Criticism of Both Flavors of Creationism

Yes, sure. But picking out that enzyme(assuming some particular de novo gene is an enzyme) after the fact, and then calculating the odds that it would evolve from the ancestral state, out of all the other things that could in principle have evolved instead, is a textbook example of the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.

I have explained exactly what is wrong with that type of thinking, and why it really does qualify for the Texas sharpshooter fallacy here:

Imagine you have this sequence:
AAAAGCCCCTTTT (the ancestral state)
And it randomly suffers a single substitution once every 100 times it is copied. So you wait 500 copy events and find 5 mutations have occured. Then you say, how long would it take for those 5 particular mutations to occur, on average?
Say these are the mutations(in bold) that changed from the above sequence:

How long would you have to wait, on average, before those specific 5 mutations occur? If we started all over again, an exceptionally long time. Because there’s no guarantee that at any point the mutation that happens to occur is the one you’re waiting for. So you could wait for the first 100 copies(lets just call them generations) to see whether a mutation has occurred, and then check if it’s one of the mutations you wanted.
Since there are many more mutations possible than those 5 I have highlighted, chances are much greater that it is not the one you’re waiting for that occurs, so now you have to wait again for another 100 generations. And then the problem repeats, there’s still many more possible than the one you’re waiting for, so it’s likely another one than the one you want. And so on.

This would be very different from asking how long you would have to wait, on average, for just any 5 mutations to occur. We already know that, we waited 500 generations to get 5 mutations. If you just need to wait for any 5 mutations, you just need to wait, on average, for 500 generations to have occurred. Because on average there’s a new mutation every 100 generations.

But since we already know the first 5 mutations evolved in 500 generations, what use is it then to turn around and calculate how long we would have to wait on average for those 5 specific ones to evolve again if we started over? It doesn’t matter which 5 mutations that evolve in those 500 generations, you would always be able to calculate that it should take an extraordinary amount of time for those 5 specific mutations. And yet, we just need to wait 500 generations for some such set of 5 mutations.

When you pick out a particular gene that evolved in some species, and then trying to calculate how long you would have to wait for that gene to evolve from the ancestral state, you are committing the fallacy.

No you aren’t showing that at all. You’re repeatedly asserting that, but you’ve got nothing that shows this. Merely saying, stating, or declaring X, is not to show that X. I can say, state, and declare my ability to fly, but showing that I can fly involves actually flying.

That isn’t showing, that is just talk.

I have just explained above with a hypothetical example that your argument commits this fallacy.

Some times the label is actually correct, and the names for particular fallacies are entirely appropriate. I concede you might have been unable to work out for yourself how and why your statement commits the fallacy, and so needed to have that explained to you. That has now been done. Again.

5 Likes