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Evolutionism Myth #7: 

Irreducibly complex systems in biology are easily explained by Darwinism.


Michael Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity raises acute difficulties for Darwinism. Irreducible complexity is a “package-deal” feature of many biological systems. Package deals are all-or-nothing deals. You can have the whole package or you can have none of it, but you can’t pick and choose pieces of it. In biology, especially at the molecular level, there exist molecular machines (see last question) that cannot be simplified without losing the machine’s function. In other words, take away parts and you can’t recover the machine’s function. One such
irreducibly complex molecular machine that has become the mascot of the intelligent design movement is the bacterial flagellum. This is a tiny motor-driven propeller on the backs of certain bacteria. It is a marvel of nano-engineering,
spinning at tens of thousands of rpm. Biologist Howard Berg at Harvard calls it “the most efficient machine in the universe.” It is irreducibly complex.

How do evolutionary theorists propose to account for such systems? They have no detailed, testable, step-by-step proposals for how irreducibly complex systems like this might have arisen. All evolutionary theorists have been able to do is note that because systems like the flagellum are irreducibly complex, they must have arisen via a gradual series of simpler systems that served functions different from the machine in question (the functions need to be different because to simplify an irreducibly complex system is to destroy its function). But merely appealing to such a gradual series of simpler systems doesn’t tell us how, or even whether, irreducibly complex systems evolved, much less by Darwinian or other materialist means. The burden on evolution’s defenders is to demonstrate that at least one irreducibly complex molecular machine found in nature really can be formed by some specific, fully articulated series of gradual steps. So far, evolutionary theorists have nothing like this. Wishful speculations is the best they’ve come up with.


Excerpt from:

"Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Design"

by William A. Dembski



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