Re: Mere Creation conference
Thu, 21 Nov 1996 16:16:25 -0500


Allan Harvey stated, "While I have some sympathy for 'intelligent design'
arguments, I am bothered by some aspects of this movement. It is, after all,
basically a 'God-of-the-gaps' approach."

Intelligent design as described by Mike Behe, however, is not such a
God-of-the-gaps approach. The irreducible complexities he described in DDB
are characterized by being _systems_. A major characteristic of a system is
that the elements in the system are interrelated and interacting with
eachother. It cannot function effectively unless all the elements and
relationships are present and interacting. All the elements must be brought
together and assembled simultaneously, or assembled piece-by-piece before the
system is actually needed.

Darwinian natural selection, however, is a _sequential_ approach. It can
only add one element at a time, which is retained only if it improves the
adaptation or reproductive success of the organism. Adding
"one-elements-at-a-time" simply cannot improve the function of a system, in
fact, it will probably impair if not destroy it because it interferes with
established relationships. Moreover Darwinian mechanisms cannot assemble a
complex system in advance since it does not see into the future, and cannot
anticipate future needs of an organism.

The difference between a _system_ and a _sequential Darwinian process_ is not
a gap that God-of-the-gaps fills. It is an inherent, intractable difference
between two phenomena that cannot be bridged. Those reviewers who
criticized DDB on the grounds that some day, future generations of scientists
will _understand_ irreducible complexity, miss the point. The point is not
understanding irreducible complexity. The point is that gradualistic.
sequential Darwinian natural selection cannot construct it. If a
naturalistic process were ever discovered that would explain the formation of
irreducible complexity, it will certainly not be a Darwinian mechanism.


Bob DeHaan