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Author Topic:   "How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random"
iano
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 1 of 8 (488617)
11-13-2008 4:23 PM


From rgb's OP

Princeton Top News Stories Archives writes:

A team of Princeton University scientists has discovered that chains of proteins found in most living organisms act like adaptive machines, possessing the ability to control their own evolution.

The research, which appears to offer evidence of a hidden mechanism guiding the way biological organisms respond to the forces of natural selection, provides a new perspective on evolution, the scientists said.

The researchers -- Raj Chakrabarti, Herschel Rabitz, Stacey Springs and George McLendon -- made the discovery while carrying out experiments on proteins constituting the electron transport chain (ETC), a biochemical network essential for metabolism. A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order.

"The discovery answers an age-old question that has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin: How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random, operating like a 'blind watchmaker'?" said Chakrabarti, an associate research scholar in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton. "Our new theory extends Darwin's model, demonstrating how organisms can subtly direct aspects of their own evolution to create order out of randomness."

A thought occurs to me: if you were to face the question that has apparently puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin then;

a) how would you answer this question to your own satisfaction (if a believer in the ToE)?

b) why do you think your answer wouldn't satisfy experts in the field? Or to put it another way; what do you know that they apparently didn't up to now?


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by subbie, posted 11-13-2008 6:37 PM iano has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Granny Magda, posted 11-13-2008 6:48 PM iano has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Larni, posted 11-14-2008 3:47 AM iano has not yet responded
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 11-15-2008 2:38 PM iano has not yet responded
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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 8 (488621)
11-13-2008 5:28 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
subbie
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 3 of 8 (488626)
11-13-2008 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
11-13-2008 4:23 PM


Wow, either you are a different person now posting under iano's account, or you haven't been paying any attention whatsoever to what people are saying here. Evolution isn't completely random, so your question is based on a false premise.

'Nuff said.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
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Granny Magda
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Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 4 of 8 (488628)
11-13-2008 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
11-13-2008 4:23 PM


What Randomness?
Hi Iano,

A thought occurs to me: if you were to face the question that has apparently puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin then;

Does it really puzzle biologists? All of them? Most of them? Or just Raj Chakrabati and co.?

a) how would you answer this question to your own satisfaction (if a believer in the ToE)?

It's a nonsense question. Evolution is not random, so the question, being founded on a false principle, is irrelevant.

Individual mutations are indeed random but natural selection is not. The physical and chemical processes within which evolution must occur are very definitely not random. Evolution, viewed as a whole, is very far from random.

Unguided and random are not synonyms.

b) why do you think your answer wouldn't satisfy experts in the field? Or to put it another way; what do you know that they apparently didn't up to now?

You have not demonstrated that experts in the field are unsatisfied.

Here's what one expert, PZ Myers, had to say about the bolded section of the quote;

quote:
That first sentence is not even wrong. Darwin answered the question of how complexity can arise, so no, we haven't been puzzled by that general question; evolution is not completely random, so that part is a complete non sequitur; randomness easily generates lots of complexity, so even if we accept his premise, it invalidates his question; and how does he reconcile his assertion of "completely random" with his use of the simple metaphor of the "blind watchmaker", which implies non-randomness? That's a sentence that contradicts itself multiple times in paradoxical ways.

Sounds good to me. Does that help clarify matters?

Mutate and Survive.


"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iano, posted 11-13-2008 4:23 PM iano has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3975
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 5 of 8 (488644)
11-14-2008 3:47 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
11-13-2008 4:23 PM


An biological mechamism that is self regulating; how strange.

There is not really much anyone can add to the above:

Evolution is not random.

Surely, you know this already?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iano, posted 11-13-2008 4:23 PM iano has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1372 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 6 of 8 (488711)
11-15-2008 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
11-13-2008 4:23 PM


Who the hell is rgb? What does it stand for?

Anyway, not all of evolution is random.

"The discovery answers an age-old question that has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin: How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random, operating like a 'blind watchmaker'?" said Chakrabarti, an associate research scholar in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton. "Our new theory extends Darwin's model, demonstrating how organisms can subtly direct aspects of their own evolution to create order out of randomness."

Iano, let me clue you on something. When scientists talk like this, they're not necessarily talking about the technical aspects of it. In other words, you could see it as half joking.

I interpret that quote to mean he's saying we've found one more aspect of evolution that isn't random.

A few years ago, I read an article in a scientific journal about an experiment that went wrong. A group of paleontology students built a model of a flying dino from the jurassic period. The model had motors attached so the thing was suppose to fly under it's own battery power. After they launched it, something went wrong with the motor and the thing crashed. During a press conference, the professor remarked that scientists have always wondered how this creature flew because of its design or why it went extinct, but now both of those questions seemed to have been answered.

I'm willing to bet you're one of those who would use the professor's one quote to somehow argue that scientists doubt the creature ever existed or that the creature ever flew at all.

iano writes:

b) why do you think your answer wouldn't satisfy experts in the field? Or to put it another way; what do you know that they apparently didn't up to now?


You impress me by your denseliness. Somehow, you've focused into a single quote and interpret that to mean the experts don't know anything about the subject.

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

Edited by Taz, : damn it, keep finding grammar and spelling mistakes


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18312
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 7 of 8 (488712)
11-15-2008 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
11-13-2008 4:23 PM


I don't know what they're smoking over at Princeton, but it must be pretty potent if they've forgotten that selection is not random.

It may be as Taz surmised that they're just engaging in a bit of hyperbole. Obviously any chemistry that acted to correct unfavorable protein imbalances would be strongly selected for.

--Percy


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Adminnemooseus
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Posts: 3879
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 8 of 8 (488732)
11-15-2008 11:39 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taz
11-15-2008 2:38 PM


Source of the message 1 quote - Closing this topic
Who the hell is rgb? What does it stand for?

rgb is an inactive member who apparently hasn't posted since 2006.

But I've now found rbp and his "News and Information" topic Evolution's new wrinkle: Proteins with cruise control provide new perspective. The ultimate source, as previously listed there, is this.

Why a new topic was started is a mystery. I'm going to close it down. Please go to the source topic.

Adminnemooseus


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