Blood clotting cascade
Michael Behe describes it thus:
When an animal is cut, a protein called Hagemann factor (XII) sticks to the surface of cells near the wound. Bound Hagemann factor is then cleaved by a protein called HMK to yield activated Hagemann factor. Immediately the activated Hagemann factor converts another protein, called prekallikrein, to its active form, kallikrein.
Behe, who is a supporter of intelligent design, argues that all of these components must be in place before the system will work:
...none of the cascade proteins are used for anything except controlling the formation of a clot. Yet in the absence of any of the components, blood does not clot, and the system fails.
Although, as Behe points out, Factor XII initiates the "cascade of proteins" in vertebrates, dolphins lack Factor XII  and yet their blood is known to clot. Similarly, molluscs such as snails have only four components in their blood clotting cascade, with a single protease step. This appears to contradict the notion of irreducible complexity in regard to this process.
- Behe, M. 1996. Darwin's Black Box. New York: The Free Press
- Behe, M. 1996. Darwin's Black Box, p.86. New York: The Free Press
- Robinson, A. J., M. Kropatkin, and P. M. Aggeler, 1969. Hagemann Factor (Factor XII) Deficiency in Marine Mammals. Science 166: 1420-1422