Complex biochemical systems slap Behe upside the head

Ian Musgrave does a wonderful job explaining the recent Science paper on the evolution of hormone binding sites. This is the work that Behe has called “piddling”, and claims that it has no relevance to the evolvability of complex biochemical systems. Ian takes this idea apart with a quick tour of the wandering goalposts of irreducible complexity:

Behe and the Discovery Insitute have reacted quickly and negatively to this paper. But in doing so they display a curious amnesia. Behe says:

I certainly would not classify their system as IC. The IC systems I discussed in Darwin’s Black Box contain multiple, active protein factors. Their “system”, on the other hand, consists of just a single protein and its ligand.”

Yet this “system” is precisely the thing that Behe uses in his exemplar for the Behe and Snoke paper, the binding of DPG to haemoglobin. And Behe has said in testimony to the Dover trial that the Behe and Snoke paper on evolution of binding sites is about irreducible complexity. So if the evolution of the DPG binding site (where you only need two mutations to make a functioning DPG binding site) is an example of IC, then the evolution of the aldosterone binding site is also.

Poor Behe. The man continues his ever-accelerating slide into the land of pathetic jokes.


  1. minimalist says

    I thought he already completed that slide into the Land of Pathetic Jokes at the Dover trial.

    Now he’s simply frolicking like Homer Simpson in the Land of Chocolate.

  2. says

    I think his ‘response’ if you can call it that demonstrates that he’s given up real science a long time ago.

    I wonder how his students feel. Would you want to be taught science by someone who has utterly given up any of the methodology of science?

  3. wamba says

    Speaking of Lehigh, this was posted by megan in another thread:
    Eugenie Scott to speak

    The Biological Evolution Lectures Committee is pleased to announce a visit by Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, on April 17, 2006. Dr. Scott is a leader in the fight to keep religious views out of the science classroom. She will present two lectures: Teaching Biological Evolution at 4:30 pm and The Controversy about Teaching Biological Evolution at 7 pm. The second lecture will be geared for the general public.

  4. says

    It tickles me that blockquotes by creationist dimbulbs are always offset with a background of Monty Python Mr. Gumbys. It’s tough to read such swill without declaiming it in Gumbese:

    Uh-ee…sur-tun-lee-uh… would, uh, would, er, would not… class-i-fy their system as, er. Run away!

  5. Great White Wonder says

    The sickest part of Michael “Dr. Liar” Behe’s response is his gratitude for the authors: “Thanks for thinking of us!”

    Yeah, Dr. Liar, you’re a real “inspiration” to us all.

    How ill is Behe’s comment?

    It’s essentially as meaningful as a convicted child pornographer thanking the state legislature for “thinking of him” after they pass tougher laws against pedophiles.

  6. windy says

    Thanks for thinking of us!”

    Shouldn’t that be “Thanks for thinking FOR us!”

  7. Greco says

    Poor Behe. The man continues his ever-accelerating slide into the land of pathetic jokes.

    Was Behe ever NOT a pathetic joke?