Darwin Was Ignorant and You’re a Fool!

You have probably heard of irreducible complexity before. It’s a fancy phrase conjured up by the Discovery Institute. Wikipedia says it’s:

… the argument that certain biological systems cannot have evolved by successive small modifications to pre-existing functional systems through natural selection, because no less complex system would function. Irreducible complexity has become central to the creationist concept of intelligent design, but the scientific community, which regards intelligent design as pseudoscience, rejects the concept of irreducible complexity.

We used to write about it. For example, see Peer Review of Behe’s Irreducible Complexity, and then Rev. David Rives Explains Irreducible Complexity.

After a while there was nothing left to say — but creationists never abandon any of their arguments because there are always new droolers who haven’t heard them before. So it is with Jason Lisle — the creationist astrophysicist. After previously working for the Institute for Creation Research, and then ol’ Hambo’s Answers in Genesis, he’s now running his own show — the Biblical Science Institute.

Jason just posted Irreducible Complexity. Would ya believe it, there’s a picture of a mousetrap above Jason’s article. Ironically, it’s the same picture appearing in the Wikipedia article, at the section titled The mousetrap example.

Jason’s article is long, but it’s old stuff so we’ll skip a lot of it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

One of the many scientific lines of evidence against neo-Darwinian evolution involves the concept of irreducible complexity. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] … The different parts of a biological cell are interdependent. That is, each part of the cell depends on all the other parts of the cell in order to function properly. Remove any one essential part, and the cell dies. Hence, the cell is not just complex; it is irreducibly complex. That is, it cannot be reduced to a simpler functioning cell by removing any essential component. Yet, neo-Darwinian evolution requires that all life came about from simpler forms, with new components added over the course of time by mutations. Hence, neo-Darwinian evolution is incompatible with irreducible complexity

Jeepers, he’s right! Without your head — you’re dead. Why didn’t our teachers tell us about this? Jason says:

Irreducibly complexity is the mark of intelligent forethought. [Yes, it’s obvious!] Manmade machines almost always exhibit irreducible complexity. Consider an automobile. It has many interdependent parts that work together to accomplish a goal – in this case to provide transportation for people and property. If you remove any essential part (the engine, the wheels, the drivetrain, the transmission, the steering wheel, the fuel tank, etc.) then the vehicle will not be able to do what it was designed to do.

No doubt about it — Darwin was a fool! After that, Jason devotes several paragraphs to giving us all of Behe’s arguments. We’ll skip that stuff because Behe’s arguments were discussed at length in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, and we quoted that part of the court’s opinion extensively — see Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony.

To avoid a bunch of ancient clunkers, we’ll skip most of Jason’s post and jump right to his final paragraph. Here it is:

A functional self-replicating cell requires all these systems to be in place simultaneously. Therefore, a cell cannot have evolved in a neo-Darwinian stepwise fashion. The complexity of living cells was unknown in Darwin’s day. And we didn’t know nearly as much about the complexity of biological organs and systems. So, Darwin’s ignorance of the many examples of irreducible complexity is somewhat understandable given the time in which he lived. But today there is no excuse. [No excuse!] We now understand much about how biological systems operate, and we have countless examples of irreducible complexity. [Hee hee!] Knowledge is the enemy of evolution. [Aaaargh!!] But all of this science only serves to confirm what Christians have known for millennia. Biblical creation is true.

Powerful stuff, isn’t it? Well, dear reader, whatcha gonna do — continue to be a hell-bound Darwinist, or fall to your knees and accept The Truth?

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

22 responses to “Darwin Was Ignorant and You’re a Fool!

  1. Derek Freyberg

    “Without your head – you’re dead”
    Unless you’re a planarian, in which case you just keep right on going, sprouting a new body from the detached head and a new head from the detached body. Clearly not irreducibly complex.

  2. “Consider an automobile.”
    This nicely confirms “creationists never abandon any of their arguments” as the rebuttal has been known for ages:

    since when do automobiles procreate?

  3. There is no excuse for being unaware of the Wikipedia article on Irreducible Complexity.

  4. docbill1351

    Meh, Lisle is typical of the creationism destroying career. He went from graduate student* to AIG (failed) to ICR (failed) to basement Bible babbler (failed). Lisle is a consummate liar as he demonstrated in AIG videos.

    Now look at him. Cutting and pasting from Wikipedia. Selling nothing. Just drooling. No pity for this doofus.

  5. chris schilling

    FrankB asks: “Since when do automobiles procreate?”

    Jason doesn’t ask this eminently sensible question. If he did, he and all creationists along with him would have to stop making idiotic analogies between manmade machines and biological organisms.

    But what if cars did have sex together? What might we see? Maybe this: a population of Chevrolets, say, evolving over generational time, according to neo-Darwinian natural processes — genetic replication with variation, followed by selection for advantageous variants, leading to ever more “complexity.”

    In other words, species of cars that resemble the sexually reproductive species we see now all around us.

  6. Dave Luckett

    Not necessarily leading to “ever more ‘complexity'”. Ever greater simplicity is another, and quite possible pathway. Viruses, for example, have apparently simplified to the point where they can’t even replicate themselves – they need the machinery of more complex cellular organisms to do it. The human tapeworm has evolved – not “devolved – until it is nothing but a gut and a reproductive tract. It is thus perfectly suited to its environment.

    In fact the glitch in “irreducible complexity” is this very belief – that evolution is always toward greater complexity. On the contrary, in cases where any function becomes redundant, evolution eliminates it. An organ or structure must always tend towards the minimum required for efficient performance of a function that benefits the organism – which need not be the same function that the structure originally served.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    The more interesting conversation with a creationist works be about the evolution of car design. Multiple designers, multiple variations, but continual improvement. And now facing an IC moment jumping from oil to electric power. If the creators were really powerful, they could just do it in one model year.

  8. @Dave Luckett
    Just so.
    Thus the example of the natural arch.
    And I thought that Behe realized this at some time, and was going to answer posed by an “indirect” pathway of evolution.

  9. @Charles Deetz 😉
    The inherent contradiction of a designer free of constraints.

  10. Let’s have a little more fun with Jason’s idiotic analogy. Creacrappers love to crow about information (not Kolgomorov or Shannon, but UCI – Unspecified Creacrap Information). They maintain an UTID – Unspecified Transcendent Intelligent Designer – must have inserted UCI in the language/(computer)code called DNA. Question: what is the automobile equivalent of DNA?
    Creacrap science: not asking the right questions.

  11. Dave Luckett

    It is this that irks me when salesmen for weapons manufacturers talk about “generations” in, say, aircraft design. There are no generations. Aircraft do not reproduce. The history of aeronautics – and of warfare generally – is one of incremental increases in performance on any number of different criteria, with the occasional big jump caused by some radical new departure. Gunpowder, for example, or the jet engine. Absent such a technological leap, the concept of “generations” in design is meaningless. I would say that the converse is also the case.

  12. Let us assume that there is such a thing as Complex Specified Information.
    Is there a Law of Conservation of CSI?
    Maybe so, maybe not. Is there any experimental evidence for Conservation?
    We are told that the world of life exhibits violations.
    We are told that Intelligent Design is exempt from its Conservation.
    Is there any standard experimental evidence, showing precise measurements, before and after, of unchanged CSI?

  13. Lisle bids us to

    [c]onsider an automobile. It has many interdependent parts that work together to accomplish a goal – in this case to provide transportation for people and property. If you remove any essential part (the engine, the wheels, the drivetrain, the transmission, the steering wheel, the fuel tank, etc.) then the vehicle will not be able to do what it was designed to do.

    An automobile without an engine, transmission, steering wheel, drivetrain and fuel tank would basically be a cart, optionally propelled by a draught animal.

    But I’ll allow the wheels are indispensable—and evolved prior to the cart…

  14. Christine Marie Janis

    “But I’ll allow the wheels are indispensable ——-”

    Not for the Flintstonemobile

  15. @ Christine Marie Janis: Indeed!

    I stand corrected: the cylinder did service prior to the wheel in the Stone Age

  16. Why are people taking creationism seriously?
    I’m not wondering that there are people who feel the need to prove that there is a god who made them different from animals or that the Bible is inerrant.
    But why are is there scholarly publication as if there is something worth responding to?
    I excuse myself because I am no scientist or scholar, and I can waste my time on a hobby.

  17. @ TomS: Creationism can’t be taken seriously as any sort of science, but it needs to be taken very seriously indeed as a political malaise.

  18. I hope that better minds than mine–and there are many, many that frequent this blog–can tell me if there is anything in this: Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests

  19. As far as I’m able to understand the article there is a lot in QD. The question is not that difficult.
    In our daily life our reality is objective, ie you and I don’t have anything to do with what we measure.
    On extremely small scales this is totally different. This is expressed in the famous and weird thought experiment of Schrödinger’s Cat. The crucial point is that the observer influences subject by measuring (note: a common misunderstanding is that the observer is a person; it’s rather the measuring equipment).
    QD deals with the transition from small scale to daily life. If on small scale many worlds (this refers to Many Worlds Interpretation; for other interpretations of quantummechanics mutatis mutandis the same applies) are possible, how comes you and I in our daily life only observe one?
    The big problem, as so often, is to develop experiments to investigate this question. The articles describes three, formulates some possible answers and here things begin to fly above my head. What I do get is that they worded as analogies with Darwin’s concept of natural selection.

  20. What interests me most is how creacrappers deal with stuff like this.

    Dannyboy at AIG argues: “quantum mechanics does accurately describe the microscopic world. What more can we expect from a physical theory? Therefore, the question of what quantum mechanics means is stupid. And the Copenhagen interpretation is a foolish answer to a stupid question.”

    The IDiots from Seattle have nothing about it. Neither has ICR. It’s not surprising; we all know that creacrappers are obsessed with common descent and not much more.

  21. Back to Mega’s question. I found this fine explanation:

    “… one of the central questions that haunts quantum mechanics: How does an objective reality emerge from the quantum world? One of the key distinctions between a quantum object and a classical object is that the former can exist in a superposition of different states. For instance, an electron can be in two places at once. But that superposition only lasts as long as we don’t look at the object, or measure it. Once we do, it snaps into one state.
    How does such a quantum object become classical, choosing just one definitive state?”

    Anil Ananthaswamy

  22. Derek Freyberg

    @Chris Schilling:
    “Code of the Lifemaker” – a wonderful satirical scifi novel by James P Hogan, from 1983. Set mostly on Titan.