A lot has been argued about Irreducible Complexity. Here is a proposed solution to the conundrum.
- Darwin’s call to challengers is absurd. In The Origin of Species (1859), he wrote, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.” This is NOT how science works! You do not get to formulate whatever fantastic theory you please that then stands until someone disproves it in the exact manner you specify. Instead, it is your duty to prove your claims. This case shows that, when the foregone conclusions fit the religious views of its proponents, the scientific rigor is often cast aside.
- Ignorance cuts both ways. Irreducible Complexity was called the “argument from personal incredulity” or “argument from ignorance”. This is indeed correct. And because of this, Irreducible Complexity is flawed… as are all arguments for “evolution”… given an argument from ignorance asserts that “a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false [“evolution”] or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true [irreducible complexity]”. Evolutionists (Darwin’s quote in particular) err by claiming the unknown supports “evolution”. We certainly do not know the origin of the eye, much less have seen any eye “evolve”. Yet a just-so story of eye “evolution” has been put together by imaginarily linking disparate optical sensors designs. Therefore, if Irreducible Complexity is a bad argument, so is “evolution” itself.
- Michael Behe engages in a game rigged against him. There are many and much better ways to show “evolution” impossible. Irreducible complexity is an argument against imagination. And imagination always wins because it is infinite. But the game is further rigged. When Michael Behe used the mousetrap as an illustrative example of this concept, Kenneth R. Miller challenged him by observing he can use the mousetrap components to make a spitball launcher (catapult), a tie clip, key chain, clipboard, tooth pick. Yet, by “nonfunctional”, Behe does not mean that the precursor cannot serve any function – a mousetrap missing its spring can still act as a paperweight. It just cannot serve the specific function (catching mice) by means of the same mechanism (a spring-loaded hammer slamming down upon the mouse). A function is obviously not the same as a specific
- Asymmetry improves Behe’s argument. Degradation to new function is much easier done than buildup to new function. If you have an optimized mousetrap and need an ad-hoc catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick, all you need is to remove some parts. That’s almost instantaneous and effortlessly. But if you have an optimized catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick, you need a lot of engineering to make an ad-hoc mouse trap out of those. Even if you have them all at once which is impossible in real life. Why optimized? Because that’s what “natural selection” creates… presumably. This doesn’t prove Irreducible Complexity, however. Because, as shown, the argument is flawed and the game is rigged.
- The impossible changeover further improves Behe’s argument. The “evolution” model demands continuous improvement every generation and a slow, multigenerational incremental process. Or as Darwin put it: “numerous, successive, slight modifications “. However, this cannot be done when changing function as the old function must degrade well before the new function is developed. Manufacturing changeover works because it is done within a fraction of a generation. Still, the process is interrupted and the system goes through a loss of function during the changeover. Generally, an inventory is built up in anticipation while extra resources are thrown in long before and after the actual changeover to limit the impact. If extra resources were not available, or an inventory buildup were not possible, or organizational capability were lost in a long process (who would stick around for decades even paid for idleness?), then the enterprise would not survive (extinction event in biology). The mousetrap example fits perfectly. Once it starts to be dismantled and before the catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick becomes functional, for a while, the system has no function whatsoever. This time would actually be multigenerational in real life biologic systems that, being functionless, would go extinct and thus never get to the other side (the new function). Now take the bacterial flagellar motor, and the bacterial injectisome. If either one “evolved” into the other, at some point one function would be lost before the other would become available, thus leaving the bacteria without either function, and thus at a competitive disadvantage to the original. The “innovator” would go extinct before having a chance to compete. And having both systems functional at the same time before renouncing the old one wouldn’t work because real life resources are limited as opposed to infinite when imagined. And how would – whichever came first – have happened from scratch is, once again, left to imagination.
- Are “phlogiston” and “ether” teaching us anything? Let’s compare and contrast. “Phlogiston” and “ether” were bad theories like “evolution” that were eventually abandoned. Which is exactly what will happen to “evolution” too. They were disproved by whatever means possible, not by a prescribed method proposed by their proponents as Darwin’s. They were tested against the claims and implication of those theories and were found lacking. In the case of ether, by their own supporters, Michelson and Morley. In the same manner, we can test the positive claims of “evolution” from “gradualism” to “fitness”, “divergence of character”, “natural selection”, etc. And all fail. So there is no need to follow Darwin’s guidance on how to disprove his theory especially when febrile imagination is the only support offered in a rigged game.