Can Language be the product of random mutations and gradual evolution? I don’t think so. And in order to help you see it from another perspective, in this video we talk about Michael Behe’s work on Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity. Some observable principles are completely ignored by official science. But without them, we cannot explain Life as a whole, much less the emergence of language. So, let’s go on a little excursion into biology to find out more!
– (video) Amazing Flagellum : Michael Behe and the Revolution of Intelligent Design : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNR48…
– (video) Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xht_b…
– (book) Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 2001.
– (book) Douglas Axe, Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed, HarperOne, 2016.
– (book) J. C. Sandford, Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, Feed My Sheep Foundation, Inc., 2008.
– (book) Ruchard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary edition, OUP Oxford, 2016
Hello, and welcome to Language with Chu. I hope you watched the previous part, where we did a review of Darwin’s theory of evolution and his theory about language, which leaves much to be desired. And we’re going to see how and why.
So in this part, I want to go a little bit into biology to recommend a book that you may not have heard of, but that in my opinion changes your entire view about evolution and brings back the wonder that we can feel when we look at nature, when we look at living organisms, when we look at ourselves… and that is usually very often missed in the academia or whenever you hear or read anything about biology.
So this is a book by Michael Behe. There are many others (I’ll put the bibliography at the bottom of this video), but this one is particularly good and easy to understand. Here we go:
It’s called Darwin’s Black Box, and it’s going to take you through a journey about evolution and about things that are very tiny, tiny, tiny in nature, but very complex. When we extrapolate that to language later, you’ll see how ridiculous darwinian theories look in comparison. But let’s start with something simple.
He says (I’m basing myself on this book, but also in a talk that I’m going to link to at the bottom as well if you want to listen to it)… Basically for him and for many others evolution does not seem like something unguided, unplanned, random, that just happened by chance.
Why? Because… well, you can forgive Darwin because at the time he was writing, there was no genetics, they didn’t know the content of the cell. In fact, that’s what the “black box” that Behe mentions in the title is. Something unknown that does wonderful things, but we don’t know where it comes from, how it works or anything. At the time of Darwin, the cell was considered a “blob”, a “jello”, and now we have diagrams like this one that you’re seeing on the screen. And every single part of the cell is part of a giant factory, actually.
It’s so complex that it’s difficult to imagine why it would have arisen from random mutations with no purpose at all. Basically, that’s the premise of the book. Okay, but let’s see some of the arguments: The way you define, or he defines, design, is a purposeful (I can never pronounce that word) a purposeful arrangement of parts.
Basically, if it looks like it was done for a purpose, and when the parts are all organized, like in an engine, like a watch, etc., then there is a design. When we look at it, we say there is a design, right? Somebody or something designed it and we usually infer that whenever we see something that is made to accomplish a function… If you look at a car, you know that it was designed, that its parts are arranged for a reason in the way they are, and that they need to accomplish a function, i.e. driving the car.
Okay so when you look at it in nature or anything else, you will see for example: if I show you this picture of these mountains, you could say, well how did they come to be? Maybe was a shift in tectonic plates and something happened in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the mountains came to be, right? [A design is not so obvious from looking at them.]
Well, but what happens if I show you this picture now? Would you be able to give it any random mutation explanation? Or imagine that it came to exist without any designer without any builders forming the shapes? Obviously not.
Okay, so that’s a funny example that he gives kind of to give you the idea that when you look at nature, many, many things… you’re going to say, “Wait a minute, that ought to be designed! It’s intricate, it has a purpose, it has a different definite traits that somebody would have thought about, or something. That’s number one.
Number two is that even the hardcore darwinists agree that certain aspects of biology appear to be designed. In fact, many of them (if you read Richard Dawkins, for example)… they’ll say, “What we look at appears to be a designed, and we have to explain it. Our role is to explain it via random mutations, gradual evolution, etc.” So they’re not saying that they don’t see the design. What they’re saying is, “We believe that it has to be the way Darwin explained it”. So, when they look at wings, for example…
A wing is super, super complex. Each tiny component of a wing has a function and it all works together. But for them, for the darwinists, it all came about very gradually. Maybe one type of feather started existing because of a certain reason that allowed for better reproduction or survival. And then, the other parts started working. Except that, as we’ll see later, that doesn’t happen very often, in fact, hardly ever.
And in the same way, when you look at a plane, for example… I mean, we know it’s designed, we know it’s engineered. We know it took many, many human beings to produce it. But look at the simplicity of a plane compared to the wings of the tiniest bird in existence. So there’s something there that doesn’t really match, because if you can acknowledge that there’s design in this plane, for example, why wouldn’t you acknowledge it in a bird? That’s just one example.
Number three is that there are structural obstacles to darwinian evolution. Let me quote Darwin here first: He said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down, but I can find no such case”. Again, at the time of Darwin there was no serious work done in microbiology, but now there is. Now we don’t have an excuse to continue believing in this. We’ll see why.
One of the main principles that Behe brings up is the idea of irreducible complexity, which he defines as “a single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively stop functioning”.
Well, he always gives the example in his talks and in his book of the mousetrap, because it’s the simplest kind of machine that you can think of, where, if you remove any of the parts, it stops working it completely. It breaks down, or you can use it for something else, maybe, but it won’t be a mousetrap anymore. If you remove the hammer, the spring, the board, etc.
So that to him is an example of an irreducibly complex organism (or machine in this case) and he shows little by little that many, many things in nature… Well, he doesn’t want to say it. He only talks about microorganisms, so I’m saying this: everything in nature is irreducibly complex, or at least most of it.
So why is this important? Because if natural selection had waited for all these parts that worked together to fulfill a function to exist, then it wouldn’t have been necessary anymore. The timing is off: if you need part A to make part B work, and vice versa, then they both have to have come about at the same time. Otherwise, there would be no purpose for part A to exist to begin with. If its only mission is to help part B, which came later, then why would it be selected by natural selection, see? So that’s where the whole darwinian theory kind of breaks down if you really think about it.
And that’s also where many “enemies”, I would say, or deterrents of Michael Behe and other authors show that darwinism is not really science. It’s an ideology, it’s not biology, as Behe says. They’re so fervent about opposing this simple principle that they say it’s all about religion, and we shouldn’t even look at it. There’s always an explanation in gradual evolution. Except they can’t really give it. It’s just theories and explanations for why one thing happened or the other [with no detailed progressions or data]. So, keep this idea of irreducible complexity in mind, because we’re going to use it also for language.
One of the examples he gives in his book is the bacterial flagellum. Now, this is just the tiniest… the tail of a bacteria. And we’re talking about super microscopic organisms. This little guy has like 40 components, 20 or so of which that are not in any other organisms, or wouldn’t fulfill any other purpose than what they do in this particular movement. It makes the bacteria swim, and it all works exactly like a motor, like an engine in a boat. And each of the parts work together. If you lose one, the whole system breaks down, and if you don’t have all of them, the whole system doesn’t work. So, for it to have been [a darwinian] evolution is impossible.
Maybe you can say, “Well, all the parts evolved at the same time, by several random mutations. But [that would be too much of a coincidence!] And then you still have the same problem that there would have had to be something, or somebody, that decided what the purpose of the organism was going to be. Otherwise, what’s the point in creating all those parts, right?
So, ultimately it comes down to the fact that it’s all fairy tales. When darwinians explain evolution in the way they do, it is not very unlike stories like Kipling’s. You know, Just so Stories. If you are Anglosaxon, you probably know them. The idea is that, you know, how zebras got their stripes. They were hiding under a tree and the shade blocked part of their body, and then they realized that they camouflaged better, or something like that, as the story goes. But anyway, basically it’s not science, because there’s no evidence for how these random mutations would occur and why they would occur.
And finally, Behe says that everywhere in nature there’s a strong evidence for design, as I mentioned in the beginning, and we should use the “in-duck-tive” (obviously it’s misspelled here), inductive reasoning, which means that, you know, if something looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, then it may be a duck, right? Well, if something looks designed, and acts like it’s designed, then it’s probably designed.
But darwinians will say, “No, that’s all random mutations, natural selection, chance”. And we come from apes… So that’s it for Behe’s theory of… not theory of evolution, but what he’s trying to explain is that not everything in nature… Some of it may be explained in darwinian terms, but not everything in nature can be explained that way. And he sticks to microbiology, and he gives the example of the flagellum of the bacteria, or some cells in the immune system. He explains to you how it all works, and how it’s impossible for it to have arisen little by little.
In my opinion, it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that if you can find that in microorganisms, then it’s way more likely that you’ll find it in the whole in more complex organisms, in human beings, and in our language capacity. When we talk about each biological component, the brain, the vocal tract, etc., we’ll see that it’s extremely complex, and that for it to have arisen little by little is a fairy tale. Thanks for watching, see you next time!