Tuesday, 3 July 2018

More Malevolence From the Malevolent Designer


Once it enters the cell, the parasite rotates to close the door it has opened. This movement also seals it into a vacuole, a sac where it stays and develops.
© Isabelle Tardieux
A new twist on how parasites invade host cells - CNRS Web site - CNRS

To get a proper perspective on the sort of creature creationists imagine they're worshipping, consider a man in your neighbourhood who obsessively invents and refines ways of making his neighbours sick and frequently killing them, indiscriminately at any age from babies to old people.

He doesn't just do this once but continually and isn't satisfied with just making them sick but tries to find ingenious ways to overcome any attempts his neighbours make to avoid getting sick or reducing the harm he's doing them. The methods he chooses to harm them are invisible to the naked eye; they get into them via their food, in the air they breathe, by being injected by blood-sucking parasites or in any number of ways that are hard to control or defend themselves against.

This malevolent man doesn't exist, of course, and if he did, he would be kept out of harms way in some maximum security facility and his name would be legendary as an example of pure, malevolent evil. Parents would threaten their unruly children with him. And yet creationists believe their putative designer god does exactly that. They even call it intelligent and believe it loves them. To a creationist, the deity they believe behaves that way is the greatest thing imaginable. They even sing songs of praise to it, ask it to help with problems and teach their children to look to it for moral guidance.

That brings me to a paper published a few days ago which, if you are a creationist, describes just one ingenious way this 'Intelligent (sic) Designer' had devised to make people sick. It concerns the Toxoplasma gondii which causes toxoplasmosis. It was published by French scientists working at the Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Université Grenoble Alpes, France, using high-resolution, high-speed imaging.

Regrettably, the paper itself is behind a paywall and the copyright holders, Elsevier want money just to reprint the abstract. However, the associated press release explains:

Toxoplasmosis is a widespread infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which multiplies within a host and irreversible tissue damage. Humans primarily become infected by eating undercooked meat and poorly washed fruits and vegetables. After infecting the digestive system, the parasite enters deep tissue in the nervous system, among other places, and remains there to develop, nearly undetected.

To do so, T. gondii implements an ingenious invasive strategy. Scientists at the Institute for Advanced Biosciences (IAB) (CNRS/INSERM/Université Grenoble Alpes) have successfully reconstructed the steps taken by the parasite to gain entry to a host cell. T. gondii injects a protein complex into the host cell membrane to form a door through which it passes in a matter of seconds. It then performs a twisting motion to close the door behind itself. This rotational force also allows it to seal itself into a vacuole, a small sac that acts as a nest, where it continues to develop at the host's expense.

The study, pioneering in its field, unveils a stage in the invasion process that likely constitutes one of the first “signals” to Toxoplasma gondii that it can begin the intracellular phase of its cycle. The team is now focusing on understanding in detail the mechanical properties of this door that opens and closes cell membranes.

Creationists are stuck with this as an inevitable part of their model of the world in which everything is designed, perfectly fitted for its purpose by a designer who knew exactly what the outcome would be. As an omniscient, omnipotent and perfect designer, it designed this organism, complete with this method of gaining access to our cells, in order to destroy them and make us sick. They can't have all the nice stuff without the nasty stuff.

If they want to adopt an Intelligent (sic) Design model they are stuck with the inevitable conclusion that what they worship is a malevolent entity indistinguishable from the psychopath I described above.





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1 comment :

  1. Parasites existing at all discounts any notion of a benevolent deity of any flavour.

    ReplyDelete

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