If a structure is irreducibly complex, the assembly instructions are often even more irreducibly complex. Case in point: the bacterial flagellum.
When mainstream science journals corroborate claims we’ve made in support of the theory of intelligent design, we like to point it out. It shows that the case for ID grows stronger, not weaker, with time. Eleven years ago in the Illustra film Unlocking the Mystery of Life, Scott Minnich said that the assembly instructions for building a flagellum are even more irreducibly complex than the outboard-motor-like structure itself. He was right; a new paper in PNAS, with dazzling illustrations, opens Darwin’s black box a little more, showing the amazing sequential assembly of this icon of ID.
The 12 authors from 5 American universities don’t seem to have much use for evolutionary theory. They never mention it. Instead, they call the flagellum a “sophisticated self-assembling molecular machine” and, twice, “an intricate molecular machine.”
The organism they studied is the multi-flagellated spirochete that causes Lyme disease — but that’s a side issue for philosophers or theologians, not for intelligent design. ID looks for products that imply intelligent causes, not for the reasons they exist.
The abstract gives a quick summary of their findings: