Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

So fine tuning of the universe for life goes right down to the level of the atom?


New technology is enabling us to see down to that level and what do we find?

Bacterial flagellum. How could we not mention the molecular machine that opened the eyes of many to intelligent design? New results using cryo-EM technology reveal details about the flagellum that Chang et al., in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, used cryo-EM to propose a “Molecular mechanism for rotational switching of the bacterial flagellar motor.” In the team’s surprising model, the rotor is set in motion by other rotors! A ring of MotA subunits turns the rotor like a set of gears, and can rapidly switch to turn the other way.

Commenting on this model in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Keiichi Namba described it as a “two-cogwheel” arrangement. This might explain how the rotor can switch directions in a quarter turn, as Jed Macosco has said. Namba says,

“The CW rotation of MotACD could generate the torque for C ring rotation in either CCW or CW directionsthrough different interaction modes with FliG at the top of the C ring, that is, either with the inner side of the tube (closer to the motor axis) or with the opposite outer side… This is just like a two-cogwheel gear system, composed of small and large cogwheels, with cogs at the cylinder edges that can switch their relative positions; the small cogwheel (MotA) always generates torque in one direction, but it can mesh with the large cogwheel(FliG in the C ring) via either its internal or external edges, hence driving rotation of the large cogwheel in either direction.”

These new high-res images should be eye candy to Behe and all other ID proponents. Imagine peering under the hood of this machine and observing the rotor and stator of this motor at high resolution. Namba was clearly impressed, saying that the flagellum operates at “almost 100% efficiency” and has been measured with a maximum speed of “1,700 revolutions per second” (102.000 rpm), “which is much faster than that of a Formula One racing car engine.”

Evolution News, ““Resolution Revolution”: Intelligent Design, Now at the Atomic Level” at Evolution News and Science Today

And, unlike any machines of which we have any knowledge at all, it’s all supposed to have just randomly happened.

Why cling to such a silly idea? As noted here earlier, if people believe that there is life on other planets in the galaxy, the best theory to support it, absent evidence at present, is intelligent design.

Our universe seems fine-tuned for life to come into existence, as Michael Denton stresses. If so, life may indeed inhabit other planets. The reason we don’t see them is the same reason they don’t see us. Technologically, none of us are there yet.

Look, we don’t have to believe anything, one way or the other, about ET. But if you think the idea reasonable, don’t be a Darwinist or a naturalist. ID would makes more sense for you.

See also: The aliens exist—but evolved into virtual reality at a nanoscale. That’s the Transcension Hypothesis, the latest in our series on science fiction hypotheses as to why we don’t see extraterrestrials. On this view, after a Singularity the ETs become virtual intelligences, exploring inner space at an undetectably small scale. ID can beat this, for simplicity and common sense.

Seversky: You should read Michael Denton's Miracle of the Cell. PaV
Seversky's assertion (#1) that it's necessary to explain why most of the universe is hostile to life in order to believe that it's nevertheless designed to permit life seems like something of a non-sequitur. The belief that the universe is designed to permit life to exist in some parts of it does not require one to believe that life should be able to exist throughout the universe. Islands of life-permitting environments can be exceedingly rare but they would be impossible were not the forces, constants and parameters of the universe exquisitely calibrated to such a relatively tiny range of values. The proper question to ask, it seems to me, is not why so much of the universe is a desert but rather how is it that in the midst of that vast desert there is this amazing oasis of life? Dick
You can certainly argue from the narrow value ranges of certain fundamental physical constants to intelligent design but you also need to explain why, of a Universe claimed to be purpose-built for life, the vast majority of it is implacably hostile to life as we know it. Seversky

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