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Posted by daViper on August 6, 1999 01:05:52 UTC

I've cut our previous conversation here since the page was getting too long. I'll take it up at the point of Behe's book. He may not be a YEC but he is one who claims "divine design" and the like.

Maybe the universe WAS "divinely designed", I don't know, but whether it was or wasn't is probably not provable and what difference does it make anyway as far as trying to understand how it works? I don't see that "divine design" is any reason to not seek to understand how it was done so, if it was.

Actually, Behe is an example of one of the more frustrating individuals who are continually making the statement that "there is no evidence for..." (whatever evolution topic you choose) and the reason is that Behe and his ilk simply don't do their homework. (I grow weary of doing it FOR them also.) In this, he is very much like a YEC and their similar claims.

In any case the claim itself is false since papers do in fact exist that attempt to flesh out the details of the evolution of various biochemical systems and structures. Many such citations are included below. But that is only part of the story. There are thousands of additional published papers containing solid and detailed evidence of biochemical evolution:

-Evidence of gene duplications and subsequent functional divergence, or functional loss in the form of pseudogenes. -Evidence of exon shuffling and modular re-use within proteins. -Evidence of both natural selection and neutral drift at the molecular level. -Evidence of the malleable and adaptive nature of molecular evolution itself. For example in recent shocking cases of bacterial drug resistance - the evolution of evolvability. -Evidence that the phylogeny inferred from protein and DNA sequence comparisons is correlated with the phylogeny inferred from evolutionary biology. -Evidence that within every studied biochemical system, the "parts" themselves have evolved, and the interactions between those parts have also evolved. Are we to believe that an intelligent designer builds with components that evolve via the blind forces of mutation, selection and drift? O.K. If so, so be it, but it is what's happenning.

More importantly, the information is readily available and there really is no excuse for not looking it up with the tools we now have via the internet. For instance:

Most of the citations and abstracts below were found using the

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/medline.html

(the governments public medical database)

search engine and microbiology database. A simple search reveals that there are over 13000 articles that contain "evolution" as a major subject keyword - hardly the dead silence that Behe proclaims. Granted, many of these papers do not directly address the problem of adaptive complexity in biochemical systems, but many of them do.

Examples:

-Cells, Embryos, And Evolution: Towards a Cellular and Developmental Understanding of Phenotypic Variation and Evolutionary Adaptability - a recent textbook by John Gerhart and Marc Kirschner (1997 Blackwell Science) - "In writing Cells, Embryos, and Evolution, our aim has been to continue what Darwin started: to understand not only the influence of selection on the path of evolution, but also the capacity of the organism to generate heritable variation upon which selection can act." - Preface / amazon.com bookstore

-Four Billion Years: An Essay on the Evolution of Genes and Organisms by Willam F. Loomis -Vital Dust: Life As a Cosmic Imperative by Christian De Duve

-Immunity and the Invertebrates, Scientific American Nov 1996 - "the fabulously complex immune systems of humans and other mammals evolved over hundreds of millions of years - in sometimes surprising ways." Sharks and the Origins of Vertebrate Immunity, Scientific American Nov 1996 Evolution of immune reactions - "The history and evolutionary pathways of defense reactions among various forms of life are reconstructed" New insights into V(D)J recombination and its role in the evolution of the immune system Evolution and developmental regulation of the major histocompatibility complex Evolution of the IL-6/class IB cytokine receptor family in the immune and nervous systems - "we speculate on a plausible molecular pathway"

Test Tube and Artificial Evolution: -Molecular evolution of an arsenate detoxification pathway by DNA shuffling - "These results show that DNA shuffling can improve the function of pathways by complex and unexpected mutational mechanisms that may be activated by point mutation. These mechanisms may be difficult to explain and are likely to be overlooked by rational design"

No offense, but Behe is full of it and if he did his homework, he wouldn't make such claims. It's easy to be lazy when you don't WANT to believe something.

Sorry, but these guys try my patience sometimes.

Peace.

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