Functional Complexity
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06-04-2014, 05:46 PM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2014 10:11 PM by ecreipa.)
Functional Complexity
My girlfriend's dad is a major Tea Party supporter. He even ran a website/forum called Rebel Republic Inc for awhile. He is also a major supporter of the Intelligent Design movement and of course denies global warming. (Oddly enough, he's also a huge Star Trek fan as well as having a HUGE collection of table top games, deck-building games, etc, which seemed weird to me, considering his political leanings, but that's a topic for another time.)

Anyway, on the topic of ID. We usually don't talk about politics because we tend to disagree, but every so often, he just throws out "all you need to know is two words: functional complexity." Then he leaves it at that. I don't even know where to begin. I know it's an old argument but I'm not sure how to respond to it.

Any advice would be great. Thanks Smile
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06-04-2014, 06:10 PM
RE: Functional Complexity
Would that be the same as "irreducible complexity"?

If it is the argument goes like this as per Behe:

"An irreducibly complex structure is defined as ". . . a single system 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."

Counters:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/i...trial.html
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/d...ticle.html

It has been debunked many times.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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06-04-2014, 07:11 PM
RE: Functional Complexity
P-P-P-P-P-PAPERS!!! Can be your best friend. Here you go.Thumbsup

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v48...10885.html

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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07-04-2014, 03:03 AM
RE: Functional Complexity
The very notion of 'functional complexity' is flawed because of the word 'functional'.

Something is only functional once you have another party making use of it for their own purpose.

Weather for example is extremely complex. It wasn't designed, it isn't controlled, it just arose because of the temperature gradient between the Earth's poles and equator, the rotation of the planet and the changing landscape.

Weather is only functional once you make use of it somehow, for example by sailing or paragliding, generating electricity from a wind turbine, wanting to water your crops etc. And not all weather is useful for us.

Weather is a good example because it shows that function is not inherent to its nature. Just because we can find a use for something does not mean to say that it was put here specifically for that use, especially as technology progresses we make use of the same complex systems in different ways.

The concept of 'functional complexity' relies on the fundamental assumption that something was designed to provide a function. Therefore arguing that it is evidence of design is circular reasoning.
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07-04-2014, 08:59 AM
RE: Functional Complexity
I created a powerpoint for a class that may interest you.

http://www.slideshare.net/ghostexorcist/...-evolution
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07-04-2014, 09:04 AM
RE: Functional Complexity
Trying to convince the father of your girlfriend that ID is bunk? Is this the best course of action? Wink

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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10-04-2014, 03:31 PM
RE: Functional Complexity
Haha. I've been dating his daughter for a year and a half. He's actually very civil in person. On Faebook, sometimes not so much Tongue
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