Evolution still scientifically stable

Sep 14, 2009

An international team of researchers, including Monash University biochemists, has discovered evidence at the molecular level in support of one of the key tenets of Darwin's theory of evolution.

Monash University's Professor Trevor Lithgow said the breakthrough, funded by the Australian Research Council and published recently in the prestigious journal PNAS, provides a blueprint for a general understanding of the evolution of the "machinery" of our cells.

"Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial." Professor Lithgow said.

A non-Darwinian explanation, from believers of , proposed these complex machines to be "irreducibly complex". In other words they are so neatly complex and complete that they couldn't have evolved but rather must have been designed by an intelligent entity.

"Our research shows that these machines although complete and complex, were a result of evolution.
Simple ''core'' machines were established in the first eukaryotes by drawing on pre-existing proteins that had previously provided distinct, simplistic functions. They therefore stand as proof that Darwin's theory of evolution breaks down at the molecular level," Professor Lithgow said.

As a model system, the research focussed on one specific molecular machine, the TIM complex, which transports proteins into mitochondria. Mitochondria are a compartment of that serve as the energy-producing 'powerhouses'. At a very early stage in evolution, mitochondria were derived from bacteria that lived within the first .

"Our cells literally are chimeras of a "host" cell and these intracellular bacteria. Yet bacteria don't have TIM complexes - to understand where the TIM complex came from we simply applied scientific reasoning and looked at a modern-day bacterium akin to the organism that gave rise to mitochondria." Professor Lithgow said.

The group looked at the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus and found bacterial proteins related to the components of the mitochondrial TIM complex. They then showed that these bacterial proteins are not found as part of protein transport machines.

"François Jacob described evolution as a tinkerer, cobbling together proteins of one function to yield more complex machines capable of new functions." Professor Lithgow said.

"Our work describes a perfect example of Jacob's proposition, and shows that Darwin's theory of beautifully explains how molecular machines came to be."

Source: Monash University (news : web)

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xpst
3.7 / 5 (7) Sep 14, 2009
The ID argument is better stated as "the necessary parts of biological systems have always been necessary, therefore could not have been added sequentially. The necessary parts could not have come together by chance".

This article illustrates a central failing of ID--that in essence, ID is largely useless for prediction/control, as it just tells you when not to think. Michael Behe, an ID proponent and microbiologist, has 'turned off his brain' with regard to abiogenesis--if anyone devises a viable abiogenesis theory, it won't be Behe.

A key confusion/assumption with ID proponents is that 'evolutionary models conflict with religious teachings'. But God could have created the universe 5 min ago with just the right attributes to make it look as it does now. Your brain could now be connected to a supercomputer that is feeding you synthesized perceptions. These possibilities limit science to creating behavioral models that are useful for prediction/control.
brant
1.9 / 5 (9) Sep 15, 2009
They did not prove evolution. I dont believe in IDI either but all they have shown is how malleable organisms are in response to the environment.

I would like to see how one species like chickens evolved from rhinoceros or vice versa.

Maybe this planet "is" genetically engineered by aliens....
MrFred
1 / 5 (6) Sep 15, 2009
Speaking of supercomputers...did you know that DNA is the most complex information system known to man? Did you know that DNA makes man's most complex supercomputer programing achievement look like a baby's rattle toy? Did you know that DNA, whether from bacteria or a human, only has on average one error per 10billion letters of coding? Did you know that we as humans can't even remotely come close to that level of perfection in anything we have accomplished?
And yet we all somehow use our poorly evolved brains to 'know' that the most 'simple' things like DNA carrying machines just happened...
Yet when we look at something 'complex' like a computer, we use our real brains to 'know' that it, and it's programming, had a creator. What gives...
Evolution is nothing more than the religion of people unwilling to admit that there might be something out there smarter than they are.
alq131
3 / 5 (2) Sep 15, 2009
It's not about
Evolution is nothing more than the religion of people unwilling to admit that there might be something out there smarter than they are.

I think most scientists are humble enough to acknowledge and be amazed by something or someone out there that is smarter.
The ID vs. Science debate could be framed this way:
Science is about being able to observe, quantify, predict, observe again and see how close prediction is to observation--so that other predictions can be made. ID is about saying poof...trust that it happened...poof...it may--or may not happen again, only the higher power knows...poof.

ID, when injected into evolution arguments, is a lame attempt at putting religion into science. They are and should be separate. Science can't explain why the universe came into being...but religion does. Science can explain what happened after it came into being and can make accurate predictions about the future.
Teller
5 / 5 (4) Sep 15, 2009
Evolution is nothing more than the religion of people unwilling to admit that there might be something out there smarter than they are.


... and Intelligent design is a simple answer to a complex question that stifles understanding and knowledge.
MrFred
1 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2009
ID, when injected into evolution arguments, is a lame attempt at putting religion into science. They are and should be separate.


Says whom? You? What gives anybody on this planet the right to say they should be separate? What gives anybody the right to say evolution is science but ID is not? Real science cannot, and has not quantitatively ruled out ID (not even close). Real science does not bias itself against any plausible solution (especially not one like ID where there is sufficient evidence to make it just as plausible as evolution if not moreso).
Saying that 'ID is akin religion' is not a scientific method of disqualifying anything! That's why I call evolution a religion...because most who research it do so with preset bias that reads like a bumper sticker 'evolution or bust'. There is not scientific method to their dismissal of other options other than personal beliefs. And that, my friends, is quite simply not real science (no matter what names you call me)
Nive
1 / 5 (1) Sep 15, 2009
What gives anybody the right to say evolution is science but ID is not? Real science cannot, and has not quantitatively ruled out ID (not even close).


Mr.Fred, you should read up on what science and the scientific method actually are before you comment about them. If an idea can't be disproved, it cannot fall into the realm of science. What you call "ID" is most definitely NOT science, because all it does is provide an answer, that can't be proved or disproved, with absolutely no proof. It says there are things we don't understand, and a conscious and intelligent creator, greater than ourselves is responsible for them. Where is there any evidence of that? There isn't. However, there is direct evidence of the evolution of organisms, and this article is furthering it, on the molecular level. There is potential evidence that could disprove evolution, however, it is yet to be found. Everyone knows the first thing you do as a scientist with a theory is try to disprove it.
AllenFactor
3 / 5 (2) Sep 16, 2009
Dr. Michael J. Behe responded to this piece. You would think his response would be a welcomed addition, yet apparently it's being censored by those with motives which seem to lie outside of scientific accuracy. Very disturbing.

Behe's response can be viewed here: http://behe.uncom...in-pnas/

An entry detailing the alarming censorship of his view can be found here: http://www.uncomm...chamber/
AllenFactor
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 16, 2009
Evolution is nothing more than the religion of people unwilling to admit that there might be something out there smarter than they are.


... and Intelligent design is a simple answer to a complex question that stifles understanding and knowledge.


Nonsense. Rather than stifle progress as the Darwinian myth claims, an acceptance of I.D. would instead offer an increase in progress. The I.D. paradigm promotes a higher level of respect for all biological processes, resulting in more cautious work and a greater attention of detail.
MrFred
Sep 16, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Nive
not rated yet Sep 17, 2009
Nonsense. Rather than stifle progress as the
Darwinian myth claims, an acceptance of I.D. would instead offer an increase in progress. The I.D. paradigm promotes a higher level of respect for all biological processes, resulting in more cautious work and a greater attention of detail.


I think that is nonsense. "ID" does not respect the true complexity and beauty of the natural world enough. It's ridiculous that it's even being discussed here.
MongHTanPhD
not rated yet Sep 20, 2009
RE: Neo-Darwinist reductionism vs. Intelligent Design (ID) creationism!?

Recently, I analyzed this confusing neo-Darwinist vs. ID creationist argument in more details here: http://www.physfo...p=423953 "Let's begin the Dialogue and Reconciliation of Science and Religion Now! -- RE: What's mind (or never mind)!? -- Deciphering idiosyncrasies of scientific/religious rationalism vs. neo-Darwinist/ID-creationist irrationalism, in science and philosophy today!?" (PhysForumEU; August 2). [In case this URL doesn't lead to the exact post, this August 2 article can be found on page 153 of the "Dialogue and Reconciliation" thread therein.]

Best wishes, Mong 9/20/9usct1:19p; practical science-philosophy critic; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (iUniverse; 2006) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006).
RobertKLR
not rated yet Oct 04, 2009
I don't buy the ID argument nor do I believe in the "religion" of Evolution. I ask what would compel matter to organize itself into this thing called life and at what time in its development did it make the step from chemistry to biology? A lot of "hows" have been demonstrated but little if any "whys". Why is just as valid a question as how is. Maybe science doesn't have the tools to answer the "why" questions? Maybe there is far more to the questions than our brains can fathom to ask?
Tesla444
1 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2009
I'm afraid I have to agree with RobertKLR on this. Not only are the Evolutionists not asking the right questions they are not asking ANY questions that don't lead back to their Religion of Evolution. They are no different than the Creationists in that respect. We need to come out of our boxes and re-think our Origins. We need to accept that not all ID supporters are Religious nuts and not all Scientists are closed-minded enough to throw Scientific Method right out the window. Let's at least try!! There are enough holes in Evolution and Creationism to drive a truck through, that is, if we are actually looking for what our Origins really are.
Then again, perhaps we are not! Maybe we are all just interested in defending our 'life's work' or our 'political turf'. Too bad!