Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution

Michael J. Behe, Author Free Press $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-684-82754-4
Charles Darwin's theory of life's evolution through natural selection and random mutation fails to account for the origin of astonishingly complex biomolecular systems, argues Behe, associate professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. In this spirited, witty critique of neo-Darwinian thinking, he focuses on five phenomena: blood clotting; cilia, oar-like bundles of fibers; the human immune system; transport of materials within the cell; and the synthesis of nucleotides, building blocks of DNA. In each case, he finds systems that are irreducibly complex--no gradual, step-by-step, Darwinian route led to their creation. As an alternative explanation, Behe infers that complex biochemical systems (i.e., life) were designed by an intelligent agent, whether God, extraterrestrials or a universal force. He notes that Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA's double-helix structure, proposed that life began when aliens from another planet sent a rocket ship containing spores to seed Earth. Perhaps Behe's plea for incorporating a ""theory of intelligent design"" into mainstream biology will spark interest. Illustrated. Translation and U.K. rights: Simon & Schuster. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
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Hardcover - 978-0-02-874101-7
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-0-7432-9031-9
Open Ebook - 307 pages - 978-0-7432-1485-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-684-83493-1
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