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Matt
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Hey guyz Im in my final year of highschool and for my human biology class we are doing evolution. At the moment im supposed to be doing evidence 'for' evolution. I was looking up stuff on protein sequences and amino acid stuff when i came upon this and started reading.

 

http://www.evolutionisimpossible.com/chemistry.html

 

Im new to evolution so has any read this website and more specifically this article. Id like to hear some comments from individuals that are more informed then me on the subject. It would be interesting to hear some people cut the main parts and tell me whats being said because the article basically says that it is impossible and nobody can refute that. 100% sure?. Thanks guyz

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I'm not sure you're in the right forum for this question Matt, but I can tell you just from reading the first paragraph that this article builds a strawman of evolution.

 

Evolution does not speak to the origins of life, that's a completely different branch of study and should not be used to critique evolutinary theory.

 

Evolution ONLY speaks to what happened AFTER the first cells arose. And even then, it's only really saying that slight genetic differences devolop over time to the point that the new creature is different enough that it can be considered a new type of creature. That's all.

 

Now there's lots of theories w/in evolution: Natural Selection, genetic drift, etc. And these are all certainly debatable in the amount of effect (if any) they have on this process.

 

In addition, there's always dangers when using statistics such as this article does. I'll give you an example:

 

In other words, the probability of the formation of only one protein molecule is "1 in 10300." The probability of this "1" actually occurring is practically nil. (In practice, probabilities smaller than 1 over 1050 are thought of as "zero probability").

 

It looks pretty damning at first doesn't it? But the author fails to take into account several factors that would drastically change his numbers. First - we talking about a process that had BILLIONS of years to do trial-and-error runs. Second - he gives no relavance to the amount of materials that might be interacting. In a vessel the size of a small sea, the amount of materials interacting would be staggering, greatly increasing the odds of such a formation. Third - Even at the levels of probabilty he's talking about, it's still possible. The odds of winning the lottery are nearly as bad, and people win those all the time.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that any article that tries to attack Evolution from the point of it not addressing origins is being dishonest about what evolution actually says...

 

 

Good Luck with your paper!

IMOHO,

:thanks:

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Guest droskey

I'd like to add my two bits. Skankboy is correct, this article doesn't deal with evolution. It is addressing abiogenisis, the emergence of life from nonliving chemicals.

 

That being, said the article is oversimplified and doesn't necessarily paint an accurate picture of what scientists really believe about abiogenisis. Let me insert this caveat: I am a physicist, not a molecular biologist. Like you, I only know what I have read. So take what you will from what I say here.

 

First the article states,

The absence, addition, or replacement of a single amino acid in the structure of a protein causes the protein to become a useless molecular heap.

As evidence he cites a Wikipedia article about proteins. I didn't read the entire article, but I could'nt find where it mentioned that the proteing becomes a useless molecular heam with one change of its structure. The author is simply making an assertion. He can't see how a complex molecular structure like a protein can evolve over time when a slight change in its structure will make it unable to function the way that it currently does. However, not having the same functionality is very different than being a "useless molecular heap". Modern biochemistry and molecular biology have theories about how complex molecular structures can evolve over time without becoming "useless molecular heaps".

 

Second, like Skankboy said, the author's use of statistics is oversimplified and suspect. Granted his numbers are correct if you just take the raw materials for a "particular" protein and through them in a vat. However, nobody believes that that is what happened. Rather, these structures probably formed in a large environment over a *long* period of time through many different stages. The point is, that a particular protein that exists today didn't have to exist in its current form from the beginning. It very probably arrived to its current form and function by evolving through several other forms and functions along the way. Each form is contingent on the forms that come before it. So while the probability of arriving at the final product is very small, the probability of each step occuring *given* that the preceeding steps occurred is much more probable. A good way to get an idea of this is to think about your own probability of existence. Say that you take all of the people in the world a thousand years ago. Given that starting point, what is the probability that you would come into existence in exactly the way that you are now. The answer is that it is not probable at all. However, take all of the events that occurred preceding your birth as a given. Now what is the probability that you would come into existence and be the way you are now. This is much more probable. The point is the seemingly impossible is built on the backs of many, many more probable events that do occur.

 

Cheers.

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It very probably arrived to its current form and function by evolving through several other forms and functions along the way. Each form is contingent on the forms that come before it. So while the probability of arriving at the final product is very small, the probability of each step occuring *given* that the preceeding steps occurred is much more probable.

 

Good point! I didn't even think of incremental development...

 

:thanks:

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My understanding is that yes, the protein can become useless, in the sense it won't produce the same results as before. And also that there are millions of variants that could exist for a protein to produce the same result. The construct of one protein is not required to be exactly that way.

 

Protein A produces result X1

Protein B produces result X1 (same result)

 

And when you modify Protein A a bit, then

 

Protein A produces result X2 (a different function)

 

Sometimes the modification of the DNA will yield a non-working protein, and there are examples of this in the DNA.

 

Ah, then the Creationist claims those are not useless, but are used for some "unknown" purpose. Well, then dear Creationist, you have just contradicted yourself, because you say that a protein becomes useless if it is modified a little, and it's true, and we do get that from the DNA, but then you turn around and say the useless proteins do not exist. So which way is it?

 

 

A study was published that shows there are, in fact, over 10^93 different possible amino acid sequences for Cytochrome C.

From here

 

So why would our DNA contain non-working genes if there is a Designer?

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Like others have pointed out, the question that this article is misrepresenting is abiogenesis, not evolutionary processes.

 

As far as his numbers go, he is completely ommiting a key factor: thermodynamics.

 

Essentially, though there may be a large number of structures that could possibly occur, very few are actually have a favorable configuration in terms of energy (and many of the ones he refers to are outright impossible). This favoritism means that the majority of molecules will take on this shape, largely because it is easier for them to do so. This tends to generate certain structures that are common in proteins, called moeites, and can be looked as a sub-building block of a protein. After that, the number of possible combinations drops dramatically and it is largely similar to playing with molecular leggos.

 

The short version is that the guy who wrote that article doesn't know what he is talking about, or if he is, then he is purposefully misrepresenting key principles.

 

To everyone else about the above explaination: yes I know it is a massive, massive simplification, but it is targeted for someone with a minimal science background.

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Most arguments i've seen from Creationists do one of if not all of the following:

 

1) Blantly misreprensent the facts

 

2) Using already refuted arguments and theories, like pangenesis

 

3) Don't know what they are talking about to begin with

 

4) Attacking the obvious holes in the theory of evolution, like gaps between transitional fossils

 

5) Mixing and interchanging concepts, or outright abusing them like the example we have now

 

6) Failing to mention anything that obviously contradicts what they say or points to something different. This is complicated because it's about what they don't say, not what they say.

 

7) Claiming that the Bible is the ultimate authority in any case, scientific or otherwise.

 

.... Those are all I can indentify off the top of my head, anyone else care to add any?

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I'm fascinated that Creationists argue that there aren’t enough fossils to prove evolution. While at the same time they argue Mark et.al. are the real authors of the Gospels.

 

They base the claim of the consistency of the Bible on 24,000 manuscripts, while there are 250,000 fossils to support Evolution.

 

So which one has more evidence?

 

And also, the fossils don't contradict each other or evolution, but supports it 100%, while the manuscripts are not completely consistent.

 

So which one has more consistent evidence?

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Hey guyz Im in my final year of highschool and for my human biology class we are doing evolution. At the moment im supposed to be doing evidence 'for' evolution. I was looking up stuff on protein sequences and amino acid stuff when i came upon this and started reading.

 

http://www.evolutionisimpossible.com/chemistry.html

 

Im new to evolution so has any read this website and more specifically this article. Id like to hear some comments from individuals that are more informed then me on the subject. It would be interesting to hear some people cut the main parts and tell me whats being said because the article basically says that it is impossible and nobody can refute that. 100% sure?. Thanks guyz

 

 

there is a difference in abiogenisis and evolution. evolution does not explain the origins of the first cell, it just states that we have a common ancestory. there is not currently a good theory that explains the devolopment of the first cell. i have done much research on it, if this is where you want to go with your report, send me a pm.

 

for examples and convincing evidence of evolution, do a google search on fossil records, micromutation, ring species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species).

 

also do a search on homids, and the DNA difference between humans and chimps.

 

i believe this to be the best evidence supporting ToE. if i missed anything, someone will chime in.

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Did you have a change of views on this subject Freeday? Am I missing something?

 

you must have missed the end of the thread i started a while back, i think i finally understand evolution, and in understanding it, i don't feel threatened by it.

 

the essence of evolution is simply change, nothing more, nothing less. and change is evident all around us. change is scientifically proven.

 

i guess it is time for us christians to change with the times. :grin:

 

as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

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Matt, there are many people on both sides of the evolutionary debate and both will come across a being logical. I happen to be one who acknowledges evolution. However it's been a long time since I had to defend the thing and I feel a bit rusty.

 

I suggest that you go directly to the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. He was a Christian knowing full well that he was putting forward a controversial theory for a largely Christian audience. So in my mind his arguments and analogies are still very powerful. There is probably a copy of it in virtually any library, certainly in any public library.

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Did you have a change of views on this subject Freeday? Am I missing something?

 

you must have missed the end of the thread i started a while back, i think i finally understand evolution, and in understanding it, i don't feel threatened by it.

 

the essence of evolution is simply change, nothing more, nothing less. and change is evident all around us. change is scientifically proven.

 

i guess it is time for us christians to change with the times. :grin:

 

as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

 

Freeday, you have to be the most open-minded fundementalist we've had here (not sure if TAP was a fundy). Anyway, that's a compliment if you didn't catch that. I'm impressed.

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Did you have a change of views on this subject Freeday? Am I missing something?

 

you must have missed the end of the thread i started a while back, i think i finally understand evolution, and in understanding it, i don't feel threatened by it.

 

the essence of evolution is simply change, nothing more, nothing less. and change is evident all around us. change is scientifically proven.

 

i guess it is time for us christians to change with the times. :grin:

 

as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

 

Freeday, you have to be the most open-minded fundementalist we've had here (not sure if TAP was a fundy). Anyway, that's a compliment if you didn't catch that. I'm impressed.

 

 

i will take it as one. thank you.

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http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/446.asp

 

Hey guys. Thanks for the responses, I understood all of them haha. What are your comments on this article (im doing vestigial organs at the moment). Maybe some comments on the website as a whole. I think its all bullshit, but im not looking at it with an open-mind, im looking at it as a christian site which at this current time (recent deconvert), I am a bit negative towards.

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http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/446.asp

 

Hey guys. Thanks for the responses, I understood all of them haha. What are your comments on this article (im doing vestigial organs at the moment). Maybe some comments on the website as a whole. I think its all bullshit, but im not looking at it with an open-mind, im looking at it as a christian site which at this current time (recent deconvert), I am a bit negative towards.

 

the site offers factual stuff with thier opinion on it. the same thing with iriducibly complex arguements, and the other one (forget the name) with the delicate balance that maintains life on earth. a valid point, but not conclusive proof.

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Hi! I'm a real scientist.

 

I'm a genetics major in UC Berkeley and I have at least a year's worth of biochemistry courses, as well as 1.5 years of laboratory experience. I'm gonna take a look at the major claims on this site.

 

 

The crucial point is this. The absence, addition, or replacement of a single amino acid in the structure of a protein causes the protein to become a useless molecular heap[2].

 

There are three basic ways you can classify amino acids: size, hydrophobicity/philicity, and functional significance.

 

Many amino acids have side chains that are about the same size and the same degree of hydrophobicity/philicity. As a result, replacing an amino acid with one of a similar chemical nature is quite possible without ablating function. This is why proteins that look almost EXACTLY the same and have pretty much the EXACT same function can have entirely different amino acid sequences. A popular example is how hemoglobin coding can vary drastically across species. Biochemists can also measure the differences in sequence and determine the "drift" that separates one species from another on an evolutionary level.

 

A few amino acids (such as proline) have a very unique chemical configuration to them, and as a result cannot be replaced. However, the fact remains that a protein is much more mutable than this site claims.

 

It seems like when you take this simple fact of biochemistry into account, most of this site's claims fall apart.

 

 

 

For instance, an average-sized protein molecule composed of 288 amino acids, and contains twelve different types of amino acids can be arranged in 10300 different ways. (This is an astronomically huge number, consisting of 1 followed by 300 zeros.) Of all of these possible sequences, only one forms the desired protein molecule. The rest of them are amino-acid chains that are either totally useless, or else potentially harmful to living things.

 

This is primarily true when you're talking about a particular protein and a particular sequence. There are maybe at least few thousand possible variations of a protein that would have pretty much the same function, and hundreds of different proteins that have functional significance.

 

This claim the site makes is like saying "The chances of getting the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 in the lottery is one in a million, therefore the chance of ANYONE winning the lottery is one in a million." But what if a person buys 1000 lottery tickets, and there are a thousand people playing? Obviously, people will more or less use different lotto numbers, but I'm sure you can see by now that the chances of winning the lottery, and the chances of coming up with a functional protein from scratch are actually quite good.

 

There are some other complexities in this issue, but that's the basic gist of it.

 

 

 

You also have to take into account natural selective forces that would magnify functional proteins while downsizing on nonfunctional ones.

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Second, even if the alleged vestigial organ were no longer needed, it would prove devolution not evolution. The creation model allows for deterioration of a perfect creation. However the particles-to-people evolution model needs to find examples of nascent organs, i.e. those which are increasing in complexity

Again, there's a HUGE strawman here about evolution that they're trying to create. Namely, evolution does not require an "increasing in complexity". Is a blind crab in a cave more complex (whatever that actually means) than a sighted one? Of course not. But a blind crab in a cave is a perfect example of natural pressures selecting for a pacticular set of attributes. Ever noticed that almost ALL cave creatures are blind? Spiders, scorpions, ect?

 

Another thing that irks me here is the concept of "design economy". How much do you have to dilute the power of a supreme being and creator to think it would employ such a technique. According to their own statements, there was supposedly a period of biological "pefection" at has degenerated over time as a consequence of sin. Why would perfect beings be created through a process of "design economy"?

 

"Devolution" :Wendywhatever:

 

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

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as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

 

I think this is a bit of a strong claim. As with any science, abiogenesis is gradually but clearly gaining more data behind it. We already have the RNA World Hypothesis that's quite broadly accepted. Reverse-engineering of bacterial genomes are underway. Finally, forward-engineering of artificial cells have made some great strides the past couple of years.

 

I'm pretty confident that in the next 15 years abiogenesis researchers will be making even better breakthroughs.

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as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

 

I think this is a bit of a strong claim. As with any science, abiogenesis is gradually but clearly gaining more data behind it. We already have the RNA World Hypothesis that's quite broadly accepted. Reverse-engineering of bacterial genomes are underway. Finally, forward-engineering of artificial cells have made some great strides the past couple of years.

 

I'm pretty confident that in the next 15 years abiogenesis researchers will be making even better breakthroughs.

 

if the first cell can spontaniously happen, it can be recreated. when scientist can convert amino acids into chains of protiens, that can reproduce, form a cellular membrane, and devolope the vast amount of nessicary components that are found just in a prokaryote, then morph into a eukaryote. then you can say i am making a strong claim.

 

i do realize that a lot of the theories state that there was an earlier more simple form of a cell, but there is no evidence of this simplier cell, you either have a nucleated cell or a non-nucleated cell.

 

i am no scientist, just the regular joe blow, i have searched for contradictions to my above statement, but am unable to find any.

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Actually, there is something that could act like something more basic than a non-nucleated cell: a virus.

 

It protects its genetic material long enough to get into an environment that replication can begin again. I know, not considered a true living thing, but one could look at it as an intermediate set.

 

A change in the environment (much higher O2 content for example), could have wiped out anything that couldn't deal with it, may have something to do with why we don't see those precursors anymore. In other words, is it possible that life could arise (not continue, but originate) in this environment at all? No idea here.

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as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

 

I think this is a bit of a strong claim. As with any science, abiogenesis is gradually but clearly gaining more data behind it. We already have the RNA World Hypothesis that's quite broadly accepted. Reverse-engineering of bacterial genomes are underway. Finally, forward-engineering of artificial cells have made some great strides the past couple of years.

 

I'm pretty confident that in the next 15 years abiogenesis researchers will be making even better breakthroughs.

 

if the first cell can spontaniously happen, it can be recreated. when scientist can convert amino acids into chains of protiens, that can reproduce, form a cellular membrane, and devolope the vast amount of nessicary components that are found just in a prokaryote, then morph into a eukaryote. then you can say i am making a strong claim.

 

i do realize that a lot of the theories state that there was an earlier more simple form of a cell, but there is no evidence of this simplier cell, you either have a nucleated cell or a non-nucleated cell.

 

i am no scientist, just the regular joe blow, i have searched for contradictions to my above statement, but am unable to find any.

 

 

I think your searches weren't thorough enough.

 

http://www.rockefeller.edu/pubinfo/news_no...us_012805_e.php

 

http://frt.fy.chalmers.se/cs/pages/complex/PACE.html

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4104483.stm

 

 

 

And here's a happy picture of a primitive cell that scientists built from scratch:

 

_40642671_jell_pnas_203.jpg

 

 

 

And as I said before, there's TWO basic approaches. Yes, the "Forward Approach" where you progressively build a probiont from simpler components is underway, and as shown by the above links, is gaining progress.

 

But there's also the "Reverse Approach" where you take a simple cell, like an E Coli bacterium, and remove genetic material until you get a "bare bones" sack of proteins and nucleic acids that can reproduce but just barely counts as life. From there you can "de-evolve" this thing further and in this way determine the possible developmental lineage of cellular life.

 

I should also add that I think your understanding of microbiology is a bit off, especially in how you present macromolecules and their role/function in life. These are the critical basics one must grasp before getting into the deeper questions of biochemistry.

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as far as abiogenisis, now that is a different story, but there is nothing proven in it.

 

I think this is a bit of a strong claim. As with any science, abiogenesis is gradually but clearly gaining more data behind it. We already have the RNA World Hypothesis that's quite broadly accepted. Reverse-engineering of bacterial genomes are underway. Finally, forward-engineering of artificial cells have made some great strides the past couple of years.

 

I'm pretty confident that in the next 15 years abiogenesis researchers will be making even better breakthroughs.

 

if the first cell can spontaniously happen, it can be recreated. when scientist can convert amino acids into chains of protiens, that can reproduce, form a cellular membrane, and devolope the vast amount of nessicary components that are found just in a prokaryote, then morph into a eukaryote. then you can say i am making a strong claim.

 

i do realize that a lot of the theories state that there was an earlier more simple form of a cell, but there is no evidence of this simplier cell, you either have a nucleated cell or a non-nucleated cell.

 

i am no scientist, just the regular joe blow, i have searched for contradictions to my above statement, but am unable to find any.

 

 

I think your searches weren't thorough enough.

 

http://www.rockefeller.edu/pubinfo/news_no...us_012805_e.php

 

http://frt.fy.chalmers.se/cs/pages/complex/PACE.html

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4104483.stm

 

 

 

And here's a happy picture of a primitive cell that scientists built from scratch:

 

_40642671_jell_pnas_203.jpg

 

 

 

And as I said before, there's TWO basic approaches. Yes, the "Forward Approach" where you progressively build a probiont from simpler components is underway, and as shown by the above links, is gaining progress.

 

But there's also the "Reverse Approach" where you take a simple cell, like an E Coli bacterium, and remove genetic material until you get a "bare bones" sack of proteins and nucleic acids that can reproduce but just barely counts as life. From there you can "de-evolve" this thing further and in this way determine the possible developmental lineage of cellular life.

 

I should also add that I think your understanding of microbiology is a bit off, especially in how you present macromolecules and their role/function in life. These are the critical basics one must grasp before getting into the deeper questions of biochemistry.

 

i see nothing wrong with researching cells, it provides very usefull information in the medical field. but i am not sure that it is my thoughts on micro that are off, the picture you showed was not a cell, it was a protien. i emphasized the part about the cellular membrane. it is vital to cell function. this is how antibiotics work (well most of them anyway), they cause lysis of the cell wall, which kills the cell. a cell can't function without it.

 

i am not sure what you were meaning by how i present macromolecules and thier function in life. i was talking about cells, not organic macromolecules. could you further explain this.

 

Actually, there is something that could act like something more basic than a non-nucleated cell: a virus.

 

It protects its genetic material long enough to get into an environment that replication can begin again. I know, not considered a true living thing, but one could look at it as an intermediate set.

 

A change in the environment (much higher O2 content for example), could have wiped out anything that couldn't deal with it, may have something to do with why we don't see those precursors anymore. In other words, is it possible that life could arise (not continue, but originate) in this environment at all? No idea here.

 

you are very right, there could have been a precursor that did not make it. we just see the end result. that is something for the scientist to figure out. :shrug:

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