Ignorant antievolutionists

From: Glenn Morton (glenn.morton@btinternet.com)
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 00:08:30 EDT

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    I want to highlight this question by Peter Ruest.
    He is criticizing me for believing that anti-evolutionists hold that one and
    only one sequence of amino acids is capable of performing a given function.
    I cite below, lots of anti-evolutionists who do precisely that. And they
    are not all YEC. Peter wrote:
    >Of course, all this has nothing to do with the idea that there can be
    >only one active cyt.c sequence. I wonder where you get that idea from.
    >Do you know of anyone ignorant enough to hold it?

    Yeah, lots of anti-evolutinists are that ignorant. Ignorant is your word so
    I will use it.

    I would point you to
    Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley and Roger Olson, _The Mystery Of Life's
    (New York: Philosophical Library, 1984), p. 138. (See also the
    discussion on page 145-146) This is an excellent book (no doubt
    because I got to review a chapter prior to publication -- O. K.,
    so maybe that isn't the reason!). :-) However, in their
    discussion of the configurational entropy, of E. coli, with 4 x
    10^6 nucleotides, they use the same assumption that only one
    configuration of the nucleotides will form an E. coli. The
    relevant equation is (8.12 and there is an error in the use of
    parentheses in the book)

          Entropy= kT ln(omegacr)-ln(omegacm)

    omegacm is the configurational entropy of the molecule containing
    a given message, and omegacr is the configurational entropy of
    the same molecule with a random order. (see page 132-133). On
    page 137 they state,

    "If only one specific sequence of amino acids could give the
    proper function, then the configurational entropy for the protein
    or specified, aperiodic polypeptide would be given by

    Scm = k ln(omegacm)

         = k ln 1

         = 0"

    Note they assume only 1 amino acid sequence will perform the function.
    They also assume that only 1 DNA sequence will make an E. coli. Which is
    In equation 8-12 where they calculate the entropy per gram they use

    entropy = kTln{(4 x 10^6)!/(10^6!)(10^6!)(10^6!)(10^6!)) -kT ln 1

    By using the 1 at the end of that equation, they are saying that
    one and only one permutation of the DNA molecule of an E. coli
    will make an E. coli. We know that is not true. There are all
    sorts of strains of E. coli (some of them kill you if you eat
    them at Jack in the Box in Washington state). All these strains
    are based upon different sequences in the genome.
          The real question is how many permutations are there which
    will make an E. coli? I don't know, but it is more than one! If
    it were only one, then the odds of forming that specific string
    by chance would be 1 chance out of 4^4,000,000 --- a very
    large number.

    In fairness to Bradley, in an unfortunately often heated exchange, he did
    admit that this was a mistake.

    Davis and Kenyon are also claiming only one sequence would work:

    "But the probability of forming just one specific protein in an
    undirected search is practically zero.
            "Consider a small protein cosisting of 100 amino acid units.
      How many different combinations of the basic 20 amino acids
    are possible in a chain of 100 units? The answer is 20^100 = 10^130
    (1 followed by 130 zeros). This number is so enormous that
    there has not been enough time during the conventionally
    accepted age of the universe (15 billion years) to try to find
    the specific combination of one protein!" ~ Percival Davis and
    Dean H. Kenyon, Of Pandas and People, (Dallas: Haughton
    Publishing Co., 1993), p. 54

    The only way you can get the numbers they cite is to have only 1 working
    sequence with all others not working. And cytochrome c is about 100 amino
    acids long.

    And Gange writes:
    "Hemoglobin contains two trains totaling 574 cars - each selected
    from among twenty kinds of amino acids. The number of ways we can
    assemble these hemoglobin trains is so vast that it is a trillion
    trillion (repeat twenty times more) times the entire number of
    stars in the universe, despite this, only one combination known to
    man carries oxygen most efficiently in your blood." ~ Dr. Robert
    Gange, Origins and Destiny, (Waco: Word, 1986), p. 73

    Doubt this? Look at Gange's use of 'particular'. We don't need to find a
    particular dna sequence, lots will do.

    "The argument that a near impossible arrangement can easily appear (some
    sequence of the fifty-two cards) is erroneous because it presumes that each
    of the many trillions upon trillions of ways that the cards can be arranged
    organizationally functions to satisfy life's requirements. But this is
    hardly the case. For example, to explain the origin of life we must explain
    the origin of a particular sequence of nucleotide bases in the DNA blueprint
    that instructs cells to manufacture protein, including the production of
    three thousand vastly complex enzymes that supply the 'workmen' responsible
    for doing the actual assembly." ~ Dr. Robert Gange, Origins and Destiny,
    (Waco: Word, 1986), p. 85-86

    Gish seems to think that only one RNA sequence of the tobacco virus is
    workable. That is the only way to explain his calculations. Billions of
    mutant varieties are possible and would still work.

    The RNA of tobacco mosaic virus contains about 6,000 nucleotides. The
    probability that this molecule results by random combination of the four
    nucleotides is 1/4 6000 = 10-2000. Since the whole cosmos has an estimated
    weight of 1080 protons, it would be practically impossible to obtain even
    one such ribonucleic acid molecule in a billion years, by a random process,
    even if the whole world consisted of a reacting mixture of nucleotides! A
    nucleic acid containing 10,000 nucleotides would have 10 800 isomers!" ~
    Duane Gish, Speculations and Experiments Related to Theories on the Origin
    of Life A Critique, ICR Technical Monograph 1,(El Cajon: Institute for
    Creation Research, 1972), p. 24-25

    Russell Maatman says the same silly thing, and I think Russell is a very
    smart guy.

    "Second, the number of ways of placing a given group of amino acids in a
    sequence is unbelievably great, although only one of those ways would be
    'correct,' that is, functional." ~ Russell Maatman, The Impact of
    Evolutionary Thought: A Christian View, (Sioux Center: Dordt College Press,
    1993), p. 87-88.

    But he is absolutely wrong here.


    see http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/dmd.htm
    for lots of creation/evolution information
    personal stories of struggle

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