Often Intelligent Design is accused by some evolutionists of not being able to perfectly calculate the complex specified information of a system. From that accusation some ID opponents directly infer that ID has no scientific status. In my opinion this accusation and its corollary is a pure demagogical pretest, a weak excuse.
See the following image (sizes are not real):
The image shows, from left to right, a clothespin, a bike and a bird. To whoever uses such pretest against ID I ask this simple question: what is more complex, more organized, between a clothespin and a bike? What do you answer? Do you answer clothespin is more complex? No, you answer the bike is more complex. Did you need some perfect calculation to answer? No. Why no perfect calculation is necessary? Because it is evident that a bike is a set containing more complex functions, more organization, than a clothespin. A clothespin has a unique function: to press thin materials between its two arms by means of a spring.
Again, if I ask you what is more complex between a bike and a bird, what do you answer? The bird, because a bird is a set containing far more complex functions and organization than a bike.
All this means that perfect measures are not always necessary when we analyze sets or hierarchies of functions like bike and organisms. An approximate measure is sufficient to establish an ordering about their complexity. In the above picture this ordering is symbolized by two “<" signs. Therefore the order of complexity is indubitably: "clothespin < bike < bird".
Of course, this doesn't mean that scientific efforts to improve complexity measures are useless. The countless measures of complexity and organization content developed so far represent an important contribution to science. No one denies that and ID gives its contribution to the task. But indeed the multitude of these measures shows the unavoidable matter of principle: as just said in another previous post of mine, perfect quantification of quality is impossible.
Happily, it is not necessary an (impossible) perfect quantification of quality to somehow grasp quality and do some ordering among different levels of qualities in the things and systems. So the excuse that ID is nonsense because it cannot perfectly quantify design is a weak one. Who uses such excuse to deny design in nature makes us to recall again Romans 1:
“…for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”