The Flagellum is Not a Motor?


(John Harshman) #205

I think you have nailed Dale’s attitude. But can I mention a quibble that grates on me? “Flagella” is plural; the singular is “flagellum”. Sorry, I can’t help it.

(Dale Cutler) #206

I’m with you on that, anyway. :slightly_smiling_face:

And I think flagella are really interesting. Maybe you missed this:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #207

Did you not read my clarification? That was repeated SEVERAL times? You are pointing at me, but not actually ever engaging what is said. Forums are for interacting with other people, not just repetitively parroting other people’s arguments. Come have an actual conversation with us @DaleCutler. You might actually enjoy it more than this silly taunting.

(Dale Cutler) #208

The tone, @swamidass, the tone.

(George) #209

This entire thread is a grievous injury to @swamidass ’ s work… despite the fact he was seduced into becoming a participant.

This is the kind of useless grist volleyed around at BioLogos!


It’s not at all clear. Behe’s argument based on IC is about the capabilities of the Darwinian mechanism and there’s no reason to think IC systems cannot arise naturally if intelligent design is involved, or other, non-Darwinian, mechanisms.

(John Mercer) #211

How is the power translated into movement in each? Merely having a power source is trivial next to those mechanisms.

(John Mercer) #212

IOW, Behe’s argument is bogus. It’s good to see that you finally get that.


No, those are the essential similarities. the differences you keep pointing to are non-essential.

In science fiction novels.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #214

Behe does not however make this concession. He argues against the Darwinian mechanism, as if that was the only mechanism available to evolution.

(John Mercer) #215

I know. But still, it’s good to see that Mung is finally acknowledging that point!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #216

And also for Voyager 1 and 2, in the real world. Catch up on the basics. Ever heard of a gravity slingshot?


At its base, each flagellum has a rotory motor.

So I agree that the flagellum is not a rotary motor. It’s also clear to me that if someone refers to “the bacterial rotary motor” they are in fact referring to the rotary motor that each flagellum has at its base. I don’t lknow why that requires a special thread, unless you’re intentionally trying to make someone look bad by taking what they wrote out of context and reading it in the most unfavorable light possible.

@swamidass, perhaps you could change the thread title. I propose the following:

Is there a rotary motor at the base of each flagellum?

That seems more appropriate to me. Then we could ask @bjmiller if he agrees with the following statement:

At its base, each flagellum has a rotory motor.


Any quotes from Behe saying this?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #219

Well I just read his book with @nlents. Wait for the circus when it gets published and there will plenty of opportunities to clarify his current view with quotes.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #220

7 posts were split to a new topic: Dale’s Tone Policing Thread

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #224

This is a good distinction @Mung, but I would also had it is a rotary motor almost entirely unlike any rotary motor designed by humans.

Moreover, how many parts does this motor have? Just 4 or 5 (not over 20), and they are all homologous to one another. This is an example of how totally different this motor is from ours. There are no rotary motors I know that humans have made that are nearly this simple. Our motors are complex, but this motor is very very simple. A better analogy would be a water wheel, but a water wheel has far more parts too.

(Herculean Skeptic) #225

Is this the appropriate time for me to mention that some motors are reversible? Some motors, in fact, can be rotating slowly backwards, from back-pressure, say, and when they start, run in the wrong direction, even though they are designed to only run one way. I have seen it happen. Anyhow, I’m done with the topical posts… feel free to get back to talking about the really important issues… like tone (which is entirely subjective in written form.)

(Herculean Skeptic) #229

@Mung I have been confused when I have read “rotary motor” and even more so when you added the Mazda mention earlier. When you are speaking of a “rotary motor” are you referring, in general, to a motor (like an electric motor), a “rotary engine” (like Wankel’s), or something else? I just want to understand where you are coming from.


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