Re: RES: [asa] Fw: book "By Design"

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Thu Sep 17 2009 - 12:12:06 EDT


I'm not so certain this is true.

I'm trying to remember what went down the last time we had this

But it seems to me the problem is not whether you have the parts lying
around that is at issue. It is the seemingly discontinuous occurrence
of a new function that is at the heart of the matter.

In this regard, it is worthwhile recalling some of Stuart Newman's
comments and research. As I understand in my naivete what he is saying,
the same parts can generate a large number of forms. Not a new notion,
I'm certain. But he claims that for example the evolutionary change
from single to multicelled organisms occurred without any changes in
genenomes. There was a change in "environment" that made multicelled
organisms possible. What he means exactly by environment is not
specifically clear to me. After all, whatever that change of context
is, it must be preservable and heritable. So it may be an internal
inherited context that changes. He makes similar claims for chordates.

Really what some of this I am learning suggests is that we have very
little idea what nonlinear, complex systems can generate and morph into.
Our thinking may likely be far to sequential and linear.


On Thu, 17 Sep
2009, wrote:

> & in fact the idea of "irreducible complexity" is demolished by a purely theoretical argument even if no actual intermediates are found. The realization that parts of a complex mechanism could be used for some function other than that of the complete mechanism shows that the concept of irreducible complexity is vacuous.
> Shalom,
> George
> ---- Marcio Pie <> wrote:
>> From what I recall, Miller's point has nothing to do with what came first.
>> If the flagellum is an irreducibly complex structure, if a part of it is
>> missing, it shouldn't be useful for anything (hence the mouse trap analogy).
>> The fact that TTSS is functional is evidence that the more comprehensive
>> system (flagellum) is not irreducible complex. Notice that one does not have
>> to prove every single step in the process to refute ID. All one needs to do
>> is to show that intermediates are possible and functional.
>> Marcio
>> De: [] Em nome
>> de John Walley
>> Enviada em: quarta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2009 21:16
>> Para: AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Assunto: [asa] Fw: book "By Design"
>> FYI This is from a biology prof friend of mine. Any response on the "The
>> fact that the bacterial flagellum came FIRST just blows away Miller's ideas"
>> comment?
>> John
>> ----- Forwarded Message ----
>> Am reading a book called "By Design" by Jonathan Sarfati.
>> The book is EXCELLENT.
>> Did you know that the bacterial transporter--Type III Secretory System
>> (TTSS) that Kenneth R. Miller (author of the book "Finding Darwin's God")
>> talks about actually evolved LATER than the bacterial flagellum? Miller
>> claims that the bacterial flagellum is NOT "irreducibly complex" because he
>> says the TTSS protein have significant components in common with the
>> flagellum. Only about 10 components of the 40 in the bacterial flagellum
>> are in common with the bacterial transporter. 30 proteins are brand new.
>> The fact that the bacterial flagellum came FIRST just blows away Miller's
>> ideas, and argues that the flagellum was a PLANNED, designed system for
>> bacterial locomotion.
>> "Scott Minnich, of the University of Idaho, a world expert on the flagellar
>> motor disagrees with Scientific American and Miller" p. 137 of book.
>> The TTSS protein acts as a kind of molecular pump, which can inject toxins
>> into cells (Ex, Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the bubonic plague).
>> According to the book, the TTSS secretory apparatus is a "degeneration from
>> the flagellum." If the flagellum assembly is diabled, "it can punch out
>> proteins (including toxins) in a haphazard way, as the TTSS does." p 138 of
>> book.
>> Also included: conch shells, turtle magnetic navigation, gecko feet
>> adhesives, the simplest life, the cell, etc.
>> ISBN # 978-0-949806-72-4
>> The Bible says that birds evolved before land reptiles, which is in
>> disagreement with evolutionary theory--that birds came AFTER reptiles. I
>> think I ready somewhere that some paleontologists have found ancient birds
>> which are, indeed, older than reptiles (but I need to check more on this).
>> I still think that evolution CANNOT explain the great degree of complexity
>> in life forms given our short period of geologic time.
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Received on Thu Sep 17 12:13:02 2009

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