Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coulter Goes All Science-y in Bid to Disprove Evolution

In her latest syndicated column, Ann Coulter launched an attack on Darwin's theory of evolution. She argues that "[m]odern science has disproved Darwinian evolution" because biologists now know that many features of organic life, such as complex cell structures, DNA, blood clotting, molecules, and "the cell's tiny flagellum and cilium" are extraordinarily complicated. From this, Coulter makes the leap that such things couldn't possibly have evolved through natural selection and random mutation, claiming this shows that evolution is "mathematically impossible."

Not only is that false, it's yet another example of Coulter's longtime war on science.

The concept Coulter is describing -- originated by intelligent design proponent Michael Behe -- is called "irreducible complexity." The basic idea
is that "that there are in organisms 'irreducibly complex' systems that cannot be explained by random mutation and natural selection. These 'irreducibly complex' systems would cease to function if any one part fails -- which Behe claims rules out evolution and leaves only design."

Coulter devoted a significant portion of her 2006 book Godless: The Church of Liberalism to an attempt to disprove evolution. She similarly touted Behe and his "irreducible complexity" theory, claiming it "disproved evolution." Media Matters thoroughly addressed the issue at that time,noting several deep flaws in her reasoning:

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