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Go to: Richard Dawkins' 'Greatest Show on Earth' Exposed

Dave Schultz's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Dave Schultz

Pointing out that a functional 150 unit chain of amino acids is improbable and therefore could not have been produced by random mutation is exactly like pointing out that an eye is improbable and therefore could not be produced by random mutation, and both statements are wrong for the same reason. In order for Natural selection to work, there simply has to have been a series of functional and beneficial (or at least not detrimental) intermediates between utter simplicity and any complex organ/tissue/molecule that we observe.

You can get an modern eye from a non-eye if there exist many millions of intermediates between the two, each of which is functionally superior to the last and is therefore favored by natural selection. It is the same with proteins. You can get to a very complex protein from an extremely simple one so long as there exist intermediates along the way, each of which confers some type (any type) of advantage on the organism. The function of any intermediate protein need not be in any way related to the function of the modern 150-unit protein in question.

All this is is a doctored up irreducable complexity argument. "if this protein were off by one amino acid, it wouldn't do what it does, therefore it couldn't have evolved!"

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 03:16:00 UTC | #429890

Go to: Richard Dawkins' 'Greatest Show on Earth' Exposed

Dave Schultz's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Dave Schultz

He's right that the probability of randomly lining up 150 amino acids into a functioning protein is vanishingly small - this is the steep front of Mount Improbable. The back of Mount Improbable in this example would consist of a functional protein made of 149 amino acids, another made of 148, etc, all the way down to functional proteins made of just a few amino acids - each of which can be hit upon by natural selection in the vast amounts of time available.

We'll probably never know every intermediate protein that lead to a particular modern protein, just as we'll never have a complete fossil record showing every intermediate step from the origin of life to us. ID proponents that jump on these limitations to our knowledge are just making the same old God of the Gaps argument.

Thu, 07 Jan 2010 23:29:00 UTC | #429828

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