Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Keith B Miller (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 15:48:33 EDT

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    Some responses to Bert Massie --

    >Not really. If I were to argue for "progressive creation" I could also
    >argue that I don't know that much about exactly how or when or what just
    >that the physical record indicates that at certain junctures there was
    >creation and that it is not known about other junctures.

    Which "certain juctures."? Without specifics, there is no basis for discussion.

    >> One of my points is that once you open the category of "supernatural
    >> form-imposing intervention," there is no limit whatsoever in what you
    >> could propose. Model B is not a specific testable theory, but a way to
    >> keep the door open to irruptive interventionism indefinitely. No
    >> matter how many specific, testable B-type proposals might be defeated,
    >> another one could be proposed.
    >Yes this is true and as such is not a reason to disbelieve in
    >"progressive creation."

    But then it must also be admitted that the position is held independent of
    scientific evidence.

    >Inadequate sounds prejoritive suggesting that somehow God failed the.
    >first time. One could just as easily read this as
    >"Some Christians see evidence that God intervened in the natural progess
    >of the development of the universe to assure that certain anti-probable
    >events occurred. One such example is the origin of plant life on the
    >earth which was key to causing changes in the earths early atmosphere."

    Again, the specifics is where such a position falls apart. What is the
    specific evidence that "God intervened in the natural process of the
    development of the universe..."? If you cannot provide such rigorous
    evidence then the claim falls flat.

    What do you mean by the origin of plant life? Photosynthesis appeared with
    the cyanobacteria as much as 3.5 billion years ago. The eucaryotes appear
    to have evolved by the incorporation of symbiotic bacteria. This seems to
    the origin of chloroplasts in eucaryotic cells. Multicellular algae then
    appear in the late Precambrian with nearly all major algae groups appearing
    before the first metazoans. The first vascular plants were were simple
    rootless and leafless axes with sporangia in the late Ordovician and
    Silurian. Subsequently scale-like structures developed on the axes
    increasing surface area. I could continue on through the evolution of
    terrestrial plants. Seed-bearing plants don't appear until the
    Pennsylvanian, and flower and fruit-bearing plants don't appear until the
    Cretaceous. Again when in this chain is the evidence for God's
    intervention? If you pick one place -- why there and not somewhere else?

    When oxygen was first produced by phtotosynthesis is encountered a huge
    oxygen sink in the form of dissolved reduced iron in the oceans. That
    oxygen sink had to be filled before Oxygen was free to accumulate in the
    atmosphere. Then there was the matter of oxidizing terrestrial sediments.
    It wasn't until the late Precambrian that oxygen levels began to accumulate
    to an extent sufficient to support life in coastal and terrestrial
    environments. During the subsequent history of the Earth, vegetation and
    the storage of organic carbon continued to have important effects on
    Earth's atmospheric composition and climate.

    >Howard, further, one could see the laws of physics as given once and
    >forever as part of the original creation (along with the big bang.) and
    >we could call these "its natural capabilities." Its not about natural
    >capabilities it is about inserting information and assemblies such as
    >At certain points God intervened to make things from his raw material
    >such as biological cells for example.

    Again, at precisely which points? On what basis are those points chosen?


    Keith B. Miller
    Department of Geology
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506

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