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Gauger and Axe respond: “If I had a Darwinist alter ego, here’s the problem he’d be facing right now … ”

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Here Ann Gauger and Doug Axe respond to Todd C. Wood’s critique of their recent paper ruling out a proposed Darwinian pathway for enzymes:

he 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: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 see no inconsistency between these two assessments of the power of Darwin’s mechanism:

[stunning graphic follows at site]

For more, go here.

Comments
On the topic of whether there has been enough time. So at the same time I'm reading through Information and the Nature of Reality and I come across this bit from John Maynard Smith:
Occasionally someone, often a mathematician, will announce that there has not been time since the origin of the earth for natural selection to produce the astonishing diversity and complexity of life we see ... The only way I know to give a quantitative answer is to point out that if one estimates, however roughly, the quantity of information in the genome, and the quantity that could have been programmed by selection in 5000 MY, there has been plenty of time. If, remembering that for most of the time our ancestors were microbes, we allow an average of 20 generations a year, there has been time for selection to program the genome ten times over.
But isn't it also true that for the vast majority of those 5000 MY, there's no much evidence of anything new showing up, so what is there to indicate that the genome was being reprogrammed?Mung
April 17, 2011
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And the evo-answer is:
Enzymes schmenzymes. It is all evo-devo- that is the same "stuff" used differently. Oh, and BTW, we know new enzymes arose so your calculations are obviously wrong. So there
Joseph
April 16, 2011
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Here is something that goes with that bacteria to whale picture: Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4165203bornagain77
April 16, 2011
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Would love to hear Todd C. Wood perspective on this but as far as the Picture in the article is concern, excellent example of a "good rhetoric." Really enjoyed the article.T. lise
April 16, 2011
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Take home quote: '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.'bornagain77
April 16, 2011
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You have to love how the complaint has evolved from "ID does not do science" to "ID does science, but it's not science that makes a case for ID."Mung
April 16, 2011
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