Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 89 (8890 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 02-15-2019 4:25 PM
169 online now:
AZPaul3, PaulK, Phat (AdminPhat), Tangle, Tanypteryx, Theodoric (6 members, 163 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 847,540 Year: 2,577/19,786 Month: 659/1,918 Week: 247/266 Day: 19/92 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456
...
15NextFF
Author Topic:   Behe's Irreducible Complexity Is Refuted
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 223 (85040)
02-10-2004 12:55 PM


The fossils below show a transition between reptiles and mammals. These fossils deal with the lower jaw bone (search www.talkorigins.org for more info). In this series you can see jaw bones move up into the mammalian middle ear, which is evidence for the evolution of an irreducibly complex system. On top of this, mammalian fetal development follows the same path, jaw bones move up into the middle ear. Dr. Behe argues that such a system can not evolve, in that if one piece of an irreducibly complex system is removed then the whole system stops working. This can be seen in the mammalian middle ear, where if just one of the middle ear bones is removed then the organism is deaf. Also, removal of jawbones should make it impossible for the jaw to articulate correctly. However, throughout the evolutionary process their is adequate articulation of the jaw joint for catching and eating prey.

Overall, Behe's argument that irreducibly complex (IC) systems can not evolve is refuted by this one example. He then has to admit that IC systems can evolve and must create criteria to separate out non evolved and evolved IC systems. Until he does this his theory is refuted.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:26 PM Loudmouth has responded
 Message 18 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2004 7:37 PM Loudmouth has responded
 Message 30 by John Paul, posted 03-04-2004 12:49 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded
 Message 69 by DNAunion, posted 03-08-2004 12:26 AM Loudmouth has responded
 Message 163 by Brad McFall, posted 03-18-2004 3:29 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2101 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 2 of 223 (85043)
02-10-2004 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Loudmouth
02-10-2004 12:55 PM


Overall, Behe's argument that irreducibly complex (IC) systems can not evolve is refuted by this one example.

Actually, the beauty of the whole IC argument is that all you've proven is that this one example isn't irreducibly complex. ICers can keep making new lists of IC systems, and you'll have to shoot them all down one by one...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 12:55 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 1:34 PM truthlover has responded
 Message 4 by ThingsChange, posted 02-10-2004 1:42 PM truthlover has not yet responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 223 (85044)
02-10-2004 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by truthlover
02-10-2004 1:26 PM


quote:
Actually, the beauty of the whole IC argument is that all you've proven is that this one example isn't irreducibly complex. ICers can keep making new lists of IC systems, and you'll have to shoot them all down one by one...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ....

Actually, the beauty of Behe's argument is that NO irreducibly complex system could have evolved. As soon as you show one system did evolve, his theory is shot. According to Behe's theory, a transition between three jaw bones and one middle ear bone to one jaw bone and three middle ear bones should be impossible since both are irreducibly complex. As it turns out, the IC systems can evolve. If one IC system can evolve, then he has to admit that all IC systems COULD HAVE evolved. Since he offers no evidence other than the IC systems themselves, his theory is left with zero support.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:26 PM truthlover has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:54 PM Loudmouth has responded

  
ThingsChange
Member (Idle past 3968 days)
Posts: 315
From: Houston, Tejas (Mexican Colony)
Joined: 02-04-2004


Message 4 of 223 (85047)
02-10-2004 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by truthlover
02-10-2004 1:26 PM


Behe's argument refuted
Loudmouth writes:

Overall, Behe's argument that irreducibly complex (IC) systems can not evolve is refuted by this one example

TruthLover writes:

...all you've proven is that this one example isn't irreducibly complex

No. The one example is convincing evidence that Behe principle of "irreducible complexity" is false. More examples of the same might make the argument more convincing to others. How many do you need before you are convinced?

I suspect the strategy for Creationists will not be more examples, but rather to make the example less convincing by offering other interpretations (although I can't imagine what that might be yet).

Excellent post by Loudmouth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:26 PM truthlover has not yet responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2101 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 5 of 223 (85051)
02-10-2004 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Loudmouth
02-10-2004 1:34 PM


Actually, the beauty of Behe's argument is that NO irreducibly complex system could have evolved.

Well, this is true, but what if the system you are describing simply isn't irreducibly complex.

Am I missing something in the definition of an IC system that forces those middle ear bones to be irreducibly complex? If it were me, I'd just say that one system isn't IC, since it clearly evolved, and I'd move on to the next thing that others can't explain.

The poster of message 4 (can't remember who now) said that creationists (although Behe's not a standard creationist) would try to suggest this evolution didn't happen. Ok. Seems easier to write this one off and move to the next one.

I'm not an ICer, and I haven't studied it that much. I was sort of playing with that post. What's the definition of an IC system to Behe. If it had been me, I would have left the definition to "those systems that couldn't have evolved," and it would have been self-perpetuating.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 1:34 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 3:26 PM truthlover has responded
 Message 7 by ThingsChange, posted 02-10-2004 3:33 PM truthlover has not yet responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 223 (85079)
02-10-2004 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by truthlover
02-10-2004 1:54 PM


quote:
I'm not an ICer, and I haven't studied it that much. I was sort of playing with that post. What's the definition of an IC system to Behe. If it had been me, I would have left the definition to "those systems that couldn't have evolved," and it would have been self-perpetuating.

An IC system is such that if you remove one of the parts the system no longer works. With the middle ear, if you remove one of the middle ear bones the result is deafness. Hence, the mammalian middle ear is irreducibly complex. That is, it can not be reduced or it stops functioning. As his conclusion, Behe claims that these systems can not come about unless every piece evolved at the same time. He ignores the possibility of scaffolding and co-option of function. An excellent laymens analogy is the stone arch. If you remove any piece of a stone arch the whole thing will collapse, therefore it is an IC system. However, a stone arch was made in the presence of a scaffold, so that the stones were not always supported by each other. Behe ignores this and distorts the possibilities of how evoltuion could produce IC systems by claiming all pieces had to be present in their current form at the same time.

Behe usually sticks with biochemical systems, proteins systems, or soft tissue systems. My criticism is that these things do not leave a fossil record, or in the case of soft tissue, incomplete fossil records. However, when looking at skeletal IC systems, evolution is very apparent. In other words, Behe is being very selective with his evidence.

But my favorite Behe-ism is calling hypothesized evolutionary pathways "just so stories". As if his theory is anything but a "just so story". He has started to back off of this claim, and now says that no evolutionary pathway has been seen, but can be hypothesized. I find that to be one HUGE hand wave. Behe's theory boils down to an ad hoc rationalization whose only real purpose is to further his agenda of getting creationism taught in high school classes. Somehow he thinks that an ad hoc theory backed up with zero evidence deserves the same recognition as theory supported by mountains of physical evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:54 PM truthlover has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by MrHambre, posted 02-10-2004 4:08 PM Loudmouth has responded
 Message 10 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 4:34 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded
 Message 85 by DNAunion, posted 03-08-2004 10:14 PM Loudmouth has responded

  
ThingsChange
Member (Idle past 3968 days)
Posts: 315
From: Houston, Tejas (Mexican Colony)
Joined: 02-04-2004


Message 7 of 223 (85083)
02-10-2004 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by truthlover
02-10-2004 1:54 PM


how many examples are enough?
TruthLover writes:

I'd just say that one system isn't IC, since it clearly evolved, and I'd move on to the next thing that others can't explain

Your point is well-taken, and the arguments will no doubtably head that direction.

Nevertheless, the "court of public opinion" is (hopefully) based on convincing set of evidence from facts (including how many examples), theory, and testimony. That's the theory, but as evidenced in the EvC Forums you have to consider the strength of a person's belief system that is being challenged.

The early proponents of an old Earth faced strong opposition, but as the weight of evidence grew, more and more people were convinced of an old Earth. Those that do not accept the old Earth theory seem to only believe young Earth because of religious convictions.

The ability to communicate quickly in simple terms seems to be the only way to convince folks that do not have the time or interest to delve into this topic very deeply, like all the passionate participants in these forums. The quick-and-simple examples are what convince the general public, including many Christians. That is the appeal of Creationist arguments and Intelligent Design arguments. They seem to make sense at first glance ("common sense"). Only if you (the public) think about the issue in more depth and do a little research will you see the pseudo-scientific reasoning behind most if not all of the Creationist stances (and perhaps some of the scientific stances). And most people would rather do something else with their time.

IMO, neither Evolutionists nor Creationists have put a simple quickly-understood case forward that is very convincing to switch to their side. The closest single argument that I am persuaded by is the current and past evidence for continental drift, which means an old Earth.

However, all the evidence in the world for an old Earth will not sway a true fundamentalist. The reason has to do with the logic chain that leads to belief without running into scientific issues:
- Could God exist and have created all this?
- Does life have meaning?
- If God exists, why wouldn't He have communicated to us?
- Of all the proposed communication (Bible, Quran, Mormon book, etc.), which seems to be the most likely to be true? (i.e. what evidence backs up the claim?... this is usually "testimony")
- Since the Book claims authority, if one part of the Book is not true, how can you believe that any other part is true?

So, the crux of the matter (IMO) is the belief in testimony that gives credence to the Book.

The Intelligent Design advocates are trying to have it both ways (science and God). In the long run, they may be the popular stance, but find themselves hotly contested by scientific and religious strongholds.

I would like to see similar simply-understood posts to LoudMouth's that cover the eye and wing. I realize that's asking a lot, though.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:54 PM truthlover has not yet responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 155 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 8 of 223 (85098)
02-10-2004 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Loudmouth
02-10-2004 3:26 PM


Behe's Blunder
Loudmouth,

Excellent work. Holmes will get a kick out of this too, we're both Behe-bashers from way back.

A lot of us have discussed the philosophical pitfalls of Behe's God-of-the-gaps mentality. He looks extremely hard to find systems about which there is precious little analysis in the professional literature, then declares that the ominous silence speaks volumes. You're right that he tends to ignore systems that fossilize; he'd be likely to respond to your criticism by stating that the biochemistry of hearing is the real IC issue.

It's such rich comedy to see this kind of thinking take it on the chin: when Thewissen & Co.'s brass band marched through the formerly ominous silence that Behe had described in the cetacean fossil record, he must have felt like a complete choad. During a debate at the American Museum of Natural History in 2002, Behe took his lumps in front of a live audience. In an exchange that has adopted legendary proportions, Kenneth Miller noted that dolphins lack the Hagemann factor (one of the 'essential components' in the mammalian blood clotting system). In an effort to save face, Behe offered condolences to the dolphins. "It's the theory of irreducible complexity that needs condolences at this point," Miller responded.

That's intelligent design creationism for you: dead in the water.


The dark nursery of evolution is very dark indeed.
Brad McFall
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 3:26 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 4:22 PM MrHambre has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Silent H, posted 02-10-2004 9:00 PM MrHambre has not yet responded
 Message 14 by Mammuthus, posted 02-11-2004 3:22 AM MrHambre has responded

    
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 223 (85106)
02-10-2004 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by MrHambre
02-10-2004 4:08 PM


Re: Behe's Blunder
quote:
During a debate at the American Museum of Natural History in 2002, Behe took his lumps in front of a live audience. In an exchange that has adopted legendary proportions, Kenneth Miller noted that dolphins lack the Hagemann factor (one of the 'essential components' in the mammalian blood clotting system). In an effort to save face, Behe offered condolences to the dolphins. "It's the theory of irreducible complexity that needs condolences at this point," Miller responded.

Oh my!!! Never heard about this, thanks for bringing it to my attention. If I was in that audience my face would have turned bright red from trying to hold back the laughter. As "ThingsChange" pointed out earlier in this thread, creationists like to lock onto theories that take about 2 sentences to state. And maybe one sentence to explain the entirety of the evidence. I think I heard someone state it is like arguing with bumperstickers. Short and to the point but lacking logic. Hehe, still giggling about the Miller quote.

Added in edit: The whole transcript was great. Behe proponents should read this as well (html in MrHambre's post) to see how his theory holds up under peer review, if only in a debate. This is why science depends on peer review, to get rid of pseudo-scientists whose theories can not stand on their own.

[This message has been edited by Loudmouth, 02-10-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by MrHambre, posted 02-10-2004 4:08 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2101 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 10 of 223 (85112)
02-10-2004 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Loudmouth
02-10-2004 3:26 PM


An IC system is such that if you remove one of the parts the system no longer works. With the middle ear, if you remove one of the middle ear bones the result is deafness. Hence, the mammalian middle ear is irreducibly complex.

Hmm. Okay, he looks hung to me. Good point.

I tried. My failure would bother me a lot more if I believed in IC in the first place.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 3:26 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3861 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 11 of 223 (85227)
02-10-2004 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by MrHambre
02-10-2004 4:08 PM


quote:
Holmes will get a kick out of this too,

Heheheh... I actually got a bigger kick out of your link. I would have been impressed if Behe ended with "Thank you sir may I have another?" instead of his snivelling appeals that Miller's making a tie clip from a mousetrap shows the use of intelligence.

As for Loudmouth's post, it is obviously discreditable. All Behe must do is appeal to the Wellsian argument that there is no way to know that any of those species were related and that those bones had those functions. After all the only thing we know is that we found bones which MAY have such relationships. What were we there or something?

Gotta get that degree from the Institute one of these days!


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by MrHambre, posted 02-10-2004 4:08 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 9:08 PM Silent H has responded
 Message 16 by Minnemooseus, posted 02-11-2004 12:40 PM Silent H has responded

    
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 223 (85229)
02-10-2004 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Silent H
02-10-2004 9:00 PM


quote:
All Behe must do is appeal to the Wellsian argument that there is no way to know that any of those species were related and that those bones had those functions. After all the only thing we know is that we found bones which MAY have such relationships. What were we there or something?

Quite true, holmes. But then that wouldn't be science, but it wasn't science to begin with anyway. It still shows a pathway that is possible, and is SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE, not proved 100%. As soon as Behe put his butt on the line and said that there was not any conceivable evolutionary pathway for IC's, he dug his own grave. Here is the possible pathway, case closed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Silent H, posted 02-10-2004 9:00 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Silent H, posted 02-10-2004 9:36 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3861 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 13 of 223 (85234)
02-10-2004 9:36 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Loudmouth
02-10-2004 9:08 PM


Yeah, but didn't you prove everything using intelligence? Certainly an intelligence must have made that image!

(shreeeeeek!)


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Loudmouth, posted 02-10-2004 9:08 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

    
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4517 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 14 of 223 (85318)
02-11-2004 3:22 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by MrHambre
02-10-2004 4:08 PM


Re: Behe's Blunder
Oh man..that sucks..I missed it by one year! I would have loved to have gone to that debate...as it is I only got to see Gould insult the audience and Jeremy Rifkin almost get in a fist fight with some guy from the agriculture department over genetically modified crops.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by MrHambre, posted 02-10-2004 4:08 PM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by MrHambre, posted 02-11-2004 5:43 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 155 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 15 of 223 (85326)
02-11-2004 5:43 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Mammuthus
02-11-2004 3:22 AM


Re: Behe's Blunder
Mammuthus,

Yeah, that would have been one to attend. I'm sure you heard about the controversy generated later on: during the dance number Phillip Johnson ripped the pink hooped skirt off William Dembski and Bill wasn't wearing his customary spiked codpiece underneath. I guess the Discovery Institute is notorious for this sort of racy behavior during conferences. I called and asked Dan whether he had taped it but he was watching Tomb Raider 2 again.

regards,
Esteban "Eel Sperm" Hambre


The dark nursery of evolution is very dark indeed.
Brad McFall
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Mammuthus, posted 02-11-2004 3:22 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded

    
1
23456
...
15NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019