Understanding through Discussion

QuickSearch

 EvC Forum active members: 63 (9159 total)
 3 online now: Newest Member: K.Rose Post Volume: Total: 914,775 Year: 2,032/9,624 Month: 1,465/567 Week: 73/338 Day: 32/41 Hour: 0/0

EvC Forum Side Orders The Great Debate

# Irreducible Complexity (Slevesque & Dr Adequate Only)

Author Topic:   Irreducible Complexity (Slevesque & Dr Adequate Only)
Member (Idle past 253 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

 Message 16 of 17 (610672) 03-31-2011 6:05 PM Reply to: Message 14 by slevesque03-31-2011 5:13 PM

Dembski's Paper
Dembski seems to be making the same mistake as Behe. He writes:
We can therefore define the core of a functionally integrated system as those parts that are indispensable to the system’s basic function: remove parts of the core, and you can’t recover the system’s basic function from the other remaining parts. To say that a core is irreducible is then to say that no other systems with substantially simpler cores can perform the system’s basic function.[...] To determine whether a system is irreducibly complex therefore employs two approaches [...] A conceptual analysis of the system, and specifically of those parts whose removal renders the basic function unrecoverable, to demonstrate that no system with (substantially) fewer parts exhibits the basic function. [...] The problem is that for an irreducibly complex system, its basic function is attained only when all components from the irreducible core are in place simultaneously. It follows that if natural selection is going to select for the function of an irreducibly complex system, it has to produce the irreducible core all at once or not at all.
But no, to say that a core is irreducible is not to say that "no other systems with substantially simpler cores can perform the system’s basic function".
What it actually means is that if we tried to simplify the system by completely removing one of its parts and leaving it otherwise the same, then it would no longer fulfill its "basic function".
Let us again consider humans as an example. Remove either the brain or the body, and we are no longer able to perform the evolutionarily essential functions of survival and reproduction.
But that does not mean that no simpler system than a human being can perform these functions, because in fact we know of many such systems, including systems which don't have brains in the slightest.
So he is wrong when he says: "It follows that if natural selection is going to select for the function of an irreducibly complex system, it has to produce the irreducible core all at once or not at all." We do not in fact have to have a brain-body system produced at one stroke at the outset. Instead we can envisage a process in which, as evolutionists actually claim, we begin with an organism that has no brain and end up with an organism to which the brain is indispensable.
There are other problems with his paper, but the most obvious problem is that he's making the same old mistake. Until the IDers correct this, then their argument is flawed --- and if they do correct this, then they won't have an argument.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

 This message is a reply to: Message 14 by slevesque, posted 03-31-2011 5:13 PM slevesque has not replied

Member (Idle past 253 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

 Message 17 of 17 (612473) 04-16-2011 12:43 AM

More On The Middle Ear
Opportunely enough, details of a new intermediate form, Liaoconodon hui, have just been published.
Some details here:
The new genus and species described by Meng et al. comes form the exquisitely preserved Jehol biota of Liaoning, and shows the last tenuous connection between the mammalian ear ossicles and the lower jaw, via Meckel’s cartilage, an ancient part of the lower jaw lying along the medial surface of the dentary. They refer to it as a transitional mammalian middle ear, the transition being between the mandibular middle ear (i.e. attached to the lower jaw) of the earliest mammals (and most advanced reptiles), and the definitive mammalian middle ear present in the adults of all extant mammals, in which there is no persistent connection between the middle ear and the lower jaw.
Now in modern mammals Meckel's cartilage disappears during embryological development:
Living mammals, including humans, have Meckel's cartilage as embryos, but it disappears as they mature. In the L. hui fossil - an adult - it is ossified and the fossil shows how it supported some of the post-dentary bones as they shifted into the ear.
This is more evidence for the evolution of this irreducibly complex structure.
Meanwhile, creationists continue to attribute this sort of structure to entirely unknown and unevidenced processes; and this they do based only on not being able to see how this sort of thing evolved --- despite the fact that, dammit, we can.

 Date format: mm-dd-yyyy Timezone: ET (US)