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Listen: Michael Behe on a Citrate Death Spiral

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On a new episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe reviews the Long Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) at Michigan State, where Richard Lenki’s team was initially excited to see what they thought was a new species forming in their flasks of E. coli. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

As Behe has written at Evolution News, one flask of E. coli in Lenski’s experiment evolved the ability to metabolize (“eat”) citrate in the presence of oxygen. But along with it came multiple mutations breaking genes, degrading genetic information, and ultimately increasing the bacteria’s death rates. It all goes to support Behe’s thesis in Darwin Devolves: evolution is good at creating niche advantages by breaking things; it isn’t good at building fundamentally novel forms, the very thing the grand narrative of modern evolutionary theory purports to do. 

Photo: From Richard Lenski’s LTEE, by Brian Baer and Neerja Hajela [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons.