Black Atheists : Irreducible Complexity and the flagellum

Discussion in 'Atheist Study Group' started by SlickBeast, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. SlickBeast

    SlickBeast Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Anyone knows what a flagellum is? Look at the picture below. It is like a whip-like structure that propels some type of bacteria around.

    [​IMG]

    According to the proponents of intelligent design, a flagellum is proof of a creator as according to them if you remove one piece of the structure them it is rendered useless. So how can this have evolved?
    But again, when it comes to reality, intelligent design is always in the wrong. Scientists have discovered a bacteria with a structure very similar to the flagellum but with many missing parts and the structure has a function! It is used by bacteria to inject toxin in its hosts. This basically destroyed the irreducible complexity theory so love by Intelligent design proponent.
     
  2. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It could've come from many of the numerous trans-membrane proteins used for transporting substrates against concentration gradients, and there are some ideas about how this process could have happened in the current body of knowledge.

    The problem with this argument is that it relies on trying to claim that evolution cannot be responsible for things that are seemingly useful and complex, but it most certainly can. Evolution isn't goal oriented and it constantly tinkers to improve fitness(i.e adaptability & suitability). With that combination all you need is some time.
     
  3. SlickBeast

    SlickBeast Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Indeed, in fact if you selectively remove 40 parts of the flagellum and leave 10 parts, you can get a type III secretory system!
    They said the same thing about the eye but they were again wrong. The most basic of eyes that can only detect light and dark is still useful but not as efficient as, say, a human eye. The Irreducible Compexity hypothesis, which is ID proponents' brain child, cannot hold.
     
  4. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa,




    .......On the argument, Flagellum Unspun: Collapse of Irreducible Complexity, there is counter argument submitted by Dembski and Behe; Still Spinning Just Fine: A Response to Ken Miller.

    But more to the problem in this debate would be Behe’s attempt at having the concept, Intelligent Design (ID), to be considered as science, when he doesn’t name the Designer, as Paley did. It is Behe’s very definition of irreducible complexity that challenges Miller and the others to show systems such as the flagellum, the eye, blood coagulation and the immune system are constructed from small changes, singularly; in order to be falsified.

    So, no wonder the NAS doesn’t accept ID as science, there’s not enough generational time to refute. Meanwhile neither the scientific community nor the biological community is able to explain how such systems arose in the first place through evolutionary means, other than subject to the criticism of genetic algorithm.

    http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.02.Miller_Response.htm



    Peace In,
     
  5. SlickBeast

    SlickBeast Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Why such system arose? For locomotion. And the article is old and weak. See quote below. They've found an intermediate system (a couple of year or so ago) between the TTSS and the flagellum and it is also used to inject toxin into hosts cell. So evolution is clearly the only and logical explanation! The gap will clearly close further and further. This guy explain this.


    Accordingly, the TTSS may be thought of as a possible subsystem of the flagellum that performs a function distinct from the flagellum. Nevertheless, finding a subsystem of a functional system that performs some other function is hardly an argument for the original system evolving from that other system. One might just as well say that because the motor of a motorcycle can be used as a blender, therefore the motor evolved into the motorcycle. Perhaps, but not without intelligent design. Indeed, multipart, tightly integrated functional systems almost invariably contain multipart subsystems that serve some different function. At best the TTSS represents one possible step in the indirect Darwinian evolution of the bacterial flagellum. But that still wouldn't constitute a solution to the evolution of the bacterial flagellum. What's needed is a complete evolutionary path and not merely a possible oasis along the way. To claim otherwise is like saying we can travel by foot from Los Angeles to Tokyo because we've discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Evolutionary biology needs to do better than that.
     
  6. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa,




    .......If by answering the question you concocted, why such system arose, you were addressing the statement made:

    You missed it, badly...Its how and not why that should be answered. Since only this was replied to, except to say the article was old and weak, it must be that all else I submitted is stipulated.

    In the video, at 3:27, Miller rightly explains that natural selection works at every step of the way, not as evidence but as argument.

    So, the theories continue in this very old debate, without any evidence.



    Peace In,






     
  7. SlickBeast

    SlickBeast Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The argument is backed not only by evidence but by facts. Go to 6:08 and watch it over and over again. What you completely missed here is that an argument can be flawed (not backed by evidence as in the case of ID) or backed by evidence or facts as in the case of evolution (although the argument still has gaps). So you quoted out of context. You clearly are confusing a theory as defined in science and the formal definition. Look it up.
    So what is your alternative explanation? God put the flagellum together piece by piece? Is there a single tangible piece of evidence for that other than sophistry??
     
  8. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa,




    .......Once again and by default, you've neglected to respond to the broader portion of the posted comments, thereby stipulating a non-answer to the question of, how such systems arose. On the last eight (8) seconds of the video, from 6:08 to 6:16, there is no evidence provided as you seem to suggest; only a statement from Miller supporting his argument as factual against the idea of Behe’s irreducible complexity. My observation however, is that Miller smartly moves away from Behe’s definition of irreducible complexity to a Behe statement on precursors, in order create a syringe (type 3 secretory). In the same manner he reduced a mouse trap to a tie holder. Evidence for falsifiability requires generational time, gradually morphing a syringe into a flagellum, or a tie holder into a mouse trap.



    Peace In,
     
  9. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The counter-argument is pretty bad, and offers a somewhat expected smorgasbord of the same classic arguments that propose intelligent design.

    In the first "bullet point", the author fails to understand the greater implications of the statement that it's a "lack of imagination". This means that there isn't a problem with evolution simply because we don't understand all the intermediate steps that transmembrane transport systems into something like a bacterial flagellum. In fact, it's an admission that it's very well possible that we could end up never understanding it as it actually happened. It highlights the more important part of the argument that makes basically two important observations,imho:

    1. It's already happened and we can tell by looking at the molecular composition of cellular structures and the structure of interest.

    2. That it isn't "irreducibly complex" or that it leads to a conclusion of "intelligent design". We can see sub-units of these structures as useful components in the cell, especially in other useful structures which counters the following idea:


    Given how evolution works, this is precisely why it's not considered an irreducibly complex system even if it's possible to destroy the current function of a system that arose by removing large functional components. Evolution doesn't start over. It works with what's there when deriving new functions.

    The rest of the counter-argument is an interesting read to see the differences between the opinion of what constitutes intelligent design. In my personal opinion, it has all the hallmarks of a creationist argument, but I leave it up to others to draw their own conclusions.

    Further reading:
    http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html
    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/17/7116.full
    http://truth-saves.com/pdfs/ASM_flagellum.pdf (seems to be the full text of the article)
     
  10. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa,




    .......Taken from the first link offered under "Further reading," this particular portion, under Abstract, points to a level of uncertainty, still:

    The bacterial flagellum has received attention as an exemplum of biological complexity; however, how this complexity and diversification have been achieved remains rather poorly understood. Although several scenarios have been posited to explain how this organelle might have been originated (13), the actual series of evolutionary events that have given rise to the flagellum, as might be inferred from the relationships of all genes that contribute to the formation and expression of this organelle across taxa, has never been accomplished.


    Pallen MJ (Matzke NJ) goes on further with speculation, insights, hypothesis, possibilites and inferences explaining away the origin of the flagellum to be antecedent of TTSS:


    Moreover, there is stark contrast with the inferred Behe definition you provided below:

    To Behe's actual definintion, obviously taken out of context, beginning with the trial:


    Peace In,
     
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