Re: Dembski essay, part II

David Campbell (
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 17:10:11 -0400

>There exists a reliable criterion for detecting design. This criterion
>detects design strictly from observational features of the world. Moreover,
>this criterion belongs to probability and complexity theory, not to
>metaphysics and theology. This criterion is relevant to biology. When
>applied to the complex, information-rich structures of biology, this
>criterion detects design. In particular, the complexity-specification
>criterion shows that Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems
>are designed.

I'd want to see some supporting evidence for this claim.

Crystals can have very complex structures, with the atoms in a regular
pattern, only one of many possible patterns. Do you conclude design? If
so, it is entirely by the means of natural laws.

Likewise, in the case of complicated molecular systems in the cell, there
are constraining laws (e.g., if it does not work, it dies; chemical
properties of amino acids; the need to transmit information) and extremely
flexible raw materials. Molecular phylogenies and occasional examples of
primitive partial versions of complex systems appear to point to stages in
the assembly of complex systems from simpler ones, again suggesting a
prominent role for evolution in the development of complex systems.

"Irreducibly complex" is another term that needs better defined so that we
know we're talking about the same thing.

David C.