Examples given of irreducibly complex systems include the eye and cellular flagella. ID proponents argue that, for example, small changes in the eye or the flagellum would render the organ useless, so that evolution of the organ from more primitive forms would not be possible. However, these arguments have been debunked over and over.
Take the evolution of the eye as an example. Some tiny creatures have primitive light sensing organs that warns them to swim away from large shadow-casting predators. It is not difficult to imagine how incremental refinements to such an organ could have eventually lead to an eye that sees images. Details of how scientists come to this conclusion can be found in the scientific literature. The explanations go well beyond what I can describe here. Prof. Ken Miller, who by the way is a biologist and a practicing Catholic, has an excellent website that discusses many of these issues.
[There are] only a couple dozen papers on the topic [of ID]. Interestingly, all but one paper are critical of ID and irreducible complexity. The one supportive paper, authored by Behe himself, is his response to the scathing reviews of his book by scientists.
So what do scientists say about ID and irreducible complexity? A search of Thomson's Web of Science comes up with only a couple dozen papers on the topic. Interestingly, all but one paper are critical of ID and irreducible complexity. The one supportive paper, authored by Behe himself, is his response to the scathing reviews of his book by scientists. We can safely conclude that there is no raging debate between scientists on evolution.
The scientific literature clearly shows that the Theory of Evolution is a powerful tool for understanding biology and is the basis of the biotechnology industry on which we rely. A small number of people may still cling to the concept of a flat earth, but lots of direct evidence abounds in support of a round earth, such as photos from space. Evolution is a more complex topic and is more difficult to understand because the evidence is more subtle. Add a sprinkling of religious conviction in the literal interpretation of the creation story and a general ignorance of how science works, and it becomes obvious why the average person may find it difficult to accept evolution.
While there appears to be debate on the topic of evolution, the scientific literature clearly shows a consensus that evolution is a mature and widely-held theory that has been tested over and over, and provides a basis for understanding biological diversity and processes. To say that we need to teach the controversy or debate the issue shows a clear misunderstanding of the facts. It is as pointless to debate the veracity of the theory of evolution as it is to doubt a round earth. Let's move on and apply our resources to more worthy pursuits.
Mark G. Kuzyk