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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CI130:

Design is indicated by functional integration, which is multiple parts working together to produce a particular function or end.


Lumsden, R., quoted by B. J. Alters, 1995. A content analysis of the Institute for Creation Research's Institute on Scientific Creationism. Creation/Evolution 15(2): 1-15.


  1. Functional integration can be produced naturally. Parts come together all the time and, with the addition of energy, act on each other. It is inevitable that sometimes such workings will create an end that someone or something considers functional. An example of such functional integration occurring naturally is climate (which has even been proposed as evidence of intelligent design; Morton 2001). Climate is produced by the interactions of terrain, trade winds, bodies of water, and latitude. These can occur arbitrarily, but they are bound to produce some kind of functional climate.

  2. Functional integration is what we would expect from evolution. Evolution requires units that reproduce. "Units" implies at least some amount of integration, and reproduction is a function. (And natural selection will favor innumerable other functions that help with survival and reproduction.)

  3. Biological systems often include imperfections and jury-rigging that argue against intelligent planning of their integration. For example: Additional example are plentiful (Behrman et al. 2004; Colby et al. 1993).

  4. Functional integration is not a necessary part of design. It does not exist in simple designs without multiple parts, for example. Since evolution always produces functional integration but design does not, functional integration is evidence more for evolution than for design.


Colby, Chris et al., 1993. Evidence for jury-rigged design in nature.


  1. Behrman et al., 2004. (see below)
  2. Colby et al., 1993. (see above)
  3. Keegan, L. P., A. Gallo and M. A. O'Connell, 2000. Survival is impossible without an editor. Science 290: 1707-1709.
  4. Morton, Glenn R., 2001. Nineteenth century design arguments. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 21(3-4): 21-22,27.

Further Reading:

Behrman, Edward J., George A. Marzluf and Ronald Bentley, 2004. Evidence from biochemical pathways in favor of unfinished evolution rather than intelligent design. Journal of Chemical Education 81(7): 1051-1052.
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created 2003-6-23, modified 2004-7-9