Irreducible Complexity Refuted by External Reproduction?

Creationists have been using the concept of irreducible complexity for years, but the term was coined and defined in Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe in 1996. Irreducible complexity is frequently used by the Intelligent Design community, and some biblical creationists have picked up on it as well.

One of our favorite examples is the bombardier beetle. It has an amazing defense mechanism that demonstrates the basics of irreducible complexity: Everything must be in place from the beginning or nothing works or makes sense. Indeed, if components existed separately, they might kill the organism.

Fish spawn in an anemone (showing developing eyes), Flickr / prilfish (CC BY 2.0)

Dr. Jonathan McLatchie is a part of the Discovery Institute, a leading Intelligent Design organization. (Weak-minded atheists say that ID folks and creationists reject evolution because we don't understand it. That's a lie. Two glaring academic examples I can think of are Joel Tay of Creation Ministries International who has a bachelor's degree in Evolutionary Biology and Genetics, and Dr. McLatchie's doctorate is in Evolutionary Biology.) Jonathan has written about irreducible complexity in reproduction, and a couple of tinhorns took him to task about external reproduction, which supposedly refutes his premise.

Something atheists and other evolutionists attempt is finding exceptions or refuting one aspect, they claim to have successfully refuted the whole thing. No, they are illogically misapplying their ideas (it has irrationally been claimed that irreducible complexity itself has been refuted), but they had better get moving and show how every example we use can be explained in Darwinian terms! We need to think, and to challenge them back.

Since my days as a college student, I have been fascinated by molecular machines and biochemistry and in particular by the irreducible complexity of biological systems. The argument from irreducible complexity against evolution and for design has always held strong intuitive appeal for me, and it has hence become my argument of choice in discussions about the scientific merits of evolution versus design. Here, I will address an objection to irreducible complexity I’ve encountered that attempts to handwave the argument away as though I were missing something obvious. This is, in my judgment, one of the weakest objections to irreducible complexity, though it persists as a popular one — even among experts. It is therefore worth commenting on. I will use as case examples two responses to recent articles of mine.

 To read it all, visit "How NOT to Argue Against Irreducible Complexity."