That’s not quite right. Behe explicitly suggests measuring the size of the IC core, i.e. how many parts are required? That gives a quantitative measure of complexity. It is not binary. Regardless, even if it was binary (and its not), a binary read out is still a measurement.
And you are making my point. The first system is reducible to 2 components, the second is reducible to 100. The second one is supposed to be more complex.
Nope its not. That is another issue I didn’t even touch on. Behe means the “original function,” not any other function. When pressed he sometimes allowed for clearly indicated prior functions, but only if they were known.
The technical objection he is fighting against here is something called “exaptation.” That is what you are getting at too. There can be multiple functions over time as a system develops. This disconnects IC1 further from being a true measure of evolvability. Exaptation is another mechanism that IC1 (and IC2) does not consider.
Sure, perhaps that can happen sometimes. That misses the point. Demonstrating this is possible depends on the details (often unknowable) of the system. Remember, they were coming forward with specific IC1 systems, saying that this was de facto evidence that they were unevolvable. Then they were enforcing strict Darwinism (IC2) as criteria for plausibility. This strategy restricted evolution to a cartoon version of evolution, which is to say a widely understood, but false, understanding of evolution.
It was rhetorically effective in some restricted sense, but it really angered scientists. It is just a bizarre sort of argument for us, that seems to miss the point. And to be clear, many scientists were really bad with engaging ID, taking the bait to argue starting from this straw man version of evolution, and also insisting on only natural mechanisms at a metaphysical level. That was unfortunate.
I fear we are still in a whole because of the Dover disaster, and the Kansas hearings. Not only did ID double down on these things, it seems TE might have picked up some bad habits. I wonder if that episode is partly why TE/EC often has difficulty acknowledging the possibility of God’s action. They reacted too far in one direction away from ID, it seems.
I agree, these ID arguments are bad, but that does not mean at all that natural processes are sufficient, meaning that it did not require God. In fact, that is a question well beyond. Science does not make total claims like that, and it is silent on God. There were no adults in the room, sadly, until Francis Collins wrote is book.