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The notion of “fighting evolution”

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Laszlo Bencze muses: A recent article in the WSJ discusses a new type of fungus that makes antibiotics more powerful. The compound extracted from that fungus is called “AMA”. Here’s the last paragraph of the story:

Still, bacteria could someday find a way to outwit AMA. “I can’t imagine anything we could make where resistance would never be an issue,” he says. “At the end of the day, this is evolution and you can’t fight evolution.”

Hmmm. “You can’t fight evolution” is a mighty strong statement. It not only reifies evolution, transforming this impersonal process into a combative entity, but it also presents that impersonal process as god-like in it’s power. In other words, though scientists claim to possess a science of evolution, they admit their science is impotent at manipulating evolution. It’s very much akin to a bridge engineer admitting “You can’t fight gravity.” But when it comes to bridge building, fighting gravity is the whole point. Bridges are designed to stay up and do. Well established engineering knowledge ensures success.

So if there is indeed a science of evolution, why should it be so hard to fight evolution?

Thoughts?

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5 Replies to “The notion of “fighting evolution”

  1. 1
    jstanley01 says:

    First they said that you can’t fight fate, then that you can’t fight progress, then that you can’t fight city hall, and now it’s evolution. Personally, I don’t know what I’d do if it weren’t for the pleasing mildness of a Camel.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    The bacteria might evolve and they might not. That’s evolution, and you can’t fight it because it’s true.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “Still, bacteria could someday find a way to outwit AMA”

    First it is important to note that antibiotic resistance is accomplished by ‘loss of function mutations’, i.e. loss of information mutations,,,

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – ‘The Fitness Test’ – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYaU4moNEBU

    List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
    Excerpt: Resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials is often claimed to be a clear demonstration of “evolution in a Petri dish.” ,,, all known examples of antibiotic resistance via mutation are inconsistent with the genetic requirements of evolution. These mutations result in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems/activities, such as porins and other transport systems, regulatory systems, enzyme activity, and protein binding.
    http://www.trueorigin.org/bacteria01.asp

    Superbugs not super after all
    Excerpt: It is precisely because the mutations which give rise to resistance are in some form or another defects, that so-called supergerms are not really ‘super’ at all—they are actually rather ‘wimpy’ compared to their close cousins. When I was finally discharged from hospital, I still had a strain of supergerm colonizing my body. Nothing had been able to get rid of it, after months in hospital. However, I was told that all I had to do on going home was to ‘get outdoors a lot, occasionally even roll in the dirt, and wait.’ In less than two weeks of this advice, the supergerms were gone. Why? The reason is that supergerms are actually defective in other ways, as explained. Therefore, when they are forced to compete with the ordinary bacteria which normally thrive on our skin, they do not have a chance. They thrive in hospital because all the antibiotics and antiseptics being used there keep wiping out the ordinary bacteria which would normally outcompete, wipe out and otherwise keep in check these ‘superwimps’.
    http://creation.com/superbugs-not-super-after-all

    It is also important to note that Dr. Behe states that the ‘Edge of Evolution’ is,,,

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Thus, if antibiotic resistance requires more than two different binding sites – ones that require three or more proteins -, in order for resistance to be achieved, it would be beyond the edge of evolution to produce the antibiotic resistant strain.

    Of interest to developing an antibiotic that is beyond Dr. Behe’s ‘Edge of Evolution’ (beyond the 2 protein-protein binding site limit) is this article,,,

    New class of antibiotics discovered by chemists – March 7, 2014
    Excerpt: Researchers who screened 1.2 million compounds found that the oxadiazole inhibits a penicillin-binding protein, PBP2a, and the biosynthesis of the cell wall that enables MRSA to resist other drugs.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....165953.htm

    Also of interest, The multiple drug cocktail that has been so effective in controlling HIV uses much the same strategy of being beyond the 2 protein-protein binding site ‘edge of evolution’ that Dr. Behe has elucidated:

    When taking any single drug, it is fairly likely that some mutant virus in the patient might happen to be resistant, survive the onslaught, and spawn a resistant lineage.
    But the probability that the patient hosts a mutant virus that happens to be resistant to several different drugs at the same time is much lower.,,,
    it “costs” a pest or pathogen to be resistant to a pesticide or drug. If you place resistant and non-resistant organisms in head-to-head competition in the absence of the pesticide or drug, the non-resistant organisms generally win.,,,
    This therapy has shown early, promising results — it may not eliminate HIV, but it could keep patients’ virus loads low for a long time, slowing progression of the disease.
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/.....edicine_04

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    The bacteria can change. people changed from a original eight on the ark but we didn’t evolve.
    The bacteria can be under selection pressure and thats fine with creationism.
    Yet the bacteria does not get a new species name. In fact its so much in its nature to be easily changed. its bacteria.
    its not crossing thresholds by mutations and becoming a chicken.
    its not evolution as darwin wrote about. in fact who says its not innate triggers already in it to survive and not just minor selection even.?

  5. 5
    mahuna says:

    I completely agree with the bridge engineer analogy.

    If evolution is based on a stable set of scientific principles, then it must be possible for humans to discover, definite, and manipulate evolution.

    But after 150 years we haven’t discovered a single fact about how evolution works. All claimed examples of evolution are done backwards: X is related to Y, but newer. Therefore X evolved from Y.

    That isn’t science. It’s mythology.

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