From: Steve Petermann (
Date: Thu Sep 25 2003 - 13:20:46 EDT

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    Sarah wrote:
    Yet "the flagella" is supposed to be some kind of deathly
    problem for "darwinian evolution" whatever that is supposed
    to be, and the existence of "outboard motors" on some (one?)
    bacteria proves it. What I would like to know is, what are
    these folks who are researching flagella and secretory systems
    in bacteria supposed to DO about IC? Ooops. This is IC.
    Waste of time, let's quit trying to figure out how this
    works & how this evolved?
    And how is that a challenge to evolutionary biology?

    You probably know this but I'll give my take on the issue. Irreducible
    complexity says that if you take out one piece of a functional apparatus, it
    doesn't work at all. If it doesn't work at all then it provides no
    advantage to the organism and is possibly even detriment(extra baggage,
    reduced efficiency, etc.) So if it is to evolve into something that *is*
    functional it has to hang around long enough for some other changes to
    occur. The bacterial flagella has been proposed as an example of this.
    Blood clotting as well. The question really is one of probability. If the
    apparatus is not functional without some parts, how probable is it that
    multiple changed can occur within the period it can hang around to create
    the final apparatus.

    Now genetics can describe several plausible mechanisms for this to happen:
    gene duplication, co-opting, and others. I'm not a biologist so I won't
    attempt detail on this. Any good genetics book would do this.

    However, the question is not even really one of mechanism, because it could
    even be stipulated that these "natural" genetic process could be guided
    somehow. The real question is one of probability and information theory.
    Do non-telic forces have enough informational power to create the complexity
    we see? If not then there must have been some form of intellect involved.
    ID proponents suggest that "natural" forces are not adequately

    As far as the link you provided, it didn't, imo, say anything new or
    helpful. Just to describe similarities between organisms or methods of
    mutation doesn't really address the issues.

    Steve Petermann

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