Member # 181
posted 13. March 2006 18:57
In Behe's new afterword to Darwin's Black Box and in his reaction to the Dover verdict, he writes about Robert Pennock's hypothetical example of a chronometer and clock. I never read Pennock's original article, so I'm just going by what Behe has written about it. Apparently Pennock thought he had found a way to evolve Irreducibly Complex systems. I assume he thinks the chronometer is IC, and that we can take away a part and still have a functioning system that performs another task (keeping time on land). In other words, the chronometer could have evolved indirectly from a clock.
I don't see this as a major challenge to Behe's argument. He never denied that IC systems might be able to evolve indirectly. He just thought such pathways would be rather improbable. And in Pennock's example, it certainly would be. We need to add two balances and four springs for the chronometer to function. That would seem to translate into six mutations, from clock to chronometer. I'm guessing that would be rather improbable.
So I think Behe's concept of IC survives at least Pennock's challenge.