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Scott Minnich: Reinterpreting long-term evolution experiments

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From Jonathan McLatchie, who writes,

Saturday’s webinar with Scott Minnich (U Idaho) was really excellent. He talked about his recent work on long-term evolution experiments with *E. coli *and responded to the various criticisms from Lenski & Blount.

See also: Why microbiologist Scott Minnich acknowledges design in nature

and

Iowa State did it to Gonzalez, Now U of Idaho is doing it to Minnich  Note: That was in 2005. Someone must have forgotten to change the batteries in the local Darwinbots.

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20 Replies to “Scott Minnich: Reinterpreting long-term evolution experiments

  1. 1
    timothya says:

    More likely that you forgot to change your own batteries, since Scott Minnich is still an Associate Professor at the University of Idaho. Twelve years after the post that you reference.

    Seems like the Darwinbots were as ineffective as your sense of time.

  2. 2
    Florabama says:

    Tim, and in the last twelve years, Lenski’s bacteria, under extreme selective pressure, hasn’t even managed a species change after 60,000 generations. E-coli remains e-coli. Does that tell you anything at all? How many more generations before it crawls out of the Petri dish? The fact that non-evolution is held up as evidence of evolution points to the intractable, brainwashed delusion of materialists. Evolution really is a faith based religion. Reality simply doesn’t matter.

  3. 3
    Eric Anderson says:

    Lenski’s work has done a great service by highlighting a fundamental rule of biology: stasis. The entire process: generally faithful reproduction, error correction, even natural selection, all drive toward a single goal: keeping the organism stable across time.

    All of the experiments and observations, when understood objectively and without the blinders of Darwinian dogma, from the finch beaks to the peppered moths to bacteria — all attest to this key rule:

    Populations have the ability to undergo minor, temporary oscillations around a norm, while avoiding large-scale change.

    The evolutionary paradigm is essentially backwards.

    Any objective assessment of the observations is clear on this point. And the only way to twist something like Lenski’s experiment into evidence for the greater claims of evolution is by denying the evidence right before our eyes.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    @Eric Anderson: Wonderfully clear and concise statement.

    Seeing things in terms of PURPOSE leads easily to rational conclusions. Why would a population WANT to change into a species that can no longer mate with the original population? That’s another name for suicide.

  5. 5
    DATCG says:

    Eric, well said.

    I might insert…

    “The Darwinian paradigm is essentially backwards”

    Language and worldview matters. It’s why Darwinist insisted on “Junk” “degenerate” “pseudogene” “Redundancy” etc.

    Why do Darwinist get it backwards? Because they believe blindly in a bottom up, blind solution, not intelligently in a Top down structure of cooperative managed systems.

    It leads to bad labels and failed assumptions. Not all, obviously, but in substantial areas.

    What Darwinist called “Degenerate” is an assumed label. Redundancy for example can be a sign of highly intelligent use of coding.

    IDist made their prediction, based upon an Design architecture of the Genome and EpiGenome having more function and not only function, but coordinated systems.

    Whereas Darwinist long assumed junk, trash, or neutral, unused chunks of large spaces.

    Darwinist stated their claims based on ignorance, not evidence.

    A truly unguided, blind process has no clue to plan ahead for such contingency operations.

    Darwinist face today antiquated descriptive language from failed Darwinian paradigm. That’s why they stuck in the backwards Twilight Zone mantra.

    But forced to use Design language.

    The recent discussion by PaV and WD400 was excellent example of a Darwinist blind faith, stuck using “backwards” Darwinist paradigm language.

    There’s a revolution taking place, whether some Darwinist believers realize it or they’re blind to it.

    Replacing a Darwinist blind process view suddenly turns to practical terms of: Common Design, Architecture, Network Switching, Rules based logic and Regulations. And much more intuitive language of the replication of life by Design.

    The language will need advance as synthetic genetics and biomimicry take off.

    The difference being Organic Life vs Synthetic, much like Organic Search vs Paid Search Ads.

    Both are designed, but one is free, the other cost.

  6. 6
    DATCG says:

    Not to get to far off Minnich’s excellent insights. But it is related to “interpretation” or “reinterpretation” of language essentially and the data. Minnich knew exactly how to show the findings were trivial and therefore do not extrapolate to a blind, unguided macro-evolution event. Lenski’s work is excellent long term project, but it exposes blind evolution’s weakness, not strength. What is, is.

    Science will proceed and as Bioengineers take over more advances, Design language will increase in all areas of cellular and molecular biology, genetics, etc.

    PaV having found the latest research he cited, despite showing how and why he was right, nevertheless could not convince an old Darwinist.

    As years go by, Darwinist will continue to drop off in academia. Organizations like Third Way will grow as will Design and ID.

    Here’s a case where David Abel is doing potentially what all Design Theorist should be thinking through, as tides shift and renaming antiquated labels becomes a priority.

    Applying “new universal linguistic-like rules…”

    This paper defines new universal linguistic-like rules needed to identify and characterize codon mappings of TP events. This superimposes a new layer of PIo on top of the traditional codon-table mappings for amino acid selection. The new rules provide a sieve through which to filter new functionality out of codon redundancy, proving that redundancy is anything but “degenerate.”

    This is important, a Rules Based system is by design.

    “Formal Rules…”

    The use of these proposed filters, described accurately as formal rules, will demonstrate how codes for both amino acid selection and translation pausing can co-exist simultaneously and in the same space of contiguous sequence of nucleotides in the DNA strand. The study of such rules will aid in appreciating the far greater degree of formal sophistication, rather than degeneracy, of the genetic code. The multi-layered prescriptive information capacity of DNA sequences is vast (Duan et al., 2010; Tanizawa et al., 2010; Li et al., 2012; Stergachis et al., 2013), extending to DNA’s prescription of unstructured, “disordered regions” of proteins previously thought to be inconsequential to protein function (Babu et al., 2012). The sequencing in these domains turns out to be highly prescriptive of sophisticated, integrative function operating in multiple layers and dimensions.

    Link to paper …

    TP schema is a bona fide rule-based code

  7. 7
    Eric Anderson says:

    DATCG and polistra, thanks for the comments.

    —–

    DATCG:

    Eric, well said.

    I might insert…

    “The Darwinian paradigm is essentially backwards”

    Language and worldview matters. It’s why Darwinist insisted on “Junk” “degenerate” “pseudogene” “Redundancy” etc.

    Why do Darwinist get it backwards? Because they believe blindly in a bottom up, blind solution, not intelligently in a Top down structure of cooperative managed systems.

    It leads to bad labels and failed assumptions. Not all, obviously, but in substantial areas.

    Darwinism is certainly backwards, but I think the problem is broader than that.

    If we consider Darwinism, in its Neo-Darwinism form, as essentially random mutations + natural selection, then I would say it is a complete and utter failure — at least insofar as explaining either the origin or the complexity and diversity of life on Earth.

    There are some minor things that occur at the edges as a result of RM+NS, such as the things Behe has been researching and writing about. But none of them does anything for the broader claims of evolution.

    Rather, all the observational evidence confirms that populations have the ability to undergo random mutations and natural selection without experiencing any fundamental change in the organism.

    Indeed, the very lesson to be learned from all of these observational experiences is that organisms are built in such a way as to be able to resist fundamental change.

    The evidence demonstrates that the very “mechanism” Neo-Darwinism claims will change organisms into a new type of organism is in fact utilized by populations to fiercely maintain and protect their organismal structure.

    —–

    I think we are in agreement on the above.

    Now the reason the evolutionary paradigm generally, and not just Darwinism or neo-Darwinism, is essentially backwards, is because the theory of evolution — writ large — rests on these kinds of mechanisms. Yes, there are some other processes in addition to RM+NS that also have minor impact at the edges. But ultimately, the entire theory rests on the idea that purely natural causes can build organisms, and populations, and the entire biosphere from the bottom up — and that various random and non-random factors will result in fundamental change to the organism. But it just isn’t the case, based on the observational evidence.

    Now one caution:

    Some individuals propose that the history of life on Earth followed some kind of descent-with-modification pattern, but was intelligently guided. That may be the case. But we must then be very clear that such an unfolding or “evolution” of life on Earth has nothing to do with traditional evolutionary theory as understood by scientists, by the media, in academia. The latter is assumed and understood to be absolutely natural and purposeless, without any guidance or intervention. If we propose some kind of guided evolution, we are now talking about a form intelligent design.

    And so . . .

    The entire evolutionary paradigm — whether we want to speak of Darwinism or Neo-Darwinism or other approaches — rests on the idea that organisms, in response to things like environmental factors and random events and selective pressure, will eventually turn into other organisms. There is simply no observational evidence that this is the case.

    Indeed, experiments like Lenski’s strongly suggest that this is not the case.

  8. 8
    Eric Anderson says:

    DATCG:

    More succinctly:

    Any theory — whether Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, evolution generally, or any other theory — that claims you can take an organism and turn it into another organism by subjecting it to mutations, to radiation, to predation, to extreme climates, and to any other environmental conditions, even over thousands of generations, is fundamentally at odds with the evidence.

    The evidence points strongly in exactly the opposite direction.

  9. 9
    J-Mac says:

    Saturday’s webinar with Scott Minnich (U Idaho) was really excellent. He talked about his recent work on long-term evolution experiments with *E. coli *and responded to the various criticisms from Lenski & Blount.

    He did respond to the criticisms from Lenski & Blount but he shouldn’t have… Their criticisms focused on the 150 year old premise first; evolution is true and if someone is criticizing the only “evolutionary experiment ever”, he is not a scientist and therefore his credentials are not valid because he is affiliated with the Discovery Institute…

    The interpretation of Lenski and & Blount’s criticism should be like this:

    (Ii’m doing it main for my kids because they recently got into this controversy)

    We have no evidence to continue to support our own views. What do we do? We need to use the poisonous snake tactic ; we will try to bite somewhere in Scott Minnich body and see if our poison can spread and affect his body and most importantly, his mind. It did work for a while…everyone saw it… He got really pissed off…didn’t he? It is understandable…

    Here is the main problem: the people who make their own claims are not accountable to anybody or any organization. This has to change! It should and I hope it will…

    Example:
    Let’s say a scientists makes a claim that evolution is sped up by applying bleach. How does he go about proving his theory?

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    An almost Trumpian example of denying the evidence right in front of your face. It never occurs to you to see in evolution the outcome of a natural tension between an organism’s need for stability and continuity and the universal tendency for things to change over time.

    Yes, genomes exhibit impressive error-correction processes. But mutations still slip through. In humans there are estimated to be about 130 mutations per complete duplication of the genome. Mistakes can and do happen and we can see the catastrophic effect of some in the diseases they cause.

    The peppered moth, the finches beaks, the nylon-eating bacteria and Lenski’s citrate-metabolizing bacteria are all illustrations of processes that must exist for evolution to happen at all. If we did not see them then you might have an argument against evolution. But we do and you don’t.

  11. 11
    Origenes says:

    Seversky: … evolution the outcome of a natural tension between an organism’s need for stability and continuity and …

    That’s just meaningless teleological speak. Given naturalism, there is no organism. There is just a conglomeration of fermions and bosons that presents us with the illusion of an organism with needs which cause stuff to happen.
    So, there is no organism with a “need for stability and continuity”. And even if there was such a thing, it would not have the power to cause fermions and bosons to act other than ordered by physical law.

  12. 12
    bill cole says:

    Seversky

    Yes, genomes exhibit impressive error-correction processes. But mutations still slip through. In humans there are estimated to be about 130 mutations per complete duplication of the genome. Mistakes can and do happen and we can see the catastrophic effect of some in the diseases they cause.

    The current estimate is that the DNA repair mechanism is accurate to 10^10. Thats .3 per duplication of the genome. Plus DNA repair is performed during transcription. So prior to a gene being transcribed there are two passes with the accuracy of 10^10. Not much variation for evolution by blind processes.

  13. 13
    Florabama says:

    Seversky, calling trivial change, dramatic evidence for evolution is a lot more Owellian than questioning your “evidence” is Trumpian (whatever that means).

    The peppered moth was never anything more than an exercise in population control. It had nothing to say about evolution. Even if all the light colored variants had been wiped out (or vice versa) the other variant was still the same species with no evidence of change — just a change in their population numbers. To point to the peppered moth as “evidence” of Neo-Darwian evolution, reveals the paucity of your “evidence.” The pepper moth remains Darwinian mythology and Biston betularia remains B betularia without even a species change. Darwin’s finches remain finches and even their beaks reverted to form. Lenski’s bacteria remains e-coli after 60,000 generations of selective pressure, but you know all this. Your examples not only do not demonstrate your proposition — they testify against it — there is very little real change even at the species level much less across higher taxa — yet you believe by faith against the testimony of your own evidence — your best evidence. Does that not tell you something?

    Should not you at least acknowledge that the question remains open due the inconclusive nature of your own examples? But you refuse even that modest concession. That can only be because your faith is not driven by the evidence — it is driven by your religious commitment to a worldview which is not science or scientific. It is your religion. Orwell described a world where truth was untruth. In your world, non-evolution is evolution as long as you say it is with conviction. “Pound the pulpit here,” the preacher wrote in his sermon notes by his weakest point, but everyone here is long past accepting pulpit pounding as evidence. Maybe one day you’ll join us the 21st century and leave 1984 behind.

  14. 14
    Eric Anderson says:

    Seversky @10:

    Let’s inject some logic into the discussion, rather than just parroting the evolutionary storyline. Let’s check your statements:

    It never occurs to you to see in evolution the outcome of a natural tension between an organism’s need for stability and continuity and the universal tendency for things to change over time.

    You are conflating terminology here. Of course things “change over time.” No-one questions that. The question is how and how much?

    Let’s take the peppered moth as an example. The fact that there was an observed change in the ratio of light and dark moths in a population tells us exactly nothing about how the moths came about in the first place. It also tell us exactly nothing about whether the moths were in the process of changing into anything else. The only actual evidence we have is that the population exhibited minor, temporary variation while still remaining moths.

    Now one could imagine that these kinds of minor variations could eventually turn the organism into some other organism, or that these kinds of minor variations were responsible for turning some other organism into the moth in the past. But that is pure imagination and is a wholly unwarranted extrapolation.

    A different, perfectly reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the peppered moths, or finch beaks, or Lenski’s bacteria, or any other such observations — indeed the only conclusion actually supported by the observational evidence — is that populations have the ability to undergo minor, temporary oscillations around a norm, while avoiding large-scale change. Even when subjected to strong selection pressure and across thousands of generations. That is what the evidence shows.

    Any claimed conclusion beyond that is simply unwarranted. Fanciful imagination and extrapolation is fine for novel writers and storytellers, but is inappropriate and irresponsible in academic and scientific contexts.

    Yes, genomes exhibit impressive error-correction processes. But mutations still slip through. In humans there are estimated to be about 130 mutations per complete duplication of the genome. Mistakes can and do happen and we can see the catastrophic effect of some in the diseases they cause.

    Agreed.

    No-one is disputing that mutations happen. And no-one is disputing that mutations can cause catastrophic effects. Indeed, the evidence is that mutations essentially always cause deleterious effects or cause no discernible effect.

    The Darwinian paradigm is built on the idea that mutations also cause positive effects on a vast scale and scope over time that can account for the entire biosphere. Again, this is contrary to the actual evidence at hand and is just wishful thinking.

    The fundamental, bottom-line Neo-Darwinian claim is that we can build a highly-scalable, massively-parallel system architecture, based on a 4-bit digital code, incorporating storage, retrieval and translation mechanisms, utilizing file allocation, bit parity and concatenation algorithms, all operating under a protocol hierarchy — that all this can be built by introducing random errors into a database.

    It isn’t just a questionable claim. It is patently and laughably absurd.

    But it is precisely what evolutionary theory has to demonstrate mutations have the power to do. Not that mutations occasionally slip through the organism’s error correction filters and cause disease.

    The peppered moth, the finches beaks, the nylon-eating bacteria and Lenski’s citrate-metabolizing bacteria are all illustrations of processes that must exist for evolution to happen at all. If we did not see them then you might have an argument against evolution. But we do and you don’t.

    No. You are failing to distinguish between what the evidence shows and what you would like it to show. Again, you cannot simply extrapolate and assume that the kinds of minor variations we actually observe in populations are responsible for the grand evolutionary claims.

    It simply doesn’t follow. It isn’t logical.

  15. 15
    Vy says:

    The peppered moth, the finches beaks, the nylon-eating bacteria and Lenski’s citrate-metabolizing bacteria are all illustrations of processes that must exist

    He blurts out like it’s indicative of anything remotely needed to turn bacteria into anything but bacteria.

  16. 16
    Florabama says:

    I think the writers at Evolution News and Views are reading the posts over here. Here is today’s article:

    https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/03/evolving-icons-of-evolution/

    It covers 13 purported examples of evolutionary change starting with 1 and 2 being Darwin’s finches and the Peppered Moth. What is distinctive about each one of the thirteen, is the lack of any dramatic change. All that is there is variation. Here’s the closing line:

    “In short, nothing the Grants presented rises to the level of evidence required to distinguish their view from those of intelligent design or even Young Earth Creationism.”

    When the best evidence you offer does not even come close to demonstrating your position, there’s something else driving your position, and it is not evidence.

  17. 17
    Eric Anderson says:

    Florabama, thanks for the link.

    Looks like this references a new article that came out in Science this month. So more likely a coincidence that we are also talking about it.

    I agree with your assessment though.

    The Science article is quite important, as it constitutes a list of some of the best observational evidence for evolution — specifically, the claim of speciation.

    It is quite remarkable that after 150+ years of dedicated research and effort, this is about all the observational “evidence” that has been gathered to support the grand claims of evolution.

  18. 18
    Florabama says:

    “It is quite remarkable that after 150+ years of dedicated research and effort, this is about all the observational “evidence” that has been gathered to support the grand claims of evolution.”

    Exactly!

  19. 19
    Hangonasec says:

    Bill Cole:

    Thats .3 per duplication of the genome.

    Which happens 200 times or so per (male) generation, ie 60 mutations or thereabouts per gamete on your figures. Add in other sources of variation. That bee can’t fly, eppur si muove.

  20. 20
    Phinehas says:

    Sev:

    The peppered moth, the finches beaks, the nylon-eating bacteria and Lenski’s citrate-metabolizing bacteria are all illustrations of processes that must exist for evolution to happen at all. If we did not see them then you might have an argument against evolution. But we do and you don’t.

    You understand the difference between necessary and sufficient, don’t you? The statement above suggests that you don’t.

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