The most prominent advocate of the design hypothesis in the life sciences is Lehigh University biochemist Michael J. Behe, whose bestselling 1996 book, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, attracted enormous attention by scientists, philosophers, and theologians. Behe argues that in the past half century science has unexpectedly discovered enormous complexity in the cell at the very foundation of life. Molecular machines -literally, machines made of molecules -move supplies around the cell, convert foodstuffs to chemical energy, and perform all the other intricate functions necessary to sustain life. Such complexity, he maintains, is better explained as the product of deliberate intelligent design than as the result of Darwinian processes of random mutation and natural selection.
Michael J. Behe has a B.S. in chemistry from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked on sickle-cell disease. He has also done postdoctoral work on DNA structure at the National Institutes of Health. He has been at Lehigh University since 1985, where he is currently Professor of Biochemistry. Behe and his wife reside near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with their nine children.
Professor Behe's talk will be the first of three on Intelligent Design. He will be followed on March 2 by Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski, a mathematician and philosopher, and on March 8 by Eugenie Scott, a prominent critic of Intelligent Design.
This series on Intelligent Design is sponsored by Claremont McKenna College's Salvatori Center and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.