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The Edge of Evolution

Behe’s latest book, The Edge of Evolution, is out in bookstores. I wasn’t even aware that he had a new book coming out before Mark Chu-Carroll got his hands on a review copy and promptly poked huge holes in Behe’s chapter on fitness landscapes. And then everyone else joined in (aided, I suspect, by the fact that they book had shipped and was available in bookstores). All of this is being documented by Blake Stacey, who is compiling a list of reviews of Behe’s book.

While I saw the book in Borders this weekend, I haven’t looked inside. Even without all the reviews, I would have been surprised if he had said anything terribly interesting. What’s remarkable (according to PZ Myers) is that Behe has some really strange ideas about evolution. Since he accepts common descent and evolution, Behe always came across as little more than a proponent of theistic evolution…one who seemed to think that the hand of God was not just visible, but scientifically testable. It looks like this impression was far from accurate. According to PZ, Behe asserts that just about all changes above the species level are the result of tinkering by the intelligent designer. PZ reprints a figure from the book which says that the “edge of evolution” (the limits of what evolution can do) lies somewhere between the species level (wherein Behe accepts that evolution can take place) and the Class level, where changes cannot be driven by evolution. Basically, Behe appears to be at least as interventionist as a YEC.


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