Old Ann Coulter seems to be at it again. You know, I’ve always wondered if maybe she was just a shill for the other side, which happens to be my side, for the most part. Three things happen every time miss Coulter opens her mouth: Far-right, evangelical radicals cheer; otherwise logical republicans leave an indent of their palm on their forehead, and democrats laugh and cheer. But one other thing happens when she speaks, and it’s not an angel getting its wings. The fourth thing that happens is that yet another scientist, science writer or science blogger is forced to explain something to deaf ears once again.
This time, like so many other times, what needs to be explained to this unscientific dullard is evolution. She, much like her counterparts, O’Donnell, Palin, Bachmann, understands science about as much as she understands the importance of eating more than one peanut daily.
In her most recent blunder, Coulter claimed that science itself has disproved science, noting, “Modern science has disproved Darwinian evolution” because it’s discovered just how complex organisms are. She noted as well that flagellum acts as proof of evolution because it cannot function with even the smallest piece of it change from its current form.
Apparently nobody told her that planets, although incredibly complex, are the result of other planetary collisions or explosions, thus a less complex system becoming a more complex one.
What she is referring to is the disproved and antiquated idea of irreducible complexity first proposed by the discovery institute. I’ve already written so extensively on this concept that I’m bored to tears with it, and you can easily search my blogs from the previous years for example of why irreducible complexity is an illegitimate hypothesis. When an idea is so anti-scientific that even judges appointed by George Bush and Ronald Reagan won’t even allow it as a counterpoint to evolution, then you’ve got a real dud on your hands.
Though, I don’t even want to talk about it again, I can sum it up with a simple example: A car’s engine. Look under the hood of your car later today. I don’t suggest you do this, but if you were to just tear one random wire, I’m sure something in your car will cease to function. It would also most likely cause a ripple effect that could potentially damage other areas of your engine, or areas of your car. That one piece cause the car to be dysfunctional. However, if you were to look under the hood of last year’s model of your car, you’ll probably notice things are a little different. Most likely, most of the same parts are there, but there’s at least one thing missing. Maybe something else is set up differently so that it doesn’t function very well, and some things could look completely different. Then proceed to look at that previous year’s model, then the previous year’s model, until you trace it back to its origins. Eventually, you’re going to reach the steam engine. Does a steam engine look anything like a modern combustion engine? No. Small changes over a long period of time allowed for this entity to become something completely different from what it was, and because of these small changes, it’s become more and more complex, while being perfectly able to function throughout each generation. This is why irreducible complexity doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for the same reason that cyclic evolution or species limitation hypothesis doesn’t work: It doesn’t take time scale or scale of individual change into account. It’s the same old equation: Macro-evolution = Micro-evolution + Time.