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

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Thu Sep 17 2009 - 13:08:04 EDT

I personally agree with Marcio's assessment; however, it is my
understanding that the ID folks would probably argue that both the
flagellum AND the TTSS are irreducibly complex when you look at the

There's a sense in which I agree with that as well. The biochemical
whole is irreducible (in its current "fine-tuned" (by natural
selection) state). Most biochemists would agree with this. However,
this says nothing about how the whole originated and whether or not a
primordial new structure/function can be assembled out of pre-
exisiting parts. That's the irreducible complexity non-sequittur (and
the fundamental tautology of Behe's argument.) This is the basic point
behind the title of my original critique (now 15 years old) of Behe's
work: "Complexity--Yes! Irreducible--Maybe! Unexplainable--No!"


On Sep 17, 2009, at 9:12 AM, 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.

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Thu Sep 17 13:09:03 2009

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