BIO-Complexity Paper Shows Many Multi-Mutation Features Unlikely to Evolve in History of the Earth

Doug Axe of Biologic Institute has a new peer-reviewed scientific paper in the journal BIO-Complexity titled “The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations.” The purpose of this paper is to mathematically determine just how long it takes to evolve traits that require multiple mutations before any adaptive benefit is conferred on the organism. To put this question in context, the ability of Darwinian evolution to produce features that require multiple mutations before gaining a benefit has been an issue long-debated between proponents of intelligent design (ID) and proponents of neo-Darwinism. In their 2004 peer-reviewed paper in the journal Protein Science, Michael Behe and David Snoke simulated the evolution of protein-protein interactions Read More ›

Why Does Ruse Act Like He’s an Expert on Theology?

Several months ago, I participated in a two-hour radio “debate” with Michael Ruse (along with Guillermo Gonzalez and Carlos Calle) about design in cosmology and astronomy. Several times, Michael Ruse lectured me about Christian theology. But it had a surreal quality to it, since he was talking about the theology he (as an agnostic) preferred, but he kept acting as if he was representing Christian theology accurately. I finally insisted that I actually did know a good bit about theology and that he was just making stuff up. Ruse’s responses to Stephen Fuller in the Guardian over ID have that same, surreal quality. For instance, here’s how he distinguishes the difference between the Protestant and Catholic views of justification:

Interview With Author of New Paper on the Limits of the Darwinian Mechanism

Pretty much everyone agrees that natural selection acting on random genetic mutations can explain some things. The really interesting question is, how much can it explain? Since Darwin’s mechanism seems intuitively plausible, we’re often tempted just to trust our intuitions rather than to look at the hard data. And yet the data increasingly show that, whatever its intuitive attractions, the powers of selection and mutation are surprisingly limited. In many cases, new biological functions require several mutations. And everyone agrees that natural selection doesn’t have foresight. But it’s widely assumed that if each of the individual mutations leading to new functions are themselves adaptive, then natural selection can traverse the pathway. Again, this makes intuitive sense. But what about the Read More ›