Irreducible Complexity and Flagella - Deconstructing ID
Part 2 of a 7-part series with Dr. Eugenie C. Scott.: Debunking Intelligent Design. Dr. Scott criticizes claims by creationists that flagellated bacteria (flagellum) are an example of irreducible complexity. She concludes that examples of irreducible co
John Connolly: So what youâ€™re getting at here is the concept of irreducible complexity, isnâ€™t it? Eugenie Scott: Thatâ€™s one of the main concepts; in fact itâ€™s arguable the only real scientific component of intelligent design, this idea that in a structure like the bacteria flagellum, which has kind of become the poster child for intelligent design, youâ€™ve got about 50 proteins, about 50 components of this structure, and the claim is that if you take even one of them away you donâ€™t have a flagellum that works anymore; the motor doesnâ€™t work, the bacterium just lies there in the water and itâ€™s downhill from there. Thatâ€™s just empirically wrong; you can take away lots of proteins and still get a functional flagellum. Number one, thereâ€™s no such thing as â€˜theâ€™ bacteria flagellum; there are lots of different flagella, and thereâ€™s bacteria flagella, thereâ€™s eukaryotic cell flagella, thereâ€™s lots of structures like flagella in nature, thereâ€™s not â€˜aâ€™ flagella and the model doesnâ€™t really work when you look at the whole range of stuff. But in a sense the idea of irreducible complexity is kind of true by definition; if I took enough parts of you away, youâ€™d stop working, so itâ€™s not that itâ€™s impossible to think of something that at some level is irreducibly complex but the problem with intelligent design is that they want to argue that thereâ€™s a whole class of phenomena in nature that we just take off the table for science to explain. Now, what scientist wants to say â€˜this is unsolvableâ€™; there [are] a lot of problems in nature, there [are] a lot of problems that scientists have that we havenâ€™t yet explained, but not having yet explained something doesnâ€™t make something unexplainable, and thatâ€™s the mistake that the intelligent design folks make.
creationism, intelligent design, creation science, henry morris, darwinism, evolution, darwin, Genesis, eugenie, scott, dnalc, cshl
- ID: 16981
- Source: DNALC
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