Apparently he had an eventful day when he wrote that. A sample of his Darwinian reasoning, that which is usually based on imagining things instead of reason, as is typical to biologists: ...I wish to point out that the mousetrap that Behe uses as an analogy CAN be reduced in complexity and still function as a mousetrap.
Of course it "can" be, conceivably. For instance, an intelligent mind can often streamline a bit of technology to figure out a way around things and so on or at least imagine a way. The real issue is not whether a biologist clinging to whatever intelligence they may have left can "imagine" a way in the abstractions of their mind but whether or not it is reasonable to assume that natural selection can accomplish all that they imagine without verification by empirical evidence.
Note that if you're interested in the real world and what is actually observed rather than imagining things one can readily note that intelligence is typical to organisms and often guides what they select, naturally. Are we to believe that the selections of organisms are an unnatural part of nature but the fact that some live to reproduce more than others is a "natural" form of selection? If organisms often use their intelligence to select to live is that another unnatural form of selection that science must supposedly always be blind to?
The real problem with Behe's example may be that it assumes Darwinism as its foil when Darwinism is little more than hypothetical goo excreted from biologists whenever they begin treating their own imaginations as evidence. E.g.
The mousetrap illustrates one of the fundamental flaws in the intelligent design argument: the fact that one person can't imagine something doesn't mean it is impossible, it may just mean that the person has a limited imagination. (Emphasis added)Note that biologists have often been ignorant and stupid enough to include their own imaginations as evidence since Darwin's day and they often readily accept the structure of Darwin's argument to this day. E.g., "If I can imagine a way that something happened then that should be counted as evidence that it happens that way, by happenstance. Say, I'm feeling overwhelmed by the evidence of how everything happens!"
The poor little fellows typically have such feelings as their minds become lost in their own imaginations along with their reason. Imagine that! It's probably natural selection again because God knows we can't allow intelligent selection when it comes to scientia/knowledge.
Behe's evidence that biochemical pathways are intelligently designed is that Behe can't imagine how they could function without all of their parts, but given how easy it is to reduce the complexity of a mousetrap, I'm not convinced."I can imagine a way!"
There, there, little fella, of course you're not convinced because you can imagine things but you are mistaken about what ID types are saying in the first place. They're not saying that you can't imagine things or that they can't imagine what you're imagining, instead they're saying that based on a reasonable and intelligent view of the totality of evidence maybe you shouldn't keep imagining things and labelling it as "overwhelming scientific evidence" through philosophical games and rules that you make up to favor philosophic naturalism.
It is a trivial truth that some things that exist in nature can be recognized as artifacts of designing intelligence crafting symbols, signs, communication and technology and this can be recognized using various methods typical to science and history. So a university professor imagining that a mousetrap was not designed does not mean that mousetraps are not designed and fit to their purpose on purpose, because they are.
(Of course, the reduced-complexity mousetraps shown below are intended to point out one of the logical flaws in the intelligent design argument; they're not intended as an analogy of how evolution works.)Mainly because no one really knows how the grand narratives of naturalism typical to evolution actually work in reality as it seems that one has to begin imagining things to see how they work. So if you're willing to imagine things then you see it, if you're not then you don't.
Again, critics of Darwinism are not saying that biologists can't keep imagining things. After all, among all scientists they're often the most accomplished in that area. It's not that you can't imagine things, it's that it is fundamentally unreasonable to assume that your own imagination is "scientific" evidence.
If you feel that I didn't deal with this little fellow's arguments then comment. I'm not in the habit of trying to engage in reasonable argumentation with people who begin by imagining things without reason. I think the correct course of action there is to point out that they are imagining things when it comes to first things, the rest is the material of satire. More fun, because you have to make fun to have fun:
Here I show [i.e. create an imagined image of something] how one could start with a single piece of spring wire, make an inefficient mousetrap [A dubious claim, I'd imagine.], then through a series of modifications and additions of parts make better and better mousetraps, until the end result is the modern snap mousetrap.No, no, no. Let's imagine a sledgehammer as ancestral to the mousetrap instead, it might be mighty efficient. Imagine that, then see its brutish power in your mind as it smashes a poor little mouse! Now little by little see pieces of it shaved away until it progresses in form towards a modern mouse trap, just add a bit more technological elegance somehow, bit by bit, as you imagine progress through time. Now imagine that the mousetrap eventually gets stuck at an upright position which makes it fit for use as a sundial, a speciation event! Then the sundial becomes the basis for all modern timekeeping and civilization as we know it! By now you should be getting an inclination of how imagining things about the past lies at the basis of science as we know it, just as biologists have been insisting all along.
The sad thing is that Darwinists often tend towards intellectual fraud when it comes to images because that comes naturally to them given the way that they imagine things without reason. Yet such blurred images often remain in textbooks, as it seems that such images are about the only form of evidence that people who begin with an unreasonable and degenerate epistemic standard come to have.