They seem to think that a biological system (or subsystem) is made up of absolutely interdependent and indispensible components - if any of these parts was suddenly removed, then the whole system would fall apart.
Even a cursory glance at reality tells us that this is not true.
People don't disintegrate if their fingers, hands or arms are chopped off - indeed they can stay alive for a while even if a critical organ like the liver is removed, otherwise organ transplants would be impossible.
But assuming that some irreducibly complex system can be found, it still doesn't follow that the system could not have developed via stepwise evolution.
To illustrate this: imagine that you have been appointed as the CEO of a large corporation today, and you decide to sack the entire sales department immediately.
This would inflict a severe wound on the company which can cause the whole company to collapse if competent replacements are not quickly found. That's because the critical functions of a corporation have been delegated to departments which have become highly specialized and optimized over time.
Clearly, finding such an irreducibly complex corporation today doesn't mean that it MUST have poofed into existence by supernatural means!
It just means that roles of its members have gradually changed over time.
When the company was in its infancy, it had only a few staff members.
Everyone helped out to do sales, so there was no sales department.
That wasn't particularly efficient but it didn't need to be, because a small company simply didn't require (and couldn't afford) a proper sales department.
Likewise, hundreds of millions of years ago our simple animal ancestors didn't have any hearts or brains - they just didn't need them. Of course, we won't last long without these critical organs today.
In any case, complex biological systems can tolerate a certain amount of damage or loss of their subsystems because they exhibit modularity (to reduce spill-over effects) and redundancy (to backup some functions).
However, if there exists a system which has absolute component interdependency, no modularity and no redundancy, then the creationists would be right and any small change would bring down the whole shebang.
The fact that creationists prefer to assume that biological systems must be organized in such a manner, reflects strongly on their ideology.
In my previous full article about social systems, I talked about some of the problems of an absolute authority, but I forgot to elaborate on the importance of redundancy, which I will highlight in this article.
Absolute authorities are problematic due to the lack of checks and balances, but singular absolute authorities have an additional problem - the lack of redundancy.
If a system contains redundant components, then it will continue running even if some of its components are flawed or missing.
On the other hand, if a system contains no redundancy at all, then the imperfection of one component will lead to the collapse of the whole system.
Thus, people who believe in singular supernatural authorities tend to have a worldview that contains no redundancy and brooks no dissent.
They can only be absolutely right or absolutely wrong, because any "wrongness" of any one part would render the whole belief wrong (although in practice they take on faith that no part of their belief can possibly be wrong).
Seeing the world through such tinted glasses, they expect other social systems to exhibit this same characteristic.
Of course, this is false - even within the area of supernatural belief, people who believe in multiple deities for example, do not share this problem.
Also, systems that do not depend on central authority don't have this problem.
Science, for example, is made up of multiple specializations. In addition, scientific theories and facts are discovered using independent lines of evidence, often employing diverse approaches or technologies.
So if any particular fact, theory or even an entire field is shown to be wrong, it won't bring down the entire scientific endeavour.
Thus, redundancy is a strong defensive move.
This is clearly illustrated in the previous post about investor psychology - diversification helps to preserve capital and guard against the big loss.
Unfortunately, diversification also diminishes the gains from any particular stock, which suggests that singularity is a strong offensive move.
And that is definitely true from the historical point of view - monotheistic belief systems have grown faster and to far greater numbers than any other supernatural or naturalistic system.
My previous articles have already covered the reasons why a centralized and rigid power structure is so effective against a fragmented power-sharing structure.
Since science is driven by evidence, not by central authority and social consensus - thus it mean that, as a social movement, scientific thinking will never be able to compete with supernatural beliefs?
Although science appears fragmented because it cannot in principle have unity through centralized supernatural authority, it can have unity through emergent authority.
A unity of knowledge.
Regular Fresh Brainz readers might have been wondering why I embarked on this odd detour into foreign territory such as sociology and economics in my recent articles.
Well, the gig is up - all these articles constitute the prologue to an original idea that I have been developing for the past ten years.
I had originally planned to hone it in secret and publish it in a book to make a tonne of money, but many events have since transpired that made me change my mind.
Facing a depressing job market and a difficult career ahead, I don't feel confident about the relevance and usefulness of my idea, and so I have decided to post what I've currently worked out to all my readers.
Stay tuned for the first post about FAMILIAR: Fractal-Analog Method of Integrating Limitless Information into Aligned Resources.
Would you like to know more?
Prologue to FAMILIAR:
Part 1 - The Meanings Of Life
Part 2 - Elitism: Human Warmth or Weakness?
Part 3 - Not Right, But Necessary
Part 4 - In Fiat We Trust
Part 5 - When The Sane Go Marching In
Part 6 - Downfall Of Gods