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Meditation 464
Literally an outboard motor? Yeah, right!

The flagellum is quite literally an outboard motor that some bacteria use to swim. It is a rotary device that, like a motorboat, turns a propeller to push against liquid, moving the bacterium forward in the process. (Answering Scientific Criticisms of Intelligent Design, From the Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute, Vol 9, Michael Behe, pg. 134)

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The guru of intelligent design wants us to believe that the flagellum on a bacteria is literally an outboard motor.

Above is a greatly magnified image of a monotrichous (that means single flagellum) bacterium, and to the right is a greatly reduced image of an outboard motor.

Looking at the images, I have trouble seeing the validity of Behe's comparison, even if we ignore the "literally". Does that flagellum resemble in any way the outboard motor?

Further, consider that the outboard is designed to propel a boat along the surface of the water, and the flagellum propels the bacteria submerged in fluid. Also, the outboard is easily removable and can be placed on another boat, or a different outboard can be easily installed on the first boat. Yet, the simple exchange of flagella between bacteria is just not observed in nature.

Perhaps Behe should have compared the flagellum to the propulsion system of a submarine; that is if the propeller of the sub was replaced with a quarter-mile long cable thrashing around in the water.

Are there better examples that Behe could have used to demonstrate intelligent design? Perhaps he could have found human examples, given that God's creation of humankind is the whole point of promoting ID.

Consider the rocket engine and the human digestive system. Food and rocket fuel can be considered analogous, and both produce hot gasses out of the rear. Thus like the rocket engine, the digestive system must be evidence of intelligent design.

Consider Lego and the human sexual organs. Lego blocks are affixed to each other by inserting a protruding nub into a recess in the other block. Human sexual intercourse follows a similar pattern. Thus like Lego, human sexual organs must be evidence of intelligent design.

Consider the nutcracker and the molars. Place an unshelled hazel nut in the nutcracker, squeeze to break the shell and obtain the nut; place an unshelled hazel nut between the molars, bite down hard, then obtain the nut. Thus like the nutcracker, our molars must be evidence of intelligent design.

Are you convinced now? I'm still not. Perhaps if our readers would like to submit further examples of intelligent design as demonstrated by human form and function....