Study Finds Molecules Evolving in Wrong Direction | The Institute for Creation Research

Study Finds Molecules Evolving in Wrong Direction

Which is more complex—a typical man walking across a street, or a blind man carrying a legless man across the street?

The blind and legless partners are more complex simply because they have more interacting parts. But this increased complexity not only results in less functionality, it also doesn't provide any additional information about how sight and mobility could have originated.

Evolution is supposed to explain how complicated biological machines, such as legs and eyes, developed without an intelligent person to design and build them. A paper in Nature described one way nature may have added complexity to a biological machine. However, the study also showed how powerless natural processes are to generate complicated working machinery.1

Biologist Joe Thornton, University of Oregon professor and the study's senior author, has a laboratory with facilities dedicated to "reconstructing history with the experimental strategies of molecular biology and biochemistry to rigorously test hypotheses about the mechanisms of evolution," according to his university website.2

His latest attempt involved rebuilding hypothetical protein components of the ring-shaped base of a vital molecular machine called V-ATPase, which is found in yeast.3 The idea was that if his team could reconstruct "prior" versions of this protein, then they could put together a story explaining each evolutionary change that led to today's V-ATPase structure.

But the best they could do was to explain how it de-evolved. The version of V-ATPase found in today's yeast appeared to the researchers to be like the previously mentioned blind and legless men—damaged versions of an originally more effective V-ATPase.

The study authors wrote that because "losses occurred" in the history of V-ATPase, "the complexity of the ring increased," and that their study results "provide no evidence that VmaII [a V-ATPase protein component] evolved novel functions in addition to those that it inherited."1

In response to this research, biochemist and well-known critic of neo-Darwinian evolution Michael Behe told Evolution News:

The most glaringly obvious point is that, like the results of [evolutionary microbiologist Richard] Lenski's work [with 50,000 generations of a bacteria], this is evolution by degradation. All of the functional parts of the system were already in place before random mutation began to degrade them. Thus it is of no help to Darwinists, who require a mechanism that will construct new, functional systems.4

Behe also wrote:

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.4

So, even though today's version of V-ATPase might be more complex than the original version, it is not better, more efficient, or more effective.5 In fact, it only shows that natural processes like mutations degrade living systems—the opposite of evolution.

References

  1. Finnigan, G. C. et al. Evolution of increased complexity in a molecular machine. Nature. Published online January 9, 2012, accessed January 13, 2012
  2. Joe Thornton's Lab. University of Oregon. Posted on pages.uoregon.edu, accessed January 13, 2012.
  3. For ATPase information, see Thomas, B. 2009. ATP synthase: majestic molecular machine made by a mastermind. Creation. 31 (4): 21-23.
  4. Behe, M. A Blind Man Carrying a Legless Man Can Safely Cross the Street: Experimentally Confirming the Limits to Darwinian Evolution. Evolution News. Posted on evolutionnews.org January 11, 2012, accessed January 13, 2012.
  5. Thomas, B. 2008. More Than Just 'Complex.' Acts & Facts. 37 (12): 15.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on January 23, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Inside December 2020 Acts & Facts
What is ICR’s mission? Why are volunteers vital to our ministry? How do you prepare for creation ministry? What legacy does Dr. Henry M. Morris...

ACTS & FACTS
Perhaps Today!
When I was a young boy, I remember a small, humble plaque that hung on the wall in my grandfather’s ICR office directly opposite his desk. Painted...

APOLOGETICS
December, Winter Weather, and Washington
Wintry-mix weather dominated Christmas night in 1776 as General George Washington and his boat-ferried troops crossed the Delaware River to surprise...

ACTS & FACTS
How Do I Prepare for Creation Ministry?
Many of today’s creation researchers can testify that information from the Institute for Creation Research sparked a burning, lifelong passion...

ACTS & FACTS
Dr. Henry M. Morris III: A Kingdom-Focused Life
Dr. Henry M. Morris III has been at the heart of the Institute for Creation Research’s ministry work for decades, using his gifts as a leader,...

DISCOVERY CENTER
Volunteering God's Creation Truth
“Welcome to the ICR Discovery Center!” Kerry greets the guests with a smile as they walk into the exhibit hall. “Is this your first...

ACTS & FACTS
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?
Scott Arledge and Brian Thomas, Ph.D. “The odds that we are in base reality is one in billions,” says famed inventor Elon Musk.1...

ACTS & FACTS
Osteostracans Aren't Ancestors
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: The Cambrian Explosion
The modern theory of evolution has its roots in Charles Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species, in which he proposed the fundamental conjecture...

RESEARCH
Rogue Moths Didn't Start Out That Way
Butterflies and moths fluttering around a flower are a beautiful sight. They innocently lap up nectar and float on the wind. Countless plants depend...