Hunter: Finally, the Details of How Proteins Evolve

For the anti freeze protein? Why don’t you just put your own words around it and show you have at least some comprehension of these arguments.

Nice dodge.

I really have no desire to interface any more either unless you are prepared to make your own arguments without logical fallacies.

Lovely is right. LTEE’s entropy reduction is teensy, zero, or actually probably positive. In any case it is inconsequential as a proof of concept of the claim that the astronomical reductions in entropy, which evolution requires, can occur by chance events and natural laws. It seems that LTEE’s main contribution is that it makes evolutionists even more confident in their claims, it that were possible.

This looks like the nylonase case which Cordova demonstrated to exist prior to nylon.

I would like to examine your argument about probabilities and reality very carefully, @Cornelius_Hunter. The scenario under examination will be a very, very serendipitous one: The birth of Cornelius Hunter.

I will begin the analysis with the assumption that the scientific perspective applies: Cornelius is not the product of a stork delivery or an angelic visitation. The science you learned in eighth-grade gym class–or wherever you studied sex ed–should suffice.

Now the happy mother of Cornelius Hunter was born with 2 million ova, but only one would be able to bring young Cornelius into the world, rather than a young George Hunter (ahem, @Paul_Nelson) or Caroline Hunter.

But we haven’t looked deeply enough. At the end of his lifetime, the blissful father of Cornelius Hunter will have produced about 5 billion sperm–only one of which could have produced the Cornelius Hunter we love, rather than Charlie Hunter or Carli Hunter.

But we still haven’t looked deeply enough. Cornelius’ mother could have run off to join a convent, or died of a childhood illness, or–we are reaching unimaginable territory here–married some other man than Cornelius’ blessed father. Similar contingencies exist when we ponder what might have happened to Cornelius’ father prior to Cornelius’ birth. I suggest we estimate that the joint probability of Cornelius’ parents’ getting married and having kids would have been estimated at 1 in 1000 at the time of their birth, decades before Cornelius entered the world. Some would push for a lower estimate, but I see no need to exaggerate the argument.

What, then, was the likelihood of the birth of the Cornelius Hunter we know and love today at the time of his parents’ birth? Since the state transitions in question (production of ova, production of sperm, parents’ life choices and events) are IID, we may simply multiply the probabilities:

1/5B times 1/2M times 1/1K = 10-25

But we haven’t investigated deeply enough. The world would be bereft of Cornelius were it not for the serendipitous birth of his parents. And the world would have been bereft of the birth of his parents had it not been for the serendipitous birth of his grandparents. And the world would have been bereft of the serendipitous birth of his grandparents had it not been for the birth of his great-grandparents. The serendipity we call Cornelius Hunter would not have happened without a long chain of contingent events.

Let’s do the math, starting with his great-grandparents. We will need to estimate the probability of each great-grandparent, each grandparent, and each parent. There is no reason not to use the calculation we already performed, based on the assumption that rates of ova production, sperm production, and life contingencies have remained stable. So let’s use a per individual probability based only on the parents’ reproductive biology and the parents’ life events: 10-25.

Thus the joint probability of the chain of events leading to the serendipity we call Cornelius is:

Great-grandparents: 10-25 * 8 = 10-200
Grandparents: 10-25 * 4 = 10-100
Parents: 10-25 * 2 = 10-50
Serendipitous Cornelius1: 10-25
Joint probability = 10-200 * 10-100 * 10-50 * 10-25 = 10-375

Looking forward from the time of the birth of Cornelius’ great-great-grandparents, then, the probability of the eventual, serendipitous birth of Cornelius was 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

What do we make of this truly infinitesimal probability of such a serendipitous event, the birth of Cornelius Hunter? I propose that we have 3 possibilities:

  1. Epicurean interpretation - We make the metaphysical assumption that no such thing as purpose or meaning exists. Thus the events deemed highly improbable from the scientific perspective, such as the serendipity of Cornelius Hunter, just happen. At the same time, highly improbable events happen every day. We can be highly confident that adult humans will become parents to children, and the children will grow up and often get married. We cannot use science to predict Cornelius Hunter generations in advance, but we can use science to predict with high confidence many Hunter great-grandchildren, given a Mr and Mrs Hunter.
  2. Anti-Epicurean interpretation - Any time an event occurs that, according to science, has a probability of 10-375, we can infer the science must be just wrong. A random sequence of events leading to “CONSTANTINOPLE” spelled out in Scrabble letters on your desk is far more likely than 10-375. Since you would discard the stochastic process hypothesis with respect to the Scrabble letters, you should also discard the stochastic process theory of sexual reproduction you learned in eight grade gym class, since it leads to the conclusion that a serendipitous event that actually happened (the birth of Cornelius Hunter, rather than George, Charlie, Caroline, etc.) would have been prospectively assigned the infinitesimal probability of 10-375. The occurrence of an event which is so highly improbable from the scientific perspective shows that the scientific perspective is wrong, not merely incomplete. Discard what the unbelieving physicians say; the hand of an Intelligent Designer is the only viable explanation.
  3. Providential interpretation - The scientific perspective is correct, but it is incomplete. It is not the only approach to epistemology. It is possible to discern from approaches such as philosophy, religion, and the historical observation of miracles that a highly improbable event is no accident from God’s perspective, because He providentially upholds and interacts with His creation and all the scientifically describable processes within it.

Excluding the third interpretation is what Ravi Zacharias, amongst other philosophers, would refer to as the fallacy of the excluded middle. Personally, I prefer to take this middle approach. I believe the providential interpretation.

1 Nice rhyme, don’t you think? :slight_smile:


I disagree. The output is consistent with random genetic change and selection.

Show the math. It will appear just as did @Chris_Falter’s excellent post.

It has nothing to do with the math it is about the mechanism being a credible cause of what is observed. We observed known cellular mechanisms over many cell divisions generating the functions observed.

What we did not see is a new proteins sequences that would be required to build a flagellum de novo.

If a protein sequence evolved relatively recently de novo from non coding DNA, what evidence should we expect to be able to find in closely related species?

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LOL! Offering “science” from Sal Cordova is like offering “science” from Ken Ham or Kent Hovind. :smile:

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To let everyone else in on the “inside” story, as it were:

The research I am referring to deals with the movement of DNA from the chloroplast to the nucleus in higher plants. It turns out that one can assay for this by placing a transgene in the chloroplast genome that has nuclear (eukaryotic) gene expression signals - promoters, poly(A), among other things. If the transgene codes for an enzyme that confers antibiotic resistance, then one can monitor gene flow from the plastid to the nucleus by screening for resistance to the appropriate antibiotic.

Typically, this sort of study is done by linking the nucleus-enable marker gene with another marker (resistance to a different antibiotic) that is expressed in the chloroplast. This is how one can select for trans-plastomic plants that carry foreign DNA in the plastid genome. This second marker has chloroplast (prokaryotic) gene expression signals, and will not usually be expressed if it finds its way to the nucleus.

The process that moves the nucleus-enabled marker to the nucleus also will carry along linked DNA, such as the chloroplast marker. So, if one first identifies plants that have had the nuclear marker move to the nucleus, and then ask how frequently the second antibiotic resistance marker is expressed (again, a simple selection on suitable media), then one can get a handle of the frequency with which the second marker captures promoters in the nucleus. Long story short - this happens often enough that it can be detected in the laboratory. Which means that, contrary to what ID proponents claim, this sort of event is not fantastically improbable.

There are details I won’t elaborate on here, but they speak to mechanisms that are generally in operation in eukaryotes (and not plant-specific). Beyond this, these studies are all very interesting, and have important ramifications for plant biotechnology.


The event in itself may not be improbable because of the specific circumstances and the mechanism that is causing the resistance.

You left out the role of selection, which would have made the existence of Cornelius Hunter far more probable. Certain even. No need to even consider the role of chance.

There is no need to do a probability analysis as the mechanism that created CH is known and deterministic.

I don’t understand your argument, Mung. Could you elaborate? As you explain, please address the widely accepted axiom that prospective probabilty and retrospective probability are vastly different.


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If we can invoke selection then the probabilities just don’t matter.

You wish to discuss philosophy?

Are you sure @mung? That is not the case as far as I know.

That is not true.

This is correct @Chris_Falter. You got it.

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I’ve got to give it to you, Mung, you can google with the best of them.

Readers of this thread will probably find your contributions more convincing if you engage the details. Linking to a 30-page reference article doesn’t help us understand your argument very well. Or perhaps others are different, so I’ll just say I don’t understand how the reference article pertains to our discussion here.



Which would be the mechanisms that ID proponents insist are fantastically improbable. Why do I need to be repeating this?

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