Template:Quote Michael J. Behe (born January 18, 1952) is an American idiot and intelligent design advocate, and is involved in the War on Science. Behe works in the department of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where he is the Distinguished Professor for the Public Misunderstanding  of Science. He is also a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He advocates the idea that some structures are too complex at the biochemical level to be adequately explained as a result of evolutionary mechanisms. He terms this concept "irreducible complexity".
Behe was once a good lad, accepting evolution, but was turned to the Dark side by the book Evolution: A Theory In Crisis. The evil creationists exploited his naivety, turning him into a leading figure in their propaganda machine. As a qualified scientist he gave them the impression of scientific authority that they desperately needed to spread their sordid lies to the unsuspecting public. Behe came to believe in a skyhook: irreducible complexity. But scientists became weary of this skyhookism, and he soon found himself looking for work.
Behe was taken on by Lehigh University in 1985. Why exactly he was given a job is unclear. The Dean of Science at the time reports that he is confused as to why he employed Behe, though he doesn't remember the incident clearly.
"He seemed like a normal scientist. His appearance was normal. He talked like a scientist. His credentials were okay. I guess I got duped."
Having been accepted by the unsuspecting university, he soon came to displace other staff, calling them 'materialists' and challenging their credentials. Even the lab technicians left, leaving him the whole biochemistry department and funding more or less to himself. Molly Rhodes, a technician in the undergraduate lab, said that Behe "undermined her scientific credentials, saying I wasn't qualified for my position", but didn't choose to resign until later, when he tried to run her off the road.
With its department short-staffed, the university decided to rid the department of quackery, asking Behe to leave. Made redundant, he sought out the advice of the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, who said he should approach his employers and ask for a second chance. It turned out that there had been a mistake; he wasn't fired at all. No, he had been promoted to the rank of professor. A terrible misunderstanding.
Behe took advantage of his new position, publishing a book called Darwin's Black Box that exploited the ignorance of the general public and pursued a variety of truthy arguments, while carefully evading the evils of peer-review, methodical research, and the scientific method. His refusal to identify the 'intelligent designer' infuriated scientists, and even led anti-theist Richard Dawkins to chase him through the streets of Pennsylvania screaming 'Who is he?' at the top of his voice.
The university has since learned to live with Behe. Their president Dr. Alice P. Gast has said that the university would be happy to dissolve itself and start anew elsewhere, giving up its grounds and 140 year history, if it meant getting rid of Behe. But it's not as simple as that, Gast explains: "We'd start again if we had to, but they [The Discovery Institute] would only force him on us again. We just give him his own little area and pretend he doesn't work here."
In the Dover 'Panda' trial, Behe testified as a witness, and was cross examined extensively. During questioning he admitted that intelligent design was 'flawed nonsense' that was 'about as scientific as Scientology', requiring 'faith and other supernatural explanations' and being supported by only 'the most deluded fringe scientists who wish to impose their religious desires upon the framework of science', and whose '"intelligent designer" is clearly God'. Behe accepted these criticisms and admitted basically all of his assertions were wrong, but pleaded with the judge to 'give us a chance'.
He published a paper with David Snoke in the journal Protein Science. This is the first and almost certainly only intelligent design paper ever to be published in a credible scientific journal. The journal's editor described the staff's rationale for including the paper: "Their research completely refutes their own predictions - it not only indicates that complex systems can evolve from simpler systems, but do so far more rapidly than thought. In fact, Behe was so frustrated with the results that he rigged all the initial conditions so that it couldn't evolve beyond a simple configuration, and it still did. Pure irony... how could we turn away such an opportunity?"
His newest book is The Edge of Evolution, where he (arbitrarily) asserts that there is a limit to the diversity that can be attributed to evolution. The publication has once again enraged Dawkins, who has said on several occasions that he plans to use the book for the one thing it's good for - beating Behe over the head. He has also produced several videos, aimed at the less intellectually gifted of his target audience who find reading a little bit much.
Behe is married with nine children, and plans to have many more. He is a leading advocate of the Fecundism Strategy, the new sword in the depleted arsenal of the intelligent design movement. He has been involved in theoretical work for the project, providing the calculations for the rate of increase in numbers at various levels of child production. He has also advised his flock to have more children in his books, imploring them to increase their biological fitness and help 'save the soul of America'.
Behe's claims about the irreducible complexity of key cellular structures are strongly contested by the scientific community. His comments about intelligent design have been characterized as pseudoscience by many scientists and science writers. Criticism has not only been from outside the university though, with one of his colleagues having the following to say of the professor:
"Michael Behe isn't a scientist. A pseudo-scientist, maybe, and not a very good one at that." - Dr. Ronald Wilson from the department of evolutionary biology at Lehigh, who mysteriously disappeared last week, along with all record of his existence.
- There was no mistake. The Dean of Science's body was found in a drain the next day
- Dawkins, Richard. "I'm going to beat Michael Behe over the head", New York Times. July 1, 2007.