A Dear Reader who calls themself Ophistokont made me curious about what this intriguing word might mean. It’s very rare, with only seven Google hits and no entry in Merriam-Webster. Ophi- should have to do with snakes. -stok- calls stoichiometry to mind, having to do with elements. -ont has to do with being. Something that forms the basic element of a snake-like thing, maybe?

I didn’t make that up unaided. Those seven Google hits explain (mostly in German) that an ophistokont is the end of a single-cell being from which its motile flagellum extends. These little whip-like outboard motors have been the object of creationist speculation along the lines that “this is too cool to have evolved by natural selection”: speculation refuted here.


4 thoughts on “Ophistokont

  1. Are the “Intelligent Design” types thinking that they have a Deity capable of Intelligently Designing these adaptations, but Not Intelligent Enough to hide evidence of His Own Handiwork?

    Their All-Powerful, All-Knowing God is *incapable* of making it *look* like His Creation evolved naturally?

    Wow. What a putz deity that would be. Ha.


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