Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter





Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 77
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,771
    vCash
    1500

    The Evidence Against Evolution, Part 2: Irreducible Complexity

    First, again, the rules for these threads:

    1. Stay on topic. I will have threads for various other evidences for and against - the fossil record, genetic evidence, biogeography, irreducible complexity, etc. Please keep the discussion of those subjects to the threads they belong in. Too often discussion gets bogged down by simply switching from subject to subject, and I hope to avoid this by splitting each bit of evidence up.

    2. Leave religion out of it. This is a scientific topic, and I'd like to keep it as such. I also don't want threads getting deleted because people can't control themselves.

    3. Try to avoid logical fallacies. I'm going to try to do it when presenting these arguments, I'd like others to do the same, whether agreeing or disagreeing with what I've presented. If it is the truth you are interested in, as opposed to simply your belief being confirmed, then you should want this as well.

    4. If you have a suggestion for other lines of evidence, please feel free to toss them in here or on my wall. Let's just try not to run off on a tangent about them when someone brings them up.

    5. Keep it civil. People are going to disagree with you. If you can't handle that, it's probably best you call and cancel your internet service now.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,771
    vCash
    1500
    First, the definition, according to Wikipedia:

    Irreducible complexity (IC) is an argument by proponents of intelligent design that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler, or "less complete" predecessors, through natural selection acting upon a series of advantageous naturally occurring, chance mutations.
    Put simply, IC says that certain biological systems (the eye, certain bacterial flagella, blood clotting) could not have evolved in a step-by-step process, because they are so complex that without one key component, they are worthless and would be of no use to an organism.



    There are a couple problems with this argument, reasonable though it may sound.


    The first is that it is one proposed by Intelligent Design proponents, not necessarily as evidence against evolution, but as evidence for ID. The issue with this is that ID fails on about every level possible as a science, and the "evidence" of IC fails right along with it.



    The second problem, of course, is the failure of IC itself. Let's start with the eye.

    The claim that is made, almost exclusively by Creationists and proponents of ID, is that even Darwin knew this was a problem for evolution, and as evidence they quote from On the Origin...:

    "...to suppose that the eye ... could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree..."

    As is, unfortunately the case far too often, it is simply quote-mining. Darwin goes on to say:

    "Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural."


    And as it turns out, we have a pretty good idea of how the eye could've evolved, too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/li.../l_011_01.html
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...ion-of-the-eye

    And, here's Dawkins and Attenborough also discussing the evolution of the eye, if you'd rather watch a video than read.

    And, we can do the same thing for the evolution of the flagella as well, including this article from Talk Origins that lays waste to Michael Behe's claim that the scientific literature is silent when it comes to these aspects of evolution.



    We can go into all of these more in-depth if there are specific objections people would like to raise, but I think this shows pretty clearly that these objections are little more than attempts to create gaps where none exist so someone's preconceived notion can be inserted instead. The science has spoken. Irreducible Complexity is, quite simply, nonsense.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    6,471
    vCash
    1500
    This one I don't really get. You can break down biological systems... Even Cognition you can break down into simpler and simpler tasks. I agree it's nonsense... Or nunsense... The fantastically funny new musical.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,159
    vCash
    1500
    oh my bad nate, I see what ur doing now

    I know we talked about this before, but don't really remember what came of it. Although Behe's examples seem weak (I really don't know, I didn't read them in any detail, the eye just seems way too complex an organ for someone to claim it is not possible for it to be broken down into simpler forms) what if this idea of irreducible complexity is applied to just the simplest forms of life and replication, just the dna and the proteins that replicate the dna?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,771
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    oh my bad nate, I see what ur doing now

    I know we talked about this before, but don't really remember what came of it. Although Behe's examples seem weak (I really don't know, I didn't read them in any detail, the eye just seems way too complex an organ for someone to claim it is not possible for it to be broken down into simpler forms) what if this idea of irreducible complexity is applied to just the simplest forms of life and replication, just the dna and the proteins that replicate the dna?
    I don't really either, honestly. But, that's what this thread is for!

    Behe's examples are just without merit. It's a Gaps argument, at best.

    I'm not really sure what you mean about IC applying to simple forms of life, DNA, and proteins. I don't believe we really know how DNA first formed (there are hypothesis, like the idea that the earliest life was based on RNA and kind of led to the formation of DNA; or the idea that the building blocks of DNA formed in space), but I would think their formation would be more in the abiogenesis category than the TOE. Someone else might be able to say one way or the other with more confidence, though.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,159
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by natepro View Post
    I don't really either, honestly. But, that's what this thread is for!

    Behe's examples are just without merit. It's a Gaps argument, at best.

    I'm not really sure what you mean about IC applying to simple forms of life, DNA, and proteins. I don't believe we really know how DNA first formed (there are hypothesis, like the idea that the earliest life was based on RNA and kind of led to the formation of DNA; or the idea that the building blocks of DNA formed in space), but I would think their formation would be more in the abiogenesis category than the TOE. Someone else might be able to say one way or the other with more confidence, though.
    I may not fully understand IC or exactly where TOE starts, so maybe I'm a bit off base. I also may not properly understand the replication process of simpler life forms. So bear with me.

    I'm assuming the simplest form of life must've been dna, whatever proteins are required for the replication of that dna, and probably not much else. Well, DNA kinda relies on protein in order to replicate, and at the same time the proteins rely on the dna to encode it for its particular function. It seems a situation in which you cannot have the DNA on its own (well, technically maybe you can, but as far as a replicating living organism you can't) survive and replicate without the proteins to allow it to, and you cannot have the proteins to be encoded with the proper function without the DNA there to encode it.

    While writing, I realize this what I'm saying may not be as solid as I originally thought. (I also realize this all may be a moot point, as this is seems to be right at the edge of TOE and abiogenesis.)

    Maybe one answer to this is that a dna formed (how it formed is outside of TOE, so let's not even worry about that) and did so with all replication protein encoding already in place. Perhaps the earth was in a state ripe for the formation of spontaneous amino acids, and this was a common occurence. And finally, out of all those spontaneously created amino acids, by chance one so happened to form in a manner such that the dna encoding was prime for creating proteins of replication and thus allowing DNA (life) an avenue to become the constantly ongoing occurence it currently is.

    Maybe another answer is sponatneous formation of dna and replication proteins being two separate events, and they so happened to form right in each other's vicinity, allowing this AB relationship to take hold and move forward.

    And yes, I agree about the gaps argument, that's exactly what it it looks like to me, and quite blatantly, which is why I never had any desire to read his examples in any detail.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,288
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    I may not fully understand IC or exactly where TOE starts, so maybe I'm a bit off base. I also may not properly understand the replication process of simpler life forms. So bear with me.

    I'm assuming the simplest form of life must've been dna, whatever proteins are required for the replication of that dna, and probably not much else. Well, DNA kinda relies on protein in order to replicate, and at the same time the proteins rely on the dna to encode it for its particular function. It seems a situation in which you cannot have the DNA on its own (well, technically maybe you can, but as far as a replicating living organism you can't) survive and replicate without the proteins to allow it to, and you cannot have the proteins to be encoded with the proper function without the DNA there to encode it.

    While writing, I realize this what I'm saying may not be as solid as I originally thought. (I also realize this all may be a moot point, as this is seems to be right at the edge of TOE and abiogenesis.)

    Maybe one answer to this is that a dna formed (how it formed is outside of TOE, so let's not even worry about that) and did so with all replication protein encoding already in place. Perhaps the earth was in a state ripe for the formation of spontaneous amino acids, and this was a common occurence. And finally, out of all those spontaneously created amino acids, by chance one so happened to form in a manner such that the dna encoding was prime for creating proteins of replication and thus allowing DNA (life) an avenue to become the constantly ongoing occurence it currently is.

    Maybe another answer is sponatneous formation of dna and replication proteins being two separate events, and they so happened to form right in each other's vicinity, allowing this AB relationship to take hold and move forward.

    And yes, I agree about the gaps argument, that's exactly what it it looks like to me, and quite blatantly, which is why I never had any desire to read his examples in any detail.
    It's widely accepted that RNA came first based on its ability to act as a substrate for genetic coding and as a catalyst for enzymic reactions. Ribonucleoprotein enzymes helped facilitate the gradual change to a DNA world.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,159
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid View Post
    It's widely accepted that RNA came first based on its ability to act as a substrate for genetic coding and as a catalyst for enzymic reactions. Ribonucleoprotein enzymes helped facilitate the gradual change to a DNA world.
    I tried reading up a bit on it, it doesn't make any sense to me so far.

    I think these are some links talking about what ur saying...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0109173205.htm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,288
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    I tried reading up a bit on it, it doesn't make any sense to me so far.

    I think these are some links talking about what ur saying...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0109173205.htm
    RNA is able to carry out functions seen in protein and DNA. These latter molecules later arose and took over from RNA because of their superior catalytic efficiency.

    This was in response to:

    I'm assuming the simplest form of life must've been dna, whatever proteins are required for the replication of that dna, and probably not much else. Well, DNA kinda relies on protein in order to replicate, and at the same time the proteins rely on the dna to encode it for its particular function. It seems a situation in which you cannot have the DNA on its own (well, technically maybe you can, but as far as a replicating living organism you can't) survive and replicate without the proteins to allow it to, and you cannot have the proteins to be encoded with the proper function without the DNA there to encode it.
    I don't understand why it doesn't make sense to you. The links that you provided do not require prerequisite knowledge of molecular biology.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,159
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid View Post
    I don't understand why it doesn't make sense to you. The links that you provided do not require prerequisite knowledge of molecular biology.
    This is what was kinda throwing me off, I didn't really get it

    "The replicating system actually involves two enzymes, each composed of two subunits and each functioning as a catalyst that assembles the other. The replication process is cyclic, in that the first enzyme binds the two subunits that comprise the second enzyme and joins them to make a new copy of the second enzyme; while the second enzyme similarly binds and joins the two subunits that comprise the first enzyme. In this way the two enzymes assemble each other what is termed cross-replication."

    As far as addressing my dna protein thing I get it, but I guess as far as addressing irreducible complex I guess I'm not really seeing it. or understanding it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,288
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    This is what was kinda throwing me off, I didn't really get it

    "The replicating system actually involves two enzymes, each composed of two subunits and each functioning as a catalyst that assembles the other. The replication process is cyclic, in that the first enzyme binds the two subunits that comprise the second enzyme and joins them to make a new copy of the second enzyme; while the second enzyme similarly binds and joins the two subunits that comprise the first enzyme. In this way the two enzymes assemble each other — what is termed cross-replication."

    As far as addressing my dna protein thing I get it, but I guess as far as addressing irreducible complex I guess I'm not really seeing it. or understanding it.
    It's kind of hard to explain what it is you don't get when you simply say "I don't get it". As far as I can see, that's basic molecular biology which shouldn't be very difficult for one in high school biology let alone medical school.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,159
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid View Post
    It's kind of hard to explain what it is you don't get when you simply say "I don't get it". As far as I can see, that's basic molecular biology which shouldn't be very difficult for one in high school biology let alone medical school.
    whoa, dupe?

    anyway, so from what I'm reading, it seems as tho these two initial enzymes require one another in order to go ahead and move forward with the process, which seems to be the very thing irreducible complexity addresses. To me it sounds like the exact idea I brought up with dna and proteins, except those two words have been replaced with enzyme and enzyme.

    And just for the record, I do not believe capital c Creation to be any type of scientific explanation as far as the origins of life, so u can cool it with the hostility

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shakedown Street, Japan
    Posts
    30,227
    vCash
    1500
    NN, I'm an English teacher and not a biologist, so I'm a bit afield here. But if my understanding is correct, your misunderstanding may be rooted in this quote of yours:

    "I'm assuming the simplest form of life must've been dna"

    IIRC, the most well accepted theory is that life actually was in RNA form in earlier stages, and then later developed into DNA. I'm not even sure if this addresses your specific complaint, but my impression is that it's probably worth noting.

    It's also probably worth noting Project Steve. The consensus among scientists with relevant expertise is simply overwhelming. If we can accepts "germs" as a fact, and "gravity" as a fact, and "relativity" as a fact, then we should MORE readily accept "evolution" as a fact because it is - in fact - (if my understanding is correct) a more well-substantiated and well-evidenced scientific theory than the former three.
    I blog basketball at Roundball Mining Company///Twitter: @denbutsu

    Atheists Of PSD

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,288
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    whoa, dupe?

    anyway, so from what I'm reading, it seems as tho these two initial enzymes require one another in order to go ahead and move forward with the process, which seems to be the very thing irreducible complexity addresses. To me it sounds like the exact idea I brought up with dna and proteins, except those two words have been replaced with enzyme and enzyme.

    And just for the record, I do not believe capital c Creation to be any type of scientific explanation as far as the origins of life, so u can cool it with the hostility
    I never assumed that you believed in Creationism. Hostility? If I'm not mistaken from my hours lurking this forum, are you not the user that claimed to be in medical school when defending archaic medical practices? If not, then I apologize. I'm simply appalled at the state of the medical education in your country where basic biology is amiss! I hope it's not representative of the norm.

    Ligase ribozyme catalyzes the ligation of two oligonucleotides generating a ligase ribozyme which in turn catalyzes the ligation of the other two oligonucleotides to generate the first ligase ribozyme.

    I don't understand how this is so contentious. It's essentially like the water cycle.

    If you're asking where the first water molecule (using it as a metaphor) came from then, that's not evolution and there's really no point getting into abiogenesis.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/20/12733.abstract
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/323/5918/1229.full
    Last edited by Freakazoid; 10-24-2012 at 03:17 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,159
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by DenButsu View Post
    NN, I'm an English teacher and not a biologist, so I'm a bit afield here. But if my understanding is correct, your misunderstanding may be rooted in this quote of yours:

    "I'm assuming the simplest form of life must've been dna"

    IIRC, the most well accepted theory is that life actually was in RNA form in earlier stages, and then later developed into DNA. I'm not even sure if this addresses your specific complaint, but my impression is that it's probably worth noting.

    It's also probably worth noting Project Steve. The consensus among scientists with relevant expertise is simply overwhelming. If we can accepts "germs" as a fact, and "gravity" as a fact, and "relativity" as a fact, then we should MORE readily accept "evolution" as a fact because it is - in fact - (if my understanding is correct) a more well-substantiated and well-evidenced scientific theory than the former three.
    na trust me, ur probably more schooled on this stuff than me. I see what ur saying, from the little bit I read it looks like I'm definitely wrong about DNA and protein being the most basic form of life.

    On a separate note from that, it sounded like, according to the link, the same a-b relationship exists between diff enzymes in order to start the whole RNA replication mechanism. But at the same time I admit to being ignorant about RNA or it's specifics related to this topic, so I'm very aware this could easily be a misunderstanding on my part.

    As far as gravity, I don't know if I necessarily agree with the theory of gravity or not, I don't know it's specifics, but what I DO know is that mass is attracted to the earth. I see that right in front of my face, so I completely accept that much at least. Same as I accept that there are various species, and how they can adapt to various environments. I'm just not necessarily sold on the idea that all species arose from the same organism. Sometimes i am, sometimes im not, im a little back n forth on it. But I'm not anti evolution or anything, even if tomorrow someone proves beyond any doubt that evolution did not occur, I think we have benefitted greatly from the idea of evolution as it has opened our eyes to many patterns and relationships in nature, and such

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •