Charles Darwin observed that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Biochemist Michael Behe took Darwin up on his challenge by highlighting biochemical systems that exhibit what he called “irreducible complexity.” According to Behe, a biological system exhibits irreducible complexity when it is “composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” [Darwin’s Black Box, p. 39] Find out more about irreducible complexity through the links below.
Michael Behe highlighted the idea of irreducible complexity by using the example of a common mouse trap. Read what Behe thinks we can learn from this example and why he thinks critics of the example are misguided.
Michael Behe, “A Mouse Trap Defended”
Have Michael Behe’s ideas on irreducible complexity been refuted? Explore Behe and his colleagues’ responses to various critics over the years and judge for yourself.