Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here’s a Typical Example of Evolutionary Story-Telling

Maybe, Could Have, Would Have …

Evolutionary events are, as Theodosius Dobzhansky put it, “unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible.” And so evolution is an idea with more theorizing than hard facts. It is more of a narrative than a theory. Here is a typical example:

It is often assumed that eukarya originated from archaea. This view has been recently supported by phylogenetic analyses in which eukarya are nested within archaea. Here, I argue that these analyses are not reliable, and I critically discuss archaeal ancestor scenarios, as well as fusion scenarios for the origin of eukaryotes. Based on recognized evolutionary trends toward reduction in archaea and toward complexity in eukarya, I suggest that their last common ancestor was more complex than modern archaea but simpler than modern eukaryotes (the bug in-between scenario). I propose that the ancestors of archaea (and bacteria) escaped protoeukaryotic predators by invading high temperature biotopes, triggering their reductive evolution toward the "prokaryotic" phenotype (the thermoreduction hypothesis). Intriguingly, whereas archaea and eukarya share many basic features at the molecular level, the archaeal mobilome resembles more the bacterial than the eukaryotic one. I suggest that selection of different parts of the ancestral virosphere at the onset of the three domains played a critical role in shaping their respective biology. Eukarya probably evolved toward complexity with the help of retroviruses and large DNA viruses, whereas similar selection pressure (thermoreduction) could explain why the archaeal and bacterial mobilomes somehow resemble each other.

I suggest?
The bug in-between scenario?
Escaped protoeukaryotic predators?
Invading high temperature biotopes?
Triggering their reductive evolution?
The thermoreduction hypothesis?
Probably evolved toward complexity with the help of retroviruses and large DNA viruses?
The archaeal and bacterial mobilomes?

Kipling would be proud.


  1. Cornelius Hunter: I suggest?

    He's proposing a hypothesis. How did you think science worked?

    1. Yes agreed. But the speculation is so extreme. Do we draw the line somewhere?

    2. Cornelius Hunter: Do we draw the line somewhere?

      Is the speculation inconsistent with the evidence? Is a test of the hypothesis conceivable?

    3. Apparently, Dr Hunter believes that thinking and analyzing are inimical to science. Such activities might lead to new levels of understanding, when it's obvious to him that he already understands all he will ever need to understand.

    4. Is the speculation inconsistent with the evidence? Is a test of the hypothesis conceivable?

      Yes, I do think the speculation is inconsistent with the evidence. That is not to say it is necessarily wrong. It is simply so speculative so as to be untestable.

    5. Apparently, Dr Hunter believes that thinking and analyzing are inimical to science.

      There is a difference between occasionally contemplating far out hypotheses versus turning science into a platform for enduring, substantial rationalistic research programs with little basis in the facts. Science needs to have at least some boundary, keeping it from straying too far from the emipirical evidence.

    6. Right. And Dr Hunter, in his wisdom, knows precisely where those boundaries exist.

    7. "Apparently, Dr Hunter believes that thinking and analyzing are inimical to science."

      What this shows us is that scientists simply do not know how eukaryotes evolved, or, for that matter, IF they even evolved.

      Creationists do not believe that eukaryotes evolved, but rather that they were created and as far as we now know, based on what we DO know about eukaryotes, this is not an unreasonable conclusion.

      Evolutionists have some ideas which is great, but unless they are testable and falsifiable, they remain simply "just so stories" or in the realm of hypothesis.

      Are any of them right? No one knows!

      Will evolutionists one day get it all figured out?
      Well, that is what the hope is. This is what they place their faith in, but there are no guarantees whatsoever.

      It is similar to the OoL problem. No solutions on the horizon, but still the belief is that it happened by totally natural forces. At this point, it is nothing more than belief.

      Evolutionists should be honest here when teaching this subject and say that, although we believe it evolved, we really don't know how. We have a number of hypotheses, but we don't know if they are right or not.

      Pedant evidently does not think this is straying from empirical evidence. He too seems to know precisely where the boundaries of science exist and whether a particular hypothesis is straying too far from empirical evidence.

    8. Hi tokyojim,

      Is your faith so weak that you need to prop it up with invective?

      How Christian of you.

    9. Cornelius Hunter: Yes, I do think the speculation is inconsistent with the evidence.

      Short of handwaving away the entirety of biological evolution, what do you think is inconsistent with the evidence? The author seems to marshal a lot of evidence to support the hypothesis.

    10. Evidence? There isn't any way to test the claims being made other than "it looks like that to me". If that is science then ID has an over-abundance of scientific evidence for support.

  2. Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science
    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection Are Both Grossly Inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis

  3. no one has ever observered, or ever changed, one type of bacteria into another type of bacteria, much less has someone changed any archaea into eukarya:

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. -
    Alan H. Linton - emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.

    Behe surveys 4 decades of lab work here:

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain - Michael Behe - December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.

    1. Behe's survey included Lenski's infamous Long Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE). The results, if you are a "Origin of Species" thumping Darwinist, are disappointing to put it mildly.

      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.,,, -

    2. Moreover, besides the failure of Darwinists to demonstrate the feasibility of neo-Darwinian processes in the laboratory, it turns out that bacteria also demonstrate long term stasis in the fossil record:

      Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
      Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial counterparts. "They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species," Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. "This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times," says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;

      The Paradox of the "Ancient" (250 Million Year Old) Bacterium Which Contains "Modern" Protein-Coding Genes:
      “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;

      Thus, where is the actual empircal evidence that any single celled organism can change into another??

      This is exactly what Dr. Hunter (and Dr. Behe) are talking about. Darwinists imagine all sorts of unsubstatiated stories for how one organism can change into another with never one shred of actual empirical evidence to support the feasibility of the 'just so' story!

      Excerpt: ,,,The term “just-so story” was popularized by Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 book by that title which contained fictional stories for children. Kipling says the camel got his hump as a punishment for refusing to work, the leopard’s spots were painted on him by an Ethiopian, and the kangaroo got its powerful hind legs after being chased all day by a dingo.
      Kipling’s just-so stories are as scientific as the Darwinian accounts of how the amoeba became a man.
      Lacking real scientific evidence for their theory, evolutionists have used the just-so story to great effect. Backed by impressive scientific credentials, the Darwinian just-so story has the aura of respectability.
      Biologist Michael Behe observes:
      “Some evolutionary biologists--like Richard Dawkins--have fertile imaginations. Given a starting point, they almost always can spin a story to get to any biological structure you wish” (Darwin’s Black Box).,,,

      "Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination"
      Dr. Michael Behe - 29:24 mark of following video

  4. good humorous thread.
    It is unrepeatable. As things not true in nature tend to be.
    I have noticed evolutionists over the centuries have been, carefully, questioned by real scientists about how their evolution theory is tested.
    It has come up and evolutionists must , carefully, note their are issues.
    this yEC says we should hit evolution not on their lack or wrong evidence but on their methodology.
    I always, for years, say GOVE me your top three Biological Scientific evidences for evolution and most truly fail.
    A few try and wither under attack.
    if evolution is false it cAn't have bio sci evidence.
    so it doesn't.
    the other stuff they invoke is not Bio sci. its secondary matters.
    i think creationism has missed this point badly.
    Scientific methodology is our friend and all truth.
    Not theirs!!