Joined: June 2004
Seems Axe penned an essay at the Biologic Institute, declaring Darwinism dead.
It was pwned at
Well, going to the source, it looks even worse (because I can actually read it).
I found the usual creationist sleight of hand trick:
Now, there are two important questions to be asked here. The first, which Durrett and Schmidt address, is the question of whether this kind of two-step conversion can evolve in a Darwinian fashion—and if so under what circumstances. The second, which they largely avoid, is the question of relevance to Darwin’s grand vision. That is, even if we knew these binding-site conversions to be feasible, would that give us any reason to think that the more profound conversions are feasible?
Axe is making a rather disingenuous extrapolation - that ALL of the steps of 'Darwin's grand vision' required at least the 'two-step conversion' process outlined int he artilce he refers to.
There is no rationale for this - he surely provides none.
As things stand, scientific caution dictates a ‘no’ answer to this second question.
Actually, intellectual honesty dictates that one would not have even asked that question.
The main reason is simply that converting one binding site to another accomplishes no significant structural reorganization, whereas transitions to new life forms would require radical structural reorganization.
Surely Doug Axe, molecular biologist, knows how development works? Does this fellow really think that all evolutionary processes are dictated by changes in binding sites?
By way of analogy, you might easily cause your favorite software to crash by changing a bit or two in the compiled executable file, but you can’t possibly convert it into something altogether different (and equally useful) by such a simple change, or even by a series of such changes with each version improving on the prior one. To get a substantially new piece of software, you would need to substantially re-engineer the original code knowing that your work wouldn’t pay off until it’s finished. Darwinism just doesn’t have the patience for this.
He is right about one thing - Darwinism just doesn’t have the patience for this sort of nonsense. Why use a tired analogy? Because an honest treatment doesn't accomplish what he wants.
Furthermore, returning to the first question, it seems that even humble binding-site conversions are typically beyond the reach of Darwinian evolution. Durrett and Schmidt conclude that “this type of change would take >100 million years” in a human line , which is problematic in view of the fact that the entire history of primates is thought to be shorter than that .
Right, because all changes in evolution require a two-step process as described in the article.
It is a shame really - Axe at one time was about the only IDcreationist actually doing research. Now, apparently relaizing that hsi research is not demonstrating ID or Creation, is doing what all of these people end up doing - Egnor, Wells, Behe, etc. - writing op-ed pieces littered with logical fallacies and unwarranted extrapolations.
And one last thing - I have to wonder why Axe didn't mention this form the paper he refers to:
In addition, we use these results to expose flaws in some of Michael Behe's arguments concerning mathematical limits to Darwinian evolution.
In fact, the more I read the paper by Durrett and Schmidt, the less honest I see Axe has become.
I guess that is what happens when you become a professional creationist