Intelligent Design

ID’s mascot — the flagellum or the ribosome?

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On a list I moderate, there’s been some discussion about whether ID should stay with the bacterial flagellum as its mascot or switch over to the ribosome. Staying and switching both have merit (though note that a switch would not signal that Darwinists have explained how the flagellum originated — they are as clueless as ever). In the meantime, take your pick:

For ribosome mascot paraphernalia, go here.

For bacterial flagellum mascot paraphernalia, go here.

22 Replies to “ID’s mascot — the flagellum or the ribosome?

  1. 1
    idnet.com.au says:

    I think the flagellum is much easier to comprehend visually than the ribosome.

  2. 2
    ajl says:

    Well, Behe not only used the BF, but also talked about the blood clotting cascade and other things.

    But, the BF is really easy to grasp. However, blood clotting and the ribosome are really the follow-up punch. One a person can sort of get the concept of IC with the BF, then you can hit them with the Ribosome, which is really IC on crack.

    Lastly, if you switch over, Darwinists would just claim that you had to do it because they solved the BF problem (they are already making that claim).

    So, I say use the BF as a foundation, and the ribosome as the upstairs of the house.

  3. 3
    tribune7 says:

    What’s wrong with having both. Keep the flagellum but use the ribosome for special occasions like Darwin Day (hee hee).

    Pretend you are Google 🙂

  4. 4
    DLH says:

    Use the Flagellum as an easily understandable example. The Ribosome is critically important – but harder to understand or recognize.

    The ribosome is an essential cornerstone – vs the flagellum a highly visible and recognizable door knocker.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    jerry,

    Follow all of these up with ATP synthase. It’s incredibly complex.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_synthase

    Though the wikipedia article has all the ways it could have evolved.

  6. 6
    Atom says:

    The flagellum is easier to understand and more visually striking. It looks more “machine-like”, everyone notices it.

    From the shirts, the ribosome looks like a pinkish/purple tangle of yarn. 🙂

  7. 7
    paul says:

    I had someone ask me recently why ID uses the BF. I responded that the BF is the best analogy since it looks so much like motors we build. It is much more accessable to non-scientists. The transcription-translation machinery just look like balls to the untrained eye.

  8. 8
    Mats says:

    Better stick to the flagelum. It has a powerful visual impact, and it is easier to see that it’s a designed mechanism.

  9. 9
    JGuy says:

    Flagellum. It’s purpose and engineering are most quickly apparent. If you have a ribsome, you’d have to explain it more.

    The advantage of the ribosome is that it sends out the signal that there is a lot more thna the flagellum.

    ATP synthase motor might be good too.

    Or.. the cell.

  10. 10
    crandaddy says:

    I’ll have to go with the flgellum, as well, for reasons already mentioned on this thread–it looks more like a machine that humans would design.

  11. 11
    bFast says:

    I vote for flagellum. My consern is that abandoning the flagellum will appear to be victory. As they clearly have not won the flagellum debate, I think we should not make it appear that they have. We’ve got ’em in a good hold, I say we continue the pressure.

    Further, my feeling is that the flagellum is already much too complex of a model to prove IC. The problem with this complex of a model is that there are too many hypothetical pathways to naturalistic development. I would rather set up the HAR1F gene as the challenge. There we are looking at 18 point mutations, rather than 20 something whole genes.

  12. 12
    crandaddy says:

    My consern is that abandoning the flagellum will appear to be victory. As they clearly have not won the flagellum debate, I think we should not make it appear that they have.

    Very good point, bFast. Our opponents appear to be so desperate that they’ll latch onto anything they think they can spin in their favor to get some cheap mileage. It’s really quite pathetic and underhanded, but this just betrays their desperation. The ribosome is great, but stay with the BacFlag as our primary mascot.

  13. 13
    Fross says:

    I’m curious as to why the macroscopic world is excluded? Couldn’t the eyeball be an even better mascot?

  14. 14
    bFast says:

    Fross, the problem with the macroscopic world is that the landscape of possibilities is huge; it becomes really easy to make a just so story.

  15. 15
    lucID says:

    I say keep both, why pick only one?
    The more ID has to show as challenges to Darwinism the better.

  16. 16
    kairos says:

    Bill,

    why to choose? Let us define a mascot set (or a philum …) and let us expand it more and more …

  17. 17
    idnet.com.au says:

    Fross

    I think the problem with using the macroscopic, eg human eye or hearing, is that we don’t even know the genetic construction sequence and programming for any macro structure yet. Molecular biology ultimately orders the cellular organization of embryonic development, but that programming remains a complete mystery at the molecular/DNA level.

    We were once told that DNA had only a small amount of useful information, those sequences coding for individual proteins. We then found that some proteins like immune globulin are made by combining a variety of different arrangements of members of gene sets. We then found about micro RNAs and how they regulate post and pre translational expression and so it goes on.

    The overall body plan stuff must be in the DNA somewhere, but who will get the Nobel prize for finding, decoding and describing for a single cel type or macro structure, the hidden codes.

    What is coded in the DNA is much more than any of us have ever dreamed of. Unless there is an “intelligent constructor” separate from the DNA, it is all there somewhere, it has to be!

  18. 18
    apollo230 says:

    I would profer the human hand as a candidate for ID mascot, because, unlike the microscopic ribosome or flagellum, it is a readily visible structure that’s also chock full of CSI.

  19. 19
    Joseph says:

    One thing is for sure (like for-sure-dude):

    If living organisms arose from non-living matter via stochastic, ie blind watchmaker-type, processes, than neither the ribosome, bacterial flagellum, nor ANY biological structure can be “ID’s mascot”.

    IOW ID’s mascot should be some minimal organism, with the caption “Could this happen to/from goo?” (to/from whichever is more better)

  20. 20
    late_model says:

    Where is the humor on this board? Why were my comments removed? This debate cannot all be logos it must have pathos too.

    read the moderation policy on the sidebar – lewd humor is not acceptable

  21. 21
    DaveScot says:

    On a static image it’s got to be the flagellum because the ribosome just looks like a bag of marbles without the bag.

    When it’s animated so you can see proteins being built piece by piece from instructions copied off DNA I think the ribosome is way cooler.

  22. 22

    […] George Church IMO is right. The ribosome should be our focal point. Other ID proponents, Bill Dembski in particular, say that the DNA/protein paradox is too complex for lay persons to easily grasp and the […]

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