I’d never really thought about the actual details that constitute the ‘Intelligent Design’ argument about the source of life on Earth until I recently found a video documentary on Google Video. This made for some pretty insane Thursday afternoon viewing I can tell you.
The overall argument for ID is based on something Darwin wrote about in ‘The Origin of Species’. He basically said that if anything is ever found that is demonstrably *not* subject to natural selection or going through any form of micro-evolution then his entire idea of natural selection would fall apart. Well it seems that something intrinsic to life on Earth has been found that falls right into this category inside living cells.
Darwin really didn’t have any idea about the workings of living cells, he certainly had no idea of their complexity as at the time the general idea of what a cells constituted was little more than a blob of jelly. There are in fact entities living inside every living cell that are more akin to amazingly powerful nano-machines with some seriously complex inner workings. Most notable of these is called bacterial flagellum which operates like an outboard motor with an RPM in the region of 100,000!! Its got all the right parts too, a propeller, u-joint, rotary engine and drive shaft to name a few, all made from proteins. Its functionality like this performed inside our cells by these machines that leads scientists to become more sceptical of the traditional ideas and ask more questions about evolution. They are basically doubting the idea that life on this scale and complexity could have started by purely chemical processes.
There is no way that natural selection could account for the instant appearance of something this complicated and perfected off the bat with no process leading to it. The problem has been called ‘Irreducible Complexity’. Darwinian theories propose that through processes of chance and natural selection the ‘most fit’ survive and with their offspring the attributes that made them ‘most fit’ or in other words gave those creatures a ‘functional advantage’. Whereas some of the phenomena being categorise as irreducibly complex have no path or lineage that could lead to their existence and any notion of a functional advantage goes out the window as they are so specific that they are either going to work or not work.
So, how did they get there?
Anyway, enough of my wibbling … this is a must see: