In 1996, Lehigh University professor of biochemistry, Michael Behe, published his first book Darwin’s Black Box, which famously advanced the concept of irreducible complexity (IC) to prominent status in the conversation of design in biology. In his book, Professor Behe described irreducible complexity as: A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.
In illustrating his point, Behe used the idea of a simple mousetrap — with its base and spring and holding bar — as an example of an IC system, where the removal of any of these parts would render the mousetrap incapable of its intended purpose of trapping a mouse. Further, he provided examples of biological IC systems; each one dependent on several distinct parts in order to accomplish its task. Behe’s point in all this was that ALL the parts of the mouse trap are simultaneously necessary in order for a mousetrap to trap mice. And in a biological sense, if critical functions require several parts, then those functions would not occur until the various parts became available. Read More