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Intelligent Design. Bacteria Flagellum Motor. A fair assessment of Evolution.

Q11: Intelligent Design Molecular Motors.

Imagine seeing a metal electrical motor in an Egyptian tomb or even a clay shaped vessel that could produce electrical charge, why we would think such design came from Ancient Intelligent Design ?

Just look at this molecular motor, it is 20 nano-metres wide and 40 nano-metres long. The wavelength of light is 400 to 700 nano-metres long, ten times larger than these motors. How can such a complex motor simply come about by chance random mutational gradual changes that are some how passed on genetically ?

The tail section of the motor looks like this. The width is about 10 nano-metres and there is a tube 2 nano-metres in diameter inside the tail, so more of these proteins flow up the tail reaching the end growing more of the tail like this. The protein tail grows as a ring with the central tube for more proteins to flow up the tube like tail. But the tail is not rigid. No. It is designed to flex and change shape !

Here the tail protein shown in diagram form, the protein has three stages of 3D shape, and all this complex shape is arranged so at one point shown by the picture, the 3D shape structure can change when the protein is twisted.

The hook associated proteins (HAP) is around 264 amino acids in length to 718 amino acids in length, the average for most Bacteria Species is around 400 amino acids. This huge variety suggests already Intelligent Design has many modifications of the motor design for different applications of fluids the bacteria swim in.

Many tens of thousands of these tail proteins (HAP) move up the central canal and form the tail of the flagellum, growing from the top. When the tail protein reaches the top of the ratchet protein cap, the ratchet like structure grabs each tail protein and turns to place the tail protein into position.

The tail section changes shape when the rotor spins the tail in one direction or reverses the tail the opposite direction. When the rotor turns clockwise, the shape of the tail changes, when the rotor turns anti-clockwise, the shape of the tail changes again , as the torque twists each protein unit along the tail length.

There are over 14 tail shaped structures that can be made by the twisting of the tail by the motor, only four main shapes are pictured here.

The tail shape changes just because of a 0.8 nano-metre change in the 3D shape of the tail protein unit (HAP) at that one spot, allowing repeating units to slide over each other just a little, making different shapes along the length of the tail...It's a fantastic elegant design.

Finally, the motor is regulated by a series of complex protein enzymes and DNA genes, with feed back loops so the motor moves just as the Bacteria wants it to move, tied into a secretory system, which is also chemically complex.

Now scientists have spent years trying to reverse engineer how this tiny molecular motor works. There are at least 50 DNA genes used to regulate the motor and over a dozen steps involved in the process of regulation. I would predict in time, the Bacteria flagellum motor will become more and more complex, as scientists learn more about it.

These flagellum motors can move the Bacteria up to 30 times it's length per second, the equivalent to a motorcar moving around 250 Kms/hr ! Scientists assume there are 4000 DNA genes in Bacteria, and around 50 genes build and regulate the motor. The rotor can spin from 1000 rpm to ov er 100,000 rpm in some species.

Scientists speculate how the tail shapes fly apart causing the bacteria to move, and they now have to study vortex movements of fluids at a molecular scale, so little do we know about the movement of water at the molecule level.

Now some websites speak of this amazing design as evidence for evolutionary changes over time. You have been presented with the evidence, now what's the theories of faith that correspond to this evidence ?

The General theory of evolution requires the following concepts:-

  • in the beginning bacteria did not move;
  • it is possible for DNA genes to be inherited without functional uses until later in time, such scientists speak of intermediate functions already in cells doing other functions which have different benefits to the cell;
  • matter can give rise to coded information, gradually by itself through mutations;
  • irreducible complexity does not exist, one has to believe that several dozen intermediate functions exist gradually for different purposes, until different functional purposes come along with more complex benefits for the cell;
  • that non-functional DNA complex sequenced information can be inherited;
  • The Intelligent Design theory requires the following concepts:-

  • Complex Specified Information exists within cells, showing the cells were designed;
  • Thermodynamics and entropy are natural laws of dysfunction forcing all living things to become less complex over time and lose DNA code, thus all living systems will eventually become extinct, because mutations are spoiling the complex design;
  • Natural selection is a process of losing genetic code as those selected to survive have less DNA variation then their parents.
  • While Intelligent Design exists in cells, this does not infer a Designer, because the engineering work of a Designer is not observed in Observational Science.
  • The Creationism theory requires the following concepts:

  • God created living organisms within a literal week, each according to their kind.
  • Cells will change according to environment stimuli for organism survival, so the DNA genes switch code on and off within the boundary limits of each kind, organisms have programmed abilities to change within limits. (Some call this micro-evolution)
  • Each kind of organism is pre-programmed to remain as that basic kind. Such programming allows for species of each kind to be formed and to change.But over so called millions of years each animal would be roughly the same as it ever was.(Some call this macro-evolution and should never exist.)
  • Some evolutionists look for different functional intermediates in other species with less functional expressions of seemingly less suggest how one species on one kind can change from one function it already has to another function it doesn't have, in a species of another kind, proving macroevolution. Would it be better to say each organism has the functional requirements it already has because it was designed that way ? If intermediate functions did exist one would have to show them in the same kind of organism, ie a single organism with two different functional intermediates.. for example showing a bacterial species with type III secretory system and flagella systems in the same cell would be convincing evidence how one less functional structure gives rise to another functional structure, evolving in time and made observational to science. We should see lots of intermediate forms of life, but we don't...only birds have feathers for example.
  • The difference between Intelligent Design and Creationism, is Creationism is a religion whereas Inteligent Design is a Science. Creation scientists work objectively in Biology, thus leaving outtheir relgious convictions as they work and think with In telligent Design. The scientists who workunder the paradigm of Evolution Design also have their own religious convictions, and many who dowork in Biology are aware of this bias just as all scientists try to be objective in their work.

    As far as I know (as a science teacher), there is not a single example of any macro-evolutionary process making any living organism more complex with increased DNA sequenced information than previous generations of organisms.

    Our current methods of engineered genetic changes are extremely disruptive to animals, and our GMO methods to plant DNA is extremely disruptive as well. One day scientists might be able to insert biochemically a new DNA code inside the other DNA code neatly, precisely and perfectly.... would that new DNA code be manufactured along with the other DNA code inside say bacteria? Well I suppose it might....but who put the DNA code there ? Some extremely smart scientist. If we ever get to that level of knowledge, it would only give evidence that living systems are complex beyond the disruptive processes of radiation particles smashing DNA molecules apart, and other crude techniques scientists do.

    Some evolutionary websites speak of the Chinese whisper where saying a sentence changes as it is passed from one person to another. But in this model only one person passes the information along to the next person.....what a crude telecommunication system of copying !!

    In our Hebrew bibles the telecommunication process of copying the scriptures involved speaking the text out loud, writing it down, than another copyist would tally each letter down the columns and across the rows, (each letter has a mathematical value) than they would add up the totals of each column and rows....the copied manuscript would have to tally correctly with the original (for all rows and all columns) ; otherwise the process of copying would start all over. So after 1000 years comparing the Dead Sea scrolls to a modern text, we have only 3 to 5% errors in the letters, and not a single error in the words.

    But consider the biological system of our Creator ! There are four people who speak the information from one to another, and every second and minute during the process, there are other dozens of processes checking the validity of each person with the same information, correcting for errors second by second, so if one person makes a mistake, the other three immediately correct the error because of the other three agree..the only possibility for error would be if all four people have the same mistake in the same point in time.

    Scientists study DNA mistakes in the biology of cells and find they do make some errors during each copying process. Out of the so called 6 billion letters of the human DNA code they say that about 100 letter mistakes are made. Critically this can cause minor or major problems assuming not all of them can be fixed up by edit enzymes, leading to an increase in human diseases.

    If we consider a 150 amino acid sequenced protein chain, about one third of the necessary length for the tail proteins in Bacterial flagellum, than one can calculate the chance of making such a sequence by random chance.

    That chance is about 10 to the power of 74, far beyond the number of seconds since the Big Bang of the universe...and remember bacteria make copies and die every 20 minutes, so one could in theory test inherited new information passed by bacteria easily over a number of generations, simulating millions of years of evolution in lab conditions.

    When you read evolutionary theory you read or listen to or watch bias there...for example one chromosome DNA gene has a good copy, the other bad copy is mutated, so the cell continues OK because of the good copy while the bad copy continues to change until we have a slightly different protein shape useful for some future purpose. What a minute ? is this true ? Or does the good copy come along and repair the bad copy on the other chromosome? Evolution also speaks of junk DNA, really ? Some scien tists now know that so called junk DNA has a functional purpose, again as puny humans we think we know everything....a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

    In the next webpage, we will look at Bacteria Flagella as an example of complex design, that baffles evolutionary scientists solving how such structures came to be. As a science teacher, I present a fair assessment of all theories of faith, and cutting out the jargon and junk of discussion, will present really what are the cases of evidence behind each theory. Shalom

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