Sunday, 4 January 2009

Debunking Corner - Irreducible Complexity (again)

A fascinating first instalment (of three) from one of the key witnesses in the famous "Dover vs Kitzmiller" trial in the US, Ken Miller.

The Discovery Institute in the US provided the materials sent to every UK school by the ironically labelled UK creationist group "Truth in Science".  Their spokesman Casey Luskin is efficiently dissected when he tries to resurrected the already discredited argument from creationists call "irreducible complexity".

A couple of extracts (but please go read the whole thing);
Casey seems to forget — or to ignore — the fact that Behe has never even attempted to do any scientific research to show that he is right. He ignores the fact that ID’s critics have produced a boatload of research showing Behe to be wrong while Behe himself has done no research on the system that might support Luskin. As a result, his attempts at rehabilitating the clotting cascade as an “icon” of ID are a complete failure.  So, for the umpteenth time, let’s go through this again.

. . .

Why is it OK to give high school readers an argument about the irreducible complexity of the entire cascade that you know to be false (as Luskin admits), just as long as you modify that argument in another book?  Luskin seems to have forgotten that the Dover trial was about an issue much more important than the fate of ID…. It was about what should be taught to high school science students.  And, in that respect, the arguments in Pandas were the ones that really mattered.  And those arguments, as my friend Casey Luskin has implicitly admitted in his first web posting, were completely wrong.  Too bad he didn’t spin that message at the trial.

. . .

So, what are we left with?  Nothing more than a vain attempt to pretend that ID’s collapse in the Dover case was the result of misrepresentation and deception.  For Mr. Luskin and his employers at the Discovery Institute, the generation of sound and fury continues, but in scientific terms, their continuing noise signifies nothing more than the utter emptiness of their failed ideas.

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