November 5, 2005


The Case of Behe vs. Darwin: An unassuming biochemist who became the lead witness for intelligent design is unfazed by criticism but glad he has tenure. (Josh Getlin, November 5, 2005, LA Times)

After two grueling days on the stand, [Michael] Behe looked drained. He was also unbowed. In a nationally watched trial that could determine whether intelligent design can be taught in a public school, the soft-spoken professor had bucked decades of established scientific thought.

Behe (pronounced BEE-hee), one of the nation's leading advocates of intelligent design, challenged Darwin's theory that life evolved through natural selection and a process of random variation. He argued that living organisms are so highly complex that an unseen, intelligent designer must have created them. That designer, he said, is God.

His testimony was crucial for those who believe Darwinism is not the final word in how life evolved. Even some of Behe's strongest critics believe he may have scored important points in his mid-October court appearance. His detailed presentation might have given intelligent design the appearance of credibility it had been struggling to achieve, they said.

"Behe does not convince me in the slightest," said Michael Ruse, a Florida State University philosophy professor who wrote "The Evolution-Creation Struggle" and is in the Darwinian camp. "But he's a genial, personable guy, and he comes across as a very serious man. I don't think you can dismiss him as a crank. He is a real scientist."

Although most scientists dismiss Behe, they make a big mistake if they try to demonize him, Ruse added: "We tend to think these people favoring intelligent design are all evil people, and they're not. That's the trouble on my side."

Fanatics have to demonize their foes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 5, 2005 6:21 AM

It's noteworthy and amusing that the Darwinist expert they quote is a philosophy professor...

Posted by: b at November 5, 2005 5:23 PM

They do? I presume you have some examples.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 6, 2005 8:51 AM