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Kirk Durston: Extreme upper limit evolutionary trials 4B yrs

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From Kirk Durston at Contemplations:

There are countless people who use the following rationale to justify why there was no need for an intelligent creator behind life – evolution has had a near-infinite number of trials in which to create the full diversity of life, including its molecular machines, molecular computers, and digitally encoded genomes. Here, we will take an opportunity to examine these points more closely.

In other scientific disciplines, the first step one must take before figuring out a solution, is to establish the boundary conditions within which a problem must be solved. Since we should require the same standard of scientific rigour from evolutionary biology, let us calculate an extreme upper limit for the total number of evolutionary trials one could expect over the history of life.

Obviously, in order for evolution to find any RS7 sequences, 10^43 trials is woefully inadequate – by 57 orders of magnitude. As I have shown elsewhere, RS7 requires 332 bits to encode, well within the range of what an intelligent mind can produce. Therefore, what options should we examine? More.

Durston suggests, as option 3 of 3: “novel protein family sequences were encoded by an intelligent mind.”

Here I (O’Leary for News) must pause to express doubt that any line of evidence whatever would make such a conclusion acceptable to a large proportion of academics. It has nothing to do with evidence.

It’s fine to go ahead and add more evidence, indeed, that’s essential. But it is essential mainly for the intellectual well-being of people who are prepared to let evidence matter. In the age of the war on falsifiability and attempts to criminalize dissent from climate orthodoxy, it’s a safe bet that evidence no longer plays the role it used to.

Increasingly, one must be prepared for this outcome: Yes, we can demonstrate it. No, that doesn’t matter. The fix is in and people need their fix.

See also: Kirk Durston: Information decrease falsifies essential Darwinian prediction

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5 Replies to “Kirk Durston: Extreme upper limit evolutionary trials 4B yrs

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Deny that evolution is a search algorithm.

    Deny that a search algorithm is designed to solve problems.

    Deny that evolution has found by means of search the solution to any problem.

    Deny that the size of sequence space matters.

    Assert that programs using evolutionary algorithms have refuted the central claims of ID.

  2. 2
    daveS says:


    Deny that evolution is a search algorithm.

    Well, it clearly is not an algorithm. I think it’s also debatable whether it is appropriate to call it a “search”, although given a very broad definition of “search”, it would qualify.

  3. 3

    Darwinists are getting hammered these days…and I’m enjoying every second of it.

  4. 4
    gpuccio says:

    I have proposed many times here that 150 bits of functional information, computed by the Durston method, or more simply looking at the bitscore we get when we align evolutionary distant homolog proteins, is a very reasonable upper boundary of what could be conceivably be “searched” by RV on our planet. It is, obviously, a much smaller number than the 500 bits of Dembski’s UPB. I have sometimes defined those 150 bits as a reasonable “Biological Probability Bound”.

    I am very happy to see that Durston gives very similar numbers. Indeed, his 10^43 value for generous biological probabilistic resources is very near to my 150 bits, which is about 10^45.

    It is absolutely true that most existing proteins which are conserved throughout long evolutionary times are certainly much more functionally complex than that. Many of them are extremely more complex.

    In this thread, for example:

    I have discussed a quite obvious information jump of about 600 functional bits in a single part of a regulatory protein sequence at the appearance of vertebrates.

    The famous alpha and beta chains of ATP synthase are definitely a very good example of sequences with extremely high conservation since LUCA to now, and with functional complexity of hundreds of functional bits, as discussed many times here.

    There is absolutely no reasonable possibility that those kinds of functional sequences are the result of the proposed neo darwinian mechanism. This is a very simple and obvious truth, and the simple fact that almost all scientists are so ready to deny it completely speaks volumes about the cognitive bias that pervades contemporary biology.

  5. 5
    mahuna says:

    It’s important to keep in mind that what Behe demonstrates in “Darwin’s Black Box” is that experiments by individuals in mutations needed to produce a system like Blood Clotting do not merely produce sub-optimal performance for a generation or 2. The mutation causes INSTANT DEATH. Alternately, a 90% solution causes painful SLOW death. But death is guaranteed.

    That is, the mutated individual cannot advance the group’s DNA because it DIES long before it can reproduce. The flagellum is a nifty mechanical system that might be wasteful without all its parts. But Blood Clotting either WORKS on Day 1 or NONE of the experimental DNA gets handed down to the next generation.

    So the calculation must ALWAYS be for a success in a SINGLE mutation. And THAT is fabulously unlikely.

    There are no half-bats. There are no half-whales. Fully modern bats appeared POOF! with unique mammalian wings and functioning echo location. What are the odds of THAT happening in a single generation? And which animal could possibly have been the Mother of the First Bat? Although I’m guessing the first birth was twins so the boy and girl could move right along to filling the world with bats.

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