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Evolution News: Don’t be fooled by protein design claim


From Andrew Jones at Evolution News & Science Today,:

After many thousands of man-hours of research, and zillions of CPU-hours on borrowed computers, biochemist David Baker of the University of Washington claims we have basically nailed it.

“There are subtleties going on in naturally occurring proteins that we still don’t understand,” Dr. Baker said. “But we’ve mostly solved the folding problem.”

He thinks that natural proteins are not designed, and so we should be able to do better:

“There’s a lot of things that nature has come up with just by randomly bumbling around,” he said. “As we understand more and more of the basic principles, we ought to be able to do far better.”

Don’t be fooled. If it’s difficult for us, it is great big wall for random bumbly evolution. Doug Axe and others have written about that. The truth is, if it takes a lot of design effort now, it probably took a lot of design effort before. Moreoever, Dr. Baker acknowledges that the kind of proteins we can make are much shorter than many that exist in nature, and we aren’t really at the stage of making molecular machines, so it’s not yet clear at all whether we will be able to do better than those primordial designs. More.

Where would the researchers be if they had simply bumbled around randomly with the problem? If their best-designed efforts are frequently bested by nature, will that be evidence or just something we all talk around?

See also: On Basener and Sanford’s paper falsifying Fisher’s Darwinism theorem: It will be no small thing to make reality matter again

Fisher’s proof of Darwinism flipped: Basener replies to Erasmus Wiffball: Fisher attempted to prove that Mendelian genetics logically must lead to a Darwinist evolution. He believed that he was successful and along the way he (co)invented population genetics and modern statistics. However, took 40-80 years for people to realize he did not achieve his original goal. His attempt to “prove Darwin from Mendel” however did give a framework for connecting Mendelian discrete genetics with gradual change in observed traits across a population.

Fisher’s Proof of Darwinism Flipped: William Basener replies to Bob O’Hara. The mutation rate used in the paper is 1 mutation per generation. As with all the parameters in the paper we chose this parameter so that if there is any bias, the parameter selection favors selection and increasing fitness.

“Fisher’s Proof of Darwinism Has Been Flipped” paper is making waves – Twitter displeased


Fisher’s proof of Darwinian evolution has been flipped?

The thing is, the entire ID argument will become moot. It simply won’t matter. Why? Due to the dichotomy that something is either prohibited by the laws of physics, or possible if the requisite knowledge is present. While there is no guarantee, the unlimited creation of knowelge undermines their motivation. We would be able to design and implement far more better, moral biosphere than the Earth’s, even if only in a simulation using what we would now consider exponetionally more powerful computers. At which point, it would become unclear why ID proponents would want to claim our biosephre as a “shining” example of their preferred designer anymore than theists claim thunder today. If anyone is being fooled... critical rationalist

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