The Flagellum is Not a Motor?

No, you didn’t. Had a motor and is a motor are two different things. Bjmiller said the entire flagellum is a motor.

That’s an amazingly weak attempt to get your foot from your mouth where you planted it earlier Mung, even by your low standards.

What prevents ID-Creationists from being honest and not equivocating over the definition of “motor”?

Where did he say it? Link please. It sure wasn’t in the text Joshua quoted in the opening post in this thread. The word flagellum doesn’t even appear.

Making some pretense to being a sculptor, I find the 3D intricacies involved to get rotory motion from conformational changes starting with ATP to be quite wonderful. (I avoided ‘design’ and ‘complexties’ – is everybody happy? :wink:)

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Try real hard to not play your disingenuous word-twisting games for once Mung. Just once. Join the adults in the discussion.

Now go ahead and list out just as many differences. If you struggle to do so, there are large gaps in your biological knowledge that are central to this conversation.

@Mung this isn’t about word games. I don’t care about imprecise claims made here or there. @bjmiller can clarify what he means and we can go by that meaning. My point remains the same right now:

Well, I don’t suppose the bacterial flagellum has too many special alloys in its bearing surfaces. We could be pedantic and list thousands of differences if we were so inclined. But the essential characteristics and components is what we are talking about, is it not? What makes a motor a motor? The most obvious thing to me that make a bacterial flagellum not a motor is biologists objecting. :wink:

Here’s the video clip at the source of this controversy. It ought to inform the discussion of how apt the terminology is.
There are definitely more than three basic parts, @swamidass , --the scanning electron microscope images clearly show that --and regardless of the semantic issues, it is worth examing at the molecular level. If we’re ever able to successfully nano-engineer anything like it, it will definitely take a lot of science, applied technology, and brainpower.
A biochemically propelled nano-drone? Who knows what we’ll try to make of it?

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Are you going to jump on the Creationist bandwagon and start dishonestly equivocating over the definition of “motor” too?

I’ll try not to get on the insult wagon.

That would be a first.

What is dishonest and equivocating about nailing down the essence of a term?

Around and around and nobody gets off. At least you can’t claim that I started it. :slightly_smiling_face:

OK, you are going to jump on the Creationist bandwagon and start dishonestly equivocating over the definition of “motor” too. Thanks for the clarification.

You’re not welcome.

It is only “dishonestly equivocating” because you have declared it so, not because your accusation has any merit, and you cannot refuse to call a motor a motor just because it disagrees with your bias.

This discussion strikes me as mostly pointless.

To say that the flagellum is a motor is to stretch the meaning of “motor”. And I think that @swamidass was making just that point.

On the other hand, in natural language use we often stretch meanings, and that’s what some of the other respondents want to do here.

I’d say we should call it a tie, and move on to some other topic.


Me and virtually every other science professional who has heard the DI’s disingenuous “motors are designed, the flagellum is a motor, therefore the flagellum is designed!” argument. I know honesty doesn’t mean very much to those arguing against science for their religious beliefs but to the rest of us it means a great deal.

I felt like when I left we were in a happy place. We could refer to something as a motor because it served the same function as a motor. Now I return and you kids have made a complete mess of this room!

Tim, really, it looks and acts like a motor. It turns a propeller of sorts that propels the bacterium. It should be okay to use that label. What’s over the top is to posit that because something works like a motor, it was intelligently designed and must point to a creator. Everyone should stand their ground where it’s important. Calling something a motor, like Howard Berg did is just fine.

Of the bones in my ear, none of them are actual hammers, anvils, or stirrups, but everyone knows what I’m referring to if I mention them. If I tell you that ears must be intelligently designed because they contain hammers, you’ve got something to argue about.

I just think it is more fun here if we can allow ourselves to talk about things that we don’t need to fight about. Then the actual fighting seems a bit more tolerable… :slight_smile: