A friendly discussion on evolutionary...

A friendly discussion on evolutionary biology and intelligent design

Posted in the Evolution Debate Forum

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mowg

Charlotte, NC

#1 Apr 9, 2013
I have spent the last two months examining intelligent design and evolutionary biology. I would like to start a discussion with one or two people that would be willing to share ideas and challenge each other. I do not want to have a religion conversation but a scientific one. I DO NOT want to engage in a proverbial pissing contest and call people names and dance around the issues. I desire to grow in my knowledge of these two important scientific fields.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#3 Apr 9, 2013
Believers in evolution are always happy to have an honest open discussion about the science.

Of course if someone keeps denying reality it can get a bit ugly.

Ask your questions and you will get honest answers to honest questions. Be forewarned that there are many creationist sites out there that are far from truthful.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#4 Apr 10, 2013
mowg wrote:
I have spent the last two months examining intelligent design and evolutionary biology. I would like to start a discussion with one or two people that would be willing to share ideas and challenge each other. I do not want to have a religion conversation but a scientific one. I DO NOT want to engage in a proverbial pissing contest and call people names and dance around the issues. I desire to grow in my knowledge of these two important scientific fields.
You can't escape having a religious conversation if you mention ID since it is not a scientific field. You have only mentioned one important scientific field, not two. That one you mentioned was evolutionary biology. ID is religious apologetics, plain and simple. There is no scientific theory of ID. We know this because we've been asking the IDers for years to provide a scientific theory of ID. The guys who invented it even admitted they don't have one.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#5 Apr 10, 2013
To follow up on what "The Dude" said (above), I present you with the words of Phillip E. Johnson.
He is a co-founder of the "Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture", which is a think-tank for the Intelligent Design community.

Here's what Mr. Johnson had to say:

~ We are taking an intuition most people have (the belief in God) and making it a scientific and academic enterprise. We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator." [Johnson, Enlisting Science to Find the Fingerprints of a Creator. The Los Angeles Times. March 2001.]

~ "Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." ["Let's Be Intelligent About Darwin - Christianity.ca; reprinted from the National Post, 2/6/04]

~ "This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy." [WITNESSES FOR THE PROSECUTION - World Magazine, 11/30/96]

<<end cut/paste>>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillip_E._Johns...

Moreover, Mr. Johnson was an architect (if not the sole author) of "The Wedge Document", which was an INTERNAL, TOP SECRET document produced by the Discovery Institute.

Per Wiki:

The document sets forth the short-term and long-term goals with milestones for the intelligent design movement, with its governing goals stated in the opening paragraph:

"To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies."

"To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."

<<end cut/paste>>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_Strategy

THAT, mowg, is why those of us who are rational, are arguing FOR the Theory of Evolution.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#6 Apr 10, 2013
Kong_ wrote:
THAT, mowg, is why those of us who are rational, are arguing FOR the Theory of Evolution.
Nah. IDC has nothing to do with it. We argue for evolution simply because of the evidence. All it is is that anyone who argues against evolution also say "Well what about this IDC thingy?"

To which I say: What about it?(shrug)

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#7 Apr 10, 2013
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
Nah. IDC has nothing to do with it. We argue for evolution simply because of the evidence. All it is is that anyone who argues against evolution also say "Well what about this IDC thingy?"
To which I say: What about it?(shrug)
Well, yeah. You have that FACT thing, too. ;-)

Mainly I was following up on your line of thought that ID is not "SCIENCE", but a runny turd in a lab coat.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#8 Apr 10, 2013
That could be the best description of IDC ever!

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Mars

#9 Apr 10, 2013
mowg wrote:
I have spent the last two months examining intelligent design and evolutionary biology. I would like to start a discussion with one or two people that would be willing to share ideas and challenge each other. I do not want to have a religion conversation but a scientific one. I DO NOT want to engage in a proverbial pissing contest and call people names and dance around the issues. I desire to grow in my knowledge of these two important scientific fields.

A noble goal.

Seems to be a bit one sided, however, as I.D. is not represented by much in the way of science.
Remy

Charlotte, NC

#10 Apr 10, 2013
I have to jump in, and say that using the quotes of one supporter of ID to try to make the case that ID is totally irrelevant is not right. People who support different sides of topics often have a variety of different motives. For instance, there are those who believe evolution is good science because, as you say, to them it is good science. There are others, however, who are proponents of evolution largely for their own religious reasons. Darwin could arguably be claimed to be one of those people. The idea that someone's argument is wrong or right based on their motives simply isn't a good argument.

The fact is, there are many who find problems with evolution who aren't even Christian, or who have no religious bent whatsoever. Thomas Nagel immediately comes to mind, and there is a long list of many others. These are extremely intelligent individuals, and while some have questioned evolution because of intelligent design, others have come to the conclusion that many of the claims evolution makes are simply without evidence. Often times the argument of evolutionists is to yell "It's proven! It's proven!" and expect everyone to fall in line and believe it just because they say it over and over again. If we ask where the evidence is we are told some of the things about finch beaks (only some because discussing all the facts would not support the case), but not told much outside of that besides speculation. No explanation for how evolution could produce something such as the bacterial flagellum. No displays of macroevolution.

Anyway, my point is that intelligent design does have as good of a case to be called legitimate science as does evolution (some would argue more of a case). The idea of Intelligent Design is that if there is a designer than there could be a way to see design in nature. It is the science that studies signs of intelligence. Some believe that designer is the God of the Bible. Others don't believe. Some, like Thomas Nagel, are simply deist or atheist. The diversity of belief for ID proponents is representative of the diversity of religious beliefs of those who firmly believe every part of evolution (Richard Dawkins, Frances Collins, etc.).

Many who support ID do it for the purpose of bringing down evolution, but these motives don't automatically discredit the science any more than Dawkins writing "The God Delusion" immediately discredits evolution. If the evidence is there for either intelligent design or for evolution than motives are irrelevant so long as they go about their search for answers in a fair manner. I believe a fair discussion is all the original poster was asking for. Immediately trying claim it's impossible by claiming ID is an illegitimate science is not a way to foster a fair discussion. It's simply trying to shut it up.

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Mars

#11 Apr 10, 2013
Remy wrote:
I have to jump in, and say that using the quotes of one supporter of ID to try to make the case that ID is totally irrelevant is not right. People who support different sides of topics often have a variety of different motives. For instance, there are those who believe evolution is good science because, as you say, to them it is good science. There are others, however, who are proponents of evolution largely for their own religious reasons. Darwin could arguably be claimed to be one of those people. The idea that someone's argument is wrong or right based on their motives simply isn't a good argument.
The fact is, there are many who find problems with evolution who aren't even Christian, or who have no religious bent whatsoever. Thomas Nagel immediately comes to mind, and there is a long list of many others. These are extremely intelligent individuals, and while some have questioned evolution because of intelligent design, others have come to the conclusion that many of the claims evolution makes are simply without evidence. Often times the argument of evolutionists is to yell "It's proven! It's proven!" and expect everyone to fall in line and believe it just because they say it over and over again. If we ask where the evidence is we are told some of the things about finch beaks (only some because discussing all the facts would not support the case), but not told much outside of that besides speculation. No explanation for how evolution could produce something such as the bacterial flagellum. No displays of macroevolution.
Anyway, my point is that intelligent design does have as good of a case to be called legitimate science as does evolution (some would argue more of a case). The idea of Intelligent Design is that if there is a designer than there could be a way to see design in nature. It is the science that studies signs of intelligence. Some believe that designer is the God of the Bible. Others don't believe. Some, like Thomas Nagel, are simply deist or atheist. The diversity of belief for ID proponents is representative of the diversity of religious beliefs of those who firmly believe every part of evolution (Richard Dawkins, Frances Collins, etc.).
Many who support ID do it for the purpose of bringing down evolution, but these motives don't automatically discredit the science any more than Dawkins writing "The God Delusion" immediately discredits evolution. If the evidence is there for either intelligent design or for evolution than motives are irrelevant so long as they go about their search for answers in a fair manner. I believe a fair discussion is all the original poster was asking for. Immediately trying claim it's impossible by claiming ID is an illegitimate science is not a way to foster a fair discussion. It's simply trying to shut it up.

Sorry, but this is simply not correct and you don't yet have a good idea of the nature of the debate.

Simply look at what science is and how it works.

ID is not science. That is not a bias or based on my motivation. That is simply a fact. ID does not meet the definition of a science.

Science is based on observation: there are no observations that support ID. There are LITERALLY billions that support evolution.

ID is based on religion (see the wedge document)

In science explanation are formed that generate testable predictions. Evolution has been doing this for 150 years. I.D. does not do this.

Science tests its theories by making predictions which are then tested. Again, evolution has 150+ years of doing this and ID had never made a successful prediction. Irreducible Complexity failed to do this.

In fact there is no theory of ID (don't take my word on it, look it up!).

Evolution is useful in biology (it is THE organizing principle in biology), in medicine, in archeology, paleontology,....

ID is of no use to science as it does not actually explain anything.

Evolution is falsifiable, ID is not.


“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Mars

#12 Apr 10, 2013
Remy wrote:
I have to jump in, and say that using the quotes of one supporter of ID to try to make the case that ID is totally irrelevant is not right. People who support different sides of topics often have a variety of different motives. For instance, there are those who believe evolution is good science because, as you say, to them it is good science. There are others, however, who are proponents of evolution largely for their own religious reasons. Darwin could arguably be claimed to be one of those people. The idea that someone's argument is wrong or right based on their motives simply isn't a good argument.
The fact is, there are many who find problems with evolution who aren't even Christian, or who have no religious bent whatsoever. Thomas Nagel immediately comes to mind, and there is a long list of many others. These are extremely intelligent individuals, and while some have questioned evolution because of intelligent design, others have come to the conclusion that many of the claims evolution makes are simply without evidence. Often times the argument of evolutionists is to yell "It's proven! It's proven!" and expect everyone to fall in line and believe it just because they say it over and over again. If we ask where the evidence is we are told some of the things about finch beaks (only some because discussing all the facts would not support the case), but not told much outside of that besides speculation. No explanation for how evolution could produce something such as the bacterial flagellum. No displays of macroevolution.
Anyway, my point is that intelligent design does have as good of a case to be called legitimate science as does evolution (some would argue more of a case). The idea of Intelligent Design is that if there is a designer than there could be a way to see design in nature. It is the science that studies signs of intelligence. Some believe that designer is the God of the Bible. Others don't believe. Some, like Thomas Nagel, are simply deist or atheist. The diversity of belief for ID proponents is representative of the diversity of religious beliefs of those who firmly believe every part of evolution (Richard Dawkins, Frances Collins, etc.).
Many who support ID do it for the purpose of bringing down evolution, but these motives don't automatically discredit the science any more than Dawkins writing "The God Delusion" immediately discredits evolution. If the evidence is there for either intelligent design or for evolution than motives are irrelevant so long as they go about their search for answers in a fair manner. I believe a fair discussion is all the original poster was asking for. Immediately trying claim it's impossible by claiming ID is an illegitimate science is not a way to foster a fair discussion. It's simply trying to shut it up.

Oh, and it is dishonest to imply that you are NOT the originator of this discussion.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#13 Apr 10, 2013
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, and it is dishonest to imply that you are NOT the originator of this discussion.
Good catch.

Missed that.
Remy

Charlotte, NC

#14 Apr 10, 2013
Ya. Saw that the originator of this topic also lives in Charlotte. Thought that accusation might come up. I should have said so at the beginning I am not the original poster. That we both live in Charlotte is just a coincidence. If I could prove it I would. Sorry.

Now, what are the billions of observations that support evolution? I'm just curious what they are. I think the claim that billions of observations support evolution and zero support ID is simply untrue. I'll simply discuss irreducible complexity since you brought it up. I know it's widely claimed that irreducible complexity has been totally discredited, but that really isn't true. For the original poster who may not have heard about this (who I, once again, am not, despite the geography) the claims of irreducible complexity are largely that, logically, it can be proven that Darwinian pathways cannot have access to certain artificial structures because of irreducible complexity. Some biological structures have this same irreducible complexity, and that means Darwinian evolution simply can't access those either. Including a minimal complexity system that shows that the system cannot be made any more simple and still retain anything that evolution would consider an advantage is also important.

This does not actually rule out evolution, as I'm sure many will want to point out. What it does is rule out direct Darwinian pathways. Evolution could still lead to such things, but the possibility is considered extremely small. It's highly improbable that evolution as it is currently defined could lead to something such as the bacterial flagellum. As of right now, there are no testable Darwinian accounts that show how any Darwinian pathway, direct or indirect, could lead to an irreducibly complex system.

And I'll go ahead and respond to the common objection of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" before it is presented. There have been many searches in many places for evidence of evolutionary pathways that could lead to such things, but they have never been found. We are repeatedly assured they exist, but after many searches some have concluded that they may not. Many of us once believed there was a monster under our bed, but absence of evidence caused us to conclude that there really wasn’t. We’d be foolish to still think there was. The same thing applies to these supposed indirect evolutionary pathways.

There is simply no evidence that natural selection or evolution can bring about irreducible complexity. Some claim there is, but they have yet to produce it. According to the idea, it can be shown that certain biological systems are so complex that evolution simply can't explain them. Intelligence, however, can be shown to generate such systems. Intelligent beings such as humans have shown the ability to create complex machines, and there is simply nothing else besides intelligence that can be shown to bring about such things. Perhaps there will be some day, and if that day comes this idea will actually be debunked. It simply hasn’t been yet.

I could go on, but I seem to be running low on characters. Someone who makes a good case for why irreducible complexity is indeed valid is William Dembski in chapter 40 of his book, "The Design Revolution." I used a lot of what he wrote to support my discussion here. I'll conclude by saying I am happy to find a willingness to debate here. I usually avoid such forums because of flame wars by those on both sides. I hope that can be avoided here.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#15 Apr 10, 2013
Remy, you could not be more wrong about ID. All claims supplied so far of "irreducible complexity" have been debunked to date. In fact the IDiots have pretty much given up on that idea.

The reason that IDiots keep getting debunked is that they tended to get their ideas of irreducible complexity from cutting edge research in biology. The problem with cutting edge research is that though the answers are not there right now they are very often solved rather quickly.

In the IDiots case they were sometimes a bit slow in picking their topics. By the time they got their claims of "irreducible complexity" out there the problem was very often solved already. That was shown by Behe's terrible failure at the Dover trial.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#16 Apr 10, 2013
Remy, you also seemed to have some disbelief of evidence for evolution exists. The amount out there is truly staggering.

The only explanation of that would seem to be that you do not even know what scientific evidence is. In other words you seem to be just another ignorant creationist trying to play at science.

I am more than happy to help you understand. But it seems to me you came in here with a rather dishonest approach and if there is one thing that bothers me it is dishonesty.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#17 Apr 11, 2013
Remy wrote:
There are others, however, who are proponents of evolution largely for their own religious reasons.
Despite this, nothing in science makes any theological claims. Including evolution. Also, evolution is backed up by lots and lots and lots of evidence. So anyone's religious opinions be they for or against evolution are irrelevant.(shrug)
Remy wrote:
The fact is, there are many who find problems with evolution who aren't even Christian, or who have no religious bent whatsoever.
Yet most are fundies. The rest tend to be cranks speaking out of their field.
Remy wrote:
Thomas Nagel
Is a philosopher and as such has no expertise on science in general or biology in particular. Science doesn't care what philosohpy has to say about it.
Remy wrote:
others have come to the conclusion that many of the claims evolution makes are simply without evidence.
They're incorrect.
Remy wrote:
Often times the argument of evolutionists is to yell "It's proven! It's proven!"
While others who know a little bit can back it up:

http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/T9Q...

Of course just a cursory search will reveal that evolution is accepted by the science community even if the geek on the net you're speaking to is unable to convince you.
Remy wrote:
No explanation for how evolution could produce something such as the bacterial flagellum.
Yersinia pestis.
Remy wrote:
No displays of macroevolution.
Plenty. The only thing stopping "macro" is if the Earth is 6,000 years old.

It isn't.
Remy wrote:
Anyway, my point is that intelligent design does have as good of a case to be called legitimate science as does evolution (some would argue more of a case).
Only if it has a testable theory. It doesn't.
Remy wrote:
The idea of Intelligent Design is that if there is a designer than there could be a way to see design in nature. It is the science that studies signs of intelligence.
Shame they can't demonstrate it.
Remy wrote:
If the evidence is there for either intelligent design or for evolution than motives are irrelevant so long as they go about their search for answers in a fair manner.
Well evolution uses scientific research, hence it has literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of published peer-reviewed scientific papers backing it up. ID seeks to circumvent peer-review, redefine science, use political pressuring and PR, and break the law to get taught in schools even though they don't actually have any evidence or theory to support it yet.

Therefore the IDCers don't play fair.
Remy wrote:
I believe a fair discussion is all the original poster was asking for. Immediately trying claim it's impossible by claiming ID is an illegitimate science is not a way to foster a fair discussion. It's simply trying to shut it up.
It's not impossible. It is VERY possible an invisible magical wizard (potentially Jewish in origin) poofed the universe and all life in it into existence via magic.

All we ask is that somebody provide some evidence along with a scientific hypothesis or theory to support this.

So what IS the "scientific theory" of ID?
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#18 Apr 11, 2013
Remy wrote:
Now, what are the billions of observations that support evolution? I'm just curious what they are.
No you're not.
Remy wrote:
I'll simply discuss irreducible complexity since you brought it up. I know it's widely claimed that irreducible complexity has been totally discredited, but that really isn't true.
Actually it is. Even if IC had scientific research (Behe decided not to research it as he realised it would be setting himself an impossible task) it is not positive evidence of anything. It's only a negative argument against evolution.
Remy wrote:
Including a minimal complexity system that shows that the system cannot be made any more simple and still retain anything that evolution would consider an advantage is also important.
How is "complexity" measured in an objective manner via the scientific method?
Remy wrote:
It's highly improbable that evolution as it is currently defined could lead to something such as the bacterial flagellum.
Considering the flagellum IS reducible it's HIGHLY improbable that you're correct.
Remy wrote:
As of right now, there are no testable Darwinian accounts that show how any Darwinian pathway, direct or indirect, could lead to an irreducibly complex system.
IC has not been demonstrated scientifically. All you're saying is "If evolution can't explain X then X is IC!"

This is presuming your conclusion.
Remy wrote:
The same thing applies to these supposed indirect evolutionary pathways.
So you're saying that we need to provide a step-by-step, mutation-by-mutation, organism-by-organism account of the entire history of life on Earth for 4 billion years otherwise it's all IC. Which is absurd.
Remy wrote:
There is simply no evidence that natural selection or evolution can bring about irreducible complexity.
That's because there is simply no evidence of irreducible complexity.(shrug)

Otherwise you in turn need to scientifically demonstrate that every potential evolutionary pathway is 100% impossible for all life on Earth. You can't even do that for one.
Remy wrote:
Intelligence, however, can be shown to generate such systems. Intelligent beings such as humans have shown the ability to create complex machines, and there is simply nothing else besides intelligence that can be shown to bring about such things.
Argument via analogy. Humans make PC's therefore God make humans!

Except you have zero evidence or mechanisms. What we need to know is who the designer is, how it did whatever it is you think it did, where it did it, when it did it, and how this can be determined in an objective manner via the scientific method.
Remy wrote:
Perhaps there will be some day, and if that day comes this idea will actually be debunked. It simply hasn’t been yet.
Actually it has. The fact it's non-falsifiable means it's debunked.
Remy wrote:
I used a lot of what he wrote to support my discussion here.
Unfortunately Dembski is not a scientist, but a mathematician. Also his contribution to ID has not been helpful, as he cannot decide himself on whether he's a YEC or OEC. This is a GROSS scientific conflict. Plus Behe accepts common descent. All he knows is that he's against commonn descent and for IDC, the "Logos of St John restated in the idiom of information theory". Unfortunately he can't tell us exactly how CSI (Complex Specified Information) is measured/quantified either.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#19 Apr 11, 2013
What is the scientific theory of ID? Who or what is the designer and how can we tell? What mechanisms did it use to do whatever it is you think it did and how can we tell? Where did it do whatever it is you think it did and how can we tell? When did it do whatever it is you think it did and how can we tell? How is CSI (Complex Specified Information) quantified/measured? What is the demarcation line between designed and non-designed and how was this determined in an objective manner via the scientific method? What scientific predictions does ID make? How can ID be tested? How can it be falsified? If ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion then how come it uses all the same arguments as creationism and why did the guys who invented ID openly admit that ID is creationism? If ID really is little more than Goddidit with magic then why ignore the 9th Commandment and lie by claiming ID is scientific?

Thanks in advance.

mowg, feel free to jump in at any time and help Remy out. And Dembski too, as the DI have been uncommonly slow at producing any "scientific research" over the past 20 years. I wouldn't bother Behe though since he's already given up research in favour of touring the evangelical church circuit. A little more profitable apparently.

“May you be at peace.”

Since: Nov 07

Mars

#20 Apr 11, 2013
Remy wrote:
Ya. Saw that the originator of this topic also lives in Charlotte. Thought that accusation might come up. I should have said so at the beginning I am not the original poster. That we both live in Charlotte is just a coincidence. If I could prove it I would. Sorry.
Now, what are the billions of observations that support evolution?
Over 1 billion fossils alone. Not to mention the genetic evidence, observations from the natural world and laboratory experiments.



Remy wrote:
I'm just curious what they are. I think the claim that billions of observations support evolution and zero support ID is simply untrue.
Now you know better. ;)



Remy wrote:
I'll simply discuss irreducible complexity since you brought it up. I know it's widely claimed that irreducible complexity has been totally discredited, but that really isn't true.
False. IC has been COMPLETELY discredited by science. It is one of the reasons that ID was stillborn as an actual science. Most Creationists/IDers have given up on IC since no one can find an example of it.
[long, factually unsupported rant about IC deleted from this point]




Remy wrote:
There is simply no evidence that natural selection or evolution can bring about irreducible complexity.
And since IC does not in fact exist that is not a problem.

[More ID unsupported rant deleted from this point]



Remy wrote:
I could go on, but I seem to be running low on characters. Someone who makes a good case for why irreducible complexity is indeed valid is William Dembski in chapter 40 of his book, "The Design Revolution."
Dembski's book has been debunked

Here is on example.
http://skepticalteacher.wordpress.com/2009/08...
LowellGuy

Lynnwood, WA

#21 Apr 11, 2013
Remy wrote:
Ya. Saw that the originator of this topic also lives in Charlotte. Thought that accusation might come up. I should have said so at the beginning I am not the original poster. That we both live in Charlotte is just a coincidence. If I could prove it I would. Sorry.
Now, what are the billions of observations that support evolution? I'm just curious what they are. I think the claim that billions of observations support evolution and zero support ID is simply untrue. I'll simply discuss irreducible complexity since you brought it up. I know it's widely claimed that irreducible complexity has been totally discredited, but that really isn't true. For the original poster who may not have heard about this (who I, once again, am not, despite the geography) the claims of irreducible complexity are largely that, logically, it can be proven that Darwinian pathways cannot have access to certain artificial structures because of irreducible complexity. Some biological structures have this same irreducible complexity, and that means Darwinian evolution simply can't access those either. Including a minimal complexity system that shows that the system cannot be made any more simple and still retain anything that evolution would consider an advantage is also important.
This does not actually rule out evolution, as I'm sure many will want to point out. What it does is rule out direct Darwinian pathways. Evolution could still lead to such things, but the possibility is considered extremely small. It's highly improbable that evolution as it is currently defined could lead to something such as the bacterial flagellum. As of right now, there are no testable Darwinian accounts that show how any Darwinian pathway, direct or indirect, could lead to an irreducibly complex system.
And I'll go ahead and respond to the common objection of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" before it is presented. There have been many searches in many places for evidence of evolutionary pathways that could lead to such things, but they have never been found. We are repeatedly assured they exist, but after many searches some have concluded that they may not. Many of us once believed there was a monster under our bed, but absence of evidence caused us to conclude that there really wasn’t. We’d be foolish to still think there was. The same thing applies to these supposed indirect evolutionary pathways.
There is simply no evidence that natural selection or evolution can bring about irreducible complexity. Some claim there is, but they have yet to produce it. According to the idea, it can be shown that certain biological systems are so complex that evolution simply can't explain them. Intelligence, however, can be shown to generate such systems. Intelligent beings such as humans have shown the ability to create complex machines, and there is simply nothing else besides intelligence that can be shown to bring about such things. Perhaps there will be some day, and if that day comes this idea will actually be debunked. It simply hasn’t been yet.
I could go on, but I seem to be running low on characters. Someone who makes a good case for why irreducible complexity is indeed valid is William Dembski in chapter 40 of his book, "The Design Revolution." I used a lot of what he wrote to support my discussion here. I'll conclude by saying I am happy to find a willingness to debate here. I usually avoid such forums because of flame wars by those on both sides. I hope that can be avoided here.
What is your educational background, what is your religious affiliation, and why do you only accept religious apologetics as true? Better yet, why doesn't the scientific community agree with religious apologetics?

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