Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

At Bio-Complexity: An Engineering Perspective on the Bacterial Flagellum: Part 3 – Observations

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Abstract: The flagellum is the organelle imparting motility to common bacteria. This paper, the third of three, takes a systems engineering and systems biology perspective on the bacterial flagellum. The first paper (Part 1 of the series) provided a constructive or top-down view from a systems engineering viewpoint. It detailed the typical environment, the purpose, the required existing and new resources, the necessary functional requirements, the various constraints, the control means, and the self-assembly for any kind of bacterial motility organelle. The specification of these requirements was intended to be independent of knowledge about the actual flagellum. A converse approach was detailed in the second paper (Part 2 of the series). It was an analytical or bottom-up view, which discussed the known 40+ protein components and the observed and inferred structure, control, and assembly of a typical bacterial flagellum. This cellular subsystem is well researched. Much of that research was reviewed in Part 2 from a systems biology viewpoint, including the chemotaxis feedback control system. Part 2 included a very detailed dependency graph of the orchestrated assembly not found elsewhere. This third paper (Part 3) concludes the three-part study with original observations. The observations include an ontology of the exceedingly specific protein binding relationships in the flagellum. The latter observation is new and significant and suggests research to further elaborate the details of the molecular configurations of the proteins. Part 3 also compares the independent constructive and analytical views, which correlate well. Finally, it is suggested that a motility organelle of this scope and scale seems profoundly unlikely to naturally evolve in the absence of foresight and mindful intent.

SCHULZ, W.. An Engineering Perspective on the Bacterial Flagellum: Part 3 – Observations. BIO-Complexity, North America, 2021, oct. 2021. Available at: Date accessed: 14 Oct. 2021.

Here are the previous two installments:

An Engineering Perspective on the Bacterial Flagellum: Part 2 – Analytic ViewPDF
Waldean A Schulz
An Engineering Perspective on the Bacterial Flagellum: Part 1 – Constructive ViewPDF
Waldean A Schulz

4 Replies to “At Bio-Complexity: An Engineering Perspective on the Bacterial Flagellum: Part 3 – Observations

  1. 1
    chuckdarwin says:

    As they say about the devil being in the details…. A close reading of the report and abstract does not “suggest” but requires that natural selection, without “foresight and mindful intent”, cannot be ruled out as an alternative explanation for development of the flagellum. Of course if the authors had actually quantified “profoundly unlikely” there might be a predictive value to their report…..

    BTW, how does something “naturally evolve” in the presence of foresight and mindful intent? Wouldn’t that be “theistic evolution”?

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Earth to ChuckDarwin- Your position is completely void of details. There isn’t any evidence that natural selection can produce any bacterial flagellum. There isn’t even a way to test the claim that NS can do it. So Hitchens applies- “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Your entire position can be dismissed.

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    Try these for a start. And when you are finished I can get you more. For a fairly simple description of the cumulative research, along with the science involved in the evolution of the e. coli flagellum, the same species discussed by Behe, this is a really good overview.
    The bibliography gives more sources. A great article tracing the entire history of research in this area is Pallen, M. J. and N. J. Matzke. 2006. From The Origin of Species to the origin of bacterial flagella. Nature Rev. 4:784 –790. It is paywalled. Nick Matzke is a phylogeneticist at the U. of Auckland in Australia and a long-time vocal critic of Behe’s “research.” Here is also a paper directly critical of Behe’s work and ID with even more sources in the bibliography.

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Try these for a start

    Does it include the origin of the proteins necessary for the bacterial flagella?

    Or is it just they were floating around and somehow got together.

    Nick Matzke, that is a blast from the past.

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