Darwin's Black Box
The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution
Michael J. Behe. 1998. Touchstone
Books (Simon & Schuster), 320 pages.
The author, though not a creationist, argues persuasively that biochemical
machines must have been designed -- either by God, or by some other higher
intelligence. Using the examples of vision, blood clotting, cilia, the
immune system, and more, Behe demonstrates that each such system functions
as an "irreducibly complex," finely-calibrated molecular machine. Like a
mouse trap, each interacting part is indispensable for the functioning of
the system. If any one of the parts is removed, the system no longer
functions. Behe's basic thesis is this: Since any precursor to an
irreducibly complex system is by definition nonfunctional, an irreducibly
complex system cannot "evolve"; i.e., it cannot arise gradually by slight,
successive modifications of the precursor via a Darwinian process.