Rich Lenski takes down Michael Behe and his ID creationism: Part IV


(r_speir) #103

Lenski claims that Behe wants to see a new gene identified before we can admit a new function. Can such a thing occur? A new gene erupt from one of these kinds of experiments?


Well, the truth of the argument in his new book depends upon the truth of the arguments in his previous books. It follows that he is obligated to repeat himself.


Yes. An example is a new beta-galactosidase that evolved in a series of experiments run by Barry Hall.


(r_speir) #106

Lots there. I will read in the future. Sum it for me. Was a new function identified?

(Mikkel R.) #107

First you must define what you mean by “new”. What would qualify as “new” in your view?

How different must A be from B, before A can be considered “new”, as opposed to merely a “modification” or “variation” of B?


As stated earlier, a new function in the form of a new beta-galactosidase was identified.

(r_speir) #109

Not important.

Lenski says, “Lambda’s J protein required several well-matched, interacting amino acids to enable infection via the host’s OmpF receptor. Removing any one of them leaves the virus unable to perform that function”

In this, and other ways, he seems to have gained ground over Behe. But to defeat Behe is not sufficient is it. What must evolutionists do now to bring these preliminary evidences into a picture that becomes credible for their argument?

Did Lenski actually witness an irreducibly complex system? Yes, you say? Ok, Now what?

(Mikkel R.) #110

Of course it’s important because if you don’t first define what you mean by that word, you can just weasel out of conceding that a new function evolved in the beta-galactosidase study you were referenced because it doesn’t qualify as what you meant.

If you don’t define new, I’ll do it for you and you’ll not like my definition.

(r_speir) #111

What I mean is I don’t care because if Lenski is correct he has already identified the arrival of a new function without the addition of a new gene.


Why doesn’t Behe need to bring any evidence into the picture before his arguments are credible?

(Mikkel R.) #113

What they’ve already and always done: Build models and compare their predictions to observations.

(r_speir) #114

You keep Behe’s job small because your evidences are small. Now, indeed, you have seemed to prove some pretty surprising things that seem to support your argument. But you have a mountain to climb whereas all Behe has to do is simply to keep throwing rocks. Your job is much harder. You now have to move forward in this thing and show us how the sum of parts can produce a whole when it comes to irreducible complexity.

(r_speir) #115

A functioning machine, that is. Not just a string of mutations.


Why doesn’t that work in reverse? Our job is small because Behe’s evidence is non-existent.

Why doesn’t Behe have to climb a mountain?

Why doesn’t Behe have to show how these systems are designed? Do you accept his claims without an ounce of evidence?


Mutations count:

(Mikkel R.) #118

So Behe has to basically just point to a handful of degenerative mutations, and that is enough for you to believe that this suffices to show that the totality of evolution will always amount to a history of degeneration?

But scientists now need to do what? It’s not even clear what you would consider to refute Behe. How many constructive mutations are enough? What are the relevant proportions, have you even thought about that?

(r_speir) #119

You’re not reading. I gave Lenski credit.

But here is what you lack. The lambda virus is the prototype of the mutated lambda virus. Lenski demonstrated that.

So what is the prototype of this?


Is your science able to extrapolate backwards and demonstrate from where this functioning machine may have arisen?


You tell us. What did the bacteria have just before they acquired their flagella?

(Bill Cole) #121

Did bacteria without flagella acquire flagella or did those bacteria always have flagella?


That is a question the ID community needs to answer.