Military Intelligence tells us that we need to destabilize Iraq because they have weopons of mass destruction, Compassionate Conservatives tell us that the death penalty is just, and Intelligent Design tells us that there is a master plan being controlled by the evil space alien called Jehovah-1. I mean, come on, evolution is a theory not a hypothesis. If you want to talk about intelligent anything, you sort of need to understand what the words mean in the first place…Evolution is as good as a proven fact. It is a scientific theory. Whereas God has not given any scientific proof at all…you can believe in God. You can have faith in God. You can experience a personal miracle. But evolution has universal evidence…and come on you jack asses…I don’t remember anyone ever saying that evolution disproved Jehovah-1…so why are you r panties in such a bunch?
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Marginalized by his university colleagues, ridiculed as a quack by the scientific establishment, Michael Behe continues to challenge the traditional theory of how the world came to be.
For more than a decade, the tenured Lehigh University biochemistry professor and author has been one of the nation’s leading proponents of intelligent design, a movement trying to alter how Darwin’s theory of evolution is taught in school.
This week, Behe will testify in a federal courtroom in Harrisburg in a landmark case about whether students in a Pennsylvania classroom should be required to hear a statement before their evolution classes that says Darwin’s theory is not a fact.
“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,” Behe said.
In papers, speeches and a 1996 best-selling book called “Darwin’s Black Box,” Behe argues that Darwinian evolution cannot fully explain the biological complexities of life, suggesting the work of an intelligent force.
His life on the academic fringes can be lonely. Critics say the concept is nothing more than biblical creationism in disguise. He long ago stopped applying for grants and trying to get his work published in mainstream scientific journals. In August, his department posted a Web statement saying the concept is not scientific.
“For us, Dr. Behe’s position is simply not science. It is not grounded in science and should not be treated as science,” said Neal Simon, the biology department chairman.
Behe said he was a believer in Darwin when he joined Lehigh in 1985, but became a skeptic after reading Michael Denton’s book “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.”
Behe’s big idea, published in “Darwin’s Black Box” and the one that catapulted him to academic fame, is irreducible complexity. It is the notion that certain biochemical systems are incapable of having evolved in Darwinian fashion because they require all of their parts working simultaneously.
Behe uses a mousetrap to illustrate the concept. Take away any of its parts — platform, spring, hammer, catch — and the mousetrap can’t catch mice.
“Intelligent design becomes apparent when you see a system that has a number of parts and you see the parts are interacting to perform a function,” he said.
The book “put the positive case for design on the map in a way that some of the (previous intelligent design) work had not done,” said Steven Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute. Most of academia panned it.
Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, said that he believes Behe thought he discovered something astonishing. “But no one is using irreducible complexity as a research strategy, and with very good reason … because it’s completely fruitless,” he said.
Behe finds community in a Web group that he says includes like-minded faculty from other universities. Most keep their views to themselves, Behe said, because “it’s dangerous to your career to be identified as an ID proponent.”
He earned tenure at Lehigh before becoming a proponent, which lets him express his views without the threat of losing his job.
“Because of the immense publicity that’s mushroomed around this issue in the past six months, more people are getting emotional about the topic,” Behe said. “And it’s generally not on my side.”