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Author Topic:   What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 1 of 72 (456616)
02-19-2008 5:34 AM


In Message 31 of the "To Good to be True? Intelligently Designed?" thread, jaywill and I get into a discussion regarding the work of Behe, his intellectual integrity, and the status of "irreducible complexity."
The question is: What does it take for an advocate of ID in general and IC in particular to claim that it doesn't exist? If it is scientific, then it must be testable. If it is testable, then it can fail the test. If it fails the test, then it is discarded (to some degree).
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?
At the time Behe wrote Darwin's Black Box, he made the extraordinary claim that there were no papers published anywhere regarding molecular evolution. A simple search of PubMed turned up hundreds of such papers, some written 20 years before Behe's book. Since then, thousands of new papers on molecular evolution have been published and still Behe's book is published stating that there are hardly any. When he was a witness to the Dover case, he repeated this claim only to have the cross-examining attorney start piling up the references in front of him that grew so tall that Behe had to ask that they be cleared because he could no longer see over them.
So what does this mean for Behe's claims? How can he or anybody else justify that "nobody is looking into it"? Or that there are huge questions? Every single example Behe brought up in his book has been shown to be not only reducible but evolved. How many refuting studies must be done before it can be said that Behe was wrong?
ABE: I should think this spin-off discussion would go in either "Biological Evolution" as it relates to how to measure and test ID in general and IC in particular or "Miscellaneous Topics in Creation/Evolution."
Edited by Rrhain, : Added where I thought the conversation should go.
Edited by Rrhain, : Reworked original post
Edited by Rrhain, : Changing topic title.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 02-19-2008 9:20 AM Rrhain has replied
 Message 8 by Modulous, posted 02-20-2008 8:55 AM Rrhain has replied
 Message 9 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 9:41 AM Rrhain has replied
 Message 60 by Kevin123, posted 10-11-2008 6:26 PM Rrhain has not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 3 of 72 (456752)
02-19-2008 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
02-19-2008 9:20 AM


How's about now?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 02-19-2008 9:20 AM Admin has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-19-2008 10:40 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 5 of 72 (456774)
02-20-2008 1:12 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Adminnemooseus
02-19-2008 10:40 PM


Re: topic title etc.
Fine by me.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-19-2008 10:40 PM Adminnemooseus has not replied

Replies to this message:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 50 of 72 (456974)
02-21-2008 2:59 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Modulous
02-20-2008 8:55 AM


Modulous responds to me:
quote:
Out of curiosity, do you have an exact quote?
There are lots of them. One of them was mentioned in the original thread:
Behe writes:
There is no publication in the scientific literature - in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books - that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred.
And another:
Behe writes:
No papers are to be found that discuss detailed models for intermediates in the development of complex biomolecular structures in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature, Science, the Journal of Molecular Biology or, to my knowledge, any journal whatsoever.
And another:
Behe writes:
we have to ask why there are so few in the particular area of the Darwinian evolution of irreducibly complex systems.
This last is his direct response to those who have showed him the very papers he claims don't exist. Again, he made the exact same claim during the Dover trial and was literally walled up behind the papers he claimed didn't exist.
quote:
IC is a prediction of Evolutionary Theory.
Only by the naive concept of "irreducible." Arches are "irreducibly complex." Once the arch is up, if you pull out any of the stones, the arch will fall. But arches are built all the time. And you can even undo it by reversing the very process by which you created it, but that hardly ever happens in real-world systems.
Behe's claim is that there can be no intermediary stage where there is anything that could be considered "functional" without every single part together. That is, each part is absolutely worthless without every other part.
That was also brought up during the Dover trial. Behe claims that there is absolutely no use of any kind for any of the structures involved in the flagellum if they aren't all present to specifically make a flagellum...and the rebuttal witness showed that yes, you do have biological function when you don't have all the pieces.
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. The spring can be extended to be the hammer, trip, and catch, all in one. It isn't nearly as efficient as a modern mousetrap, but that isn't the argument. We are not hear to come up with a "better" mousetrap. We just need a "working" mousetrap. A trap that only catches a few mice is more functional than no trap at all.
quote:
My opinion? Behe wants a mutation by mutation account before he'll accept the conclusion (or so he says). The evidence so far is 'not good enough'.
But that's just it: It is "good enough." The very papers he claims do not exist have been shown to him. Every single example he used in his book were shown to be not only reducible but also evolved: We actually found a "step-by-step" process.
Edited by Admin, : Provide attribution for Behe quotes.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Modulous, posted 02-20-2008 8:55 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 51 of 72 (456978)
02-21-2008 3:28 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by tesla
02-20-2008 9:41 AM


tesla responds to me:
quote:
so where did carbon come from?
Why does it matter? Biology doesn't attempt to explain where atoms come from. That's a question for physics.
quote:
what is the simplest form of carbon?
There is no such thing. Carbon is carbon (and let's not be disingenuous and talk about "isotopes.")
quote:
but if all things "alive" came from what everyone calls "not alive" then how could anything be any more or less alive than the system that it was spawned from?
Because life is a chemical reaction. You start with reagents and you get products. In fact, you are alive because of non-living material. The food you eat is not alive. You digest and break it down into even smaller, non-living molecules. Your cells then take those non-living molecules and through chemical reactions, convert them into living tissue. Your life is dependent upon non-living material being converted into living material.
Now, how does it get kicked off in the first place? We don't know. But, that isn't a question for evolution to answer. Evolution is what happens to life after it exists. Just as biology doesn't try to answer questions of physics, evolution doesn't try to answer questions of abiogenesis. Evolution doesn't care where life came from. So long as it didn't reproduce perfectly from generation to generation, evolution is satisfied.
Are you saying god cannot make life that evolves?
quote:
atoms have a very powerful energy of the "strong" force, and react and evolve within conditions, like biological things.
Incorrect. Atoms don't "evolve like biological things." There is no mutation nor selection.
quote:
when an atom ceases to be iron, and becomes steel, did the iron "die"?
There is no such element as "steel." Steel is an amalgam of iron and carbon. If you add chromium to the mix, you get "stainless" steel. Other metals are often added such as nickel, molybdenum, and tungsten in order to increase various properties.
quote:
i believe that only living things come from the living, and that our universe is a "living" body.
Then is there any problem with evolution?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 9:41 AM tesla has not replied

Replies to this message:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 52 of 72 (456980)
02-21-2008 3:47 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Brad McFall
02-20-2008 6:02 PM


Re: IC in Nature Magazine
Brad McFall writes:
quote:
It seems hard to say that IC is only an argument from incredulity since it made it past Nature editors
Incorrect. You're quote-mining, Brad. Let's have the entire quote in full context, shall we?
When confronting the intricacy of cellular networks and their exquisitely sensitive controls, scientists often wonder how such highly complex and regulated networks evolved. A few scientists go so far as to hold that "irreducibly complex" systems constitute a "powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution"4. The argument is that for a system that is "composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning", these parts could not have evolved independently4. Protein networks with allosteric regulation are examples of such complex systems. Our view on the evolution of protein interactions and allostery is that natural processes of protein colocalization in cells, which effectively increase the local concentration of neighbouring molecules, change what might have seemed to be improbable evolutionary events into probable ones. This view complements ideas found in many earlier articles on this topic2, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Fundamental 'forces', such as compartmentalization and electrostatic or hydrophobic binding, target proteins to specific locations in the cell, where they are colocalized with other proteins. This natural process of colocalization is essential in metabolism, transcriptional control, and signalling9. We argue that colocalization, combined with other natural processes (such as genetic recombination), leads naturally to protein complexes, to networks of interacting proteins and, subsequently, to allosteric control. [b][i]Every protein complex or allosteric system that develops in this way might seem 'irreducibly complex', but these assemblies form as a result of the accidental mutations that first led to the interactions or fixed the relative disposition of the interacting domains.[/b][/i] As a consequence, homologous proteins often have different allosteric mechanisms. Thus, although allostery is expected to arise naturally and readily in molecular 'machines', the precise mechanism is usually specific to one molecule and its closest relatives, and is not present across a protein family. This review explains how the regulated complexes and pathways of cells might have emerged, step by step, through natural selection working on proteins that have been colocalized by natural processes. First, we discuss how fundamental thermodynamic principles led to the idea that protein interactions and allostery emerge in a random manner as a consequence of colocalization. Then, we illustrate this principle with specific examples of diversity in the allosteric control mechanisms that govern homologous proteins.
Emphasis mine.
In short, the authors recognize Behe's claim and then immediately shoot it down. This is not an example of Nature accepting Behe's argument of IC. It is an example of Nature publishing an article that refutes Behe.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Brad McFall, posted 02-20-2008 6:02 PM Brad McFall has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Brad McFall, posted 02-21-2008 7:23 PM Rrhain has not replied

  
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