Do Self-replicating Motors Exist?

The answer to the question is no. There are no self-replicating human motors, neither are there biological systems with motor-like functions that are self-replicating. Biological “motors” consists of proteins which are synthesized by ribosomes. @scd take note.


Or, alternatively, the term “motor” can be used broadly enough that it refers to some biological systems. In which case it is then clear that motors can arise gradually over time thru unguided evolutionary processes.

Either way, the biological systems in question do not show evidence of having been designed. To argue that the existence of motors is evidence that these systems were designed is just bad reasoning.


so what? a bacteria with a motor can replicate itself. so its a system with a motor that is able to reproduce. this doesnt change the argument that a motor need design, even if it can reproduce or made of organic components.

I think we can say that there are no human made replicating motors, or mechanical replicating motors, of any sort that we have found.

Biological motors per se are not self replicating, because they require other biological systems to produce their parts, but they can be self-assembling. Biological motors are also not mechanical.

With that said there may be boundary cases, if we stretch the definitions really far, that might be exceptions, maybe.

For example, ice can transduce chemical energy into physical movement, and it can also nucleate the formation of new ice. Does that make it a self replicating motor?

In Conway’s game of life there are self replicators in the virtual space that transduce the rules of the game into movement. Are they self replicating motors?

So maybe (just maybe) there are virtual and chemical self replicating motors. But I don’t think any of them are properly categorized as biological or mechanical.


What is that argument? Please spell it out for us.


You regularly bring up “self-replicating” motors, I was just pointing it out they don’t exist anywhere.

Correct. That means you should stop using “self-replicating motors” in your arguments because they don’t exist.

Human motors were originally designed by humans, so future copies of human motors necessarily need human intervention for their assembly or improvement. So intelligent, conscious minds build human motors. In contrast, biological motor proteins are synthesized by unintelligent, unconscious ribosomes and the mutability of the DNA sequences which code for these proteins affords them the ability to evolve new interactions with other proteins or new conformations with novel or modified functions. Biological motors are way different from human motors.


scientists even made a self replicating robot:

But of course no one thinks even for a moment that it is not a product of design.

isnt the motor itself evidence for design?

I like this one:


That is self assembling, not self replicating.

And of course we know it’s designed be cause the the designers are presenting it to us. That has no relevance to ID.

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@Faizal_Ali, my guess is that that’s as good a spelling-out as you’re going to get. And so the only question is: does scd really believe this is an argument? And if the answer is “yes,” how much despair should one have for wretched humanity?


That might be religious evidence.

But there is evidence that motility provides a selective advantage to many bacterial species


Motility provides a selective advantage to many bacterial species and is often achieved by rotation of flagella that propel the cell towards more favourable conditions. In most species, the rotation of the flagellum, driven by the Bacterial Flagellar Motor (BFM), is powered by H+ or Na+ ion transit through the torque-generating stator subunits of the motor complex. The ionic requirements for motility appear to have adapted to environmental changes throughout history but the molecular basis of this adaptation, and the constraints which govern the evolution of the stator proteins are unknown. Here we use CRISPR-mediated genome engineering to replace the native H±powered stator genes of Escherichia coli with a compatible sodium-powered stator set from Vibrio alginolyticus and subsequently direct the evolution of the stators to revert to H±powered motility. Evidence from whole genome sequencing indicates both flagellar- and non-flagellar-associated genes that are involved in longer-term adaptation to new power sources. Overall, transplanted Na±powered stator genes can spontaneously incorporate novel mutations that allow H±motility when environmental Na+ is lacking.

I don’t see how. Could you explain why you believe this?


Interesting points. But we know the type of motor ID proponents have in mind are the ones with a rotor, stator etcetera. More importantly, for SCD, proteins that are functionally alike to human motors do not self-replicate, neither do human motors.

They are not very functionally alike, once you get past the superficial analogy.


actually according to atheism the whole universe is the result of an old natural process (the big bang). thus, even human-made motors are the end-result of a natural process. or in other words: a natural process+time=motor.

but suppose that we never seen the designers behind that robot. do you agree that we can still detect design by looking at this robot?

how is that religious to detect design by looking at a motor?

why i believe that a motor is the result of design? because as far as we know, only intelligence can make a motor. as we know that only intelligence can make a car or a PC.

We have seen the designers behind that robot.

The robot itself has parts with serial numbers and branding, a dead giveaway that it was manufactured by people that use Arabic numbers and the English alphabet.

No natural biological system has serial numbers on it in an analogous way. We see no evidence of the designers manufacturing processes on any of its parts, unless we think that common descent was the design process that God used to manufacture life.

Except I just gave examples of motors that were not designed, but emerge.


On what basis to you claim to “know” that? By my knowledge, and that of many other people far more intelligent and educated than I, the bacterial flagellum could have arisen, and did arise, thru undirected evolutionary processes. So if you insist on calling it a “motor”, then you have no argument because that particular “motor” has never been created by an intelligent being, as far as we know, and we have a non-intelligent process that we know is able to create it.

We still await some rational argument from you that does not depend on the equivocal misusage of terms arbitrarily re-defined.


Perhaps it isn’t. I thought it might be because design is usually a religious hypothesis.

“Not very functionally alike” is still functionally alike, but its good you included the nuance.

First, its scientists who came up with the Big Bang model not atheists. These scientists included Christians, Muslims, Atheists etcetera.

Second, humans are natural objects so it means they make natural objects like electric motors. Its hardly surprising.