Darwin's Black Box: a Review

Topics: Rube Goldberg, Rube Goldberg machine, Basketball Pages: 3 (1139 words) Published: November 20, 2010
Trinity College of Florida

Rhetoric of Science
Bob R. Gardner
While reading Darwin’s Black Box, I felt a little like cheering on the home team for a high school or college basketball team. Like going to the home town game out of a felt obligation, reading Behe’s book would not have been my first choice, but after the first quarter…er chapters I was glad I was reading it. This book sort of plays out like a basketball game, as Behe takes the time to not only support Intelligent design (Offence) but answers the critics of I.D. (Defense) in a very open way, if not always a friendly rivalry. At times I cheered on the rhetoric of I.D. and at other times I was “yelling” at the home town coach, but either way the result will be the same, assuming the referees call the plays fairly. Irreducible complexity

Behe quotes Darwin in his book “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” - Charles Darwin. He uses this as a springboard to his central argument that runs through Darwin’s Black Box, that is Irreducible Complexity. Behe uses the analogy of the mouse trap, a simple tool consisting of 5 simple parts to form an effective mouse killing device. We may look at a mousetrap and see it’s simplicity in design, and certainly many people have spent a lot of time “trying to build a better mousetrap” but it is always either based on that design, or going in a completely new direction, sometimes simpler, sometimes more complex, to achieve the same outcome of catching a mouse. However, you cannot simply remove one of the parts and still have an effective mousetrap, in fact, it would cease to be an mouse trap, but either a block of wood, or a jumble of metal wires. All of which may or may not be useful for another task, but never again reform the job of a mouse trap, until recombined in its proper form. There is no way for any...
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