- Joachim L. Dagg (2011). Exploring Mouse Trap History. Evolution Education and Outreach 4 (3):397-414.Since intelligent design (ID) advocates claimed the ubiquitous mouse trap as an example of systems that cannot have evolved, mouse trap history is doubly relevant to studying material culture. On the one hand, debunking ID claims about mouse traps and, by implication, also about other irreducibly complex systems has a high educational value. On the other hand, a case study of mouse trap history may contribute insights to the academic discussion about material culture evolution. Michael Behe argued that mouse traps (...)
Rambling scamper - don't get lost
Ok, I collected all the historical evidence I could find that Michael Behe should have considered before making his claims about mousetraps and irreducible complexity.
Some of you may get lost because of technicalities concerning traps or my rambling style. But the main result is that taking a closer look at mousetrap history reveals similar patterns as taking a closer look at some organism's natural history. In the face of this evidence ID proponents can only revert to the same old strategies of emphasising gaps in the record etc. as we are used from their dealing with biological systems. In my opinion, nothing of the suggestive power of Behe's mousetrap analogy remains, if the real historical record is brought into consideration.
In fact, Hooker's patent of 1894 alone suffices to destroy Behe's mousetrap case for irreducible complexity. For a short and simple blog entry concerning Behe's mousetrap nemesis see: <http://historiesofecology.blogspot.com/2011/08/michael-behes-mousetrap-nemesis.html>.