Kenneth R. MillerOctober 8, 2007 - 1:33pm0 comments
The Edge of Evolution
The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
Michael J. Behe
Free Press, $28, 336 pp.
It would be difficult to name a scientific idea that causes more unease, more bewilderment, or more opposition than Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Evolution has been the target of textbook protests, board-of-education elections, state laws, show trials, and even Supreme Court decisions. So powerful and far-reaching is the idea that it has even led its most ardent enthusiasts to suggest that evolutionary analysis will soon step beyond science to overwhelm traditional ways of thinking in the arts and humanities (see Consilience, by E. O. Wilson). Presidential candidates feel obliged to comment on their acceptance or rejection of the idea, and the question literally splits the U.S. population right down the middle. (A 2005 Harris poll found that 46 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that “Darwin’s theory of evolution is proven by fossil discoveries,” while 48 percent disagreed.) Into this contentious fray steps Michael Behe, Lehigh University biochemist and advocate of “intelligent design” (ID). Behe’s credentials as an opponent of evolution are well established. His 1996 book, Darwin’s Black Box, is a classic of the antievolution movement. He is senior fellow of the pro-ID Discovery Institute, and served as an expert witness in favor of the ID policy promoted by the Dover, Pennsylvania, Board of Education. His new book, The Edge of Evolution, will surely attract a passionate following among the...