About Irreducible Complexity

Responding to Darwinists Claiming to Have Explained Away the Challenge of Irreducible Complexity
Staff
Discovery Institute
September 2, 2010

Modern biology has discovered that cells are like miniaturized factories that function using micromolecular machines. In Darwin’s Black Box (1996), Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe proposed that many of these molecular machines exhibit irreducible complexity and therefore could not have been produced by an undirected Darwinian process. Instead, they appear to be the product of intelligent design. Behe’s book initiated a firestorm of controversy both inside and outside of the scientific community, and the debate continues to rage. As the responses below demonstrate, Behe’s arguments have not been refuted. Indeed, the case for the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum and other molecular machines has continued to grow.

 

Introduction to Molecular Machines and Irreducible Complexity

Michael Behe, “Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference”

Irreducible Complexity: The Challenge to the Darwinian Evolutionary Explanations of many Biochemical Structures

Casey Luskin, “More Similarities between Flagellum and Human-Designed Machines” (Evolution News and Views, June 30, 2008)

Casey Luskin, “Leading Biologists Marvel at the “Irreducible Complexity” of the Ribosome, but Prefer Evolution-of-the-Gaps” (Evolution News and Views, Feb. 1, 2008)

Casey Luskin, “Molecular Machines in the Cell”

Molecular Machines Animations and Movies

Video: William Dembski on Molecular Machines and the Death of Darwinism

Video: Journey Inside the Cell

 

Michael Behe’s Responses to Critics of Irreducible Complexity

Michael Behe, “Reducible Versus Irreducible Systems and Darwinian Versus Non-Darwinian Processes” (Evolution News and Views, Sept. 14, 2009)

Michael Behe, “Irreducible Complexity is an Obstacle to Darwinism Even if Parts of a System have other Functions”

Michael Behe On The Theory of Irreducible Complexity

Michael Behe, “Irreducible Complexity and the Evolutionary Literature: Response to Critics”

Michael Behe, “Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems: A Reply to Shanks and Joplin” (Philosophy of Science, March, 2000)

Michael Behe, “A Mousetrap Defended: Response to Critics”

Michael Behe, “In Defense of the Irreducibility of the Blood Clotting Cascade: Response to Russell Doolittle, Ken Miller and Keith Robison”

Michael Behe, “‘A True Acid Test’: Response to Ken Miller”

Michael Behe “Comments on Ken Miller’s Reply to My Essays”

 

Responses to Kenneth Miller on Irreducible Complexity

William Dembski, “Still Spinning Just Fine: A Response to Ken Miller”

Casey Luskin, “Do Car Engines Run on Lugnuts? A Response to Ken Miller & Judge Jones’s Straw Tests of Irreducible Complexity for the Bacterial Flagellum” (Evolution News and Views, June 30, 2008)

Casey Luskin, “Kenneth Miller, Michael Behe, and the Irreducible Complexity of the Blood Clotting Cascade Saga” (Evolution News and Views, January 1, 2010)

Casey Luskin, “Truth or Dare: A Lecture Guide to the Anti-Intelligent Design Claims by Dr. Kenneth Miller”

Scott A. Minnich & Stephen C. Meyer, “Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits in Pathogenic Bacteria,” Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece

Michael Behe, “In Defense of the Irreducibility of the Blood Clotting Cascade: Response to Russell Doolittle, Ken Miller and Keith Robison”

Michael Behe, “‘A True Acid Test’: Response to Ken Miller”

Michael Behe “Comments on Ken Miller’s Reply to My Essays”

 

Responses to Bridgham, Carroll, and Thornton (2006)

In an article published in Science in 2006, three researchers—Jamie Bridgham, Sean Carroll and Joe Thornton—claimed to have shown how an irreducibly complex system might have arisen as the result of gene duplication and a few point mutational changes.

“This continues the venerable Darwinian tradition of making grandiose claims based on piddling results,” said biochemist Michael Behe, who developed the theory of irreducible complexity in his best-selling book Darwin’s Black Box. “There is nothing in the paper that an ID proponent would think was beyond random mutation and natural selection. In other words, it is a straw man.”

The following links offer rebuttals to the research of Bridgham et al.:

Michael Behe On The Theory of Irreducible Complexity

How to Explain Irreducible Complexity—A Lab Manual

Paul Nelson, “Debating the Controversy That Doesn't Exist”

Bruce Chapman, “The Science Stories that Fizzled (and the one that Might Have Been)” (Evolution News and Views, Aug. 7, 2006)

CSC Director Stephen C. Meyer Responds to Research on Irreducible Complexity

Casey Luskin, “Science Plays Politics, but Implies Behe and Snoke (2004) Supports Irreducible Complexity and ID after all” (Evolution News and Views, April 8, 2006)

 

Other Responses to Critics of Irreducible Complexity

Casey Luskin, “PNAS Authors Resort to Teleological Language in Failed Attempt to Explain Evolution of Irreducible Complexity” (Evolution News and Views, Sept. 4, 2009)

Mike Gene, “Irreducible Complexity And Darwinian Pathways: Guest response to article by R.H. Thornhill and D.W. Ussery”