Steve Meyer, author of Darwin’s Doubt, is thought to be vindicated by a paper published in 2017, “Experimental test and refutation of a classic case of molecular adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster” (Nature Ecology and Evolution). The paper “begins with a perceptive statement about what ought to be required when establishing some genetic evolutionary pathway: Identifying the genetic basis for adaptive differences between species requires explicit tests of historical hypotheses concerning the effects of past changes in gene sequence on molecular function, organismal phenotype and fitness.” It proceeded to apply that approach to whether fruit flies became able to digest alcohol via natural selection acting on random mutation. Apparently, it didn’t: “Our experiments strongly refute the predictions of the adaptive ADH hypothesis and caution against accepting intuitively appealing accounts of historical molecular adaptation that are based on correlative evidence.”
So how does all of this vindicate Stephen Meyer? Chapter 11 of his book Darwin’s Doubt analysed studies purporting to explain the evolution of new genes. In a concluding section, he found that many studies on gene evolution “offer neither mathematical demonstration, nor experimental evidence, of the power of these mechanisms to produce significant gains in biological information.” (p. 227)
In other words, just because you identify sequential and functional differences between two genes that are thought to be related, and those differences are potentially consistent with some adaptive hypothesis, that isn’t sufficient to demonstrate the hypothesis. At the very least, the paper argues, a proper test should reconstruct the ancestral protein and experimentally investigate whether the modern protein shows adaptations lacking in the ancestral protein. , “On the Evolutionary Origin of New Genes, Stephen Meyer Is Vindicated Again” at Evolution News and Science Today:
But what would happen if a number of evolution stories ended up getting filed with Mother Goose? Meanwhile,
Stephen Meyer speaks about the fact that world-class evolutionary biologists themselves are now finally acknowledging that the standard ‘textbook evolutionary theory’ (that had been indoctrinated into the general public through schools, ‘scientific’ documentaries, etc, etc) simply can not account for the various forms of life, after all. The central foundation of Darwinian evolution (natural selection acting upon variations / mutations) is finally being acknowledged by mainstream biologists, as lacking the creative ability that is necessary to account for the various forms of life. It is capable of causing diversity (eg. antibiotic resistance, variation within already existing species, etc), but not capable of creating biological novelty (eg. eyes, hearts, feet, differing body plans, etc, etc, etc).
Stephen Meyer also speaks about the (currently) incomprehensibly sophisticated computer program-like coding systems recently discovered in the operations of the cell, that powerfully point TOWARD life having been designed, and AWAY from the belief that life is the result of an unguided process. He finishes off by highlighting recent research projects being undertaken by scientists taking a ‘design approach’ to biology.
Meyer was on Dennis Prager’s radio show earlier this month:
What impressed Dennis was not theological objections. It was the fact that the field of evolution is in turmoil, a reality that the media largely conceal from the public, as Meyer has made clear in his books. “This is what you opened my mind to,” Prager said. “Scientists are having trouble with evolution!” David Klinghoffer, “Dennis Prager on Evolution: Stephen Meyer Turned Me Around” at Evolution News and Science Today:
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See also: Michael Medved discusses intelligent design theory with Darwin’s Doubt author Steve Meyer