Monday, 11 November 2019

Triple Trouble for 'Intelligent' Design Creationists

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Resistance to last resort drug arose in patient over 3 weeks -- ScienceDaily

Any truly intelligent designer knows exactly what the results of his or her design will be. A designer who simply blunders along making random changes without any idea what these changes will mean, could not conceivably be called 'intelligent' within the commonly-understood meaning of the word. Stupid would be the more correct term.

A designer who designs something to do harm to people could not possibly be called loving.

So, what are we to make of the news that resistance to antibiotics of last resort has been observed to arise in the bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa?

According to Wikipedia:

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common encapsulated, Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that can cause disease in plants and animals, including humans. A species of considerable medical importance, P. aeruginosa is a multidrug resistant pathogen recognized for its ubiquity, its intrinsically advanced antibiotic resistance mechanisms, and its association with serious illnesses – hospital-acquired infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia and various sepsis syndromes.

The organism is considered opportunistic insofar as serious infection often occurs during existing diseases or conditions – most notably cystic fibrosis and traumatic burns. It generally affects the immunocompromised but can also infect the immunocompetent as in hot tub folliculitis. Treatment of P. aeruginosa infections can be difficult due to its natural resistance to antibiotics. When more advanced antibiotic drug regimens are needed adverse effects may result.

According to this study, during the course of 22 days, P. aeruginosa in a patient suffering from infection developed resistance to the antibiotics of last resort, ceftolozane-tazobactam and ceftazidime-avibactam. At the same time, this strain also regained partial susceptibility to piperacillin-tazobactam and carbapenems, to which it had earlier evolved resistance.

Moreover, this mutation responsible for this change is very probably a single-point mutation, involving the substitution of one DNA base for another in a codon.

So, creationism putative intelligent (sic) designer appears to have redesigned P. aeruginosa to overcome human science's attempt to combat the harm it does to humans, but in doing so, reversed the change it made earlier to overcome an earlier antibiotic. Some might think that this was not a particularly intelligent move and not one that could be ascribed to a loving creator unless its love is for P. aeruginosa, not it's human victims.

And then of course there is the added embarrassment for creationists in that this also violates two of their favourite articles of faith:
  1. Any mutation is deleterious. This one conveyed beneficial resistance to P. aeruginosa.
  2. No new information can arise by mutation. This one changed the meaning of the genome of P. aeruginosa so it could survive in an otherwise hostile environment. A change of meaning with no change in information content. In other words, evolution not requiring an increase in information.

Not the best of news for advocates of intelligent design, so something that will never appear in a creationist disinformation site.

Boulant, Thibaud, Agnès B. Jousset, Rémy A. Bonnin, Aurélie Barrail-Tran, Adrien Borgel, Saoussen Oueslati, Thierry Naas, and Laurent Dortet. 2019.
A 2.5-Years within-Patient Evolution of a Pseudomonas Aeruginosa with in Vivo Acquisition of Ceftolozane-Tazobactam and Ceftazidime-Avibactam Resistance upon Treatment.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
, October. American Society for Microbiology. doi:10.1128/aac.01637-19.

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