Intelligent Design

Scaffolding or signaling – which comes first?

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Darwinians objecting to Michael Behe’s Irreducible Complexity appeal to indirect “scaffolding” or Roman Arch routes that support the assembly and are later discarded. Now research shows cancer is caused by mutations in the CARD11 gene that forms a cytoplasmic scaffolding docking site for a signaling molecule.

If mutations in genes forming known scaffolding lead to cancer, why should we believe that numerous mutations needed to form genes to make hypothetical scaffolding will create properly functioning irreducible complex systems?

See: This Week in Science SCIENCE, Volume 319, Issue 5870, March 21 2008

“Faulty Scaffolding and Cancer Differentiation, survival, and growth of B cells requires proper functioning of the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) signaling pathway, including CARD11, a cytoplasmic scaffolding protein that serves as a docking site for signaling molecules. Lenz et al. (p. 1676, published online 6 March) have discovered that a certain subtype of diffuse large B cell lymphoma, the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans, is caused by mutations in the CARD11 gene. In cell culture experiments, these mutant forms of CARD11 caused inappropriate activation of the NF-kappaB pathway.”

See full article: Oncogenic CARD11 Mutations in Human Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphom, Georg Lenz et al. Science 21 March 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5870, pp. 1676 – 1679
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153629

Further food for thought:

Is this well regulated system irreducibly complex?

If not, which came first, the docking site or the signaling molecule?

PS Or does the play on the meaning of “Scaffolding” invalidate the argument?

6 Replies to “Scaffolding or signaling – which comes first?

  1. 1
    Turner Coates says:

    Nobel laureate Hermann Joseph Muller introduced the notion of interlocking complexity, which is essentially that of irreducible complexity, in 1918 (and further developed it, using the term, in 1939). Muller indicated that it was common for interlocking complexity to arise through evolution.

    The upshot is that the idea that the “scaffolding” required for systems with interdependent parts to emerge through evolution disappears over time is anything but an argument against ID. Muller was out to make a positive contribution to evolutionary theory.

  2. 2
    Turner Coates says:

    DLH,

    You seem to be using “scaffolding” metaphor equivocally. The “scaffolding” of the cytoplasm and the “scaffolding” on which the “interlocking” parts of an irreducibly complex system evolve are quite different things.

  3. 3
    larrynormanfan says:

    Turner Coates, I was wondering about this, and I agree. These two ideas of “scaffolding” are completely different and only yoked together by a name. Given that, I have a hard time seeing what this post is supposed to accomplish.

  4. 4
    DLH says:

    Turner Coates
    Thanks for the reference to “Interlocking complexity”.

    Muller, H. J. 1939. Reversibility in evolution considered from the standpoint of genetics. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 14: 261-280.
    (Which has 65 citations)

    See my PS
    Does the equivocation invalidate the argument?

    larrynormanfan
    Purpose:
    To consider why if mutations readily destroy functionality, why should we expect both scaffolding and irreducibly complex systems to arise by simultaneous mutations?

  5. 5
    jstanley01 says:

    Turner Coates:

    Since the postulated scaffold, used to produced the observed IC, “dissapears over time,” is there observational or experimental support that it ever actually existed? It always sounded like a just-so story to me.

  6. 6
    PaV says:

    Let us note this, however: “scaffolding” results in “intermediate forms” disappearing from our view. Thus, in Darwinism, we have a theory which states that there should be massive “intermediate forms” in the geologic record, but, in their absence, comes up with excuses, and a theory which at the molecular level as well requires massive amounts of “intermediate forms”, none of which are seen or known. In Dawkin’s Blind Watchmaker you have his principle argument based on “intermediate forms”, all of which are no more than hypothetical. Faith is confident assurance in things not seen (per St. Paul). What is “massive assurance” in things not seen? Isn’t it dogmatism?

    I’ve said for a long time: show me the intermediates, and I’ll believe in Darwinism. Excuse me if I don’t believe it in the meantime.

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