Richard Lenski has acquired a challenger for the title of “Best Experimental Evolutionary Scientist.”
Turning a protein shaped to do one particular job into a protein that does just a slightly different job (which most biologists, including myself, had thought would be as easy as pie) turned out to be much more difficult than expected.
Let us count the ways in which “fortune” favored the evolution of the modern protein.
The authors think that over evolutionary time, neutral processes would tend to “complexify” the cell.
The more that is learned about Darwin’s mechanism at the molecular level, the more ineffectual it is seen to be.