RE: [asa] (fruit flies???) A Message from the RTB Scholar Team

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Tue Apr 22 2008 - 18:02:21 EDT

Thanks Dave and Keith for your response. Let me give an analogy in my


As an engineer, we had a computer board with a memory problem, that was
very random. This happened once. It is frustrating trying to fix a
random fault that occurs infrequently. What we did was write a special
program to hammer the memory in certain areas (physical address ranges).
At one point, one area was really messing-up, so we hammered it even
more. Eventually we narrowed in really close to a problem area, could
get lots of repeats, put a scope on it, and see the exact problem. It
was a timing (design) issue. It is an example of how using intelligence
you can speed things up dramatically that normally happen slower in real
life. I think once we really understand evolution, we can do things
like that in the lab. As I wrote earlier- Craig Venter is experimenting
with "writing" DNA code, going beyond the recent developments of
"reading." I think that is utterly amazing. There are going to be
exciting break-thru's there.


Thanks again for your insight- good points.


Also, Keith said earlier:
"My point here is that species are real biological entities (at least as
understood by most biologists and paleontologists)."


Did you see expelled, the movie? I think it was Prof. Berlinski (sp?)
who said 'evolution' was defined very murkily- unclear- "we don't even
know what species are." Comments? Like YEC Kent Hovind said, Tigers,
Lions, Ligers - "different species but the same "kind."" I want to know
more about that Berlinkski guy- he was interesting... he called Dawkins
"a bit of a lizard."



From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. []
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 1:39 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Subject: Re: [asa] (fruit flies???) A Message from the RTB Scholar Team



You're assuming that we know a great deal more than we do. Indeed, in
common usage, "great deal" would be "infinitely." Mutations in the wild
are random and not all that common. I recall a rate of 1 in 6,000,000 on
some. Most are deleterious or neutral, so may be eliminated by being
less useful or simply swamped in the mass. If beneficial, they may still
be swamped, but they may persist. For speciation, it is necessary for
one rare mutation to be followed by another that produces additional
benefit. However, some benefits only come when there are further changes
that can benefit from the previous mutations. This series has to recur
many times, including changes that produce isolation. (With the new
sequencing going on, we are tracing these changes. But that is not
producing new species.)


For the changes to be used within the lab to produce a new species, we'd
have to know exactly what the change does, how it's controlled, how it
interacts with other genes and control sequences, etc., etc. If a gene
is duplicated, we would have to know that it would not give rise so such
effects as produce Huntington's disease. I note that there is new work
that tells us that, though Pan and Homo differ by only about 2%
genetically, the effective controls are highly different. We're only
beginning to understand how and why.


Now we further need an explanation for such matters as why essentially
the same gene provides the structure of the compound eye of insects, the
distinctive retina of cephalopods, and the vertebrate retina.


The list can be extended indefinitely, and you want somebody to wave a
magic wand and produce a new species in a no more than a few hundred
generations of a limited number of individuals? To what end: to give
something more for YEC to misrepresent?

Dave (ASA)


On Tue, 22 Apr 2008 11:13:24 -0700 "Dehler, Bernie"
<> writes:

        I think we have a difference of definition for "macro
evolution." To the YEC, it doesn't mean large sudden changes. It
means changes across species- such as ape-like creatures to man, or land
animals to whales. Timber wolf to poodle isn't impressive- it is called
"micro evolution" and everyone agrees to those level of species changes.


        If evolution were true (as I think it is), why can we get fruit
flies to evolve into something totally different like a bumble bee or
even some new creature? Not just color or sexual reproduction changes,
but real "new animal" kind of changes-even if it takes 20 generations,
which doesn't take too long with fruit flies (a couple of weeks per
generation). Is the problem still with time scale-we could do it if we
had 300 generations, but that would take 12 years of meticulous


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Received on Tue Apr 22 18:04:26 2008

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