Machine metaphors are ubiquitous in the molecular sciences. In addition to their use by scientists, educators and popularizers of science, they have been promoted intensively by the Intelligent Design (ID) movement in arguments for the necessity of a god-like designer to account for the complexities of life at the molecular level. The authors have investigated the visual rhetoric employed in a movie by ID proponents, with particular emphasis on machine metaphors. The authors provide examples and argue that science communicators could reduce the persuasive impact of ID visual rhetoric based on machine metaphors by emphasizing that self-assembly is fundamental to molecular complexes.

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