MOSCOW, September 6, 2011 – The theory of evolution, or Darwinism as it is often called, has been the staple of popular thinking for well over century. At the heart of the theory lies the notion that complex biological structures develop by blind chance over long periods of time.
Despite its wide acceptance, we can now observe biological structures that render this theory untenable.
One of these structures is the so-called bacterial flagellum. The flagellum is a little whip-like device that some one cell organisms use for movement. It acts as a rotary propeller, which is capable of hundreds of revolutions per second.
In the last 30 years, observation by electronic microscopes revealed that the flagellum is a highly complex organic motor consisting of some 40 closely integrated components. Amazingly, they include parts one finds in man-made machines such a rotor, stator, driveshaft, bearings, hook, etc.
Like with any efficiently-designed motor all of the components must be present and working simultaneously for it to function. Removing even one of them renders the flagellum nonfunctional.
It is here that the difficulty emerges for Darwinism, because if Darwinism were true the flagellum could have never come into existence.
Under Darwinism, a complex structure like this would have to emerge incrementally by adding one part to another until the whole motor was finally built. But given the motor’s complexity and the fact that its builder is blind chance, the process would have to take a very, very long time. During all this time, the existing parts would serve no function or purpose, i.e., during the “assembly phase” the existing parts would be useless.
But Darwinism also teaches that disuse leads to the progressive reduction or degeneration of organs over time. Such organs become vestigial and can eventually disappear altogether. Scientists often point to the Amblyopsidae – the cavefish – as an example of this phenomenon. The fish’s eye lost the ability to see after the species began living in a lightless environment.
If one component of the flagellum somehow came into being, the rotor, let’s say, it would remain as a superfluous appendage until the remaining 39 parts were put into place. By the time blind chance would accomplish this spectacular feat, the non-functional part would have to be jettisoned under the pressure of the very forces by which Darwinists seek to explain the emergence of the organ in the first place.
An additional problem is posed by the sheer length of time required to put together a motor of this complexity. To begin with, the cell would somehow have to produce the finished parts that form the magnificent machine. Those parts would have to be manufactured in the right sequence and assembled together by forces that are unconscious of the organ’s final purpose or design.
Here are some questions: What is the probability that a pivot will be produced by accident which will fit exactly into the rotor? What is the probability that it will be physically placed in the right place? And what is the probability that such a process will repeat itself 40 times or so?
Michael Behe writes about this in his landmark book Darwin’s Black Box: “As the number of required parts increases, the difficulty of gradually putting the system together skyrockets, and the likelihood of indirect scenarios plummets. Darwin looks more and more forlorn.”
The example of the bacterial flagellum shows that the existence of complex biological structures that require for their operation the simultaneous functioning of their multiple parts cannot be accounted for by the Darwinian theory of evolution. In fact, according to this theory, such structures should not really exist at all.
This means the theory is less than inadequate. Not only does it fail to account for what we see, it implies that what we see should not even exist in the first place. Any theory that is so at odds with observable reality is quite obviously false.
So how did the superbly-designed motor of the bacterial flagellum come into existence? The only reasonable inference is that it was fashioned by a transcendent intelligence.
The term that is usually used to refer to such intelligence is God.
*NOTE: For the follow up article please click here.
Born and raised under communism, Vasko Kohlmayer is a naturalized American citizen. He has lived in several countries under various forms of government, but he still marvels at the goodness of God and the wonder of life.
He has written for a number of newspapers, magazines and internet journals. Vasko currently lives in Europe with his long-suffering wife and two beautiful daughters. He is the founder of The Christian Writers Foundation.
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