Re: [asa] Artificial molecule evolves in the lab

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Fri Jan 09 2009 - 13:44:34 EST
Perhaps overclaiming, but still not without implication I think, even though it is basically a subset of an RNA or RNA-like structure, as I understand it. I first heard of this yesterday on NPR (All Things Considered - listen at   ). You can hear a little more of the sense of what happened in the interview.

In the mention of complexity, I was simply alluding to the entropy argument often advanced broadly by the creationist community.

When folks talk so simply about the vector space, those discussions often seem so incomplete to me, apparently ignoring the various mechanisms of selection that are operative in the real case. The mutations are only one necessary half of the evolutionary process. The other is the complementary part that "challenges" the mutational products with respect to robustness or functionality or???

And just repeat an earlier question that I have posed from time to time, without much in the way of response, ...what might be the most simple explanation we can think of to explain the enormity of Creation other than to render more probable, or give greater opportunity to the unlikely??


David Clounch wrote:

You seem to be saying this report has implications.  If so, I think you are over-claiming.

Can you point to someone who made the argument about complexity that you claim to refute? It wasn't Behe's argument, for example.   Might have been someone else's.  But who?  You are probably correct that someone out there does make such a claim but why does that matter?  I'd be willing to bet that it isn't anti-evolutionists who make this claim about complexity, but the anti-anti-evolutionists (who arent the same thing as pro-evolutionists, whatever that might be) who are putting words into  the mouths of anti-evolutionists.  

This  is why it is important to put the report, and it's implications, if there are any,  in the context of an actual claim about the  phenomena of complexity when one uses it. 

I don't think the report has any implications that can be applied to the claims of groups. It's a real stretch.

Am I making any sense?

Now, down to what I think of the report. I think the approach of  Mike Gene is correct. A bunch of engineers came up with a mechanism that might or might not occur in nature all on its own. So engineering principles were applied. 

I also think of it mathematically. The reported mechanism is a vector in a space consisting of all possible mechanisms. The engineers populated part of that space that previously was empty.  To me, thats all normal.  It doesn't address the question asked by Behe.  The question asked by Behe has to do with whether a set of curved lines  in that space are all likely to intersect at a certain point. Is there a solution?  Might be. But Behe never claimed the math proves there is no solution. He merely said it is not likely for there to be a natural process that produces the solution. So it is reasonable to believe that it  takes engineering to create the intersection.  To refute this, and show that it is not reasonable to believe there must be engineering,  one has to show either that the solution is necessary, or  that it is likely in the absence of engineering.
The report has nothing to do with either. If anything, the report  supports Mike Gene's assertions about engineering. (but I already said that above, didn't I?).



On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 9:38 AM, Jim Armstrong <> wrote:
This has the apparent effect of conclusively negating a pivotal anti-evolutionist argument to the effect that more complex entities cannot evolve from less complex - JimA [Friend of ASA]

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