> Author Index > B - Authors > Michael Behe Quotes

Michael Behe Quotes





Pages: 12Next

A man from a primitive culture who sees an automobile might guess that it was powered by the wind or by an antelope hidden under the car, but when he opens up the hood and sees the engine he immediately realizes that it was designed.
 

Although Darwin was able to persuade much of the world that a modern eye could be produced gradually from a much simpler structure, he did not even attempt to explain how the simple light sensitive spot that was his starting point actually worked.
[Attempt]
 

As can be seen even by this limited number of examples proteins carry out amazingly diverse functions.
 

Biology has progressed tremendously due to the model that Darwin put forth. But the black boxes Darwin accepted are now being opened, and our view of the world is again being shaken.
 

But sequence comparisons simply can't account for the development of complex biochemical systems any more than Darwin's comparison of simple and complex eyes told him how vision worked.
 

By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.
 

In Darwin's time all of biology was a black box: not only the cell, or the eye, or digestion, or immunity, but every biological structure and function because, ultimately, no one could explain how biological processes occurred.
 

In many biological structures proteins are simply components of larger molecular machines.
 

In order to say that some function is understood, every relevant step in the process must be elucidated.
 

In the 19th century the anatomy of the eye was known in great detail and the sophisticated mechanisms it employs to deliver an accurate picture of the outside world astounded everyone who was familiar with them.
 

It is a shock to us in the twentieth century to discover, from observations science has made, that the fundamental mechanisms of life cannot be ascribed to natural selection, and therefore were designed. But we must deal with our shock as best we can and go on.
 

It is often said that science must avoid any conclusions which smack of the supernatural.
 

It was a shock to people of the nineteenth century when they discovered, from observations science had made, that many features of the biological world could be ascribed to the elegant principle of natural selection.
 

It was only about sixty years ago that the expansion of the universe was first observed.
 

Proteins are the machinery of living tissue that builds the structures and carries out the chemical reactions necessary for life.
 

Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted.
 

Since natural selection requires a function to select, an irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would have to arise as an integrated unit for natural selection to have anything to act on.
 

Skin is made in large measure of a protein called collagen.
 

The basic structure of proteins is quite simple: they are formed by hooking together in a chain discrete subunits called amino acids.
 

The point here is that physics followed the data where it seemed to lead, even though some thought the model gave aid and comfort to religion.
 


Pages: 12Next