Thursday, June 24, 2010

Favorites in Apologetics: Darwin's Black Box

I'll be starting a new series of posts exploring those books that I consider the best of those I've read in various categories. Most categories will be on Christian themes, but there will be others in social, cultural, and political genres. There will be three to five entries briefly described in separate posts.

The first category is Apologetics, which includes everything from philosophical apologetics to practical apologetics.

Number One: Darwin's Black Box

The first entry comes with a bit of caveat: it is not apologetics per se. That is, the author doesn't present his material as a defense of the Christian worldview, but instead its main focus is as a rejection of the Darwinian explanation of origins, and a defense of intelligent design. I classify it as apologetics because presents a viable explanation of the existence and origins of things apart from a prevailing worldview, Darwinism.

In Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe introduces the concept of "irreducible complexity." According to Behe, Darwin's "black box" was the cell, past which Darwin could not detect any further sophistication or complexity because of the lack of more powerful microscopes.

Irreducible complexity is an idea that maintains certain biolochemical processes are too complicated to have arisen through mutation and natural selection. This degree of complexity -- even present in the component parts of cells -- requires that the whole system come into existence at the same time in order to work at all.

Behe's examples of this irreducible complexity, such as the eye and the heat/chemical defenses of the Bombardier Beetle, are fascinating, and should leave the reader more in awe of the creative design and power of God.

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