Monday, November 19, 2007

PoE: Bibliography "B"

Here is the Bibliography "B"

[Left: Intelligent Design theorist Professor Michael Behe's, "Edge of Evolution" (2007), Amazon.com. See `tagline' quotes below (my emphasis bold), from the opening pages of this very important book.]

page for authors' surnames beginning with "B" which I may refer to in my book outline, "Problems of Evolution."


PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION
© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology)


CONTENTS

BIBLIOGRAPHY "B"

Bahn, P., ed., 1992, "Collins Dictionary of Archaeology," HarperCollins: Glasgow UK, Ninth printing, 2000.
Bailey, J., ed., 1999, "The Penguin Dictionary of Plant Sciences," [1984], Penguin Books: London, New edition.
Bailey, L.R., 1993, "Genesis Creation, and Creationism," Paulist Press: Mahwah NJ.
Baird, J.C., 1987, "The Inner Limits of Outer Space," University Press of New England: Hanover NH.
Baker, S., 1986, "Bone of Contention," [1976], Evangelical Press: Welwyn UK, Second edition.
Ball, P., 1999, "H2O: A Biography of Water," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 2000.
Banton, M.P., 1961, "Darwinism and the Study of Society: A Centenary Symposium," Quadrangle Books: Chicago IL.
Barber, C.L., 1964, "The Story of Language," Pan: London.
Barbour, I.G., 1990, "Religion in an Age of Science: The Gifford Lectures 1989-1991, Volume 1", HarperCollins: New York NY.
Barbour, I.G., 2000, "When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners?," HarperSanFrancisco: New York NY.
Barlow, G.W. & Silverberg, J., 1980, "Sociobiology: Beyond Nature/Nurture?: Reports, Definitions, and Debate," Westview Press: Boulder CO.
Barnett, S.A., 1968, "The Human Species: A Biology of Man," [1950], Penguin Books: Harmondsworth UK, Third edition.
Barnett, S.A., 1998, "The Science of Life : From Cells to Survival," Allen & Unwin: St. Leonards NSW, Australia.
Barnett, S.A., 2000, "Science, Myth or Magic?: A Struggle for Existence," Allen & Unwin: St. Leonards NSW, Australia.
Barnett, S.A., ed., 1962, "A Century of Darwin," [1958], Mercury Books: London.
Barnouw, V., 1978, "Physical Anthropology and Archaeology: An Introduction to Anthropology, Volume One," The Dorsey Press: Homewood IL, Third edition.
Barrow, J.D., 1988, "The World Within the World," Clarendon Press: New York NY.
Barrow, J.D., 1990, "Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation," Vintage: London, Reprinted, 1992.
Barrow, J.D., 1992, "Pi in the Sky : Counting, Thinking, and Being," Clarendon Press: New York NY.
Barrow, J.D., 1994, "The Origin of the Universe," Weidenfeld & Nicholson: London.
Barrow, J.D., 1995, "The Artful Universe," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1997.
Barrow, J.D., 2002, "The Constants of Nature: From Alpha to Omega," Jonathan Cape: London.
Barrow, J.D., 1998, "Impossibility: The Limits of Science and the Science of Limits," Vintage: London, Reprinted, 1999.
Barrow, J.D. & Silk, J., 1984, "The Left Hand of Creation: The Origin and Evolution of the Expanding Universe," Counterpoint: London, Reprinted, 1985.
Barrow, J.D. & Tipler, F.J., 1986, "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1996.
Barthel, K.W., Swinburne, N.H.M. & Conway Morris, S., 1990, "Solnhofen: A Study in Mesozoic Palaeontology," [1978], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Revised edition.
Barzun, J., 1958, "Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage," [1941], Doubleday Anchor: Garden City NY, Second edition.
Basalla, G., Coleman, W. & Kargon, R.H., eds, 1970, "Victorian Science: A Self-Portrait from the Presidential Addresses of the British Association for the Advancement of Science," Anchor Books: New York NY.
Bateson, G., 1979, "Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity," Fontana: London, Reprinted, 1985.
Batten, D., ed., 1999, "The Answers Book: Updated & Expanded," Answers in Genesis: Acacia Ridge QLD, Australia.
Bauer, H.H., 1992, "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method," University of Illinois Press: Urbana and Chicago IL, Reprinted, 1994.
Bavinck, H., 1928, "In the Beginning: Foundations of Creation Theology," Bolt, J., ed., Vriend, J., transl., Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan, Reprinted, 1999.
Beck, S.D., 1959, "The Simplicity of Science," The Scientific Book Club: London, Reprinted, 1960.
Becker, W.M., Kleinsmith, L.J. & Hardin, J., 2000, "The World of the Cell," [1986], Benjamin/Cummings: San Francisco CA, Fourth edition.
Beckett, B.S., 1983, "Beginning Science: Biology," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1986.
Behe, M.J., 2006, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," [1996], Free Press: New York NY, Tenth Anniversary edition.
Behe, M.J., 2007, "The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism," Free Press: New York NY.
Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A. & Meyer, S.C., 2000, "Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe: Papers Presented at a Conference Sponsored by the Wethersfield Institute New York City, September 25, 1999," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA.
Bell, P.R., ed., 1959, "Darwin's Biological Work: Some Aspects Reconsidered," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, Reprinted, 1964.
Bell, P.R. & Bell, A.R., 2000, "Green Plants: Their Origin and Diversity," [1992], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Second edition.
Bell, R.I., 1992, "Impure Science: Fraud, Compromise and Political Influence in Scientific Research," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY.
Bendall, D.S., ed., 1983, "Evolution From Molecules to Men," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1985.
Bentley, P., 2001, "Digital Biology: How Nature is Transforming Our Technology," Headline: London.
Benton, M.J., 1991, "The Rise of the Mammals," Eagle editions: London, Reprinted, 1998.
Benyus, J.M., 1997, "Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature," Perennial: New York NY, Reprinted, 2002.
Berger, L.R., 2000, "In the Footsteps of Eve: The Mystery of Human Origins," National Geographic Society: Washington DC.
Berger, P.L., 1969, "A Rumour of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural," Penguin: London , Reprinted, 1970.
Bergson, H.L., 1911, "Creative Evolution," Dover: Mineola NY, Reprinted, 1998.
Berlinski, D., 1988, "Black Mischief: Language, Life, Logic, Luck," [1986], Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Boston MA, Second edition, 1988.
Berlinski, D., 1995, "A Tour of the Calculus," Vintage Books: New York NY.
Bernal, J.D., 1967, "The Origin of Life,"Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, Third impression, 1973.
Berra, T.M., 1990, "Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolution Debate," Stanford University Press: Stanford CA.
Berrill, N.J., 1955, "Man's Emerging Mind: Man's Progress Through Time - Trees, Ice, Flood, Atoms and the Universe," Dodd, Mead & Co: New York NY, Fourth printing.
Berry, A., 1986, "Ice With Your Evolution," Harrap/Daily Telegraph: London.
Berry, R.J., 1975, "Adam and the Ape: A Christian Approach to the Theory of Evolution," Falcon: London.
Berry, R.J., 1988, "God and Evolution: Creation, Evolution and the Bible," [1975], Hodder & Stoughton: London, Revised.
Berry, R.J., 1996, "God & the Biologist: Faith at the Frontiers of Science," Apollos: Leicester UK.
Berry, R.J., & Hallam, A., eds, 1987, "The Encyclopedia of Animal Evolution," Facts on File: New York NY.
Bertram, A., 1938, "Design," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK.
Bethell, T., 1988, "The Electric Windmill: An Inadvertent Autobiography," Regnery Gateway: Washington DC.
Billingham, J., ed., 1981, "Life in the Universe: Proceedings of the Conference on Life in the Universe, held at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, June 19-20, 1979," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Second printing, 1982.
Birch, L.C., 1965, "Nature and God," SCM: London, Second impression, 1966.
Birch, L.C., 1990, "On Purpose," New South Wales University Press: Kensington NSW, Australia, Reprinted, 1991.
Birch, L.C., 1999, "Biology and the Riddle of Life," University of New South Wales Press: Sydney NSW, Australia.
Bird, D., 1990, "Evolution: Fact or Faith?," David Bird: Wangara WA, Australia, Reprinted, 1996.
Bird, W.R., 1991, "The Origin of Species Revisited: The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance," Regency: Nashville TN, 2 Vols.
Birdsell, J.B., 1975, "Human Evolution: An Introduction to the New Physical Anthropology," [1972], Rand W McNally College Publishing Co: Chicago IL, Second edition.
Birkett, K., 2001, "The Essence of Darwinism," The Modern Beliefs Series, Matthias Media: Kingsford NSW, Australia.
Birkett, K., ed., 2003., "The Myths of Science," Matthias Media: Kingsford NSW, Australia.
Black, R.M., 1970, "The Elements of Paleontology," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1979.
Black, S., 1972, "The Nature of Living Things: An Essay in Theoretical Biology," Martin Secker & Warburg: London.
Blackburn, S., 1994, "The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1996.
Blackmore, S.J., 1999, "The Meme Machine," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 2000.
Blackmore, S. & Tootill, E., eds, 1984, "The Penguin Dictionary of Botany," Penguin Books: Harmondsworth UK.
Blackmore, V. & Page, A., 1989, "Evolution: The Great Debate," Lion: Oxford.
Blackwelder, R.E., 1963, "Classification of the Animal Kingdom," Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale IL.
Blocher, H., 1984, "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," [1979], Preston, D.G., transl., Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK.
Bloom, A., 1987, "The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students," Penguin: London.
Bloom, H., 1992, "The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, Reprinted, 1993.
Blum, H.F., 1962, "Time's Arrow and Evolution," [1951], Harper Torchbooks: New York NY, Second edition, 1955, Revised.
Boaz, N.T., 1993, "Quarry: Closing In On the Missing Link," Free Press: New York NY.
Boaz, N.T. & Almquist, A.J., 2002, "Biological Anthropology: A Synthetic Approach to Human Evolution," [1997], Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River NJ, Second edition.
Bold, H.C., 1960, "The Plant Kingdom," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ.
Bolles, E.B., ed., 1997, "Galileo's Commandment: 2,500 Years of Great Science Writing," W.H. Freeman: New York NY, Reprinted, 1999.
Boolootian, R.A. & Stiles, K.A., 1981, "College Zoology," [1976], Macmillan: New York NY, Tenth edition.
Borel, É., 1962, "Probabilities and Life," [1943], Baudin, M., transl., Dover: New York NY.
Bornstein, J. & Bornstein, S., 1979, "What is Genetics?," Julian Messner: New York NY, 1980, Second printing.
Bourriau, J., ed., 1992, "Understanding Catastrophe," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK.
Bowden, M., 1981, "Ape-Men: Fact or Fallacy?," [1978], Sovereign Publications: Bromley UK, Second edition, Reprinted, 1988.
Bowden, M., 1982, "The Rise of The Evolution Fraud: An Exposure of its Roots," Creation-Life Publishers: San Diego CA.
Bowden, M., 1991, "Science vs Evolution," Sovereign Publications: Bromley UK.
Bowlby, J., 1990, "Charles Darwin: A New Life," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, Reprinted, 1992.
Bowler, P.J., 1983, "The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Evolution Theories in the Decades around 1900," Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD.
Bowler, P.J., 1989, "Evolution: The History of an Idea," [1983], University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition.
Bowler, P.J., 1990, "Charles Darwin: The Man and His Influence," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 2000.
Bowler, P.J., 1992, "The Fontana History of the Environmental Sciences," Fontana: London.
Bowler, P.J., 1993, "Darwinism," Twayne's Studies in Intellectual and Cultural History, No. 6, Twayne Publishers: New York NY.
Boyd, R. & Silk, J.B., 2000, "How Humans Evolved," [1997], W.W. Norton: New York NY, Second edition.
Brackman, A.C., 1980, "A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace," Times Books: New York NY.
Breese, D., 1990, "Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave," Moody Press: Chicago IL.
Brewer, R., 1994, "The Science of Ecology," [1988], Saunders College Publishing: Fort Worth TX, Second edition.
Bright, M., 1990, "The Dolittle Obsession," Robson Books: London.
British Museum of Natural History, 1991, "Man's Place in Evolution," [1980], Natural History Publications/Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Second edition.
Broad, W.A. & Wade, N.J., 1982, "Betrayers of the Truth," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.
Brockman, J., ed., 1995, "The Third Culture," Touchstone: New York NY, Reprinted, 1996.
Brockman, J., ed., 2002, "The Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half of the Twenty First Century,"Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 2003.
Brockman, J., ed., 2005, "What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty," Free Press: London.
Brockman, J. & Matson, K., eds, 1995, "How Things Are: A Science Tool Kit for the Mind ," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 1996.
Broderick, D., 1999, "The Last Mortal Generation: How Science Will Alter Our Lives in the 21st Century," New Holland Books: Sydney NSW, Australia.
Brodie, R., 1996, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme," Integral Press: Seattle WA.
Brodrick, A.H., 1960, "Man and his Ancestors," Radius/Hutchinson: London, Reprinted, 1971.
Bronowski, J., 1973, "The Ascent of Man," British Broadcasting Corporation: London, Reprinted, 1978.
Brooke, J.H., 1991, "Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1995, Reprinted.
Brookesmith, P., ed., 1984, "Against All Reason: Experimental Evidence for the Existence of Psi," Orbis: London.
Brooks, J., 1985, "Origins of Life," Lion: Tring UK.
Brooks, J. & Shaw, G., 1973, "Origin and Development of Living Systems," Academic Press: London.
Broom, N.D., 2001, "How Blind is the Watchmaker?: Nature's Design & the Limits of Naturalistic Science," [1998], InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition.
Broom, R., 1933, "The Coming of Man: Was it Accident or Design?," H. F. & G. Witherby: London.
Broom, R., 1951, "Finding the Missing Link," [1950], Greenwood Press: Westport CT, Second edition, Reprinted, 1975.
Brouwer, A., 1967, "General Palaeontology," [1959], Kaye, R.H., transl., Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh & London.
Brown, A, 1999, "The Darwin Wars: How Stupid Genes Became Selfish Gods," Simon & Schuster: London.
Brown, A., 2003, "In the Beginning Was the Worm: Finding the Secrets of Life in a Tiny Hermaphrodite," Columbia University Press: New York NY.
Brown, C., 1984, "Miracles and the Critical Mind," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI.
Brown, C., 1969, "Philosophy and the Christian Faith," Tyndale Press: London.
Brown, M.H., 1990, "The Search for Eve," Harper & Row: New York NY.
Brown, R.H., 1986, "The Wisdom of Science: It's Relevance to Culture and Religion," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1991.
Browne, E.J., 1995, "Charles Darwin Voyaging: A Biography," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, Reprinted, 1996.
Browne, E.J., 2002, "Charles Darwin: The Power of Place: Volume II of a Biography," Pimlico: London, Reprinted, 2003.
Brush, N.R., 2005, "The Limitations of Scientific Truth: Why Science Can't Answer Life's Ultimate Questions," Kregel: Grand Rapids MI.
Bryson, B., 2003, "A Short History of Nearly Everything," Doubleday: London.
Buchsbaum, R., 1948, "Animals Without Backbones: An Introduction to the Invertebrates," [1938], Penguin Books: Harmondsworth UK, 2 Vols., Revised Edition, Reprinted, 1966.
Buell, J. & Hearn, V., eds, 1994, "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX.
Bullock, A., Trombley, S. & Lawrie, A., eds, 1999, "The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought," [1977], HarperCollins: London, Third edition.
Burke, D.C., ed., 1985, "Creation and Evolution: When Christians Disagree," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, Reprinted, 1986.
Burke, J., 1985, "The Day the Universe Changed," British Broadcasting Corporation: London.
Burkhardt, F., ed., 1996,"Charles Darwin's Letters: A Selection 1825-1859," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Canto edition, 1998.
Burnham, T.. & Phelan, J, 2000, "Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food, Taming Our Primal Instincts," Perseus Publishing: Cambridge MA.
Burnie, D., 1988, "Birds: Collins Eyewitness Guides," HarperCollins: Sydney NSW, Australia, Reprinted, 1991.
Burnie, D., 1994, "Life," Collins Eyewitness Guides," HarperCollins: Sydney NSW, Australia, Reprinted, 1998.
Burrow, J.W., 1966, "Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory," Cambridge University Press: London, Reprinted, 1968.
Burton, R., 1987, "Egg: Nature's Miracle of Packaging," William Collins: London.
Burtt, A.E., 1954, "The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science," [1924], Doubleday Anchor: Garden City NY, Second edition.
Butler, J., 1736, "The Analogy of Religion: Natural and Revealed," Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Co: London, Reprinted, 1906.
Butler, S., 1911, "Evolution, Old and New; Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, and Lamarck, as Compared with that of Charles Darwin," [1879], A.C. Fifield: London, Third edition.
Butler, S., 1910, "Life and Habit," Wildwood House: London,, Reprinted 1981.
Butler, S., 1922, "Luck, or Cunning?: As the Main Means of Organic Modification," [1887], Jonathan Cape: London, 1920, Second edition.
Butterfield, H., 1968, "The Origins of Modern Science 1300-1800," [1949], G. Bell & Sons: London, New edition, Fifth printing.
Byl, J., 2001, "God And Cosmos: A Christian View of Time, Space, and the Universe," Banner of Truth: Edinburgh UK.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: TheShroudofTurin


"Life on earth developed over billions of years by utter chance, filtered through natural selection. So says Darwinism, the most influential idea of our time. If a rare random mutation in a creature's DNA in the distant past helped the lucky mutant to leave more offspring than others of its species, then as generations passed the species as a whole would have changed. Incessant repetition of this simple process over eons built the wonders of biology from the ground up, from the intricate molecular machinery of cells up to and including the human mind. That's the claim, at least. But is it true? To answer that question, Darwin's theory has to be sifted carefully, because it isn't just a single concept-it actually is a mixture of several unrelated, entirely separate ideas. The three most important ideas to keep straight from the start are random mutation, natural selection, and common descent." (Behe, M.J., "The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism," Free Press: New York NY, 2007, p.1).

"Common descent is what most people think of when they hear the word `evolution.' It is the contention that different kinds of modern creatures can trace their lineage back to a common ancestor. For example, gerbils and giraffes-two mammals-are both thought to be the descendants of a single type of creature from the far past. And so are organisms from much more widely separated categories-buffalo and buzzards, pigs and petunias, yaks and yeast. That's certainly startling, so it's understandable that some people find the idea of common descent so astonishing that they look no further. Yet in a very strong sense the explanation of common descent is also trivial. Common descent tries to account only for the similarities between creatures. It says merely that certain shared features were there from the beginning-the ancestor had them. But all by itself, it doesn't try to explain how either the features or the ancestor got there in the first place, or why descendants differ. For example, rabbits and bears both have hair, so the idea of common descent says only that their ancestor had hair, too. Plants and animals both have complex cells with nuclei, so they must have inherited that feature from a common ancestor. But the questions of how or why are left hanging." (Behe, 2007, pp.1-2. Emphasis original).

"In contrast, Darwin's hypothesized mechanism of evolution-the compound concept of random mutation paired with natural selection-is decidedly more ambitious. The pairing of random mutation and natural selection tries to account for the differences between creatures. It tries to answer the pivotal question, What could cause such staggering transformations? How could one kind of ancestral animal develop over time into creatures as different as, say, bats and whales?" (Behe, 2007, p.2).

"Let's tease apart that compound concept. First, consider natural selection. Like common descent, natural selection is an interesting but actually quite modest notion. By itself, the idea of natural selection says just that the more fit organisms of a species will produce more surviving offspring than the less fit. So, if the total numbers of a species stayed the same, over time the progeny of the more fit would replace the progeny of the less fit. It's hardly surprising that creatures that are somehow more fit (stronger, faster, hardier) would on average do better in nature than ones that were less fit (weaker, slower, more fragile)." (Behe, 2007, p.2).

"By far the most critical aspect of Darwin's multifaceted theory is the role of random mutation. Almost all of what is novel and important in Darwinian thought is concentrated in this third concept. In Darwinian thinking, the only way a plant or animal becomes fitter than its relatives is by sustaining a serendipitous mutation. If the mutation makes the organism stronger, faster, or in some way hardier, then natural selection can take over from there and help make sure its offspring grow numerous. Yet until the random mutation appears, natural selection can only twiddle its thumbs." (Behe, 2007, pp.2-3).

"Random mutation, natural selection, common descent-three separate ideas welded into one theory. Because of the welding of concepts, the question, Is Darwinism true? has several possible answers. One possibility, of course, is that those separate ideas-common descent, natural selection, and random mutation-could all be completely correct, and sufficient to explain evolution. Or, they could all be correct in the sense that random mutation and natural selection happen, but they might be inconsequential, unable to account for most of evolution. It's also possible that one could be wholly right while the others were totally wrong. Or one idea could be right to a greater degree while another is correct to a much lesser degree. Because they are separate ideas, evidence for each facet of Darwin's theory has to be evaluated independently. Previous generations of scientists readily discriminated among them. Many leading biologists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries thought common descent was right, but that random mutation/natural selection was wrong." (Behe, 2007, p.3).

"In the past hundred years science has advanced enormously; what do the results of modern science show? In brief, the evidence for common descent seems compelling. The results of modern DNA sequencing experiments, undreamed of by nineteenth-century scientists like Charles Darwin, show that some distantly related organisms share apparently arbitrary features of their genes that seem to have no explanation other than that they were inherited from a distant common ancestor. Second, there's also great evidence that random mutation paired with natural selection can modify life in important ways. Third, however, there is strong evidence that random mutation is extremely limited. Now that we know the sequences of many genomes, now that we know how mutations occur, and how often, we can explore the possibilities and limits of random mutation with some degree of precision-for the first time since Darwin proposed his theory." (Behe, 2007, p.3).

"As we'll see throughout this book, genetic accidents can cause a degree of evolutionary change, but only a degree. As earlier generations of scientists agreed, except at life's periphery, the evidence for a pivotal role for random mutations is terrible. For a bevy of reasons having little to do with science, this crucial aspect of Darwin's theory-the power of natural selection coupled to random mutation-has been grossly oversold to the modern public." (Behe, 2007, p.4).

"As a theory-of-everything, Darwinism is usually presented as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Either accept the whole theory or decide that evolution is all hype and throw out the baby with the bath water. Both are mistakes. In dealing with an often-menacing nature, we can't afford the luxury of elevating anybody's dogmas over data. The purpose of this book is to cut through the fog, to offer a sober appraisal of what Darwinian processes can and cannot do, to find what I call the edge of evolution." (Behe, 2007, p.4. Emphasis original).

"On the surface, Darwin's theory of evolution is seductively simple and, unlike many theories in physics or chemistry, can be summarized succinctly with no math: In every species, there are variations. For example, one animal might be bigger than its brothers and sisters, another might be faster, another might be brighter in color. Unfortunately, not all animals that are born will survive to reproduce, because there's not enough food to go around, and there are also predators of many species. So an organism whose chance variation gives it an advantage in the struggle to survive will tend to live, prosper, and leave offspring. If Mom or Dad's useful variation is inherited by the kids, then they, too, will have a better chance of leaving more offspring. Over time, the descendants of the creature with that original, lucky mutation will dominate the population, so the species as a whole will have changed from what it was. If the scenario is repeated over and over again, then the species might eventually change into something altogether different." (Behe, 2007, pp.4-5).

"At first blush, that seems pretty straightforward. Variation, selection, inheritance (in other words, random mutation, natural selection, and common descent). seem to be all it takes. In fact, when an evolutionary story is couched as abstractly as in the previous paragraph, Darwinian evolution appears almost logically necessary. As Darwinian commentators have often claimed, it just has to be true. If there is variation in a group of organisms, and if the variation favorably affects the odds of survival, and if the trait is inherited, then the next generation is almost certain to have more members with the favorable trait. And the next generation after that will have even more, and the next more, until all members of the species have it. Wherever those conditions are fulfilled, wherever there is variation, selection, and inheritance, then there absolutely must be evolution." (Behe, 2007, p.5).

"So far, so good. But the abstract, naive logic ignores a huge piece of the puzzle. In the real world, random mutation, natural selection, and common descent might all be completely true, and yet Darwinian processes still may not be an adequate explanation of life. In order to forge the many complex structures of life, a Darwinian process would have to take numerous coherent steps, a series of beneficial mutations that successively build on each other, leading to a complex outcome. In order to do so in the real world, rather than just in our imaginations, there must be a biological route to the structure that stands a reasonable chance of success in nature. In other words, variation, selection, and inheritance will only work if there is also a smooth evolutionary pathway leading from biological point A to biological point B." (Behe, 2007, p.5. Emphasis original).

"The question of the pathway is as critical in evolution as it is in everyday life. In everyday life, if you had to walk blindfolded from point A to point B, it would matter very much where A and B were, and what lay between. Suppose you had to walk blindfolded (and, to make the example closer to the spirit of Darwinism, blind drunk) from A to B to get some reward-say, a pot of gold. What's more, suppose in your sightless dizziness the only thought you could hold in your head was to climb higher whenever you got the chance (this mimics natural selection constantly driving a species to higher levels of fitness). On the one hand, if you just had to go from the bottom of a single enclosed stairwell to the top to reach the pot of gold, there might be little problem. On the other hand, if you had to walk blindfolded from one side of an unfamiliar city to the top of a skyscraper on the other side-across busy streets, bypassing hazards, through doorways-you would have enormous trouble. You'd likely stagger incoherently, climb to the top of porch steps, mount car roofs, and so on, getting stuck on any one of thousands of local high points, unable to step farther up, unwilling to back down. And if, just trying to climb higher whenever possible, you had to walk blindfolded and disoriented from the plains by Lubbock, Texas, to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago-blundering randomly over flatlands, through woods, around canyons, across rivers-neither you nor any of billions of other blindfolded, disoriented people who might try such a thing could reasonably be expected to succeed." (Behe, 2007, pp.5-6).

"In everyday life, the greater the distance between points A and B, and the more rugged the intervening landscape, the bleaker are the odds for success of a blindfolded walk, even-or perhaps especially-when following a simple-minded rule like `always climb higher; never back down.' The same with evolution. In Darwin's day scientists were ignorant of many of the details of life, so they could reasonably hope that evolutionary pathways would turn out to be short and smooth. But now we know better. The great progress of modern science has shown that life is enormously elegant and intricate, especially at its molecular foundation. That means that Darwinian pathways to many complex features of life are quite long and rugged. The problem for Darwin, then, as with a long, blindfolded stroll outdoors, is that in a rugged evolutionary landscape, random mutation and natural selection might just keep a species staggering down genetic dead-end alleys, getting stuck on the top of small anatomical hills, or wandering aimlessly over physiological plains, never even coming close to winning the biological pot of gold at a distant biological summit. If that is the case, then random mutation/natural selection would essentially be ineffective. In fact, the striving to climb any local evolutionary hill would actively prevent all drunkards from finding the peak of a distant biological mountain. This point is crucial: If there is not a smooth, gradually rising, easily found evolutionary pathway leading to a biological system within a reasonable time, Darwinian processes won't work." (Behe, 2007, pp.6-7. Emphasis original).

"As a practical matter, how far apart do biological points A and B have to be, and how rugged the pathway between them, before random mutation and natural selection start to become ineffective? How can we tell when that point is reached? Where in biology is a reasonable place to draw the line marking the edge of evolution? This book answers those questions. It builds on an inquiry I began more than a decade ago with Darwin's Black Box. Then I argued that irreducibly complex structures-such as some stupendously intricate cellular machines-could not have evolved by random mutation and natural selection. To continue the above analogy, it was an argument that the blindfolded drunkard could not get from point A to point B, because he couldn't take just one small step at a time-he'd have to leap over canyons and rivers. The book concluded that there were at least some structures at the foundation of life that were beyond random mutation." (Behe, 2007, p.7).

2 comments:

Kronsteen said...

"...the most critical aspect of Darwin's multifaceted theory is the role of random mutation."

Firstly, Behe doesn't distinguish between several type of mutation, and thus several different types and causes of variation. He just lumps them all together.

Second, in all creatures that reproduce sexually, the majority of variation isn't produced by mutation (in any of its senses). It's produced by the semi-random combination of ancestral traits.

Behe doesn't even mention this. He just uses the term "random mutation" over and over again, without definition, in the hope the repitition will substitute for sense.

"In order to forge the many complex structures of life, a Darwinian process would have to take numerous coherent steps."

Oh dear. Behe is attacking a teleological theory of evolution - one that Darwin, Gould, Dawkins etc explicitly rejected. He's knocking down a strawman.

"...irreducibly complex structures"

Here we go again. Every species looks "irreducibly complex" (and therefore designed) if you don't know its history. Once you do know its history - as furnished by the fossil record and genetic comparison with other species - you realise it could have come about by evolution.

Provided of course you actually understand evolutionary theory, instead of the caricature Behe presents.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Kronsteen

Thanks for your comment.

>"...the most critical aspect of Darwin's multifaceted theory is the role of random mutation."
>
>Firstly, Behe doesn't distinguish between several type of mutation, and thus several different types and causes of variation. He just lumps them all together.

That's because it is *irrelevant* what "type of mutation" it is. The common factor among *all* types of mutations, as far *as Darwinism is concerned*, is that they are random, in the sense of *undirected*, as Dawkins explained::

"There is a fifth respect in which mutation *might* have been nonrandom. We can imagine (just) a form of mutation that was systematically biased in the direction of improving the animal's adaptedness to its life. But although we can imagine it, nobody has ever come close to suggesting any means by which this bias could come about. It is only in this fifth respect, the 'mutationist' respect, that the true, real-life Darwinian insists that mutation is random. Mutation is not systematically biased in the direction of adaptive improvement, and no mechanism is known (to put the point mildly) that could guide mutation in directions that are non-random in this fifth sense. Mutation is random with respect to adaptive advantage, although it is non- random in all sorts of other respects. It is selection, and only selection, that directs evolution in directions that are nonrandom with respect to advantage." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.312. Emphasis original)

>Second, in all creatures that reproduce sexually, the majority of variation isn't produced by mutation (in any of its senses). It's produced by the semi-random combination of ancestral traits.

Again, this is irrelevant, as far as Darwinism is concerned. See above.

>Behe doesn't even mention this. He just uses the term "random mutation" over and over again, without definition, in the hope the repitition will substitute for sense.

Irrelevant. See above.

>"In order to forge the many complex structures of life, a Darwinian process would have to take numerous coherent steps."
>
>Oh dear. Behe is attacking a teleological theory of evolution - one that Darwin, Gould, Dawkins etc explicitly rejected. He's knocking down a strawman.

No. Behe is attacking a *non*-"teleological theory of evolution", namely Darwinism.

>"...irreducibly complex structures"
>
>Here we go again. Every species looks "irreducibly complex" (and therefore designed) if you don't know its history. Once you do know its history - as furnished by the fossil record and genetic comparison with other species - you realise it could have come about by evolution.

Again this is irrelevant. By "irreducibly complex" Behe is not talking about "species", i.e. whole organisms, but some *molecular machines*, like the bacterial flagellum.

>Provided of course you actually understand evolutionary theory, instead of the caricature Behe presents.

This is the usual evolutionist claim, that if anyone disagrees with "evolutionary theory" then it must be because they do not "actually understand" it.

According to them, it simply *cannot be* that someone could actually understand evolutionary theory but then reject it as inadequate!

So, according to them, evolutionary theory is so simple that school students (e.g. in Kansas, etc) should be taught it and examined on it, but it is also so difficult that a Professor of Biochemistry like Behe does not understand it!

I myself completed a biology degree in 2004, gaining distinctions in all my evolutionary theory subjects, i.e. I have a piece of paper which says that I understand evolutionary theory. Yet I agree with Behe that fully naturalistic (including Darwinian), mechanisms are inadequate to explain some aspects of life, in particular those which Dawkins admitted, "seem… to demand a shaping agent at least as powerful as a deity":

"The theory of species selection, growing out of that of punctuated equilibria, is a stimulating idea which may well explain some single dimensions of quantitative change in macroevolution. I would be very surprised if it could be used to explain the sort of complex multidimensional adaptation that I find interesting, the 'Paley's watch', or 'Organs of extreme Perfection and complication', kind of adaptation that seems to demand a shaping agent at least as powerful as a deity." (Dawkins, R., "The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene," [1982], Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1983, p.108).

PS: Please note my stated policies on my blog's front page that, "After more than a decade (1994-2005) debating on Internet discussion groups, I concluded that such debates were largely a waste of time, so I ceased debating and started this blog" and "Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual on that comment, and then I will let him/her have the last word."

Stephen E. Jones