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Author Topic:   What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 93 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

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 13082
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 2 of 72 (456628)
02-19-2008 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rrhain
02-19-2008 5:34 AM


Good topic, but the OP is way too long because it's a detailed reprise of another discussion. Can you edit the OP so as to just introduce the topic clearly and briefly? You can hold aside the rest of the content of the original OP and feed it in as appropriate during the discussion. Post a note when you're done and I'll take a look.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 93 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.

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 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

  
Adminnemooseus
Administrator
Posts: 3977
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 4 of 72 (456761)
02-19-2008 10:40 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Rrhain
02-19-2008 10:10 PM


topic title etc.
My impression is that your core question is "What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?". Perhaps that phrase would be a better topic title? "Throwing Out ID" leaves me with the "I have no idea what that means" impression.
Your question...
What does it take for an advocate of ID in general and IC in particular to claim that it doesn't exist?
...seems clumsy. Might it also be better phrased as "What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?"
Adminnemooseus

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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 93 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.

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 Message 4 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-19-2008 10:40 PM Adminnemooseus has not replied

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Admin
Director
Posts: 13082
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 6 of 72 (456800)
02-20-2008 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Rrhain
02-20-2008 1:12 AM


Re: topic title etc.
Just wanted to say what a great job you did trimming down that OP. Thanks!

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Admin
Director
Posts: 13082
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 7 of 72 (456802)
02-20-2008 8:22 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 8 of 72 (456808)
02-20-2008 8:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rrhain
02-19-2008 5:34 AM


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 don't think 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.
Out of curiosity, do you have an exact quote?
A simple search of PubMed turned up hundreds of such papers, some written 20 years before Behe's book
The best part of it is that you're not going back far enough
Try closer to 70 years:
Genetic Variablity, Twin Hybrids and Constant Hybrids, in a Case of Balanced Lethal Factors, by Hermann J Muller:
quote:
In the first place, it is likely that lethals are really among the common-
est forms of mutants, but they would be discovered much more readily
if they were dominant in regard to some visible character than if they
were completely recessive, and this would cause the proportion of lethals
among the dominant mutant factors to appear to be excessively high,
when compared with the proportion among the recessives. Most pres-
ent-day animals are the result of a long process of evolution, in which
at least thousands of mutations must have taken place. Each new mu-
tant in turn must have derived its survival value from the effect which
it produced upon the "reaction system" that had been brought into being
by the many previously formed factors in cooperation; thus a compli-
cated machine was gradually built up whose effective working was de-
pendent upon the interlocking action of very numerous different ele-
mentary parts or factors, and many of the characters and factors which,
when new, were originally merely an asset finally became necessary
be-
cause other necessary characters and factors had subsequently become
changed so as to be dependent on the former. It must result, in conse-
quence, that a dropping out of, or even a slight change in any one of
these parts is very likely to disturb fatally the whole machinery;
for this
reason we should expect very many, if not most, mutations to result in
lethal factors, and of the rest, the majority should be "semi-lethal" or
at least disadvantageous in the struggle for life, and likely to set wrong
any delicately balanced system, such as the reproductive system.
Although this conclusion had suggested itself to the writer in 1912 it
would manifestly have been very difficult to obtain experimental evi-
dence for it...
emphasis mine. IC is a prediction of Evolutionary Theory.
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?
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'.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rrhain, posted 02-19-2008 5:34 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
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tesla
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 9 of 72 (456816)
02-20-2008 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rrhain
02-19-2008 5:34 AM


i seen where most creationists and ID advocates have left this topic alone, because it doesn't support what is observed.
there is however one question that runs through my mind.
if looking at the simplest forms of biological things, or even the greatest forms of biological things, they are all composed of the same base elements as the universe. if we take carbon out of the picture, how many things would be alive? so where did carbon come from? what is the simplest form of carbon? can it get any simpler than its simplest form? eventually, can we say that it cannot be reduced any farther and by all tests see that to be true? looking at the very base, where did the base come from?
"living" is accepted by all as what is considered "biological". 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? atoms have a very powerful energy of the "strong" force, and react and evolve within conditions, like biological things. when an atom ceases to be iron, and becomes steel, did the iron "die"? i believe that only living things come from the living, and that our universe is a "living" body.

keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-20-2008 10:16 AM tesla has replied
 Message 11 by Wounded King, posted 02-20-2008 10:22 AM tesla has replied
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 72 (456821)
02-20-2008 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by tesla
02-20-2008 9:41 AM


how could anything be any more or less alive than the system that it was spawned from?
Self replication.
The system that the self replicating molecules spawned from was not self replicating, itself. So the self replicating molecules could be said to be "more" alive.
i believe that only living things come from the living, and that our universe is a "living" body.
Of course, that requires you to use an unconventional definition of living. That seems to be your bag, baby. Redefining words so you can make some outrageous claim like you do here to say that universe is alive. Why do you do that? It looks and smells like trolling.

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 Message 9 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 9:41 AM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 10:29 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 119 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 11 of 72 (456823)
02-20-2008 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by tesla
02-20-2008 9:41 AM


All you had to do was say 'I don't know what irreducible complexity means'. You didn't have to give us such a graphic demonstration of just how badly you failed to understand the concept.
You aren't Evopeach are you? He made the same totally ridiculous argument, Message 286, and it seems incredible that 2 people could so totally misunderstand a concept independently in exactly the same way.
TTFN,
WK

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tesla
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 12 of 72 (456824)
02-20-2008 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by New Cat's Eye
02-20-2008 10:16 AM


Self replication.
The system that the self replicating molecules spawned from was not self replicating, itself. So the self replicating molecules could be said to be "more" alive.
if you look at T=0 and a singular energy existed in a timeless state, with nothing else to interact with but itself: it self replicated.
Of course, that requires you to use an unconventional definition of living. That seems to be your bag, baby. Redefining words so you can make some outrageous claim like you do here to say that universe is alive. Why do you do that? It looks and smells like trolling.
i don't redefine the terms, i simply look at the definitions and refine them based on new information. a lot of terms are just surface definitions ie: existing :to have being. being? being: to exist.
so what did the definition say? being is existing and existing is being? wheres the definition in that?
i do not put this here to be a "troll" i put this here for your observation, at which you can dismiss, think about it, or acknowledge however you choose. IC is provable in what you call "non living" things. but as i see it; non living means : to not exist. without the so called "non living components" nothing would be "alive".
Edited by tesla, : for got a / in /qs

keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-20-2008 10:16 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-20-2008 11:32 AM tesla has replied

  
tesla
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 13 of 72 (456828)
02-20-2008 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Wounded King
02-20-2008 10:22 AM


All you had to do was say 'I don't know what irreducible complexity means'. You didn't have to give us such a graphic demonstration of just how badly you failed to understand the concept.
it means that there is a form of biological matter that could not have evolved from another form (as accepted definition) meaning that a phlagellum could not have come from another phlagellum. but its false because all biological matter has come from the base components of matter.
however, irreducible complexity also means that a base form that cannot be reduced any further. by its wording "irreducible" = cannot be reduced. complexity= (Generally avoided as an overused and poorly defined word, except in specific systems.) therefore, my example.
You aren't Evopeach are you? He made the same totally ridiculous argument, Message 286, and it seems incredible that 2 people could so totally misunderstand a concept independently in exactly the same way.
i am only Tesla or Tim Brown here. and Tim Brown is my name, and i dont use it for a handle. if i have stated as any other, it is just because we have observed the same thing.
how would i define complexity? since i like to "make up definitions"?
complexity: variations in structure.
Edited by tesla, : No reason given.
Edited by tesla, : forgot : not.

keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

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mrjoad2
Junior Member (Idle past 5784 days)
Posts: 14
Joined: 02-08-2008


Message 14 of 72 (456836)
02-20-2008 11:08 AM


My first post here so please bear with me I "learn" the forum. This topic of IC and ID has been very interesting ever since the Dover trial. One great explanation that I feel refutes this idea is Ken Millers explanation re: functionality of an organism. Example re: the bacterial flagellum's motor if IC is correct then by taking away any essential part would render the motor useless. Miller testified that not only is the flagellum functional without certain pieces of the motor, but evolution predicted it's predecessors were built up over time undoing the prediction and definition of Behe's example of IC. Link PBS discussion page: NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial | In Defense of Evolution | PBS
So the prediction of evolution, which is that these complex systems are actually slapped together by scavenging pieces of different systems, turns out to be true. And the prediction made by irreducible complexity that none of these proteins would have any function until they're all put together and all work, that prediction turns out to be wrong.
Ken Miller
Miller uses a great example during the trial re: the mouse trap, take a certain piece away it ceases to be functional as a mouse trap but that does not limit it's function in other capacities such as a tie clip. (He actually wore this in the trial during his testimony).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hW7ddJOWko
Above is Miller's explanation

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 72 (456841)
02-20-2008 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by tesla
02-20-2008 10:29 AM


if you look at T=0 and a singular energy existed in a timeless state, with nothing else to interact with but itself: it self replicated.
That's not what self replication is.
i don't redefine the terms, i simply look at the definitions and refine them based on new information.
or in other words: redefine them
i do not put this here to be a "troll" i put this here for your observation, at which you can dismiss, think about it, or acknowledge however you choose.
What makes it trollish is that when peope show how you are obviously and blatantly wrong, you continue to spout the same nonsense.
The universe did not self replicate in the sense that self replicating molecules do. The self replicating molecules' self replication is one step closer to being living.
but as i see it; non living means : to not exist.
There you go redefining agin "living" has a definition and it is not simply existing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 10:29 AM tesla has replied

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