response to criticism

Litmus test strip for measurement of acidity in glassware on a blurred background of test tubes in a tripod.

“A True Acid Test”

In this essay I reply to what I consider to be the most important claim made by any critic of intelligent design: that direct experimental evidence has shown that evolution can indeed generate irreducibly complex biochemical systems. As I will show below, the claim is false. Read More ›
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Irreducible Complexity and the Evolutionary Literature

Although several persons have cited numerous references from the scientific literature purporting to show that the problem of irreducible complexity I pointed out in Darwin's Black Box is being seriously addressed, the references show no such thing. Read More ›
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minimalistic yellow background with a mousetrap and a piece of tasty cheese

A Mousetrap Defended

In Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution I coined the term "irreducible complexity" in order to point out an apparent problem for the Darwinian evolution of some biochemical and cellular systems. In brief, an irreducibly complex system is one that needs several well-matched parts, all working together, to perform its function. Read More ›
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Intelligent Design Is Not Creationism

Scott refers to me as an intelligent design "creationist," even though I clearly write in my book Darwin's Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think "evolution occurred, but was guided by God." Where I and others run afoul of Scott and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is simply in arguing that intelligent design in biology is not invisible, it is empirically detectable. Read More ›
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Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems

Some biochemical systems require multiple, well-matched parts in order to function, and the removal of any of the parts eliminates the function. I have previously labeled such systems "irreducibly complex," and argued that they are stumbling blocks for Darwinian theory. Instead I proposed that they are best explained as the result of deliberate intelligent design. In a recent article Shanks and Joplin analyze and find wanting the use of irreducible complexity as a marker for intelligent design. Their primary counter-example is the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, a self-organizing system in which competing reaction pathways result in a chemical oscillator. In place of irreducible complexity they offer the idea of "redundant complexity," meaning that biochemical pathways overlap so that a loss of one or even several components can be accommodated without complete loss of function. Here I note that complexity is a quantitative property, so that conclusions we draw will be affected by how well-matched the components of a system are. I also show that not all biochemical systems are redundant. The origin of non-redundant systems requires a different explanation than redundant ones. Read More ›
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Photo of Mars surface by NASA via Unsplash

The Sterility of Darwinism

As it struggles to comprehend nature, science sometimes has to completely re-think how the world works. For example, Newton’s laws apply to everyday objects but can’t handle nature’s tiny building blocks. Propelled by this discovery, quantum mechanics overthrew Newton’s theory. Revolutions in biology have included the cell theory of life in the 19th century, as well as the slow realization Read More ›

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George Gilder and His Critics II

Every now and then, timing is all. Take George Gilder’s Aug. 28 Forbes ASAP piece, “The Coming Software Shift.” Lucky Forbes readers got their copies in mid-August, smack between the year’s two biggest technology events — Netscape’s record-hot IPO and the release of Windows 95. Gilder used the timing to explain why creative energy and profits in desk-top software would Read More ›

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Gilder Meets His Critics

This article was first published in Forbes ASAP, February 27, 1995. The article contains letters from various correspondents commenting upon a wide variety of issues raised in the series of George Gilder’s “Telecosm” articles which will be published in 1996 by Simon & Schuster, as a sequel to Microcosm, published in 1989 and Life After Television published by Norton in Read More ›