Irreducible Complexity – 16 Pages – PDF Download


First I would like to call to the readers attention the concept of
Irreducible complexity.
The idea of irreducible complexity can be explained with a simple device
such as a mouse trap. The mouse trap consists of a
1. Wooden platform.
2. A spring loaded wire hammer.
3. A catch.
4. A metal bar.
We are all familiar with the operation of the mouse trap.
We realise that if any of the parts are missing the mouse trap will not work.
No wooden platform to mount the parts, no wire hammer to kill the mouse,
no spring to drive the hammer, no catch and bar to hold the hammer in
If any of the foregoing parts are missing the mouse trap does not function.
This kind of simple device is irreducibly complexed because it needs all of
its parts to be in place and functioning for it to work as a mouse trap.
If the wooden platform was painted or not painted it is clear that the
mouse trap would still function as a mouse trap.
The paint is not part of the irreducible system.
Another example: a watch with its hands missing ceases to function as a
watch. Also electrical circuits are irreducibly complexed because if you
remove any one of the components from the circuit, the device fails.
All parts of the particular device have to be in place before the function is
viable. This defines irreducible complexity.
The living world at the level of molecular biology is irreducibly complexed.
I will illustrate one of these devices which is contained in every living thing
that exists or has existed from bacteria, plants, animals and human
All living cells require energy to function just as electrical circuits require
electricity to flow through the circuit.