- Title Pages
- List of Figures
- 1 Studies in Insularity
- 2 Showdown at Subway
- 3 The Prospects for Agreeable Disagreements
- 4 How I Got Here
- 5 My Problems with Religion
- 6 An Introduction to Evolution
- 7 An Introduction to Creationism
- 8 Literalism and Other Canards
- 9 Browsing the Bookstore
- 10 The Best Evidence That God Created
- 11 Fossils, Human and Otherwise
- 12 On Information
- 13 Movies and Television
- 14 The Marginality of Genesis 1
- 15 Intelligent Design vs. Young-Earth Creationism
- 16 Rhetorical Legerdemain
- 17 Conversion Stories
- 18 On Religious Experience
- 19 Creation as Fishtank
- 20 Methodological Naturalism
- 21 Irreducible Complexity
- 22 Creation Cinema
- 23 Creation and Corruption
- 24 Groaning under the Curse
- 25 From Catastrophe to Consummation
- 26 What Does Genesis Mean?
- 27 Theological Phlogiston
- 28 Why I Love Being Jewish
- 29 Building the Creation Model
- 30 Inevitable Humans?
- 31 Unpleasantness
- 32 Conversations in Bookstores
- 33 Is the Earth at the Center of the Universe?
- 34 Things I Learned at the Banquet
- (p.125) 21 Irreducible Complexity
- Among the Creationists
- Oxford University Press
In this chapter, the author considers the most significant biological argument of intelligent design supporters: the notion of “irreducible complexity.” In The Origin of Species Charles Darwin wrote, “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. But I can find out no such case.” Michael Behe, from Lehigh University, believes he has found the systems that were overlooked by Darwin: “an irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution.” The author also discusses plausible evolutionary scenarios for a variety of complex adaptations from the viewpoint of biology.
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