An important requirement of life is a means of minimally accurate self-replication. Biologist Jack Szostak explains that “In order for RNA to have emerged as the genetic polymer that enabled protocells to evolve in a Darwinian manner, the process of RNA replication must have been accurate enough to allow for the transmission of useful information from generation to generation, indefinitely.”
Though there is no direct evidence for Adam and Eve having existed, this does not necessarily make the belief irrational. In principle, it may be supported by indirect evidence (if one holds to a religious belief, itself well supported by evidence, that implies the historicity of Adam and Eve). Either way, current science tells us little about whether Adam and Eve plausibly existed.
The intricacies of vertebrate blood clotting represent a significant challenge to evolutionary mechanisms. The process of clot formation is itself irreducibly complex and must also emerge simultaneously with a mechanism to prevent excessive clotting and to confine the clot to the site of injury. From a neo-Darwinian perspective, it is difficult to envision such a system emerging one step at a time without passing through maladaptive intermediate stages.
It is difficult to imagine a more profound testimony to design than the delivery of a fully developed baby that, only nine months ago, was a single cell. Few biological phenomena are as gripping and awe-inspiring as the process of reproduction and the development of a baby in utero. The signature of design here is unmistakable, for so much of the process — from conception to delivery — depends on foresight and planning.
One of the most incredible features of cellular life is the capability of self-replication. Bacterial cells divide by a process known as binary fission — an amazing feat of engineering, requiring a myriad of different proteins. Several features of bacterial cell division exhibit irreducible complexity. This represents a fundamental challenge to evolutionary explanations of its origins. Here, I will focus only on the severing and re-synthesis of the bacterial cell wall.
Human reproduction is perhaps the quintessential example of teleology in biology. The process by which a fertilized egg develops into an infant over the space of nine months reveals exquisite engineering and ingenious design. Before this intricate process can even begin, there is a need for a sperm cell to fuse with an ovum — each carrying, in the case of humans, 23 chromosomes. This incredible feat bears the unmistakable hallmarks of conscious intent and foresight.
Farina’s video rebuttal directed at Behe’s work misrepresents Behe at multiple points. Moreover, Farina misreads several papers that he cites in his video, failing to understand how they intersect with Behe’s critiques of evolutionary theory. There is also little that is new to see in his video. Many of his criticisms of Behe have been made before by others and addressed in detail elsewhere. In short, despite Mr. Farina’s smug condescension and patronizing demeanor, he fails to mount a credible critique of Dr. Behe’s thesis.
Interestingly, this same misrepresentation of The Edge of Evolution was made by Nathen Lents in his review of Darwin Devolves. This makes me wonder whether Farina has in fact read Behe’s book for himself, or whether he is relying upon others, such as Lents, for his information about what is in the book.
In relation to the flagellum, the video complains about Behe’s “dishonest usage of terminology pertaining to machinery,” including phrases such as “outboard motor,” “drive shaft,” “universal joint,” “bushings,” and “clutch and braking system.” In reality, this terminology is used widely in the scientific literature. It’s not unique to Behe. Is Farina going to charge the entire flagella research community with dishonesty as well?
I am a specialist in molecular and cell biology, and was thus interested in Farina’s video reviewing Michael Behe’s three books — Darwin’s Black Box, The Edge of Evolution, and Darwin Devolves. In this and several subsequent articles, I will offer a rebuttal to Mr. Farina’s analysis of Dr. Behe’s work. Here, I will address Farina’s commentary on Darwin’s Black Box – in particular, his alleged counterexamples of irreducibly complex systems having evolved by natural processes.