Category: Irreducible Complexity
|December 7, 2013||Posted by News under Irreducible Complexity, News|
Dr. Behe explains how his research into the complexity of biological systems at the molecular level led him to question the adequacy of the Darwinian paradigm, and why he now believes that the data point towards Intelligent Design.
|November 22, 2013||Posted by scordova under Darwinism, Genetics, Irreducible Complexity|
Wikipedia is known to be Darwin loving, but here is a moment of anti-Darwinian honesty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_redundancy Genetic redundancy is a term typically used to describe situations where a given biochemical function is redundantly encoded by two or more genes. In these cases, mutations (or defects) in one of these genes will have a smaller effect […]
Theistic evolutionist: Can we absolutely prove that the fruit fly with ant decals on its wings could not happen by chance?
|November 15, 2013||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, News|
Meanwhile, Darwin’s man Jerry Coyne is “too harried to think about alternatives now.”
|November 9, 2013||Posted by DLH under Cell biology, Complex Specified Information, Darwinism, Evolution, Evolutionary biology, Genetics, Genomics, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Origin Of Life, speciation, Symbiosis|
Bacteria demonstrate intra-species communication that is species specific using a partner with a communication molecule. Bacteria are also “multilingual” with a generic trade language for interspecies communication. Bacteria control tasks by signal producing and receiving receptors with a signal carrier. The tasks bacteria conduct depend on the concentration they sense of self bacteria versus generic […]
|October 17, 2013||Posted by News under Irreducible Complexity, News|
Close to a miracle
|October 2, 2013||Posted by News under Irreducible Complexity|
Here. Why don’t they just revoke the science creds of anyone who thinks there is more to know than Darwin ((“the best idea anyone ever had”) did? Alternatively, life has moved on.
UD Pro-Darwinism essay challenge unanswered a year later, I: Let’s get the essence of design theory as a scientific, inductive inference straight
Today marks a full year since I issued an open challenge to Darwinists to ground their theory and its OOL extension and root, in light of actually observed capabilities of blind watchmaker mechanisms of chance and necessity through an essay I would host here at UD. The pivot of the challenge is the modern version […]
|September 22, 2013||Posted by News under Irreducible Complexity|
Behe: Dr. Lacey, most publications consider it responsible journalism to publish letters by well-known advocates of views attacked in articles. Yes, but Lacey can get a salary from suppressing dissent.
|September 22, 2013||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity|
The claim is that evidence from hundreds of laboratories shows that the flagellum is NOT irreducibly complex.
|September 21, 2013||Posted by johnnyb under Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Origin Of Life|
There are three main approaches to current origin-of-life studies – metabolism-first, replication-first, and membrane-first. The problem with each of these approaches is that they ignore the reality of irreducible complexity in self-replicating system.
|September 19, 2013||Posted by scordova under Darwinism, Irreducible Complexity, News|
Selection after something exists is not the same as selection before something exists, except in confused, illogical thinking of Darwinists. This is the heart of the problem that Behe’s Irreducible Complexity poses for Darwinism. I once offered a Darwinist $100 if he could figure out the 40 letter password I’d written on a piece of […]
|August 19, 2013||Posted by News under Irreducible Complexity|
Can’t see where the comments box is, but no doubt it will soon be chock full of vituperation from the friends of Darwin. Tomorrow is Tuesday, after all.
|July 25, 2013||Posted by News under American Scientific Affiliation, Irreducible Complexity, News|
Calvin College prof presented his model at the recent ASA meet.
|July 19, 2013||Posted by scordova under Irreducible Complexity|
Yeah, only in Dawkins’ dreams. Look at the right atrium in these four creatures from Encyclopedia Britannica: How did that right atrium evolve from one side to the other along with changes in its connection to the pulmonary artery? In the crocodile and snake the right atrium is on the right ventricle but in the […]
|June 17, 2013||Posted by scordova under Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity|
Irreducibly Complex systems are those systems (man-made or otherwise), where removal of critical core parts results in malfunction. By way of contrast, fault tolerant systems allow removal of parts or entire sub-systems, yet intended function is still retained. Removable parts or subsystems in fault tolerant architectures are also contrasted with useless parts which serve no […]
|June 2, 2013||Posted by DonaldM under Biology, Complex Specified Information, Darwinism, Design inference, Evolution, Evolutionary biology, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Philosophy, Selective Hyperskepticism|
This my third installment of a discussion I began here and continued here on the validity of the claim that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, or what I call the EC-EE claim. In the first installment we looked at the EC-EE claim itself and asked whether the EC-EE claim is an example of an EC-EE […]
|May 19, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Irreducible Complexity, Origin Of Life, Video|
In Illustra Media’s Darwin’s Dilemma, there is a clip on proteins as islands of function in amino acid sequence space: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Food for thought. As a stimulus to such, let us next note how the bloggist Wintery Knight has given an interesting summary of the challenges involved if a chance-dominated process […]
A “simple” summing up of the basic case for scientifically inferring design (in light of the logic of scientific induction per best explanation of the unobserved past)
In answering yet another round of G’s talking points on design theory and those of us who advocate it, I have outlined a summary of design thinking and its links onward to debates on theology, that I think is worth being somewhat adapted, expanded and headlined. With your indulgence: _______________ >> The epistemological warrant for […]
Andre asks an excellent question regarding DNA as a part of an in-cell irreducibly complex communication system
|April 23, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under ID Foundations, Irreducible Complexity, Origin Of Life, Tree of life|
Newbie commenter Andre, in an exchange with Mr Matzke, asks some interesting questions concerning DNA. First, let us remind ourselves of what we are discussing, courtesy NIH: Next, Andre’s comment: DNA has the following; 1. Functional Information 2. Encoder 3. Error correction . Decoder . . . can you please show me in a step […]
|April 12, 2013||Posted by kairosfocus under Complex Specified Information, ID Foundations, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
Sometimes, we run across a sleeper that just begs to be headlined here at UD. EA’s short primer on ID, drawn up in Sept 2003, is such a sleeper. Let’s observe: __________ >> Brief Primer on Intelligent Design Having read a fair amount of material on intelligent design and having been involved in various […]
As a result, intelligent design is limited in two important aspects: it can neither identify all things that are designed, nor can it tell us with certainty that a particular thing is not designed.
But that leaves one remaining possibility: is it possible to identify with certainty some things that are designed? Dembski and Behe would argue that the answer is “yes.”
Possibility versus Probability
In order to identify with certainty that something is designed, we must be able to define characteristics that, while not necessarily present in all things designed, are never present in things not designed. It is in defining these characteristics and setting the parameters for identifying and studying these characteristics, that intelligent design seeks to make its scientific contribution.
We have already reviewed some potential characteristics of things that might be designed, and have noted, for example, that regularity and order do not necessarily define design. I have posited, however, that regularity and order might provide an inference of design, in those instances where natural phenomena would not normally account for them, such as the handful of evenly spaced flowers or the pile of stacked rocks. Let’s examine these two examples in a bit more detail.
Is it possible that this pattern of flowers or the stack of rocks occurred naturally? Yes, it is possible. It is also possible, at least as a pure logical matter, that the sun will cease to shine tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. To give a stronger example, is it possible that the laws of physics will fail tonight at midnight? Sure, as a pure logical matter. But is it likely? Absolutely not. In fact, based on past observations and experience, we deem such an event so unlikely as to be a practical impossibility.
Note that in the examples of the sun ceasing to shine or the laws of physics failing we are not talking simply about unusual or rare events; rather we are talking about something so improbable that we, our precious scientific theories, and the very community in which we live are more likely to pass into oblivion before the event in question occurs. Thus for all practical purposes, within the frame of reference of the universe as we understand it and the world in which we live and operate, it can be deemed an impossibility. Dembski has already skillfully addressed this issue of logical possibility, so I will not review the matter further, except to summarize that in science we are not so interested in pure logical possibility as in realistic probability. It is within this realm of probability that all science operates, and it is in this sense that we must view the probabilities relevant to intelligent design.
However, while we need not be concerned with wildly speculative logical possibilities, we might nevertheless conclude that the pattern of flowers or the stack of rocks is possible, not only as a matter of logical possibility, but also as a matter of reasonable probability, within the realm of our experience. After all, there are lots of flowers on the Earth and surely a handful of them must eventually turn up evenly spaced as though carefully planted. In addition, we have all seen precariously balanced rocks, formed as a result of erosion acting on rocks of disparate hardness, so perhaps our pile of rocks also occurred naturally. We might admit that our flowers and our stack of rocks are rare and unusual natural phenomena, but we would argue that they are not outside of the realm of probability or our past experience.
Thus, the inference of design needs to get much stronger before we are satisfied that our pattern of flowers or our stack of rocks have been designed.
The Design Inference Continuum
Now let’s suppose that we tweak the examples a bit. Let’s suppose that instead of a handful of flowers, we have several dozen flowers, each evenly spaced one foot apart along the highway. Can we safely conclude that this is the product of design? What about a dozen identical stacks of rocks along the hiking trail? One might still mount an argument that these phenomena do not yet reliably indicate design because they could have been created naturally. Nevertheless, in making such an argument we would be relying less on realistic probabilities and what we know about the world around us, and slipping closer to the argument by logical possibility. This precisely the mistake for which Dembski takes Allen Orr to task.
Now allow me to tweak yet a bit more. Let’s suppose that the dozens of flowers are now hundreds, each in a carefully and evenly spaced pattern along the highway. At this point, the probability of natural occurrence becomes so low as to completely escape our previous experience; it becomes so low as to suggest practical impossibility. Is it the sheer number of flowers that puts us over the hump? No, it is not the number of flowers itself that provides evidence for design, but the number of spacings between the flowers, the complexity of the overall pattern, and the fact that these spacings and the resulting complexity are not required by any natural law, but are only one of any number of possible variations. In other words, it is the discretionary placement of all of these flowers, selected from among the nearly infinite number of placements possible under natural laws, which allows us to infer design. It is this placement of all the flowers, which gives the characteristics of specificity and complexity, and which Dembski terms “specified complexity.” And it is in this realm of specified complexity that the probability of non-design nears impossibility, and our confidence in inferring design nears certainty.
Yet, our examples can become even more compelling. As a last modification, let’s suppose that the flowers are now arranged by the side of the road in the outline of the state of Texas, complete with Bluebonnets in the shape of the Lone Star. Let’s suppose that our stacks of rocks are arranged so that there is one stack exactly each mile along the trail, or one stack at each fork in the trail. Now we have not only specified complex patterns, but patterns high in secondary information content. In the one case we have a shape that identifies Texas, a particular type of flower that signifies the state, and a star that is not just a pattern, but a pattern with strong symbolic meaning. Along our hiking trail we have markers that carry out a function by providing specific information regarding changes in the trail or indicating the distance traveled.
Intelligent design, as a scientific enterprise is geared toward this end of the probability continuum where the probability of non-design nears zero and the probability of design nears one. In some ways, focusing only on the area of most certainty is a rather modest and limiting approach. Yet design theorists willingly give up the possibility of identifying design in many cases where it in fact exists, in exchange for the accuracy and the certainty that a more stringent set of criteria bestow. In this way, the design inference is lifted from the level of broad intuition to a focused scientific instrument with definitive testable criteria.
As a scientific undertaking, intelligent design is not in the business of identifying all things designed, nor is it in the business of confirming with certainty that a particular thing is not designed. Indeed, intelligent design, and it is fair to say current human knowledge, is incapable of performing these tasks. What intelligent design does seek to do, however, is identify some things that are designed.
We have seen that the argument to design is essentially an inference based on probabilities. As a result, there is a continuum ranging from the likelihood of non-design to the likelihood of design. At a certain point the probability of non-design nears zero and the probability of design nears one. At that point we can say, the design theorist argues, with as much certainty as any other scientific fact or proposition, that the thing in question was designed. It is in this area of specified complexity (of which high secondary information content and Behe’s “irreducible complexity” are examples) that the theory of intelligent design operates.
Criticisms of intelligent design based on social, religious, philosophical, or cultural grounds, including complaints about the identity, motives, or capabilities of the putative designer, miss the mark. Design theorists argue that specified complexity can be objectively and reliably defined and detected so that the probability of non-design nears impossibility and the probability of design nears certainty. This is intelligent design’s central tenet. It is on this point, and only on this point, that intelligent design as a scientific undertaking can be appropriately challenged and criticized. And it is on this point that Dembski, Behe, and others are confident that intelligent design will make its greatest contribution.
September 9, 2003>>