Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Origin-of-life problem just went from bad to worse


(University of Bath)

Scientists discovered the minimal genome size needed for the first life increased by a factor of 2. That may seem like a modest rise in complexity, but consider that a target of just 10 bits growing in specificity to 20 bits (a factor of 2) implies that the target is now 1024 times more improbable (2 raised to the 10th). And if the previously presumed minimal gene size was several thousand bits of information, it boggles the mind just how much more improbable the origin of life becomes with this discovery!

Minimal genome should be twice the size, study shows

(Hat Tip: David Coppedge, Creation Safaris)

JohnnyB, interesting post about Gordon's speculative essay, especially the following quote. "I think biologists should try to avoid what I call "physics envy." The search for the simplest, most inclusive explanations for biological phenomena certainly must continue. However, that search should be tempered with the realization that over-generalization (including efforts to force everything in entire fields of study into single conceptual molds, such as the cladistic mold in evolutionary biology) is also a hazard along the path to understanding of the natural world."(emphasis mine). enjoyed the review.... Michaels7

This forms an interesting juxtaposition with a comment made by DaveScot on another thread. There he wrote:

A design theoretic view of biological systems should help in targeting research towards fruitful areas and accelerating discovery. Reverse engineering of intelligently designed systems would be the paradigm instead of unraveling the result of random events. Of course we can’t know until there is actually a paradigm change.

This implies that a 'paradigm change' is necessary before we can use ID theory as a backdrop to biological research. But I think that this article shows that it isn't necessary. In fact, I hadn't thought about it before, but I think I'd offer this kind of research as exactly the kind of research that an ID supporter would carry out.

The results are being taken here as supporting -- providing evidence for -- intelligent design. Yet it was, ironically, carried out by someone who describes his research goal as "[t]o understand the structure and evolution of genetic systems" (emphasis mine).

Are there no ID supporters who are interested in determining the minimum size genome necessary?

This is just another example of researchers needing to gratuitously fit the word "evolution" onto everything. Suppose the genome didn't evolve but was created. Will the researcher change what he's doing in any way? Probably not. All he'll do is change the word "evolution" to "design". This gratuitous use of the word "evolution" was discussed in the comments of the same thread if I'm not mistaken. -ds Kipli
Beautiful Dave.... if not to personal, how many patents do you own? Michaels7
Multiple breakthroughs in nano level tech transfer in nature from fish to cars and eyes to digital processing, has/is resulting in a flood of investment adventures for engineering related sponsors. For those who have an ear to hear.... A multidisciplinary team researches locust eardrums for application to new technology. http://www.physorg.com/news63040992.html Lurker, ajl, interesting comments. I wonder how Quorum Sensing might be investigated as an intelligent automated mechanism for synchronized coordination of multiple resources as in bioluminescent bacteria or in the breakup of such communications? It has immediate medical implications as researchers know, but I wonder about engineering aspects. Michaels7
Good to see science giving some weight to ID Hunter

Lurker, thats an interesting thought. It would be interesting to see how many patents were actually preceeded by design in nature (i.e. girder structures in bridges being akin to struts in bone).

Nature inspired a patent of mine. I know the eyes and the brain work together to sift out what's important in your visual field for further processing. I applied that to laptop computer display to gradually darken windows that don't have any activity in them. In certain types of flat panels the power consumption drops (bigtime) as brightness goes down. This is how most of your senses work - things in your environment that are constant, you become accustomed to them and they don't get much conscious attention. -ds ajl
Sorta off-topic: From the Creation Safaris website. I liked the commentary on how Darwinism halts the advance of technological development by claiming "evolution did it". "How can spiders drop straight down their dragline silk without going into dizzying spins on the way down? It’s because spider silk has “shape memory” and a resistance to twisting, due to its unique molecular structure. Scientists tested three strong threads for shape memory: Kevlar thread, copper thread, and spider silk. The winner was spider silk; it also retained its flexibility after multiple twists. The report in Nature was summarized by Bjorn Carey on LiveScience. Too bad the Darwinists are in power; they bring science to a halt claiming, “evolution did it.” (This is called the Darwin-of-the-gaps fallacy.) Think of how rock climbers and rescue workers could benefit from studying the lowly spider from a design perspective. If we could just learn a little intelligent design from these lowly organisms, we would advance civilization and bring biology out of the Darkwin ages." Lurker
Actually, scordova, what will happen is that evolutionists will say that their theory has nothing to do with the origin of life. But as I have argued on many occasions, most of what they propose does in fact hinge on specific views of the origin of life events. See: http://crevobits.blogspot.com/2006/02/monophyly-in-biology.html http://crevo.blogspot.com/2005/04/overselling-universal-common-ancestry.html Without a specific model for the origin of life, there is no empirical evidence for Universal Common Ancestry, or that multicellular organisms have any relationship with unicellular organisms. Even assuming common ancestry, there is no reason to discount ID without a specific model of the origin of life, as many frontloaded ID models _only_ put intelligence in the creation of the universal common ancestor. This is something I think we should hammer in -- current evolutionary theory DEPENDS ENTIRELY on specific views of the origin of life which have shown LITTLE OR NO HOPE in being true. The attempt to separate the two is not that they are validly separate ideas, but that evolutionists are trying to cover up for a total empirical failure of their paradigm. johnnyb
And let me add something here: The blindwatchmaker advocates will counter by saying the first life didn't have to come all in one step. Strictly speaking that's correct, but the Fundamental Theorem of Intelligent Design shows that a pathway involving an evolutionary path is actually even more improbable than random chance evolving the first primitive replicator to the first life. scordova
Uh ho!!! We better not say anything. The darwinists will say were just stupid and ignorant. Yup, I think we should just be quiet. Only problem with that is that the truth has a funny way of rearing its ugly or in this case beautiful head. I think the darwinist (Sorry for the stereotype but it is the only thing I can think of that generally describes those who are in opposition to ID)will use there media mallet to smack down this head untill another one pops up. And another one will pop up. I garuntee it. rpf_ID
Oops, another scientific study that is not fit for public schools. bFast

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