This editorial opinion reminded me of a conversation I was having with a colleague the other day about how completely misunderstood the concept of Irreducible Complexity can be to some people. When folks hear the word “complexity” they naturally assume the concept applies only to complex systems – such as the New York City economic system referenced in the article. In his example, the author claims IC is “an empty idea” because removing one business from the NYC economy does not render it non functional as IC predicts. Silly man.
Viewing IC through the blinders of an extremely complex system that in fact is not IC to begin with and using that as a demonstration that IC is bogus is of course bogus itself. This is probably why Behe chose the mousetrap as a simple example of IC. But even the mousetrap was “controversial” to my colleague, so I thought of an even simpler example.
Do you remember when we were all young and mom used a “clothes pin” to attach wet laundry to a clothes line? Two properly shaped sticks and a spring. Even my skeptical friend had to agree it was Irreducibly Complex. But he’s still struggling with the improbability of the two sticks carving themselves into just the right shape and leaping into the spring by accident of nature.