Redundant complexity: A critical analysis of intelligent design in biochemistry

Philosophy of Science 66 (2):268-282 (1999)
Biological systems exhibit complexity at all levels of organization. It has recently been argued by Michael Behe that at the biochemical level a type of complexity exists--irreducible complexity--that cannot possibly have arisen as the result of natural, evolutionary processes and must instead be the product of (supernatural) intelligent design. Recent work on self-organizing chemical reactions calls into question Behe's analysis of the origins of biochemical complexity. His central interpretative metaphor for biochemical complexity, that of the well-designed mousetrap that ceases to function if critical parts are absent, is undermined by the observation that typical biochemical systems exhibit considerable redundancy and overlap of function. Real biochemical systems, we argue, manifest redundant complexity--a characteristic result of evolutionary processes.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392687
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Daniel J. Nicholson (2013). Organisms ≠ Machines. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):669-678.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

234 ( #4,521 of 1,724,852 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

32 ( #33,129 of 1,724,852 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.