The main argument of The Edge of Evolution was that the mechanism of evolution was competent to account for developmental changes up to the level of class, but could go no further. Since that book was published and new research such as he mentions in the present book has come to light Behe has revised that estimate down to the level between family and genus (155-156).
In similar fashion, damaging a gene can ensure the survival of the organism.
Book - Fact - Way - Things - World
The book demonstrates that this is in fact the way things go in the real world (as opposed to the simulated world often relied upon by the scientist). In fact, the book opens up with the case of the polar bear, which is of the same genus as the brown bear. Adapting to the new colder environment it (somehow) found itself in, “Ursus maritimus has adjusted…mainly by degrading genes that its ancestors already possessed. Despite its impressive abilities, rather than evolving, it has adapted predominantly by devolving” (17).
It appears then that, “Darwinian evolution proceeds mainly by damaging or breaking genes, which, counterintuitively, sometimes helps survival” (37, emphasis original). Moreover, because of their economy and utility, these degraded genes will be positively “selected” and will therefore spread. (cf. 183-187). This comes with a cost: the more information is lost, the more limits are introduced to what an organism can do (i.e. how it can “evolve”).
Behe - Chapters - Accounts - Science - Theory
Behe spends several chapters going over the most recent accounts within evolutionary science that actually challenge neo-Darwinian theory. These are necessary, but I found them to be a little tedious. The results of these...
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