Dcscccc discusses flagella

id is science because we actually can test it. for example: the flagellum is a motor. we know from human design that a motor cant be functional in less then several parts. so we actually know that a motor (flagellum) cant evolve step wise from other functional system like the ttss that prof miller suggest.

here is the official response to the dover trial from the discovery institute blog:

I agree with D, however, we may have to place it in the philosophy of science category due to our society. It could be then taught at the school and university levels. Otherwise, I believe from what I see that you are 100% correct.

See here for refutation of Behe on the flagellum:


And also see here, on the flagellum:


hey mlabar. actually it isnt refute behe claim. the ttss and the flagellum share several parts (actually even this isnt true). think about a gps and a cell phone. they both share some parts. but its impossible to change one into another step wise. we need a jump of about several parts at once. so its impossible to get from a ttss to the flagellum or any other different system.


I would be much more willing to support your thoughts on Intelligent Design … if there wasn’t a 5000 year time frame as part of your view.

Turning that sentence around - - you would have MUCH more support for your design comments if you firmly believed it took millions of years for God to arrange these things.


hi tom. the irreducible complexity argument isnt a gap argument but a scientific one. we can test it if its true or not. i believe that even prof miller agree with that.

realy? we can sudy a lot about the nature system and their design. what evolution teach? that all those machines just evolve and thats it.

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I agree with you that irreducible complexity is scientific but how can it not be a ‘gap argument’? It examines a part of evolutionary theory that is not well understood and inserts a designer (i.e. God) into it. This is classic ‘gap argument’.

But my point is larger than this which is that ID has no body of scientific knowledge to explain the distribution of life on earth today. It truly doesn’t and, because of this, it is in no position to be considered an alternative to evolution in a science classroom. The school board blew it.


I would challenge this statement that “irreducible complexity is scientific”. Can either of you actually substantiate this claim with a peer-reviewed publication in a mainstream journal? I won’t even ask for a general theory of “irreducible complexity concepts” - is there even just one case where it has been shown that a specific existing structure will never be explained by stepwise mechanisms?

And just to curb any temptation to send a list of flagellum motor references, note that I’m not asking for examples of “things we don’t know” - we all agree that there are many things we don’t know. What I’m asking for is a proof that it cannot be known. There are some beautiful examples of such theorems in math (e.g., Gödel’s incompleteness theorems), computer science (e.g., Turing’s Halting Problem) and other disciplines but I have never seen anything equivalent for irreducible complexity.

the ic argument isnt a gap argument because its base about things that we do know. and what we do know is that any complex system need several parts to its minimal function.

so we know that the flagellum cant evolve step wise from other system.

what you are talking about? give me a specific example and i will show you that it isnt true. thanks.

yep. here is one example of the flagellin protein:

most of its stucture need for its minimal function according to the experiment. so again- its base about things that we do know.


This publication is not addressing the concept of “irreducible complexity” as used in the intelligent design framework; Wikipedia defines it this way (emphasis mine):

Irreducible complexity (IC) is a pseudoscientific argument that certain biological systems cannot be evolved by successive, slight modifications to a functional precursor system through natural selection acting upon a series of advantageous naturally occurring chance mutations.

The article shows that there is a minimum part of the protein structure that must be preserved for its function to remain but makes no claims as to how that “critical core” came to exist in the first place. No one disputes that proteins need a minimum amount of structural organization to remain functional - that just has nothing to do with the concept of “irreducible complexity” used as a fundamental concept by ID proponents.


great. its also true for the flagellum , atp synthase, ttss ot any complex system. so we know that we need at least several parts to starting point. its mean that we cant get a minimal flagellum when any step is functional.


I’m not sure we’re on the same page with regards to the definition of irreducible complexity - does the Wikipedia definition not make sense to you? The point is not whether there is organization in biology - the question is whether that organization evolved or must have been designed by an external agent. None of your examples has a proof that those systems could not arise by evolution from simpler systems.

not realy. again- if a system need several parts for a minimal function- then it cant evolve ste wise. the experiment show it clearly. if you remove\change one amino acid from the 310 you will get invalid protein.

Time for a reality check . . .

This discussion is not incompatible with the BioLogos position …

It is not surprising when a Christian concludes that we need God’s involvement for important steps in evolution to occur. The BIG distinguisher in opinion is how many years God was involved… 5,000 … or MILLIONS!


radiocarbon dating is very accurate.



Please note that that is not at all what the paper shows.

First, as you can see on their figures 2 and 3, they only tested 10 deletions of amino acid regions on this one protein and the smallest version they got was still functional. As such, there is no proof that you can’t delete even more amino acids or make non-linear deletions (i.e., remove smaller stretches that don’t have to be adjacent/contiguous).

Second, they did not test any amino acid substitutions at all. Even if the smallest functional version of the protein was 301 amino acids long, they would have to try 301^19 mutated versions of the protein to completely determine which versions still function and which ones don’t. Of course, there are abbreviated strategies to explore this search space but they didn’t even try to go there.

Third, even if it was shown that the protein had to have an exact sequence and an exact length for a given function A, this still does not prove ID’s irreducible complexity because a slightly mutated version of the protein might have been perfectly fine to perform a different function B. As such, the protein could have existed for a long time to perform function B and then one day it would have been duplicated, mutated just right and thus become available to perform function A.

It’s important to clarify what the ID definition of irreducible complexity actually means - if you see it for what it is then you’ll also see that this (or any other) paper doesn’t actually provide any adequate proofs.

ok nuno. lets go by your logic. here is a simple way to test the ic argument. do you, as intelligent designer can make a complex system (like a car or a cell-phone)when any step is functional? if not- then its impossible also in nature, that doesnt have an intelligent.


I don’t mean to sound dismissive, and I apologize in advance if I do, but please let’s not repeat the same conversation that has been iterated over and over on this forum and all over the internet. We started with the very concrete question reproduced below:

It seems to me like neither you nor @tom are able to provide any such reference so I am thus tempted to assume you don’t have one. And if that is the case, then why do you continue to claim that irreducible complexity is a scientific concept?