Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Behe’s First Rule Writ Large

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There’s a new study reported on at Phys.Org. This was a few weeks back. It seems that a “cousin” of a shark had a bony structure. And it appears that sharks FIRST had a bony structure and only subsequently developed a cartilagineous structure.

The lead researcher Dr. Martin Brazeau, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, had this to say: “It was a very unexpected discovery. Conventional wisdom says that a bony inner skeleton was a unique innovation of the lineage that split from the ancestor of sharks more than 400 million years ago, but here is clear evidence of bony inner skeleton in a cousin of both sharks and, ultimately, us.”

Dr. Brazeau goes on to further say:
“If sharks had bony skeletons and lost it, it could be an evolutionary adaptation. Sharks don’t have swim bladders, which evolved later in bony fish, but a lighter skeleton would have helped them be more mobile in the water and swim at different depths.


“This may be what helped sharks to be one of the first global fish species, spreading out into oceans around the world 400 million years ago.”

So, per Behe’s First Rule of Adaptive Evolution, we see “loss of function” as the basis for a very pivotal adaptation in the history of evolved life-forms.

Isn’t it interesting how well Michael Behe’s “Rule” holds up, while Darwin’s “theory” is found impotent almost daily. What we see happening in sharks–if confirmed, is the opposite of Darwinian expectations. IOW, it was a “very unexpected discovery.”

EDIT: Here’s the paper as found on bioarxiv.

16 Replies to “Behe’s First Rule Writ Large

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Wow! This is a BIG switch. It’s also easy for laymen to understand, unlike the biochemistry of proteins and RNA and such.

  2. 2
    PaV says:

    Polistra:

    It is very compelling, in my view, that Behe’s “First Rule” is confirmed over and over again. Behe himself has analyzed Lenski’s work with bacterial lineages of long standing, which also demonstrates the same tendency.

    Of course, the upshot of Behe’s “First Rule” is that RM+NS can explain adaptations, but gets us nowhere in terms of building anything. It’s just like life: it took years to build the Twin Towers, yet, in a few hours, they were destroyed. Evolution, so-called, has to ‘fight against’ these ‘easy ways out’ that breaking things affords organisms in need of adapting to a changed environment.

    I wrote a post about 4 years ago saying that the “war is over, and we won.” Nothing has happened in the interim to change that statement one iota.

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    ID acolytes need to be disabused of the notion that Behe has discovered something new. Google “evolutionary adaptation by loss of function” and you will find dozens of papers and articles. Biologists have known for decades that this is one of many ways that natural selection selects adaptive traits. Adaptation doesn’t mean bigger or badder or more complex. It means selection of those traits, whether morphological, physiological or behavioral that best fit the environment. The researchers’ surprise was that the adaptive pathway for shark skeletal development may be different than previously understood.

  4. 4

    .
    Hi Chuck,

    You left a hanging question on a previous thread. I’ll copy it here for your convenience:

    – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Biological evolution requires molecules to be specified among alternatives from a transcribable memory, and that requirement is not physically possible without irreducible complexity. Firstly, the ability to specify something from a memory requires the presence of two objects for each individual thing being specified. Secondly, the relationships in those pairs of objects must be successfully established in a process in order to persist over time (making a system capable of biological evolution possible).

    Is it your position that there are no requirements for a system capable of biological evolution?

  5. 5
    BobRyan says:

    Upright BiPed

    Darwinists do not believe any system exists. It is all chaos and meaningless beyond survival of the fittest. That is why Darwinists create thugocracies, since it ensure survival of the fittest.

  6. 6
    polistra says:

    @chuck: Of course biologists have known how it really works. The problem is that they won’t talk publicly about how it really works. 100 years ago the idea of simplification and loss was discussed openly in articles in Popular Science and other magazines. Now it’s a state secret, like the previously open facts about immunity and viruses.

  7. 7
    Bob O'H says:

    Of course biologists have known how it really works. The problem is that they won’t talk publicly about how it really works.

    No, we just hide it away on the dark web where it can only be found with specialist tools such as a Google search.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Earth to Chuck and Bob O’H- Your position doesn’t have a mechanism capable of accounting for the existence of metazoans, let alone sharks. So perhaps you should face reality and understand all you have are fairy tales and not science.

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    Oh, we do, ET. But we hide that away in the Really Dark Web.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    You are a liar, Bob O’H- or a fool.

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    Or someone not taking your comments seriously.

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Yes Bob O’H, I understand that you have issues with reality. The fact remains that your position doesn’t even have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from the given populations of prokaryotes. Endosymbiosis doesn’t help as it can only allegedly account for one organelle.

    So it doesn’t matter what you say Bob. I know that you are full of it.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Also, natural selection is a process of elimination. There isn’t any selecting going on. And yes, there is a huge difference as Ernst Mayr wrote:

    Do selection and elimination differ in their evolutionary consequences? This question never seems to have been raised in the evolutionary literature. A process of selection would have a concrete objective, the determination of the “best” or “fittest” phenotype. Only a relatively few individuals in a given generation would qualify and survive the selection procedure. That small sample would be only to be able to preserve only a small amount of the whole variance of the parent population. Such survival selection would be highly restrained.

    By contrast, mere elimination of the less fit might permit the survival of a rather large number of individuals because they have no obvious deficiencies in fitness. Such a large sample would provide, for instance, the needed material for the exercise of sexual selection. This also explains why survival is so uneven from season to season. The percentage of the less fit would depend on the severity of each year’s environmental conditions.

  14. 14
    PaV says:

    CDarwin:

    ID acolytes need to be disabused of the notion that Behe has discovered something new. Google “evolutionary adaptation by loss of function” and you will find dozens of papers and articles.

    I’m sorry, but ID “acolytes” don’t need to be “disabused” of the notion that evolutionary adaptation by “loss of function” is something new. Nobody made that claim. OTOH, apparently Darwinian “acolytes” have to be disabused of the notion that Darwinian theory can stand up to biological reality.

    Behe’s “First Rule” doesn’t claim that adaptation via loss of function is new; rather, it says that this is the DOMINANT way in which evolutionary adaptation takes place; and, that it is the FIRST way that organisms “choose” as their adaptive mechanism: so much so that RM+NS has to take “second” place to this process, which means that Darwinian mechanisms have to fight against this first, and easiest, way of adapting. And they can’t do this very effectively since the time frame for a “loss of function” mutation and the RM+NS time frame are completely lopsided, with RM+NS needing huge amounts of time in comparison to loss of function.

    So, why don’t you go to Wikipedia, or to Google, and learn a little something about Behe’s First Rule.

    Oh, but wait! Wikipedia says NOTHING about Behe’s First Rule. Is this any surprise? Who needs knowledge. Ignorance is bliss.

    If you look in the footnotes of the Wiki article on Behe himself, you’ll find this. That is, if you’re interested.

    From Behe’s paper:

    This reasoning can be concisely stated as what I call “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”:Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.

    It is called a “rule” in the sense of being a rule of thumb. It is a heuristic, useful generalization, rather than a strict law; other circumstances being equal, this is what is usually to be expected in adaptive evolution. Since the rule depends on very general features of genetic systems (that is, the mutation rate and the probability of a loss of-FCT versus a gain-of-FCT mutation), it is expected to hold for organisms as diverse as viruses, prokaryotes, and multicellular eukaryotes. It is called the “first” rule because the rate of mutations that diminish the function of a feature is expected to be much higher than the rate of appearance of a new feature, so adaptive loss-of-FCT or modification-of-function mutations that decrease activity are expected to appear first, by far, in a population under selective pressure.

    And what about Google? Well, they do give you some links. This is probably the best: Evolution and News.

  15. 15
    Truthfreedom says:

    14 PaV

    Darwinian “acolytes” have to be disabused of the notion that Darwinian theory can stand up to biological reality.

    Ouch.

  16. 16
    martin_r says:

    recently i have watched another CREATION/EVOLUTION DEBATE (new, 2020)

    a debate between a militant atheist Aron Ra (Dawkin’s good friend)
    and Dr. Don McLeroy (former Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education)

    https://youtu.be/O2SobUhM55o?t=3076

    at 51:10, Aron Ra is trying to answer McLeroy’s question about how bones evolved…
    … a textbook example of Darwinian story-telling followed … (Aron Ra really seems to believe this non-sense)

    Today, as we can read in this mainstream paper at Phys.org, DARWINIANS ARE PROVEN ALL WRONG AGAIN (i would love to see Aron Ra’s face when he read that shark article)

    YES, DARWINIANS GOT IT ALL WRONG AGAIN…… AS ALWAYS… BECAUSE THEIR EVO THEORY IS ABSURD AND SIMPLY WRONG …

    It is always the same scenario with Darwinians:

    first, there is a Darwinian just-so-story, but then, in time, when evidence is found, Darwinian story-telling is proven wrong.

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