Friday, May 20, 2011

Essential reading.....a trillion trillion years or more


Uh OH! Essential reading for evo supporters.



When Theory and Experiment Collide


......As other scientists have found with other enzymes, it turned out not to be a snap. The technical details are reported in a paper just published in BIO-Complexity. [2] Here we’ll keep it simple.
Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
Now, if I were a Darwinist a result like this would bother me. I’m sure some of my fellow Darwinists would try to dismiss it as irrelevant… but that would bother me all the more.
The excuse for shrugging it off would, I expect, be that the transition we examined isn’t actually one that anyone thinks occurred in the history of life. That’s true, but it badly misses the point. As Ann and I made clear in the paper, our aim wasn’t to replicate a historical transition, but rather to identify what ought to be a relatively easy transition and find out how hard or easy it really is. We put it this way in the paper [2]:
Whether or not a particular conversion ever occurred as a paralogous innovation (or the direction in which it occurred if it did) is not the point of interest here. Rather, the point is to identify the kind of functional innovation that ought to be among the most feasible […] and then to assess how feasible this innovation is.
So, if I had a Darwinist alter ego, here’s the problem he’d be facing right now. To dismiss our study as irrelevant, he’d have to say (in effect) that he sees no inconsistency between these two assessments of the power of Darwin’s mechanism:




But that’s not an easy thing to say with a straight face, is it?
Having always believed the bottom picture to be correct, my alter ego would be very reluctant to reject it. And yet he wouldn’t be able to deny the obvious. There is in fact a jaw-dropping, ludicrous, even grotesque inconsistency between the top picture and the bottom picture. They can’t possibly both be true. But that realization, of course, forces an uncomfortable decision.
And here I must confess to feeling more than a little sympathy for my alter ego. I think it’s because of what we have in common.
He loves science.
So do I.
He loves stories.
So do I.
He sees a role for stories in framing scientific ideas.
So do I.
And he has said to himself, “The progress of science has invalidated my alter ego’s favorite story.”
So have I.

----------------


The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway

.....This leads Koonin and Wolf
to reject convergent evolution (extensive similarity appearing
by evolution from dissimilar starting points) as implausible.
But from this they conclude that homology, while not
formally proven by similarity, is nonetheless overwhelmingly
supported in cases where chance convergence is implausible.
The problem with this is that all non-chance alternatives
must be considered once chance is ruled out. Yet Koonin and
Wolf consider only one of these alternatives—the standard
Darwinian one.
We agree with their rejection of chance, but we argue here
that the Darwinian explanation also appears to be inadequate.
Its deficiencies become evident when the focus moves from
similarities to dissimilarities, and in particular to functionally
important dissimilarities—to innovations. The extent to which
Darwinian evolution can explain enzymatic innovation seems,
on careful inspection, to be very limited. Large-scale innovations
that result in new protein folds appear to be well outside
its range [5]. This paper argues that at least some small-scale
innovations may also be beyond its reach.
If studies of this
kind continue to imply that this is typical rather than exceptional,
then answers to the most interesting origins questions
will probably remain elusive until the full range of explanatory
alternatives is considered.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Evolving Enzymes and Testing Darwin's Theory With Ann Gauger

Evolving Enzymes and Testing Darwin's Theory With Ann Gauger

How many mutations does it take?Hint: It is not one.

Click here to listen.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Genetic Piano

Perhaps someone was listening........

A while ago I posted on the idea that we should look at genes like keys on a piano. The number of tunes that can be cranked out is astounding. Sometimes a single key is played or in combinations. Some are rarely played but still can produce beautiful music.

Now someone else has picked up on this idea.

More support for IDvolution.


Study gives clue as to how notes are played on the genetic piano

The NOVA U.S. public television program described epigenetics as “The Ghost In Your Genes.” It is the study of changes in gene expression that occur without changes in DNA sequence. Like keys on a piano, DNA is the static blueprint for all the proteins that cells produce. Epigenetic information provides additional dynamic or flexible instructions as to how, where and when the blueprint will be used. “It corresponds to a pianist playing a piece of music,” said Kohzoh Mitsuya, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. 



Why Some Genes Are Silenced: Researchers Find Clue as to How Notes Are Played On the 'Genetic Piano' 'Like keys on a piano, DNA is the static blueprint for all the proteins that cells produce. Epigenetic information provides additional dynamic or flexible instructions as to how, where and when the blueprint will be used. "It corresponds to a pianist playing a piece of music," said Kohzoh Mitsuya, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.'

Friday, May 6, 2011

An Atheist defends intellignet design

Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Broadview Press, 2009), p. 36.

Consider some feature of the universe, such as its beginning to exist (assuming that it did begin to exist). There are various competing explanations we can consider for such a feature, and one of those explanations will be that the feature was due to an intelligent cause. We may judge this explanation to be the best one but it doesn’t follow that the explanation is true. The right account could be that there’s no explanation at all for why the universe has the feature that it does.
Thus, if the doctrine of intelligent design is as I’ve stated above, with the claim that the best explanation for the features is an intelligent cause, then I endorse intelligent design. I can do this, as an atheist, because I reject the inference that the best explanation is true or even likely to be true. My opinion is that it’s probably the case that the true account is that there’s no explanation at all.
- Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Broadview Press, 2009), p. 36.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Peer-reviewed paper defends theory of intelligent design

Peer-reviewed paper defends theory of intelligent design

 

Critics of evolution score publishing success
A new front has opened up in the battle between scientists and advocates of intelligent design, a theory that rejects evolution and is regarded by its critics as another term for creationism.A scientific journal has published a paper that argues in favour of intelligent design — the first time such material has appeared in a peer-reviewed publication, according to biologists who track the issue.