Back in the early months of this humble blog we posted Creationism and Nylon-Eating Bacteria, in which we referred to a frequent claim of creationists — that evolution is false because it requires a sequence of beneficial mutations, which is impossible. We quoted an article from Answers In Genesis which claimed:
For molecules-to-man evolution to happen, there needs to be a gain in new information within the organism’s genetic material. For instance, for a single-celled organism, such as an ameba, to evolve into something like a cow, new information (not random base pairs, but complex and ordered DNA) would need to develop over time that would code for ears, lungs, brain, legs, etc.
The biblical perspective on change within living things doesn’t require that new information be added to the genome as pond-scum-to-people evolution does. In fact, we expect to see the opposite (loss of genetic information) due to the Curse in Genesis 3. … Observations confirm that mutations overwhelmingly cause a loss of information, not a net gain, as evolution requires.
We responded by referring to an article in Wikipedia about Nylon-eating bacteria which said:
In 1975 a team of Japanese scientists discovered a strain of Flavobacterium living in ponds containing waste water from a factory producing nylon that was capable of digesting certain byproducts of nylon 6 manufacture, such as the linear dimer of 6-aminohexanoate, even though those substances are not known to have existed before the invention of nylon in 1935.
Further study revealed that the three enzymes the bacteria were using to digest the byproducts were novel, significantly different from any other enzymes produced by other Flavobacterium strains (or any other bacteria for that matter), and not effective on any material other than the manmade nylon byproducts.
We concluded that post with this:
And so, my brothers in pond scum, yet another creationist claim is shown to be worthless — as are all the others.
It appears that nylon-eating bacteria have been a continuing concern to creationists. The Discovery Institute recently posted what they imagine to be a rebuttal: Nylon and Nylonase: Ann Gauger Disentangles an Evolutionary Icon. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Nylon is a human-synthesized substance. It’s familiar from ladies’ stockings and a variety of other uses, from toothbrush bristles to car parts. It didn’t exist until 1935 years ago because it hadn’t been invented. Thus a strain of bacteria capable of digesting it would evidently need to do something novel that no bacteria had done before. When Japanese scientists in 1975 discovered such a bacterium at work, Darwinists later brandished this. They said it showed evolving new proteins is a breeze.
Not a breeze, perhaps, but it’s certainly something that is observed to happen. Then he says:
Indeed, our theistic evolutionary friends over at BioLogos were in a triumphant mood on the subject a little while back on their Open Forum (Biological Information and Intelligent Design: evolving new protein folds). Now they had Doug Axe on protein evolution, and by extension Stephen Meyer, beat! … In a brief window of time, some bacteria developed the ability to consume nylon. Ergo, no need for intelligent design in biology?
All that taunting from Darwinists was too much for the Discoveroids. They had to do something. But what? Klinghoffer tells us:
Not so fast, explains Discovery Institute biologist Ann Gauger. In an ID the Future conversation, she talked with Sarah Chaffee.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Ann Gauger (a/k/a “Annie Green Screen”), is Casey’s replacement in the blogging department. Annie was previously toiling in obscurity at the Discoveroids’ clandestine creationist research facility, Biologic Institute. She had a conversation with another Discoveroid, Sarah Chaffee (whom we call “Savvy Sarah”). What was the result of that Olympian collaboration? Klinghoffer informs us:
Conclusion: “Nylonase was a pre-existing enzyme, had a pre-existing activity. It was easy to convert it to the ability to degrade nylon [by a] step-wise path. Therefore, there’s no reason to think that the enzyme is a newly derived enzyme from a frame shift. We don’t need that explanation.”
Huh? No citations. No data. No anything. Just a wild declaration that that the biological ability to consume nylon isn’t anything new. Bacteria were probably munching on Mrs. Noah’s nylons aboard the Ark. Klinghoffer finishes his post with this:
In short, as an icon of evolution, nylonase has no legs. Listen to the podcast here [link omitted], or download it here [link omitted].
So there you are, dear reader. The intelligent designer — blessed be he! — has been restored to his rightful place, and the Darwinists are hiding under their desks.
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