Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Douglas Axe chapter excerpt: Can proteins evolve?

Axe: A random gene would specify a random sequence of amino acids, which would flop around without folding. Chains like that are rapidly broken back down into amino acids to keep them from interfering with cellular processes. Very special amino acid sequences are needed for protein chains to fold into stable structures. Read More ›

Science discovery: The non-existence of harmful proteins

Researchers: “More than one-fourth of human proteins are one substitution away from containing a significant MAW, with the majority of replacements being predicted harmful.” Just above that, they say “This suggests that their absence is due to negative selection.” That’s a lot of negative selection going on. It feels somewhat like saying “The plagiarism checker provided considerable negative selection for the inappropriate use of others’ work.” Sure it did but that’s what it was designed to do. Read More ›

Of 70,000 hitherto unknown viruses in the human gut, over 40% of proteins had no clear function

The reader comments that viruses cannot afford to carry around much non-functioning nucleic acid. More likely, the 43% that are mystery proteins do have a function. If even viruses are much more complex than we expect, what chance that all these complex systems arose by natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism)? Read More ›

Film clip on the probability of a protein forming by chance passes 500k views

xcerpt: Putting the probabilities together means adding the exponents. The probability of getting a properly folded chain of one-handed amino acids, joined by peptide bonds, is one chance in 10^74+45+45, or one in 10^164 (Meyer, p. 212). This means that, on average, you would need to construct 10^164 chains of amino acids 150 units long to expect to find one that is useful. Read More ›

Flap over use of term “intelligent design” in PNAS paper

It’s possible that what Phillips means by “positive Darwinian selection” is random selection that looks a lot like design. The sin is in actually using words that imply that that IS what it looks like. Just when it looks like they've hammered everything into submission, another bulge appears. Read More ›

Large and giant virus proteins not linked to any known virus lineage

So giant viruses often boost host metabolism instead of destroying it and “the team was still unable to link 20,000 major capsid proteins of large and giant viruses to any known virus lineage”? Creation ex nihilo? Hey, don’t laugh.. Look, these days, they can’t even get mouse or human sperm to buy into Darwinism. Why would giant viruses care? Read More ›

Researchers propose computer model of protein that may have existed when life began

At Rutgers: How did life arise on Earth? Rutgers researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts – essential for cells, the building blocks of life, to function – may have existed when life began. Their study of a primordial peptide, or short protein, is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the chemist Günter Wächtershäuser postulated that life began on iron- and sulfur-containing rocks in the ocean. Wächtershäuser and others predicted that short peptides would have bound metals and served as catalysts of life-producing chemistry, according to study co-author Vikas Nanda, an associate professor at Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Human DNA Read More ›

Decidedly unDarwinian admissions re proteins

Philip Cunningham writes to note for us such moments in the literature: Abstract: (open access) Why life persists at the edge of chaos is a question at the very heart of evolution. Here we show that molecules taking part in biochemical processes from small molecules to proteins are critical quantum mechanically. Electronic Hamiltonians of biomolecules are tuned exactly to the critical point of the metal-insulator transition separating the Anderson localized insulator phase from the conducting disordered metal phase. Using tools from Random Matrix Theory we confirm that the energy level statistics of these biomolecules show the universal transitional distribution of the metal-insulator critical point and the wave functions are multifractals in accordance with the theory of Anderson transitions. The findings Read More ›