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

From: Schwarzwald <schwarzwald@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Oct 14 2009 - 01:18:57 EDT

Hello Dennis,

I don't hold what Behe says to be gospel, of course. I'm simply going by
Behe's own response to Lenski's work. But I definitely welcome your input
here, so thank you.

So if you don't mind, I'd ask you as well:

"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."

Is that a reasonable claim? Or is it going overboard?

Thanks once again.

On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 1:13 AM, Dennis Venema <Dennis.Venema@twu.ca> wrote:

> The geneticist canít resist weighing in here:
>
> Rich is correct: Behe built his whole book on a flawed understanding of
> elementary statistics. Iíve read all of EoE, and Behe is wrong. He assumes
> you need all needed mutations (two or three) in one fell swoop. Lenskiís
> work neatly shows up Beheís premises to be flawed, but so did real malaria
> research BEFORE Behe published.
>
> Have you ever had to mark a paper where a bright student thought they had a
> great idea, researched it reasonably well (but missed a few key references),
> presented reasonable-sounding argument with good grammar, etc Ė BUT had a
> completely failed premise that you could have pointed out with a 5 minute
> conversation? Now you know how I felt reading EoE.
>
> There is a reason why peer review by competent scholars in the field is so
> important.
>
> Dennis
>
>
> On 13/10/09 10:00 PM, "Schwarzwald" <schwarzwald@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> 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 <rich.blinne@gmail.com>
> 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.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_(probability_theory)<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_%28probability_theory%29><
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_%28probability_theory%29> 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 01:19:08 2009

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