The notes section at the end of the book demonstrates Behe’s grasp of relevant literature, both scientific and philosophical ... definitely not a light read, requiring a more than rudimentary knowledge of various aspects of biology as well as a decent grounding in philosophy and current thoughts about mind and consciousness. By rights, the book should have a scientific publisher, except for the fact that the scientific community has banded together to boycott any discussion of intelligent design (see the Notes section of the book for examples). The open-minded reader will definitely find Darwin Devolves to be an enlightening and informative look at a very controversial issue.
Unlike many intelligent design proponents, Behe does not insist that life’s controlling mind is a deity, though that is his personal belief. Most of the book focuses on disproving Darwinian processes. While Behe intends his book for general readers and offers nontechnical analogies, much of the rhetoric relies on detailed genetic, molecular, and biochemical explanations. Darwin Devolves is bound to be controversial.
The lesson that Behe and his intelligent-design supporters should learn is that in the face of scientific ignorance, it’s more productive to keep working than to punt to God as the solution ... Like his creationist kin, Behe devotes his time not to giving evidence for intelligent design but to attacking evolutionary biology ... Behe’s theory, promulgated by the Discovery Institute, Seattle’s intelligent-design organization, does demand support. Who, exactly, is the designer, and what evidence is there that this designer makes nonrandom mutations? Is the designer an immaterial god, in which case we need to know how this god violates the laws of physics by causing mutations, or is the designer material, like a space alien, in which case we must understand the physical methods whereby aliens change our DNA? ... It’s no surprise that Darwin Devolves was published by HarperOne, the religious, spiritual and self-help division of HarperCollins.