Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Michael Behe Has Not Been Bombed Either


Thanks to News for posting this interview with Michael Behe. Here’s the money quote for me because it corresponds to my own expectation when I first started debating origins that someone would surely come along and explain to me why my commitment to ID is is naive because the evidence for Darwinism is so overwhelming (See my No Bomb After 10 Years post). Instead, the problems for the Darwinian side have only expanded. Starting at 3:30:

Q. It’s been about 18 years since you first presented the concept of irreducible complexity. That was in your book Darwin’s Black Box, I believe, and I’m wondering if you feel that it stood up to criticism. Do you feel that IC is as relevant in 2014 as it had been in 1996?

Behe: Yes, I do. I think the concept has stood up very well. As a matter of fact when I first published the book Darwin’s Black Box, I was expecting maybe a scientist or group of scientists to say, you know, well haven’t you read these group of papers that explains the problems you’re pointing out. But that never happened, and it’s been 18 years now and it still hasn’t happened. There’s been a lot of people replying, a lot of people saying look at this or consider this argument, but none of those – and I’ve considered them very carefully – none of those addresses the point . . .

Behe’s mistake was in not realizing that you can create an IC system by removing parts.
lol! Mung
ForJah, This brings us to the edge of evolution I guess. Try to comprehend that in the example you defend both the original posited bridge and the final "evolved" bridge are equally irreducible and equally complex. The odds of arriving at either one denovo by random drift is equal. So the whole example is a complete fail. Jehu
Behe's mousetrap has 5 parts. Unguided processes may be able to build an IC system that requires 1-4 parts. That is a big maybe. Joe
THen can you perhaps define what a system of 3 parts, where taking away one of those parts destroys it's function is? Because it sounds awfully close. Keep in mind several can be three or more. I think behe would disagree with you. ForJah
ForJah, According to Behe's definition an IC system requires several interacting parts, not just a few. The example you offer is a complete fail. Jehu
Evolutionary biologist Joe Thornton’s lab has been able to recreate the evolutionary pathways of certain proteins and show how IC structures can evolve purely through evolutionary processes.
Theory of Intelligent Design does not care about IC arguments or "evolutionary" based generalizations. You are only wasting your time by thinking any of that matters, to science. Gary S. Gaulin
Jehu, It doesn't say anything about the number...several could be three! The mullerian bridge is absolutely an example of IC where taking away any one of the parts would cause the system to stop functioning. AN IC system could be two parts also! ForJah
Mullerian 2 step used against IC? Muller was a contemporary of Darwin. And like Darwin, the science of IC was well over his head. ppolish
Keith s, The funny thing about your Mullerian two-step example is that it is not IC. As per Behe's definition, an IC system must have "several" interacting parts. The supposed evolved IC bridge you posit has the same number of interacting parts as the posited precursor bridge - three. Neither the precusor nor the supposed evolved bridge in your example are IC. Even funnier, the supposed evolved end product is no more complex or irreducible than the original posited bridge. Jehu
Keith @ 33 You mention "a barrier to evolution" in your post. That is a good phrase, can you think of any yourself out of curiosity? i.e. Is there anything out there that you could theorize that would prove to be a barrier to the theory of evolution? Anyway I think people tend to focus to much, as you mentioned, on the "flagships" of ID. Doing this tends to ignore the bigger things behind ID, when you start to look at almost anything in nature, and start to understand how it works at any in-depth level... things start to scream out loud that they work that way by design. I am not saying that the design is not a result of evolutionary steps but the fact is many systems in nature appear designed, from the molecular machines to complex interactions between organs. Take the system of a venomous snake bite... think about it, read about it understand how the various components fit together. Venom gland to produce the venom, ducts to guide the venom, canals in the teeth to inject it, a compressor muscle to eject fluid, nerved to connect it to the brain etc.. and there are many variations of this out there. So while thinking about this arrangement of components I struggle to think of a good logical way this would come together over time as a series of mutations... but then again when I think of almost every complex biological process I get stumped like this. It is everyday problems like this that I think means ID will not be going away any-time soon, as long as people are willing to look at things around them and try to understand them, there will be questions, and questions that "time + mutation + selection = answer" will not satisfy. Some people will be happy with "evolution did it" but many won't. Again I am not saying these things didn't evolve, but until we have better understanding the design inference is going to surround you everywhere you look weather you bury your head in the sand or not. bw
notsteve, Irreducible Complexity is a fundamental fact of biology. The. cell cannot be organized without the translation of information. An informational medium cannot be translated into a physical effect without a system to establish (specify) what the result of that translation will be. Irreducible Complexity is irrefutable. Upright BiPed
Thanks mahuna, I've just ordered both Behe's books... BTW: Do you know of any videos where Behe discusses those issues...? Q Quest
This was particularly interesting,, Thirty Years of Multiple Sequence Codes Edward N. Trifonov - 2011 How Many “Second Genetic Codes”? According to the media sympathetic to science and enthusiastic about sensational discoveries, the “Second Genetic Code” as it was called by New York Times (8) was discovered by Ya-Ming Hou and Paul Schimmel and published in Nature in 1988 (9). It was about recognition of tRNAs by respective aminoa- cyl-tRNA synthetases. Thirteen years later New Scientist announced the second Second Genetic Code (13), discovered by Jenuwein and Allis (14) and published in Science. This time it was about histone modifications. Five years later, New York Times, again, re- ported about “a second code in DNA in addition to the genetic code” (15). This was already the third Second Genetic Code, discovered by Segal et al (16), sug- gesting now nucleosome positioning rules. One, surely, would raise eyebrows having learned that there is also the fourth Second Genetic Code (17)—on interaction specificities between proteins and DNA, and the fifth Second Genetic Code, the name given by Nature magazine (18) to the set of rules governing gene splicing (19). Bewildered reader, naturally, would say “I’m done with seconds, can I have a third?” (20) The conclusion from the above is obvious: one has to admit that the genetic sequences carry many different codes. If we are to know what the sequences are about, we have to detect and decipher these codes. The times of surrender to “junk” and “selfish DNA” are over, and “non-coding” becomes a misnomer.,,, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1672022911600016 bornagain77
Thanks Dr JDD very interesting. bornagain77
Natural forces can’t create a thing that is defined by being beyond the capabilities of natural forces to create.
CSI is defined as such. Neither is IC. The observations, experiences and knowledge of cause and effect relationships all say that blind and undirected processes are not up to the task. Joe
keith s:
Behe’s mistake was in not realizing that you can create an IC system by removing parts.
Please demonstrate that Behe made that alleged mistake. Then show us how blind and undirected processes built everything up in the first place.
Have you noticed that ID proponents rarely talk about irreducible complexity these days?
No, I haven't noticed. We talk about IC most of the time. And your position still cannot account for it. You are a deluded coward and a liar. The sad part is you think your cowardice and ignorance are refutations. Joe
keith s- Dr Orr doesn't have any evidence to support his hypothesis. That would be a problem if he wants to call his hypothesis scientific. Joe
keith s:
The two flagship concepts of ID “theory” — irreducible complexity and complex specified information — are useless.
Perhaps to morons like you, keith s. However you are the most useless and dishonest loser there is. In the real world both concepts are still going strong and there isn't any evidence that blind and undirected processes can produce either CSI nor IC. And your ignorance still means nothing. Joe
keith s, This is a very simple premise: Enzymes are needed to produce ATP. However, energy from ATP is needed to produce enzymes. However, DNA is required to make enzymes, but enzymes are required to make DNA. However, proteins can be made only by a cell, but a cell can be made only with specific proteins. So, how is this ALL possible in view of evolutionary prospective? Quest
PPS: BA77 I have emailed you a paper you may (or may not) find interesting. Dr JDD
As for Keith S @30: So an ID-proponent is not allowed to “scientifically” state that a designer designed a component of the cell for example, because they provide no mechanism by which the designer did it that can be tested (except by designing). However, it is apparently perfectly fine for the materialist to hypothesise a mechanism that they can conceive, inherently not show how this mechanism accounts for the origin of a given process (e.g. flagellum) and claim they are operating within true scientific realms whilst the ID-proponent is not and is anti-science. But it MUST be science - because they can think of a mechanism (even though this mechanism has not been shown to generate proposed IC structures in question). Who has the strongest faith requirement? PS – while you are at it perhaps we could be enlightened as to how in the simplest Eukaryote, the spliceosome consists of ~78 proteins (>200 in modern complex eukaryotes) yet all eukaryotes but not prokaryotes have a spliceosome which is essential for their function and replication. Perhaps you could provide how the mechanism you claim overcomes the fact that the spliceosome suddenly appears (and please do not rely solely on the multiple function of Lsm and the archea similarity of sm proteins as that is not sufficient to cover the most basic spliceosome function we see), and also more pertinently, how it is that the very genes in eukaryotes that control splicing of genes are spliced themselves in canonical eukaryotic ways. Dr JDD
That's the stubborn thing about facts Rich, they don't change no matter how many lies Darwinists tell. Like for instance,,, At the 10:30 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Trifonov states that the idea of the selfish gene 'inflicted an immense damage to biological sciences', for over 30 years: Second, third, fourth… genetic codes - One spectacular case of code crowding - Edward N. Trifonov - video https://vimeo.com/81930637 In the preceding video, Trifonov elucidates codes that are, simultaneously, in the same sequence, coding for DNA curvature, Chromatin Code, Amphipathic helices, and NF kappaB. In fact, at the 58:00 minute mark he states, "Reading only one message, one gets three more, practically GRATIS!". And please note that this was just an introductory lecture in which Trifinov just covered the very basics and left many of the other codes out of the lecture. Codes which code for completely different, yet still biologically important, functions. In fact, at the 7:55 mark of the video, there are 13 codes that are listed on a powerpoint, although the writing was too small for me to read. Concluding powerpoint of the lecture (at the 1 hour mark): "Not only are there many different codes in the sequences, but they overlap, so that the same letters in a sequence may take part simultaneously in several different messages." Edward N. Trifonov - 2010 bornagain77
Maybe one day we'll work out if BA77 is real or a copypastabot: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=site%3Auncommondescent.com+%22More+Irreducible+Complexity+Is+Found+in+Flagellar+Assembly+%E2%80%93+September+24%2C+2013%22 Do you have a big word doc open at all times for some hot C&P action? RrrrrrrrRrrrr Rich
Well I'm sure if IC isn’t a barrier to evolution then you will have no trouble citing the empirical evidence for a flagellum arising by unguided Darwinian processes? Calling Nick Matzke's literature bluff on molecular machines - DonaldM UD blogger - April 2013 Excerpt: So now, 10 years later in 2006 Matzke and Pallen come along with this review article. The interesting thing about this article is that, despite all the hand waving claims about all these dozens if not hundreds of peer reviewed research studies showing how evolution built a flagellum, Matzke and Pallen didn’t have a single such reference in their bibliography. Nor did they reference any such study in the article. Rather, the article went into great lengths to explain how a researcher might go about conducting a study to show how evolution could have produced the system. Well, if all those articles and studies were already there, why not just point them all out? In shorty, the entire article was a tacit admission that Behe had been right all along. Fast forward to now and Andre’s question directed to Matzke. We’re now some 17 years after Behe’s book came out where he made that famous claim. And, no surprise, there still is not a single peer reviewed research study that provides the Darwinian explanation for a bacterial flagellum (or any of the other irreducibly complex biological systems Behe mentioned in the book). We’re almost 7 years after the Matzke & Pallen article. So where are all these research studies? There’s been ample time for someone to do something in this regard. Matzke will not answer the question because there is no answer he can give…no peer reviewed research study he can reference, other than the usual literature bluffing he’s done in the past. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/irreducible-complexity/andre-asks-an-excellent-question-regarding-dna-as-a-part-of-an-in-cell-irreducibly-complex-communication-system/#comment-453291 More Irreducible Complexity Is Found in Flagellar Assembly - September 24, 2013 Concluding Statement: Eleven years is a lot of time to refute the claims about flagellar assembly made in Unlocking the Mystery of Life, if they were vulnerable to falsification. Instead, higher resolution studies confirm them. Not only that, research into the precision assembly of flagella is provoking more investigation of the assembly of other molecular machines. It's a measure of the robustness of a scientific theory when increasing data strengthen its tenets over time and motivate further research. Irreducible complexity lives! - http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/09/more_irreducibl077051.html bornagain77
Let's remember Barry from the original "bomb" thread" "The science bomb that will destroy my belief in ID: A single example of natural forces observed to have create Orgel’s CSI. The Darwinist says natural forces create CSI routinely. Yet they are unable to point to a single non-question begging example." Hmmmmmm... Natural forces can't create a thing that is defined by being beyond the capabilities of natural forces to create. Oh My Designer that is like so science I mean it has a definition and everything. Rich
Box and spamagain77, ID proponents become quite bitter when you debunk their sacred cows. The two flagship concepts of ID "theory" -- irreducible complexity and complex specified information -- are useless. IC isn't a barrier to evolution, and CSI can't be established unless you already know that something couldn't have evolved. keith s
oh goody Darwinian just so stories right before bed time :) Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- Dr Behe in 1997 Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A Ken Miller's Inaccurate and Biased Evolution Curriculum - Casey Luskin - 2011 Excerpt: One mutation, one part knock out, it can't swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. ... knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We've done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect. - Scott Minnich http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/ken_millers_inaccurate_and_bia048321.html Two Flagella Are Better than One - September 3, 2014 Excerpt: The assembly instructions,, are even more irreducibly complex than the motor itself. Parts are arriving on time and moving into place in a programmed sequence, with feedback to the nucleus affecting how many parts are to be manufactured. Dr. Jonathan Wells added, "What we see is irreducible complexity all the way down." Twelve years of closer looks at these astonishing machines have only amplified those conclusions. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/09/two_flagella_ar089611.html bornagain77
An irreducibly complex system can be built gradually by adding parts
Aha! Of course! Behe must have overlooked that possibility. Thanks for bringing that to our attention Keith! Box
Collin, H. Allen Orr explains the problem:
Behe's colossal mistake is that, in rejecting these possibilities, he concludes that no Darwinian solution remains. But one does. It is this: An irreducibly complex system can be built gradually by adding parts that, while initially just advantageous, become – because of later changes – essential. The logic is very simple. Some part (A) initially does some job (and not very well, perhaps). Another part (B) later gets added because it helps A. This new part isn't essential, it merely improves things. But later on, A (or something else) may change in such a way that B now becomes indispensable. This process continues as further parts get folded into the system. And at the end of the day, many parts may all be required.
keith s
"Another embarrassment for ID" What is embarrassing for me is that a fellow human, a fellow human that can supposedly walk and talk and chew gum at the same time, believes that machines which far surpass man-made machines in terms of self-construction, and energy to work efficiency, were put together by a unguided process.. A few notes:
Bacterial Flagellum - A Sheer Wonder Of Intelligent Design – video http://tl.cross.tv/61771 Biologist Howard Berg at Harvard calls the Bacterial Flagellum “the most efficient machine in the universe." Souped-Up Hyper-Drive Flagellum Discovered - December 3, 2012 Excerpt: Get a load of this -- a bacterium that packs a gear-driven, seven-engine, magnetic-guided flagellar bundle that gets 0 to 300 micrometers in one second, ten times faster than E. coli. If you thought the standard bacterial flagellum made the case for intelligent design, wait till you hear the specs on MO-1,,, Harvard's mastermind of flagellum reverse engineering, this paper describes the Ferrari of flagella. " Instead of being a simple helically wound propeller driven by a rotary motor, it is a complex organelle consisting of 7 flagella and 24 fibrils that form a tight bundle enveloped by a glycoprotein sheath.... the flagella of MO-1 must rotate individually, and yet the entire bundle functions as a unit to comprise a motility organelle." To feel the Wow! factor, jump ahead to Figure 6 in the paper. It shows seven engines in one, arranged in a hexagonal array, stylized by the authors in a cross-sectional model that shows them all as gears interacting with 24 smaller gears between them. The flagella rotate one way, and the smaller gears rotate the opposite way to maximize torque while minimizing friction. Download the movie from the Supplemental Information page to see the gears in action. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/12/souped-up_flage066921.html The Bacterial Flagellum: A Paradigm for Design - Jonathan M. - Sept. 2012 Excerpt: Indeed, so striking is the appearance of intelligent design that researchers have modelled the assembly process (of the bacterial flagellum) in view of finding inspiration for enhancing industrial operations (McAuley et al.). Not only does the flagellum manifestly exhibit engineering principles, but the engineering involved is far superior to humanity’s best achievements. The flagellum exhibits irreducible complexity in spades. In all of our experience of cause-and-effect, we know that phenomena of this kind are uniformly associated with only one type of cause – one category of explanation – and that is intelligent mind. Intelligent design succeeds at precisely the point at which evolutionary explanations break down. http://www.scribd.com/doc/106728402/The-Bacterial-Flagellum The Molecular Flagellar Clutch of Bacillus Subtilis - Jonathan M. May 3, 2012 Excerpt: The flagellum is one of nature's smallest and most powerful motors -- ones like those produced by B. subtilis can rotate more than 200 times per second, driven by 1400 piconewton-nms of torque. That's a lot of horsepower for a machine only a few nms wide. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/05/the_molecular_f059121.html Bacterial Flagellum: Visualizing the Complete Machine In Situ Excerpt: Electron tomography of frozen-hydrated bacteria, combined with single particle averaging, has produced stunning images of the intact bacterial flagellum, revealing features of the rotor, stator and export apparatus. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096098220602286X Electron Microscope Photograph of Flagellum Hook-Basal Body http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-08-20images/figure03.jpg
Also of note, Dr. James Tour, who, in my honest opinion, currently builds the most sophisticated man-made molecular machines in the world, will buy lunch for anyone who can explain to him exactly how Darwinian evolution works:
“I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God." James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world - Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111 Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows Darwinian Evolution Does Not Work - James Tour, Phd. - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y5-VNg-S0s Science & Faith — Dr. James Tour – video (At the two minute mark of the following video, you can see a nano-car that was built by Dr. James Tour’s team) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR4QhNFTtyw
I do not think that the Mullerian two step refutes Behe.
Sure it does. Behe's mistake was in not realizing that you can create an IC system by removing parts. Have you noticed that ID proponents rarely talk about irreducible complexity these days? That's why. It's been thoroughly discredited. keith s
I do not think that the Mullerian two step refutes Behe. A process that is randomly removing bricks from a wall will target the bridge on an equal basis as the other bricks. As time goes on, the likelihood of the bridge being destroyed goes up. But Darwinism supposedly leads to more and more systems being created as time goes on. It's as if more walls are showing up fully formed ready to have their bricks removed. As more irreducible complexity is stacked upon the wall, the likelihood that the whole thing comes crashing down. Collin
Mullerian 2 Step: 1) Add a part. 2) Make it necessary. Add a part to what? Add a part to something IC that's what. ppolish
The people being banned have proven to be insipid. Joe
BTW, in case people here don't realize it, UD is back to banning people, they're just doing so without announcing it. For a while it was almost as free and open as an actual science blog. Oh well. notstevestory
Behe might not realize IC has been utterly shredded, but that's on him, not his critics. notstevestory
Doesn’t the Mullerian two-step bridge falsify his position? The addition of one item and the subtraction of another makes a three part IC unit.
That's right. Here's Behe's definition, from p. 39 of Darwin's Black Box:
By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.
The Mullerian two-step can produce irreducibly complex systems. Contrary to the thread title, not only has Behe been bombed, but his idea was bombed years before Behe was even born! Another embarrassment for ID. keith s
Doesn't the Mullerian two-step bridge falsify his position? The addition of one item and the subtraction of another makes a three part IC unit. ForJah
Quest at 17 "Isn’t the cell itself irreducibly complex…?" Yes, Behe discusses the complexity of single-celled and multi-celled life. And he demonstrates that it is not possible to get from a single-celled organism to a multi-celled organism by any simple modification of the single-celled organism. Multi-celled life requires "overhead/admin" functions that have no counterpart in single-celled life. And the pieces only work as a unit, which is why the logical, objective observation by bio-chemists is that multi-celled life was designed to a pre-determined end configuration and then the initial unit (or units) were manufactured by the same agent that produced the design. So Intelligent Design is not only the SIMPLEST explanation for complexity in biological systems. It is the ONLY explanation that can account for the complexity and flawless integration of the components. But read Behe's books. They're wonderfully well written, and he wrote them specifically for readers who are NOT bio-chemists. mahuna
@ Enkidu #10 'They weren’t convince by having a religious organization paying folks to write nonsense filled popular press books as propaganda. They weren’t convince by having a religious organization create its own sham science journal to publish their anti-science woo. They weren’t convince by websites filled with scientific illiterates screaming obscenities and declaring there’s no such thing as medical knowledge.' Not so much facile, as infantile, straw men. You really need to grow up to post, if you are going to post to grown-ups' forum. Lucky for you, with the computer, you don't have to do joined-up writing. Axel
Wow. Enkidu at post #1 offers the answer from evolutionists to IC. If that is the best they have then I really do not even know why I engage in a debate at all about these matters. Not only have they failed to understand IC but their example is completely off the mark and by comparing it as solving the IC paradigm and refuting ID shows how naive they truly are. At least most religious people can admit some of their faith will influence their worldview on origins. Darwinists however choose to remain blind to their own faith in their materialism and pretend they are just "following the evidence where it leads." It's all so very ironic (and very Rom 1). Dr JDD
Isn't the cell itself irreducibly complex...? I have asked Nick M, Larry Moran, Dan Growlers, PZ Meyers and Jerry Coyne to provide evidence that it isn't... So far, I have only heard their wishful thinking or nothing... Things like a flagellum are just additional nails into the coffin of dead Darwinism.... Quest
Silver Asiatic,
I suggest that 80% of all religious believers implicitly accept the ID proposal.
It depends on how you define "the ID proposal," doesn't it? Broadly defined, I think all religious believers accept it--it's implicit in religion. But more narrowly defined, say that someone has actually empirically detected signs of design that are inconsistent with natural evolution, I think the numbers are much lower among college-educated believers and extremely low among believers with specialized educations in relevant fields. I'm only guessing, though. Learned Hand
Your comment @10 tells me everything I need to know about the productivity of engaging in a dialogue with you.
The MO is to insult and provide irrelevant information. In other words typical anti-ID behavior. jerry
Collin Your comment @10 tells me everything I need to know about the productivity of engaging in a dialogue with you. Doctors weren't convinced by having the hand-washing proponents act indignant and run away every time they were asked for their supporting positive evidence either. Enkidu
Enkidu, Your comment @10 tells me everything I need to know about the productivity of engaging in a dialogue with you. Collin
as to the citation of Thorton's work at post 1, Dr. Behe is a big Thorton fan: Severe Limits to Darwinian Evolution: - Michael Behe - Oct. 2009 Excerpt: The immediate, obvious implication is that the 2009 results render problematic even pretty small changes in structure/function for all proteins — not just the ones he worked on.,,,Thanks to Thornton’s impressive work, we can now see that the limits to Darwinian evolution are more severe than even I had supposed. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/10/severe_limits_to_darwinian_evo.html Wheel of Fortune: New Work by Thornton's Group Supports Time-Asymmetric Dollo's Law - Michael Behe - October 5, 2011 Excerpt: Darwinian selection will fit a protein to its current task as tightly as it can. In the process, it makes it extremely difficult to adapt to a new task or revert to an old task by random mutation plus selection. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/wheel_of_fortune_new_work_by_t051621.html From Thornton's Lab, More Strong Experimental Support for a Limit to Darwinian Evolution - Michael Behe - June 23, 2014 Excerpt: In prior comments on Thornton's work I proposed something I dubbed a "Time-Symmetric Dollo's Law" (TSDL).3, 8 Briefly that means, because natural selection hones a protein to its present job (not to some putative future or past function), it will be very difficult to change a protein's current function to another one by random mutation plus natural selection. But there was an unexamined factor that might have complicated Thornton's work and called the TSDL into question. What if there were a great many potential neutral mutations that could have led to the second protein? The modern protein that occurs in land vertebrates has very particular neutral changes that allowed it to acquire its present function, but perhaps that was an historical accident. Perhaps any of a large number of evolutionary alterations could have done the same job, and the particular changes that occurred historically weren't all that special. That's the question Thornton's group examined in their current paper. Using clever experimental techniques they tested thousands of possible alternative mutations. The bottom line is that none of them could take the place of the actual, historical, neutral mutations. The paper's conclusion is that, of the very large number of paths that random evolution could have taken, at best only extremely rare ones could lead to the functional modern protein. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/06/more_strong_exp087061.html podcast - Michael Behe: The Limit in the Evolution of Proteins (Thorton's 2014 paper) http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2014-07-09T16_35_28-07_00 bornagain77
Learned Hand I suggest that 80% of all religious believers implicitly accept the ID proposal. Most are unfamiliar with the science because ID is not widely publicized. Put it this way ... every religious believer who accepts that miracles have occurred and have been witnessed (i.e. just about all Christians, Jews, Hindus and Moslems) accept the ID inference (that some things in nature give evidence of having been caused by an intelligent agent). There are a lot of scientists who hold that kind of religious belief. Beyond that, ID arguments for the fine-tuning of the universe are taken very seriously, even by those cosmologists who oppose the arguments. Thus we have various multiverse hypotheses as an attempt to explain fine-tuning. Silver Asiatic
Collin For example, at one time doctors did not understand the necessity of sanitizing their hands between doctor visits. There were scientific studies showing that doctors making visits spread diseases. But the doctors resisted it and it took a lot of effort to force the profession to change. What got them to change was the doctors began to observe the empirical results of better hygiene. They saw that the process worked and produced much fewer infections. They weren't convince by having a religious organization paying folks to write nonsense filled popular press books as propaganda. They weren't convince by having a religious organization create its own sham science journal to publish their anti-science woo. They weren't convince by websites filled with scientific illiterates screaming obscenities and declaring there's no such thing as medical knowledge. Enkidu
Collin, that's a good clarification. No, I didn't think it was comprehensive. But neither do I think it could be all that much larger, in the scheme of things. Of all the universities and laboratories in the world, how many take ID seriously? Not even the religious ones, Bible colleges excluded. Of course the majority can be wrong, I agree with that. We just have different opinions on whether there is currently a good reason to think that it is. Learned Hand
Learned Hand, Do you think that my list was exhaustive? If so, why? I can't blame you if you want to rely on the majority or the consensus. I personally cannot research every minority claim in science or culture so I typically rely on the majority as well. But there have been many times when a majority of scientists were resistant to change. There was no "consipiracy" (although I think that the NCSE has conspired to de-legitimize intelligent design). Just a resistance based on cultural factors. For example, at one time doctors did not understand the necessity of sanitizing their hands between doctor visits. There were scientific studies showing that doctors making visits spread diseases. But the doctors resisted it and it took a lot of effort to force the profession to change. Collin
think about ic od a cell-phone. if we will mimic nature, lets say that we have a self replicat material with dna. is this kind of material can evolve into a cell-phone in small steps? the answer is clear no. because there is no functional step wise to a cell-phone from self replicat system. mk
http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/ Silver Asiatic
I would certainly agree that you can find credentialed scientists who support ID; you can find credentialed scientists to support anything. Scientists are human beings, with the normal range of human beliefs--although they tend to cluster more tightly around demonstrably true propositions, in my experience. After all, not every dentist recommends flossing! But your list is very short. Why? And where are the young scientists being persuaded by the weight of evidence, rather than following their religious preconvictions? Are they all dissuaded by the global conspiracy, or is there some other reason that as people study the evidence they overwhelmingly decide that the principles of ID are false? I noticed you also included Dr. Sewell, a mathematician. It reminded me of a question I've never had answered. If ID qua Dembski is well grounded in principles of mathematics, why is it not taken seriously by mainstream mathematicians (or computer scientists, or philosophers, or statisticians, or any other related field)? Does the conspiracy extend so far? Learned Hand
"Cornell geneticist Dr. John Sanford notes that “each part has no value except within the context of the whole functional unit, and so irreducible systems have to come together all at once, and cannot arise one piece at a time.” He adds that in the case of a mousetrap, even if all of the pieces are sitting neatly next to each other on the inventor’s workbench, they cannot properly assemble into a functional unit by chance—or by any feasible evolutionary mechanism. They must first come together simultaneously as a functioning system in the mind of the designer." http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEkQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftccsa.tc%2Farticles%2Firreducible_complexity_ed.pdf&ei=HhxZVKOsCuGrjAKNm4HwBA&usg=AFQjCNF_-kNbmsVhHfucbtYOfLvSoBgywg&sig2=Jrd5Mv0XwbtRChJzlXqqFw&bvm=bv.78972154,d.cGE Collin
Enkidu, It wasn't that hard: microbiologist Scott Minnich at the University of Idaho, biologist Paul Chien at the University of San Francisco, geneticist Norman Nevin (emeritus) at Queen’s University of Belfast, medical geneticist Michael Denton, geneticist John Sanford, Cornell, molecular biologist Douglas Axe, formerly a research scientist at the University of Cambridge, not to mention quantum chemist Henry Schaefer at the University of Georgia, mathematician Granville Sewell at the University of Texas, El Paso. Collin
Umm that has nothing to do with IC. Behe has responded to and debunked Thornton. You would be hard pressed to find a biologist to address Behe's arguments. And ID is not anti-evolution. Grow up Joe
Evolutionary biologist Joe Thornton's lab has been able to recreate the evolutionary pathways of certain proteins and show how IC structures can evolve purely through evolutionary processes. Prehistoric proteins: Raising the dead From the Nature article:
Thornton wanted to delve deeper into the puzzle of how complex systems with tightly interacting molecular parts evolve. It was a long-standing conundrum. As Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” And what was an evolutionary puzzle to biologists was a target for evolution's critics. Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington, proposed in the 1990s that such systems — the blood-clotting cascade, for example, or the molecular motor called the flagellum — are so “irreducibly complex” that they could not have evolved step by step, and can only be the product of intelligent design. Thornton says that he didn't set out to refute intelligent design, but the prospect of a fight hardly put him off. “Been there, enjoyed that,” he says. He chose to explore a pair of steroid hormone receptors: the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), which binds the hormone aldosterone and regulates salt and water balance; and the closely related glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which binds cortisol and controls stress response. A gene duplication more than 450 million years ago produced the two receptors — but aldosterone didn't arise until many millions of years later. The timing seemed to make the MR a textbook example of irreducible complexity: how could selection drive the evolution of a lock (the MR) to fit a key (aldosterone) that didn't yet exist? Led by Bridgham, Thornton's team found the answer by resurrecting the ancestor of both receptors. To their surprise, it was sensitive to aldosterone, suggesting that it had been activated by an ancient ligand with a similar structure. Once aldosterone had evolved, the team proposed, evolution was able to take advantage of the existing receptor to control a new biological function — a process that Thornton termed molecular exploitation. They also showed how its sister receptor, the GR, was evolving functions of its own.
You'd be hard pressed to find a single biologist or geneticist in the world who accepts Behe's claim that IC structures disprove evolution. Enkidu

Leave a Reply