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.