The motor of the bacterium flagellum
The biochemical and molecular biological research of recent years has shown us that our body contains a number of different machines. Every cell uses motors in its metabolism to generate energy, build proteins and transport different materials to a new location inside the cell, and to transport substances through membranes. One of the largest of these machines consisting of more than 300 protein complexes, splices the m-RNA after the introns have been removed. Every single animal cell has thousands of machines that work in tandem. All these machines are connected to each other, like cog wheels in a factory. If the need for what they are producing and the services they carry out is increased, the machines work faster and quicker.
Now we will take a closer look at bacterial flagellum, because that will make it easier to describe the conditions when we have a specific object to refer to. It has been called the most advanced machine in the universe – which is not made by humans. It rotates the flagellum so that the bacteria can move. Even if it can have many thousands of revolutions a minute, it can rotate in the opposite direction in a quarter revolution without any of its components being damaged. It has a clutch so it can be put in neutral as well as in reverse. Again, we need to take a moment to think: Who recognized the need for a clutch – who saw how it must be constructed? The motor consists of about 40 proteins. It has a propeller, motor, bushings for solid and stable adherence to the wall of the bacteria, etc. Since it can rotate in both directions and change the speed of rotation, the bacteria are able to acquire nutrition that it finds in the aqueous environment it moves in.
The mechanism of action for the motor in itself, is ingenious. The motor is driven by the electrochemical gradient of ions across the cell membrane. That is the difference between the concentration of hydrogen ions – H+ – on the inside and the outside of the bacteria. In some bacteria, it may be the difference between sodium ions – Na+ – that constitute the driving force. This causes a torque so that the motor rotates. Since the motor can rotate very quickly and change its direc- tion in a short period of time, it must be fixed properly to the wall of the bacteria. Some motors can have as many as eight generators that can work independently of each other. This electrostatic principle lets the motor work at approximately 100 % efficiency, without getting overheated. Ordinary electric motors made and used by us humans, cannot accomplish this. It is very difficult to build a motor according to such an electrostatic principle – it is so difficult that it is completely out of the picture for engineers today, 8,9,10 but then not for the one who has built this motor. This means we can assume that coincidence alone could not build a motor that skilled engineers cannot. The motors they build, are based on the electromagnetic principle.
The motor of the bacterial flagellum has 8–10 proteins in common with the injection needle of most bacteria. Christian Darwinists can be quick to add that the construction of the flagellum motor can then be purely coincidental since it has some proteins in common with this needle. This reasoning is faulty for a number of reasons. First of all, phylogenetic data show that the needle cannot be a precursor for the motor. 11,12,13,14 In their article of 2012, Abby and Rocha have shown that the motor is the basis for the needle, and that the needle does not contribute to building the motor. The motor exists before the needle. Neither are the proteins of the needle included in the rotating parts of the motor. This also corresponds with the Darwinian mechanisms having far greater ability to break down than to build. It is important to point this out since Christian Darwinists use Ken Miller’s arguments uncritically for the needle being the basis for the motor, meaning that the motor is a result of evolution 15,16. I know there are Christian Darwinists who use Miller’s arguments to refute Intelligent Design – as well as a Designer. We can allow ourselves to ask a little question: Where did the injection needle come from? Wouldn’t it also have required a builder?