Discoveroids: Sex Is Irreducibly Complex

We never expected to see anything like this, even from the Discovery Institute. Nevertheless, look what just appeared at their creationist blog: In Female Sexual Function, Irreducible Complexity and Natural Survival Capacity.

It was written by one of their new contributors, a physician named Howard Glicksman. They say he “practices palliative medicine for a hospice organization.” We’re not familiar with that specialty, but the Wikipedia article on Palliative care says:

In the United States, a distinction should be made between palliative care and hospice care. Hospice services and palliative care programs share similar goals of providing symptom relief and pain management. … Hospice is a type of care involving palliation without curative intent. Usually, it is used for people with no further options for curing their disease or in people who have decided not to pursue further options that are arduous, likely to cause more symptoms, and not likely to succeed.

Whatever it is that the good doctor does, here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us:

Once the sexual organs have matured so the male can produce sperm and the female can release an egg into the fallopian tube, all that is needed for new human life to come about is for them to join together to form a zygote. The natural way that human reproduction occurs is by the male and female physically coming together in sexual intercourse.

Gasp! Most of us already know about such things, but some of you may be too sensitive for the details in the Discoveroid post, so we’ll avoid the explicit material. Also, the good doctor has previously discussed this subject in an earlier post, about which we wrote Discovery Institute Adopts a Jack Chick Argument. But in that one he claimed that the configuration of our reproductive organs requires the Discoveroids’ magic pixie dust, information. This time he has something else to offer.

After describing the “very intimate physical union” that is required for human reproduction, and the “tasks the male must perform,” he devotes several paragraphs to telling us what has to happen in the female’s body in order to achieve fertilization and development of an embryo. We shall tastefully avoid excerpting that material. Skipping to near the end, he says:

In summary, human reproduction involves not only having the right tissues and organs in place, but also having them working together in a well-coordinated fashion. The female cannot be fertile unless at least one of her ovaries can release an egg, her fallopian tube can capture it and move it towards the sperm that have been assisted by the cervical mucus to swim toward it, and then provide a supportive haven for the implantation and gestation of new human life. These all require not only having the right tissues and organs in place, but also having the right amount of hormones and receptors that respond in the right way and at the right time.

Jeepers, it’s so complicated! Let’s read on:

Of course, it goes without saying that all of the parts working together in a coordinated fashion, as directed by specific hormones and their receptors, to enable either the male or female to reproduce demonstrates not only irreducible complexity but natural survival capacity as well.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh — irreducible complexity! [*End Drool Mode*] The good doctor continues:

This means that for every life form that reproduces sexually not only must all of its organ systems that allow for metabolic control but also its male and female components must have developed simultaneously.

Wowie — they had to develop simultaneously! That’s the same argument we first encountered at the Jack Chick website. And now we come to the end:

As for human life, whether it came about by the more plausible explanation of intelligent design or whether one believes the Darwinian narrative, it all had to start with just one male and just one female.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s gotta be Adam & Eve! What a great Discoveroid article!

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24 responses to “Discoveroids: Sex Is Irreducibly Complex

  1. I see the DI is now channeling Ray Comfort: “How did evolution know to evolve the first female after the first male came along?”


  2. Gasp. Does this mean the stork is no longer a valid explanation! I’m dumbfounded. But wait, this appears to be a rather sexually explicit and involved description of intimacy that should be banned from the internet as young people, particularly teenagers, might have access to, whereas conservatives tout abstinence only programs that revert back to the stork process, devoid of any intimate details! Shame on them.
    Now the writer only talks about human sexuality, yet within the biological world there are many, many instances of different means of copulation that have, yes, evolved differently, yet achieve the same results. So one might assume there are many, many instances of irreducible complexity all around us, and quite independent of us. Interesting.

  3. And this guy is a medical man! It just goes to show that one can get a medical degree and still hold a dangerously narrow understanding of biology. I wonder where he went to medical school.

  4. Option A – a few million years of evolution, with common descent from earlier sexually reproducing organisms that sprayed external eggs with sperm (and still do).

    Option B – a supernatural being.

  5. michaelfugate

    Glicksman needs a good comparative anatomy course.

  6. “The natural way that human reproduction occurs is by the male and female physically coming together in sexual intercourse.”

    Isn’t that the natural way all placental mammals reproduce? Come to think of it, I imagine the marsupials and monotremes do, as well.

    I guess humans are the only ones that can write creepy, anti-evolution blogs about it, though. So, there’s that.

  7. So it takes two sexes getting together? How about organisms that can change sex (like some fish)? Or how about organisms that reproduce by parthenogenesis (like some lizards)? Of course, if mammals could change sex I guess you could actually tell someone to go F&%k themselves. Like I would like to tell the IDiots.

  8. Nah, it ain’t that complex. It’s actually quite simple, really. In. Out. (Repeat as necessary)

  9. Plus if anything in nature depends on random chance it’s sperm fertilizing an egg. Gazillions of cells participate in the lottery, usually only one wins.

  10. David Williams

    Marine flatworms are hermaphrodidic. Both of the prospective parents have hypodermic penises. They fight when they mate. The one who stabs the other first is the daddy. The intelligent designer, blessed be he, did not equip the worms with ducting for the sperm to travel to the egg, so the interstitial movement of the sperm through the mommies body must be painful.

  11. Ok. First, Dr Glicksman practices “palliative catre for hospices”.
    Some people have uncharitably described slow moving activities the same as “watching old people,,,you know”. Glicksman is apparently an expert
    in boring , slow moving, feeble ,,, ahem,,,, sex.
    Second ,,,,although slow and feeble Glicksman then goes on to suggest that it is “irreducibly complex”. What does this mean exactly?
    Unfortunately, the claim brings to mind images of Westie and Klinklepoop, wearing party hats while in the altogether and playing poker to see who gets to chase a naked gerbil around the room with a fly swatter.
    Things get more complicated after this and I’m going to pass this off to the experts in SC’s audience to finish things up (so to speak).
    Thank you Discotute for being the gift that keeps on giving. Cheers 🙂

  12. I’d think the first ‘sexed’ species were probably hermaphroditic, just as many species (like flowers) still are today. Imagine what would happen in a population of early hermaphroditic organisms if some of them carried a genetic defect that caused its offspring to only express half of its sexual apparatus. Voila – you’d soon have a male and female population because these offspring would not clone themselves. Instead of self-fertilizing, their genes would cross with others. This would be extremely advangageous because sexual reproduction with another, slightly different organism confers such a strong survival advantage to the offspring.

  13. Among the complications of describing sex is that there are multiple mating types, often in fungi.

  14. Howard Glickman presents sexual reproduction as a natural process. This is creationist heresy.

    Has he forgotten that molecules-to-man development is impossible? It is ruled out, creationists tell us, by the second law of thermodynamics. Ordered systems are condemned by nature to a one-way slide toward disorder. Instead, in reproduction a single cell relentlessly embarks on a process of increasing complexity, resulting in a theoretically impossible advance toward greater order.

    In short, each individual is created in defiance of natural law, the same way the species was. Ergo we are all miracles twice over, Q.E.D.


  15. Retired Prof says: “Howard Glickman presents sexual reproduction as a natural process.”

    No! It’s irreducibly complex and would be impossible without a hefty infusion of information. It’s more like a docking of the shuttle with the space station. Nothing natural about it.

  16. docbill1351

    Glicksman has been churning out this stuff for over a decade. He probably has hundreds of articles about the human body, seemingly well-researched, that describe a bodily function, say, sweating, at the end of which he concludes – Wow, complicated, must have been designed that way!

    That the Tooters have started recycling this stuff would be like them publishing old Jack Chick comics, or Dwayne Gish. Just lazy, pointless mush.

  17. Our Curmudgeon says that coitus is

    like a docking of the shuttle with the space station.

    Olivia tells me she finally understands why that infamous solitary ‘date’ you two had ended with you chasing her down the street screaming, “Three centimeters, and closing! Two point five centimeters, and closing! Do you copy, Houston? One centimeter and closing!…”

  18. Special TGIF treat: Curmudgeon porn video!

    [ESFW (Entirely Safe for Work)]

  19. That was a very stimulating video, Megalonyx. However, because we know you consider the biological activity described by the Discoveroids to be bewilderingly complex, I’m shocked that you dared to make an appearance here.

  20. docbill1351

    Surely, Olivia ran down the street screaming after she heard “three centimeters!”

  21. @ docbill1351: No, that was Wayne Bobbit…

  22. RetiredSciGuy

    “Imagine what would happen in a population of early hermaphroditic organisms if some of them carried a genetic defect that caused its offspring to only express half of its sexual apparatus. Voila – you’d soon have a male and female population because these offspring would not clone themselves.”

    Sure makes sense! Is this your original idea? I’m certainly no expert in the field of how features have evolved, but this seems like a logical hypothesis.

  23. RetiredSciGuy asks Maezeppa: “Is this your original idea?”

    I mentioned it before in this comment (scroll down a bit to find it), and it wasn’t original when I did.

  24. michaelfugate

    Happens in plants all the time….