Scott Minnich

Scott Minnich holds a Ph.D. from Iowa State University and is currently a professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho and is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.

Previously, Dr. Minnich was an assistant professor at Tulane University. In addition, he did postdoctoral research with Austin Newton at Princeton University and with Arthur Aronson at Purdue University. Dr. Minnich's research interests are temperature regulation of Y. enterocolitca gene expression and coordinate reciprocal expression of flagellar and virulence genes.

Biochemist Michael Behe used the flagella to illustrate the concept of irreducible complexity and Minnich takes the argument to the next level crediting the design paradigm to leading to new insights in his lab research at the University of Idaho.

In 2004 Minnich served as part of the United State's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) tasked with reviewing captured mobile weapons laboratories, and determining what role if any they played in microbial weapons production.

Minnich is widely published in technical journals including Journal of Bacteriology, Molecular Microbiology, Journal of Molecular Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Microbiological Method, Food Technology, and the Journal of Food Protection.


Can the Theory of Evolution be Simulated through Lab Experiments?

Synopsis: Michael Behe on Richard Lenski and Limits to the Theory of Evolution
Michigan State University biologist Richard Lenski tests evolution and random mutations acting on natural selection to determine what evolution can do. He has experimented with bacteria to see what new functions can evolve just through random mutations acting on natural selection. Biologist Michael Behe has found that there are severe limitations to getting the coordinated mutations that natural selection needs Read More ›

Amazing Flagellum

Michael Behe and the Revolution of Intelligent Design
The bacterial flagellum has become an iconic example of the evidence against modern Darwinian theory as well as the evidence for intelligent design.

Is Antibiotic Resistance Evidence for Darwinian Evolution?

On this episode of ID The Future we’re featuring the audio of a short video segment from the Icons of Evolution curriculum modules DVD. Antibiotic resistance is an example of natural selection acting on random mutation and is often referred to as one of the hallmark pieces of evidence for Darwin’s theory of evolution. Is it truly strong evidence supporting Read More ›

Explore Evolution: The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism

Designed for public schools but also used in many private schools, Explore Evolution is a supplementary biology textbook that teaches critical thinking by giving students a thorough understanding of both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. The textbook comes with lesson plans, PowerPoint slides, handouts, and a test bank available for those who adopt the text in their course. It is Read More ›

Explore Evolution

The Arguments for and Against Neo-Darwinism
Designed for high school AP biology and above, Explore Evolution objectively presents the scientific evidence both for and against key aspects of Darwinian evolution. It promotes inquiry-based learning, encouraging students to participate in the process of discovery, deliberation, and argument that scientists use to form their theories.

Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits in Pathogenic Bacteria

Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece.
Abstract: The bacterial flagellum represents one of the best understood molecular machines. Comprised of 40 parts that self-assemble into a true rotary engine, the biochemistry and genetics of these systems has revealed an unanticipated complexity. An essential component to assembly is the subset of parts that function as a protein secretory pump to ensure and discriminate that the correct number of protein subunits and their order of secretion is precisely regulated during assembly. Of further interest is the recognition of late that a number of important plant and animal pathogens use a related protein secretory pump fused to a membrane-spanning needle-like syringe by which a subset of toxins can be injected into target host cells. Together, the flagellar and virulence protein pumps are referred to as Type III Secretion Systems (TTSS). The archetype for TTSS systems has been the pathogenic members of the genus Yersinia which includes the organism responsible for bubonic plague, Y. pestis. Our interest in the Yersinia centers on the coordinate genetic regulation between flagellum biosynthesis and virulence TTSS expression. Y. enterocolitica, for example operates three TTSSs (motility, Ysa, and Yop), but each is expressed under defined mutually exclusive conditions. Y. pestis has lost the ability to assemble flagella (the genes are present on the chromosome) and expresses only the Yop system at 37oC, mammalian temperature. Using a combination of microarray analysis, genetic fusions, and behaviors of specific engineered mutants, we demonstrate how environmental factors influence gene expression of these multigene families, where the influence is exerted within each system, and propose why segregating these systems is critical for the organism. Our model further offers an explanation as to why an important subset of human pathogens has lost motility during their histories.