Thursday, January 12, 2012

Experimentally Confirming the Limits to Darwinian Evolution

Over at Evolution News this article dated 1/11/12 shows empirically that the Darwinian process degrades rather than constructing new functional systems.  The article also states " It seems like some notable workers are converging on the idea that the information for life was all present at the beginning, and life diversifies by losing pieces of that information. That concept is quite compatible with intelligent design. Not so much with Darwinism."

So, we have more support for IDvolution.

Evolution of increased complexity in a molecular machine


"The work of Finnegan et al. (2012) strikes me as quite thorough and elegant. I have no reason to doubt that events could have unfolded that way. However, the implications of the work for unguided evolution appear very different to me than they've been spun in media reports. The most glaringly obvious point is that, like the results of Lenski's work, this is evolution by degradation. All of the functional parts of the system were already in place before random mutation began to degrade them. Thus it is of no help to Darwinists, who require a mechanism that will construct new, functional systems. What's more, unlike Lenski's results, the mutated system of Thornton and colleagues is not even advantageous; it is neutral, according to the authors. Perhaps sensing the disappointment for Darwinism in the results, the title of the paper and news reports emphasize that the "complexity" of the system has increased. But increased complexity by itself is no help to life -- rather, life requires functional complexity. One can say, if one wishes, that a congenitally blind man teaming up with a congenitally legless man to safely move around the environment is an increase in "complexity" over a sighted, ambulatory person. But it certainly is no improvement, nor does it give the slightest clue how vision and locomotion arose."

"Finnegan et al.'s (2012) work intersects with several other concepts. First, their work is a perfect example of Michael Lynch's idea of "subfunctionalization," where a gene with several functions duplicates, and each duplicate loses a separate function of the original. (Force et al., 1999) Again, however, the question of how the multiple functions arose in the first place is begged. Second, it intersects somewhat with the recent paper by Austin Hughes (2011) in which he proposes a non-selective mechanism of evolution abbreviated "PRM" (plasticity-relaxation-mutation), where a "plastic" organism able to survive in many environments settles down in one and loses by degradative mutation and drift the primordial plasticity. But again, where did those primordial functions come from? It seems like some notable workers are converging on the idea that the information for life was all present at the beginning, and life diversifies by losing pieces of that information. That concept is quite compatible with intelligent design. Not so much with Darwinism."





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