Scientists Attempt to Refute: “Irreducible Complexity”

Isn’t intelligent design supposedly untestable? After all many who argue against the idea of intelligent design being a science like to point that out. For example, William Menta writes his viewpoint in the Kalamazoo, rebuking a 12th grader for suggesting intelligent design is a science, he argues…

“Lodes gave a definition of science filled with some reasonable and intelligent-sounding quotes. Lodes called a scientific theory “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world.” What she neglected to tell the audience is a scientific theory is also something that can be tested. Any statement that can be considered scientific is something that we can design an experiment to check. In science, we explore possibilities to see if they can be proved wrong.”

Intelligent design does not meet that criterion. Those who agree with the philosophy of intelligent design simply state a belief that the world is so complicated someone must have designed it…”

In 2005, Time had it’s own spin, “How Intelligent Design Flunked Its Test Case” where Judge Jones ruled that intelligent design was not testable therefore not a science…

“However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions…”

Listen folks, the whole untestable argument against intelligent design is a lie. For two reasons, firstly, an hypothesis or theory need not to be correct in order to be considered a science. Secondly, which brings up “irremediable complexity” in a research paper published in science.  How can you refute something you can’t test?

A team of biologists from Canada and the Czech Republic decided to refute part of the concept of “irreducible complexity” for observations of  specialized complex biological systems that do not show the flexibility to evolve. So they came up with “irremediable complexity” which means once a system by chance mutations, then directed by natural design create a new complexity in animals without the option of being able to go back once it was obtained.  What they are suggesting is a kind of “ratchet” mechanism that increases complexity and interdependence, but not necessarily adaptation. But then how can adaptation occur?

Researchers try to solve this problem by suggesting that the function must have been already existed before the complexity accumulated…

“Although compensation for defects caused by “selfish” (self-propagating) DNA elements may seem intuitive, it is problematic to propose that, on the way to evolving compensatory machinery, an intermediate state had to exist that was less fit than its ancestors and sisters.  Why would such an intermediate not just die out in competition before its rescue by compensatory complexity yet to be invented?  A more workable model is that the compensating mechanism was already present (possibly serving unrelated functions).”

Can you tell me what was said by these evolutionary researchers especially in bold print, a testable idea? It seems the story works better than what is observed in nature. Researchers are beginning to see more information being generated in less space in the genome than previously believed. Scientists have discovered in alternative splicing  a fruit fly is designed to produce 38,016 distinct messenger RNAs, “a number far in excess of the total number of genes (~14,500) in the organism.”. Estimated number of functionally distinct proteins that could be encoded by the genome scientists say, is staggering!

There is so little known and understood about alternative splicing which gives biologists an enormous way to go in studying this particular designed area. Learning how nature works is science. Turning the evidence into a creative story which relies on “stuff happens” (anti-reality) is not science. Also, something that is not testable cannot be disproved by the scientific method.

Back to the the paper on “irremediable complexity” which shows irreducible complexity as a testable concept whether you agree with it’s conclusions or not. The paper also had to take issue with neo-Darwinian evolution in regards to adaptation in order to try and refute intelligent design.


5 thoughts on “Scientists Attempt to Refute: “Irreducible Complexity”

  1. Let’s see. The problem is to explain why some cellular mechanisms are overly complex kludges that have many more parts than necessary.

    The Science Perspective offers an explanation in terms of a mechanism that prevents fixed traits from being undone, even when they are neutral or even slightly negative with respect to adaptation.

    We might ask Michael what is the creationist explanation for such extravagantly poor design? Perhaps God has bad days too, just like the rest of us. How about it, Michael?

  2. <bScientists Attempt to Refute: “Irreducible Complexity”

    Poor Michael. He can’t even get the title right.

    The Science article has nothing to do with irreducible complexity, much less an attempt to “refute” it.

    Irreducible complexity is Michael Behe’s argument that evolution is not possible. The present authors’

    “contingent irreversibility” [1] mechanism, on the other hand, can only happen in evolution , and would not occur in designed structures.

    Although the phenomenon explained by this proposed mechanism is evidence against special creation, Behe’s stepchild is a separate entity. Of course, Michael seems to possess no qualifications in science whatever, by education, employment, or autodidactic efforts. As shown in this post, he also does not understand creationist concepts.


    [1] Michael keeps calling it “irremediable complexity.” If he knew anything about journalism at all, he would know that authors do not write the headlines for news stories. Editors do that. (That’s where all those stupid puns come from in newspaper headlines–editors trying to liven up the midnight shift as the stories roll in for compositing.)

  3. Today I received my copy of Antonio Damasio’s just-published book on human consciousness, “Self Comes to Mind” (Pantheon 2010)

    Damasio has been a leading light in neurobiology for more than 30 years.[1] This book, subtitled “Constructing the Conscious Brain,” attempts not only to identify the mental components of human consciousness, but to link them to specific neurological structures in the brain, following Richard Feynman’s dictum that “What I cannot build, I cannot understand.”

    Departing from previous approaches, he introduces an evolutionary perspective for the emergence of the concept of “self,” invoking parts of the brain that are ancient, as well as those that have recently emerged. This book follows and expand upon his previous works, such as :Descartes’ Error,” “The Feeling of What happens,” and “Looking for Spinoza.”

    Damasio is also a superb writer, capturing significant concepts in understandable terms, and turning memorable literary phrases.[2] The frontispiece includes a quotation from his countryman Fernando Pessoa: “My soul is like a hidden orchestra; I do not know which instruments grind and play away inside of me, strings and harps, timbales and drums. I can only recognize myself as a symphony.”

    Prof. Damasio now teaches at the University of Southern California. For many years, however, he was ensconced just down I-35 from yours truly at the University of Iowa.


    [1] His wife Hanna is the world’s leading expert in brain imaging.

    [2] Even more surprising, then, that his native language is Portugese, not English.

  4. Michael once again demonstrates an utter lack of what science is: “Listen folks, the whole untestable argument against intelligent design is a lie. For two reasons, firstly, an hypothesis or theory need not to be correct in order to be considered a science.”

    The second sentence is a complete non sequitur to the first sentence above. Whether or not a theory is correct has nothing to do with whether it is testable.

    Consider an elementary example. (A) I theorize that the Sun is composed of coal. Incorrect, but testable, and therefore scientific. (b) I propose that the Sun hates us. Not testable, thus not scientific. There is no way to determine “hate” in terms of an astronomical object.

    There are nuances, of course. However, since even the basics escape Michael, he would not benefit from further exposition.

  5. Just below the title of this post, it says “WRITTEN BY MICHAEL”

    In this case, we can believe him. The paost rambles from one subject to another. The logic is ridiculous. The misunderstandings are legion. And Michael’s trademark abysmal grammar blossoms.

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