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The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism [Paperback]

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Item Description...
Overview
The author of Darwin's Black Box draws on new findings in genetics to pose an argument for intelligent design that refutes Darwinian beliefs about evolution while offering alternative analyses of such factors as disease, random mutations, and the human struggle for survival. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.

Publishers Description
When Michael J. Behe's first book, "Darwin's Black Box, " was published in 1996, it launched the intelligent design movement. Critics howled, yet hundreds of thousands of readers -- and a growing number of scientists -- were intrigued by Behe's claim that Darwinism could not explain the complex machinery of the cell.
Now, in his long-awaited follow-up, Behe presents far more than a challenge to Darwinism: He presents the evidence of the genetics revolution -- the first direct evidence of nature's mutational pathways -- to radically redefine the debate about Darwinism.
How much of life does Darwin's theory explain? Most scientists believe it accounts for everything from the machinery of the cell to the history of life on earth. Darwin's ideas have been applied to law, culture, and politics.
But Darwin's theory has been proven only in one sense: There is little question that all species on earth descended from a common ancestor. Overwhelming anatomical, genetic, and fossil evidence exists for that claim. But the crucial question remains: "How" did it happen? Darwin's proposed mechanism -- random mutation and natural selection -- has been accepted largely as a matter of faith and deduction or, at best, circumstantial evidence. Only now, thanks to genetics, does science allow us to seek direct evidence. The genomes of many organisms have been sequenced, and the machinery of the cell has been analyzed in great detail. The evolutionary responses of microorganisms to antibiotics and humans to parasitic infections have been traced over tens of thousands of generations.
As a result, for the first time in history Darwin's theory can be rigorously evaluated. The results are shocking. Although it can explain marginal changes in evolutionary history, random mutation and natural selection explain very little of the basic machinery of life. The "edge" of evolution, a line that defines the border between random and nonrandom mutation, lies very far from where Darwin pointed. Behe argues convincingly that most of the mutations that have defined the history of life on earth have been nonrandom.
Although it will be controversial and stunning, this finding actually fits a general pattern discovered by other branches of science in recent decades: The universe as a whole was fine-tuned for life. From physics to cosmology to chemistry to biology, life on earth stands revealed as depending upon an endless series of unlikely events. The clear conclusion: The universe was designed for life.

Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.41" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 17, 2008
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  0743296222  
EAN  9780743296229  


Availability  0 units.


Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Accessible  Nov 30, 2009
Michael Behe has a way of making difficult concepts easily understood even by non-biology majors. He makes a solid but very interesting argument addressing the difficulty of Darwinian evolution to account for all (or even a small fraction) of the changes necessary to move from simple to complex life. This is not a religious argument in any way. His hope is that his colleagues will end their insistence on what has become a very unlikely scenario for explaining the complexity of life in order to pursue more fruitful theories.
Even aside from the evolutionary implications, the book is a fascinating read for it's very accessible discussion of how and why proteins assemble to make more complex structures, and why certain diseases like malaria are so difficult to eradicate through evolution or otherwise.
 
Excellent, Balanced Treatment of How Evolution Really Occured  Nov 11, 2009
Dr. Behe continues his wonderful explanations of Intelligent Design and how Darwinian theory is limited in what it can explain because it is based on the premise that everything is related even though fossil and molecular evidence doesn't prove it and never will. The Darwinian populizers will undoubtedly respond that we have in fact proven human evolution and plant evolution and on and on. But that is exactly the point that Dr. Behe makes in this book. The truth is that all organisms of every species descend from a a common ancestor but that the evidence DOESN'T permit the bonanza that all things share many features or that they all come from the same ancestor, place, or circumstance. It is precisely because organisms are unique that they can't be compared to one another in an absolute sense. That is the lesson anyone who reads this book should come away with.
 
Evolution  Nov 2, 2009
Who knew evolution was on such shaky ground? Why are these clearly expressed and logical ideas not mentioned during the teaching of evolution in class rooms? A great book for those interested in the truth wherever it leads. A great follow up to Darwin's Black Box.
 
Absolutely outstanding.  Oct 19, 2009
This is a must read for all dyed-in-the-wool Darwinians, of which I am one. After reading this book, I can honestly say that the dye is beginning to fade. Both Behe and I agree with "common descent," but both of us disagree that random mutation can explain all we see in evolution. My background is a biology/chemistry major with an advanced degree. My favorite author has always been Stephen Jay Gould, but Michael Behe raises some very thought-provoking questions.
 
Excellent read  Oct 5, 2009
This is a well balanced scientific look at the evidence surrounding evolution. While not dismissing evolution completely Michael takes a refreshing look at the limits of evolution and presents a compelling summary of his findings.
 

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