Re: intell. des.

Glenn R. Morton (
Sun, 31 May 1998 21:47:50 -0500

At 05:41 PM 5/31/98 -0700, E G M wrote:
>i have refuted glenn's argument about the world economy being
>irreducibly complex. it is imo a very poor and faulty example of i.c.
> i don't have the time to point to these previous messages but they
>can be found in the asa archives. briefly, 1. the world economy is not
>i.c. because maby of its parts can (and have) removed or changed and
>yet it continues working (thus it does not fulfill behe's i.c.
>definition. & 2. the world economy contains zillions of intelligent
>interventions, thus it is not darwinism. part of the problem i think
>is that darwinism is somewhat equated with theistic evol. in this list.

I don't find these arguments so refuting. Your argument depends upon the
concept that biological systems don't change or can't have altered parts.
But altered biochemical parts is exactly what evolution does to the
organism. Just as parts of the economy can be altered, so can proteins be
altered yet they perform the same function. Not only can the sequence be
altered but also the sequence length. Human insulin is not the same as cow
insulin which is not the same as sheep etc. There are several different
oxygen carrying pigments in the bloods of various animals (Preston Cloud,
Cosmos, Earth and Man, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), p. 206).
Lampreys, marine worms and insects all have a single chain hemoglobin; most
higher animals have a doublechain hemoglobin molecule (a change of
biochemical system). But mammals have an additional form of hemoglobin
(gamma) which apparently isn't found in other parts of the animal kingdom
and is used in the fetus only. And primates have a small fraction of a
fourth version of hemoglobin, the delta chain(see E.O. Wilson, et al, Life
On Earth, Sinauer, 1973), p. 809-815).

Cytochrome c is not the same across the various species. So proteins, in
the biochemical 'economy', are changeable also.

If one might claim that there is an invariant portion and a changeable
portion and thus the 'functional' part doesn't change, one can make the
same analogy with the economy. While today we use trucks and automobiles
for transportation and past generations used wagons and chariots, both of
these means of transportation have invariant and variant parts. Both
chariots/wagons and trucks/autos have wheels. Wagons and trucks have beds
for carrying the load.(invariance) but trucks have motors where wagons have
horses (variance).

In biological systems, sometimes the same molecule performs a very
different function. Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the bodies of
land-animals has been found in green plants ( and are involved in nitrogen
fixation. (Encylc. Brit. 1982, 4:918)

So, I find your 'refutation' less than convincing. But while it is nice to
simply say you have refuted it, saying it doesn't mean you did it. What you
have overlooked is that biochemical systems change exactly as do economic
systems. If one is irreducibly complex, then so is the other.

Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information