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Revue de presse

"A persuasive book. It will speak to the layman and perhaps even to professional evolutionists as well, if they are able to suspend for a little while their own judgment about origins, the ultimate black box." -- The Washington Times

"An argument of great originality, elegance, and intellectual power. . . . No one can propose to defend Darwin without meeting the challenges set out in this superbly written and compelling book." -- David Berlinski, author of A Tour of the Calculus

"Overthrows Darwin at the end of the twentieth century in the same way that quantum theory overthrew Newton at the beginning." -- George Gilder in National Review

"[Behe] is the most prominent of the small circle of scientists working on intelligent design, and his arguments are by far the best known." -- H. Allen Orr in The New Yorker

"When examined with the powerful tools of modern biology, but not with its modern prejudices, life on a biochemical level can be a product, Behe says, only of intelligent design. Coming from a practicing biologist. . . this proposition is close to heretical." -- The New York Times Book Review --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Ten years ago, Darwin's Black Box launched the Intelligent Design movement: the argument that nature exhibits evidence of design, beyond Darwinian randomness. Today the movement is stronger than ever, and the book is a classic and an international bestseller. At last, Michael Behe has updated the book with a major new afterword on the state of the debate.
The Intelligent Design movement was born when a handful of scientists realized that nature exhibits characteristics that could not have evolved by random mutation. Prominent among them was Michael Behe, a microbiologist working in a field that Darwin could not even have imagined existing. Microbiology has discovered staggering complexity at the cellular level of life and during his research Behe made a stunning discovery: Some parts of life are irreducibly complex. They cannot function without all of their parts. Yet step-by-step genetic mutations would never produce all of those parts together at once. Some parts of the biological world must have been designed.
From one end of the spectrum to the other, DARWIN'S BLACK BOX has established itself as the key text in the intelligent design movement, the one argument that must be addressed in order to determine whether Darwinian evolution is sufficient to explain life as we know it, or not. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .



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This book is about an idea-Darwinian evolution-that is being pushed to its limits by discoveries in biochemistry. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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96 internautes sur 110 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A book misunderstood both by its supporters and detractors 5 mai 2005
Par Drew Stein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
No one can possibly deny that this is a well-written, well-explicated book, worthy of any idle summer day. As a student of molecular biology and philosophy, Behe was able to provide explanations for events that I know are well beyond my level, yet still make them accessible. So then, if this book is a well written piece of literature, why are there so many mixed reviews?

The question isn't so much the subject matter, but the context and prejudice the reader brings to it. Both those pro and against this book desperately want it to be Creationist. This is a gross simplification of a very complicated matter. While many authors want to simplify Darwinism and their stance, Behe takes the opposite approach. He mentions irreducible complexities not as a means of awing the reader into believing in a god figure, but to demonstrate that the gradualism preached in Darwinism has many holes in it.

And the fact that Darwinism is fallible is really the core of the issue. After talking to one of my biology professors and one of my bioochem professors, its pretty understood that many points of Darwinism is up for contention. For instance, Darwin proposed that the initial foundation of life would take a much longer time than fossil records show. Behe is not assaulting the principles of aethism and forcing religion on people; rather he asks the question, if Darwin was alive today and knew the things about molecular biology available now, would he still propose his theory?

Behe makes many concessions, going on the record to say that he believes man was descended from a common ancestor as the apes and that the world was created billions of years ago. He also recognizes Darwinism does occur. It just isn't the sole means of evolution, especially at the molecular level.

If you want a good book to read and have an interest in science and contemporary issues, you should definitely pick up the book. Even if you don't agree with the conclusions (I didn't), Behe teaches the subject with such clarity and passion that you will come away having learned something.
273 internautes sur 327 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Argument from Design at the cellular level 22 novembre 2000
Par I. Westray - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Michael Behe's an apologist, by far the best apologist I've run across, for the "argument from design" objection to evolutionary theory. (Essentially argument from design amounts to "See that watch? How could it have come about without a watchmaker? How could any of its parts have originally 'evolved' independently? If they didn't, how did the watch spring up out of nowhere?" And so on.)
Intelligently, Behe recognizes that the argument from design has been responded to pretty thoroughlyat the species level. (For example, evolutionary theory has worked out how the bones of the ear evolved from a bone that articulated reptilian jaws.) So Darwin's Black Box, unlike countless somewhat apoplectic "creationist" writings, chooses the territory for its argument very carefully. Behe concedes natural selection as a force at the level of complete organisms: certain Amazon reviewers seem not to have noticed that he does allow humans and apes a common ancestor, for a glaring example.
The narrowly defined argument Behe wants to stake out is in the biochemical realm. There, he thinks, he can make a case for "irreducible complexity." In short, he thinks he can convince us that the interdependent, complex systems that constitute such things as cilia in cells could not possibly have come about as the piecemeal result of natural selection.
The first half of this book is comprised of lengthy, extremely accessible and enjoyable descriptions of exactly how the smallest cellular mechanisms work. The latter half consists of an attempt to assert the irreducible complexity of those mechanisms. If cilia in cells can't be accounted for by natural selection, says Behe, then there must be intelligent design at work on that level.
To synopsize: Behe concedes the evolution of organisms, but argues that the complexity of life at the cellular level proves the existence of "intelligent design" -- of God. God, in a sentence, is in the cellular details for Behe.
I wouldn't dream of endorsing or refuting this book's arguments here. I'm not here to blow on already hot embers for anyone; I just thought an intelligent reader would want to understand the basic outlines of what this book tries to do. Some of the positive reviews from religious types seem not to have been based on this book at all...
231 internautes sur 282 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good reading, good explanations, too short. 5 décembre 2001
Par M. Frodsham - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I don't really think the harshly negative reviewers get the point, nor are they being fair. Biochemistry was my undergraduate major, and I worked as a geneticist for a few years afterward. From that point of view, I don't think Behe's arguments are inherently flawed or bad science.
As Behe points out, there is a disconnect in evolution's explanation of microscale processes (e.g. biochemical: protein-protein interactions) compared with macroscale processes (e.g., functional gene mutations such as commonly seen in bacteria). It is difficult to see how mostly benign chemicals, that react primarily with respect to strong or electromagnetic forces, necessarily combine in self-advantageous (or self-disadvantageous), reproducible ways under a competitive survival paradigm.
Einstein and his group pointed out that gravity does not work on the chemical level (i.e. microscale). Behe merely points out the same thing with respect to evolution in biomolecules. My only complaint was that Behe inferred the intelligent design aspect too soon in the book. I would have liked more examples of biological irreducible complexity since I'm not sure that's the winning argument. That is, if you take away one piece, or that the mousetrap is made of paper, perhaps it functioned some other way than as a mousetrap. I thought the ATP synthesis was a nice example, but I found myself wanting more.
I thought the killer point Behe made, that I agree with, is the intolerant intellectual atmosphere so pervasive in many areas of science, particularly biology. I believe this has a large a priori effect on the approaches taken in research, or on reporting findings. This intolerant culture might come from the vehement attacks by creationists on the other side, which may in turn tend to galvanize the molecular biology community. Who knows? I do, however, believe scientists are too quick to discredit, or label as a creationist or idiot, anyone who challenges the evolution dogma on any scale.
Scientists give up too quickly if they think evolution is the sine qua non on every level. The little changes to big changes cliche is tired and needs more.
Behe points out, pretty simply I might add, that it is no sillier to say that God fills the gaps than to say evolution fills the gaps. Let's face it, evolution simply cannot explain microscale biochemical processes. Perhaps something else does, but evolution doesn't.
Cheers to Behe.
79 internautes sur 97 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Enlightenment... or Not? 23 mai 2007
Par S. Cooney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I picked this book up several years ago after reading an essay entitled "The Deniable Darwin" by David Berlinski. I thought the book was excellent and recommend it to those seeking to explore the "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design" debate.

Consider those who claim to have debunked this book carefully. The so-called "debunking" of the irreduceable complexity of the bacterial flagellum and the blood-clotting cascade are out there online for anyone who knows how to use a search engine. Check it out. Behe has responded online to his critics as well. Judge for yourself who fares better.

Many of Behe's critics here point to the Dover school board decision as settling the issue once and for all. But science doesn't work that way. Yesterday's heretic is today's hero.

Behe's argument that irreduceable complexity at the cellular level can't be explained by Darwinist principles is a powerful one. He's the barbarian at the gate. Don't take my word for it - listen to the shrill tone of the critics here. They take this book personally - I mean they really hate it. When they defend their theory by personally attacking its critic as they've done here, one has to wonder "What's up"?

What's fascinating is that the critics of Behe's book dismiss him and all of his supporters as religious fanatics. They snort and say "It's not science"... Again, judge for yourselves. This book is what it says it is, a challenge to evolution. So far, they haven't really answered it, although they say they have.

So-called microevolution is not disputed by anyone. Macroevolution is another matter entirely. There is no theory (except for Gould's punctuated equilibrium) that adequately addresses the fossil record. And if evolution is gradual (as it must be), what to say about the so-called Cambrian Explosion, 510 million years ago, when most if not all the major phyla (types of life) came into being in just a few million years? That means every major type of specialized cell for all the different types of life on earth- they all came into existence within an extremely short period, geologically speaking. There's really no explanation for it. Prior to Behe's book, the problem of the fossil record and the Cambrian Explosion were two of the biggest challenges to evolution. Now we add irreduceable complexity.

A hundred years ago the physicists who proposed and supported the "Big Bang" theory to explain their observations of the night skies were mocked, ostracized from their faculties, etc... for being "Creationists" and "Christians" in supporting such a Creationist-friendly idea. Today the Big Bang is taken as fact, with little or no attention paid to the religious element - it's science, plain and simple.

Two of Darwinism's biggest supporters (Dennett and Dawkins) have just published books arguing that religion and God are of no use - delusions that have run their course. Dawkins even made a film about it. It's truly a passion with him - "curing" people of the God Delusion (the title of his book).

Is that a type of science? Is Dawkins's premise (there is no God) falsifiable? Hint: it's impossible to prove a negative. Dawkins's unshakeable convictions approach that of an Evangelical Christian, his "faith" in atheism is truly absolute. As is the faith of the other atheists posting reviews of this book.

In and of itself that's not a problem. But when they support evolution by addressing its critics with ad hominem personal attacks, evolution can't help but take on the cloak of an "anti-religion", and these fundamentalist atheists have not done the science underlying this controversy any favors at all.

And they actually wonder why 70% of the population doesn't believe in evolution.
20 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If you disagree, read it; if you agree, read it. 6 décembre 1998
Par "ainamacar" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Having read through all 88 other reviews, I have to observe that most that gave bad reviews disagreed with the author's conclusion, and that many who gave him high marks did so because they agreed with him. I'd like to suggest that everyone interested in the topic of origins should read this book because it asks questions that make you re-examine your own beliefs in what is.
The book itself was extremely readable and understandable because Behe uses both analogy and specific scientific examples. To rate the theory of Behe I don't wish to do, that is for another arena, but I will say that to fully understand the book you must accept that we don't know what really happened, and that therefore an opposing opinion must be entertained when it is formed. The fact that Behe addresses critics *and* those who would "agree overmuch" with him (e.g. Dawkins) is to his credit. Few books have held my attention as well as this one did, because I found his arguments reasonable, his writing persuasive and lively, and his efforts to be accessible and honest highly admirable.
Having attended a seminar at the University of Minnesota where he talked for an evening, I can say that much of the crowd was thinking rather than pointing fingers at the end. It was clear some people came with ammunition that night, but they were hushed because they had not thought through the implications of their questions or the assumptions therein. He sold a lot of books that evening, many to those who obviously did not agree with him but found his questions important in the realm of science and belief.
I should also mention that, as a highschool student, I was extremely happy to find a book that challenged the orthodox way of thinking through examination, and not through assuming that the orthodox is wrong and not by doing it merely for the challenge's sake. The book is not PC, and it's certainly not completely right, but it claims to be neither.
Essentially, this book asks "what if?" and finds that a designer is one possible explanation. If you disagree with "anything is possible" then perhaps science isn't for you. If you agree that some things are more likely than others, than this is a book that will cause you to reconsider what you believe, on evidence and on faith, whether you are an evolutionist or a creationist, and that of itself makes Darwin's Black Box worthy of being read.
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