Thursday, August 30, 2007

INTELLIGENT DESIGN: What if we DID find irreducibly complex biological features?

Black Kettle, one of my favorite conservative Christian news abstract blogs gets the old ...
In any debate on Intelligent Design, there is a question I have long wished to see posed to ID opponents: “If we DID discover some biological feature that was irreducibly complex, to your satisfication and to the satisfaction of all reasonable observers, would that justify the design inference?”
on this one!

We all know the answer to the question don't we?

BLOGGERS BLOGGING:
Darwiniana

7 comments:

  1. Olorin4:04 PM

    That's the humorous part of irreduciable complexity (IC). Even if you found an IC biological mechanism, it would not be evidence of intelligent design (ID).

    The simplest case occurs where A, B, C, & D perform a function. C changes, making D superfluous; it drops off, and we have an IC of A, B, and C. Consider ID's favorite IC example, a mousetrap sitting on the floor: someone nails the IC combination of parts to the floor. The base is no longer needed; someone else later removes it. The mousetrap still functions.

    Another common situation involves "exaptation," where, say, A & B perform function [1] and C performs function [2]; C then mutates, and A, B, & C perform a new function [3] in an IC combination.

    For another situation, consider a stone arch. It is IC, because removing any single brick will cause the arch to fall. Therefore, the arch could not have been built up in small increments --- with or without "intelligence" in the design!

    There are many biological analogs of a stone arch, "IC" systems that evolve by means of a molecular scaffolding which later falls away or performs another function.

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  2. Pau hana3:22 PM

    A more in-depth explanation of how IC systems evolve is found at http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ICsilly.html#Muller1918. Several examples are described.

    If Behe had done his homework initially in 1996, he would have found that Nobel biologist H. J. Muller had introduced the IC concept in 1918 as an argument _for_ evolution, not against it.

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  3. One thing you can be sure of: If someone supports intelligent design or opposes evolution, you may not know the person's name or history, but you know with 100% assurance that they're a religious fundamentalist of some sort. And what's the name of this blog that supports ID?

    "The SHEEP'S CRIB:
    For those with a Judeo-Christian world-view"

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  4. At least we fundies try to contribute something to the dialog when we comment on someone else's blog.

    I don't agree with the views of many of the blogs I read but I don't slither in and poop in their lab.

    And you'll notice that it was within my power to moderate your comment into the abyss but did not.

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  5. "At least we fundies try to contribute something to the dialog when we comment on someone else's blog."

    But John, there was a point to be made there, if you'd only think about it for a minute.

    Let me put it another way. Everybody accepts the germ theory of disease except Christian Scientists (the denomination, that is). That tells you something about the validity of CS beliefs before you conduct your first bit of research. If one group of people from one particular religious group deny a fundamental tenet of science that virtually all of the actual experts in the field accept, there's something wrong. Same thing here. The only people who still reject the central tenet of biology are religious fundamentalists, and your blog is just one example. I could provide thousands more.

    You support a pseudoscience because it supports your religious beliefs, and when you do that you should expect to get called on it from time to time.

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  6. Everybody accepts the germ theory of disease except Christian Scientists (the denomination, that is). That tells you something about the validity of CS beliefs before you conduct your first bit of research.

    Ron, no offense but I don't know what is worse - your arrogant presuppositionalism or your childish ignorance.

    The certainty that a group errors in one area does not permit you to make a leap of logic that all their beliefs are suspicious. It still is only one node on your continuum.

    It may prompt you to be cautious but shouldn't (can't) poison the well of reason ipso facto.

    If one group of people from one particular religious group deny a fundamental tenet of science that virtually all of the actual experts in the field accept, there's something wrong.

    That my friend IS fundamentalism ... arguing from a false premise and painting with an extremely broad brush, not allowing for dialog or alternative explanations.

    Jews and Christians are both people of faith. If the Jews are told not to eat pig because it's corban it matters not one whit if science finds no justification for the belief ... it remains for all time a matter of faith and practice.

    The only people who still reject the central tenet of biology are religious fundamentalists ...

    Who told you we "reject the central tenet of biology"?

    Perhaps we "believe" there is a Higher biological tenet; one not yet revealed which allows us to accept with qualifications the dogma of modern science as it applies to our lives.

    Whether you want to believe it or not the fact remains that the God of the Jews told them their Messiah would come, and he did ... as promised.

    The same God promised He would come again ... and He will.

    I think, Ron, that you are the one who needs to "think about it for a minute."

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  7. "Ron, no offense but I don't know what is worse - your arrogant presuppositionalism or your childish ignorance."

    Let's see, I'm childish and arrogant, but no offense intended. Hey, none taken.

    "The certainty that a group errors [sic] in one area does not permit you to make a leap of logic that all their beliefs are suspicious."

    I'll give you that one. I should have been more precise, I guess.
    When I wrote "That tells you something about the validity of CS beliefs..." I should have said "That tells you something about the validity of CS beliefs on the subject..."

    I thought the distinction was clear, but apparently not. My bad.

    I'm really surprised this point is so difficult to grasp. Going back to the germ theory example I gave, if the actual experts in the field are virtually unanimous in their support of the theory, while the opponents of the theory (a) in most cases have little or no actual expertise in the field, and (b) almost exclusively are members of one particular religious group, then you have ample grounds for suspicion of that group's motives and claims even before you investigate them. The same thing applies to the critics of evolution.

    "Who told you we "reject the central tenet of biology"? "

    Evolution is the central tenet of biology, according to biologists themselves. Is this another example of how the actual experts in the field don't know what they're talking about, while the street preachers of America do?

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