God Said Man Said

Flagellum -- Past Finding Out

According to molecular biochemist Michael J. Behe, Ph.D., ďa system or device is irreducibly complex if it has a number of different components that all work together to accomplish the task of the system, and if you were to remove one of the components, the system would no longer function. An irreducibly complex system is highly unlikely to be built piece-by-piece through Darwinian processes, because the system has to be fully present in order for it to function. Ē Case in point: flagellum.
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Flagellum -- Past Finding Out

Article#: 937

The incessant onslaught of the antichrist evolutionists' camp requires our attention, at least to reinforce those amongst us who are besieged by this destructive dogma. The usually complicit media as well as academia continue to pour out the Darwinian line both subliminally and directly, yet their position is debunked regularly; and more and more, their audience is becoming disenchanted. Proponents of the theory of evolution are beginning to feel heat. Just one example of the ineptness of their doctrine is reflected in the 2004 Gallup poll that shows that 78% of all Americans believe in angels, up from 72% in 1994, and 54% in 1978, including 9 out of 10 of the new generation of teenagers.

Part of the evolutionist agenda has been to ignore the creationist position as though unworthy of attention. They've nonchalantly offered up their theory as true, unchallenged science—but not anymore. Their attacks against their Creator have become more overt under the pressure of faith, and their fear is palpable.

The only natural enemy of unbelief is faith, even as the only natural enemy of evolution is the Creator. Evolution feels itself under intense pressure to prove its tenets. Today's challenge to Darwin is the same as it has always been, but now the God position has been somewhat camouflaged as the "ID movement," whose letters are an acronym for Intelligent Design. In other words, some superior intellect has created the universe. ID's position is simple: the enormous complexities of this universe defy time and chance thoroughly.

The evolutionists are intimidated. To follow is a segment from last week's subject, including this excerpt from an article by Dr. Henry Morris, Former Director of the Institute for Creation Research:

The modern Intelligent Design movement (ID) has been making substantial progress in recent years, at least in terms of public interest. As one evolutionist recently warned his colleagues:

The success of the ID movement to date is terrifying. In at least 40 states, ID is being considered as an addition to the required science curriculum in public schools.

The "terrified" author of this observation is Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. He says he is being stalked by ID advocates!

Now I know that I and my colleagues are being stalked with careful and deadly deliberation. I fear my days are numbered unless I act soon and effectively. If you are reading this, the chances are that you are in the same position.

The editor of the prestigious magazine Science, in his lead editorial in a recent issue, expressed his alarm thus:

Alternatives to teaching biological evolution are now being debated in no fewer than 40 states. Worse, evolution is not the only science under such challenge. In several school districts, geology materials are being rewritten because their dates for Earth's age are inconsistent with scripture (too old).

The editor even entitled his diatribe "Twilight for the Enlightenment?"

Similar alarmist articles have been published in numerous other science journals and also in many popular magazines (such as Newsweek) and local papers. Our own San Diego Union Tribune in a lengthy lead editorial for November 21, 2005, called Intelligent Design "Voodoo Science" in the editorial title. The language seems inflammatory just about everywhere.

One writer becomes unreasonably virulent in his latest editorial.

The "Intelligent Design" movement is the most pernicious pseudoscience of our time. It seeks to undermine the teaching of evolution, at a minimum, but at its root is a broad attack on the nature of science itself. . . .

He then calls ID "an ancient and long-discredited faith-based idea with zero scientific evidence." [End of quote]

The headline of the front page of the March 2006 issue of Discover reads, "Unintelligent Design" with the subhead "Are Viruses the Mother of All Life?"

The attack by Darwin's camp will be to no avail. God's Word says in Exodus 20:11:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

This truth stands unchanged, and it all happened just over 6,000 years ago (and of course we can prove it). If you have yet to trade in your unbelief for the solid rock Christ Jesus, click onto "Further With Jesus" for immediate entry into the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Job 9:1-10:

1 Then Job answered and said,

2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?

3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?

5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger.

6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.

8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.

9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.

GOD SAID, Psalms 139:14:

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

MAN SAID:  Who needs God? We are simply a product of time and chance. We came from nothing, have no eternal purpose, and will end in nothingness.

Now THE RECORD. Science continues to be dumbfounded by the magnificent, intricate elegance and superb efficiency of God's creation. Truly, man lacks the superlatives to describe His handiwork. Awestruck as even the evolutionists are, they continue to attribute it all to nothingness subjected to time and chance.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

Famed molecular biochemist Michael J. Behe, Ph.D., framed the scientific concept of "irreducible complexity." According to Behe, in The Case for a Creator, a book by Lee Strobel, "a system or device is irreducibly complex if it has a number of different components that all work together to accomplish the task of the system, and if you were to remove one of the components, the system would no longer function. An irreducibly complex system is highly unlikely to be built piece-by-piece through Darwinian processes, because the system has to be fully present in order for it to function." [End of quote]

And according to this excerpt from Strobel's book, one of the marvels of God's handiwork, the bacterial flagellum, is irreducibly complex:

As amazing as the cilium is, I was even more fascinated by another biological machine for propelling cells — the bacterial flagellum. "While cilia act like oars to move cells, it was discovered in 1973 that the flagellum performs like a rotary propeller," Behe explained. "Only bacteria have them."

"How does it work?" I asked.

"Extremely efficiently," he said. "Just picture an outboard motor on a boat and you get a pretty good idea of how the flagellum functions, only the flagellum is far more incredible. The flagellum's propeller is long and whiplike, made out of a protein called flagellin. This is attached to a drive shaft by a hook protein, which acts as a universal joint, allowing the propeller and drive shaft to rotate freely. Several types of proteins act as bushing material to allow the drive shaft to penetrate the bacterial wall and attach to the rotary motor."

"Where does it get its energy?" I asked.

"That's an interesting phenomenon," he replied. "Some other biological systems that generate movement, like muscles, use energy that has been stored in what's called a 'carrier molecule.' But the flagellum uses another system—energy generated by a flow of acid through the bacterial membrane. This is a complex process that scientists are still studying and trying to understand. The whole system works really well—the flagellum's propeller can spin at ten thousand revolutions per minute."

As a car aficionado, I was staggered by that statistic! A friend had recently given me a ride in his exotic high-performance sports car, and I knew it wasn't capable of generating that many rpms. Even the notoriously high-revving Honda S2000, with a state-of-the-art, four-cylinder, two-liter, dual- overhead-cam aluminum block engine, featuring four valves per cylinder and variable intake and exhaust valve timing, has a redline of only nine thousand rpms.

"Not only that," Behe continued, "but the propeller can stop spinning within a quarter turn and instantly start spinning the other way at ten thousand rpms. Howard Berg of Harvard University called it the most efficient motor in the universe. It's way beyond anything we can make, especially when you consider its size."

"How small is it?"

"A flagellum is on the order of a couple of microns. A micron is about 1/ 20,000th of an inch. Most of its length is the propeller. The motor itself would be maybe 1/100,000th of an inch. Even with all of our technology, we can't even begin to create something like this. Sometimes in my lectures I show a drawing of the flagellum from a biochemistry textbook, and people say it looks like something from NASA. If you think about it, we've discovered machines inside ourselves. On Star Trek, they had a creature called the Borg, which has tiny machines inside. Well, it turns out everybody does!"

"Think of this too," Behe continued. "Imagine a boat with its motor running. Uh-oh! Nobody's steering it. It goes out and crashes—boom!

Well, who's steering the bacterial cell? It turns out it has sensory systems that feed into the bacteria flagellum and tell it when to turn on and when to turn off, so that it guides it to food, light, or whatever it's seeking. In a sense, it's like those smart missiles that have guidance systems to help them find their target, except there's no explosion at the end!" [End of quote]

The following quotes are from Kent Hovind's Seminar Series dealing with these magnificent motors, and what leaders in the field of science have to say about them:

Jed Macosko, Molecular Biologist, University of California, Berkeley:

"A thimble full of cultured liquids can contain more than 4 billion single cell bacteria. Each packed with circuits, assembly instructions, and miniature machines. The complexity of which Charles Darwin could never have imagined. There are as many molecular machines in the human body as there are functions that the body has to do. Think about hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, blood clotting, respiratory action, the immune response. All of these require a host of machines."

Michael Behe, Biochemist, Lehigh University:

"I remember the first time I looked in a biochemistry textbook and saw a drawing of something called the bacterial flagellum. With all of its parts and all of its glory, it has a propellor, and a hook region, and the drive shaft, and the motor. I looked at that and I said, 'That's an outboard motor. That's designed. That's no chance assemblage of parts.'"

Howard Burg at Harvard has labeled it the most efficient machine in the universe.

Scott Minnich, Molecular Biologist, University of Idaho:

"Some of these machines are running at 100,000 RPMs, and are hard-wired into a signal transducer, a sensory mechanism so that it's getting feedback from the environment."

Jed Macosko:

"Even though they are spinning that fast they can stop on a dime. It only takes a quarter turn for them to stop and shift direction and start spinning 100,000 RPMs in the other direction."

Minnich:

"It has two gears, forward and reverse. It has a starter, rotor, u-joint, drive shaft, propeller, and functions like a machine. It's not for convenience we give them these names—these are truly their functions."

And according to Minnich, the motor would fail to work if any part was removed.

Hovind points out that the flagellum motor slides through liquid at a rate equivalent to a human being swimming through peanut butter at 60 miles per hour.

Finally, Strobel asks Behe:

"And the flagellum is irreducibly complex?"

"That's right," he said. "Genetic studies have shown that between thirty and thirty-five proteins are needed to create a functional flagellum. I haven't even begun to describe all of its complexities; we don't even know the roles of all its proteins. But at a minimum you need at least three parts—a paddle, a rotor, and a motor—that are made up of various proteins. Eliminate one of those parts and you don't get a flagellum that only spins at five thousand rpms; you get a flagellum that simply doesn't work at all. So it's irreducibly complex—and a huge stumbling block to Darwinian theory." [End of quote]

Science is awestruck by these tiny motors, and is experimenting in nanotechnology. The following paragraphs are from the October 2005 issue of Discover:

Many artificial nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes (cylindrical siblings of the famous buckyball) or quantum dots, can already be built, but only in extreme environments characterized by hard vacuums, high-intensity radiation, or directed electron beams. Yet when natural systems form nanoscale structures, "they do not require huge chemical plants or inputs of energy," says chemist Fiona Case of Case Scientific in Vermont. "Nature's structures are formed at room temperature using the same amount of energy released from a slice of pizza."

How do the basic components of living systems construct themselves in such stunning variety, yet with such unerring precision and with so little energy?

God's Word says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and the perfection of His handiwork is past finding out. The Word of God is righteous and true. Embrace it.

GOD SAID, Job 9:1-10:

1 Then Job answered and said,

2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?

3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?

5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger.

6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.

8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.

9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.

GOD SAID, Psalms 139:14:

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

MAN SAID:  Who needs God? We are simply a product of time and chance. We came from nothing, have no eternal purpose, and will end in nothingness.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

Authorized King James Version

Hovind, K., Seminar Series

Kessenides, D., "Angels," Reader's Digest, 4/2006

Morris, H.M., "Insufficient Design," Back To Genesis, March 2006

Strobel, L., The Case for a Creator, Zondervan, 2004

Suplee, C., "Nanotechnology," Discover magazine, 10/05, p58

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