Talk:Irreducible complexity

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Peer review claims. inaccuracy in section

The article claims that Behe's notions have been peer reviewed and cites his testimony in the Dover trial as such. However, there are many problems with this (including the fact that Jones found this testimony uncovincing). If one reads further in the transcript for example, one finds the following quote from one of Behe's supposed reveiewers:

I received a phone call from the publisher in New York. We spent approximately ten minutes on the phone. After hearing a description of the work, I suggested that the editor should seriously consider publishing the manuscript.
I told him that the origin of life issue was still up in the air. It sounded like this Behe fellow might have some good ideas, although I could not be certain since I had never seen the manuscript. We hung up, and I never thought about it again, at least until two years later.
And then in the next session titled A Blessing Years Later, Dr. Atchison writes, After some time, Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, the Free Press, 1996, was published. It became an instant best seller and was widely acclaimed in the news media.
It is currently in its 15th printing and over 40,000 copies have been sold. I heard about it, but could not remember if this was the same book that I received the call about from the publisher. Could it be?
In November 1998, I finally met Michael Behe when he visited Penn for a faculty outreach talk. He told me that, yes, indeed, it was his book that the publisher called me about. In fact, he said my comments were the deciding factor in convincing the publisher to go ahead with the book. Interesting, I thought.

10 minute telephone calls do not constitute peer review. Of the other claimed reviewers, others suffer similar problems. For example, Morrow, another reviewer, in fact labeled the book as pretty close to worthless and as a result the book was not published by the initial publisher. This does not constitute peer review and to claim otherwise does a disservice to Conservapedia and its readers. JoshuaZ 22:27, 26 February 2007 (EST)


Cut from intro:

Such examples have been showed to be flawed, for example precursors to the flagellum's motor can be found being used as ionic channels within bacteria, known as the Type III Secretory System.[1] This is true for most of the structure of the flagellum in general; of the 42 proteins found in the flagellum, 40 have already been found in use in different biological pathways.[2] Even Behe's toy model used to illustrate the concept, the mouse trap, was countered by critics including biology professor John McDonald, who produced examples of how he considered the mousetrap to be "easy to reduce", eventually to a single part.[3]

This section makes an argument. It would be better if it merely described facts and reported conclusions.

Say, rather, that Dr. A argues that ionic channels serve as precursor's to the flagellum's motor. Verbiage such as shown to be flawed implies that Dr. A's version is correct and that ID proponents are incorrect.

A balanced article would present both sides and draw no conclusions. How about this?

Behe's argument is disputed by Dr. A & Dr. B on the grounds that ...

Can we work together on this? --Ed Poor 09:22, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

How about this?
It has been argued that such examples are flawed. Kenneth R. Miller, for example, describes precursors to the flagellum's being used as ionic channels within bacteria, known as the Type III Secretory System.[4] Nick Matzke suggests that this is true for most of the structure of the flagellum in general; suggesting that of the 42 proteins found in the flagellum, 40 have already been found in use in different biological pathways.[5] Critics, including biology professor John McDonald, have countered Even Behe's toy model, the mouse trap, used to illustrate the concept. McDonald produced examples of how he considered the mousetrap to be "easy to reduce", eventually to a single part.[3]
WhatIsG0ing0n 09:36, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

That's better. Please put it back, and let's see if it sticks. --Ed Poor 10:57, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

It seems to have stuck. Unfortunately this whole approach is equating creationist (AKA intelligent design) faith (ideology?) with science. That is of course an example of silliness, like trying to compare apples and pears, a false analogy. This causes no end of head scratching when trying to apply locks and blocks to protect the article because we do not block for ideological reasons [(faith?) ...] but for silliness (false analogy).
WhatIsG0ing0n 09:21, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't see that equation. Can you quote some text which does this? I think it's the other way around, and Evolutionists are equating ID with Creationism. Eugenie Scott loses no opportunity to refer to ID as "intelligent design creationism". Try googling that three-word phrase and see what comes up. --Ed Poor 09:25, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
Sorry I didn't make myself very clear. I mean the approach in this encyclopedia where an article about science contains stuff criticising the science that has nothing to do with science. Example Theory of evolution. It would be ok to include different scientific hypotheses or theories. This article isn't a science article so the problem is perhaps the other way around. Science stuff getting into articles that aren't really about science, but since it is claimed that what is being presented (Intelligent design) is science, science kinda has to answer to the false claim in order to avoid people being misled by the article. You are probably right, ID and Creationism shouldn't be conflated. Perhaps ID and Creationist takes on science should only occur in the Essay space, for example Essay: Why evolution is bunkum following the excellent example set by Essay:Motivations for the Theory of Evolution. This way anti-intellectual unencyclopedic material can be reduced in the articles themselves.
WhatIsG0ing0n 09:55, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
The problem here (for me at least( is that it is not clear to me that "the theory of evolution" is science. First, I do not understand clearly what the "theory" is. Is there some sort of mechanism, force or principle concerning the 'origin of species' and 'natural selection'? can it be explained in 25 words or less? How about 500 words? I can explain the diffence between a toaster and a microwave in 10 words!
Second, assuming "evolution" is scientific somehow, what are the various ways by which its proponents agree it could be falsifed? Like if we see X, these means the whole thing is wrong.
Third, there's a legal battle going on about whether evolution or "creation science" or "intelligent design" are scientific, ideological, religious and/or pseudoscientific. People will keep trying to end the discussion by one tactic or another. --Ed Poor 21:11, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Here's the article on natural selection (I've also given a simple explanation of how natural selection works on the atricle's discussion page).

Natural selection

Middle Man

Behe's flawed argument

You do realize that everything Behe says can be flipped around to discredit Christianity/God right? ColinRtalk 01:31, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Since its inception, opponents have done whatever they can to discredit Christ and Christianity. They said he used demonic power to cast out demons, etc. I doubt that anything a Christian anti-evolutionist says would give an advantage to the the people trying to discredit Christianity or God.
If some Creationists wish Behe would just shut up, I'd like to know more about it. Perhaps it would be material for a broad article on Science and religion. I'm a student of science and also a religious man, hence my interest. --Ed Poor 08:09, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Typos, errors

Double "the" after the title of the book No Free Lunch; Fifth paragraph, second word should be complexity, (extra "o"); In the second quote the phrase "speciality journals" might be better rendered "specialty" (no "i"). Samwell 23:25, 15 August 2007 (EDT)

Darwin, the eye, and "censoring information"

Since this is quickly going down the same disturbing "removing valuable insights" road as Axiom of Choice, I will not edit the article any more to remove your edit. However, I will simply point out, Rod, that your quote is on AiG's "Don't use" list because, as I wrote in the edit summary, "[c]iting his statement at face value is subtly out of context." And like I also wrote in my edit summary, you are free to flesh out the argument to make your case, but I am sure you can do that without relying on out-of-context quotes, no?

I made my revert in order to not give critics overly easy targets to shoot down. If you still insist on keeping the quote in the current state, be my guest. --AlanS 17:27, 24 December 2008 (EST)

The quote is about how inherently difficult the problem of the eye is. While Darwin believed it could be arrived at by gradiations, we know know from irreducible complexity that his belief was unfounded. It has always been a flaw and remains so. - Rod Weathers 21:01, 24 December 2008 (EST)
Rod, this is a better resource and I will be posting another good one probably in a few minutes: conservative 22:15, 24 December 2008 (EST)
The creationists often fail to cite the fact that Darwin thought that the eye could develop in graduations and merely cite the first part of the quote which I do not think should be done. However, Charles Darwin even late in life often had overwhelming thoughts that the natural world was designed and you can read about this in the Conservapedia Charles Darwin article. So this material about Darwin and peacock feathers does not surprise me (Darwin wrote this when he was about 50 years old): conservative 22:21, 24 December 2008 (EST)
These are excellent and interesting sources. - Rod Weathers 00:26, 25 December 2008 (EST)

Fallible Argument

I believe that the majority of the examples that Michael Behe's proposed that 'proved' irreducible complexity have now been succinctly refuted via the processes of exaptation, preadaptation, and cooptation. A simple Google search of any term should give you swathes of information as to how they work and how they go in disproving the irreducible complexity argument. --SteelSaurus 11:29, 28 March 2013 (EDT)

And how is your personal belief helping us to improve the article? --Ed Poor Talk 12:53, 28 March 2013 (EDT)
  1. The Flagellum Unspun
  2. [ Ode to the Flagellum
  3. 3.0 3.1 A reducibly complex mousetrap (graphics-intensive, requires JavaScript)
  4. The Flagellum Unspun
  5. [ Ode to the Flagellum