Uncommon or Common Descent?


(Ashwin S) #190

I believe you have a God given freedom for self determination. However, you are presenting a false dichotomy. I don’t see your position as heavily supported by facts.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #191

What position? I take no position. I have an opinion that there is no god(s), no spirits, no devils, no heaven, no hell, no afterlife but I don’t know whether this is true or not. Not having a belief in God actually empowers me to live this life as full of purpose and meaning that I can. What is wrong with that?


(Ashwin S) #192

You started at the wrong place… In my opinion , the first question to ask is “who am I”. Once we settle on an answer to what our subjective experience of consciousness really means, we will be in a position to tackle bigger questions.
In my opinion,this is foundational to any explanation of reality. Athiesm is a top down approach which does not answer the real questions. Or gives false answers divorced from reality. What is required to reach the truth is a bottoms up approach.
Science is only peripheral to such a quest for Truth.


(Bill Cole) #193

I think the limit is less then 10^50 trails or the number of evolutionary resources. With proteins we are dealing with lots of sequence space. Experimentally using Szostak’s ratio of function to sequence length this would limit a very small protein structure to bind to 5 molecules. PRPF8 which is the largest protein in the spliceosome is 25x larger then the protein Szostak referenced and is part of a 200 protein complex.

There is other experimental data that shows rare functional space being observed in living organisms. These papers exist inside both the evolutionary biology community and intelligent design group. One from Doug Axe was cited on Ann Gauger’s list of ID publications.

The evidence is overwhelming that we need to understand the origin of lots of functional information to explain life’s diversity. It’s not clear at all how cells can provide this on their own.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #194

How do you know where I started? I am pretty happy being an atheist.


(Ashwin S) #195

What does anything I said have to do with happiness or the lack of it? I just pointed out a difference in approaching the world… and which questions need to be settled now.
I have also been an athiest for a part of my life by the way.


(Ashwin S) #196

Perhaps you can elaborate on this… and how it improves the probability.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #197

I like the way I approach the world. I have no questions which need to be settled now. I look forward to tomorrow to find out new things.


(Blogging Graduate Student) #198

What does this mean? That less than 10^50 different traits could be generated by evolution, so if we find more than that, its indicative of some kind of designer? Where are you getting that number from?

Being part of a 200 protein complex doesn’t mean it binds to all 200 molecules. I also thought the splicosome comprised closer to 170 proteins, which are involved at different stages, not all at once.

I don’t think there’s compelling evidence that this space is beyond the reach of evolution though.


(Blogging Graduate Student) #199

How evolution improves the probability of adaptation over that of random chance?


(Ashwin S) #200

Ya you said the “natural processes of evolution”, i just wanted to know what you meant.
I know natural selection improves the probability of adaption. But you used a plural indicating there are more…


(George) #201

@Ashwin_s

Natural Selection has lots of moving parts:

  1. improved survival of offspring (but not necessarily improved survival of parents);

  2. vice versa, where the adults live longer;

  3. improved geographic range;

  4. competition WITHIN a species, vs. Competition with OTHER species for the same resources;
    …and no doubt other elements that escape my memory currently.


(Blogging Graduate Student) #202

Well, I was actually referring to selection over a period of time, because the way @colewd phrased it at first made it sound like it an all or nothing thing, as though a neutral sequence had to randomly hit on a highly functional sequence out of the blue, and only then it will be selected for. The point I was getting at is that this isn’t how adaptation usually works, it’s a more gradual stepwise march towards greater and greater functionality.

But since you mention it, there are of course other factors that bias sequence evolution in such a way that it departs from pure chance - recombination, gene conversion, etc.


(Ashwin S) #203

Let him answer George… I am just asking for better understanding…


(George) #204

And so he DID answer… and it was a good one, too. I’m not going to avoid a topic that you grasp poorly.


(Ashwin S) #205

Ok thanks for the clarification.


(Bill Cole) #206

10^50 trials is a generous number for evolution given 60000 generations of the Lenski experiment produced 35 fixed mutations.

170 is fine for argument purposes. So how did evolution generate the functional information to build these?

Its beyond compelling that evolution cannot produce the functional information to build complex features like a spliceosome.


(Blogging Graduate Student) #207

Not sure where you’re getting that number from either, about 70 mutations have been fixed in each of the (nonmutator) populations over the past 60,000 generations in the LTEE. You didn’t answer my question though, what do you mean by “10^50 trials”? How does that connect to fixed mutations?

Why are you running away with this? You’ve gone from talking about the number of binding sites to the production of all the functional information in the splicosome. You must realise how vague the second question is.

I know it is to you, but you’re not providing any arguments to convince anyone else yet.


(Bill Cole) #208

Fixed mutations x time= total number of evolutionary trials.

To create a binding site you need functional information. To build a spliceosome you also need the proteins to perform a very specific function of splicing out introns in the right order to make a specific MRNA.

This is my opinion and I understand yours is different but I don’t know why you believe this other then assumption. How many organized nucleotides do you think a spliceosome requires to build it? How do you claim evolution organized the nucleotides in order do this? Lets see if you can get beyond assertion. A conscious mind can build lots of functional information.


(Blogging Graduate Student) #209

That’s a really strange definition. Can you expand on what an “evolutionary trial” is to you?

Yes, obviously. But you went from making a claim about binding sites to the entire functional information in the splicosome. Maybe you can start by quantifying how much functional information is in the splicosome? Maybe we can work from there.

The kind of conscious mind you’re invoking can do just about anything, but we don’t invoke teleology the minute things get a little complicated. You’ve made the claim that evolution can produce very little funcitonal information, can you explain why?