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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CA350:

Professional literature is silent on the subject of the evolution of biochemical systems.


Behe, Michael J. 1996. Darwin's Black Box, New York: The Free Press, 68, 72, 97, 114, 115-116, 138, 185-186.


  1. The claim is simply false. Dozens of articles exist on the subjects for which Behe claims the literature is missing. David Ussery, for example, found 107 articles on cilia evolution, 125 on flagella evolution, 27 on the evolution of the entire coagulation system, 130 on the evolution of vesicle transport, and 84 on "molecular evolution of the immune system" (Ussery 1999).

  2. Behe tries to make his claim appear more dramatic by overstating our understanding of the molecular workings of the cell. For example, he says, "Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has uncovered the secrets of the cell" (1996, 232). But our understanding has only just begun. In the years since Behe wrote his book, journals have been filled with thousands of research articles uncovering new information, and much remains to be uncovered. When the complete Escherichia coli genome was sequenced in 1998, the functions of a third of its genes were still completely unknown, and E. coli is much simpler than human cells.

  3. Behe's work on intelligent design theory has produced no publications in scientific literature. In fact, there have been no scientific publications on intelligent design by any of its proponents (Gilchrist 1997).


Catalano, John (ed.). 1998. Publish or perish: Some published works on biochemical evolution.

See for Yourself:

You can do a search of biological and medical research yourself at PubMed ( ). Try keywords such as "flagella" and "evolution".


  1. Ussery, David. 1999. A biochemist's response to "The biochemical challenge to evolution". Bios 70: 40-45.
  2. Gilchrist, George W. 1997. The elusive scientific basis of intelligent design theory. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 17(3): 14-15.

Further Reading:

Cavalier-Smith, Tom. 1997. The blind biochemist. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 12(4): 162-163.

Li, Wen-Hsiung. 1997. Molecular Evolution. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA.
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created 2001-2-18, modified 2004-8-28