In America today, people constantly search for answers to life’s biggest questions, but they never seem to know where to look. They grew up going to public schools being taught how the universe came from nothing, how it evolved into what it is now, and the process that human beings went through to get to where we are today. Not once did they consider that maybe a greater being created this universe. Because of the evolutionary teachings, many young people grow up without considering that God might have created them—but if they did, maybe they would have a better idea of where to look for answers to their questions. Recent advances and new discoveries in science have now opened up new discussions that seem to offer support for belief in God. One of these concepts is the argument of irreducible complexity, which, due to technological advancements, has recently become a highly controversial topic. However controversial it may be, the importance of the irreducible complex argument should not be overlooked when arguing for the existence of God.
The teleological argument, or argument from design, begins with a specialized catalogue of properties and end with a conclusion concerning the existence of a designer with the intellectual properties necessary to design the things exhibiting the special properties in question. The argument of irreducible complexity is more or less a descendant from the teleological argument and is also the backbone in many recent attacks on evolution. This ‘argument from design’ is arguably one of the oldest, dating back to 1802 when William Paley, an eighteenth-century theologian, published his most notable work Natural Theology. This book is the best known explanation of the ‘Argument from Design’, which has always been the most influential argument for the existence of God. Paley begins his argument by saying, “suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place….” The intricacy of the design on the watch would force us to conclude that “the watch must have had a maker… [who] comprehended its construction, and designed its use.” This watch analogy is not necessarily a premise to an argument, but it’s more reasonable purpose is to establish the principle that one can tell by looking at something whether or not it was the product of intelligent design. The watch is just one of many examples of complex man-made objects. Another argument made famous in the 17th and 18th centuries is the ‘Argument from Simple Analogy’ which is shown as follows:
... also lends support to Philo’s argument that the Argument from Design fails. The argument of whether God exists or not is a long ... not absolute knowledge of the existence of God and the Argument from Design fails. Philo’s argument that these natural processes that exist ...
1. The material universe resembles the intelligent productions of human beings in that it exhibits design.
2. The design in any human artifact is the effect of having been made by an intelligent being.
3. Like effects have like causes.
4. Therefore, the design in the material universe is the effect of having been made by an intelligent creator.
Since the world is analogous to the most complex artifacts produced by human beings, we can assume the existence of an intelligent designer who created the world. Just as the watch has a watchmaker, then, the universe has a universe-maker.
More recently, in 1996, Michael Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, developed and popularized his ideas on the concept of irreducible complexity in his controversial book titled Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. In this book, Behe explains that “By irreducible complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” Irreducible complexity is one of two arguments intended to support intelligent design, the other being specified complexity, which relates to irreducible complexity but is also a different argument in itself.
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In order to illustrate irreducible complexity, Behe uses a mousetrap as an example. A mousetrap contains five essential parts: a wooden base, a holding bar, a spring, a hammer bar, and a catch. All of them must work together in order to a catch a mouse. If any single part is missing, the mousetrap cannot do its job. All the parts could be present, but unless someone who knows how to assemble a mousetrap assembles the parts in the proper way, the mouse trap will not work. However, an evolutionist would say that the mouse trap could work even if one of the pieces were missing or if it was not assembled in the correct way and the mousetrap would eventually fix itself and become better—just as evolutionists such as Darwin say that traits can be easily passed on to future generations and this process would eventually result in new and improved species. So an apparent inverse relationship exists between new scientific arguments such as irreducible complexity and Darwinian evolution. Darwin himself made a detrimental admission: “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.” As arguments such as irreducible complexity continue to rise, the prospects of Darwinian evolution decline.
Irreducibly Complex Examples
When confronted with examples of living things that are irreducibly complex, evolutionists say that these supposed irreducible complex things can be explained, but they tend to shy away from the argument. Some evolutionists deny irreducible complexity while others tacitly admit that it is a serious problem for evolution. Living things have extremely complicated features that could not possibly function if they were any less complex. So the only sensible conclusion is that they are results of intelligent design—not evolution. There are several examples of irreducible complex living organisms, all of which offer support for a created world.
The first and one of the most famous examples of a supposed irreducible complex structure is that of the eye. The eye has many elaborate and interlocking parts and all of them seem to rely on each other in order to function. Evolutionist claim the eye is an example of a bad design leftover from evolution, and it presents their greatest challenge as an example of irreducible complexity in God’s creation. The advances in modern science have made way for new explorations in virtually all living things. Scientist have always known many of these living organisms to be extremely complex, but new technologies have allowed them to make startling new discoveries in how these incredibly complex structures work. For the eye to work, many perfectly coordinated steps have to take place. First, the eye must be clean and moist, which is maintained by the tear gland and eyelids, the eyelashes then act as a filter against the sun. The light then passes through a small transparent section of the outer coating—the cornea—and then continues through the lens which focuses it on the back of the retina. Here 130 million light sensitive rods cause photochemical reactions which transform the light into electric impulses. Billions of these impulses are transmitted every second to the brain which then tells one what he is seeing.
... diversity of life we see on earth. Theistic Evolutionists combine the theory of Evolution and the ideas of Creationism explaining to us ... motion. Creationists argue that Evolution is just a theory and it is not a proven fact. Evolutionists argue that Creationism is simply ... step from the very first organism of simple life to complex life, and that he could still be doing this today ...
It is now relatively evident, even with this simplified description of the seeing process, that even if a minor thing goes wrong such as a fuzzy cornea, no dilation of the pupil, dark lens, or focusing goes wrong, then the brain does not form a recognizable image. So the eye either functions as whole, or it does not function at all. When the eye is presented to evolutionist in this way, there is almost no way to prove the complexity of such a structure could have evolved. So how did the eye come to evolve by slow, steady, small improvements over millions of years as evolutionists firmly believe? Many believe that the eye started out as a simple light sensitive object, but Behe has shown that “even a “simple” light sensitive spot requires a dazzling array of biochemicals in the right place and time to function.”
Once again, the advancement of technology has allowed scientists to make remarkable discoveries, this time at the microscopic level which has a quality of complexity that could not have come about through evolution. Another difficult and famously argued example of an irreducible complex structure is microscopic bacterial flagellum. Flagellates require the interaction of more forty complex proteins and Behe asserts that the absence of any one of these proteins causes the flagella to stop functioning. Flagella also have one or more long hairlike projections from their body which whip through the water at 100,000 rpm. This would be equal a person swimming at sixty miles per hour. Flagellates are also versatile, able to switch directions within a quarter of a turn. The basic puzzle is that the flagellum is made up of dozens of protein components, and deletion experiments have shown that the flagellum will not assemble or function if any one of these components is removed. Again, it is evident that even at the microscopic level, organisms are so complex that the slow and steady evolutional process could not have developed these microscopic organisms.
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After looking into the concept of irreducible complexity, one can see how vital this argument is when arguing for the existence of a greater being who created the universe and all of its complexities—that intelligent designer being God. Only two of the most complex structures known to man were briefly looked at and one can clearly see that these could not be the result of evolution—not even in a million years! As technology continues to improve and scientists discover more complex structures, maybe people will begin to consider that there is a God who created them and everything around them. As the irreducible complex argument continues to develop, the argument from the evolutionist continues to decline, and the existence of God is displayed better than before.