Today at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — we see another example of what we call the Creationist Scientific Method:
ICR’s article is titled Sorghum and Bacteria Cooperative Design. It was written by Randy Guliuzza, about whom we recently posted ICR Has a New Book that Rebuts Darwin. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The drought tolerance of a popular grain, sorghum, makes it an important global food crop. A recent study finds that sorghum manipulates soil conditions to promote a beneficial change in the microbes living on its roots when water is scarce. The complex systems conferring such tight cooperation between plants and microbes point to a wise Creator for their origin far more reasonably than the mystical scenarios invoking strong “positive” and “negative” selection events offered by the researchers.
This is the “mystical” research Randy’s talking about. It’s in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Drought delays development of the sorghum root microbiome and enriches for monoderm bacteria. You can read it on-line without a subscription. Okay, back to Randy. He describes the research:
When sorghum detects the onset of drought it responds by adjusting its root metabolism accordingly. The sorghum roots release an increased range of carbohydrates and amino acids into the soil, as well as secondary metabolites which may include reactive oxygen species. The normally dominant microbes (Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Verrucomicrobia) are poorly suited to these changed conditions, which lead to a rapid decrease in their population. However, another community of microbes which are normally present in small numbers, the Streptomyces strains of Actinobacteria, are particularly suited to the new root products — and just so happen to naturally be better suited to drought conditions as well — and take over the primary colonization of the root system. The researchers suspect that the Streptomyces also release antibiotic compounds which help suppress the normally dominant microbes in the community.
Remarkably, sorghum detects the recolonization by Actinobacteria and, through an unidentified mechanism, adjusts its metabolism again so there is an “increase in relative root-to-shoot resource allocation.” The researchers concluded, “This colonization is correlated with increased root biomass, specifically under drought stress.” In short, the result was sorghum developed drought-fighting deeper roots and a greater root mass.
Interesting. The world is crowded with living organisms. Often they don’t interact, but sometimes their existence in the same environment is cooperative — see Symbiosis, or dependent — see Coevolution, or parasitic, or totally detrimental, as in the case of bacteria that cause fatal diseases.
What does Randy make of the relationship between sorghum and those microbes? He tells us:
How does the microbe-plant relationship happen? Evolutionists who reject any engineered relationship between microbes, plants, and animals [The fools!] are forced to appeal to totally mystical explanations. [Huh?] They must claim that the organisms all somehow co-evolved together — an explanation that the evolutionists cannot demonstrate.
What else can you expect from evolutionists? They’re a bunch of mystics. Randy continues:
[E]volutionists believe that the diversity of life results from random genetic mutations coupled to mystical selection events that are arbitrary with respect to a goal — any given functional trait is achieved by chance processes. [Absurd!] But a biblical explanation [Yes!] is design-based and organism-focused and expects organisms to function according to engineering principles.
It’s so obvious! Let’s read on:
We know that engineers may design one distinct entity like a radio to work together with another entity like a radio transmitter into a completely separate system called a communications system. An engineering-based explanation describing the relationships of microbes, plant, and animals would expect to find autonomous entities with innately designed adaptive capacities, entities that were originally designed to work together as parts of larger, non-violent, cooperative systems.
That’s how it’s done! Well, unless organisms don’t interact at all, or are detrimental to each other — but none of that is mentioned. This is Randy’s thrilling conclusion:
ICR is leading the way in explaining the interactions of an organism to its environment as distinct entities working together as elements of a larger system. This approach shows a higher level of design which demonstrates significant forethought and wide-ranging designed control and, thus, more glory to Nature’s Creator, the Lord Jesus.
That was thrilling. Don’t you agree, dear reader?
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