"Darwin Devolves" Ch 1: The Pretense of Knowledge

No. Once again: Behe was talking about loss-of-function mutations that are advantageous in some particular environment.

1 Like

But are they LOF? We’re talking about the 9 fixed mutant APOB alleles in the polar bear, correct?

That, or at least reduced function, is Behe’s claim as far as I can see. Evolution can only break stuff, and sometimes breaking stuff is advantageous.

But all the circumstantial evidence points to gain of function for those alleles.

That is correct. It is very puzzling to see him dismiss this as evidence against evolution of new function.


I have not read the book yet. I think it would be more appropriate if you were to address that question to Nathan or Joshua.

On February 8th our review is coming out in Science. On February 28th, Behe’s book is coming out. No need to rush this.


@Mung Read the first chapter and use your knowledge to access it

On February 8th our review is coming out in Science.

Wow, congrats on that!


i predict that behe still doesnt know that slightly deleterious mutations can be selected

1 Like

“Selected” is perhaps the wrong word. By definition, deleterious alleles can’t be selected; neutral alleles can’t be selected. But they can be fixed by drift. Behe may not understand this, but that’s a problem with his last book, not necessarily this one.


It doesn’t matter, because even deleterious mutations can be fixed due to genetic drift.

Yet more misinformation.

Don’t be silly, there was no misinformation.

Selected for, selected against. Deleterious mutations are selected against. They’re not selected, the beneficial ones are. That’s the sense in which mutations are selected.

Thanks John Harshman for the correction. I remember when Behe critiqued CNE, he only sees in black and white:

No, I said selected against. That word in my sentence was there for a reason. This is your typical brainless semantics trolling. Get your shit together.


How is it selected against if it is not selected? And what is purifying selection, selection for purification or selection against purification?

I’m seeing what appears to be a misunderstanding of the basic terminology.

1 Like

Think of alcohol distillation. You purify the alcohol by leaving the water behind. The same applies to alleles where you select for the fitter alleles and leave the less fit alleles behind.


Is it that you didn’t understand what I said, don’t understand what Wikipedia says, or just don’t care if it means you can score a point? Winning again!