Intelligent Design

Richard Lenski: “It is an incontrovertible fact that organisms have changed, or evolved”

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Practically since Darwin the various species of finches on the Galápagos Islands have been declared to be decisive, powerful examples of evolutionary theory. An undeniable confirmation of the age-old Epicurean idea that the world arose spontaneously. But exactly how do some bird species on an island group in the middle of the ocean demonstrate such a bold claim?  Read more

12 Replies to “Richard Lenski: “It is an incontrovertible fact that organisms have changed, or evolved”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Lenski’s work in bacteria is actually exhibit A in Behe’s ‘First Rule’ paper:

    Richard Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiments with E. coli and the Origin of New Biological Information – September 2011
    Excerpt: The results of future work aside, so far, during the course of the longest, most open-ended, and most extensive laboratory investigation of bacterial evolution, a number of adaptive mutations have been identified that endow the bacterial strain with greater fitness compared to that of the ancestral strain in the particular growth medium. The goal of Lenski’s research was not to analyze adaptive mutations in terms of gain or loss of function, as is the focus here, but rather to address other longstanding evolutionary questions. Nonetheless, all of the mutations identified to date can readily be classified as either modification-of-function or loss-of-FCT.
    (Michael J. Behe, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution’,” Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85(4) (December, 2010).)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51051.html

    Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment: 25 Years and Counting – Michael Behe – November 21, 2013
    Excerpt: Twenty-five years later the culture — a cumulative total of trillions of cells — has been going for an astounding 58,000 generations and counting. As the article points out, that’s equivalent to a million years in the lineage of a large animal such as humans.,,,
    ,,,its mutation rate has increased some 150-fold. As Lenski’s work showed, that’s due to a mutation (dubbed mutT) that degrades an enzyme that rids the cell of damaged guanine nucleotides, preventing their misincorporation into DNA. Loss of function of a second enzyme (MutY), which removes mispaired bases from DNA, also increases the mutation rate when it occurs by itself. However, when the two mutations, mutT and mutY, occur together, the mutation rate decreases by half of what it is in the presence of mutT alone — that is, it is 75-fold greater than the unmutated case.
    Lenski is an optimistic man, and always accentuates the positive. In the paper on mutT and mutY, the stress is on how the bacterium has improved with the second mutation. Heavily unemphasized is the ominous fact that one loss of function mutation is “improved” by another loss of function mutation — by degrading a second gene. Anyone who is interested in long-term evolution should see this as a baleful portent for any theory of evolution that relies exclusively on blind, undirected processes.
    ,,,for proponents of intelligent design the bottom line is that the great majority of even beneficial mutations have turned out to be due to the breaking, degrading, or minor tweaking of pre-existing genes or regulatory regions (Behe 2010). There have been no mutations or series of mutations identified that appear to be on their way to constructing elegant new molecular machinery of the kind that fills every cell. For example, the genes making the bacterial flagellum are consistently turned off by a beneficial mutation (apparently it saves cells energy used in constructing flagella). The suite of genes used to make the sugar ribose is the uniform target of a destructive mutation, which somehow helps the bacterium grow more quickly in the laboratory. Degrading a host of other genes leads to beneficial effects, too.,,, –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....79401.html

    It is amazing that a supposedly sane man, i.e. Lenski, cannot see the results of the work he himself is conducting because of his blind adhereance to Darwinism.

    As to this passage that you wrote Dr. Hunter,,,

    For these cute little birds do not tell us that single-celled bacteria somehow arose from a lifeless collection of chemicals. They don’t tell us that those bacteria gave rise to the complicated eukaryotes, and then to multicellular organisms, and then to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

    In regards to that passage that you wrote, these recent, IMHO, excellent papers by Dr. Tomkins may interest you Dr. Hunter:

    Information Processing Differences Between Archaea and Eukarya—Implications for Homologs and the Myth of Eukaryogenesis by Change Tan and Jeffrey P. Tomkins on March 18, 2015
    Abstract
    In the grand schema of evolution, a mythical prokaryote to eukaryote cellular transition allegedly gave rise to the diversity of eukaryotic life (eukaryogenesis). One of the key problems with this idea is the fact that the prokaryotic world itself is divided into two apparent domains (bacteria and archaea) and eukarya share similarities to both domains of prokaryotes while also exhibiting many major innovative features found in neither. In this article, we briefly review the current landscape of the controversy and show how the key molecular features surrounding DNA replication, transcription, and translation are fundamentally distinct in eukarya despite superficial similarities to prokaryotes, particularly archaea. These selected discontinuous molecular chasms highlight the impossibility for eukarya having evolved from archaea. In a separate paper, we will address alleged similarities between eukarya and bacteria.
    https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/information-processing-differences-between-archaea-and-eukarya/

    Information Processing Differences Between Bacteria and Eukarya—Implications for the Myth of Eukaryogenesis by Change Tan and Jeffrey P. Tomkins on March 25, 2015
    Excerpt: In a previous report, we showed that a vast chasm exists between archaea and eukarya in regard to basic molecular machines involved in DNA replication, RNA transcription, and protein translation. The differences in information processing mechanisms and systems are even greater between bacteria and eukarya, which we elaborate upon in this report. Based on differences in lineage-specific essential gene sets and in the vital molecular machines between bacteria and eukarya, we continue to demonstrate that the same unbridgeable evolutionary chasms exist—further invalidating the myth of eukaryogenesis.
    https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/information-processing-differences-between-bacteria-and-eukarya/

  2. 2
    Joe says:

    Does anyone say that organisms have not changed?

  3. 3
    Jim Smith says:

    BA77 @ 1

    It is amazing that a supposedly sane man, i.e. Lenski, cannot see the results of the work he himself is conducting because of his blind adhereance to Darwinism.

    But doesn’t most of the evidence for ID come from mainstream science? It is a testament to the scientific method and a sad commentary on human nature.

  4. 4
    phoodoo says:

    I am more curious if Lenski has any opinion about how many MORE trillions of bacteria we need to cultivate before we can can finally see them branching towards a new life form.

    Surely if all of life evolved from simple bacteria a few billion years ago, we at least should be able to show how it starts somehow?

    Does he think if the bacteria change their diets and then change back again to their same eating habits when the food is gone-that this is the first sign of new evolutionary pathways? Why does evolution seem to stop every time we look at it. Is it sort of like the uncertainty principle, the closer you look, the less chance there is for you to see it?

  5. 5
    Jim Smith says:

    But doesn’t most of the evidence for ID come from mainstream science? It is a testament to the scientific method and a sad commentary on human nature.

    Forgot to say: And the early scientists believed that by studying nature they would learn about God by studying His works. And they were right!

  6. 6
    Zachriel says:

    Cornelius Hunter: They don’t tell us that those bacteria gave rise to the complicated eukaryotes, and then to multicellular organisms, and then to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

    Darwin’s finches don’t purport to explain the origin of eukaryotes. They do provide evidence of natural selection. To understand the overall story of evolution, you have to consider the evidence for common descent.

  7. 7
    Joe says:

    phoodoo, Aurelio doesn’t know jack. Lenski doesn’t have any idea if bacteria can evolve into something other than bacteria.

  8. 8
    Joe says:

    Darwin’s finches do not and cannot provide evidence for natural selection for the simple reason no one knows if the changes were happenstance or directed.

    And the evidence for universal common descent is nothing more than “It looks like it to me”.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    It is an incontrovertible fact that organisms have changed, or evolved.

    Well, which is it?

  10. 10
    Mung says:

    Zachriel:

    To understand the overall story of evolution, you have to consider the evidence for common descent.

    Yes, it’s a story.

    To understand the overall story of evolution, you have to consider the evidence for common descent.

    On the contrary, evolution would still occur even if common descent is false.

  11. 11
    Zachriel says:

    Mung: On the contrary, evolution would still occur even if common descent is false.

    The overall history includes the diversification of amniotes, dinosaurs, birds, then finches, from common ancestors.

  12. 12
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    The overall history includes the diversification of amniotes, dinosaurs, birds, then finches, from common ancestors.

    Too bad that claim cannot be tested.

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