Dr. Behe Strikes Again
“One can say, if one wishes, that a congenitally blind man teaming up with a congenitally legless man to safely move around the environment is an increase in ‘complexity’ over a sighted, ambulatory person. But it certainly is no improvement, nor does it give the slightest clue how vision and locomotion arose.”
This amazing word picture was composed by biochemist Dr. Michael Behe in response to the work of Finnegan et al. (2012), a group led by Dr. Thornton of the University of Oregon. This group of evolutionary biologists analyzed the structure of a molecular machine (shown above) found in current day plants and animals and the structure of the same machine in fungi. They then showed that it is possible that mutations of a hypothesized ancestral machine resulted in the more complex machines found in modern cells. The title of the article claims that their work shows how a complex machine could have evolved through random mutations.
But, Dr. Behe, in his incisive way, points out several problems with suggesting that this is evidence for life coming about through an unguided Darwinian process. First, according to the authors themselves, the new machine was more complex, but not more functional, than the original. The mutations and added complexity did not result in a selective advantage; they were neutral in their effect. Darwinian evolution is said to proceed from simple to complex organisms by random mutations that result in a selective advantage. Clearly not happening here.
Second, the information was already there–that is, the totally functional and highly complex ancestral machine was the starting point. Darwinism suggests that an unguided process is capable of building new information or increasing functional complexity. This thought experiment showed that evolutionary processes result in degradation of, not increasing, information. This is as one would expect from random “typos.”
Behe points out that the scenario proposed actually requires two minor (and neutral) mutations to occur in the yeast line over a period of a billion years. And since no other mutations are in evidence in animals and plants, that appears to be the only times that mutations in the code for this machine did.
Finally, the scientific evidence coming out of the laboratories of a leading evolutionist, Dr. Richard Lenski, shows that mutations degrade genetic code. This may sometimes be to the advantage of an organism but does not result in new information. All in all, it seems that Darwinism is not as powerful as it is cracked up to be.