Irreducible Complexity

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Irreducible complexity is a concept developed by Michael Behe to describe a system composed of interacting parts, every one of which is essential to the function of the system. An example is a mousetrap.

If an irreducibly complex biological system could be found, it would be difficult to account for it as the result of small incremental changes. Depending on how complex it was, it might be impossible for Darwinian evolution to explain it.

The concept of irreducible complexity is essential to Intelligent Design. See, for example, Origin of bacterial flagella.

An irreducibly complex system would in theory indicate Intelligent Design without the need for any other attributes of design such as aesthetically pleasing symmetry, elegance, economy, etc. Nor would being morally repugnant disqualify it from indicating Intelligent Design. Bad Design or Sub-optimal design should it be possible to demonstrate them, would still be design.

No. 8 in the Scientific American target list of embarrassing "creationist nonsense" is "Mathematically, it is inconceivable that anything as complex as a protein, let alone a living cell or a human, could spring up by chance."