" We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." - Dissent from Darwin

Natural selection [is used] carelessly as a mantra, as in the evidence-free “just-so stories” concocted out of thin air by mentally lazy adaptationists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. (Isaac newton)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How the BACTERIUM got her Flagellum

The bacterial flagellum is a complex molecular system with multiple components required for functional motility. Such systems are sometimes proposed as puzzles for evolutionary theory on the assumption that selection would have no function to act on until all components are in place. However, published attempts to explain flagellar origins suffer from vagueness and are inconsistent with recent discoveries and the constraints imposed by Brownian motion. A new model is proposed based on two major arguments. First that even very crude motility can be beneficial for large bacteria. Second, homologies between flagellar and nonflagellar proteins suggest ancestral systems with functions other than motility. Therefore, like the eye contemplated by Darwin, careful analysis shows that there are no major obstacles to gradual evolution of the flagellum.

Storyteller: Nicholas Matzke, Public Information Project Director, M.A., Geography, U.C. Santa BarbaraB.S., Biology, B.S., Chemistry, Valparaiso University
Story Research: Darwinism gone wild

6 comments:

Nick said...

So, what's YOUR explanation? Has it made some successful predictions like mine?

Cheers,
Nick Matzke

Dolly Sheriff said...

Dear Nick

Although I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I have been blessed with a generous helping of common sense and a healthy skepticism when it comes to inadequately substantiated amd highly improbable creation stories.

1.) On “crude motility”

Anyone who has tried to button their shirt with one hand would know that having intent and purpose is not always enough to accomplish a simple task in this natural world. Even more scarce in this world are self buttoning shirts (I wish someone would design one)!

2.) On “homologies”

In my kitchen I have at least 15 kinds of spoons all used for different purposes. Some big, some small, some with holes in them, some wooden some plastic, some metal. This still doesnt tell me much about how my teaspoons got to match the teacups.

Kind regards

Dolly

Nick said...

Unfortunately for your argument, homology is the core concept underlying all of genomics and bioinformatics. Or are you going to write off the entire NCBI too?

While we're discussing just-so stories, isn't "ID did it" simply the most flagrantly vague and useless just-so story every told? At least the evolution hypotheses are testable...and gosh, testable hypotheses are what science is all about, last time I checked.

Nick (Matzke) said...

So, I propose a detailed explanation that relies on known mechanisms and common ancestry and proposes several empirical tests, some of which have already succeeded (read the update, if you haven't already -- although I'm pretty sure that you read nothing but the abstract anyway, since you don't even try to rebut the math underlying the claim that crude motility is selectable in certain circumstances).

You challenge the homology argument, but then it turns out that you actually accept that homology suggests common ancestry and therefore evolutionary history.

So, the only difference between us is that my evolutionary history relies on known and testable mechanisms, and your evolutionary history proposes vague magic instead. You're the one telling a just-so story on a par with Kipling.

Oh, and the other difference is that I actually did some reading on the topic of flagellum evolution, and you haven't lifted a finger. Heck, I even bothered to get my ideas published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, reviewing all of the flagellar proteins in all known systems.

Which one of us is doing science, again?

Dolly Sheriff said...

Okay so i admit, you are a bigger reader than me and you certainly aren’t afraid of mathematics.

..and in our thinking, I suppose you’re right, that there isn’t a very large difference between the two of us.

I guess all that separates us is the size of the Darwin fairy tales we are prepared to swallow (See also "How the Whale learnt to swim" and many more on this Blog!

Anonymous said...

Well, if it is testable, please test and show the proof of how flagellum developed all by random chance.
I see only words words words and no scientifically testable proof from Darwinists.