Michael Behe Quotes (45 Quotes)


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

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

    scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of the immune system.

    are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory.

    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.


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

    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.

    Intelligent design relies on physical, empirical, observable evidence from nature plus logical inferences.


    The Big Bang theory was controversial because many scientists thought it had philosophical and even religious overtones they didn't like.

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

    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.

    Throughout history there have been many other examples, similar to that of Haeckel, Huxley and the cell, where a key piece of a particular scientific puzzle was beyond the understanding of the age.

    Thus it seemed to Haeckel that such simple life could easily be produced from inanimate material.


    The theory of undirected evolution is already dead, but the work of science continues.

    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.

    It's the nature of bureaucracy, I think, to issue statements like this.

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


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

    That was a real drag. I think he really went way over what he as a judge is entitled to say.

    It was a real disappointment. It's hard to say this chills the atmosphere, because if you're publicly known as an ID supporter, you can already kiss your tenure chances goodbye. It doesn't help.

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

    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.

    This continues the venerable Darwinian tradition of making grandiose claims based on piddling results. There is nothing in the paper that an ID proponent would think was beyond random mutation and natural selection. In other words, it is a straw man.

    These complex systems are always associated with design, ... Darwin's Black Box.

    Creationism is a theological concept but intelligent design is a scientific theory. One can be a creationist without any physical evidence. That's 180 degrees different from intelligent design.

    The fact that most biology texts act more as cheerleaders for Darwin's theory rather than trying to develop the critical faculties of their students shows the need, I think, for such statements.

    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.


    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.

    This fact immediately suggested a singular event - that at some time in the distant past the universe began expanding from an extremely small size. To many people this inference was loaded with overtones of a supernatural event - the creation, the beginning of the universe.

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

    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.

    The question of how the eye works - that is, what happens when a photon of light first impinges on the retina - simply could not be answered at that time.

    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.

    Although I find it congenial to think that it's God, others might prefer to think it's an alien or who knows An angel, or some satanic force, some new age power.

    We are not inferring design to account for a black box, but to account for an open box.

    The National Academy of Sciences treats intelligent design in a way what I consider utterly misleading. Talk about scholarly malfeasance

    Many systems in the cell show signs of purposeful intelligent design. What science has discovered in the cell in the past 50 years is poorly explained by a gradual theory such as Darwin's.

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

    Intelligent design requires no tenet of any specific religion. It does not rely on religious texts, messages from religious leaders or any such thing.

    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.

    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.


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