This is Karsten Pultz’s response to Michael Behe’s thoughts on the engineering of life forms in a recent video. Pultz is the author of Exit Evolution.
I just loved it when Professor Michael Behe stood there in the garage with a camshaft in his hands explaining about the irreducible complexity of machinery. These new short videos from Discovery Institute featuring Behe are just awesome, and being a car guy myself (or petrol head as Jeremy Clarkson would say) this last one where he visits a garage ticked all the right boxes for me.
I’m sure if Behe had asked any of the mechanics there at the garage, what they thought about the neoDarwinian hypothesis that complex machinery can be produced by random processes, they would have answered that such an idea is extremely silly, if not right out ludicrous.
I have a couple of friends who are trained mechanics and one who is a mechanical engineer. I have shown the flagellum motor to all of them. Despite the fact that they are not at all religious, not one has suggested that random processes in the absence of intelligence would be a good explanation for the appearance of such an advanced machine. The mechanical engineer, who designs tools for the huge diesel engines in container ships, replied to my question about what could have produced the FM that “of course it’s engineered, are you crazy?”
Back when I still firmly believed in the neoDarwinian narrative (like 85 % of all Danes), my wife and I participated in hobby vintage car racing. I had modified a 1965 Volvo P1800 for racing and my wife acquired the licence to drive it. Thus, having built and modified numerous racing engines, it took me about 5 seconds to realize that life is designed when I for the first time saw a drawing of the FM. And it took only an additional 2 seconds to also realize that there is a God, and that this God is an engineer who enjoys building the kind of stuff I like—now that’s a God I can relate to.
Reading Behe’s and Meyer’s books completely changed the course of my life. I have now dedicated all my time to writing and speaking about ID because nothing really seems more important to me than informing the public about the evidence for design in nature.
In my writings I frequently use analogies to cars and other mechanical devices with which I have practical experience. Right now I’m finishing my third book in which I make the comparison between the synchronization system on the legs of a grasshopper (featured in Darwin Devolves) and the synchronization system on a Weber double carburetor.
When I discuss these things with fellow Danes, I constantly experience the power of persuasion that lies in using comparisons between molecular machines and mechanical devices people are familiar with, like Behe’s mousetrap.
I doubt you will hear anyone with hands-on understanding of engines claim that, in their eyes, blind unguided processes are most likely to have produced complex biological machinery.
A big thank you to Behe and Discovery Institute for these new videos!
10 Replies to “Karsten Pultz: A motorhead looks at design in nature”
Oh, oh, oh, I know, I know- machinery cannot reproduce. If it could those mechanics couldn’t say “design”. (never mind the fact that basic reproduction is itself, IC)
Try the von Neumann kinematic self replicator for size.
Argument by analogy. Even a motorhead should able to appreciate that the differences between an E-type and an E Coli are considerably more than their similarities. Although in the case of Jeremy Clarkson,,,,,
Sev, kindly explain to us the flagellum, why it is a dismissible analogy to call it a motor, and how per observation it arose step by step through blind chance and mechanical necessity. Then, similarly account for the self-replication facility of the cell. Finally, kindly explain to us how the genetic code and particularly the step by step assembly instructions for protein chains are mere dismissible analogies. KF
Seversky @ 3
“…appreciate that the differences between an E-type and an E Coli are considerably more than their similarities.”
Only due to humans giving them value. You, as an individual, chose to type words to express your thoughts. For animals, written language has no importance. To be able to write does require more than the brain telling us, which letters to use. Our minds search for the best way to put our distinct thoughts into form.
Seversky states that
If anything, in terms of engineering parameters, biological molecular machines in life trounce anything man has engineered,
As Casey Luskin noted, “biomolecular machines have a major difference that distinguishes them from human technology: their energetic efficiency dwarfs our best accomplishments. One paper observes that molecular machines “are generally more efficient than their macroscale counterparts,”7 and another suggests that the efficiency of the bacterial flagellum “could be ~100%.”8 Human engineers can only dream of creating such devices.”
And as Matt Baker noted, “this (flagellar) motor rotates up to five times faster than a Formula1 engine,”
And as Jonathan M noted, “Indeed, so striking is the appearance of intelligent design that researchers have modelled the assembly process (of the bacterial flagellum) in view of finding inspiration for enhancing industrial operations”
Even wikipedia itself, which is notoriously biased against Intelligent Design, admits that,,,
And also admits that,
Thus contrary to Seversky’s assertion, the only reason the ‘analogy’ between man-made machines and biological machines breaks down is because biological machines are far more sophisticated than anything man has built,
As James Barham noted in his observation of where the ‘analogy’ breaks down, “Many things are wrong with this picture, but one of the problems that needs to be discussed more openly is the fact that in this “factory,” many if not most of the “machines” are themselves constantly turning over — being assembled when and where they are needed, and disassembled afterwards. The mitotic spindle…is one of the best-known examples, but there are many others.
Funny sort of “factory” that, with the “machinery” itself popping in and out of existence as needed!,,,,”
LoL! @ seversky!!! The only people who whine abut analogies are the same people who don’t have any to help describe their mechanisms and scenarios.
Your uneducated opinion is neither an argument nor evidence.
Regarding arguments by analogy, I’ve just found this:
So we have evolved to find “patterns, even when no such patterns exist”.
That is kinda curious, because that means that: we have also evolved a system to correct those “erroneous pattern perceptions”.
-Yes, “evolution” has “created” brains that detect patterns.
-And “evolution” has also “created” brains with a tool(s) to understand when those patterns are “fake”.
An unguided, unintelligent and blind process has cheated on the brains it has created and, at the same time, has helped them to escape the cheating!
An unguided, unintelligent and blind process is capable of showing self-correcting features.
And no evo finds this anomalous. Any input, please? The polymath maybe?
Re your post #4, KF, strange isn’t it that Sev is quite content to ignore compleltely, remaining totally intellectually unaffected, in fact, by the explanations given to him. And he will often blithely carry on arguing, as if his response one way or another would have been desperately wanting in any case – even though a conclusive refutation.
Axel @ 9
Seversky, unlike Ed George and others, has admitted ID is a possibility. I believe many of his questions are about his own doubts starting to creep in, which is a good thing.