Evolution Evolutionary biology Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

Evolution as a Ralph’s Supermarket Store

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Over at the The Skeptical Zone there’s a reference to a post from Larry Moran’s blogsite. The question of irreducible complexity is revisited, and, torn to shreds in the eyes of evolutionary thinkers.

For them it seems sufficient to simply announce the “presence” of some needed ingredient of the putative IC system of proteins in order to debunk IC claims. For them, having identified certain portions of the needed complex somewhere else, and understanding this to be a part of the genetic tool box available to all because of common descent, is enough to make them feel they have satisfactorily undermined the latest attempt at identifying IC systems.

That’s where the Ralph’s Supermarket comes in.

Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say I’m interested in making a custard pie from scratch. Well, all the ingredients for a custard pie can be found in a Ralph’s market. There’s the eggs and milk in the dairy section. There’s the flour and salt on Aisle 15. There’s shortening on Aisle 17, pie pans on Aisle 4, bowls on 6, cinammon, nutmeg and vanilla extract on Aisle 21. An oven in the deli section.

All the ingredients are right there in the Ralph’s Supermarket! Therefore, we can explain the appearance of custard pies.

But, wait a second———how did it all the ingredients come together?

Well, the fact is that there really are custard pies you can find in dessert section of Ralph’s. A human being designed machinery to mix and prepare the ingredients. Other humans helped put the pies into ovens and see that they got out.

IOW, without the intervention of intelligent, dynamical people, you’d NEVER find a custard pie in a Ralph’s Supermarket.

If you open a LEGO building-block kit, all the parts are there to build all sorts of interesting and varied ‘forms.’ Put all those pieces together in a big tub, shake it all you want, only the most cursory, simple, and uninteresting of combinations will form in this random way.

These are obvious truths. It takes a Ph.D to see otherwise.

The next time you sit down for a Quiche Lorraine, remember that it was all made possible by the Ralphs’ Supermarket Store in your neighborhood. Or, so evolutionary theorists want us to believe.

27 Replies to “Evolution as a Ralph’s Supermarket Store

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Reminds me of how Walter ReMine refers to evolutionary theory as a smorgasbord.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    PaV, how many times do we need to highlight Menuge’s criteria C1 – 5?

    For a working [bacterial] flagellum to be built by exaptation, the five following conditions would all have to be met:

    C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

    C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

    C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

    C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

    C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

    ( Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).)

    Here we go again.

    KF

  3. 3
    PaV says:

    KF:

    It’s as if something simply has to exist for it to be able to “do anything, and get anywhere.”

    No thought is given as to how something gets from Aisle 4 to the Bakery section of the supermarket. No thought is given as to the order in which the ingredients are mixed. No thought is given as to what is applied to what—as in the case of applying the pie crust to the pie pan. And so forth.

    We believe in an omnipotent God; they believe in “omnipotent” proteins!
    Which is more reasonable??

    The evolutionists don’t believe in “recipes.” They believe instead in “lists of ingredients.” (Of course there’s loads of problems even with that!)

  4. 4
    J-Mac says:

    I’ve tried to get them at TSZ to even consider what it would take for a plant to evolve a sunlight photon harvesting system used in photosynthesis that employs quantum superposition; to find a light particle that occupies several places and travels through several paths at the same time… Irreducible complexity x alsmost an infinite number of positions x an almost infinite number of paths…

    Or

    How does a system evolve to find and absorb a photon of sunlight if its position is described by the mathematics of quantum theory which describes the position of a particle only in terms of probabilities?

  5. 5
    ET says:

    J-Mac- “Them @ TSZ” think that unguided evolution can produce a nested hierarchy. They think that phylogenies represent a nested hierarchy.

    You will never convince them @ TSZ of anything because facts don’t mean anything to them.

  6. 6
    J-Mac says:

    @ET

    Nested hierarchy fits beautifully with the evidence for a net of life and multiple origins of life…as Larry Moran and Craig Venter support…

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/20.....-life.html

  7. 7
    ET says:

    J-Mac- Linnaean Taxonomy represents the observed objective nested hierarchy and it was based on the concept of Common Design inherent in the Created archetypes. It is the only classification scheme to fit all of the entailments of a nested hierarchy. See Knox,The use of hierarchies as organizational models in systematics.

    That paper refutes everything keiths, Alan, Allan and John has been saying about nested hierarchies. Use it well…

  8. 8
    J-Mac says:

    ET,

    Those people can’t be helped no matter what evidence is presented to them…They simply don’t want to be helped…
    Get it?

  9. 9
    ET says:

    Just think of the entertainment value…

  10. 10
    PaV says:

    As to ‘nested heirarchies,’ Steven Meyer makes clear in his Darwin’s Doubt, these are not in contention. What is in contention is whether these ‘nested heirarchies’ form ‘bottom-to-top’ heirarchies, or ‘top-down’ heirarchies:
    i.e., do we find “classes” at the bottom of the fossil record, or at the top.

    Well, of course, we find them at the bottom, contra Darwin’s predictions and thoughts.

    Just like with the latest finding about trees: the most ‘complex’ tree is the EARLIEST, not the more recent one. This isn’t supposed to happen per Darwins’ musings.

  11. 11
    tribune7 says:

    If this doesn’t shatter the faith of the evolutionary religion, it is an impossible faith to shatter: http://www.newsweek.com/dinosa.....gal-708764

  12. 12
    Bob O'H says:

    The next time you sit down for a Quiche Lorraine, remember that it was all made possible by the Ralphs’ Supermarket Store in your neighborhood. Or, so evolutionary theorists want us to believe.

    Oh, yes, we also want you to believe that Quiche Lorraine reproduce. Sexually.

  13. 13
    Latemarch says:

    BOH@12

    Oh, yes, we also want you to believe that Quiche Lorraine reproduce. Sexually.

    Now how am I supposed to get that picture out of my mind?

  14. 14
    Bob O'H says:

    Sorry, Latemarch. I was having the same problem, so I was hoping sharing it would help.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Basic biological reproduction is irreducibly complex. That is why evolutionism needs to start with it already in place.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    If gradual evolution is true and there should be numerous transitional forms then an objective nested hierarchy would be impossible to form- See Darwin (1859) and Denton (1985).

    Only Linnaean Taxonomy, based on archetypes (common design), produces an objective nested hierarchy.

  17. 17
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    I’m afraid your analogy isn’t apt. How did the Quiche Lorraine come into existence? Via an intelligent being.

    It doesn’t have the ability to reproduce since no human intelligent being is capable of such a thing–unless you’re referring to an assembly line (again, of human origin–that is, intelligent forces).

    Even if it were to reproduce, what would it do: it would produce another Quiche Lorraine.

    You’re evading the problem: the simple presence of ingredients is not sufficient to explain their coming together, nor their fabrication. There are no material forces capable of explaing such an event taking place inside your local Ralph’s supermarket store. It’s only over in the Bakery Dept, where humans exist, that such a delightful repaste can be manufactured—notice the ‘manu,’ as in ‘by hand’; that is, ‘human hands’.

  18. 18
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV – you’re right, the analogy doesn’t work, and that is precisely my point. Humans and other living things reproduce, and this leads to descent with modification, which leads to evolution. Quiche lorraine does not reproduce (at least not in the same way). Thus it can’t evolve in the same way.

  19. 19
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    Extending the metaphor, the “supermarket” represents all the essential portions of biological ‘life’, and the point to be made is this: having all the “parts” there doesn’t help you one iota.

    The metaphor of the Bakery in the Ralph’s demonstrates that life forms, i.e., Quiche Lorraine pies, come into existence NOT because all the “parts” are there, but because some dynamical force, operating with intelligence, is able to fashion it!

    There just simply doesn’t exist any way of getting around the need for intelligence.

    If you wish to counter that once this all gets going—[IOW, let’s forget about the ‘origin of life’ issues (just sweep them under the rug as Darwin did with his “one, or many forms” that he “life breathed into them” by the Creator)], that one life form can easily turn into another, this is–within the framework of the metaphor I use–tantamount to understanding the “supermarket” as a living organism.

    Okay. Fine.

    However, what does “random processes” look like in the scenario you now propose?

    It looks like picking up the entire store and shaking it violently, so as to get “parts” to assemble together in a new functional form.

    Well, Sir Fred Hoyle already told us about this method: It’s like expecting a tornado passing through a junk-yard to fashion a Boeing 747.

    “I have a bridge I’d like to sell you in Brooklyn.”

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    What does mouthing the word “reproduction” add to anything?

    Appealing to reproduction to solve the riddle is no better than appealing to magic.

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV @ 19 – you haven’t actually addressed my point, have you?

    Mung @ 20 – Reproduction means that everything doesn’t have to be put together in one piece, it can be done sequentially (because reproduction is conservative). Thus the tornado in a junkyard analogy doesn’t work. Of course, there is an important restriction: that each intermediate between two points has to be viable (or, to be more accurate, there has to be a path between the two points that evolution can transverse). So it makes a big difference: it’s not an appeal to magic, but to mechanisms which we know about, and which we know have a huge effect.

  22. 22
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    But I did address your point: a tornado going through a junkyard is not going to produce an ordered whole.

    Reproduction is but a “just-so” story. It tells us nothing.

    HOW did the various parts come into contact with one another? How did the order of its parts get determined?

    If you simply ‘hand-wave’ and suggest that “it’s just a matter of time,” then let me point out that ID’s principle argument is that there isn’t enough time—the improbabilities are hugely stacked against such an explanation.

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV – I don’t know of any biologist who has suggested that the tornado in a junkyard model is in any way a realistic model of how evolution occurred, so I don’t see how that is relevant.

    HOW did the various parts come into contact with one another?

    What, in a biological context, do you mean by “various parts”? It’s not obvious to me, I’m afraid, because the analogy to quiche lorraine isn’t exact.

    (EDIT to correctly close a tag)

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Reproduction means that everything doesn’t have to be put together in one piece, it can be done sequentially (because reproduction is conservative).

    So reproduction is magical? Mere reproduction is not a creative force. Differential reproduction caused by heritable variation is not a creative force regardless of any whining.

    So yes, saying reproduction is saying magic did it.

  25. 25
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    There are no biologists who claim that what Sir Fred Hoyle said was necessary for evolution to operate is, indeed, what actually takes place. That’s true.

    You can be the first.

    What, in a biological context, do you mean by “various parts”? It’s not obvious to me, I’m afraid, because the analogy to quiche lorraine isn’t exact.

    Proteins, lipids, protein complexes, fibrinogens, etc.: all the sorts of stuff that are found in cells.

    They’re all there, inside the cell—just as at Ralph’s there’s ALL the ingredients for Quiche Lorraine. But, how do they come together? And, in what order? And how does any particular cell structure interact with other structures? [This, of course, puts aside the whole problem of how new proteins arise themselves. That is: NEW “items on the shelves.”!]

    Using the metaphor/analogy of the supermarket, “random” movements of “ingredients” can only mean that you pick up the supermarket and begin shaking.

  26. 26
    PaV says:

    A splicesome has upwards of 170 proteins working together. Imagine just two amino acids necessary for one protein to bind to another. Think of all the ways that 170 proteins can be configured. 7.25 x 10^308 permutations (This has nothing to do with binding sites).

    And somehow, we go from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, and eukaryotes cannot produce proteins without splicesomes.

    Yes, just shake the Ralph’s Supermarket real hard—-and maybe for a hundred trillion years.

  27. 27
    Mung says:

    Bob O’H:

    What, in a biological context, do you mean by “various parts”? It’s not obvious to me, I’m afraid, because the analogy to quiche lorraine isn’t exact.

    Reproduction means that everything doesn’t have to be put together in one piece, it can be done sequentially (because reproduction is conservative).

    What do you mean by “everything doesn’t have to be put together in one piece”?

    The alternative is that it is put together piece by piece, or part by part, and you claim you don’t understand what is meant by “various parts,” So I obviously am not understanding you. Should PaV have written various pieces instead?

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