The Creation Wiki is made available by the NW Creation Network
Watch monthly live webcast - Like us on Facebook - Subscribe on YouTube

Immune system is irreducibly complex (Talk.Origins)

From CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
Jump to: navigation, search
Response Article
This article (Immune system is irreducibly complex (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CB200.4:

The human immune system is irreducibly complex, indicating that it must have been designed.


  • Behe, Michael J. 1996. Darwin's Black Box, New York: The Free Press, pp. 117-139.

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. The complement system of the human immune system is not irreducibly complex. Urochordates have a functional complement system, yet they lack a component of the cascade.

Urochordates are marine invertebrates. While this indicates that a simpler immune system may be possible in a water environment, it says nothing about the human immune system, since humans live on land.

The fact that a simpler organism living in a different environment can have a simpler immune system, does not make the human immune system not irreducibly complex. It just shows that different immune systems are possible under the right condition.

2. Common mechanisms, such as gene duplication and co-option of molecules with other roles, allow the immune system to evolve naturally. Much has been written on the subject.

Such studies may show where the genetic information for the human immune system came from but it does not solve the problem. It does not explain how the needed components happened to get together in the right order to produce a functioning system. Such preexisting material would also be expected if the human immune system was a result of genetically engineering an original creation.

It is unlikely that Adam and Eve would have needed much of an immune system in the Garden of Eden, but after the fall they would have needed a sophisticated one such as is seen in humans today. So the human immune system is likely the product of post fall genetic engineering by God Himself.

None of this changes the fact that the human immune system is irreducibly complex and that it indicates design.

3. Behe gets some of the basic biology wrong. Bacteria are not destroyed, as Behe says (1996, 134), by water rushing in when the cell membrane is punctured, but because their chemical gradients have been destroyed (Ussery 1999).

If you look at the dates on both sources you see that Behe predates Ussery, so all this shows is that Behe’s description is simply out of date. It happens all the time in science.

4. Irreducible complexity is not an obstacle to evolution and doesn't imply design.

This statement is bogus; it is based on flawed logic.

This includes impossible demand that those who hold to the position that irreducible complexity implies design disproves all possible evolutionary scenarios, even those that have not been invented yet.