Saturday, May 24, 2008

Miller Plays with his Mouse Trap


Michael Behe's response to Miller's blather...

"The problem... is that it's not an argument against anything I've ever said. In my book, I explicitly point out that some of the components of biochemical machines can have other functions. But the issue remains - can you use numerous, slight, successive modifications to get from those other functions to where we are?

"Some of this objection seems a bit silly. Could a component of a mousetrap function as a paperweight? Well, what do you need to be a paperweight? You need mass. You need to exist. An elephant, or my computer, or a stick can be a paperweight. But suppose you go buy a paperweight. What would it look like? Most of them are nondescript, roundish things. None of them look anything like a precursor to a mousetrap. Besides, look at what he's doing: he's starting from the finished product - the mousetrap - and disassembling it and moving a few things around to use them for other puposes. Again, that's intelligent design!"

"The question for evolution is not whether you can take a mousetrap and use its parts for something else: it's whether you can start with something else and make it into a mousetrap. The problem for evolutionists is to start with a less complex system and build a more complex system. Even if every component could theoretically have a useful function prior to its assembly into the mousetrap, you'd still have the problem of how the mousetrap becomes assembled."


"When people put together a mousetrap, they have the disassembled components in different drawers or something, and they grab one from each drawer and put it together. But in the cell, there's nobody there to do that."

"In molecular machines, components have portions of their shape that are complementary to each other, so they connect with each other in the right way. A positive charge can attract a negative charge, and an oily region can attract another oily region. So if we use the mousetrap as an analogy, one end of the spring would have to have a certain shape or magnetism that just happened to attract and fit with another component of the trap. They'd all have to fit together that way until you had the whole trap assembled by itself.

"In other words, if you just had the components themselves without the ability to bring the pieces into position, you'd be far from having a functioning mousetrap. Nobody ever addresses this problem in the evolutionary literature. If you do any calculations about how likely this could occur by itself, you find it's very improbable. Even with the small machines, you wouldn't expect them to self-assemble during the entire life-time of the earth. That's a severe problem that evolutionists don't like to address."


HT: Frank