Blue Ribbon Science Voices of Science presents...

Michael Behe Michael J. Behe, Ph.D.


Drexel University (1974)
Bachelor of Science – Chemistry

University of Pennsylvania (1978)
Ph.D. – Biochemistry

Queens College, NY (1982-1985)

Lehigh University (1985- )

The Irreducibility Complex Living System

Michael J. Behe, Ph.D., Lehigh University biochemist, while not a creationist, argues that irreducibly complex biochemical machines must have been designed.

"What type of biological system could not be formed by ‘numerous, successive, slight modifications'?…

"Well, for starters, a system that is irreducibly complex. By Irreducibly Complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, where 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…

"If I insert a letter into a photocopier…and it makes a dozen good copies, and one copy that has a couple of large smears on it, I would be wrong to use the smeared copy as evidence that the photocopier arose by chance… What a mutation cannot do is change all the instructions in one step—say, to build a fax machine instead of a radio."*

* Dr. Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box (The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, 1996) pp. 39, 226, 227 & 41.

Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to EvolutionDarwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution

Author: Michael J. Behe
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Free Press; 2nd edition (March 7, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743290313
ISBN-13: 978-0743290319

List Price: $15.99

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