tdg << I was recommended a book entitled Darwin’s Black Box. Is it worth the time to read? >>
Probably, maybe once. It was all the rage 10 years ago when it came out, but has since been pretty well thrashed. I would read the book once, and then read the direct and cross-exam (days 10,11,12) that Behe went through at the 2005 Dover Trial which is online at TalkOrigins and elsewhere. It covers his main examples of “irreducible complexity” and debunks them.
What Behe has admitted and agrees with in this book and other books and debates is that the earth and universe are very old, common descent or macroevolution is true, that we evolved from ape-like ancestors, Darwin’s natural selection explains many things (see Darwin’s Black Box, page 5), and that Darwinism – like that accepted by most biologists, such as his main opponent, Ken Miller of Brown Univ – is compatible with Catholicism (Uncommon Dissent, page 143-144).
“The point I’m trying to drive home here by discussing my own work as well as the work of [Ken] Miller [of Brown Univ] and [John] Haught [of Georgetown Univ], is that a very wide range of views about the mechanism of evolution is consistent with Catholic teaching, from the natural selection defended by Miller, to the intelligent design I have proposed, to the animated, information-suffused universe that John Haught sees. Those mechanisms are all proposed by persons who attach the same bottom-line philosophy to their ideas that Pope John Paul described: that ‘it is the God of Israel who acts’ and that ‘it is the one and the same God who establishes and guarantees the intelligibility and reasonableness of the natural order of things upon which scientists confidently depend, and who reveals himself as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Indeed, the range of possibilities that are available under a Catholic viewpoint is much wider than under a materialistic viewpoint.” (Michael Behe, from “A Catholic Scientist Looks at Darwinism” in Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing edited by William Dembski , page 143-144)
Which is pretty much what Cardinal Dulles is saying in that First Things article. And what I agree with.
Behe has a new book The Edge of Evolution which is already heavily criticized. He takes a lickin but like the Paley watch keeps on tickin.
I may seem like an expert since I post a lot on this topic, but far more knowledgeable folks on the science in here are Alec (HECD2), Rossum (buddhist), Orogeny (Tim), SteveAndersen, zian, wildleaf, and perhaps a few others but these folks always come to mind.