An interesting paper appeared several months ago in an issue of the journal Genetics, “Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution” (Durrett, R & Schmidt, D. 2008. Genetics 180: 1501-1509). This is the fourth of five posts that discusses it. Cited references will appear in the last post.
Now I’d like to turn to a couple of other points in Durrett and Schmidt’s reply which aren’t mistakes with their model, but which do reflect conceptual errors. As I quote in a previous post, they state in their reply, “This conclusion is simply wrong since it assumes that there is only one individual in the population with the first mutation.” I have shown previously that, despite their assertion, my conclusion is right. But where do they get the idea that “it assumes that there is only one individual in the population with the first mutation”? I wrote no such thing in my letter about “one individual”. Furthermore, I “assumed” nothing. I merely cited empirical results from the literature. The figure of 1 in 10^20 is a citation from the literature on chloroquine resistance of malaria. Unlike their model, it is not a calculation on my part.
Right after this, in their reply Durrett and Schmidt say that the “mistake” I made is a common one, and they go on to illustrate “my” mistake with an example about a lottery winner. Yet their own example shows they are seriously confused about what is going on.
The basic problem, as I noted here, referencing this controversy (oh, wait, there isn’t a controversy, right?):
Well, the real problem is quite simple, actually: To a Darwinist, there are no limits to what Darwinian evolution can do. Darwin’s God – to borrow a phrase from Catholic Darwinist Ken Miller – is Darwinism. By nature, it is omnipotent. Thus, Behe blasphemed by offering, in Edge of Evolution, doubt based on evidence. Here is my review of the book.
Catching up here: No end to the evil, I guess; Also from the evil Discos – Debate over Behe’s Edge of Evolution; Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy; Intellectual freedom in Canada: Fire. Them. All. News Roundup – Hey, spring hasn’t been cancelled after all!
Gotta hand it to the ol’ boy; Science has a future after all – but it isn’t Darwinism; Gene, gene, the meadow is green – and where are you when I need to blame you for something?; Intelligent design and popular culture: Biomimicry So you acknowledge that Darwinism is in fact a cult?; Poll: In Darwin’s birthday year, people want to hear alternatives; From my mouth to God’s ear: Ben Stein gets a bore-free evening at home!; The Dino-Birds land … again?; Attempt a zillion to one to exonerate Darwin of racism; Intellectual freedom in Canada: Stephen Harper: Maybe
not just a dish rag?; Honour killings – why we don’t accept it here