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PDF | Reviewed by Thane Hutcherson Ury 7 cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box is just such a text. Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to. Evolution by Michael J. Behe. The Free Press, New York. Reviewed by Thane Hutcherson Ury. 7 cannot look. Editorial Reviews. Review. Michael J. Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University, presents here a scientific argument for the existence of God.

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Darwins Black Box Pdf

a recent book by Free Press titled, Darwin's Black Box: The. Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael Behe. Michael. Behe is a biophysics professor at. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم Darwin's Black Box The Biochemical J. Behe ساهم في الإعداد: الأستاذ مُصطفى نصر قديح للتحميل: (PDF) (DOC) نبذة. “Black box is a whimsical term for a device that does something, but whose inner What Darwin thought was simple are “staggeringly complicated biochemical.

The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. Michael J. For example, the motions of the planets in the solar system can be predicted with tremendous accuracy; however, the origin of the solar system the question of how the sun, planets, and their moons formed in the first place is still controversial. Still, the point remains that understanding the origin of something is different from understanding its day-to-day workings. Darwin was ignorant of the reason for variation within a species one of the requirements of his theory , but biochemistry has identified the molecular basis for it. Nineteenth-century science could not even guess at the mechanism of vision, immunity, or movement, but modern biochemistry has identified the molecules that allow those and other functions.

Michael J. For example, the motions of the planets in the solar system can be predicted with tremendous accuracy; however, the origin of the solar system the question of how the sun, planets, and their moons formed in the first place is still controversial. Still, the point remains that understanding the origin of something is different from understanding its day-to-day workings. Darwin was ignorant of the reason for variation within a species one of the requirements of his theory , but biochemistry has identified the molecular basis for it.

Nineteenth-century science could not even guess at the mechanism of vision, immunity, or movement, but modern biochemistry has identified the molecules that allow those and other functions. In its full-throated, biological sense, however, evolution means a process whereby life arose from nonliving matter and subsequently developed entirely by natural means. That is the sense that Darwin gave to the word, and the meaning that it holds in the scientific community.

And that is the sense in which I use the word evolution throughout this book. Nonetheless, complexity must be experienced to be appreciated. So, gentle reader, I beg your patience; there are going to be a lot of details in this book. Part I gives some background and shows why evolution must now be argued at the molecular level—the domain of the science of biochemistry.

This portion is largely free from technical details, although some do creep in during a discussion of the eye. Part I: The Box is Opened. Chapter 1: Lilliputian Biology. He observed that there is variation in all species: He reasoned that since limited food supplies could not support all organisms that are born, the ones whose chance variation gave them an advantage in the struggle for life would tend to survive and reproduce, outcompeting the less favored ones.

If the variation were inherited, then the characteristics of the species would change over time; over great periods, great changes might occur. The theory has even been stretched by some scientists to interpret human behavior: There is nothing—no organ or idea, no sense or thought—that has not been the subject of evolutionary rumination. To many, its triumph seems complete. But the real work of life does not happen at the level of the whole animal or organ; the most important parts of living things are too small to be seen.

Machines turn cellular switches on and off, sometimes killing the cell or causing it to grow. Solar-powered machines capture the energy of photons and store it in chemicals.

Electrical machines allow current to flow through nerves. Manufacturing machines build other molecular machines, as well as themselves. Cells swim using machines, copy themselves with machinery, ingest food with machinery.

In short, highly sophisticated molecular machines control every cellular process. Thus the details of life are finely calibrated, and the machinery of life enormously complex.

For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent that all organisms share a common ancestor fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. I greatly respect the work of my colleagues who study the development and behavior of organisms within an evolutionary framework, and I think that evolutionary biologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the world. I also do not think it surprising that the new science of the very small might change the way we view the less small.

Computers are a good example of a black box. Most of us use these marvelous machines without the vaguest idea of how they work, processing words or plotting graphs or playing games in contented ignorance of what is going on underneath the outer case. Even if we were to remove the cover, though, few of us could make heads or tails of the jumble of pieces inside.

There is no simple, observable connection between the parts of the computer and the things that it does. Harvey calculated that if the heart pumps out just two ounces of blood per beat, at 72 beats per minute, in one hour it would have pumped pounds of blood—triple the weight of a man! Since making that much blood in so short a time is clearly impossible, the blood had to be reused.

In such cases, great unwillingness can arise. Schleiden worked primarily with plant tissue; he argued for the central importance of a dark spot—the nucleus—within all cells. Schwann concentrated on animal tissue, in which it was harder to see cells.

Nonetheless he discerned that animals were similar to plants in their cellular structure. Schwann concluded that cells or the secretions of cells compose the entire bodies of animals and plants, and that in some way the cells are individual units with a life of their own. To Darwin, then, as to every other scientist of the time, the cell was a black box. Nonetheless he was able to make sense of much biology above the level of the cell. The idea that life evolves was not original with Darwin, but he argued it by far the most systematically, and the theory of how evolution works—by natural selection working on variation—was his own.

These are often given separate names: Roughly speaking, microevolution describes changes that can be made in one or a few small jumps, whereas macroevolution describes changes that appear to require large jumps. But it is at the level of macroevolution—of large jumps—that the theory evokes skepticism.

Many people have followed Darwin in proposing that huge changes can be broken down into plausible, small steps over great periods of time.

Persuasive evidence to support that position, however, has not been forthcoming. In The Origin of Species Darwin dealt with many objections to his theory of evolution by natural selection. He realized that if in one generation an organ as complex as the eye suddenly appeared, it would be tantamount to a miracle.

Unfortunately, gradual development of the human eye appeared to be impossible, since its many sophisticated features seemed to be interdependent. Somehow, for evolution to be believable, Darwin had to convince the public that complex organs could be formed in a step-by-step process.

But the question of how vision began remained unanswered.

Darwin's Black Box - Wikipedia

Darwin persuaded much of the world that a modern eye evolved gradually from a simpler structure, but he did not even try to explain where his starting point—the relatively simple light-sensitive spot—came from. Each of the anatomical steps and structures that Darwin thought were so simple actually involves staggeringly complicated biochemical processes that cannot be papered over with rhetoric.

So it seemed to Haeckel that such simple life, with no internal organs, could be produced easily from inanimate material. Now, of course, we know better. In both cases brilliant nineteenth-century scientists tried to explain Lilliputian biology that was hidden from them, and both did so by assuming that the inside of the black box must be simple.

Time has proven them wrong. In the middle of the century, however, leaders of the fields organized a series of interdisciplinary meetings to combine their views into a coherent theory of evolution based on Darwinian principles. Neo-Darwinism is the basis of modern evolutionary thought. The beginnings of modem biochemistry came only after neo-Darwinism had been officially launched.

Thus, just as biology had to be reinterpreted after the complexity of microscopic life was discovered, neo-Darwinism must be reconsidered in light of advances in biochemistry. The scientific disciplines that were part of the evolutionary synthesis are all nonmolecular.

Yet for the Darwinian theory of evolution to be true, it has to account for the molecular structure of life. It is the purpose of this book to show that it does not. Chapter 2: Nuts and Bolts. Lynn Margulis is highly respected for her widely accepted theory that mitochondria, the energy source of plant and animal cells, were once independent bacterial cells. Her challenge goes unmet.

Neo-Darwinism, which insists on the slow accrual of mutations , is in a complete funk. No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seems to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change—over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history.

When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet in rocks just a little bit younger is seen a profusion of fossilized animals, with a host of widely differing body plans.

Recently the estimated time over which the explosion took place has been revised downward from 50 million years to 10 million years—a blink of the eye in geological terms. When Darwin first proposed his theory a big difficulty was the estimated age of the earth. Nineteenth-century physicists thought the earth was only about a hundred million years old, yet Darwin thought natural selection would require much more time to produce life.

At first he was proven right; the earth is now known to be much older. It is now approximately half a century since the neo-Darwinian synthesis was formulated. A great deal of research has been carried on within the paradigm it defines. Yet the successes of the theory are limited to the minutiae of evolution, such as the adaptive change in coloration of moths; while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which interest us most, such as how there came to be moths in the first place.

The results of the last 20 years of research on the genetic basis of adaptation has led us to a great Darwinian paradox. Those [genes] that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to lie at the basis of many major adaptive changes, while those [genes] that seemingly do constitute the foundation of many, if not most, major adaptive changes apparently are not variable within natural populations.

What then does this all-encompassing theory of evolution predict? Given a handful of postulates, such as random mutations, and selection coefficients, it will predict changes in [gene] frequencies over time. Is this what a grand theory of evolution ought to be about? We conclude—unexpectedly—that there is little evidence for the neo-Darwinian view: Novel biochemical functions seem to be rare in evolution, and the basis for their origin is virtually unknown. Information theorist Hubert Yockey argues that the information needed to begin life could not have developed by chance; he suggests that life be considered a given, like matter or energy.

A mathematician who claimed that there was insufficient time for the number of mutations apparently needed to make an eye was told by the biologists that his figures must be wrong.

The mathematicians, though, were not persuaded that the fault was theirs. As one said: There is a considerable gap in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged with the current conception of biology.

Kaplan, M. Moorhead and M. Kaplan, Wistar Institute Press, Philadelphia, p. Darwin and evolution stand astride us, whatever the muttering of creation scientists. But is the view right? Better, is it adequate?

I believe it is not. It is not that Darwin is wrong, but that he got hold of only part of the truth. George Mivart, listed his objections to the theory, many of which are surprisingly similar to those raised by modern critics. That it does not harmonize with the co-existence of closely similar structures of diverse origin. That there are grounds for thinking that specific differences may be developed suddenly instead of gradually.

That the opinion that species have definite though very different limits to their variability is still tenable. That certain fossil transitional forms are absent, which might have been expected to be present. But scientists, like everybody else, base most of their opinions on the word of other people.

Of the great majority who accept Darwinism, most though not all do so based on authority. Also, and unfortunately, too often criticisms have been dismissed by the scientific community for fear of giving ammunition to creationists. It is ironic that in the name of protecting science, trenchant scientific criticism of natural selection has been brushed aside. When it is threatened by another bug, however, the beetle has a special method of defending itself, squirting a boiling-hot solution at the enemy out of an aperture in its hind section.

How is this trick done? Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University, has taken up their challenge. These two chemicals, when mixed together; literally explode. So in order to store them inside its body, the bombardier beetle has evolved a chemical inhibitor to make them harmless. At the moment the beetle squirts the liquid out of its tail, an anti-inhibitor is added to make the mixture explosive once again.

The chain of events that could have led to the evolution of such a complex, coordinated and subtle process is beyond biological explanation on a simple step-by-step basis. The slightest alteration in the chemical balance would result immediately in a race of exploded beetles.

A biochemist colleague has kindly provided me with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and enough hydroquinone for 50 bombardier beetles. I am about to mix the two together. According to [Hitching], they will explode in my face. Here goes…. I poured the hydrogen peroxide into the hydroquinone, and absolutely nothing happened. If you are curious about the bombardier beetle, by the way, what actually happens is as follows.

It is true that it squirts a scaldingly hot mixture of hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone at enemies.

This is what the bombardier beetle does. As for the evolutionary precursors of the system, both hydrogen peroxide and various kinds of quinones are used for other purposes in body chemistry. Norton, London, pp. But Dawkins has not explained how hydrogen peroxide and quinones came to be secreted together at very high concentration into one compartment that is connected through a sphinctered tube to a second compartment that contains enzymes necessary for the rapid reaction of the chemicals.

The key question is this: How could complex biochemical systems be gradually produced? One side gets its facts wrong; the other side merely corrects the facts. But the burden of the Darwinians is to answer two questions: First, what exactly are the stages of beetle evolution, in all their complex glory? Second, given these stages, how does Darwinism get us from one to the next?

The components of the system are 1 hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone, which are produced by the secretory lobes; 2 the enzyme catalysts, which are made by the ectodermal glands; 3 the collecting vesicle; 4 the sphincter muscle; 5 the explosion chamber; and 6 the outlet duct. Not all of these components, though, are necessary for the function of the system. Hydroquinone itself is noxious to predators. For example, the collection vesicle is a complex, multicelled structure.

What does it contain? Why does it have its particular shape? In both cases the manner of concentrating and the holding vessel are unexplained, and the benefits of either would depend sharply on the details. The collecting vesicle, the sphincter muscle, the explosion chamber, and the exit port are all complex structures in their own right, with many unidentified components.

Furthermore, the actual processes responsible for the development of the explosive capability are unknown: What causes a collection vesicle to develop, hydrogen peroxide to be excreted, or a sphincter muscle to wrap around? If we could analyze the structural details of the beetle down to the last protein and enzyme, and if we could account for all these details with a Darwinian explanation, then we could agree with Dawkins. The eye either functions as a whole or not at all.

So how did it come to evolve by slow, steady, infinitesimally small Darwinian improvements? Is it really plausible that thousands upon thousands of lucky chance mutations happened coincidentally so that the lens and the retina, which cannot work without each other, evolved in synchrony? Take them off and look around. Hitching also states, as though it were obvious, that the lens and the retina cannot work without each other.

On what authority? Someone close to me has had a cataract operation in both eyes. She has no lenses in her eyes at all. But she assures me that you are far better off with a lensless eye than with no eye at all. You can tell if you are about to walk into a wall or another person. If you were a wild creature, you could certainly use your lensless eye to detect the looming shape of a predator, and the direction from which it was approaching.

A ball of cells—from which the cup must be made—will tend to be rounded unless held in the correct shape by molecular supports. In fact, there are dozens of complex proteins involved in maintaining cell shape, and dozens more that control extracellular structure; in their absence, cells take on the shape of so many soap bubbles. Do these structures represent single-step mutations? 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.

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. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional.

An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution. Since natural selection can only choose systems that are already working, then if a biological system cannot be produced gradually it would have to arise as an integrated unit, in one fell swoop, for natural selection to have anything to act on. Evolution is very possibly not, in actual fact, always gradual. But it must be gradual when it is being used to explain the coming into existence of complicated, apparently designed objects, like eyes.

For if it is not gradual in these cases, it ceases to have any explanatory power at all. Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle, which is simply a synonym for the total absence of explanation. To be inherited, the change must occur in the DNA of a reproductive cell. Alternatively, a single nucleotide can be added or left out when the DNA is copied during cell division.

Sometimes, though, a whole region of DNA—thousands or millions of nucleotides—is accidentally deleted or duplicated. That counts as a single mutation, too, because it happens at one time, as a single event. Generally a single mutation can, at best, make only a small change in a creature—even if the change impresses us as a big one.

Too many of the nuts and bolts and screws, motor parts, handlebars, and so on are unaccounted for. For us to debate whether Darwinian evolution could produce such large structures is like nineteenth century scientists debating whether cells could arise spontaneously.

Such debates are fruitless because not all the components are known. An irreducibly complex object will be composed of several parts, all of which contribute to the function. And what part of the bicycle could be duplicated to begin building a motor? Even if a lucky accident brought a lawnmower engine from a neighboring factory into the bicycle factory, the motor would have to be mounted on the bike and be connected in the right way to the drive chain. How could this be done step-by-step from bicycle parts?

If the base were made out of paper, for example, the trap would fall apart. If the hammer were too heavy, it would break the spring. If the spring were too loose, it would not move the hammer. If the holding bar were too short, it would not reach the catch. If the catch were too large, it would not release at the proper time.

A simple list of components of a mousetrap is necessary, but not sufficient, to make a functioning mousetrap. A mousetrap made of unsuitable materials would not meet the criterion of minimal function, but even complex machines that do what they are supposed to do may not be of much use. Part II: Examining the Contents of the Box. Chapter 3: Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Like their man-made counterparts such as mousetraps, bicycles, and space shuttles , molecular machines range from the simple to the enormously complex: Of course, molecular machines are made primarily of proteins, not metal and plastic.

A protein chain typically has anywhere from about fifty to about one thousand amino acid links. Each position in the chain is occupied by one of twenty different amino acids. In this they are like words, which can come in various lengths but are made up from a set of just 26 letters.

As a matter of fact, biochemists often refer to each amino acid by a single-letter abbreviation—G for glycine, S for serine, H for histidine, and so forth. Each different kind of amino acid has a different shape and different chemical properties.

For example, W is large but A is small, R carries a positive charge but E carries a negative charge, S prefers to be dissolved in water but I prefers oil, and so on.

Worse, the two papers disagree with each other even about the general route such an evolution might take. Neither paper discusses crucial quantitative details, or possible problems that would quickly cause a mechanical device such as a cilium or a mousetrap to be useless. Cavalier-Smith, appeared in in a journal called BioSystems. Instead it paints a picture of what the author imagines must have been significant events along the way to a cilium.

Szathmary, E. Bermudes, D. But a search of the professional literature proves them wrong. Nobody knows. So the bacterial flagellum acts as a rotary propeller—in contrast to the cilium, which acts more like an oar. Greater detail about the flagellar motor can be found in the following: Schuster, S.

Yet here again, the evolutionary literature is totally missing. Even though we are told that all biology must be seen through the lens of evolution, no scientist has ever published a model to account for the gradual evolution of this extraordinary molecular machine.

Darwin's Black Box

Darwin looks more and more forlorn. New research on the roles of the auxiliary proteins cannot simplify the irreducibly complex system. The intransigence of the problem cannot be alleviated; it will only get worse. Darwinian theory has given no explanation for the cilium or flagellum. The overwhelming complexity of the swimming systems push us to think it may never give an explanation. Cilia and flagella are far from the only problems for Darwinism. Chapter 4: Rube Goldberg in The Blood.

Biochemical investigation, however, has shown that blood clotting is a very complex, intricately woven system consisting of a score of interdependent protein parts. The absence of, or significant defects in, any one of a number of the components causes the system to fail: When a pressurized blood circulation system is punctured, a clot must form quickly or the animal will bleed to death.

If blood congeals at the wrong time or place, though, then the clot may block circulation as it does in heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, a clot has to stop bleeding all along the length of the cut, sealing it completely. Yet blood clotting must be confined to the cut or the entire blood system of the animal might solidify, killing it. Consequently, the clotting of blood must be tightly controlled so that the clot forms only when and where it is required.

The components of the system beyond the fork in the pathway are fibrinogen, prothrombin, Stuart factor, and proaccelerin. Just as none of the parts of the Foghorn system is used for anything except controlling the fall of the telephone pole, so none of the cascade proteins are used for anything except controlling the formation of a blood clot.

Yet in the absence of any one of the components, blood does not clot, and the system fails. What he has done is to hypothesize a series of steps in which clotting proteins appear one after another.

Consider that animals with blood-clotting cascades have roughly 10, genes, each of which is divided into an average of three pieces. This gives a total of about 30, gene pieces. TPA has four different types of domains. A thousand billion years is roughly a hundred times the current estimate of the age of the universe.

Doolittle apparently needs to shuffle and deal himself a number of perfect bridge hands to win the game. TPA has a total of five domains. Two domains, however, are of the same type. The odds are not decreased if the domains are hooked together at different times—with domains 1 and 2 coming together in one event, then later on domain 3 joining them, and so on.

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Think of the odds of picking four black balls from a barrel containing black balls and white balls. If you take out four at once, or take two at the first grab and one apiece on the next two grabs, the odds of ending up with four black balls are the same. This calculation is exceedingly generous. It only assumes that the four types of domains would have to be in the correct linear order. In order to work, however, the combination would have to be located in an active area of the genome, the correct signals for splicing together the parts would have to be in place, the amino acid sequences of the four domains would have to be compatible with each other, and other considerations would affect the outcome.

These further considerations only make the event much more improbable. We calculated the odds of getting TPA alone to be one-tenth to the eighteenth power; the odds of getting TPA and its activator together would be about one-tenth to the thirty-sixth power! That is a horrendously large number.

But the situation is actually much worse: So producing the useless protein would, at least to some marginal degree, be detrimental. A mutation must start in a single animal and then spread through the population.

In order to do that, the descendants of the mutant animal must displace the descendants of all other animals. Blood coagulation is a paradigm of the staggering complexity that underlies even apparently simple bodily processes. Faced with such complexity beneath even simple phenomena, Darwinian theory falls silent. Chapter 5: From Here to There. In particular, eukaryotic cells which include the cells of all organisms except bacteria have many different compartments in which different tasks are performed.

Just like a house has a kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom, a cell has specialized areas partitioned off for discrete tasks. The authentic cellular system is already in place, and every second of every day, this process happens uncounted billions of time in your body. Science is stranger than fiction. And for this reason the putative gradual, Darwinian evolution of gated transport in the cell faces massive problems.

If proteins contained no signal for transport, they would not be recognized. If there were no receptor to recognize a signal or no channel to pass through, again transport would not take place. And if the channel were open for all proteins, then the enclosed compartment would not be any different from the rest of the cell. The whole system has to be put together at once or the mice get away. A search to see what titles have both evolution and vesicle in them comes up completely empty.

Slogging through the literature the old-fashioned way turns up a few scattered papers that speculate on how gated transport between compartments of a eukaryotic cell might have developed.

This does us no good. Although the speculations may have something to do with how transport systems could be duplicated, they have nothing to do with how the initial systems got there. At some point this complex machine had to come into existence, and it could not have done so in step-by-step fashion. Defects in vesicular transport can have the same deadly consequences as the failure to deliver a needed vaccine to a disease-racked city.

An analysis shows that vesicular transport is irreducibly complex, and so its development staunchly resists gradualistic explanations, as Darwinian evolution would have it. A search of the professional biochemical literature and textbooks shows that no one has ever proposed a detailed route by which such a system could have come to be. In the face of the enormous complexity of vesicular transport, Darwinian theory is mute. Chapter 6: A Dangerous World.

On a day-to-day basis more people are assaulted by muggers and mayhem in their neighborhood than by exotic groups or foreign countries. In lands where such modern conveniences are unknown, stone or wooden walls can be built around the hut to keep out intruders both two- and four-footed , and a spear is kept by the bed in case the wall is breached. What should it do first?

Ditto for making a membrane-bound antibody. And why make a messenger protein first if there is nobody to give it a message, and nobody to receive the message if it did get one? We are led inexorably to the conclusion that even this greatly simplified clonal selection could not have come about in gradual steps. Even at this simplified level, then, all three ingredients had to evolve simultaneously.

Each of these three items—the fixed antibody, the messenger protein, and the loose antibodies—had to be produced by a separate historical event, perhaps by a coordinated series of mutations changing preexisting proteins that were doing other chores into the components of the antibody system.

Yet our analysis overlooked many complexities: How does the cell switch from putting the extra oily piece on the membrane to not putting it on? The message system then is fantastically more complicated than our simplified version. It is surprising to think that after the body has gone to all the trouble to develop a complex system to generate antibody diversity, and after it has laboriously picked a few cells by the roundabout process of clonal selection, it is still virtually helpless against the onslaught of invaders.

Inevitably, in both cases one encounters the same problems trying to imagine their gradual production. Major illnesses such as cancer and AIDS have either their cause or their cure, or both, in the vagaries of the system.

Because of its impact on public health, the immune system is a subject of intense interest. Thousands of research laboratories around the world work on various aspects of the immune system. Their efforts have already saved many lives and promise to save many more in the future.

None of the questions raised in this chapter has been answered by any of the thousands of scientists in the field; few have even asked the questions. A search of the immunological literature shows ongoing work in comparative immunology the study of immune systems from various species.

But that work, valuable though it is, does not address in molecular detail the question of how immune systems originated. The scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of the immune system. At each step we are stopped not only by local system problems, but also by requirements of the integrated system.

Whichever way we turn, a gradualistic account of the immune system is blocked by multiple interwoven requirements. As scientists we yearn to understand how this magnificent mechanism came to be, but the complexity of the system dooms all Darwinian explanations to frustration.

Sisyphus himself would pity us. Chapter 7: Road Kill. The typical explanation is economically expressed by Thomas Creighton: How might the biochemical complexity of metabolic pathways have evolved? For a while, Behe built a nice little career on being a maverick.

But things went wrong, especially at the famous trial where Judge John E. After his humiliation in court, Behe — the star witness for the creationist side — might have wished to re-establish his scientific credentials and start over.

Unfortunately, he had dug himself in too deep. He had to soldier on.

Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution - eBook

This style of argument remains as unconvincing as when Darwin himself anticipated it. It commits the logical error of arguing by default. Two rival theories, A and B, are set up. Theory A explains loads of facts and is supported by mountains of evidence.

Theory B has no supporting evidence, nor is any attempt made to find any. Without even asking whether B can explain it, the default conclusion is fallaciously drawn: B must be correct. Incidentally, further research usually reveals that A can explain the phenomenon after all: thus the biologist Kenneth R.

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