Darwin’s Black Box

Michael J. Behe

New York: The Free Press, 1996, 2006.


Michael Behe is a biochemist who has hit upon an interesting dilemma regarding Darwinian evolution: because of their irreducible complexity biochemical systems that are absolutely necessary for life to function could not have arisen spontaneously. Behe carefully documents his findings and comes to the conclusion that the inherent complexity of biochemistry points towards intelligent design as the basis of life. He also analyzes why the scientific community is having trouble with the idea of intelligent design and suggests some solutions to the dilemma.


From a literary standpoint, Behe’s book is very readable and quite enjoyable. He shows that he clearly understands his subject matter and gives many everyday examples to explain the esoteric complexity of biochemistry. That said, the book is rather tedious, but as Behe maintains, the proof is in the details. It’s precisely the details that make this work so compelling. However, in deference to his non-scientific readers, Behe carefully marks out the areas where he gets detailed so that the more casual reader can skip over them. My suggestion, though, is read it right through, even the confusing parts. The arguments against Darwinian evolution presented here are very substantial and they have not been answered by the scientific community as yet.