Born In Missouri? The Argument Against Evolution - Part 2
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” - Darwin
What would constitute an organ, or a biological system; that could not be formed by “numerous, successive, slight modifications?” As Michael Behe points out in his book “Darwin’s Black Box” - a biological system that is ‘irreducibly complex’.
This term, ‘irreducibly complex’, needs to be well understood - as an example that Behe uses, think about the common ordinary mousetrap. If you examine the physical components of a mousetrap, you will find the following typical components:
1. A Flat Wooden Platform that acts as a base, and holds all the rest of the components.
2. A Metal Hammer, which does the actual job of squishing the poor little mouse.
3. A Spring, which gives the hammer the power to do the squishing.
4. A Catch - which holds the ‘Holding Bar’ until a mouse trips it.
5. A Holding Bar, which prevents the Metal Hammer from squishing air.
6. Assorted staples that hold everything together.
Now, subtract ANY ONE of those above listed 6 items, and your mousetrap will NOT squish mice. And this isn’t the only problem… If the base were made out of paper, for example, the trap would fall apart. If the hammer were too heavy, it would break the spring. If the spring were too loose, it would not move the hammer. If the holding bar were too short, it would not reach the catch. If the catch were too large it would not release at the proper time.
So could a mousetrap ‘evolve’ from the garbage in your garage? Even given millions of years - one can easily see that evolution could not explain a mousetrap. It is irreducibly complex. It can’t work as a mousetrap until all parts exist, in proper relation to the others, and made out of the proper materials and strengths.
If a biological system in the human body were shown to be ‘irreducibly complex’ - then Darwin’s own test would be met.
In Darwin’s day - we didn’t know enough about life to be able to refute evolution - but we are now at the point where examples of irreducibly complex systems have been found - and for which there is no evolutionary explanation possible. (Others may differ - but I’ve yet to see a reasonable argument made for examples that Behe has provided)
This has happened at the molecular biology level… Michael Behe has given a number of irreducibly complex biologic systems, and more are being discovered as research into this area continues.
Here’s just one example:
Perhaps some of you might recognize it - it’s the chain of events that happens when you get a cut - and your blood must coagulate to prevent all of your blood from running out of your body. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the diagram)
As Behe points out, “The formation, limitation, strengthening, and removal of a blood clot is an integrated biological system, and the problems with single components can cause the system to fail.” This is an irreducibly complex system - and Darwin’s evolutionary theory cannot explain it. You can’t form a blood clot - even a very poor one - by only half of the process outlined in the diagram… it’s all or nothing.
Now, keep in mind that this article is merely designed to provoke you into researching the topic yourself - even Behe goes into pages and pages of discussion on just this one example. He gives other examples of irreducibly complex biologic systems at the molecular level - and those who champion evolutionary theory are struggling to defend Darwin against these modern day arguments.
As Evolutionary biologist Professor Jerry Coyne admitted: “There is no doubt that many biochemical systems are dauntingly complex.” But don’t jump to any hasty conclusions, because “biologists are beginning to provide plausible scenarios for how irreducibly complex biochemical pathways might have evolved.” I’d tell the Professor that his words might be comforting if I didn’t already know that the basic problems that Darwin was facing still haven’t been resolved… such as the lack of transitional fossils.
When Michael Behe’s book, “Darwin’s Black Box” first came out in 1996, University of Chicago microbiologist James Shapiro asserted: “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” Behe asserts that in the 10 years since - nothing has changed. If those who champion Darwin’s Evolutionary theory are not even taking up the defense - should we?
It’s interesting that religion is actually at the base of the debate over Darwin’s Evolutionary theory - on both sides. People rarely realize it - but it was Darwin’s theory that gave Atheism a scientific foundation. So proponents on both sides are arguing on the basis of faith. One of the strongest proponents of Darwinian Evolution, Richard Dawkins, recently released a book by the title of “The God Delusion“. Atheism and Darwinism are firmly interconnected, and this is a fact that you will not be taught in school.
What does this probable refutation of Evolutionary Theory mean to the average person? I rather doubt if any of my readers are working in fields related to biology, paleontology, anthropology, or other such fields of work where this would make a difference. However, it may very well make a difference in how you relate to religion - so I posted this with the intent of demonstrating that people of intelligence can, based on facts, decide that the theory of Evolution does not represent provable fact.
Does this automatically mean that any other explanation of life is correct? Of course not! Each theory must be examined on its own. I’d like to suggest however, that going through life without examining the common things that people “simply know” is a poor way to live. After all, people once “knew” that the Earth was flat, that gravity would cause a heavier object to fall faster, and many other bits of knowledge that are rightfully consigned to the trash heap of historical garbage.
Might I suggest that Darwin’s Evolutionary theory might someday be in the same category?