Rich Lenski takes down Michael Behe and his ID creationism: Part IV

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Thanks for posting this. Evolutionary biologists persists in misrepresenting Behe’s claims.

Anybody remember Behe’s first book, Darwin’s Black Box , published in 1996? There, Behe claimed evolution doesn’t work because biological systems exhibit so-called “irreducible complexity,” which he defined as “… a single system 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 functioning.”

When he substitutes " a formable challenge" with “doesn’t work” he minimizes his burden of proof. If Lenski had a solid position he would have no need to do this.

The example of the evolved viral protein Lenski describes in the article fulfills that challenge. The new function of the final viral protein required the irreducibly complex interaction of 4 different mutations, and Lenski was able to show how it evolved step by step.

The article is definitely worth a read.


Viral protein that invades bacteria. You think this solves the problem of irreducible complexity?

Yep. The adaptation to OmpF on the surface of E. coli required 4 specific mutations, and the adaptation didn’t work without all 4 mutations. That is irreducibly complex. Lenski shows how this adaptation evolved step by step. I don’t want to ruin the punch line for you, so go read it.


Again T you are trying to prove you can fly to mars because you have shown you can fly 100 ft. The flagellum and blog clotting was the challenge in Darwins black box. This involved multiple interactive proteins.

The challenge put forth by Behe applies to all irreducibly complex systems, including the irreducibly complex adaptation that evolved in lambda phage.


That’s some excellent work by Lenski and especially by his grad student Justin Meyer (hopefully no relation to Stephen Meyer). I can’t wait to see how Klinghoffer at the DI spins these results. :slightly_smiling_face:


Bill, you are the reason the Rams’ last FG attempt missed.


Support this claim with a quote from Behe’s words.

There is nothing indicating that he is only talking about the bacterial flagellum or the blood clotting cascade.


Just trying to put the GP back to its original position :slight_smile:

There is also no statement that all irreducible complex systems can’t evolve. You are playing word games and it is making the evolutionist side look silly.

If irreducibly complex systems can evolve, why do you keep mentioning them?

Also, I said that Behe’s challenge has been met. Here is the whole quote:

The function of binding to OmpF on the surface of E. coli didn’t exist until 4 mutations were present. It required all 4 parts to be in place before you got OmpF binding function. This is the challenge for evolution, and Lenski demonstrated how that challenge has been met.


Because from Behe:

Someone is making himself look silly with his rocket powered goal posts and it isn’t the evolutionist side. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Notice that it doesn’t say “just the bacterial flagellum and blood clotting cascade are a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution”. Also notice that Lenski has met that challenge.


He has started to try and meet the challenge. The cell is full of irreducible complexity especially the eukaryotic cell.

@colewd, there is an unfortunate pattern of Behe supporters misquoting Behe. I’m not sure we can dismiss what Behe has clearly written based on your conjecture as to what he really means.


So we could find the evolutionary history of 3 billion irreducibly complex systems, but if there is just 1 we haven’t explained then the challenge has not been met?

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