Irreducible Complexity

You’ll never guess why biological wheels are not irreducibly complex

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From New Scientist:

Behold – the only known example of a biological wheel. Loved by creationists, who falsely think they are examples of “intelligent design”, the bacterial flagellum is a long tail that is spun like a propeller by nano-sized protein motors.

Indeed, the diversity of the motors and the fact that they have evolved many times in different bacterial lineages, scuppers the creationist view that the machinery is “irreducibly complex”. More.

Have a look. The New Scientist writer seems anxious to so mangle the idea of irreducible complexity that “irreducible complexity” means lack of diversity and “evolved only once.” People indulge in this kind of thing when their claims are so intimately a part of their readers’ lives that no correct person would question them.

9 Replies to “You’ll never guess why biological wheels are not irreducibly complex

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    For the most part a factual report. Almost everything said is fact.

    Behold – the only known example of a biological wheel. [FACT] Loved by creationists, [OPINION] who falsely think they are examples of “intelligent design”, [FACT] the bacterial flagellum is a long tail that is spun like a propeller by nano-sized protein motors.

    [FACT] Now these wheels and their gearing have been imaged in high resolution and three dimensions for the first time. [FACT] Morgan Beeby and his colleagues at Imperial College London used an electron microscope to resolve the mechanisms that provide different amounts of torque to the motors.

    [FACT] The motors are diverse, coming in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and power outputs. Indeed, the diversity of the motors and [OPINION] the fact that they have evolved many times in different bacterial lineages, [OPINION] scuppers the creationist view that the machinery is “irreducibly complex”.

    [FACT] The motor of Campylobacter, for example, is powerful enough to drive the bug through the protective lining of your gut wall. [FACT?] If that happens, you might get food poisoning. [FACT] Torque is powered by a wheel-like structure on the base of the flagellum called a stator, and [FACT] nano-robocists want to use the bacterial motors to avoid having to build their own.

    It turns out that [FACT] Campylobacter has almost twice as many stators as Salmonella, and that [FACT] their stators sit in a wider ring, giving increased torque and leverage.

    [FACT] Beeby’s team used electron cryotomography, a method that freezes the bacteria, to allow the motor to be imaged from all angles.

    In fact, if you remove the opinion you see who is really targeted in this report. I’m sure the flagellum’s Creator is taking note.

  2. 2
    johnnyb says:

    So, let me get this straight. If you assume that everything evolved, then that provides evidence that it wasn’t created. Did I read that right?

    Additionally, the author fails to realize that the originator of IC wasn’t a creationist, and would agree that they evolved – just not by natural selection. Is there any evidence at all that natural selection was the cause, or are we just going to claim victory by assuming that one, too?

  3. 3
    News says:

    The New Scientist folk do not need to make sense. They need to cater to a naturalist atheist audience that will allow them to misrepresent ID as long as they create the illusion of an unassailable position.

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    I can’t stand it when brain-dead Darwinists use the term “creationists” to dismiss all criticism of their BS, thereby turning science into a farce and a fraud.

    Lumping all critics under a label that they have managed to associate with young-earth/six-day Christian fundamentalists is the ultimate form of hubris and cowardice.

    Science progresses through criticism, otherwise it’s just superstition. A day will come when the Darwinist pretenders will be kicked off their high perches. And sooner than they think.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    Well what you gotta love is how CREATIONISTS are always invoked as important thinkers on these matters. They are right .
    They are fighting creationism and not just studying science. AHA. MOTIVE!!
    I never said these bio wheels showed a creator. All bacteria is probably deformed life since the fall.

    Somebody should do a word search for how much creationists come up in the modern public science journalism.

  6. 6
    forexhr says:

    From the premise that “the motors are diverse, coming in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and power outputs” it does not follow that the machinery is not irreducibly complex. It is no-brainer to spot logical flaws in this.

    Imagine if someone told you that the car engine is not irreducibly complex, because motorcycle engine possess the same function of energy conversion from burning fuel, into useful mechanical motion. Since both engines can convert energy from burning fuel into mechanical motion, the car engine is obviously more complex form of a motorcycle engine . And vice versa, a motorcycle engine is obviously simpler form of car engine.

    But, what that has to do with the step by step path from one to another? Absolutly nothing. If we start to remove components of the car engine this action won’t result in motorcycle engine or in some other less complex engine with retained energy conversion function. Component removal will result in nothing but malfunctioned engine. So in reality step by step path from one structural solution to another does not exist. If the car engine were the superstructure, the result of a step by step design process, with retained energy conversion funtction at every step then component removal would not result in malfunctioned engine but in some simpler engine with retained energy conversion funtction.

    Exactly the same is true for biological systems, for e.g. bacterial flagellum. If bacterial flagellum were evolved through a gradual series of tiny steps, by adding components one step at a time then removal of components would not result in malfunctioning flagella but in some simplest mode of bacterial locomotion. Since this is not the case, the assumption that the existence of different motors in nature automatically mean that a step by step path from one motor to another exists is nothing but irrational and pseudoscientific mental construct of Darwin worshipers.

  7. 7
    ppolish says:

    When a patent expires on a great idea, you’re bound to see imitations and even improvements. Hallmark of an innovative design, an intelligent design.

  8. 8
    OldArmy94 says:

    “So, let me get this straight. If you assume that everything evolved, then that provides evidence that it wasn’t created. Did I read that right?”

    Yep, that was my take, too. The flaw in logic is glaringly obvious, yet, they write that with every ounce of indignation they can muster.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    all these engines have differing torques and horse power so they, according to Darwinian reasoning, all evolved and were not intelligently designed

    Google Engines – images
    https://www.google.com/search?q=engines&biw=1360&bih=586&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHxICHrsbLAhXsvYMKHbD0Cj0Q_AUIBigB

    of note:

    Bacterial Flagellum – A Sheer Wonder Of Intelligent Design – video
    http://tl.cross.tv/61771

    Souped-Up Hyper-Drive Flagellum Discovered – December 3, 2012
    Excerpt: Get a load of this — a bacterium that packs a gear-driven, seven-engine, magnetic-guided flagellar bundle that gets 0 to 300 micrometers in one second, ten times faster than E. coli.
    If you thought the standard bacterial flagellum made the case for intelligent design, wait till you hear the specs on MO-1,,,
    Harvard’s mastermind of flagellum reverse engineering, this paper describes the Ferrari of flagella.
    “Instead of being a simple helically wound propeller driven by a rotary motor, it is a complex organelle consisting of 7 flagella and 24 fibrils that form a tight bundle enveloped by a glycoprotein sheath…. the flagella of MO-1 must rotate individually, and yet the entire bundle functions as a unit to comprise a motility organelle.”
    To feel the Wow! factor, jump ahead to Figure 6 in the paper. It shows seven engines in one, arranged in a hexagonal array, stylized by the authors in a cross-sectional model that shows them all as gears interacting with 24 smaller gears between them. The flagella rotate one way, and the smaller gears rotate the opposite way to maximize torque while minimizing friction. Download the movie from the Supplemental Information page to see the gears in action.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66921.html

    Structural diversity of bacterial flagellar motors – 2011
    Excerpt: Figure 3 – Manual segmentation of conserved (solid colours) and unconserved (dotted lines) motor components based on visual inspection.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....figure/f3/

    The flagellum has steadfastly resisted all attempts to elucidate its plausible origination by Darwinian processes, much less has anyone ever actually evolved a flagellum from scratch in the laboratory;

    Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.-
    Dr Behe in 1997

    Genetic Entropy Refutation of Nick Matzke’s TTSS (type III secretion system) to Flagellum Evolutionary Narrative:
    Excerpt: Comparative genomic analysis show that flagellar genes have been differentially lost in endosymbiotic bacteria of insects. Only proteins involved in protein export within the flagella assembly pathway (type III secretion system and the basal-body) have been kept…
    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/.....t/msn153v1

    Engineering at Its Finest: Bacterial Chemotaxis and Signal Transduction – JonathanM – September 2011
    Excerpt: The bacterial flagellum represents not just a problem of irreducible complexity. Rather, the problem extends far deeper than that. What we are now observing is the existence of irreducibly complex systems within irreducibly complex systems. How random mutations, coupled with natural selection, could have assembled such a finely set-up system is a question to which I defy any Darwinist to give a sensible answer.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50911.html

    Biologist Howard Berg at Harvard calls the Bacterial Flagellum
    “the most efficient machine in the universe.”

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