Joined: Mar. 2008
This may be completely superfluous, but I've been thinking about the evolution of the bicycle.
The problem with the analogy is not that a wheel can be removed, leaving a functional unicycle.
The problem with the analogy is that we know much of the history of bicycles (and wheels in general) and know that the various memes enabling the invention of bicycles did not spring full grown from the forehead of Zeus.
We have examples of early wheels that were simply logs placed under heavy objects to make moving them easier. So we have a plausible scenario in which a found object can become useful. First unicycle. No construction required, no modification of structure required. No seat. No handlebars. No chain. No pedals.
Analogies have limits, but what we can take from this is the fact that knowing the actual history of an invention makes nonsense of claims of irreducibility.
Human designed objects like bicycles do not begin with a vision of the perfect final form, and the fact that removal of a piece makes the product significantly less functional says nothing about the history of the invention.
The Intelligent Design argument stands or falls on what it can say about the history of an object, and so far it can say nothing.
EDIT: I suppose this belongs on the Luskin thread.
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”