As Michael Behe has explained in these pages and in ID the Future podcasts, natural selection can appear to produce benefits to an organism, but at a cost. Most often, organisms carry on by breaking existing genes and proteins. This is the overriding message of his new book, Darwin Devolves. The tendency for existing complex functions to degrade in order to allow an organism to survive swamps any beneficial mutations that might arise de novo. Occasionally, excited headline writers proclaim that scientists are watching evolution happen in real time. Let's scrutinize some of these claims to see what really happened. Did a new, innovative function arise by a beneficial mutation? Or did something break that provided a benefit in special circumstances?
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