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Genetic Entropy and Malarial Parasite P. falciparum

The two most recent books I’ve read are Biochemistry Professor M.Behe’s Edge of Evolution and Cornell geneticist J.Sanford’s Genetic Entropy.

Edge of Evolution I found to be amazing. It presented a case history of a eukaryote (P.falciparum) that has replicated billions of trillions of times within a span of a few decades. More importantly this is one of the most well studied organisms in biology due to its huge toll on human lives. In the last decade we’ve gone beyond phenotype analysis of the bug and have completely sequenced its genotype. This represents the largest test of evolution that we can hope to observe. The result of random mutation + natural selection being given billions of trillions of opportunities to generate significant novel biological complexity was essentially nil. Except for biochemically (but medically important) trivial changes in genotype the bug went exactly nowhere. It’s still the same old P.falciparum as its great grandparents billions of trillions of generations removed. It neither progressed nor regressed in an evolutionary sense.

All the negative reviews I’ve read of EoE nitpick at minutae while dodging the big picture. The big picture is that P.falciparum under intense scrutiny for billions of trillions of generations did exactly what ID theorists predicted – next to nothing. In contrast the ID deniers tell us over and over that the same evolutionary mechanism (RM+NS), in orders of magnitude fewer generations, turned a lizard into a lemur. Of course that’s a wholly imaginary story because the transformation of reptiles into mammals took hundreds of millions of years so can’t be confirmed by genotype observation. All we have is phenotype evidence based on fossils. Clearly *something* caused the transformation from reptile to mammal but I’ve yet to see any reasonable explanation for the observed failure of P.faciparum to evolve while somehow the same mechanism with fewer opportunities is imagined to have caused reptiles to evolve into mammals. Non sequitur!

Genetic Entropy I found less amazing because its basic conclusion was already obvious to me and unlike EoE it didn’t really present anything I didn’t already know. That’s not meant to detract from Genetic Entropy as many of its readers probably haven’t figured out for themselves that genetic entropy is, outside of environmental catastrophe, the force majeure in the evolution of species (or better put the eventual extinction of species).

One major disagreement I had with Genetic Entropy was the rate Sanford gives for random mutation. In virtually all the scientific literature I’ve read on the subject the given rate of copy errors in eukaryote DNA replication is one in one billion nucleotides. Sanford proposes, with references which I admittedly didn’t fisk, that the rate is really at least one and possibly two orders of magnitude greater. The lower rate Sanford gives is about one in ten million errors per nucleotide.

It occured to me recently that Sanford’s projected rate of genetic decay doesn’t square with the observed performance of P.falciparum. P.falciparum‘s genome is about 23 million nucleotides. At Sanford’s lowest given rate of nucleotide copy errors that means each individual P.falciparum should have, on average, about 3 nucleotide errors compared to its immediate parent. If those are nearly neutral but slightly deleterious mutations (as the vast majority of eukaryote mutations appear to be) then the number should be quite sufficient to cause a genetic meltdown from their accumulation over the course of billions of trillions of replications. Near neutral mutations are invisible to natural selection but the accumulation of same will eventually become selectable. If all individuals accumulate errors the result is decreasing fitness and natural selection will eventually kill every last individual (extinction). Yet P.falciparum clearly didn’t melt down but rather demonstrated an amazing ability to keep its genome perfectly intact. How?

After thinking about it for a while I believe I found the answer – the widely given rate of eukaryote replication errors is correct. If P.falciparum individuals get an average DNA copy error rate of one in one billion nucleotides then it follows that approximately 97% of all replications result in a perfect copy of the parent genome. That’s accurate enough to keep a genome that size intact. An enviromental catastrophe such as an ice age which lowers temperatures even at the equator below the minimum of ~60F in which P.falciparum can survive would cause it to become extinct while genetic meltdown will not. Mammals however, with an average genome size 100 times that of P.falciparum, would have an average of 3 replication errors in each individual. Thus mammalian genomes would indeed be subject to genetic decay over a large number of generations which handily explains why the average length of time between emergence to extinction for mammals and other multicelled organisms with similar genome sizes is about 10 million years if the fossil and geological evidence paints an accurate picture of the past. I DO believe the fossil and geological records present us with an incontrovertible picture of progressive phenotype evolution that occured over a period of billions of years. I don’t disbelieve common ancestry and phenotype evolution by descent with modification – I question the assertion that random mutation is the ultimate source of modification which drove phylogenetic diversification.

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38 Responses to Genetic Entropy and Malarial Parasite P. falciparum

  1. DaveScot, thanks for the well-thought summary of these two texts. I fully agree with your conclusions. I have not found any evidence to reject common descent — assuming that some guy is twiddling with creatures that are making babies. I have found no reason to reject nautral selection as a powerful preservative agent. Every bone in my body says that the maximum mutations an organism can take and be protected by natural selection is 1 (mutations in true “junk dna” excepted.) I have found no scientific case whatsoever to support random mutation as a constructive agent. I find Behe’s “malaria” case to be compelling as a confirmation of this limitation.

  2. Thanks DaveScot
    While Behe shows the limits of evolution Sanford shows genetic degradation or entropy – i.e. “natural selection” going backwards.

    Combined, these are extremely difficult for any Darwinian theory to overcome. Of the two, I believe Sanford’s results will eventually be shown to be more powerful though possibly more “obvious”.

    If I understand your comments, you end up agreeing with Sanford, the difference being the size of the genome and the complexity of the systems.

    The very low rate of copying errors in both systems highlights the amazing features of:
    * highly selective copying
    * error detection and
    * error correction
    * error removal by sexual reproduction

    These show strong parallels to design of computer systems and are strong evidence for ID.

    As you noted, the more complex the genome, the more important these error correcting systems become and the more difficult they are for RM & NS to explain.

    Conversely with more complex systems it is easier to demonstrate ID and easier to develop an ID design theory for them.

  3. DaveScot,
    Excellent Summary!

    I hope you don’t mind if I quote this article.

    I do have one small concern with this statement of yours:

    “I DO believe the fossil and geological records present us with an incontrovertible picture of progressive phenotype evolution that occurred over a period of billions of years.”

    I have a concern for the fossil record shows more variety of phyla at the end of the Cambrian Explosion 540 million years ago than is present now!

    To me that indicates “overall” the fossil record is not as progressive as the evolutionary theory requires and is in fact a major blow to their “progressive” evolutionary scenario.

    But that is a small gripe, you did a fine job summarizing the books, and reconciling them to clear reasoning.

  4. All the negative reviews I’ve read of EoE nitpick at minutae while dodging the big picture.

    This is a key point. The reviews blather on about a two-amino-acid change being approachable in two naturally selectable steps instead of one, as though this somehow salvages the grand Darwinian story. It’s like arguing that it should be possible to introduce two sequential random errors into a space shuttle computer program and still have it work okay, and therefore this explains where the space shuttle came from.

    Thus mammalian genomes would indeed be subject to genetic decay over a large number of generations which handily explains why the average length of time between emergence to extinction for mammals and other multicelled organisms with similar genome sizes is about 10 million years…

    Here’s the real mystery: Creatures go extinct as a result of progressive genetic decay, but then new creatures suddenly appear, fully formed, more complex, and with mysteriously rejuvenated genomes good for another 10-million-year round of decay.

    Something fishy is going on here.

  5. I DO believe the fossil and geological records present us with an incontrovertible picture of progressive phenotype evolution that occured over a period of billions of years. I don’t disbelieve common ancestry and phenotype evolution by descent with modification – I question the assertion that random mutation is the ultimate source of modification which drove phylogenetic diversification.

    The evidence does not support common descent, see Doolittle et al. Extant organisms can be very nicely arranged into nested hierarchies according to their DNA but defy forming any kind of meaningful phylogenetic tree. The same excuses are currently being made for the lack of evidence of a tree of life that have traditionally been made for lack of evidence of gradualism in the fossil record. With neither paleological nor genetic evidence of common descent, I would argue that the concept is patently false.

    For those of you that believe in common descent. What was the last common ancestor of the fish, the squid, and the horseshoe crab? When did it live? What did it look like? What is the evidence it ever existed?

  6. DaveScot,

    A minor nitpick–I observed in a recent online discussion a scientist taking a neophyte to task for failing to observe the “rules” of binomial nomenclature in the scientific names of organisms. In particular, when dealing with fauna, the first word in the scientific name (the genus name)is always capitalized, and the whole name (genus + species) should be italicized or underlined. Thus the microbe in question here would be P. falciparum.

    I mention this only because I think we want to limit the Darwinists’ opportunities for ad hominem responses.

  7. Whenever I hear these numbers, I often wonder if the calculator’s take into account that for evolution to occur, the mutations have to be in the gametes, not the body cells. (Assuming sexually reproducing organisms, duh.)

    Who cares if a a somatic cell mutates, that isn’t evolution. I think that puts these numbers much more improbable than depicted.

  8. P.S. I would love to evolve a third hand out of my chest, (to hold the keys while I open the door to carry in my groceries.) But I can hardly count it as evolution if my gametic DNA doesn’t mutate also.

    Let alone, getting a date in order to procreate the new 3rd hand race of humans.

  9. DaveScott wrote in a comment to my earlier post:

    “With regard to [BarryA's] comment about ID predicting genomic stability over many generations – I don’t agree. I don’t see anything about ID that predicts stability. What is your basis for that claim?”

    DaveScott writes above:

    “The big picture is that while p.falciparum under intense scrutiny for billions of trillions of generations did exactly what ID theorists predicted – next to nothing.”

    Either I misunderstand your objection to my comment or you’ve come around to agree with me. If I’ve misunderstood you, please educate me.

  10. DaveScot:

    Sanford proposes, with references which I admittedly didn’t fisk, that the rate is really at least one and possibly two orders of magnitude greater. The lower rate Sanford gives is about one in ten million errors per nucleotide.

    Not to argue solely for authority. But I’d suspect Sanford has his numbers clsoer to reality. Much of his book rests on the numbers, that I suspect he did his own & secondary research. But.. like you, I would still question. And I have.
    I thought why haven’t bacteria gone into extinction as well.

    The best answer, I think so far, is that bacteria (b.) have more offspring. And seeing one of your points, the smaller genome may very well be beneficial to maintaining integrity of the b. genome.
    Natural selection will tend to weed out the deleterious mutations from the b. genome & maintain the original somewhat better. Better than if it only had only a couple or few offspring – like man.

  11. Sorry for reiterating, but I’m really curious about others’ thoughts on the mysterious and sudden rejuvenation of decayed genetic information in a descent with modification scenario. Even in a front-loading scenario it doesn’t make sense, because the front-loaded information should have decayed as well.

    The fossil record is pretty clear: new kinds of creatures appear suddenly and fully formed, persist for a while, and go extinct (unless they persist to this day, like the shark and horseshoe crab).

  12. GilDodgen,

    As I posted a while ago on another thread, I think that it might actually make sense from a FLE standpoint.

    If organisms were front loaded to begin as bacteria-like creatures, then eventually develop into higher life forms, we would expect the information in the bacterial-like genomes (the roots of our tree) to have to persist through many transitions. The higher you go up the tree, the closer you are to “terminal” branches, and so the less the information needs to persist.

    If having more offspring allows you to better avoid the effects of genetic entropy, then we should expect “lower” lifeforms to reproduce more than “higher” lifeforms. This is exactly what we see in nature. (Which also happens to be inexplicable from an NDE standpoint, because we’d have to explain how having less, robust offspring was repeatedly selected for in the history of life.)

  13. 13

    GilDodgen,

    Perhaps the problem is that you’re assuming that many or most extinctions occur due to “decayed genetic information.” I would think that most extinctions have occurred for other reasons, such as climatic or geological events, or the phenomena associated with such things as asteroid strikes. In other words, I think that most extinctions are due to extrinsic adaptation issues. Just a thought.

  14. Adding to my previous post (in case the linking logic isn’t apparent), this should be the third paragraph:

    Genetic entropy degrades genomic information. For organisms to remain around for millions of years, to eventually transition into other organisms, without genetic meltdown there needs to be a way to minimize the effects of the entropy. Having more offspring seems to be a way to do this, as you increase your chances of getting an organism without a particular mutation in any given generation.

  15. GilDodgen:

    It’s like arguing that it should be possible to introduce two sequential random errors into a space shuttle computer program and still have it work okay, and therefore this explains where the space shuttle came from.

    LOL!!

  16. As Dave mentioned in the OP it is interesting that evolutionists want us to believe that sexually reproducing organisms, in which only 1/2 of each parent’s genome is used (meaning there is no guarnatee that a beneficial mutation/ trait will be passed on), can come up with “environmental solutions” in a few million generations, yet asexually reproducing organisms, in which there is a high probability each “offspring” will inherit the beneficial mutation/ trait, cannot even approach such changes in billions of generations.

    That should be evidence against the theory yet it is a sure bet that such a thing will never be discussed in a science classroom.

    And speaking of sure bets- How about those Red Sox!!!!!!!

  17. Catastrophic events killing off the species plays into Creationist hands and timing.

    Creationist cite evidence of global wide flooding from the Black Sea, Eastern flood plains of Washington, to the newly recognized flood between the shores of England and mainland Europe which gives us the English Channel today. Catastrophic flood events happened around the globe, only the time-elapse frame is argued it seems.

    This would, “may be” balance out Genetic Entropy forwarded to our time for the higher life forms. I’m not sure this applies to P. falciparum, any bacteria, single cell, etc.

    If there is Design, then there is purpose for all lifeforms. The classification system then becomes based upon pragmatic considerations of functional classes, not time.

    Much like “who designed the Designer” question, time simply becomes irrelavant, a pesky nuisance in the larger scheme of what is today an engineering field, not a society of historical artistry to satisfy ones materialist whims.

    Design Engineers do not care if Carbon or Lithium were created a billion years ago. Practically, how does one combine them for a better energy platform?

    Likewise, LifeForm Engineers do not care about age either. It is meaningless. One of the striking statements that Dr. Sanford stated was how large a waste of his time was utilized in chasing evolutionary issues, one of them being time, that had no direct influence in his work. He didn’t need all the speculation of historic issues to work in the field of transgenics.

    I think this is a lesson for all serious work to be done in the future. In the future when our descendents are terraforming a new planet – my question is – will they wait a billion years for it to sprout life?

    Initially my thought is no. Why would anyone wait a billion years to do what one can do in 10 if you have the knowledge?

    FLE plays into this. If life is programmed, coded to appear at all, it can be coded to appear rapidly giving the suitable environment.

  18. Mickey you stated:
    I would think that most extinctions have occurred for other reasons, such as climatic or geological events, or the phenomena associated with such things as asteroid strikes. In other words, I think that most extinctions are due to extrinsic adaptation issues. Just a thought.
    …..

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.ph.....8;page=115

    Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Genetics and Paleontology 50 Years After Simpson (1995)

    Excerpted from the online book:

    The known fossil record contains roughly a quarter of a million species, most of which are extinct. Although fossils of the earliest forms are important to our knowledge of the history of life, the fossil record is ted numerically by the remains of multicellular organisms from the last 600 million years (Myr). Fossil species are grouped into about 35,000 genera and 4000 families. About one-quarter of the families are still living.
    ….
    Figure 1 shows the frequency distribution of recorded life spans of 17,500 genera of fossil marine animals. The distribution is highly skewed, with the mean (28 Myr) being the result of many short durations combining with a few very long ones. Survivorship analysis of the genus data indicates a mean species duration of 4 Myr (Raup, 1991a), although as indicated above, this is probably a high estimate because of the nce of successful species in the sample. Regardless of the uncertainties, however, species and genus residence times on earth are very short on geologic time scales. The longest-lived genus in Figure 1 (160 Myr) lasted only about 5% of the history of life.
    …..
    It is conventional to divide extinctions into two distinct kinds: background and mass extinction. The term “mass extinction” is most commonly reserved for the so-called “Big Five” events: short intervals in which 75–95% of existing species were eliminated (Table 1). The K–T event, mentioned earlier, is one of the Big Five, but not the largest. Although the Big Five were important events, their combined species kill amounted to only about 4% of all extinctions in the past 600 Myr (Raup, 1993).

    of very special note:
    In fact, a kill curve based on this could not be plotted at the scale of Figure 3: the curve would be indistinguishable from the horizontal axis. The only available conclusion is that extinctions are nonrandomly clustered in time, and this implies strongly that the K-T extinctions, for example, had a common cause.

    They speculate as to the cause of the fairly constant “background” extinctions, but the fact that they find a “non-random” unexplainable pattern is very favorable to the overall genetic entropy hypothesis we have, since any other natural event to cause extinctions would most likely have a very random manner about it whereas ours would be thought to hold fairly constant!
    ….
    Also of interest:

    A striking effect of the typical mass extinction is its aftermath. For as long as 5–10 Myr, fossil faunas and floras are impoverished and are often dominated by only one or two species. The longest such interval followed the late Permian extinction (the largest of the Big Five): many major phyla and classes, known to have survived from later occurrences, are absent from the early Triassic assemblages. And about a third of the Triassic is characterized by what has been called the “coal gap,” an interval where no coal deposits have been found—either of temperate or of tropical origin (A. M. Ziegler, University of Chicago, pers. comm., 1993).

    And TA DA…

    When full diversity does return, it often has a strikingly different character.

  19. A little more on background extinctions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_extinction

    Lifespan estimates

    Some species lifespan estimates by taxonomy
    Taxonomy Source of Estimate Species Average Lifespan years (MYA)

    All Invertebrates; Raup (1978) 11
    Marine Inverts;Valentine(1970) 5–10
    Marine Animals Raup (1991) 4
    Marine Animals Sepkoski(1992) 5
    AllFossil Groups:Simpson (1952).5–5
    Mammals Martin (1993) 1
    Cenozoic Mammals Raup (1978) 1–2
    Diatoms Van Valen 8
    Dinoflagelates:Van Valen (1973) 13
    Planktonic ForaminiferaVan Valen (1973) 7
    Cenozoic Bivalves:Raup and Stanley (1978) 10
    Echinoderms Durham (1970) 6
    Silurian Graptolites Rickards (1977) 2

    Adapted from the book “extinction rates”, edited by Lawton, J, and May, R. [7]

    It is interesting to note that many species seem to go extinct in the fossil record in groups and abruptly appear in the fossil record in groups…

    I don’t know if this helps the overall Genetic Entropy Hypothesis for an explanation of extinctions since the “Intelligent Designer” could very well be making way for His next phase??

    Still, because of the Inbreeding problem, I still believe the Genetic Entropy hypothesis, for unexplained extinctions, is fairly strong in its explanatory power…Genetic Entropy could very well be the Designers preprogrammed way to make way for His next phase!!

  20. “The lower rate Sanford gives is about one in ten million errors per nucleotide.”

    The discrepancy is the method used. The figures appearing in literature are estimates from interspecies comparisons relative to assumed evolutionary time. From species that do not interbreed. Interspecies comparisons show much higher mutations rates than estimated from intraspecies data. Therefore, actual mutation rates are much higher. I think that is another important message from Sanford. The Darwinian method is flawed. Simply wrong.

  21. Peter, can you cite a paper for that?

  22. DLH

    I agree with Sanford about genetic entropy, per se. I disagree with the rate at which it accrues.

    Barry

    I wasn’t clear. ID predicted no progressive evolution by RM+NS but doesn’t speak to genetic entropy one way or the other.

    BA77

    The Cambrian Explosion didn’t occur until after life was here for billions of years. While the vast majority of modern phyla abruptly appeared then there was still a lot of diversification that took place afterward. Phyla are very large taxonomic groups second only to kingdoms.

    Gil

    Yes, there is something fishy going on. A relative few of all the cell lines that ever existed managed to avoid genetic meltdown and survived through to today. I think that is due to design. There are parallels in ontogeny. For instance there is a cell line that forms webs between our fingers as we develop in the womb but those cells are programmed to die before birth. Phylogeny might be the same thing. Some cell lines were preprogrammed to terminate earlier than others. Perhaps genetic entropy is simply a symptom of a cell line that has reached its adult (terminal) phase.

    Jehu

    Behe finds the evidence for common descent compelling and so do I. One of the bits of evidence I find most compelling is the law of biogenesis. In uncounted billions of observations new life comes from preexisting life and there hasn’t been a single exception. My feeling is that life in some material form existed long before our solar system was born and even before the heavier elements formed. We are descendents of that primordial form.

    Atom

    Agreed. Your thinking parallels mine.

    Joseph

    P.falciparum has both sexual and asexual modes of reproduction. The sexual stage occurs in the gut of the mosquito. And yes, how about those Red Sox. Unbelievable.

    Mickey

    Per your suggestion to ward off attacks by pedants I tediously italicized and capitalized P.falciparum. I’m not really concerned about attacks from those I affectionately call the “spellin pohlice” but I made an exception for you this one time.

  23. Peter

    I’m aware of the method used to derive baseline replication error rate – it’s derived from the rate of synonymous substitutions in genes so critical to survival that they don’t tolerate any copy errors (codon bias notwithstanding) that result in amino acid sequence changes in their protein products.

    The crux of that matter is that method used to derive the rate of one in a billion nucleotide copy errors agrees with the facts on the ground. P.falciparum didn’t “melt down”. Its genetic composition is as robust now as it was billions of trillions of generations ago. As well the indisputable testimony of the fossil record shows the larger species of vertebrates (with presumably large genomes like large vertebrates alive today) persisting in the record for millions of years, phenotypically unchanged, then abruptly vanishing. This is consistent with genetic meltdown but not with genetic meltdown in thousands of years as Sanford presents. These are independent of the analysis of synonymous substitution rate. When conclusions from disparate lines of evidence agree with each other they’re usually correct. The age of the earth and the age of the fossils in its strata come from many disparate lines of evidence as well. It’s unlikely to be wrong by orders of magnitude just as the rate of copy errors in DNA replication is unlikely to be wrong by orders of magnitude from the widely accepted one mistake in a billion nucleotides for eukaryotes.

  24. Patrick

    In support of a very high mutation rate Sanford cites:

    Konrashov, A.S. 2002 “Direct estimate of human per nucleotide mutation rates at 20 loci causing Mendelian diseases”. Human Mutation 21:12-27

    Nachman, M.W. and S.L. Crowell. 2000 “Estimate of the mutation rate per nucleotide in humans”. Genetics 156:297-304

  25. There is one problem with long ages:

    Genetic redundnacy. It is not associated with gene duplication and redundant genes do not mutate faster than essential genes. Together these observations are sufficient to doubt long age evolutionary scenarios.

    You say that it’s unlikely to be wrong by orders of magnitude just as the rate of copy errors in DNA replication is unlikely to be wrong by orders of magnitude from the widely accepted one mistake in a billion nucleotides for eukaryotes.

    But ask yourself first how the one per bilion was estimated. By comparing distinct species that do not reproduce together. The genome projects show mutation rates are much higher.

  26. PB, nice to hear from you. ISCID seems to have been taken over by John Davison.

    How’s your GUToB theory going? Have you published yet?

    I am trying to understand the rammifications of your post. You say that “Interspecies comparisons show much higher mutations rates than estimated from intraspecies data.” This would be consistent with a genetic engineer tweaking with the DNA to produce speciation, would it not? Would it be in some way consistent also with the RV+NS hypothesis? Is it in any way fair of Sanford to use the intraspecies numbers, rather than the interspecies numbers. I know the former more strongly makes his case, but the latter seems to more accurately make his case.

  27. DaveScot,,,you seem to have a excellent grasp of hard evidence for the Genetic Entropy principle!

    …If I may, I would like to add to your hard evidence.

    Genetic diversity of parent species is always found to be greater than a “sub”-species genetic diversity,,,indeed, I found,,in the genetic study of dogs that the entire range of genetic diversity found across the spectrum of all the breeds of dogs was slightly less than the genetic diversity found among wolves themselves,,,, Whereas, of course, single breeds of dogs always had very “restricted” genetic diversity.

    As well I would like to point out that the “parent” species of sheep (mouflons)

    http://www.majesticmouflons.com/

    “surprisingly” had no problems with inbreeding (thus, safely reestablishing the genetic diversity found in wild mouflons) when a single male and female were introduced on a island from a Paris zoo!

    This fits in well with the Theistic prediction of ID… (front-loaded) diversification from a parent kind!

    Whereas the consistent loss of genetic diversity found in sub-speciation ,and the consistent problems of inbreeding for all sub-species studied, fits in very well with the principle of Genetic Entropy.

    I truly believe, and have much confidence, that the trends I have pointed out, will be found to hold consistent for all parent and sub-species studied on the genetic level!!!

  28. Bruce,

    ISCID is not what it used to be.

    Anyway, if you compare a functional sequence between one human and one chimp you may find only one nucleotide difference.

    If you compare the same human annotated sequences in pubmed you will find many more differences. I did that for several genes, even socalled essential genes, and the results are beyond belief.

    The Darwinian method assuming common descent to calculate mutation rates is completely and entirely flawed.

  29. Peter

    Could you provide some links to the human and chimp genes to which you refer?

  30. This is interesting:

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/conten.....4/41/16152

    The theory provides a fundamental relation between mutation rate, maximal genome size, and thermodynamic response of proteins to point mutations. It establishes a universal speed limit on rate of molecular evolution by predicting that populations go extinct (via lethal mutagenesis) when mutation rate exceeds approximately six mutations per essential part of genome per replication for mesophilic organisms and one to two mutations per genome per replication for thermophilic ones. Several RNA viruses function close to the evolutionary speed limit, whereas error correction mechanisms used by DNA viruses and nonmutant strains of bacteria featuring various genome lengths and mutation rates have brought these organisms universally ~1,000-fold below the natural speed limit.

    Oh, and another way to prevent a complete meltdown over a long time is to maintain multiple backups in varied locations. If the active copy is getting errors to the points it’s noticeably detectable just revert to a backup. Now if I were the designer I would say that if there is enough deleterious mutations that somehow manage to hit the active copy and all the backups then I’d presume natural selection would take its toll anyway.

  31. DaveScot

    Behe finds the evidence for common descent compelling and so do I. One of the bits of evidence I find most compelling is the law of biogenesis. In uncounted billions of observations new life comes from preexisting life and there hasn’t been a single exception. My feeling is that life in some material form existed long before our solar system was born and even before the heavier elements formed. We are descendents of that primordial form.

    It is possible for life to begin de novo by design rather than reproductive descent. Certainly many diverse extant species descend from a common ancestor. However, it does not therefore follow that all phyla have a single common ancestor. Attempts to construct a coherent tree of common descent have failed. I can’t even conceive of a common ancestor for arthropods, chordates, and mullosks.

  32. Jehu,
    I hold your position (de novo creation of parent species) and feel that our position will be vindicated in the future with further scientific breakthroughs.

    ,,,But at this point in the game, I can’t help but feel an extreme satisfaction and deep joy. I feel this extreme satisfaction and deep joy because as this very thread and the Cambrian explosion thread highlight, the main battle between ID and Evolution (though our opponents will, in their pride, deny it) is OVER, and our opponents are vanquished, conquered and even completely spoiled on the empirical front! Indeed, the very evidence they have put so much effort in gathering, and have been collecting for so many years to try to decisively prove evolution true, can now be cleaned up and readdressed to our ID advantages to see, as best we can, exactly how the Intelligent Design picture unfolds in all its wonder,,,My hunch is that we have barely touched the surface of the inherent interrelated complexity that has gone into crafting life on this planet and perhaps even in this universe..

    So I am more than happy to leave the common decent debate for another day, since it is of a much more friendly nature, and to enjoy fruits of the victory that has been wrought by the concerted effort, of what I consider the first class scientific minds of ID. Minds that have not backed down, in the face of bullying tactics and intimidation, but have boldly pursued the truth to its full revelation whatever that truth may have been.

  33. davescott,

    I am only going to tell you the genes are “evolutionary” conserved genes. The rest you can read (in nearby future) in the book I wrote in collaboration with Dr Royal Truman.

  34. Peter

    If you want to be secretive you can do it elsewhere.

  35. Peter Borger you stated:
    I am only going to tell you the genes are “evolutionary” conserved genes.

    Well isn’t this sweet…Another fairy tale example of how evolution can explain anything is on the way to a book store near you!!!! Will it be in the children’s section?

    Peter, a theory that can explain everything and be falsified by nothing, is not a scientific theory..It is mere conjecture from the imagination of men!

    Peter, you see evolution where you want to see it, in the suggestive evidence of genetic similarities and fossil similarities, and don’t see any evidence against it in the hard empirical evidence we now have, because you have already decided what the evidence must say and that evolution must be true!,,,but in all actuality, when push came to shove and evolution was given the opportunity to demonstrate its almighty power to develop complexity in reality,,,what did hard science find,,,Zilch-Nada-Zero complexity being developed….This is not just an anomaly for malaria and HIV, this is a pervasive phenomena throughout all mutational studies conducted on all life-forms (adaptations (such as antifreeze ) occurs when some preexisting system gets broke!),,,YET THE VERY BEDROCK of evolutionary theory states that fantastic complexity generation is common and happening all the time in all life forms ….Think about it Peter,,,Look at all the amazing diversity of life around you! It is truly AWESOME!….Yet despite absolutely no hard “observed” scientific proof of complexity being generated,,,you go into the shadows of your imagination to develop a “Evolution will not happen when we are looking for it to happen theory”… Oh how fortunate you now got a theory that explains why we find no evidence for the theory!!!….It would be absolutely funny if it weren’t for the fact that you are serious.

    Peter WAKE UP!

    this following song is just for you!

    Evanesence – Wake Me Up Inside

    http://www.myvideo.de/watch/172595

    Please pay attention to the lyric that says:
    I’ve been living a lie!!
    …I’ve been living a lie!!!

  36. Hey, bornagain77, Peter Borger is a fairly well known opponent of evolution, he has even written articles for Creationist magazines. So I found your last post a bit strange.

  37. To answer my own question that I posed on post #5 and nobody took me up on,

    For those of you that believe in common descent. What was the last common ancestor of the fish, the squid, and the horseshoe crab? When did it live? What did it look like? What is the evidence it ever existed?

    According to the majority view, crabs, squid, and fish arose from three groups; deuterostomia (vertebrates, star fish, sea urchins), ecdysozoa (crabs, insects, round worms), and lophotrochozoa (snails, clams, squid, earthworms, leeches) that indenpendently evolved bilateral symmetry. So in other words, according to those that hold to common descent, the common ancestor of the fish, the squid, and the horseshoe crab did not even have a bilateral body plan. If you go back before the bilateral body plan, what was there? I guess the most you can say about it, is that it would have been a eukaryote, a blob with no distinguishable body plan at all.

  38. I’m Sorry Peter, and thanks for the heads up Jehu,,,,I’m so use to evolutionists coming on this site and making up just so stories, that I thought Peter’s remark was an attempt to defend the crushing evidence presented by Dr. Behe against evolution.

    But in any case did you guys read this article…

    http://www.creationontheweb.co....._63-69.pdf

    The article clearly points out that the way we look at the DNA is not as clear as we would like it to be and in fact is tainted by evolutionary thought…

    Thus, any attempt to defect criticism away from evolution by using genetic similarities across phyla or even orders is still met with stern suspicion by me.

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