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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blood Clotting in humans isn't irreducibly complex

The Panda's Thumb is an anti-Intelligent Design blog. Although the authors are sometimes rather tranquil, the posts are often strident. A recent post isn't especially strident, I guess, but it undercuts (not for the first time) the central claim of Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box, with scientific evidence.

Behe's central claim was that some processes, including blood clotting, are irreducibly complex -- they require several separate parts, and wouldn't work if any one of the parts were missing. Thus, these processes couldn't have developed from simpler ones through natural selection. (Behe is not a young earth creationist. He has a doctorate in biochemistry.)

The post indicated shows that blood clotting does work in lampreys (simple fish) without some of the molecules required for blood clotting in humans. It predicts that even simpler animals, thought to be similar to the ancestors of vertebrates, will have a clotting system that works, even though such a clotting system would not have all the molecules of the lamprey clotting system.

We'll see if that prediction holds up. Behe's prediction hasn't.

Thanks for reading.

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