Posted: Jul 21, 2010 9:47 pm
by CharlieM
That's it. Nothing more to say. The irreducible complexity claim is a strawman because it fails to reckognise that the intermediate steps leading to a finalized flagellum doesn't have to serve a motility function. Any beneficial funcition will do, whatever it's nature. Case closed.

It does recognize this. Say there are four parts serving different functions. They have to be copied, adapted, produced at the right time and place in the right quantity and interact with each other in a suitable way.

Consider the hook as one of those parts. It is made up of over one hundred protein units formed and assembled on site in a precise manner. It needs to bind accurately to itself and its neighbours and it needs to rotate in a way that is unique and cannot be achieved by unregulated forces from within the protein units.

This is what Behe is saying. You cannot just pick a few systems and throw them together. There are many other factors to consider. Finding supposed co-opted systems and homologous proteins for some of the parts is not enough. Engineers and designers use co-opted systems and standard parts for any complex machine you care to mention.

One thing is for sure, Behe's proposal that the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex has stimulated a fair bit of research, which can only be a good thing.

From a paper linked to by GenesForLife:

One part of this claim is that each flagellar component is used solely for the purpose of making a flagellum that, in turn, is used only for motility. Further, each flagellar protein is assumed to have appeared independently of the other component

This is another example of misunderstanding Behe's argument.