Intelligent Design

Eugene Koonin: REALLY Big Numbers Solve the Problem of the Origin of Life — and Hence, There’s No Need for Design

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If you visit Eugene Koonin’s lab at the NCBI — that’s Dr. Koonin standing just to the right of the woman in the red sweater — brush up on your Russian. Many of the most prolific scientists in comparative genomics work in Koonin’s group, hail from Russia, and love the Big Questions, such as the origin of life.

In a new, open access paper, Koonin argues that the problem of the origin of life may under current scenarios be intractable:

Despite considerable experimental and theoretical effort, no compelling scenarios currently exist for the origin of replication and translation, the key processes that together comprise the core of biological systems and the apparent pre-requisite of biological evolution. The RNA World concept might offer the best chance for the resolution of this conundrum but so far cannot adequately account for the emergence of an efficient RNA replicase or the translation system.

Is design implicated? Hang on, not yet:

All this is not to suggest that OORT [origins of replication and translation] is a problem of “irreducible complexity” and that the systems of replication and translation could not emerge by means of biological evolution. It remains possible that a compelling evolutionary scenario is eventually developed and, perhaps, validated experimentally. However, it is clear that OORT is not just the hardest problem in all of evolutionary biology but one that is qualitatively distinct from the rest. For all other problems, the basis of biological evolution, genome replication, is in place but, in the case of OORT, the emergence of this mechanism itself is the explanandum. Thus, it is of interest to consider radically different scenarios for OORT.

Koonin’s solution? Open your Epicurus, and read along with me. Make the number of trials (i.e., chances) REALLY big. Developing what he calls the “many worlds in one” (MWO) hypothesis, Koonin argues that what looks unlikely — the de novo origin of self-replicating biological systems — is bound to happen:

The MWO version of the cosmological model of eternal inflation could suggest a way out of this conundrum because, in an infinite multiverse with a finite number of distinct macroscopic histories (each repeated an infinite number of times), emergence of even highly complex systems by chance is not just possible but inevitable.

Because such emergence is guaranteed mathematically (never mind the messy chemical details, folks, just focus on the large numbers — you’re bound to win the lottery if you buy enough tickets), there’s no need for the design hypothesis:

A final comment on “irreducible complexity” and “intelligent design”. By showing that highly complex systems, actually, can emerge by chance and, moreover, are inevitable, if extremely rare, in the universe, the present model sidesteps the issue of irreducibility and leaves no room whatsoever for any form of intelligent design.

As this paper and the reviewers’ comments are open access, here’s something fun to try. Download the whole fascinating exchange, and search on “ID” and “intelligent design.” This paper continues a trend I noted some time ago, namely, that scientists don’t listen to federal judges (thank goodness) or the pronunciamentos of national science organizations. Rather, they alight on any interesting question, kick it around, and let the results fall where they may.

And thus the future of open inquiry is assured.

47 Replies to “Eugene Koonin: REALLY Big Numbers Solve the Problem of the Origin of Life — and Hence, There’s No Need for Design

  1. 1
    Joseph says:

    Excuse me but is this really new?

    I’ve been at this debate for well over a decade and it always comes down to large number of trials (because one can imagine such a large number of trials, because ONE design is like soooo unacceptable) coupled with sheer dumb luck.

    Never does any multiverse proposer realize that a multiverse scenario is A) Metaphysical
    and B) does not exclude a deigner (or multiple designers).

    All things are deemed “inevitable”.

    There is no longer any murder- it was inevitable. Arson- gone. SETI?- all signals are inevitable, pack it up and go home.

    Hey I like this “science”…

  2. 2
    russ says:

    I’m not sure if this is a dumb question, but how would you falsify such a “big numbers” hypothesis?

  3. 3

    So amino acids are Sliders now? How did they build their wormhole generator? With little molecular wrenches?

  4. 4
    bFast says:

    Koonin, “It remains possible that a compelling evolutionary scenario is [will be] eventually developed and, perhaps, validated experimentally.”

    Koonin’s accent diminishes the truth of this statement. It is conceivable that one day we will be able to conceive of a viable just so story that could produce life. IE, we are a long way from this home!!

    We have an hypthesis (conjecture) — the WMO — that rescues us from the great satan, ID. As long as we can conjecture some alternative, ID should necessarily be flatly rejected. That is Koonin’s position in a nutshell. This is the scientific community’s position in a nutshell.

  5. 5
    GilDodgen says:

    Something I’ve noticed concerning origin of life researchers is that they almost universally assume that once self-replication was established, Darwinian mechanisms took over and explain all the rest of life’s complexity, diversity, machinery and information content. Dawkins has commented: “Biology used to be a mystery. Darwin solved that.”

    Of course, Darwin didn’t “solve that,” and as Michael Behe elucidates in The Edge of Evolution, Darwinian mechanisms don’t explain very much of anything except the extremely trivial. So, even if the OOL guys were to explain the origin of life, they’d still have their work cut out for them, but they don’t seem to realize it.

    The similarities between Darwinian aspirations concerning mechanisms and attempts to invent a perpetual-motion machine seem obvious. It was once believed that something (energy) could be gotten for nothing, but the conservation laws of physics won’t permit it. Darwinists assume that once self-replication was established, something (biological complexity, diversity, machinery and information content) could be had for nothing — just add time and REALLY BIG numbers.

    Good luck.

  6. 6
    christopheratlee says:

    Was Koonin educated in Soviet Russia?
    That would explain alot.

  7. 7
    Borne says:

    “So, even if the OOL guys were to explain the origin of life, they’d still have their work cut out for them, but they don’t seem to realize it.”

    Of course they don’t. That would be the science stopper of Darwinism. 😉

  8. 8
    DaveScot says:

    Oh goody, I espy a Russian petard positioned for a hoisting of its owner.

    In an infinite number of universes the presence of a designing intelligence is not just a possibility but an inevitability.

    😆

  9. 9
    Tedsenough says:

    “the origin of replication and translation, the key processes that together comprise the core of biological systems and the apparent pre-requisite of biological evolution.”

    Then:

    “All this is not to suggest that OORT [origins of replication and translation] is a problem of “irreducible complexity” and that the systems of replication and translation could not emerge by means of biological evolution.”

    Huh? Before it was a pre-requisite (R&T) for biological evolution, now biological evolution is the means by which R&T can emerge?

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Russ ask.
    I’m not sure if this is a dumb question, but how would you falsify such a “big numbers” hypothesis?

    The way you falsify “big numbers” is to take away the materialists access to infinity.

    For the anthropic principle, revealed by universal constants, this is somewhat difficult since the materialists allude to “untestable” multiverse.

    The extreme uniqueness of the earth itself to host life suffers from our limits of observation in the overall universe, though statistical analysis does play in designs favor at this level.

    Yet once we reach the level of life here on earth the materialists is severely constrained in ever allding to “really big numbers”

    That is why Dembski’s and Behe’s work in ID created such a stir in scientific circles, since they effectively took away the materialists “blind chance of infinite numbers” by clearly defining the CSI of a irreducibly complex system.
    There is simply no way for materialists to allude to infinity at the level of molecular biology.

  11. 11
    Tedsenough says:

    “In an infinite number of universes the presence of a designing intelligence is not just a possibility but an inevitability.”

    I was thinking the same thing 🙂

    Also, even if you get rid of the relevance of the fine-tuning apparent in this universe – washing it out by hypothesizing the existence of an infinite array of universes – what then are the grand GRAND laws that are now imposed on this infinite array of universes? Allowing them to take on any possible ‘shape’? Existing as they do along side all of the other universes?

  12. 12
    DaveScot says:

    Gil

    I agree with the roosky that OOL is by far the biggest problem in evolution sans intelligent agency. If that could be credibly demonstrated I’m prepared to concede that the lesser problems which follow don’t require intelligent agency either.

  13. 13
    GilDodgen says:

    Dave,

    The OOL guys might eventually come up with a self-replicating molecule or chemical system, but they’d still have to demonstrate that stochastic processes and selection could add information and integrated functional complexity.

  14. 14
    SeekAndFind says:

    Paul or anyone else reading this thread,

    I ahve heard it said over and over again that we have seen evidence of MICRO-EVOLUTION but have not seen any evidence of MACRO-EVOLUTION.

    I would be interested in reading your response to this evidence presented by evolutionists :

    According to Campbell and Reece, the authors of an introductory biology textbook, macroevolution is defined as :

    “Change in allele frequencies at or ABOVE the species level.”

    Origin of life theories are certainly related to macroevolution. They depend on macroevolution, but the opposite is not true ( macroevolution need not be related to origin of life ).

    Based on my understanding of Campbell and Reece, Even if it were shown that the Flying Spaghetti Monster was responsible for creating the first prokaryote, it would not negate macroevolution. Change in allele frequencies at or above the species level has been readily observed. They also showed a novel example about meiosis errors in a plant resulting in offspring with polyploidy. If two organisms cannot produce viable offspring, then they conclude that these two organisms belong to different species.

    The offspring with polyploidy cannot reproduce with other members of the parent species. Therefore, it is a different species. Hence, Macroevolution has occurred. This is but one example. The textbook I mentioned includes several more.

    I think someone actually wrote a paper that showed Random Mutation can create novel cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans.

    SEE HERE :

    http://www.proteinscience.org/.....13/10/2651

    I would be interested in hearing Paul’s or anyone else’s opinion on this one.

    THANKS.

  15. 15
    magnan says:

    “Just add time and really big numbers”. Reason, logic and the scientific method are thrown to the winds in desperation to fend off teleology. Just imply it is “scientific” – after all, a scientist is proclaiming it. No way to observationally confirm the existence of any of these other universes? No way to falsify the hypothesis? Not to worry, anything to fend off notions of ID.

    He carefully chooses the kind of infinite multiverse he wants, “….an infinite multiverse with a finite number of distinct macroscopic histories (each repeated an infinite number of times)”. Any reason to suggest that this particular kind of partial infinity is the one? No, but it seems to lead where he wants to go. Where he wants to go is to anything that avoids teleology even with greatest strainings of credulity. Of course that must be the truth, since anything else would be unthinkable, strictly taboo.

    He points out that in this infinite multiverse even an OOL event way below Dembski’s limit of submicroscopic improbability would happen. In fact it would happen an infinite number of times. But everything else would happen an infinite number of times. So all the uncountable events, “random” mutations, etc. that happened in evolution also had to happen an infinite number of times on an infinite number of other earths. So they were also inevitable and didn’t require a designer, any more than the origin of life. But since all these incredible number of events in the history of life were inevitable, Darwinistic processes had nothing to do with evolution – it all just happened. No need for any explanation.

    This sort of idea foisted off as a valid hypothesis is a reductio ad absurdum of muddled philosophical thinking. I agree with Behe in Edge of Evolution that this is akin to abandoning reason altogether.

  16. 16
    kairos says:

    #9

    The way you falsify “big numbers” is to take away the materialists access to infinity.

    For the anthropic principle, revealed by universal constants, this is somewhat difficult since the materialists allude to “untestable” multiverse.

    I strongli think that this is a field in which an insanable contradiction exists within the materialistic field. Please follow the points.

    1. They speculate about the actual existence of an unlimited universe (or multiverse) with an infinite amount of matter. This allow them to claim for negatively discard of any conceivable ID probabilistic argument.

    BUT

    2. Philosophically the existence of the actual infinite CANNOT be tested because there’s and there will be no possibility at all to observe, count, experiment, etc. an inifinite amount of objects of phenomena. In other words, ANY argument involving the existence of a whichever infinite IS NOT SCIENTIFIC AT ALL because the universe that we can say and we’ll ever see is FINITE.

    SO

    3. Anyone who is trying to show that ID arguments are unscientific by using the infinite can be charged of contradiction.

  17. 17
    bFast says:

    DaveScot, I’m pretty much with you on this one. However, I will put in the Dodgen caviat — if a credible path from inanimate matter to DNA based life can be scientifically demonstrated, I am willing to throw in the “agency” towell. I may seriously reconsider Denton’s “law” model, however.

  18. 18
    SeekAndFind says:

    Magnan,

    RE:

    —————
    So all the uncountable events, “random” mutations, etc. that happened in evolution also had to happen an infinite number of times on an infinite number of other earths. So they were also inevitable and didn’t require a designer, any more than the origin of life. But since all these incredible number of events in the history of life were inevitable, Darwinistic processes had nothing to do with evolution – it all just happened. No need for any explanation.
    ——————

    Let me say this…

    There seem to be a lot of ID proponents who say that mutations cannot add new information. But I think We can look at this several ways:

    1) It is possible for a protein to undergo a mutation that deactivates it. Id Proponents would call this mutation a loss of information. However, the same mutated gene can then experience another mutation that reverts it to the original unmutated state and produces a functional protein. This according to IDers would be an addition of information. Clearly then mutations can add information. We can observe mutations such as this in bacteria with genes knocked out by a point mutation, over time some will revert.

    2) In your body all the time mutations which add information occur. Your adaptive immune system relies upon mutation in your B cells to generate all of the antibodies that you need to fight off various infections. These B cells have evolved to hypermutate the part of their genome that codes for their antibody product. When you experience infection by a new pathogen, by chance some of these B cells will produce antibodies that somewhat match with a molecule on the invader. These B cells will reproduce and mutate. Some of their offspring will match even better to the foreign molecule, and these will reproduce and mutate again (others might not even match as well as their parent cell, but these won’t continue to multiply and are not of interest to us).

    What we see over time is initial antibodies that bind weakly trending towards antibodies that bind strongly. At the same time, we’ll start to see different classes of antibodies against this molecule appear as other types of mutations occur to cause what is known as “class switching”. If either of these mutational pathways is damaged you will experience immune deficiency.

    3) Another example is methicillin resistanct Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This pathogen is being targeted by many researchers because it has gained the ability to resist many of our most often used antibiotics. The gene responsible for this resistance, mecA, popped up suddenly and spread rapidly. Analysis of the mecA gene sequence show that it most likely came from Staphylococcus sciuri, which has a very similar gene. However, the gene in S. sciuri does not give antibiotic resistance, but has some other unknown function. The antibiotic resistance was aquired when the mecA gene mutated following lateral transfer from S. aureus to S. sciuri. Here is another case of a mutation adding information.

    3) I am also reminded of other studies involving in vitro peptide evolution using error-prone DNA transcript copying methods and mutation of an existing protein as a transgene in bacteria to produce emerging antibiotic resistance.

    So, I am not really sure that the idea that mutations cannot add information in the form of new function is accurate.

    Just giving my two cents worth. Of course any refutation of this will be most welcome. I am hear to learn.

    Thanks

  19. 19
    Joseph says:

    Does anyone even realize what it takes to replicate DNA or RNA?

    One thing is a stockpile of nucleotides, which are only found in living organisms!

    I don’t care how many trials there are. If you need X to get Y but only have X in the presence of Y then you are out of luck. The scenario will inevitably fail.

  20. 20
    SCheesman says:

    Seek and Find: “Paul or anyone else reading this thread,

    I ahve heard it said over and over again that we have seen evidence of MICRO-EVOLUTION but have not seen any evidence of MACRO-EVOLUTION.

    I would be interested in reading your response to this evidence presented by evolutionists :

    According to Campbell and Reece, the authors of an introductory biology textbook, macroevolution is defined as :

    “Change in allele frequencies at or ABOVE the species level.”

    I’m no biologist, but I’d say if you down-size the definition macro-evolution enough, then sure, it has happened! Where the sticking point is the development of new information: organs, proteins, cell types, body plans etc. What Campbell and Reece are referring to is more like “mini-evolution”.

  21. 21
    SCheesman says:

    bFast: ‘ “It is conceivable that one day we will be able to conceive of a viable just so story that could produce life. IE, we are a long way from this home!!” ‘

    When you can’t even think of a just-so story, things are pretty desperate!

    The goal posts are retreating at about a hundred miles an hour, and the materialists are still holding out the hope that someday they’ll kick the ball through! Just multiply the number of available goal lines by infinity!

  22. 22
    Patrick says:

    I am not really sure that the idea that mutations cannot add information in the form of new function is accurate.

    No, it isn’t accurate at all…ID proponents are discussing a very specific category of information: CSI. Not fluctuations of existing CSI.

  23. 23
    Borne says:

    Under this form of ‘scientific’ argumentation, invisible pink unicorns are also inevitable. 😮

    Just more materialist elephant hurling.

    “Atheism turns out to be too simple…if the universe has no meaning we should never have found out it has no meaning. Just as if there were no eyes in the universe we would never know it was dark. ‘Dark’ would be a word without meaning.” CS Lewis

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    SeekAndFind
    You state information is being added in the bodyies responce to stave off infection.

    This is not an addition of information to the genome of the organism.
    The Genome is “Front Loaded” with a search mechanism that searches for and finds the correct responce to the infection.
    Thus the Genetic entropy for the integrated whole of the organism is NOT being violated.
    To violate the principle of genetic entropy for an existing organism you would have clearly demonstrate a gain in genetic information to the level of proteins above the probability bound, established by Dembski, of 10^150.
    Though the immune system is often used by evolutionists as proof of evolution this still does nothing to tell us how the “feedback control” originated in the genome in the first place since the DNA is proven to be much less tolerant to any point mutations. Indeed, with the “ENCODE” research revealing astonishing complexity in the genome, the problems for the evolutionists at the level of the Genome have become insurmountable!

  25. 25
    nullasalus says:

    As far as OOL goes – even a so-called materialist OOL on its own wouldn’t persuade me that agency were uninvolved. Then again, I lean more towards a cosmological design concept; I believe our creation came about intentionally in a way that was determined more at the creation of existence. Maybe that’s just another way of saying that I think the OOL originates further back.

    Though, if RNA World is truly ‘it’, well.. then things get weird, as others have mentioned. When you have to fall back on an unfalsifiable multiplicity of universes to justify your atheism, hasn’t the whole “this way contains all the reason, logic, and hard science” bit gone right out the window?

  26. 26
    nullasalus says:

    Oh, just to add on: I’m one of those theists/Christians who leans towards the idea of multiple universes as being very supportive of the classic concept of “Creator”. I saw Denyse mentioning that re: Tipler today, so I thought I’d throw that in.

    I think MWI introduces more problems for atheists than they would realize at first, and not because an infinite number of universes would demand the existence of the downright Godlike in some (an infinite number?) of them.

  27. 27
    magnan says:

    SeekAndFind:

    “There seem to be a lot of ID proponents who say that mutations cannot add new information.”

    Not precisely. ID advocates say that the probability of random mutations adding anything but slight bits of complex specified information is almost nil. Not absolutely prohibited, but just improbable to the point of practical impossibility in the time available and with real populations.

    The immune system has to generate tremendous antibody diversity in order to detect invaders, and then mass produce specialized antibodies. You can call this a hypermutation process using clonal selection, but it is vastly amplified and contrived for the purpose, over normal rates of mutation and selection in nature.

    Behe has shown empirically from evidence that using normal rates of mutation even in organisms with huge populations and numbers of generations, the ability of NDE processes to produce complex new functioning structures is extremely limited. The Staphylococcus Aureus example you cite seems well within this “extemely limited” category.

    The immune system B cell example is just part of an extremely intricate combination of other interlocked subsystems. There has to be a mechanism by which to signal the differential reproduction of more antibody-producing B cells, based on the detection of an antigen in a particular B cell antibody. There is the complement system. These each have to be explained as having been produced by a gradualistic random change-driven process. Certainly ultimately “random mutation” generates specific antibody binding to pathogens, but this is itself a very specialized biological system that demands a gradualistic Darwinian explanation.

  28. 28
    sinclairjd says:

    I think SeekAndFind has missed the point of Magnan’s response. If the MWI is a sufficient explanation for the OOL, then it is also a sufficient explanation for all descent with modification. The Darwinian hypothesis is superfluous.

    (The full problem is somewhat more complicated. If the size of the infinity that represents descent with modification sans Darwin is larger than the infinity that represents descent with modification via Darwin, then it is unreasonable to postulate that Darwinism is the explanation for the history of life on Earth)

  29. 29
    Joey Campana says:

    I am glad to see arguments against ID that invoke infinite numbers of unobservables. This bodes very well for ID.

  30. 30
    sinclairjd says:

    With regard to Tipler:

    He overreaches when he declares in his book the the MWI is the only valid interpretation of quantum mechanics. His sources proved the consistency of MWI with observation, not its exclusivity.

    That said, he usefully shows that MWI is perfectly deterministic and that the universe has a finite past. So the universe did not pop into being out of some intrinsically random quantum event (there is no such thing under MWI).

    Given the existence of a beginning a creation ex nihilo would be of the Christian type (lacking only a material cause).

  31. 31
    magnan says:

    Thanks, sinclairjd. I had noticed this irrelevance to my post, but forgot it in responding to the issue of mutation and innovation.

  32. 32
    DaveScot says:

    seekandfind

    In order to avoid nitpickery over the defintion of species or precisely what separates micro and macroevolution I came up with four things that define a macroevolutionary event:

    The creation of a novel cell type, tissue type, organ, or body plan. The story of evolution from free living cell to modern animals cannot have occured without all four novelties arising many times in many different ways. You can get from a mouse to a man without those novelties but you can’t get from a fish to a mouse without them (for instance).

    I think someone actually wrote a paper that showed Random Mutation can create novel cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans.

    In an infinite number of universes not only is it possible that someone wrote such a paper it’s inevitable. Indeed, there must be an infinite number of such papers. In the particular universe we inhabit however there are none yet.

  33. 33
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    russ: I’m not sure if this is a dumb question, but how would you falsify such a “big numbers” hypothesis?

    The problem with the “big numbers” idea is that if the numbers get big enough, then the probability that a given event might occur in the age of the universe (forget about simply the age of the earth!) becomes vanishingly small — i.e., impossible.

    Many Darwinist arguments are in this category. That is, the probabilistic resources of the entire universe are not enough to make a given event even remotely likely.

    That is why they need to introduce the (non-provable/non-falsifiable/non-scientific) idea of “multiverses”. They are up against a hard limit of the age and size of our universe, so they need to invent more.

  34. 34
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    SeekAndFind,

    In Edge of Evolution, Behe makes an analogy of the effects of random mutation with the effects of monkeys editing Moby Dick using a modern word processor. The monkey might change letters and words, might even re-arrange sentences or paragraphs. He might even move chapters around.

    But in the end, you would still have a book about Whales.

    You are imagining that the monkey could change Moby Dick into Black Beauty. Keep on imagining.

  35. 35
    idnet.com.au says:

    I really like the section after the paper where the reviewers and Koonin discuss the paper. There are some wonderful gems there.

  36. 36
    Borne says:

    “In an infinite number of universes not only is it possible that someone wrote such a paper it’s inevitable. Indeed, there must be an infinite number of such papers. In the particular universe we inhabit however there are none yet.”

    That’s precious! :-))

  37. 37
    avocationist says:

    ““Atheism turns out to be too simple…if the universe has no meaning we should never have found out it has no meaning. Just as if there were no eyes in the universe we would never know it was dark. ‘Dark’ would be a word without meaning.” CS Lewis”
    Similarly, I’ve often thought, if there were no God our minds could never have conceived of such an idea.

  38. 38
    Joseph says:

    If we define macroevolution as “Change in allele frequencies at or ABOVE the species level.”, then even YECs accept macroevolution!

    I say that because, according to Linneaus, the Created Kind is at least at the level of today’s Genus and some YECs place it up to the level of Family for certain populations (see “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study” by John Woodmorappe).

    As for the “information” argument, a good place to start is with Dr Lee Spetner’s Not By Chance. Until you understand what he says chances are you won’t understand what is being debated pertaining to information and biology.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Seek and find stated:
    3) Another example is methicillin resistanct Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This pathogen is being targeted by many researchers because it has gained the ability to resist many of our most often used antibiotics. The gene responsible for this resistance, mecA, popped up suddenly and spread rapidly. Analysis of the mecA gene sequence show that it most likely came from Staphylococcus sciuri, which has a very similar gene. However, the gene in S. sciuri does not give antibiotic resistance, but has some other unknown function. The antibiotic resistance was aquired when the mecA gene mutated following lateral transfer from S. aureus to S. sciuri. Here is another case of a mutation adding information.

    This one particular example, you cite Seek and Find, should fall under the typical antibiotic resistance mutation. That is it gains resistance by losing function in the protein that binds with the antibiotic. The Staphylococcus aureus should be proven to be less fit for survival in an environment without antibiotics, Thus the genetic entropy of the whole organism is not violated if this is found to be true, as it has been found to be true for all other resistance mutations tested.
    If it does indeed violate Genetic Entropy, and actually does increase the overall functionality over its original state in its “normal environment”, then it would be highly suggestive proof of a violation of Gentic Entropy. And many scientists would be very interested in investigating it further. (J.C. Sanford for one.)

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Seek and Find Stated;

    1) It is possible for a protein to undergo a mutation that deactivates it. Id Proponents would call this mutation a loss of information. However, the same mutated gene can then experience another mutation that reverts it to the original unmutated state and produces a functional protein. This according to IDers would be an addition of information. Clearly then mutations can add information. We can observe mutations such as this in bacteria with genes knocked out by a point mutation, over time some will revert.

    Again to look at the principle of Genetic entropy vs. evolution you would have to demonstrate a gain in functionality over the “original” state of the organism. Here you are definitely not doing so.

    To me your immune system response example is your best shot at trying to prove evolution (and violating genetic entropy).
    Yet once again the functionality of the whole organism (man in this case) has not increased. The immune system is a built in responce that was “designed” that way. As Magnan stated it clearly indicates a preexisting feedback mechanism built into the genome. The genome is ready to produce a vast array of antibodies to fight off a multitude of infections. Though the immune system gains information for the future to ward off the particular i9nfection it fought off. It still has not increased the overall ability of the immune system to fight off a different infection. Thus the functionality of the immune system is still the same and the genetic entropy of the original organism has not been violated and evolution is still wanting for proof of evolution.

    I hope I have made the level of proof required to prove evolution clear for you Seek And Find.

  41. 41
    nemesis says:

    EndoplasmicMessenger Post #33:
    I agree with your conclusions, but I think the question needs some more probing.
    The Darwinists will never buy an argument from probability, simply because for them, the probability of God (or the external intelligent agent, which I think is God) is zero. Straight up zero. Therefore, given their ad hoc suggestion that there “could be” multiple universes, and the fact that additional universes increases probabilistic resources, it is an enticing choice for a Darwinist. That’s why I think they buy it.
    Given their predisposition to throw out the probability argument using the multiverse, I think it’s more important to recognize that the materialist is reduced to absurdity by claiming that we can be both rational while being confined to the uniform laws of the universe. For if the universe is uniform, then it coerces everything the human does, and if the human is coerced, then he cannot possibly willfully choose to distinguish between truth and falsity. This is at least a contradictory notion rather than a probabilistic argument.
    I don’t think a probabilistic argument is inconclusive at all (in fact, I think it’s great to show the Darwinist his inconcsistencies in employing the EXACT same tactics in archaeology and SETI), but I think that these people need a harder slap in the face than normally needed.

  42. 42
    Patrick says:

    nemesis,

    Darwinist != Materialist/Atheist

  43. 43

    […] In a previous essay where I partially explored the God-of-the-Gaps argument, , I also noted that origin-of-life researcher George Cody was quoted as saying “No one knows anything about the origin of life.” This moment of candor is consistent with what Paul Davies wrote in his book, The 5th Miracle: “Many investigators feel uneasy stating in public that the origin of life is a mystery, even though behind closed doors they admit they are baffled.” Before we explore why it is that origin-of-life researchers feel the need to hide their bafflement from the public, it would be useful to demonstrate the truth of Davies observation with a recent paper by Eugene Koonin (HT to Paul Nelson ). […]

  44. 44
    nemesis says:

    Patrick #42,

    I know. I should have made it more clear that although I used both “Darwinist” and “materialist” at different times for slightly different reasons, I was basically using the two terms interchangeably.
    However, I was just pointing out that in light of the definition “Darwinist = atheist/materialist,” we shouldn’t be surprised when these people reject teleological arguments since, in their eyes, the probability of science invoking a Creator is zero.

  45. 45
    mike1962 says:

    “I am glad to see arguments against ID that invoke infinite numbers of unobservables. This bodes very well for ID.

    When I hear people invoking infinite unobservables I can hear faint hints of the Cosmic Sardonic Superchuckle.

  46. 46
    umeshbilagi says:

    I understand little
    I think Origin of life & evolution are considered as close systems on earth Even if there are multiple universes It has no effect on this close biosphere.
    Now Orgin of life & evolution requires multiple(quite large steps) steps So with this how much correct we are with multople universe big number.
    I think it looks like turtles all way

  47. 47
    Ool says:

    The MWO theory would have interesting implications for our personal futures as well. For one thing it would mean that once we explore other star systems we will almost certainly find no other life out there in space, unless the original RNA came here by some model of panspermia.

    But the even more interesting consequence would be that I can never die, similarly to the way the theory of quantum immortality suggests.

    That is because while it is highly unlikely that a conscious mind with my memories will form purely by chance, it is not entirely impossible, meaning in an infinite multiverse not only will it happen but it will happen infinitely many times.

    So no matter how many times I’d cease to exist, I will always come to life again, remembering my past, somewhere else—even if only purely by chance, the same way those RNA molecules came to exist purely by chance…

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