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Author Topic:   What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?
Posts: 5982
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 64 of 72 (485811)
10-11-2008 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Kevin123
10-11-2008 7:57 PM

Bombardier Beetle Myth Exploded Over 25 Years Ago
I started studying "creation science" in 1980. A few years later, my first discussion with a creationist was prompted by my question whether Christian doctrine approved of lying in the service of their god. He was astounded at the question and responded with an unequivocal "no" and asked why I raised such a question. So I told him about the "Bomby" (that's what the creationists would call him) claim that you just repeated and how Gish of the ICR publically admitted that that claim was wrong after a public demonstration that the chemicals in fact do not explode nor react violently with each other. And then after that public admission, Gish and the ICR simply continued making that admittedly false claim with the full knowledge that it's false. And, nearly 30 years later, they're still making that false claim, as evidenced by you having also heard it.
Most of the claims creationists make come from the 1970's (since the "creation science" deception was created circa 1970 in the wake of Epperson vs Arkansas (1968) which caused the "monkey laws" to be struck down) and they had all been soundly refuted by the early 1980's. You see, during the 70's the creationists' debate road show had been chewing up their opponents piece-meal, mainly because none of them knew anything about the creationists' false claims. So those "evolutionist" opponents started studying up and checking out the claims and started sharing the results of their research with each other. Thus they were able to turn the tide circa 1980 and a national clearinghouse for that information, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE -- Apache2 Ubuntu Default Page: It works), was formed. Its mainly periodic publication is "NCSE Reports", but that had grown out of its early publications, the Creation/Evolution Newsletter and the journal, "Creation/Evolution".
Issue #3 of "Creation/Evolution", Winter 1981, contained the article,"The Bombadier Beetle Myth Exploded". It's posted on the NCSE site at No webpage found at provided URL:
There's also a newsgroup that has been discussing the issue for decades, . They also have a website, The Talk.Origins Archive at TalkOrigins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy, which is a most excellent repository of articles and information on creationist claims and also on how the science they misuse actually works.
Searching for "bombardier beetle" in the archive produced many hits. Two of the first three are from a project in which creationist claims have been collected and categorized and given a brief refutation with links to more complete explanations:
CB310: Bombardier beetle evolution -- Claim CB310:
The bombardier beetle cannot be explained by evolution. It must have been designed.
CB310.1: Bombardier Beetles and Explosions. -- Claim CB310.1:
The bombardier beetle would explode if the hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone that produce their ejecta were mixed without a chemical inhibitor. Such a combination of chemicals could not have evolved.
And the first hit was for an article written in 1997, "Bombardier Beetles and the Argument of Design", at Bombardier Beetles and the Argument of Design
Oh, and those chemicals are not unique to Bomby, but rather exist in many other insects, as you will learn as you read those articles.
You're behind by decades, so I recommend that you start reading so you can catch up.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Kevin123, posted 10-11-2008 7:57 PM Kevin123 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Kevin123, posted 10-11-2008 11:24 PM dwise1 has replied

Posts: 5982
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.2

Message 67 of 72 (485829)
10-12-2008 4:14 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Kevin123
10-11-2008 11:24 PM

Re: Bombardier Beetle Myth Exploded Over 25 Years Ago
Still I don’t believe such a system could have evolved through random mutations even after reading a few of the theories you posted.
"random mutations"? What are you talking about? We're saying that it evolved. You're completely ignoring the role of selection.
BTW, misrepresenting evolution as operating solely by "random mutations" has been an all too common creationist practice for decades. You're not the first to be deceived by them.
So my question would be why would the first bug that mutated to store these quinones in a compartment have dominated the natural selection process. Then when the next mutation occurs and a bug develops a second hydrogen peroxide compartment why would that bug survive and pass on that new traite. And the next and the next... The final product is an impressive defense mechanism but I don't see the natural selection explains a gradual process.
There are a number of things you need to learn and study:
1. Logic. Or at least the informal logical fallacies. So you can recognize when they're being used, both by others and by yourself.
Your use of argument from incredulity here, for example. You don't understand it, therefore you conclude that it's wrong. No, all that really means is that you don't understand it. The solution is not to reject it out-of-hand, but rather to learn more about it.
2. Evolutionary theory. If you are going to critique something, then shouldn't you at least know something about it? If you are going to oppose evolution, shouldn't you have learned everything you could about it? Otherwise, how could you possibly be effective in your efforts?
3. "God of the Gaps". It's a false theology that believes that God lies in the gaps of our knowledge. It diminishes God into a pathetic impotent deity who must forever hide in fear of Man's science and growing knowledge which cause those gaps to constantly shrink. It is also the fundamental operational theology behind creationist and IDist thinking, that if something can be explained in natural terms, then that eliminates God. Your flawed Mt Rushmore analogy bespeaks of a "God of the Gaps" mentality.
4. "Creation science" claims. You've already seen that the claims you are being fed are false and that they have a history in which they were formed and refuted. Learn those histories. Find out where those claims came from and what the responses to them have been. Discover yourself how they are lying to you, rather than having to endure us having to educate you in a public forum.
Reread the article at Bombardier Beetles and the Argument of Design, realizing that an invagination would be the beginning of a chamber. That an invagination at the site where the chemicals are produced would enable the organism to concentrate them there, which would make them more effective as a defense and would be selected for. That selection continues from generation to generation with each generation being the starting point for the next (Dawkins called this cumulative selection and probability models show it to be very effective). You should also keep in mind that you're dealing with a population, such that it is not a question of the probability of a single line of descent possessing the changes necessary being small, but rather that the probability that none of the lines of descent would -- that latter probability becomes vanishingly small. If any immediate advantage is to be had, then it will be selected for and the offspring possessing that advantage will be the starting point for the next generation.
Edited by dwise1, : word choice: diminish instead of belittle

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Kevin123, posted 10-11-2008 11:24 PM Kevin123 has not replied

Posts: 5982
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.2

Message 70 of 72 (485873)
10-12-2008 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by RAZD
10-12-2008 12:14 PM

Re: simple problems ...
In an old EE Times (trade journal), Colin Johnson reported on an evolutionary computation project in which a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) was evolved into an amplifier. The result worked very well and was highly complex -- irreducibly complex, in that any change to it after the fact that a person would try would cause it to fail to work. Instead of being digital, it made use of the digital circuits' analog characteristics, something that no intelligent designer would have thought of attempting. I'm not even sure whether the researchers were ever able to completely figure out the design.
The lesson I pulled from that article is that the product of intelligent design is modular and fairly simple, whereas the product of evolutionary processes is complex, even irreducibly complex.
Sorry, I have no reference to that article. I xeroxed it back then (about a decade ago) and it's filed away somewhere, but I don't know in which box in that big stack of boxes.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by RAZD, posted 10-12-2008 12:14 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by RAZD, posted 10-12-2008 4:39 PM dwise1 has not replied
 Message 72 by RAZD, posted 10-12-2008 4:47 PM dwise1 has not replied

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