Darwin's Black Box - Michael J. Behe and Intelligent Design

Breton

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I did maybe a bit too quick review for the book, but I did not want to wait around because I think Behe needs good publicity on Amazon. I just wrote:
{snip}
And... tada! That Anonymous troll made snarky disparaging remarks on my review, just like he did for all the other positive reviews of Behe's book. Sad really. This trolling might just produce the opposite effect of what he intended.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Wasn't quite sure where to put this, but for those who have not looked into materialism, the following is an excellent recent talk by Rupert Sheldrake. It might help to understand why Darwinism is such a sacred cow. Sheldrake also gives a mini-introduction to Whitehead's philosophy and speculates about the Cosmic Mind and the universe as a living organism. Great talk!

 

herondancer

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A few of us were recently discussing why exactly random mutations can't lead to complex features of organisms, like the gears on that jumping insect, and what are the limits of Darwinian evolution, specifically of random mutations. We spent a bit of time on Behe's basic examples of of why natural selection does sort of work, but only at the lowest level of genus (say Galapagos finches), but doesn't work at higher levels. 2 million years in splendid evolutionary isolation for the ancestor finch and all you got was a lot of different kinds of finches. This was useful because there were different kinds of food sources that need different sorts of beaks to access them. But with all that time they still stayed the same kind of bird, of the Thraupidae family.

That led to discussion Behe's polar bear example of how most mutational changes are downgrades in terms of the integrity of the original genes. The change may help in the short run, but it's still accomplished by deleting portions of genetic code, damage to a section of code or the disregulation of the gene's function, either up or down. Examples were brought up of breeding tame foxes and all the different varieties of dogs, which generally have retreated from the form or temperament of their wild originals. Natural selection seem to only be able to get new varieties of plants and creatures by breaking stuff. And once it's broken, there's no fixing it. If it happens often enough, it becomes an "evolutionary dead end" where a creature has no more ability to adapt to environmental changes because more mutations will only go downhill in terms of fitness. There's no way a completely new critter is going to appear in that kind of system.

That moved on to Behe's postulation that to make any sort of real change (a different kind of bird), you would need specific, organized, detailed information infused into the genetics of the creature being modified. This would account for the resemblances through time between fossils in the same family, but also explain the radical jumps in structure and function. The raw genetic materials of the existing creature are available for use, but the rearrangement of that much genetic material all at once (more or less) could never be random. There's just too many factors that have to work flawlessly together. We all marveled at the picture of the plant hopper leg gears. They ensure that both legs are synchronized to create the maximum thrust. Here's a few more, slightly different from the book.

Capture1.jpgCapture2.jpg

Seriously, just as with Behe's flagellum, how could anyone imagine such an elegant, efficient mechanism just popping up out of random mutations?? There's just too many parts that have to be assembled precisely, placed precisely, and work together precisely, not to mention the nervous system being wired to it so the thing hops when it needs too and not any old time. Cool video here.
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I am still not finished with DBB but what I have read so far makes all these posts make a heck of a lot of sense to me.

That led to discussion Behe's polar bear example of how most mutational changes are downgrades in terms of the integrity of the original genes. The change may help in the short run, but it's still accomplished by deleting portions of genetic code, damage to a section of code or the disregulation of the gene's function, either up or down.
I just read one of the old sessions and now it has me thinking of the impacts that may be even more drastic than I can imagine. It is about the DNA changes that we have had according to what the Cs are saying. How can any creature have much functionality left after losing 112 chromosomes of DNA? Kind of a huge "downgrade" I think.

Session 11 March 1995:
Q: (L) AB wanted us to ask what were the original number of chromosomes the human being possessed?

A: 135 pairs.

Q: (T) And we now have 23 pairs. So, we lost quite a few chromosomes. (L) A lot! (T) Will we get them all back?

A: Wait and see.
Far fetched? I'm not so sure. ;-)
 
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