It is my pleasure to welcome back @Agauger to Peaceful Science, after her brief absence.
She wanted to respond in detail to @Art Hunt’s explanation of an important paper that directly demonstrates an important evolutionary mechanism in the laboratory. This paper was quoted in our science review of Darwin Devolves (Darwin Devolves: The End of Evolution?).
Behe and Gauger’s Response to This Study
Our discussion of Behe’s response is here: Behe's Trainwreck Response to Science
Our discussion of @Agauger’s response is here: https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/gauger-realtime-evolution-by-innovation-amplification-and-diversification/4828
Regarding this reference, Behe writes:
Let me emphasize: in reviewing a book expressly advocating intelligent design, Lenski et al. can’t seem to distinguish between experiments where investigators keep their hands off and those where investigators actively manipulate a system. Perhaps they can’t see the difference.
At this point four people from DI (including Behe and @Agauger) have objected on the same grounds that this is a “designed” experiment. I do not understand this objection. It is an experiment designed to test an evolutionary mechanism. The fact it is designed does not erase what it tells us about this evolutionary mechanism. This seems to me (and most biologists) as an implausible objection.
On side note, it seem Behe is unfamiliar how Lenski’s LTEE experiment works. The researchers are very hands on with these bacteria. Setting that aside, in our review we write:
modern evolutionary theory provides a coherent set of processes—mutation, recombination, drift, and selection—that can be observed in the laboratory and modeled mathematically and are consistent with the fossil record and comparative genomics.
Gene duplication followed by divergence is a process that we can observe directly in the laboratory (in systems engineered to test it) and is consistent with the fossil record and comparative genomics (outside the laboratory). It explains how new functional information arises.
One another thread (Leisola: Cited to Attack Darwin Devolves, Study Devolves on Close Inspection), @art offered this excellent explanation. This is the explanation to which @Agauger wants to respond now.
Our Goal is Understanding, Not Agreement
Before returning to this conversation, I want to be clear what our goals are and what we can expect.
The goal here is understanding. @Art’s explanation of this paper is lucid and (it seems to me) correct.
In the past, @Agauger has also explained what her limits are too. She is an employee of the Discovery Institute, and a colleague of Behe and Axe. Even if @art has not made any errors, she may not be willing to concede any of Behe or Axe’s arguments. We should all respect these limitations.
Nonetheless, I hope we can understand why DI thinks this is a valid objection, and they can understand why most scientists reject their objection as invalid. The goal here is understanding, not agreement.