Please read Preface first:
Straight Forward Article: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41392/title/A-Tale-of-Two-Genitals/
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory (of evolution) would absolutely break down.” – Charles Darwin
The argument for the existence of God initially stems from many earlier philosophical quarrels concerning what is real or where we came from. One of the most prominent, and mind boggling, is the Teleological Argument (Irreducible Complexity) by William Paley. Paley’s argument states, “If I stumbled on a stone and asked how it came to be there, it would be difficult to show that the answer, it has lain there forever, is absurd. Yet this is not true if the stone were to be a watch.”
The inference he makes here is that, whereas a stone is not complex at all, a watch is. The function and complexity of the watch naturally implies that the watch has a maker. He then takes this inference of a watch and a maker and applies it to the universe. The universe is vast and infinitely complex, thus we can assume it too has a maker.
There is an analogous example to Paley’s watch for modern times. This more “current” argument uses an organism known as a Bacterial Flagellum. Under the definition of an “Irreducibly Complex Organism” given by Micheal Behe, who wrote an anti-evolution book mainly concerning Irreducible Complexity, states that,
“An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly by numerous, successive, slight modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. …. Since natural selection can only choose systems that are already working, then if a biological system cannot be produced gradually it would have to arise as an integrated unit, in one fell swoop, for natural selection to have anything to act on.” (Behe 1996b)
The Bacterial Flagellum comes into play because it is an example of an Irreducibly Complex organism; a biological system whose parts can only work when put together, and would cease to function if even one part was missing.
Do you all believe in God now?
Hold up. Recently, through their research concerning the relation of male reptiles who have two penises, scientists at Harvard have determined that, “external genitalia develop from the same cells that give rise to hind legs…”, and similarly, genitalia in mammals, birds and crocodilians derive from the tail bud. Essentially, developing the genitalia of either type of creature comes from the same signal and genetic programs that would produce hind legs or a tail.
“While mammal and reptile genitalia are not homologous in that they are derived from different tissue, they do share a ‘deep homology’ in that they are derived from the same genetic program and induced by the same ancestral set of molecular signals.”
Similarly, it is known that when some babies are born with malformations in their legs, the often times have malformations in their gentials as well.
Assuming that genitalia can be considered irreducibly complex (IR), did scientists just discover an instance where an IR organ can be produced purely by random? In which case, can we infer from such a discovery that complex organisms such as humans (or even pre-humans) must have had an original maker? What objections, if any, can you make against Paley’s argument? Is Paley’s watch/universe analogy viable?