Irreducible Complexity Still Not Disproven… Wait, What?

The story so far:

Back in 1996, when Intelligent Design was in its infancy (and pretty
much indistinguishable from today’s Intelligent Design), Michael Behe
defined an irreducibly complex system as:

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

Recently, the Disco Tute
presented the bicycle
as an example of an irreducibly complex system, on the grounds that if
you remove one of the wheels, it doesn’t work anymore.

Carl Zimmer
with a video of someone riding a bicycle with only one wheel. So
presumably bicycles aren’t irreducibly complex after all.

Now DonaldM at Uncommon Blithering
this bizarre counterargument:

if you look closely at the photo you’ll notice it isn’t
just the front wheel that’s missing from this bicycle, but the entire
front wheel assmembly, including the handle bars and wheel

So, um, I guess the point is that if you remove exactly one part from
an IC system, it doesn’t work, but you can remove a whole bunch of
parts from an IC system, and it still works. Wait, what?

Elsewhere in the same post, Donald asks:

Perhaps the good Dr. Z would be so kind as to provide a
bibliography listing all the peer reviewed scientific research studies
that provide the detailed, testable (and potentially falsifiable)
biological models for any of the IC systems that Mike Behe
described in his ground breaking book Darwin’s Black

Might I suggest that Donald start with the articles and books about
blood clotting and the human immune system that were literally piled
up in front of Behe on the witness stand at the Dover trial? There’s a
good boy.

I’d like to remind him that “nuh-uh” is not a rebuttal.

Unselfconscious Statement O’ the Day

Found at Dembski’s House of Evolution Denialism:

Uncommon Descent has been debunking anthropogenic global warming since the website began 3.5 years ago. We have a keen nose for bogus science here, folks.

Good thing there’s now a Micro Center in town, ‘cos I need a new keyboard.

Logic Fail

BarryA at Invisible Science Uncommon Descent:

I will demonstrate that under very clear United States Supreme Court precedent, the subjective motives of a policy maker are simply irrelevant in determining whether the policy violates the Establishment Clause.

Let us begin at the beginning – the Lemon test. In Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) the Supreme Court established the following three-part test for determining whether a governmental policy violates the Establishment Clause: “First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose;

(emphasis added)

Creationist logic:


Gil Dodgen: Uncommonly Dense

Gil Dodgen posted the following over at Uncommon Descent:

All computational evolutionary algorithms artificially isolate the effects of random mutation on the underlying machinery: the CPU instruction set, operating system, and algorithmic processes responsible for the replication process.

If the blind-watchmaker thesis is correct for biological evolution, all of these artificial constraints must be eliminated. Every aspect of the simulation, both hardware and software, must be subject to random errors.

Of course, this would result in immediate disaster and the extinction of the CPU, OS, simulation program, and the programmer, who would never get funding for further realistic simulation experiments.

All I can say is “wow”. Either Dodgen is having us all on (which I doubt, since he’s started a new thread to respond to the charge that he doesn’t know WTF he’s talking about), or he honestly doesn’t understand the difference between the simulated environment and the machine doing the simulating.

Presumably he also believes that when NOAA simulates the effect of a hurricane hitting the Florida coast, they have to pour rain onto their computers. And that every time an orc dies in World of Warcraft, a real orc dies in some distant land.

I know that I’m often too rooted in the concrete and have trouble going from a collection of facts to a general principle, but damn!