments to encourage mutations and/or the degradation of certain systems within the bacterial strain.
Now consider that probably the simplest known bacteria, Mycoplasma genitalium, consists of 482 genes and over 580,000 DNA "letters"/chromosome base pairs or let us just call them bits of genetic information. But then DNA itself is made of many different components, so the chromosome is in no way a simple thing to alter or replace. A chromosome is an expression of information made up of many parts itself.
How does anyone begin to believe that this "simple" organism simply happened into existence when modern bacteria cannot produce even two bits of information to add to the organism's gene pool? The reason this is happening is related to what information really is. Information is the intelligence behind the design. A 2mm length of DNA (or approximately what would sit on the head of a pin) has the information equal to what would be contained within a pile of books reaching to the moon and back 500 times. A book contains information but the information is not the paper nor the ink, it is the intelligence behind the design of the letters and the sequencing of the letters produced by the proper placing of ink on paper.
Therefore, a "simple" bacteria is not made up of 482 parts or 521 parts or 582,000 parts, but when all the systems and reactions and components are added up you get into the millions. All of these different parts have to be arranged in a certain way and work in very specific ways and orders.
A better question to ask is this. Where did the first living cell come from, since even bacteria are immensely complex? How can anyone who believes this simply happened claim that such a belief is scientific? It is magical thinking.
However, design is evidence of a Designer. A Creator God is the only explanation. I dare any humanist/darwinist/evolutionist to explain to me how a bacteria just showed up out of nowhere?
You need proteins/amino acids/enzymes/special processes to order them...you have the problem of homochirality. You have to explain the very existence of RNA. You have reactions that would take up to a trillion years to happen just once that are happening in fractions of a second because there are special processes and chemicals in place working in order to artificially speed them up. Jonathan Sarfati once estimated the chances of a 256 gene simple life form (the theoretical lowest limit to a living organism) to happen even once would be 1 in 10 to the minus 3330 if all space and all time would be considered fertile ground for the development of a cell, which is of course not true. So far we can see no place in the Universe in which life lives and probably could live other than Earth. Yet we have millions of varieties of living organisms on the planet today.
You think life is simple? Check this out. Read about this. Or this. Now you have just begun to consider how complex life really is.
Bacteria do not evolve into anything else and we cannot see a way that they could have ever happened...without having been designed and created. Naturalistic materialistic humanistic scientists are predisposed to ignore the obvious.
Evolution and theism
The evolutionists’ views on the relationship between science and theistic religion are surprising, considering their strongly anti-theistic personal views. Of course, evolution in itself is a religion and an explicit substitute for Christianity, as evolutionary philosopher Michael Ruse admitted.
Predictably, only 3 percent believed that evolution and religion were completely compatible and 8 percent chose the philosophically bankrupt non-overlapping magisteria principle advocated by the late Marxist Stephen Jay Gould. And a surprisingly low percentage said that evolution and religion are mutually exclusive, as evolutionists like Richard Dawkins and William Provine claim. Instead, a large majority of 72 percent took the view that religion is ‘a sociobiological function of human culture, a part of human evolution, not a contradiction to evolution’. Though they do not themselves believe in God, they are loath to completely dismiss it, perhaps because the vast majority of Americans still claim theistic faith. Darwin himself privately believed that Christianity was incompatible with evolution, as shown in the article Darwin’s arguments against God: How Darwin rejected the doctrines of Christianity. But he used the theistic evolutionary ideas of Asa Gray to ease the concerns of those who raised religious objections to evolution until the acceptance of his hypothesis meant that he no longer needed to defend a theistic view of evolution. The American Scientist article admits that treating religion as a sociobiological product of evolution, ‘while a plausible hypothesis, denies all worth to religious truths.’
Evolution is the prime example of the example of the false alternative: Evolution and life happening by chance MUST BE TRUE they say because God is the only alternative and God could not possibly be correct. "It's unscientific!"
Suppose we are playing three-handed Pinochle. I win the bid and name Clubs as trump. You have four Spades, including two Aces and also an Ace of Hearts. You figure you will take a few tricks. With a total of twelve Spades available in the deck, you are pretty confident you can play and win at least both of the Ace leads. You wait until your first chance to take the lead and, when I lead a Queen of Hearts, the next guy plays the King and you wind up winning the trick with a Ten of Hearts. You hold the Ace of Hearts but figure maybe I want you to play Hearts, so you go to your strong suit.
You play the first Ace of Spades and I play a Club, which is trump, to win the hand because I have no Spades. You are now sitting there telling me that it isn't possible for me to win the hand with a Jack of Clubs when you led an Ace of Spades. You are in the position of a Darwinist. The hand is played and God trumps chance. Chance has to win, you proclaim, because God is not possible. But you are wrong, God is not only possible, He is plausible and His existence in tandem with the evidence trumps chance, which has shown itself to be useless as a source for life itself and incapable of producing new information within existing populations.
Science, like Pinochle, used to have rules of evidence. You would follow the evidence to its logical conclusion. The evidence points to God, more so each and every day as attempts to reproduce evolution fail and the intricacies of life and the fine-tuning of the Earth become more apparent. But orthodox scientists cheat by refusing to accept the obvious and seek for a magic new way out, a way to get away from the truth.
There is no magic card that will save you from my Jack of Clubs that, because it is trump, even though you figured your Ace would win. My Darwinist friends, no Dawkins verbal hip-hop nor continually revised Miller-Urey experimentation nor a magical space rock nor a Get Out Of Logic Free card will save you from the truth.
So I am supposedly too ignorant to understand evolution. So I am going to invite the explanations and be quite specific. Here goes...
Explain why bacteria will not evolve after multiple thousands of generations. Explain how life came from non-life. Pretending that bacteria are evolving while losing information or trading information is an automatic failure. You absolutely need to nail both of these down before you can even begin to explain the Archer Fish or the flight of the Bumblebee. I am giving you the easy ones first, whatcha got for me?
Meanwhile, suppose I give Behe a couple of paragraphs to consider while you look...
- Why is intelligent design science? Isn’t it just giving up on finding a scientific explanation for something that we don’t yet fully understand?
- Intelligent design is science because it is based completely on physical data — the molecular machinery of cells — plus ordinary logic. Whenever we see systems in our everyday world of a certain degree and kind of complexity (like clocks), we always have found them to be designed. Now, much to our surprise, science has discovered similar systems in the cell. I see no reason to withhold the conclusion of design for cellular components. So the design of cellular machinery is an inductive argument based on physical evidence — a scientific conclusion.
- When the motions of the galaxies away from the earth was first observed in the 1930s, that led to the Big Bang hypothesis. Many scientists of that time hated the idea of a beginning to nature, because it seemed to have theistic overtones. What if they had said that the Big Bang hypothesis was simply giving up on finding a scientific explanation for something that we don’t fully understand yet? If they had, physics would have missed out on a lot of progress. Science has to follow the evidence wherever it leads, or it ceases to be science. Right now the biological evidence is leading to the conclusion of design.
PS - I would add that the Bible is also evidence, physical evidence. We who believe in a specific Intelligent Designer have more than faith, we have data and we can apply it forensically in more common sense ways than can the Darwinists.