Re: [asa] Atheist finds God thru Behe's books....

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Wed Oct 14 2009 - 01:00:10 EDT

Thanks, Rich. So what are the odds that Behe provides which are vanishingly
small? If he didn't say impossible, that would be helpful to know - and it
would help confirm that Stats 101 claim. As far as I know, Behe isn't saying
that such a mutational event has odds so small as to never expect it to
occur in nature - what he's saying is that the number of times such
mutational events would have to pop up renders "random" mutation as being
very unlikely to achieve what it's claimed/assumed to have, in the time
frame we know it has to have. In this case, in extremely supportive
laboratory conditions, after thirty thousand generations and in a single
line, the cells were able to use citrate as a food source (and it's known
that E.coli can digest citrate - but it needed an ability to transport
citrate under oxic conditions).

Again, re Lenski:

"Such a low rate suggests that the final mutation to Cit+ is not a point
mutation but instead involves some rarer class of mutation or perhaps
multiple mutations. The possibility of multiple mutations is especially
relevant, given our evidence that the emergence of Cit+ colonies on MC
plates involved events both during the growth of cultures before plating and
during prolonged incubation on the plates."

Seems pretty reasonable to me. Do you find that going overboard?

On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 12:38 AM, Rich Blinne <> wrote:

> On Oct 13, 2009, at 10:23 PM, Schwarzwald wrote:
> How does Behe take away support for his claims from the paper? I provided
>> the link for you - Behe can speak for himself on this. I just provided some
>> quotes and some additional commentary. And you, of course, can respond to
>> what Behe says as well. I also asked where Behe claims that these things are
>> impossible - he may have done so and I simply missed it, so I'd like to see
>> this quote.
> Behe makes a Stats 101 boo boo. He takes the probability of a single
> mutation and squares it for a double mutation. This is an implicit
> assumption of statistical independence.
><> The
> very title of the Lenski paper reveals that this is NOT true. He claims that
> the mutation is contingent, the probability of the second event is dependent
> on the first one thus breaking the assumption of statistical independence.
> Thus, Lenski refutes Behe. My impossible claim is the odds that Behe wrongly
> computes in EoE are vanishingly small and to use the vernacular the event
> are impossible. It's like saying quantum tunneling my fist through the wall
> is impossible. The odds are non-zero but so close to zero to be effectively
> impossible.
> Rich Blinne
> Member ASA

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Received on Wed Oct 14 01:00:38 2009

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