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Intelligent Design versus Darwin’s Incredible Chain of Black Boxes


Dr. Michael Behe, Lehigh University Prof. of Microbiology.
Shattering Darwinist, PC Magic Show

The irreducible Complexities of Microbiology
Part 1 of a Series on Intelligent Design

By Mike Scruggs- Looking at cells under a microscope in 1859, Charles Darwin and others concluded that these tiny jelly-like blobs, usually with a dark center, must be the lowest building blocks of life. From a single cell, he thought, must have evolved all life. The cell was the basic unit of life from which all living creatures were descended, including man. The method of this evolution was random mutation of cells plus natural selection—the survival of the fittest.

The gradual evolution of the cell progressing over many millions of years eventually became fish, reptiles, birds, insects, animals, apes, and men.

No Almighty Creator, he thought, was necessary to life, only random mutations and the unguided, pitiless, and indifferent fortuities of nature.

He further noted that the color of moths and the beak size of birds could change over a few generations of natural selection under different environmental conditions.

He also believed that similarities in the anatomy of marine and animal life, and especially apes and men, must be due to common descent from distant ancestors.

Darwin’s theory pleased many men. It freed them from guilt and fear of a God they preferred to ignore and reject. Many others, however, found Darwin’s theory implausible.

They just couldn’t reconcile Darwin’s fantastic creation narrative of fish flopping on a sandy beach until the fittest developed suitable lungs and became reptiles, or of lizards falling out of trees until the fittest developed wings and became birds.

They just couldn’t see how unguided mutations resulted in lungs or wings instead of dead fish and lizards. It did not mesh with common sense and a basic understanding of probability.

Still others recognized that the theological implications of Darwinism were incompatible with revealed religion and any solid anchor of right and wrong.

The electron microscope has revealed a much more complex reality within the cell. The cell is not the basic unit of life. Within the cell is an amazing diversity and complexity of cellular machinery and coded information.

This was brilliantly described in Michael J. Behe’s 1996 book, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. The “Black Box” in the title of Behe’s book is a term used by scientists to indicate phenomena that they observe but cannot understand or explain. To many people a computer is a black box. They know it works but do not understand how and why.

Darwin thought the cell was the basic unit of life, but it was really a “black box” to him. Darwin’s whole theory of the chain of evolution is punctuated with many theoretical black boxes.

There are the numerous points in Darwinism’s theoretical chain of life that cannot be explained, probably because they are just not true. For example, unless there is some intelligent guiding agent, what would cause a genetic line of fish to start developing lungs and survive long enough to become a genetic line of reptiles, or what on earth would cause lucky lizards, who survived falling out of a tree, to start having baby lizards with wings. Why wings?

Why not bungee cables?

Why would they have two wings? Just lucky? Perhaps they were green Irish lizards.

At almost every step in Darwin’s theory of evolution someone has to pull a rabbit out of a black box. Darwin’s theory of evolution might as well be called Merlin’s theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory is long on fantastic narrative and magic tricks and short on empirical evidence.

So far no substantial and enduring evidence of one species evolving into another species has ever been produced.

Behe described the inner workings of the cell as being irreducibly complex. A biological system is irreducibly complex if it has a number of different components that must fit together and work together to accomplish a task, but if you remove one of the essential components, the whole system fails.

Behe also describes the inner workings of the cell as looking something like man-made machinery. The microbiological systems not only look like machinery, they work like machinery.

If you remove only one of many critical parts of a microbiological machine, it becomes useless.

Darwin’s theory cannot explain irreducible complexity. In fact, irreducible complexity makes Darwinism look absurd.

As a very simple example of irreducible complexity, Behe uses a mousetrap. Most basic mousetraps have five parts: a platform for attaching the other parts, a metal hammer to crush the mouse against the platform, a spring, a catch that releases on pressure by an unfortunate mouse, and a metal bar that holds the hammer back when the trap is set. All the parts must fit together. If you remove one part, you do not have a mousetrap that is 80 percent efficient. You have a pile of useless parts and lots of still healthy and unmolested mice.

In Behe’s words, at the microbiological level, “life is actually based on molecular machines.” These machines haul cargo, turn cellular switches on and off, and act as pulleys and cables. Some cellular machines regulate electrical current through nerves, build other machines, and capture and store energy.

Other cellular mechanisms provide for propulsion, reproduction, and food processing. Every part of the cell is controlled by highly complex and precisely calibrated molecular machines.

My favorite molecular machine is the flagellum, which acts as a rotary propeller for mobile bacteria.

Behe and a growing number of other microbiologists also point to the incredible complexity and coordination of many life systems strongly indicative of Intelligent Design. The human eye and the human blood-clotting system require breath-taking design, wisdom, and coordination.

There is not much about the human body in particular that is not “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Through microbiology we can now see that all the earth’s creatures from the largest to the smallest reveal the fingerprints of awesome intelligence in even the minutest detail.

“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24)

How probable is it that all this microbiological machinery working at its purpose is only the result of random mutation and natural selection of the fittest cells or most mobile bacteria?

Intuitively, it is about as possible as a tornado sweeping through an auto junk yard and leaving a fully assembled 2018 Lexus containing two sets of car keys on my driveway.

Common sense and rudimentary probability deny the plausibility of Darwinian evolution at both the micro and macro biological levels.

One logical fault of Darwinism is that it always sees similarities among species, such as between apes and men, as deriving from a common ancestral origin.

Common design does not demand such a conclusion. Common design can mean a common intelligent designer or Creator.

Darwinists, however, refuse to consider any possibility of common or intelligent design by a Creator. They prefer wrong answers to answers beyond the politically correct pale of materialist dogma.

Another bamboozling feature of modern Darwinism is the tendency to defend its evidential shortcomings with purely speculative and often fantastic narratives unaccompanied by any further credible evidence.

One such piece of balderdash explaining away the “Cambrian Explosion”—the appearance of most known life forms within a relatively short time span rather than according to Darwinist gradualism–will be dealt with in a later article.

Darwinism has become the creation myth of bogus ideological science and has become an essential article of faith and politically correct survival in academic, media, and establishment political circles.

Despite Darwinism’s crumbling intellectual and scientific credibility, many educators, media pundits, judges, and politicians, still hold to the Darwinist faith. Many others recognize its intellectual and scientific bankruptcy but do not have the courage to risk their social respectability and political standing to defend the truth.

“Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error is also being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere, Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.”—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

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