Monday, June 6, 2016

BioLogos, Broken Genes, and Urate Oxidase

The Bigger They Come, The Harder They Fall

Arguments for evolution, the theory that the biological world arose strictly by chance and natural law, are at a high level. The details of how microbes, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and the rest actually were created by random mutations are hard to come by. But, evolutionists explain, the species look like they evolved. Don’t the comparisons of their anatomy, geographical locations, and so forth, make evolution the obvious explanation for their origin? One of the strongest such evidences, according to evolutionists such as Dennis Venema, are the so-called shared-errors. Meaningless or, better yet, harmful mutations found in allied species seem to be obvious signs of a common ancestor. For we would never expect such harmful mutations to have arisen independently. They must derive from a common ancestor. This argument has many problems and seems to be another example of how the stronger that an argument is for evolution, the more deeply it is flawed.

One of the problems with this argument is that it contains two suspicious, unspoken, assumptions.

First, the argument assumes that these mutations are meaningless or harmful. That assumption may well be true but, as any historian of evolutionary thought knows, it is a dangerous. The history of evolutionary thought is full of claims of bad, inefficient, useless designs which, upon further research were found to be, in fact, quite useful.

Second, the argument assumes that these mutations are random. In other words, it assumes there cannot be any common mechanisms, properly operating or otherwise, which could tend toward certain designs and mutations.

In fact convergence is ubiquitous and rampant in biology. Repeated designs appear in species so distant that, according to evolutionary theory, their common ancestor could not have had that design. So even evolutionists must agree that common designs must have arisen independently. And this must have occurred many times over, at both the morphological and molecular levels.

In other instances, such “convergence” must have occurred even in allied species. In fact this is true even for the so-called harmful mutations. For instance, evolutionists believe the urate oxidase enzyme, which catalyzes the oxidation of uric acid, was inactivated in humans and the great apes by harmful random mutations. But the different versions of the gene, in the different species, do not easily align with the expected evolutionary pattern. In fact, even evolutionists have to agree that several of the various inferred mutations, in these similar species, could not have arisen from a common ancestor. Instead, they must have arisen independently:

One exceptional change is a duplicated segment of GGGATGCC in intron 4 which is shared by the gorilla and the orangutan. However, because this change is phylogenetically incompatible with any of the three possible sister-relationships among the closely related trio of the human, the chimpanzee, and the gorilla, it might result from two independent duplications. Alternatively, though less likely, a single duplication occurred in the ancestral species of the great apes and had been polymorphic for a sufficiently long time to permit fixation of the duplicated form in the orangutan and the gorilla on one hand and loss in the human and the chimpanzee on the other hand.

The nonsense mutation (TGA) at codon 107 is, however, more complicated than others. It occurs in the gorilla, the orangutan, and the gibbon, and therefore requires multiple origins of this nonsense mutation.

In contrast, the exon 3 mutation is not shared by H. syndactylus but by the gorilla and the orangutan. The origin of this mutation is therefore multiple and relatively recent in the gibbon lineage.

In other words, when common mutations found in different species cannot easily be explained by common descent, evolutionists do not hesitate to explain them as a consequent of multiple, independent events. This means that, even according evolutionists, similar mutations in allied species do not imply or require common descent. This contradicts the shared-error argument that is supposed to be one of the most powerful evidences for evolution. Unfortunately evolutionists do not include this information in their presentations of the shared-error argument.

The stronger that an argument is for evolution, the more deeply it is flawed.

h/t: DC


  1. What or how exactly was the "natural law"of evolution written?

  2. "First, the argument assumes that these mutations are meaningless or harmful."-

    good point. one evidence for this claim is the hOR17-210 pseudogene. it have a stop codon in the middle of the gene, but its actually code for a functional protein:

    so maybe all those stop codons may have a functional meaning. just maybe.

  3. Another great article. Computational biology will be the undoing of Darwinism.

  4. I see that Vincent Torley is still beating the common descent drum over at Uncommon Descent by arguing in favor of Dennis Venema's position:

    Let me begin with a short definition. The term synteny simply refers to the condition of two or more genes, which may or may not be linked, being located on the same chromosome. The term shared synteny refers to the fact that in different species of animals, the spatial arrangement of genes on a chromosome is often conserved: not only do we find the same genes, but we find them in the same order along the same chromosome. In a nutshell, Professor Venema’s argument is that shared synteny is best explained by the hypothesis of common ancestry.

    Why is it so hard for supposedly intelligent people to understand that shared characteristics between distant species are not evidence for common descent but evidence for common design?

    Would Torley and Venema have us believe that the text editing code found in many computer programs are evidence that the programs share a common ancestor via common descent? Design reuse is time tested principle of intelligent design. In fact, it is enforced as a rule in software design and engineering. I see no random mutations and natural selection in this picture.

    I fully expect this sort of error or rather, equivocation, from the usual lying Darwinists but Torley? What's wrong with this picture?

  5. Hi Louis
    I think VJT is just trying to stir up discussion. Your points are well taken and you will see I have challenged him several times. I am interested to see his response. Although I do not agree at all with the points VJT is making, I think his promotion of this debate is healthy.

    1. I think VJT is going full BioLogos on us. This is to be expected from a Catholic philosopher, in my opinion. The Catholic Church has been straddling the fence on evolution for years. No one really knows where they stand on the subject. It's a Holy Mystery of the Sacred Heart, or something.

    2. You may be right but we will see how it goes. I think you and Cornelius are two of only a had full of people who truly understand the magnitude of the sequential space problem of DNA and proteins. The problem that you refer to as the combinatorial explosion. I am hoping to get VJT to see this more clearly.

  6. Bill Cole could you explain this problem? Or point me to a source that will.

  7. Hi Tommy
    The sequential space or combinatorial explosion is based on sequences which is a property of probability theory. An example of a sequence is your cell phone number. There are 10 possible numbers 0 through 9 and 10 numbers in the sequence. If you want to calculate the sequential space (the total possible phone numbers) you talk the total amount of numbers 10 to the power of the length of the sequence or 10^10. or 1 with 10 zero's after it. Ten multiplied by itself 10 times. The number grows by 10 times every time you add a digit to the sequence. At 80 digits you are describing the number of atoms in the universe. This is what Louis calls a combinatorial explosion.

    I life DNA is a sequence and so are proteins. In itself it is very interesting that they have the same mathematical properties as phone numbers and most western languages.

    If you take the protein hemoglobin it is made up of 4 protein sub units each with around 140 amino acids. There may be hundreds of sequences that can function like hemoglobin but each sub unit has 20^140 possible combinations of amino acids (we have 20 different amino acids) So the possible ways to arrange hemoglobin is larger then the number of atoms in our universe. There is no way for this to form by trial and error, you need the code. This is why Cornelius, Louis and I are skeptical that a single protein can form by trial and error or known evolutionary processes.

    Hope this helps. Please come back with questions.

    1. However Bill, there are many different sequences that successfully form a globin. So we're not talking about 1 out of 20^140. Furthermore, evolutionists will say you can create a globin from a smaller set of amino acids. So it is not 20^140, but more like 10 or less, to the 140.

      To get a rough approximation, this is where the various experiments help, showing that we're looking at something like 1 out of 10^70 for a protein smaller than a globin, say of 80-100 residues.

    2. The combinatorial explosion is the reason that password encryption becomes unbreakable with just a handful of code letters. Not even a massive parallel computer the size of multiple universes can break modern encryption codes.

      But somehow, brain dead materialists and Darwinists figured out that random dirt molecules gave birth to life and that random mutations gave rise to complex living organisms.

      This is why I call them dirt worshippers, morons and pathological liars.

      But they are much worse than dirt worshippers, IMO. They are traitors to their own species for deceiving millions of people about their true origin. Where did we come from? This is the most important question of them all. All materialists and Darwinists should be immediately fired from all positions of authority. They should be vilified and ridiculed, even tarred and feathered and paraded down the street.

      Now don't get all worked up. It's just a metaphorical phantasy.


  8. Hi Cornelius
    Yes, I agree with your point. Thanks for the clarification. As you can see below I did mention there may be hundreds version of globulin. Do you think there are more than hundreds of potential versions?

    "If you take the protein hemoglobin it is made up of 4 protein sub units each with around 140 amino acids. There may be hundreds of sequences that can function like hemoglobin"

    1. Good point. More than hundreds? Yes, I do think so. There are probably many thousands of known globin sequences right now (though I've never looked into this myself). But as you know, these numbers are all in the noise, as far as helping to explain how a globin could have evolved.