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Author Topic:   What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?
Member (Idle past 2584 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007

Message 54 of 72 (456987)
02-21-2008 6:48 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Rrhain
02-21-2008 2:59 AM

Rrhain writes:
His classic example is that of a mousetrap. It has five pieces: The platform, the spring, the hammer, the trip, and the catch. Take away any of them and, according to Behe, you cannot have any mousetrap of any functionality at all.
But that isn't true. All you need is the spring....
One of the reasons that I find the Behe type creationism much more interesting to discuss than standard YEC stuff is that it does actually make us look at the interesting ways in which complex features can evolve, so I thought it a pity that this thread seemed to be being derailed into irrelevancy land.
We can all have fun playing with the mousetrap (and your arch suggestion). The arch can be seen as genuinely irreducibly complex, and there's no reason why it shouldn't have its equivalent feature in biology once the point that mutations subtract features just as much as adding them is made, and the concept of "scaffolding" is understood.
But Behe has confused the issue terribly both by choosing some real life examples that are not irreducibly complex, and with his mousetrap analogy. He's clearly not very good at this kind of thinking.
Here's someone having fun with the mousetrap, and it's quite well done, because he brings in the scaffolding concept as well, although it's not essential, as it would be for your arch.
As for your request to I.D.ers in the O.P.:
So enlighten us: What would it take? What sort of experiment would have to be run in order to conclude that "ID/IC" is nonsense?
I think you mean the ID claim that IC systems can't be produced by nature, and all I can say is that I'm not an IDer, so here's a completely ridiculous answer to just that question from Behe himself.
In fact, my argument for intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum--or any equally complex system--was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.
Ridiculous, because the complex system could have taken millions or even billions of generations to evolve, so such a thing is extremely unlikely to occur even in a one hundred year experiment.
This brings us to your suggestions that Behe is deliberately lying, and unless he's very stupid, it appears that he must be intentionally misleading his public, yes, I agree.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Rrhain, posted 02-21-2008 2:59 AM Rrhain has not replied

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