It does not select or discard variations in its form, it does not retain beneficial endowments - it simply takes what it gets and carries on with no descent toward complexity, only the mindless effects of the elements, until such time as the structure collapses from the detrimental carelessness of random process. In fact, given time, it is a certainty that the "random mutations" of erosion will destroy the structure.
Who knows but there are hundreds of such collapsed arches in the world, desguised as heaps of broken stone. To put this into perspective, remember that you're comparing an enormously complex biological system to a single massive formation of inanimate sandstone. I fail to see any challenge here to Behe's work.
Respectfully, m. The amendment simply filled in a gap in the logic. There is no statement in Behe's definition about mutations. As far as Behe is concerned, mutations don't do anything anyway! This is hard to believe, if you have ever dealt with mutations in humans that cause genetic diseases. Take a look at those unfortunate kids shown in Figure 1! There is nothing in Behe's definition that explicitly says the system has to be living.
Note that this is quite different from my definition of molecular machines which explicitly linked them to living things. He implicitly says it because it has to 'function'.
Let's see if the arch matches: By irreducibly complex I mean a single system An arch is a single system of stone and side supports. So let us imagine some Native Americans using the arch as a bridge. Everybody now has to climb down and back up again. Notice that people and all living things eventually collapse into rubble too. It's called death and it is therefore not an argument against the arch. Conclusion: The arch matches Behe's definition. It does not require anything fancy to be formed, it happens by well understood natural phenomena. Therefore Behe's argument that something else is needed is false.
Note also, as many people have pointed out, that Behe's argument goes like this: "I can't think of a good evolutionary argument for how this might have come about and I'm too busy to spend the next 40 years of my life doing the hard work to figure it out.
So I'll just take the easy way out and suppose it was supernatural. Venus Flytrap - a natural mouse trap. Behe used the mouse trap as an example of an irreducible complex system. But a Venus flytrap is also a trap and So how? Pete Dunkelberg has a nice page on this: Irreducible Complexity Demystified which shows how various species of plants could lead to a venus flytrap.
The page has fascinating stories. Real stories of science are invariably much more interesting than the poor arguments of creationists! Dembski tried to defend Behe's thesis and failed. Behe, posted December 13, did not deal with the Ev program. Yet the Ev program completely destroys his thesis because it fits his definition and yet shows generation of "irreducibly complex" by an evolutionary process.
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I will paraphrase his response here. First, he did not think that binding is a function. Secondly, binding can happen by small steps and so is 'reducible'. Third, one would have to consider more than the binding and that is messy. He said he had not followed this line of thinking enough to draw a solid conclusion and suggested that it would be good for me to look into these probems. Most molecular biologists would say that binding is a biological function. Without correct binding an organism will die, so it is one of the most important functions in biology and it occurs in all living molecular systems.
To use Behe's example, which he mentioned, the flagellum is constructed by binding parts together and I suggest based on advanced molecular information theory that its mechanism will eventually be shown to involve binding reactions. That something could evolve in small steps was not part of Behe's original definition. So here he has changed his definition. If we cannot agree on a single definition, then the concept of 'irreducible complexity' evaporates.
However, during the Dover Trial in , Behe used a new definition almost identical to the one above, with a minor language difference that seem meaningless to me, so I will stick to the original definition until Behe publishes a complete revision. It is indeed true that binding is part of a larger system. However, this complexity is not part of the definition of irreducibly complex and therefore must be excluded from the argument. Furthermore, the Ev program which I published the year after these emails shows clearly that the complexity can be modeled in precise parallel to the natural genetic control systems and that the Ev model gives results identical to the naturally observed ones, namely that Rsequence evolves towards and oscillates irregularly around Rfrequency.
To explain biological complexity, Cairns-Smith brings in the concept of arches of stones on pages 59, 60, 64 and Most interestingly, he used biochemical arches as his main example.
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This was Behe's example, but years before Behe published his book! Perhaps Behe got his idea from Cairns-Smith but neglected to understand it! On page we find a nice summary: Third clue from the building trade To make an arch of stones needs scaffolding of some sort; something to support the stones before they are all in place and can support each other.
It is often the case that a construction procedure includes things that are absent in the final outcome. Similarly in evolution, things can be subtracted. This can lead to the kind of mutual dependence of components that is such a striking feature of the central biochemical control machinery.
And it seemed very possible that these first organisms would have been based on a genetic material no longer present at all in our biochemistry.
This is interesting because Darwin's Black Box was first published in hardcover in , more than 10 years after Cairns-Smith demolished the irreducibly complex idea! Unlike Jurgen, Hunsicker remains something of a cipher, but it seems implausible that this decent, honorable man would turn out to be such an amoral creep in other circumstances. It seems that those whom the gods wish to destroy they first send to California. After homesteading a farm on the fertile prairie, her father and mother married and soon added children to their demanding but apparently enjoyable existence.
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As the title suggests, Young focuses on her mother, an exceptional woman who homesteaded a substantial tract of land on her own, and who managed to help run the family farm while rearing the children, doing all the cooking and making all the clothes. In this overview of the current debates about early human evolution, journalist Delta Willis emphasizes that these controversies involve technical issues of scientific classification--how the family tree of Homo sapiens should be described; that humans evolved from an apelike ancestor in East Africa is not in question.
Because hominid remains are rare and fragile fossils, paleoanthropologists must work from bone fragments, teeth and secondary evidence: Rick Potts studies the markings on animal bones to determine whether the beasts had been butchered by early hunters with stone tools. Willis combines scientific data with personal accounts of meeting such eminent scientists as Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Leakey in this enjoyable book, intended for the general reader.
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