Metabolic pathways are not IC systems

The second argument in th article that Dr. Swamidass put forward,
Is found here:
http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/icdmyst/ICDmyst.html#how2eatpcp
“How to eat Pentachlorophenol.”

The argument claims tha the recently evolved process of metabolizing Pentachlorophenol would qualify as an IC system. However, this is false. What has happened is the evolution of a new enzyme that is then used as a step in a metabolic pathway. In Darwin’s Black Box Dr. Behe was careful to point out that metabolic pathways are not IC systems Why not? Because unlike protein machines, the enzymes do not interact directly with each other, but with the substrate that they metabolize. Thus, a metabolic pathway can be cumulatively evolved, as new enzymes evolve to further metabolize the end product.

So there is no challenge here to Behe’s concept of IC.

Try again. I did not put forward this argument. Perhaps I linked to that article (did I?), but I do not even recall typing out that chemical name ever in a forum.

A simple search of the forum for that link shows that you are the only one who has linked to it ever at Peaceful Science. A simple search of the BioLogos forum shows that no one has linked to this article there. I would request that you get basic facts straight. I never put forward this argument. I will not engage with wether it is a valid argument or not, except to say that Behe himself should respond to it. Rather making an erroneous attempt to defend him (attributing this to me!) please link to Behe’s rebuttal.

Which Irreducible Complexity Argument? You can’t just use IC like this. We have no idea what you mean.

And don’t forget to tell us which of IC1 or IC2 is more difficult to measure. It seems you think IC1 is hard to measure. It isn’t. IC2, however, is very hard to measure.

I think this is a good topic for discussion. I can understand the point Bilbo is trying to make in the OP. I’ve probably made it before myself. That Behe’s argument is about molecular machines. It’s my recollection that in Darwin’s Black Box Behe did make a distinction.

But I can also see how that might reasonably be questioned. I myself have a tendency to think of metabolic pathways as IC systems. They are composed of interacting parts that fit together to perform a function.

I guess one thing we could look at is EN articles about molecular machines to if they ever use the phrase to apply to metabolic pathways and whether they are ever called irreducibly complex.

1 Like

Coincidentally, I was just reading a paper by Ed Feser. He is no friend of ID, but would take this sentence in itself, minus IC, as significant in weakening any explanation by efficient causes only.

The key lies not in the interacting parts, however easy or difficult to assemble, but in that word “function.” As Feser argues, once that word is admitted, teleology follows as night follows day - his main burden is to explain why all arguments to the contrary fail.

1 Like

I highly recommend reading Feser, even to those who are ID proponents.

1 Like

Dr. Swamidass, you put forward this article:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ICsilly.html

If you go to Example 2, you will find a link to the article that I responded to here.

I’m glad to hear you agree that this is a bad argument against Behe’s IC.

I do not agree. Please do not put words in my mouth again, or your post will be hidden. I do not have time to correct at every turn.

Dr. Swamidass, so you think it is a good argument against Behe’s IC?