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And the contrast between the detail Behe covers for the various systems he deals with, and the utter lack of detail in "evolutionary explanations" is stark. Typical of such explanations in evolutionary biology are the "A -> B -> C -> D" explanation, where hypothetical variables are used in place of actual proteins or other biomolecules. The problem of course is that talk is cheap . . . it's easy to propose hypotheticals. But when you are forced to provide actual chemical names, then you are also forced to come up with real chemical reactions that get you from A to B and so on. Nobody does this.

I'm wondering why not.

As a layperson, I would expect that science could explain the possibility of natural selection leading to these supposedly IC structures citing actual proteins and biochemicals within that possible path and the results of their interactions.

Are you familiar with Zeno's paradox, khalou?

Zeno (a Greek philosopher circa the 400's CE) said that you can never leave the room that you're in. In order to get out, you first have to travel the distance halfway to the door. In order to get that far, first you have to travel halfway to that point -- 1/4 of the way to the door. But first you have to travel 1/8 of the way to the door. But first you have to travel 1/16 of the way to the door. And so on.

Zeno said that you have to travel across an infinite number of points to get from here to there, and since you move at a finite speed, you can't cover that much space.

In practice there are two problems with this. First, space is actually discrete at a very small level, so technically there are not an infinite number of points to cross. Second, and more importantly, it wasn't until centuries later that the math was invented to handle infinite series. In fact you can sum an infinite series (such as 1+1/2+1/4+1/8+...) and still arrive at a finite number (1). This means that in reality, you CAN cover an infinite number of points in finite time.

But Zeno's paradox is a handy tool for creationists who wish to "prove" that evolution is impossible. It's all about this "What is the missing link between X and Y?" argument. If you find the missing link (Z) then you actually generate two more "missing links": the one between X and Z, and the one between Z and Y.

This subdivision of links can potentially go on infinitely, unless you have a complete record of every link from protoplasm to fully formed human. And given that we're dealing with billions of years and (at the extreme end) life cycles measured in hours, we're dealing with something potentially on the order of quadrillions of individual life forms, each of which provides a critical link in the chain.

Long before we hit a complete listing of every one of the trillions of direct ancestors, we reach the practical limits of our knowledge. That's why it's important to identify the PROCESS by which they evolved, show that it works on a wide range of real world cases, and then use induction to fill in the gaps. The idea that science must fill in every single detail to be valid is a straw man.

And an infinitely extendable strawman, at that. Because it declares that unless we know EVERYTHING, we don't know ANYTHING.
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