Irreducible Complexity Reduced: An Integrated Approach to the Complexity Space
by Eric Anderson
Abstract—William Dembski’s and Michael Behe’s recent article, Irreducible Complexity Revisited, provides an important update on the irreducible complexity argument since the publication some 8 years ago of Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box . Their article, however, exhibits some confusion, or at least a lack of explicit clarification, regarding the interplay among specified complexity, cumulative complexity and irreducible complexity. In the present article, I analyze the relationship of these concepts and show that the argument from irreducible complexity cannot be divorced from the broader argument of specified complexity. While this has been previously acknowledged in a broad sense, I make explicit irreducible complexity’s dependence on specified complexity, including specified complexity as applied to cumulative complexity, and further demonstrate why this dependence causes the irreducible complexity argument to break down in the evolutionist’s mind. Indeed, this dependence is directly responsible for evolutionists’ ability to acknowledge the existence of irreducibly complex biological features while still rejecting the irreducible complexity argument. Finally, the present article demonstrates how the arguments from complexity can be better understood within the context of an integrated approach to the complexity space. With a better understanding of the complexity space, the concepts of irreducible complexity and specified complexity can be fortified and focused in order to bring the full weight of these arguments to bear on evolutionary claims.
Back to PCID Volume 3.1, November 2004