The Edge of Michael Behe



It took a while for me to work it up, but now I’m actually angry at Michael Behe – the only fellow of the despicable Discovery Institute who can claim to know any biology at all.

One of of Behe’s major claims in The Edge of Evolution* was the evolution of HIV – namely, that evolution hadn’t produced any changes at all in the genome of the virus.

Too bad for Behe, real scientists took notice of his claims this time. One of them was Abbie Smith, a pre-grad student working in an HIV lab and current guest blogger over at The Panda’s Thumb. She informs Behe of the fact that there are at least two entirely new genes that has evolved in the phylogenetic groups of HIV – one visible in the very diagram Behe used in the book to show the lack of change in the HIV genome. 

   The red mark is Abbie’s addition – Behe obviously remaining blissfully oblivious to the fact that the proof for the evolutionary change he aimed to refute was right under his nose all the time.

I am very sorry, Michael Behe. But if you’re too fricking lazy (or even downright dishonest) to even check the diagrams you use yourself, you’re not even worthy of the refutations by notable scientists you’ve earned so far. And if a pre-grad student can slam you in an area where you aim to compete with the best… well, it’s a fine indication it’s about time to throw in the towel.

Ignorance has earned both Behe and the rest of the ID shenigans a following among credulous church-goers. But when put up to even the slightest scientific scrutiny, they fall like a house of cards.


*trashed by real biologists Richard Dawkins in NY Times here and H. Allen Orr in The Boston Review here, to mention a few. Blake Stacey has gathered most of the professional reviews. 


Filed under Creationism, Science

4 responses to “The Edge of Michael Behe

  1. ERV

    Im glad youre angry. I have a feeling we will all be more angry when they get around to responding…

  2. gfgb

    I am highly doubtful they ever will respond, at least not in the sense of adressing the question per se. Behe will probably try to ignore it and wait for the storm to pass, since it’s such an extremely glaring error. Dumbski is likely to rant about the “atheist materialist paradigm” and “academic persecution of dissenters”. Yeah, you’re being persecuted… in the same way as alchemy is persecuted in modern chemistry. There is no way around it for them, except through their usual tricks – dishonesty and quote mining. For being religious adherents, they have a surprisingly flexible relationship to the truth…

  3. ERV

    I have to admit, Im kinda loving the silence from the Creationists 🙂

  4. gfgb

    Ain’t no sweeter sound =)

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