How Does Biological Evolution Deal With This?

They don’t assume it, they provide evidence in support of that conclusion.

Yes, obviously. If you read the paper, you’d see that only a small part of the Transposon, repeated several times, comprises the Reflectin gene.

Once one Reflectin gene exists, others most likely arose through duplications of it.


What can 1 reflectin gene do? I don’t know and I don’t think you do either, but if it helps the octopus survive, then your assumption of irreducible complexity fails.

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It doesn’t even have to help the octopus. If it doesn’t kill the octopus, it can hang around in the gene pool indefinitely.

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There seems to be no obvious reason why an organism possessing a single Reflectin gene wouldn’t be capable of employing it to improve its camouflage.
Most papers characterising the optical properties of these proteins do so one protein at a time, and each one in isolation have desirable optical properties for camouflage.

Reconstruction of Dynamic and Reversible Color Change using Reflectin Protein


I will again remind @scd and other denialists here of how little the image in that art app has to resemble the Mona Lisa before it is already recognizable beyond any doubt.


not if we assuming a minimal bar for a functional sequence. so if we assume that in general a functional new protein evolve one in say a billion mutations, the chance to get 3 new proteins is about one in 10^27.

are you talking about theology? im more interested in the scientific side for now.

if their evidence is sequence similarity than no, it cant be used as evidence for a natural process since it can also be the result of design.

im not sure if these copies are identical. if they arent then its not just duplications but also duplications+new mutations.

if we dont know then we dont know if such a system can evolve.

depend in the situation. even if the first 2 mutations were neutral it might take almost the same time as 3 mutations at once.

You are assuming those mutations are the only mutations capable of producing functional sequence. Again, that is the Sharpshooter fallacy.

You need evidence to back this assertion.


Try this out:

Take three dice. Your goal is to have them all show 6.

First, do it this way: Throw all three and, if any show 6, keep it, and throw the remaining ones. Keep doing until all have come up six.

Next, keep throwing all three at the same time until they simultaneously come up 6.

Do you think both processes would take the same amount of time?


Can you tell us how that art app can explain this example of mimicry?

Evolutionary theory explains it quite easily. The small fly-shaped spots are evolved camouflage. The pattern evolved over time because the large fly with spots on his wings which resemble smaller flies has a distinct advantage in surviving predator attacks than large flies without the spots.

Your ID-Creationist explanation is…?



Flies with blobs on the wings that accidentally look just a little bit like smaller flies were better able to evade predators. Of the one’s that survived, there remained variations in the degree to which the random blobs resembled smaller flies and as over successive generations the ones whose blobs best resembled smaller flies survived to have offspring, the blobs increasingly more closely resembled smaller flies to the point that is depicted in your photograph.

This pretty much exactly the process that is illustrated by the computer app. Pretty basic stuff, really.


Are you familiar with the ninth commandment? Thou shall not bear false witness that thou only speakest science when what thou verily believest is special creation of each and every kind.


I will just add that this may not even have happened because the blobs looked like flies. They migh just have provided non-specific camouflage or some other advantage.


Any piece of data can be explained multiple ways. We go with the best possible explanation, in this case the one that we can actually observe - a natural evolutionary process. Or do you reject the utility of paternity testing on the basis that the sequence similarity between 2 people could also be the result of “natural design”?

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Why would some darker spots on the wing of the bug would allow it to better evade predators? What are the evidences for this scenario, which, as far as I can tell, amounts to a just-so-story.

Read my follow up post. It’s not that long.

Sure, adaptation is not really necessarily an important explanation for the things we observe in biology. That’s a problem for creationism that is not often sufficiently appreciated.

However, I was answering your question regarding what aspect of evolution was illustrated by the art app I linked. Do you understand now?

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I understand that the art app illustrates how adaptations can emerge in situations where the paths leading to them can be traversed by small, incremental selective steps. But in biology, this situation is the exception, not the rule. And I am sceptical about the fact that the fly mimicry on the wings of the bug emerged through a Darwinian pathway.

Predators aim for the spots on the wings when they attack flies. They divert attention away from the main body of the insect. If the initial attack by a predator fails to capture the fly by latching onto it’s body, but instead just slip off the wing, the fly can escape and the predator doesn’t get a 2nd chance.

To get specific evidence for how this pattern evolved you’d have to do observations of what the wings spots do for different species of flies, and their distribution on a phylogeny of living flies.

which, as far as I can tell, amounts to a just-so-story.

No account of a past even can ever NOT be a “just so story”. The design/creationism story would ALSO be a just-so story. The real question is what data we have, and how we best explain that data with an actual model that makes testable predictions.


No, the other way around. It is the rare exception that adaptations can NOT emerge by small, incremental selective steps. The sizes of spots, the magnitudes and intensities of their colors, their shapes, how many they are and their exact location, are all attributes that owe to changes in gene regulation. And gene-regulation is not all-or-nothing, black/white, fully on/fully off. It comes in extremely tiny gradations.


Please explain why coloured blotches on the wings of flies cannot undergo minor changes in shape between generations. Are you under the impression that those blotches were exactly the same shape among every single member of the species at some point? That would be something like every single member of a species of zebra having exactly the same pattern of stripes, and would be a requirement of your argument. I wonder how you would substantiate it.