Jump to content

Question About Evolution/creation


Guest Sara
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Sara

Hi,

 

Just wondered if anyone knows about this. I've been reading a book about evolution/creation and it said that irreducibly complex systems show that there must be an "intelligent designer".

 

Basically it said that even simple cells have irreducibly complex systems meaning that it could not function if any of the parts were not there, so disproving that evolution could have been involved as this would mean a gradual process. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks, Sara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing has been proven to be Irreducible Complex yet.

 

Basically it's just a way of saying "it's so complex that it can't have evolved." But how can we know if something is too complex to have evolved? It's similar to the argument that the universe is so "perfect", or "complex" or "ordered" or choose any word you like, so it must have been created.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is based on the idea that evolution will only accept "mutations" that help a species/animal. But IIRC that isn't really true, any mutation can be propigated down the line and end up mutating into something that can be usable/benificial. I am not as well informed as many others here, so take my sorry excuse for what it is.

 

Also, can one of you well informed people tell me what ID/Creationism believes? I have looked quite a bit on the net and watch a few pathetic propaganda vids, but all I ever see/read is the Creationist trying to isprove evolution. Do they ever take a stand on anything?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to let my fiancee handle the irreducible complexity issue as he has done quite a bit of reading on it and seems to explain things well.

 

As far as the Intelligent Design information, you probably won't find any real information that makes any sense, but the Skeptical Inquirer has many good articles on this.

 

Here are a few:

 

Irreducible Complexity

 

An Interesting Article on the "Theory" of Evolution

 

If you are really interested, I would suggest just buying the back issue these articles are from. There are tons of other good ones on the topic included.

 

Anyway, here's Joey:

 

Irreducible complexity is an interesting angle to take in the attempt to dismantle evolution, but it has as its basis a misunderstanding of evolution as well as a misunderstanding of the intentionless mechanism of natural selection.

 

To explain this in simple terms I'll use a common example: the human eye. It is said that the eye is an organ of irreducible complexity, and on its surface, this statement would seem valid. It is made of many interacting parts, without any one of which the eye would not function in the way that it does in humans with good vision. Remove the lens, it doesn't work. Remove the muscular aparatus that focuses the lens, it doesn't work. Remove the iris, it doesn't work. As I said, this seems to make sense on the surface. But first let's take a look at something I said above, "...humans with good vision." We can see in an everyday sense that the ID proponents have a misunderstanding by the mere fact that some of the human population wears glasses. This in itself does not show that the eye is not irreducibly complex. What it does show is that natural selection does not have an end in mind. Natural selection is the process by which organisms with traits that give the the tendency to survive and propogate, do in fact survive and propogate. What this means for us is that the eye is not an end of it self, but a product of an intentionless mechanism. The eye doesn't work the way that it does because it is supposed to. Sometimes it doesn't work very well at all. It simply is what it is. Here is the point however: do those of you with poor vision think that your eye is worthless because you do not have 20/20 vision? Would your chances of survival be made less if you were completely blind? Would having only a tenth of the vision you now have be better, in the sense of survival, than having no vision at all? The answers to these questions are obvious. Natural selection does not concern itself with whether or not humans see well, but whether or not they survive. So back to our removal of eye parts - if we remove the lens, we still have photoreceptive cells which can sense light and dark, and possibly even shapes, such as the shape of a predator. If we remove the focusing muscles we have a lens that works well at one focal length and poorly at all others, but we can still see to gather food. If we remove the iris we may be forced to become nocturnal to avoid the blinding sun, and yet we can still see enough so that even limited vision is preferable, again in a survival sense, to no vision at all.

 

Now these are all fanciful deconstructions of the human eye, but there are animal equivalents to them. The dragonfly for example, while having a compound eye which is good for high speed flight, actually has very poor detailed vision. Its eyes have no lenses and have a very low resolution. An example of a creature with an eye of more similar structure to our own is the Nautilus. Most eyes are sealed by a cornea and filled with a substance that maintains the pressure of the eye. The nautilus has all the apparati available in our own eyes accept this cornea and pressurizing substance. Instead, sea water passes in and out through its pupil continuously, maintaining pressure.

 

If we look at the process of natural selection in the correct light (no pun intended) of minute changes over millenia due to the phenomena of organisms with the tendency to survive and propagate actually surviving and propogating, we can see how we can get from a creature with one or two photoreceptive cells, to a creature with hundreds, to a creature with an enclosure for these cells, to muscles that move the enclosure, to a fold of tissue that focuses light, to a musculature that enhances this focus, all the way to our own (still imperfect) human eye.

 

In other words, irreducible complexity is a good attempt at ignoring Darwinism, but is based on a misunderstanding of both evolution and natural selection. There are other falacies associated with the theory of Intelligent Design as well, but I'll address those only if requested to do so.

 

Joey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's the silliest argument ever for intelligent design since extinction happens. If the animal is not fit for survival or reproduction because of what it has or has not, it does not survive. In an intelligent design, no offspring would ever have genetic defects or mutations and all species would remain the same and constant fit for their environment. If the mutation allows the animal to survive better, it continues. If not, its extinct. Exctintion happens without human influence.

 

You should not that the problems with the human body's function are numerous and that if there was an intelligence behind it, he was rather unintelligent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wondered if anyone knows about this. I've been reading a book about evolution/creation and it said that irreducibly complex systems show that there must be an "intelligent designer".

 

1.

Like pretty much everything coming from fundies, this is built upon a bunch of unsupported (and often disproven) assertions, like "the very first life must have been just like the cells today" and comparisons like "if you remove one worker from a store et cetera it breaks down, this is an example of IC".

 

2.

Even if there was such a thing like IC, the fundie fuckfaces would still have to a looooong way from that to prove that this supposed "designer" was their sadistic monster gawd... and indeed they'd have to prove that it was "intelligent" at all. Ever thought about all the myriad things a truly intelligent designer would have done better in a species "made in his image"? :pureevil:

 

In other words, the IDiocy proponents presuppose that "atheistic evolution" (like they commonly call it) and the christian mythology are the only options out there. Some would-be smartarses add to this claim that yes, there are other religions, but they all worship the same gawd so it's all still valid. Of course they think that the abrahamic cults are all there is in the world...

 

...it keeps amusing me. When I point a fundie toward the fact that I'm neither an atheist nor an adherent to the abrahamic madness, I often want to see her face. :lmao:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, thanks for your replies - that's given me a different angle on it. There are a few other things I wanted to see if anyone knew about:

 

1)The Cambrian explosion - ID says that this is evidence of ID because there is not build up and suddenly all these species appear with no explanation and no evidence of gradual evolution from fossils

 

2) "Prebiotic Soup" - ID says that if this had existed then it would have been rich in amino acids, therefore there would have been a lot of nitrogen but early sediments of the earth show little nitrogen present. Therefore ID says that life couldn't have formed from this, and even the prebiotic soup did exist, there would have been significant problems with cross-reactions.

 

3)Cells - ID says that it couldn't have happened by chance because a minimally complex cell needs between 300-500 protein molecules. They say that even one simple protein molecule or the gene to build that molecule is so rich in information that the entire time since the Big Bang would not give you the "probabilistic resources" you would need to generate that molecule by chance.

 

I don't really know much about these things but all this stuff was in a book I read and would like to find out more about it all so if anyone can provide any more info. or suggest any books that would be great. Thanks, Sara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1)The Cambrian explosion - ID says that this is evidence of ID because there is not build up and suddenly all these species appear with no explanation and no evidence of gradual evolution from fossils

 

It's not exactly that the species appear, it's that fossils of the species appear. Fossils are usually bones, shells et cetera. These indeed appeared en masse at a certain time (though it was still some tens of millions of years if memory serves - not everything popping into existence at one particular Monday afternoon at 15:03), but there's not much of a reason to assume that before these hard parts existed, no life existed at all.

 

2) "Prebiotic Soup" - ID says that if this had existed then it would have been rich in amino acids, therefore there would have been a lot of nitrogen but early sediments of the earth show little nitrogen present. Therefore ID says that life couldn't have formed from this, and even the prebiotic soup did exist, there would have been significant problems with cross-reactions.

 

Nitrogen, uh? I think I didn't encounter a claim about nitrogen so far, but I'm confident that we'll find a nice refutation of this nonsense somewhere on the index of cretinist claims of the talk.origins archive at www.talkorigins.org/indexcc. ;)

Anyway, maybe those IDiots have at least a semblance of an explanation for today's atmosphere being about 78 % nitrogen. It must have come from somewhere, and unless the IDiots want to surrender and admit that there's no science in their babble, I trust that they will be able to present a scientifically sound explanation *cough cough*.

Of course we all know that they don't have one, but I'm curious about what they'll try to pull out of their arses... :lmao:

3)Cells - ID says that it couldn't have happened by chance because a minimally complex cell needs between 300-500 protein molecules. They say that even one simple protein molecule or the gene to build that molecule is so rich in information that the entire time since the Big Bang would not give you the "probabilistic resources" you would need to generate that molecule by chance.

 

Let's add to this the word that is pretty much the killer of the entire argument:

 

ID says that it couldn't have happened by chance because TODAY a minimally complex cell needs between 300-500 protein molecules.

 

Any more questions? :fdevil:

 

Let alone that all those probability claims of abiogenesis deniers assume that chemical reactions are totally random, which they aren't. To state an example: As someone (I think it was Michael Wong of www.creationtheory.org) said: If you mix hydrogen and oxygen and set the mixture alight, all those atoms (or rather diatomic molecules) will combine to form H2O (water). Not H3O, not HO, not H17O5, but H2O. Why? Because that's pretty much the only way hydrogen and oxygen can combine (I may be missing some possibilities depending on extreme conditions here).

 

After all that, I'd like to point you toward the web address I mentinoned above. If you can't find a refutation for any cretinist/IDiot claim there, chances are that you won't find it anywhere (which means that the claim is, rarely as this happens, something new and the refutation hasn't been added to that site yet :pureevil: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The simplest answer is always the right one.

 

In this case, the simplest answer is, "If it mentions anywhere, the terms 'irreducible complexity' and/or 'intelligent design', and attempts to use them as serious arguments against evolution, it's bullshit Christian propoganda."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hehe :fdevil:

 

Addendum to my last posting above:

 

Indeed there's at least one other stuff, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), that can result from combination of hydrogen and oxygen... but that stuff is unstable - you better don't handle it in highly concentrated form.

 

Not very relevant, but I wanted my example to be as complete as possible... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, this is Joey again.

 

I wanted to say some things about ID that, aside from any intricacies of IC (irreducible complexity), make it false in and of itself.

 

The concept of IC says that a structure cannot operate if a single part is taken away, damaged, or destroyed, therefore it must have been designed. There is a significant problem with this. In human design, we often introduce redundancies into complex systems so failure isn't such a problem. If a system can be easily rendered useless at the loss of only one part, then the design is inept. Now ID proponents maintain that their Designer need not be a GOOD designer, only one with the intelligence and power needed to create; he can still be stupid (ha). This seems to take care of the ineptitude of IC systems, no? But it doesn't, because the entire ID theory is based in IC. So the very trait which makes IC structures invaluable to the ID theory is their inherent suboptimalism. Their vulnerability is their ineliminable feature. The logic then is "inept, therefore designed." (The above was written in reference of the article Does Irreducible Complexity Imply Intelligent Design? in the Skeptical Inquirer, Nov, Dec, 2005).

 

The other element of ID that I want to discuss, and I think the most devastating argument against it, is it's own premise that complexity must have a designer. The problem with this statement is that any being capable of design, and thus intelligent thought, must by definition be very complex itself. What this means, by the very definitions ID gives us, is that the designer must have had a designer. You can see now where this is going. If each designer must necessarily have had a previous designer, we have on our hands something called an Infinite Regression. This is of course unacceptable as a scientific explaination. The only other option is to posit a supernatural designer which again takes ID out of the realm of science and puts it where it belongs, along with creationism (which it most certainly is), into the realm of myth and religion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.