Thursday, August 04, 2005

Explaining Irreducible Complexity

Dr. Michael Behe, of Lehigh University, has advanced the argument for Irreducible Complexity in the Intelligent Design movement. Let me explain what that means. (For full disclosure, Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic who believes in evolution above the cellular level.)

Here is the Darwinian model of changes:
A -> advantage, gets passed on to further generations
AB-> even better, gets passed on
ABC-> even better, gets passed on
ABCD-> even better, gets passed on

B, C, and D are mutations.

Something that is irreducibly complex:
A -> no advantage
AB-> no advantage
ABC-> no advantage
ABCD-> advantage

When you see something like this in nature, it makes no sense from a Darwinian perspective. Why would AB be passed on? It doesn't give you an advantage. Only ABCD gives you an advantage. You need ABCD all at once. ABC doesn't it. AB doesn't cut it. Etc., etc.

Michael Behe uses the example of a mousetrap. On the cellular level, he uses other examples, like something that is very much like a boat motor.

Anyway, when you see "Intelligent Design" in the news, I hope this helps sort things out. It is a movement. Some accept more of Darwinian processes than others. But it does have a basis on what is observed in nature. They aren't starting with a particular interpretation of Genesis 1.

Famous former-atheist philosopher Anthony Flew (famous for a philosopher) became a theist because of Intelligent Design. I'm sorry. But this movement isn't a bunch of bunk.

Hope this helps.

There's a book that was written, not sure about the title, but the guy's theory is that it takes more faith to be an atheist than a believer. His point i think is that there's enough evidence where that would be true. Sounded interesting...

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