In his book The Edge of Evolution, Michael Behe documented the growing empirical evidence showing the sharp limits to Darwinian natural selection. He also discussed these limits in his peer-reviewed article in the Quarterly Review of Biology linked below.
Michael Behe, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations, and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution’”
Since the late 1980s, Michigan State University biologist Richard Lenski has been running a long-term evolution experiment with E. coli bacteria. A supporter of Darwinian evolution, Lenski wanted to follow a population of bacteria over time and see what new functions would evolve. By 2014, Lenski and his researchers had grown over 60,000 generations of bacteria. Although often cited as providing evidence for Darwin’s theory, scientists who support intelligent design like Michael Behe argue that Lenski’s experiments actually show just how limited the creative power of Darwinian evolution actually is.
Michael Behe, “Richard Lenski and Citrate Hype—Now Deflated”
Michael Behe, “Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment: 25 Years and Counting”
Michael Behe, “Richard Lenski, ‘Evolvability,’ and Tortuous Darwinian Pathways”
Casey Luskin, “Richard Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiments with E. coli and the Origin of New Biological Information (Updated)”
Casey Luskin, “Michael Behe’s Quarterly Review of Biology Paper Critiques Richard Lenski’s E. Coli Evolution Experiments”
Douglas Axe earned his PhD at Cal Tech. He then spent 14 years doing research in molecular biology at top labs in and around Cambridge University. Axe was sceptical of Darwinian evolution, and he wanted to find ways to actually test what it could and couldn’t do. When Axe returned to America, he formed Biologic Institute to do just that. Axe and his colleagues Ann Gauger and Marci Reeves have conducted experiments that help address the feasibility of Darwinian explanations of the evolution of biological functions at the biochemical level. The research by Axe and his colleagues shows that co-opting even one existing protein to perform a slightly new function is likely beyond the reach of the Darwinian mechanism.
Douglas D. Axe, “The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds”
Douglas D. Axe, “The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations”
Mariclair A. Reeves, Ann K. Gauger, Douglas D. Axe, “Enzyme Families—Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design? A Study of the GABA-Aminotransferase Family”
Ann K. Gauger, Douglas D. Axe, “The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzymes Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway”
Ralph Seelke is a Professor of Biology (Emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He earned his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Minnesota, and he has conducted research in experimental evolution at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Stanford University Medical School. He has published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Bacteriology, and Molecular and General Genetics. He is co-author of the textbook Explore Evolution. Using the links below you can find out more about Seelke’s experiments with E. coli bacteria and how those experiments show the limits of Darwinian evolution.
Ann K. Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F. Fahey, Ralph Seelke, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness”
“Response from Ralph Seelke to David Hillis Regarding Testimony on Bacterial Evolution Before Texas State Board of Education”
“Biologist Ralph Seelke Testimony Before the Texas State Board of Education”
In December 2005, federal judge John E. Jones declared unconstitutional the reading of a statement about intelligent design in public school science classrooms in Dover, Pennsylvania. Explore the what Kitzmiller v. Dover was all about through the links below.
John G. West, “Dover in Review: A Review of Judge Jones’ Decision in the Dover Intelligent Design Trial”
David K. DeWolf, John G. West, Casey Luskin, “Intelligent Design Will Survive Kitzmiller v. Dover”
The Truth about the Dover Intelligent Design Trial
Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision
In Kitzmiller v. Dover, Judge John Jones concluded that intelligent design is not science. Was he correct? This lecture by attorney and scientist Casey Luskin provides a detailed analysis of Judge Jones’ claims.
Judge John Jones was hailed by many for his “masterful decision” in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. However, a detailed analysis shows that more than 90% of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word critique of intelligent design was lifted virtually verbatim from a document submitted to him by plaintiffs. Judge Jones even copied several clearly false factual claims made by the plaintiffs. Read the study for yourself and see what you think.
After the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, biochemist Michael Behe wrote a response to the decision by Judge Jones. Find out what he said.
Are you a high school or college student interested in promoting discussion about intelligent design on your campus? Find out about how to organize an IDEA Club.