Some Questions On Nylonase

See this article deleted at BioLogos:

BioLogos deleted the article, stating:

An argument based on the nylonase protein, used in a few website articles and my chapter in Four Views on Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design (Zondervan, 2017), does not show rapid protein fold evolution.

It was criticized at @Agauger, @stcordova, and John Sanford.

I wanted to know though. Which of these critiques of the claim are correct? Are they on point, or did they overstate the case too?

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Six years before deletion is a long time. What’s changed recently?

I see @Agauger objecting that Ohno "did not provide evidence that the “original” gene ever existed or was used, and then going on to claim that Ell already existed and was used as a carboxylesterase without herself providing any evidence.

BioLogos doesn’t make prompt or transparent corrections. My understanding is that they knew for years before taking the article down, so we aren’t looking at anything recent.

I suspect it was Gauger’s analysis, but I can’t be sure.

FYI, not sure relevant here. My discovery of the messy nylonase story and comments that follow.


Thanks @sfmatheson . I’ll take a look. I’m just trying to sort out which of the arguments being made here panned out.

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I remember having a long exchange with Sal Cordova over this back on theskepticalzone a few years ago. In the end I think he had a good case that the NylB enzyme did not evolve by frameshift mutation.

IIRC the original case for de novo evolution of the nylonase enzyme NylB as the product of a frameshift mutation was based on faulty information(Ohno appears to have read a codon incorrectly), and it now appears like all the known enzymes with activity on nylon manufacture waste products are actually diverged duplicates of other enzymes.


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