Brian Miller: Co-option and Irreducible Complexity


(John Mercer) #121

Focusing on your empty rhetoric, your claim does not appear to be supported by the data in the paper to which you linked.

Also, that paper notes that more than one flagellum exists in biology, so ignorance cannot be an excuse for your use of the definite article, as in “the flagellum.” Can you acknowledge this reality, or is it against DI policy to do so?

(Mikkel R.) #122

Well the T3SS system component of the flagellum can function as a protein translocase in the flagellum. In the flagellum it exports the rod, hook, cap, and filament proteins, so it is still able to perform the function of the homologous structure despite their sequence divergence. That could easily have been the ancestral function of that part of the system.

All of this is discussed at length in Nick Matzke’s 2003 article on the flagellum, including your questions about the filament proteins, which are homologous to adhesins, known to be secreted by pili-bearing bacteria, pili which are exported by their t3ss homologues. Bacteria bearing pili secreting adhesins use them when they float around to secure themselves to surfaces. It all fits together.

Flagella even today can still function as adhesins, despite their sequence divergence from adhesins. They don’t just give motility to bacteria, see
Moens S, Vanderleyden J. Functions of bacterial flagella. Crit Rev Microbiol.
1996;22(2):67-100. Review. PubMed PMID: 8817078.

Hilariously, there are flagella that have enzymatically active filaments. Literally the flagellin proteins are active enzymes catalyzing the chemical degradation of extracellular proteins. See
Eckhard U, Bandukwala H, Mansfield MJ, Marino G, Cheng J, Wallace I, Holyoak
T, Charles TC, Austin J, Overall CM, Doxey AC. Discovery of a proteolytic
flagellin family in diverse bacterial phyla that assembles enzymatically active
flagella. Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 12;8(1):521. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00599-0


That’s a question ID supporters need to answer. They are claiming that these proteins had no function outside of the flagellum, so they need to back this claim with some evidence.


so what is your criteria to conclude design?


so some cars can evolve naturally then?


Numerous and obvious violations of a nested hierarchy among complex eukaryotes would be a start.


what nested hierarchy? look at this object for instance:

do you think it requires design? if so what is your main criteria?

(image from CUCOL Men's Bamboo Wooden Watch with Brown Cowhide Leather Strap Japanese Quartz 602447483691 | eBay)

(Mikkel R.) #128

I can only repeat myself, you dont’ establish that the flagellum was designed by first defining a motor as a designed machine, and then calling the flagellum a motor.

Again, I can only repeat myself: And you don’t establish that something was designed by labeling it with a word that is defined as a designed entity. That just assumes your conclusion.

Repeating myself again again again: Suppose I invented a new category for molecular machines that evolved. Evochines I call them. And by definition, an evochine is an evolved machine . A machine that evolved and was not designed or created. I now say that the flagellum is an evochine. Have I now demonstrated that the flagellum evolved?


This one, for example:


Notice how there are characteristics at each node?

One of the first criteria is that the watch is not capable of reproducing.


great. so if this watch was also able to reproduce what you will say in this case?:

(Timothy Horton) #131

We’d say your constant dodging of the salient points made in this conversation is getting tiring.

(Mikkel R.) #132

If it reproduced imperfectly, then all bets are off and it’s possible it could have evolved.


I would have to look at its genetics, the distribution of characteristics among other reproducing organisms, and at the fossil record. I would be looking for a congruence of phylogenies within those data sets.


so a self replicating watch dont need design then. right?


so basically you have no problem to belive that a self replicating watch can evolve naturally.


I follow the evidence. If the evidence shows that a watch evolved through natural processes then that is the conclusion I will draw.


If the evidence shows that the watch evolved through natural processes then why would you need to introduce a designer?

(Mikkel R.) #138

Yes that’s what I’m saying. When you have in essence concede the mechanisms that make evolution a reality, then it can’t be inferred that the object must necessarily have been designed.


but a watch prove design. even if its self replicating. its actually a fact. scientists for instance have made something very similar to a self replicating robot:

but no one is claiming that this robot just evolved by a natural process. another porblem is the fact that there is no stepwise from a self replicating molecule into a watch. so such a wacth could not evolve from a self replicating molecule.


because all of these suppose “evidence” base on belief rather then a fact. so we have a fact (watch need design) vs a belief (watch can evolve naturally in millions of years).