Home » Cell biology, Evolution, News » If “sophisticated cellular machinery” yields an “inherent survival mechanism,” aren’t we closer to creationism than to Darwin?

If “sophisticated cellular machinery” yields an “inherent survival mechanism,” aren’t we closer to creationism than to Darwin?

Yeast up close/Dmitry Knorre, Fotolia

From “Prions Play Powerful Role in the Survival and Evolution of Wild Yeast Strains” (ScienceDaily, Feb. 15, 2012), we learn that at the Whitehead Institute,

Prions, the much-maligned proteins most commonly known for causing “mad cow” disease, are commonly used in yeast to produce beneficial traits in the wild. Moreover, such traits can be passed on to subsequent generations and eventually become “hard-wired” into the genome, contributing to evolutionary change.

Sophisticated cellular machinery ensures that replicating prion templates are chopped into pieces that can be passed to daughter cells during cell division. Importantly, the rate at which proteins switch into and out of the prion state increases in response to environmental stress, suggesting that they are part of an inherent survival mechanism that helps yeasts adapt to changes in their surroundings.

If “sophisticated cellular machinery” yields an “inherent survival mechanism” (in yeast, of all things), aren’t we really a world away from Darwin, and near to creationism?

In a massive undertaking, Whitehead Institute scientists have tested nearly 700 wild yeast strains isolated from diverse environments for the presence of known and unknown prion elements, finding them in one third of all strains. All the prions appear capable of creating diverse new traits, nearly half of which are beneficial. These unexpected findings, reported in this week’s edition of the journal Nature, stand as strong evidence against the common argument that prions are merely yeast “diseases” or rare artifacts of laboratory culture.

“We see them as part of a bet-hedging strategy that allows the yeast to alter their biological properties quickly when their environments turn unfavorable.”

Hmmm. Now we’ll know what to say the next time a Christian Darwinist asks, “What kind of a God would make prions?”

Lab head Susan Lindquist weighs in on the origin of life:

Convinced of the impact prions have had on yeast evolution, Lindquist speculates that these shape-shifting proteins may be “remnants of early life,” from a time when inheritance was predominantly protein-based rather than nucleic-acid based.

Ah, now we need only account for the sophisticated cellular machinery that forms them into a survival and evolution mechanism.

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15 Responses to If “sophisticated cellular machinery” yields an “inherent survival mechanism,” aren’t we closer to creationism than to Darwin?

  1. Creationism? Freudian slip?

  2. Starbuck. Ah, depends. If one is talking about Biblical literalism (which many evolutionists like to think is the only possible and true definition of “creationism”), then yeah. If one views “creation” in a broader light — like its normal definition of relating to a creative act — then not so much.

    I agree with you though, probably best to not use the word as it has so much baggage and tends to generate more heat than light.

  3. I’ve been convinced for a long time that you’re all biblical literalists.

  4. Starbuck, I have a question for you. Do you consider Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation, a biblical literalist?

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    Or do you consider Robert Wilson, Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation, a biblical literalist?

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation

    Or do you consider George Smoot, Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE, a biblical literalist?

    “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”
    George Smoot – Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

    Or do you consider Robert Jastrow, Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute, to be a biblical literalist?

    “,,,the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world,,, the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same.”
    Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’

    And starbuck, if you do consider these men to be biblical literalist, since they themselves admit as much, then my question to you is why is it so bad in your view to be a biblical literalist? Do you have a Nobel prize so that I may prize your, or anyone’s, personal opinion over their ‘scientific’ opinion for the origin of the entire universe???

    Further notes:

    “The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude.”
    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    Christianity Gave Birth To Each Scientific Discipline – Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer – video
    http://vimeo.com/16523153

    I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily…. All my discoveries have been made in an answer to prayer. — Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), considered by many to be the greatest scientist of all time

  5. Pass….

    Typical secular ‘fundies’.

  6. All mouth and no trousers.

  7. “Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind.” – Dawkins

    Nor any, as yet, detected or even conceivable life-force to drive it. A ‘process’, alas, is not self-propelled, but, on the contrary, it is a sequence of actions or developments under the propulsion of an external force. Unless you want to invoke Mother Nature…. There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…. I prefer nursery rhymes, myself.

  8. It’s all to do with the meaning of language, itsef. What hope has Dawkins of making sense of even non-technical matters, when he doesn’t even understand the scope and limits of language, itself, even his native tongue?

    “The word, ‘process’ (just like the word, ‘design’) has a specific meaning and predicates certain fundamental aspects proper to it, while excluding all other meanings not proper to it. Not proper to a process is self-propulsion, everything, at the very least, having to be programmed.

  9. There is no ‘perpetual motion’ machine, I’m sorry to say.

  10. Starbuck:

    I’ve been convinced for a long time that you’re all biblical literalists.

    Unfortunately, this is more a reflection of your own biases and stereotypes than a reflection of reality. I would encourage you to read a little more carefully.

    I certainly am not a Biblical literalist, and I know for a fact several of the other regular ID-friendly posters aren’t either.

  11. OT: Of note as to the extreme difficulty for humans to achieve multiple pairing quantum entanglement, even though multiple pairing quantum entanglement is found on a massive scale within molecular biology:

    Physicists Entangle 8 Photons in ‘Spooky’ Experiment – February 2012
    Excerpt: Entanglement is a fragile state, and entangling photons with any efficiency is a major challenge; physicists generally produce a huge number of photons for every pair of successfully entangled particles. The difficulty of creating multiple pairs of entangled photons grows exponentially as more are added. Xing-Can Yao and his colleagues at USTC calculated that if they simply extended previous six-photon experiments to include another pair of entangled photons, it would take roughly 10 hours of experimental time to generate one entangled eight-photon set. (Physicists verify the presence of entanglement by running statistical tests that require large samples of photons, so an experiment that takes hours to produce a single entangled state is impractically slow.) To overcome that limitation, the researchers used an optical scheme that filters out fewer photons and hence boosts the output of entangled photons.
    http://www.livescience.com/185.....otons.html

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

  12. 3 “I’ve been convinced for a long time that you’re all biblical literalists.”

    Probably husbands, wives or fathers too.

  13. Still waiting for Starbuck’ response to bornagain77′s questions. It’ll be a long wait, if it’s to be rational response.

    Sneering at all biblical literalism is a boiler-plate response by atheism’s most intellectually-bankrupt Dumbos; we’re all suppose to recoil in horror and shame instinctively at their juvenile sneers.

  14. Starbuck:

    I am in a bit of a biblical mood this morning, so let me quote from the Asiatic, diaspora Jewish Rabbi from Tarsus in Cilicia, raised in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel, as a better reply to your intemperate sneering than anything I can trust myself to compose:

    1 Cor 1:17 . . . Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning
    I will thwart.”

    20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

    22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men . . . .

    27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being3 might boast in the presence of God . . . .

    2: 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned . . .

    I trust this little Bible lesson may help you think again, and suggest that you work through here on in context next time you feel tempted to sneer or mock.

    When it comes to design theory, it may help you to learn that the first major design thinker of record is that Bible-thumping fundy — NOT, Aristocles, better known by his nickname, Plato.

    You may find his cosmological design inference as excerpted here interesting, especially in the context of what he had to say about the show of learning made by evolutionary materialists in his day in Athens, cf here on.

    Then, finally, I suggest that you scroll up to the top of this and every UD page and work your way through the Weak Argument Correctives, to at least get your facts straight. (Hint: think about forward vs backward.)

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  15. Here on in context to work through — sorry

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