Saturday, 20 October 2018

Creationism Sent Spinning Over Wheels

Wheels are everywhere these days. Almost every intelligently designed machine needs wheels somewhere, either inside it, like a clockwork clock or outside it like a motor car or a bicycle. Even modern, solid-state electrical machines will probably have wheels somewhere. Even all but the most primitive ploughs have wheels.

Yet wheels are virtually unknown in natural organisms. The only thing approaching a wheel in nature is the tiny molecular rotary proton motor driving the flagellum. Why is this?

The reason wheels, and in that description I include rollers, pulleys and rotating shafts - in fact any rotary component - are used extensively in machines is because they are much more energy-efficient than levers (like legs and arms) that need to be accelerated, decelerated, reversed and accelerated again to function. They smoothly turn electromotive power into rotary power and the output of an internal combustion engine into rotation which can be modified through a gearbox and turned into useful work.

The earliest computer - Babbage's Difference Engine - relied on rotating cogs.

Some of the earliest working machines built by humans were based on wheels - the potters' wheel; the archimedean screw for raising water from wells.

If like me you played with Meccano as a child, you'll have quickly found you couldn't make much without wheels, pulleys or cogs.

Wheels, rollers and rotating shafts work.

Wheels were present in Paley's hypothetical watch.

Yet creationism's putative intelligent (sic) designer appears never to thought of it, or only managed to come near it with a proton motor and never realised the potential. The very mechanism that the earliest human engineers used and incorporated into almost all machinery that developed out of those few simple machines, seems to be utterly beyond the wit of this intelligent (sic) designer to understand and incorporate into its designs.

Can intelligent design advocates explain this strange oversight or intellectual limitation in a supposedly omnipotent, omniscient designer who reputedly even designed humans knowing that one day they would invent the wheel?

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