On March 8, 2019, I completed an initial cursory read-through of Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution, ©2019 HarperOne, by Michael J. Behe, PhD.
Behe is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and author of the previously-published highly-noted work, Darwin’s Black Box.
In this just-released book Behe explains how recent scientific advances demonstrate for the first time just how impossible it would have been for random mutation and natural selection, acting alone and as traditionally understood (i.e. mechanisms of evolution rather than devolution), to explain the development of life forms on this planet. He makes it clear that neo-Darwinian materialism and its underlying assumptions are categorically false. But then he goes further; he makes the case for mind as the critical component behind all purpose and design.
I personally wish that Dr. Behe would go still further in declaring that it is the mind of the infinite personal God of the universe — as revealed in Scripture — that is behind life, just as the Apostle Paul got specific about the identity of the “unknown God” in Acts 17:16-34. But for whatever reasons, Behe does not do that.
Nevertheless, this new book has the potential to be a real game-changer.
Dr. Tom Woodward — research professor, apologist, AIIA Ministry Associate, and keynote speaker at the Why Jesus? 2016 event in Bangor, Maine — says this about Behe’s latest release: “I view this as potentially the single most important book ever published — ever published — critiquing Darwinism and setting forth the case for design.”
Woodward says that he believes that the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm “is going to falter badly and quickly, perhaps in 2019.” He says that he has “been so encouraged, chapter by chapter, by the clever strategy, the rich detail, the sheer excellence of scientific content and felicitous/humorous writing” by Dr. Behe in Darwin Devolves that “it is really hard to put in words how historically pivotal this one book can be.” In anticipation of the book’s release, Woodward says: “. . . let the tsunami begin.”
Actually, it may turn out to be just as much of a war as a tsunami. Darwinian evolutionary doctrine is so entrenched in our academic centers and culture today. If Darwinism were to fall, the pride and reputation and investment of so many would fall with it. More significantly, people would be forced to acknowledge the increased likelihood of a supernatural intelligent Creator — and the fact that they might be accountable to that Creator, even morally, if it turns out that the Creator instituted a moral code for humanity.
If this new book really was to send Darwinism into a final death spiral, I have no doubt that there would be a scramble to advance many alternate evolutionary theories. But Dr. Behe seems to have anticipated even that, and effectively refutes many such alternative theories in this text.
Much of Darwin Devolves is highly technical and I am not a biochemist or career scientist. But even if you are like me in that respect you will be able to capture the major concepts set forth here, and therefore be better informed and better equipped to counter the weary old arguments for mindless materialism the next time you hear them being asserted. For that reason — and even if you currently do affirm Darwinism — I recommend that you read this book. It’s now available via AmazonSmile, and listed among many other valuable resources in AIIA’s web store. — Daryl E. Witmer, AIIA Executive Director