I started reading Lenski’s full paper myself to see what raw data was provided and I got no farther than the first paragraph beyond the abstract when I encountered a bias error that a chance worshipper would never notice. My emphasis:
At its core, evolution involves a profound tension between
random and deterministic processes. Natural selection
works systematically to adapt populations to their prevailing
environments. However, selection requires heritable variation
generated by random mutation, and even beneficial mutations
may be lost by random drift. Moreover, random and deterministic
processes become intertwined over time such that future
alternatives may be contingent on the prior history of an evolving
The bold portion is patently wrong. Selection operates on any heritable variation whether random or not. That the authors would use the language they did (random variation) and the peer reviewers didn’t notice it is testimony to the chance worshipper bias that pervades evolution
I would refer Lenski et al to a Scripps Institute experiment with E. coli that Bill Dembski blogged here on Uncommon Descent over 3 years ago:
The Scripps researchers, in a nutshell, discovered that E. coli, when stressed (such as running out of food as in Lenski’s experiment or in the presence of antibiotics in the Scripps experiment) selectively increases the mutation rate on certain genes. Thus the mutations in this case are not random but rather directed at a certain area in an attempt to solve a certain problem. Lenski should have have been aware of this but even if he weren’t he should have known just by definition alone selection can operate on any heritable change no matter how the change happened.
Chance worshipping causes science to have blind spots like this. Perhaps if they’d read the book:
written by my friend Cornelius G. Hunter they wouldn’t make these kinds of simple, obvious mistakes. But NOOOOOOO… Hunter and Dembski are both knuckle-dragging ID creationists so what would they know about any of this?
I believe the peanut gallery, in their latest fashion in phraseology, would summarize this as:
But they won’t because they’re living in denial of their own failings.