Proving irreducible complexity with a cell-phone

a cell-phone is a great example of Irreducible complexity. it need many parts to be functional. say that someone will invent a cell-phone that is made from organic components. now, say that we want to change it stepwise into other system like a gps or vice versa. can we do it by small steps? if not, then it cant be done in living things too, so a fish cant evolve stepwise into a mammal or a reptile.

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Why don’t you, and get back to us when you’re done. Don’t forget that your cell phone also must replicate itself.

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A cellphone can function as a paperweight no matter how you arrange it’s parts. Done.


I think you want it the other way around, organic GPS -> organic cell phone. If you are able to make an organic cell phone, presumably it already has a GPS chip in it and it should be fairly trivial for you to turn the cell phone into a GPS (given you have the knowledge to make the organic cell phone in the first place). The more difficult would be to turn an organic GPS into an organic cell phone.

All a cell phone needs is its outer shape in order to have function. So much for being irreducibly complex.



LOL, that’s funny!

Why didn’t Behe just cite that convincing argument in his first book? Game over.


Nevertheless, we can trace how it evolved from earlier communication methods.


And it managed to do it without replicating itself!

actually the replication trait is irrelevant in this case since im talking about a designer that can change anything he want, like mutations. but even with a self replication it will not help.

i actually said that we need to change it into other different system like a gps. so it will not help.

right. and we cant do that by small steps. so i think that the same is true for living creatures. its also improtant to remember that such a cell-phone by itself is evidence for design. self relicating or not.

Why couldn’t you change a cellphone into a gps? It can function as a paperweight, and you can continually add and remove parts, and connect them as necessary, until it finally functions as a gps. So it would stay functional throughout this as a paperweight.

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again; we need to change it into other different complex system.

We don’t need to change the phone from a simple box shape in order for it to have function.

what do you mean by that? if we want to change a gps into a cell-phone how we will do it in small steps? its basically impossible.

This is what you said in the opening post:

“a cell-phone is a great example of Irreducible complexity. it need many parts to be functional.”

This is false. It only needs one part, the outer case. With just that single part it is functional.

Why can’t we do it by small steps? Surely if we had the technical ability to build an organic GPS unit, changing it into a cell phone would be fairly straightforward.

This discussion highlights the disagreement very well.

An evolutionist such as @T_aquaticus takes “functional” to mean having any function whatsoever that is useful to the organism (such as serving as a paper weight). And an ID proponent such as @scd understands “functional” in terms of a very narrow function such as working as a cell phone.

It’s much the same with teleology. Evolutionists have no problems with there being a broad purpose such as surviving and reproducing. The ID proponents want much narrower purposes such such as having human language abilities.

The alleged problems of irreducible complexity and of enormous probability problems arise because the ID proponents are insisting on narrow functionality and narrow purpose. As seen from an evolutionists perspective, they are not problems at all.


The problem of using a cell phone (or a car, or a watch, or any other example for illustrative purposes) is that it is only an analogy. It can be used to help illustrate what you believe about intelligent design, but it is useless as any sort of supporting evidence for what you believe about intelligent design.