Post Author: Bill Pratt
I have long suspected that it is not. I was listening to another Unbelievable? podcast the other day which featured a debate between ID proponent Michael Behe and ID opponent Keith Fox – both are biochemists. During the discussion Behe talked about the longest running lab experiment to test the effects of Darwinian evolution on E. coli. Professor Richard Lenski has been growing trillions of E. coli over more than a decade and he has produced tens of thousands of generations.
According to Behe, the net effect of natural selection and random mutation on the E. coli has been mostly to break biological systems that were already in place. No new complex systems have been formed by Darwinian evolution in the experiment.
Keith Fox agreed with Behe’s assessment of the experiment, but claimed that it did not prove anything about the limits of Darwinian evolution to produce complex new biological systems (which is a central claim of Darwinists). Behe asked Fox, “If this experiment doesn’t prove anything about Darwinian evolution, then what kind of lab experiment could falsify Darwinian evolution?” Fox’s answer: none.
According to Fox, lab experiments can never replicate the natural selection pressures that E. coli or any other organism face in the natural world. These pressures can not be simulated in a lab. It seems that the mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection must be assumed – they cannot be falsified by experimental biology.
What we have here is an unfalsifiable theory. No matter what experiments are run to test Darwinian evolution, the results can never, according to Fox, disprove its ability to generate new biological systems. Aren’t scientific theories supposed to be falsifiable? Am I missing something?