The thrilling list continues, as the Discovery Institute posts about their greatest triumphs for the past twelve months. You can find links to items 10 through 7 in yesterday’s post, Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #8 & #7, and now we continue to follow their listing of the Top Ten events for the year. They just posted #6 of Our Top Stories of 2016: BIO-Complexity Addresses the Problem of Biological Innovation
It’s a repeat of something they posted back in January: New Article in BIO-Complexity Addresses the Problem of Biological Innovation, by Ann Gauger (a/k/a “Annie Green Screen”). Before Annie became Casey’s replacement in the blogging department, she had been toiling in obscurity at the Discoveroids’ clandestine creationist research facility, Biologic Institute.
The work done there sometimes appears in the Discoveroids’ captive “peer reviewed” journal, BIO-Complexity. Annie’s work was so sensitive that the interior of her lab could never be seen by outsiders. You can read all about that in Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery.
That lab, the journal, and the Discoveroids’ own “peer reviewed” vanity press operation (Discovery Institute Press) constitute their imitation of the accouterments of science, and have caused intelligent design to be described as a cargo cult.
The Discoveroids’ new post is just a copy of the old one, which was so silly that we didn’t bother to blog about it. But because it’s regarded by them as such a towering event, we’ll take another look. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
One of the toughest problems for evolutionary biologists is to account for what might be called the problem of innovation — the appearance of a new beneficial biological feature that did not previously exist. Put another way, evolution by natural selection can be defined as “the survival of the fittest,” but evolution is unable to select for something that is not already there. It can only select among existing traits. When some new trait is required in order to survive, can evolution explain “the arrival of the fittest”?
That question — to which the obvious answer is mutations — is regarded by the Discoveroids as so staggering that only the miraculous intervention of their intelligent designer — blessed be he! — is capable of solving it. Annie says:
The work of Doug Axe and myself has centered on this question. What is possible for protein evolution by purely natural means? Not much so far. [Link to Annie’s paper in BIO-Complexity.]
Our conclusion? Unless the starting protein already exists as a functional fold of the right design, the protein’s activity cannot be optimized to wild-type levels. In other words, you’ll never get an innovation optimized, even with a pre-existing low level of the desired activity if the innovation is not already present in substantial form.
If you bother to read Annie’s entire post, you’ll see that she was looking for a specific mutation. She obviously saw mutations, but not the one she was looking for. That’s not surprising, but concluding that any particular mutation is impossible merely because it didn’t happen while you were watching seems a bit of a stretch. The Discoveroid post concludes with this:
To get a new enzyme, and by extension any sophisticated complex thing, requires that the new enzyme be already there, in essential form, before it can be optimized by selection. It has to be shaped by intelligent design before selection can act upon it. In other words, evolution is incapable of innovation — only intelligence can invent a sophisticated new cellular structure such as an enzyme, or an eye.
Now we remember why we didn’t bother to blog about Annie’s post when it first appeared. We explained her error in: The Inevitability of Evolution (Part III). It’s the difference between serial and parallel processing.
Although Annie’s post is no better now than when it first appeared, the year has been so horrible for the Discoveroids that her “research” has made their Top Ten list. We’ve learned about the bottom five of the Discoveroids’ top news items for the year. There are five more to still go. What further wonders await us? Stay tuned to this blog!
Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.