Message 1 of 2 (649935)
01-26-2012 3:40 PM
A new paper has not only cast doubts on Michael Behe's assertions, it's run a freight train over the top of the ID arguments against evolution.
For a concise version see
The abstract can be found at
Science 27 January 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6067 pp. 428-432
I don't have access to the full text, so would appreciate the input of people who have.
Briefly, it has been shown that a bacteriophage which infects E.coli via the LamB receptor was able to evolve a different mechanism to infect E.coli cells which had very few LamB receptors on the surface. Within only fifteen days there were phage particles using the OmpF protein, something the phage had never been known to do before.
DNA analysis showed that 4 separate mutations were needed for the phage to use OmpF. Of 96 lines, 24 developed the ability to use OmpF and the mutations were identical or almost identical.
This is something that, according to ID, is so improbable that it would either never happen or would take far too long to happen by random mutation and natural selection. The probability of all four mutations occurring simultaneously is approximately 1 in a thousand trillion trillion, so it seems likely that they were gained one at a time, something ID and Behe dismiss out of hand. Even if we accept their claim that stepwise mutations can't result in something bordering on irreducible complexity, they are left dealing with the fact that something with such a low probability of happening, happened within 15 days!
I'd like a very open discussion on this and would like to include those who can't post in the science fora, but I would like the emphasis to remain on the science so have no idea where this would go, since moderation may be required. Whatever Admin decides is fine with me.