In short, it was hard to find anything beyond a “suggestion” or a “scenario” that these bacteria improved their fitness in any way by genetic mutations, other than the gross observation that some of the clones managed to survive at 45 ̊C. But even the ancestor could do that sometimes through the “Lazarus effect.” The authors also ignored the possibility that E. coli have ways to generate their own mutations under stress. That would be supportive of intelligent design, as would the notion that bacteria contain “a degree of preadaptation” to temperatures beyond their immediate experience.
Some experiment. What we learn from this paper is that under ideal conditions, with the best methods, scientists have a devil of a time trying to establish neo-Darwinian theory in a scientifically rigorous way. A look at their references shows a debt to Lenski’s methods that similarly produced paltry results on one of the longest-running experiments in history trying to demonstrate evolution in a lab.
Is this a theory that deserves to rule the world?
Is this a theory that deserves to rule? Yes, enforced by courts on public school systems, which is good enough for the taxing authority.
It is easy to teach because evidence is not required. And the taxpayers who have enough sense to care are slowly moving their kids out of the public systems anyway.
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