Rev. David Rives Explains Irreducible Complexity

The Drool-o-tron™ was laughing. We never heard it do that before. Then its sirens and flashing lights kicked in.

The blinking letters of its wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). Our computer was locked onto WND’s presentation of the latest video by the brilliant and articulate leader of David Rives Ministries.

WND’s headline is Simple mousetrap blows holes in evolution, and it has a sub-title: “David Rives explains scientific concept of irreducible complexity.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Wikipedia has an article on Irreducible complexity, which they call “a pseudoscientific theory promoted by advocates of intelligent design.” It has a specific section on The mousetrap example.

We groaned in anticipation of the idiocy we would encounter, but the Drool-o-tron™ forced us to look. The rev has his own title for the video, which is Irreducible Complexity.

He doesn’t tell us anything new. It’s the same story that Michael Behe invented years ago, which has no value whatsoever. Most creationists don’t bother with the mousetrap argument any more, but the rev’s audience is more backward than most, so they’re likely to regard it as something new and powerful.

The rev isn’t wearing a necktie, but he’s still the cutest rev you’ve ever seen! The video is his usual 90-second presentation — before the commercial. Go ahead, click over to WND and watch it.

As we always do with the rev’s videos, we dedicate the comments section for your use as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. You know the rules. Okay, the comments are open. Go for it!

Addendum: We’ve been slimed! WND is recycling an oldie. We posted about it last July — see Rev. David Rives: Mousetrap Proves Creationism. Ah well, we still have the Free Fire Zone.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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35 responses to “Rev. David Rives Explains Irreducible Complexity

  1. I stumbled on a site called “hovindology” all about the Hovinds. This link exposes the harrassment given to the guy who purchased some of the Hovind sacred ground. It’s a good reminder that Hovind’s lis pendens shenanigans did have an actual human victim, and that he should (and was) be found guilty of something. I find it especially interesting that Eric Hovind had a role in it. Thought he kept his nose clean.

  2. Could you expand the number of “Recent Comments” which have links shown? Often I return after just a few hours and find the list overflowing.

  3. TomS asks:

    Could you expand the number of “Recent Comments” which have links shown?

    Okay. It used to show 8, now it shows 12. The max is 15, but 12 is probably enough.

  4. You might want to correct “Irreducable”.

  5. @SC: ” which is Irreducable Complexity”.
    I actually clicked on the link. It’s spelled correctly in the video, “irreducible”. But I sure wasn’t expecting the advertisement for “The Genesis 3D Movie”. Given that it’s “blessed” (heh) by Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, and a slew of others involved in that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism, how can we NOT watch it?
    P.S. If anyone wants to watch the movie, I’ve got a pallet of brain bleach on order. I’ll have some to spare if you need it.

  6. @SC: Ed beat me to the “Post Comment” button.

  7. Ed says:

    You might want to correct “Irreducable”.

    Good idea.

  8. Our Curmudgeon shrieks

    We’ve been slimed! WND is recycling an oldie.

    Don’t worry about it. The whole Creationist circus is nothing but endless recycling of the same old sophistry. When was the last time you heard a fresh Creationist argument?

  9. David Rives explains how a mousetrap works? Well, bless his heart!

  10. Megalonyx asks: “When was the last time you heard a fresh Creationist argument?”

    It’s like watching one zombie movie after another.

  11. SC said:

    It’s like watching one zombie movie after another.

    At least “World War Z” had action and was mildly entertaining.

  12. Jason Caulfield

    …and Dawn of the dead, the remake and then Shaun of the Dead (might not have made it to the US market, but a great film) – 6 hours of cracking entertainment. Film heaven, if that’s the correct word to use

  13. @Jason: How could I have forgotten “Shaun of the Dead”, the first in the “Shaun of the Dead” / “Hot Fuzz” / “The World’s End” trilogy? That is perhaps the best Z movie. Ev-ah!

  14. Jason Caulfield

    @Gary, totally agree

  15. Maybe someone should tell the rev about this site:
    It turns out that a mousetrap isn’t irreducible after all.

  16. OK, I’m hereby launching my appeal for crowd-sourced funding for a wonderful biopic on Rev. Rives: Blight of the Lying Re-treads

  17. michaelfugate

    For totally unrelated purposes, I was looking up vitamin deficiencies and noticed that Niacin aka Vitamin B3 deficiency results in pellagra. Pellagra is also known as “the three Ds”: diarrhea, dermatitis, & dementia. Where is this all leading, you might ask? Creationism is due to among other things a deficiency of enlightenment and I am sure we could come up with 3D characters – Dembski Design Detector comes to mind when thinking of irreducible mouse traps. Would three of some other letter be better?

  18. “We’ve been slimed!”
    You might try to re-fine-tune your Drool-o-Tron, dear SC.
    It hurts me, but it seems to me that the Good Rev definitely has lost the competition to Gerbil Casey.

  19. We’ve been slimed! WND is recycling an oldie.

    It’s even worse than you think! As philosopher of science Elliot Sober in his book, Evidence and Evolution, points out, Behe’s whole “irreducible complexity” argument was recycled from William Paley’s watch analogy.

    Creationism hasn’t had a new idea since Genesis was first written down about 2,700 years ago … and even earlier than that, since the Jews cribbed it from the Babylonians, who cribbed it from the Assyrians, who cribbed it from …

  20. What I can not understand about Irreducible Complexity is the idea that it must evolve “up” from simple to complex. A Royal Flush is Irreducibly Complex but it is trivial to evolve if you start with a full deck.

    Even a simple genome has lots of interesting pieces in it to work with. There may not be a Better mousetrap but you can build lots of effective mouse traps from a bucket of different parts. Then slowly get rid of things to make it more effective and/or efficient.

  21. P.S. Back in the late 90s I had a brief e-mail exchange with Behe where I pointed out that a base, spring and hammer could be described as a “clipboard,” a clearly useful thing. Now, if you had a “trigger” that would close the hammer when you shoved some papers into it, that could be, at least minimally, helpful if you were in a hurry. Then, if you had a mouse problem, and one occasionally tripped the trigger and got Mickey’s skull crushed, there would be a selective pressure to make the trigger more mouse specific. Behe ended the conversation with something like “Well, there you go.”

  22. 1,700 years ago

    Opps! 2,700 years ago.

    [*Voice from above*] All is well, my son.

  23. Rives’s business involves the numbing of minds such that they replicate his.
    Or orating to those minds already in deep freeze from previous exposure to his ilk.
    Business apparently………………… is good.

  24. Ken Miller reiterates his “mousetrap” counter-argument here.

  25. Behe, in his signature way, supplies his own rebuttal (page 42 of Black Box)
    “If the wooden base were gone, there would be no platform for attaching the other components. If the hammer were gone, the mouse could dance all night on the platform without becoming pinned to the wooden base.”
    That is, the mousetrap becomes an entertainment center for a pet mouse. Solving your mouse problem in a humane way.

    But seriously, the idea of “irreducible complexity” has a history, going back centuries, of being rediscovered. See the Wikipedia article for examples back to the early 1700s.

  26. Irreducible complexity = “You mean you want me to understand the world around me using facts? It’s too complex! I’m not used to actually thinking rationally and would rather just conclude an imaginary being made it than come up with answers to things.”

  27. Charles Deetz ;)

    Even the bible, treated as a god-given book, is a bunch of parts created on their own for slightly different purposes. They weren’t necessarily god-blessed until put together by a human committee. You get where I am going with this regarding the mousetrap analogy.

  28. For the Free-Fire Zone, I’m afraid it falls to me to point that everyone here seems to have missed the point of the cryptic Discoveroid take on Douglas Adams’ musing on the Puddle and the Hole: this was mentioned a few days back on the SC post, Thrilling News from the Discovery Institute (24 March 2015), which in turn referenced an earlier SC post, Discovery Institute: What Are They Thinking? (19 April 2012), which was our Curmudgeon’s response to a weird Disco’Tute post, If a Puddle Woke Up. That DI piece, you will recall, quoted Adams’ puddle marvelling at how perfect was the hole so perfectly designed for it, and then added the DI’s own gloss

    Well, if a puddle actually woke up and thought anything, it would be entitled to that opinion.

    Everyone here seemed to find that baffling–but I’m surprised y’all don’t follow the Creationist logic on display here, or how clever the DI think they are with this one. Their point is that if a puddle were to suddenly have consciousness–which isn’t possible without a heaping helping of Oogity-Boogity–then that puddle would be correct in thanking the Great Oogity-Boogity Designer for so precisely crafting the hole in which the Divinely Designed consciousness of the puddle could safely reside.

    And yes, of course, it’s a stupid argument to make, from any rational perspective, but to a Creationist, it’s a compelling gotch’ya response to all you godless Darwinist degenerates!

  29. Mention of Shaun of the Dead reminds me of this… from the movie “Paul”. Probably the only mention of intelligent design in a mainstream movie that I can recall. Funny clip from a very funny movie. Paul on ID.

  30. Dave Luckett

    Matthew Harrison Brady, in Inherit the Wind: If God wants a sponge to think, it thinks!

    I suppose the same applies to puddles. Why not?

  31. Since this is a FFZ, I’ll get this in. Who was one of the primary authors of this bill, and pushed hard to have it pass? Dennis Kruse. Coincidence? I think NOT!

  32. AR. “A Royal Flush is Irreducibly Complex but it is trivial to evolve if you start with a full deck.”

    Aye, and there’s the rub. Neither the Discovery Institute nor David Rives are.

  33. To a British viewer, these Rives pieces are unnervingly reminiscent of the eminent TV philosophress Philomena Cunk in her recent Moments of Wonder spots:
    Philomena Cunk’s Moments of Wonder Ep 1

  34. An even better episode, highly recommended: Philomena Cunk’s Moments of Wonder Ep 3 EVOLUTION . Unmissable!