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The ear is too complex to have evolved (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (The ear is too complex to have evolved (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 CB302:

The ear is too complex to have evolved.


CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Not much complexity is needed for a functional ear. All that is necessary is a nerve connected to something that can vibrate. Insects have evolved "ears" on at least eleven different parts of their bodies, from antennae to legs. Even humans detect very low frequencies via tactile sensation, not through their ears.

None of this changes the complexity of the human ear and the ears of many other animals. While a minimally functioning ear could be rather simple, such an ear would not function very well, in particular it would not be sensitive enough to be useful. Ears not only detect sound, but they amplify and help with the differentiation of sound. Finally, hearing not only requires a functioning ear, but also a brain that can process the signals produced by that ear.

2. The transition from reptile to mammal shows some of the intermediate stages in human hearing. Jaw bones, which likely helped the hearing of therapsid reptiles, became co-opted exclusively for hearing in the middle ear.

This transitional series has several questionable types, which would render this claim moot. In any case, the ability to invent a possible scenario does not change the fact that Thermodynamics and Information theory show that organized complexity on this scale cannot develop by natural process.

The above scenario does not take into consideration how finely tuned the bones of the middle ear are for transmitting sound and even dampening loud noises. The ear drum is able to detect vibrations smaller than a hydrogen atom, despite having blood flowing through it. The middle ear is a finely tuned machine that defies naturalistic explanation. Thermodynamics and Information theory show that such finely tuned machines cannot arise by naturalistic processes.

For the sake of argument let us grant Talk Origins that the middle ear, where the bones in question are found, could have evolved by shifting of existing bone. It still does not solve the problem. The outer ear not only focuses and amplifies sound but is also self cleaning. The inner ear is finely tuned to amplify sound and convert it into electrochemical impulses that are sent to the brain, where it is processed. Nothing Talk Origins said about the middle ear has any bearing on the outer and inner ear.

3. This is an example of the argument from incredulity. That one does not know how something happened does not mean it cannot have happened.

The argument has nothing to do with inventing how it could happen, but that known scientific principles; particularly those in Thermodynamics and Information theory; show that it cannot happen.