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

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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As you get closer your position strengthens but to just get to the first step of evolution the spliceosome is in the way which makes the flagellum look like a chip shot.

Who had post 22 in the “when will colewd bring up the spliceosome” pool?


And we have pointed you to the answer for this objection many times: Constructive Neutral Evolution. We even have a illustrative game: X-Men Constructive Neutral Evolution.


I understand that you believe that constructive neutral evolution solves the problem. I am very interested in this mechanism being demonstrated to find complex sequences of an irreducibly complex system like the flagellum.

And neither did I. I claimed they were examples used to demonstrate IR. I would think a comparable complexity would be required to meet the challenge.

Are you claiming that when we get down to what groups of proteins do, the mechanisms by which bacteriophage work are not comparably complex?

FYI the spliceosome is not irreducibly complex. And it is not nearly “the first step in evolution”.


Fair enough.

a new binding site is very simple compare to a molecular nachines which requires many mutations on many genes.

Put those goalposts back.

The new binding site required many mutations. Challenge met.

There is also nothing indicating he is talking about a single gene or protein or RNA.

Mutations are not parts.

In “Edge of Evolution”, one of the main examples is multiple mutations in the same gene. In his latest book, he uses one gene from polar bears as an example.

Amino acids are parts of proteins.


only if you consider 4 mutations as “many”.

Behe considered 2 mutations “many” in the case of chloroquine resistance that wrote about in “Edge of Evolution”.

That has nothing to do with IC systems. Does he ever refer to a single gene or single protein as an IC system?

Not in the sense that Behe is talkign about.

If you remove an individual amino acid does the protein cease to function?

If you can remove just one amino acid from the protein and have the protein continue to function then it is would not not IC even using your rather bizarre notion.

He says the two are related:

If you change some of those amino acids you do lose the function, yes.

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