Darwinism

Complexity of earliest animal/plant cell is real. “No tautology at work here.”

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Over at Design Matrix, Mike Gene defends the view that “Complex LECA [Last Eukaryoic Common Ancestor] is no tautology”:

Someone with the moniker DrREC replied to my posting about the complexity of the last eukaryotic ancestor as follows:

This is almost a tautology. The last Eukaryotic common ancestor had the defining features of a Eukaryote….which happen to be more complex than prokaryotic life.

He replies:

There is no tautology at work here. Not even close. We can appreciate this by simply recognizing that scientists could very well have discovered that LECA was remarkably simple. For example, it could have been a cell with a nucleus, but lacking protein-coding introns, mitochondria, golgi bodies, ubiquitin, and flagella. And its nuclear pore complex, cytoskeleton, and endomembranous system could have been rather simple. But as it turned out, LECA had a level of complexity that rivals modern day cells.

In which case, Darwinism is wrong.

We may not know what’s right but we can know that Darwinism is wrong – if it is indeed a theory in science. Which many now seriously doubt.

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9 Replies to “Complexity of earliest animal/plant cell is real. “No tautology at work here.”

  1. 1
    DrREC says:

    Oh goodness, this is bad.

    Mike Gene, do you recognize the difference between FIRST and LAST?

    L as in LUCA or LECA is LAST-The Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor, the most RECENT (not oldest) organism from which all organisms/all Eukaryotic organisms (respectively) living on Earth descend.

    Not the First! Do you understand LECA isn’t the first Eukaryote?

    So “it could have been a cell with a nucleus, but lacking protein-coding introns, mitochondria, golgi bodies, ubiquitin, and flagella” is an argument that might apply to “FECA” the first common Eukaryote–which we can’t reasonably infer the details of–but not LECA!

    Arguing LECA was simple and lacking all those things leads to the poor hypothesis that introns, spliceosomes, mitochondria, golgi, ubiquitin and flagella evolved multiple independent times in Eukarya-in a homologous manner, having the same features and detectable sequence homology in each lineage!

    Simply put, if it isn’t in the LAST Eukaryotic Common ancestor, Eukarya must have invented those things multiple times, in the same way, which is way unlikel.

    But you’re still going on and on about a ‘simple’ Eukaryote lacking those things. Entirely possible. Probable, even. Relevant to LECA? No!

    Microsporidia are considered fungi that lost many Eukaryotic features in becoming more efficient parasites. Your consideration of them is interesting in terms of basal/primitive Eukarya, but not LECA. You even say they “thus represent a textbook example of reductive evolution.”

    So how the hell do they represent a common ancestor, having later lost these key features? Maybe they might impact our view of a simple, primordial Eukaryote, but LECA that ain’t.

    Do you think LUCA was the first life?

    My my…..

    Perhaps this is why the second part of my reply, that “Curious also to invoke LECA, which assumes common ancestry of all Eukarya. This is a technique of using modern sequences to peer back and infer what was.
    Using this assumes there are not multiple origins of Eukarya, and could even be interpreted as ruling out design, as those lines of descent are unbroken and unperturbed (otherwise, we can’t infer what was in LECA-a more modern insertion of a common design kind of rules out inferring what was commonly present in an ancient organism). I grant this isn’t mutually exclusive with some versions of ID, but it nearly reduces it to theistic evolution.”

    Is more interesting. If you understood what you were invoking in support of ID, then where do you stand?

  2. 2
    DrREC says:

    By the way, I see this notion reflected in the post title:

    “Complexity of earliest animal/plant cell is real. “No tautology at work here.”

    Earliest Eukaryote? (I’ll forgive the “animal/plant” as a substitution for “Eukaryote,” I guess). But no, we aren’t discussing the earliest Eukaryote, we are discussing the MOST RECENT COMMON ANCESTOR of EUKARYOTES!!!!

  3. 3
    nullasalus says:

    Not the First! Do you understand LECA isn’t the first Eukaryote?

    Where does Mike say that this is the first Eukaryote? Where does he even imply it?

    Mike’s clearly proceeding with the knowledge that the LECA is what it is.

    Arguing LECA was simple and lacking all those things leads to the poor hypothesis that

    But Mike claims: “Of course, we don’t need to be hypothetical about this. Back in the 1980s, biologists expected LECA to have been rather simple. Consider the simplest of eukaryotic cells – microsporidia.” Is this utnrue? Back in the 1980s, did biologists not expect this?

    You say it’s “way unlikely”. Why is that? Is it that evolution didn’t have nearly enough time to invent certain things? Is it that convergent evolution is a blow to Darwinian theory? Is it that an HGT origin and spread of too many traits would be a blow to Darwinian theory?

    Or is it way unlikely largely as a result of hindsight? Saying that of course it must have complex given what we know now doesn’t do much to affect the claim that, before we knew what we knew, the expectation was otherwise.

    If you understood what you were invoking in support of ID, then where do you stand?

    http://designmatrix.wordpress......mment-3014

    But Mike already replied to that: “He’s making the mistake of conflating design with anti-evolutionism. The common ancestry of all eukaryotes does not rule out design.” and “You would think that something that “rules out design” would be mutually exclusive with all versions of ID. Nothing is being “reduced,” as it is about front-loading the process of evolution. Y’know – the design of evolution.”

  4. 4
    arkady967 says:

    The analysis and conclusions regarding LECA and the organisms discussed in the article depend upon evolutionary assumptions to interpret the science – regardless. So, there’s an argument that the position represented is a tautology, and possiblly that the whole argument is a form of “Begging the question.”
    (Could have been if the Darwinian mechanism applies, which it may in the case “reductive evolution”, but doesn’t necessarily apply to a “common ancestor, and if there was a LECA. That would be hard to ascertain, conclusively, on sciencific grounds, without applying some amount of question begging concerning unproven assumptions which are part of the article’s contention from the get-go.)

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    How do we know what the LECA looked like?

    I guess we probably look at all extant eeks. And then we develop a chance hypothesis. And then we reject the null.

    But why couldn’t there have been many independent origins?

    http://www.genome.com/life-Orgin.htm

  6. 6
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung, do you now understand why the LUCA isn’t the FUCA (or the LECA the FECA)?

    Because earlier you seemed to think they were necessarily the same.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    Well no, Lizzie, I don’t understand at all.

    Do you think that a eukaryote was the LUCA/FUCA?

    About the only reference I can find to a first universal common ancestor is on a creationist web site. Are you endorsing creationism now?

  8. 8
    junkdnaforlife says:

    Mung:

    Search for “FUCA” returned at number 1, from urban dictionary, “The little fat area above the vagina but below the stomach.”

    Searched for FUCA biology and ended up with “Juan de Fuca.”

    Searched for “Feca biology”:

    I seems to be “ferric citrate transporter FecA” (FpvA and FecA, the archetypes of this subfamily) are able to bind with close affinities to a common or overlapping binding site…

    I hope that clears things up for you lol.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    lol. Clear as fecal!

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