The Lis1 Clutch

For Wednesday Brian Thomas writes Scientists Discover New Molecular Motor ‘Clutch’. The gist is that we have a protein, dynein, which is known to be regulated in some fashion by another protein, Lis1, and a new paper in Cell that describes how that works – you can find a pdf of the paper and some pretty pictures on the website of one of the authors. They describe the process as analogous in some way to a clutch, and you can see where this is going can’t you?

Skipping through Brian’s (possibly inaccurate) information on what dynein does and where the Lis1 protein comes into it, we get to… the conclusion:

The specified complexity of Lis1, which is exactly the right size, shape, strength, and charge to fit perfectly into its notch on the dynein complex and fulfill its purpose, is one of thousands of essential details that the Creator provided for living cells.

O-kay. The invocation of “specified complexity” is something that I don’t usually see from the ICR, though it has shown up once or twice recently. The concept is usually described as rubbish, so that’s probably just as well. The argument that Lis1 is designed rests on the claim that it is “exactly the right size, shape, strength, and charge,” something which Mr Thomas does not actually provide any evidence for before he says so. The paper does say that the protein is “evolutionarily conserved” and that mutations can cause lissencephaly, but that’s not quite the same thing. Water also “fits perfectly” into its container, after all – what also needs to be known is why that is; whether there are alternative configurations; whether the dynein protein can change slightly itself etc. We don’t know any of that, and therefore can’t just jump to the conclusion that it’s designed.

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One thought on “The Lis1 Clutch

  1. And chemistry is in its own way deterministic. Molecules are going to naturally line up and match and those which match in a beneficial way will be evolved to be developed by the body. To extend your water analogy, is hydrogen “designed” to join with oxygen to make water?

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