by Terri Kammerzell
Truth of Genesis Ministry Partner
July 26 is “National All or Nothing Day,” and while the origin of the “holiday” is unclear, the philosophy is “seize the day!” Be all in or be all out. What dream, goal, project, or bucket-list item have you been putting off? This Sunday is the day to commit, make a plan, tell your friends, post it to social media, and get it done!
My goal is to remind my friends, family, and as many others as I can that this world and everything in it is owned by its Creator. (Psalm 24:1)
But the phrase “all or nothing” reminds me of my favorite Fun Fact:
What is irreducible complexity?
Sometimes referred to as “all or nothing,” irreducible complexity is a system of interdependent parts: parts that rely upon each other in order to make the whole function.
In this case, “all or nothing” is about the design of systems that require certain parts that depend on each other in order to function. And, when one or more of those parts are missing, the system cannot operate.
One great example I like goes back to a sermon I heard as a young adult, when my pastor mentioned that an airplane is made up of so many parts—wings, stabilizers, rudders, flaps, engines, etc.—none of which can fly on their own, but when put together, the whole system can transport almost anything you can think of.
God, the creative Engineer, built complex systems too: He designed us, the animals, and most of nature around us, both visible and invisible!
We’ve already discussed some examples of irreducible complexity, such as the giraffe and the bombardier beetle. Both are animals that defy evolution because their complex designs could not have gradually evolved to what they are. In the giraffe, if his heart didn’t beat as powerfully as it does, and if the spongy tissue at the base of his brain was missing, and if the valves didn’t have a pressure-check system, then the supposed ancestor of the giraffe we see today would not have survived long enough to produce offspring to evolve. All those features had to be in place at once. All or nothing.
Similarly, the bombardier beetle, with his gas chambers and his high-pressure nozzle sprayer, could not have evolved one part at a time. From the beginning, the complex system had to be designed just that way. In future weeks, we’ll discuss other amazing examples of irreducible complexity, such as the chuckwalla lizard, the woodpecker, and the human eyes, ears, heart, and brain.
But this week, let’s talk more specifically about irreducible complexity in the cells of living beings. Did you know that the average human body is made up of at least 30-40 trillion cells?! And that within each cell are compartments called “organelles.” These compartments are not only carefully organized, but they are interconnected and networked to move calcium, lipids, proteins, sugars, and more to keep you alive! Scientists are discovering that these organelles cannot function independently. Right from the start they had to be designed to work together. Someone had to design them that way!
There are many more examples of irreducible complexity even outside my Fun Facts. I would encourage you to visit the page on my website for this Fun Fact, and explore the links I have gathered that will take you to articles, videos, and audio clips about the complexity found in human tears, the knee joint, hemoglobin, blood clotting, the electrical design of the nervous system, weedy plants, fungi, and even the long-time debate of the chicken vs. the egg.
In my mind, irreducible complexity is just about the strongest evidence for a Creator. Just like engineers have to design an airplane with all its required parts in order for it to be able to fly, the Engineer had to design our cells, our bodies, and countless systems in animals and nature all over the earth in order for them to function properly. That’s why this is my favorite Fun Fact! And that’s why I wanted to seize the opportunity to tell you about it!
Don’t just take my word for it! Visit YouFormedMe.com/humanBody/complexity.html to read, watch, and listen to supporting research and commentary from scientists, doctors, theologians, and more!
This blog is from a special series of “Creation Fun Facts” by Terri Kammerzell, starting from June 10, 2020. Read the introduction at TruthOfGenesis.com/blogs/building-a-biblical-defense-of-creation.