Genetic Entropy Observed: Falsifying Neo-Darwinism

What is genetic entropy? Geneticist John Sanford (Cornell) made a proposal which included the accumulation of mutations will always decrease fitness in a process which he called “genetic entropy.”  In Darwinian evolution, variations of mutations must add new information to produce innovations that lead to different creatures or other living things like plants.  Synergistic epistasis is when beneficial mutations work together but this process has never been observed.

Experiments have shown beneficial mutations working against each other which is known as antagonistic epistasis while other experiments have shown loss in fitness if they worked together rather than alone. Richard Lenski [Michigan State], known for the longest-running experiment on evolution of E. coli, discovered a law of diminishing returns with beneficial mutations due to negative epistasis!

The paper published in science

“Epistatic interactions between mutations play a prominent role in evolutionary theories. Many studies have found that epistasis is widespread, but they have rarely considered beneficial mutations. We analyzed the effects of epistasis on fitness for the first five mutations to fix in an experimental population of Escherichia coli. Epistasis depended on the effects of the combined mutations—the larger the expected benefit, the more negative the epistatic effect. Epistasis thus tended to produce diminishing returns with genotype fitness, although interactions involving one particular mutation had the opposite effect. These data support models in which negative epistasis contributes to declining rates of adaptation over time.

Notice how when the expected fitness rose there was an overall negative relation, indicating the epistatic effects were not going toward a positive conclusion. Near the end, the authors did confirm witnessing a type of genetic entropy:

“A conspicuous feature of the mean-fitness trajectory for this population—and indeed for most experimental populations evolving in a constant environment—is that the rate of adaptation declined over time.”  The reason they gave was that “epistatic interactions contribute greatly to this deceleration by reducing the effect-size of the remaining beneficial mutations as a population approaches a fitness peak. In other words, epistasis acts as a drag that reduces the contribution of later beneficial mutations.”

And they say creationism doesn’t predict anything in science. Only in their delusions and denials, let me repeat this again, Geneticist John Sanford (Cornell) made a proposal which included the accumulation of mutations will always decrease fitness in a process which he called “genetic entropy.” This experiment is quite encouraging to Christians who believe God created all things

In other study, it discovered the same thing. Researchers in Massachusetts even put “diminishing returns” in the title of their paper.

“These results provide the first evidence that patterns of epistasis may differ for within- and between-gene interactions during adaptation and that diminishing returns epistasis contributes to the consistent observation of decelerating fitness gains during adaptation.”  Aware of the study by Khan et al,  they claimed that “across these two distinct model systems 7 of 10 alleles consistently showed antagonism, whereas only 2 exhibited synergy.”

Mutations are like air tanks on a scuba diver, they weigh him or her down! Positive mutations are very small, a mere bubble that has no hope of keep the diver afloat. Evolution cannot rationalize, nor can it see the shoreline.  If Geneticist John Sanford continued to be an evolutionist, no doubt some of these research papers would be using his exact term. It is recommended that you read his book, Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome (Ivan Press, 2005) for more insight.

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24 thoughts on “Genetic Entropy Observed: Falsifying Neo-Darwinism

  1. Sorry, but I just have to point out this howling mistake in Michael’s post–

    Mutations are like air tanks on a scuba diver, they weigh him or her down!

    So, Michael. If air tanks weight a scuba diver down, why do scuba divers have to wear lead belts to allow them to sink while wearing the tanks?

    Just in case you still missed it, AIR TANKS CAUSE DIVERS TO FLOAT TO THE TOP, so they must wear extra weights to be able to dive below the surface.

    .

    Just one more laughable example of Michael’s abyssal (sorry, pun intended) ignorance of physical principles and reasoning. After bloopers like that, why should we credit anything Michael says about science?

  2. Michael’s reading comprehension has failed yet again.[1] Throughout this post, he mistakes a lower rate of fitness increase for a fitness decrease. He seems unable to tell the difference between a rate and an absolute value.

    After citing the first paper, he states—

    Notice how when the expected fitness rose there was an overall negative relation, indicating the epistatic effects were not going toward a positive conclusion.

    This is absolutely incorrect. What Lenski actually said was that, as epistasis increased, the contribution of each mutation toward increased fitness became less. A proper analogy here could be blowing up a balloon. The first few puffs to a deflated balloon produce a large percentage increase in its volume. But, as the balloon gets larger, each successive puff increases its size to a lesser extent. The point is, however, that the balloon does keep getting larger with each puff, and does not get smaller as you blow more air into it. In the same way, the first few beneficial mutations increase fitness by a relatively large amount, but successive mutations produce proportionately less fitness increase. Overall fitness keeps increasing, but at a slower rate.

    Michael redoubles his mistake when introducing the second paper—

    In other [sic] study, it [sic] discovered the same thing. Researchers in Massachusetts even put “diminishing returns” in the title of their paper.

    Here again, “diminishing returns” means a lower rate of increase in fitness, not a decrease in fitness. Michael cannot seem to tell the difference.

    .

    Creationists frequently misinterpret scientific paper in order to justify their contentions.[2] Here, Michael goes beyond misinterpretation. He can’t even read the papers correctly, mistaking their clear language for something entirely different.

    Once again, we must plead with Michael to abjure helping his children with their science homework.

    ==================

    =========

    [1] Well, that’s one possible cause; the other is that he is deliberately lying to his readers as to what the Science papers are saying. Until Michael makes good on the two-year old challenge to reveal his own science qualifications, we are unable to distinguish between abject ignorance and active deceit.

    [2] Since they produce no research of their own, creationists are forced to rely upon the results of the mainstream science that they seek to disprove. Ironic, n’est-ce pas?

  3. In Darwinian evolution, variations of mutations must add new information to produce innovations that lead to different creatures or other living things like plants.

    Glad you included plants. Because a number of plant species are identical except that one species is haploid and the other is diploid. The haploid species has half as many chromosomes as the diploid—and thus contains less “information.”

    According to Michael’s misinformed logic, speciation involving diploid to haploid should be impossible. Yet it has been observed.

    Too bad, Michael. Yet another creationist canard down the drain.

  4. Yet another howler in this post—

    Synergistic epistasis is when beneficial mutations work together but this process has never been observed.

    Where do you get your material, Michael? This is just plain wrong.

    Wikipedia describes both synergistic and antagonistic epistasis in nature. Once again, you show blatant disregard for truth.

    .

    One irony is that Michael ASSUMES that antagonistic epistasis decreases fitness, and is thus incompatible with evolution. Perhaps because it’s “negative”, and negative connotes “evil,” right?

    But it turns out that many biologists hold that antagonistic epistasis is a major factor in the evolution of sexual reproduction—because the carriers of the antagonistic alleles can be removed from the population more efficiently. Originally proposed by Alexei Kondrashov,[1] this feature has been experimentally confirmed in artificial gene networks.

    Too bad. A double whammy on this one: Not only does synergistic epistasis exist, but even antagonistic epistasis increases fitness.

    ===========

    [1] Kondrashov, A.S.,.”Deleterious mutations and the evolution of sexual reproduction.” Nature 336: 435-440 (1988)

  5. “Genetic entropy” is a concept of religious thermodynamics, a branch of apologetics, and not of science. As such, religious thermodynamics requires neither definitions nor measurements. Genetic entropy is said to relate to the “disorder” of a genome, itself a concept that has no defined meaning in the science of genetics. In what way can one genome be more disordered than another?

    The first question is, how can we “observe” something that has no definition or quantification?
    Perhaps Michael can assist us.

    The second question is, how can “disorder”, no matter how it may be defined, falsify neo-Darwinism, which does not require order in the genome?
    Perhaps Michael can clarify.

    The third question is, what relevance does disorder of any kind have to the interaction of multiple mutations in a genome?
    Perhaps Michael can elucidate.

    .

    But I doubt it.

  6. Olorin, I think you missed the point. The analogy of the air tanks is in regards to the subject of diminishing returns, and which simply means that the bigger the air tank gets, even if containing important beneficial oxygen, the harder it is to move around. As for your statement on plants, which you gave no citation for, I hope you were not trying to imply that more chromosomes automatically means more genetic information. C value enigma has shown us that this old out dated notion is obsolete and untrue. There is also no way to determine genetic complexity based on gene size. Some onions and protozoa can have more genetic information compared to man, and in magnitudes of order. Everything is wearing down including our genes, and most reasonable people understand and admit this.

  7. Benny, Michael claims that evolution cannot increase genetic “information.” I gacve a counterexample. A tetraploid palnt has more information than the same variety as a diploid; that’s a no-brainer.

    You are corerect in quest6ioning the relationship of genetic information to complexity. We can go even further qand question the value of complexity to fitness. The dominant life form on Earth is bactweria, not humans.[1]

    I would ask for data and reasoning as to your claim that our genes are wearing down. The first thing is to define what you mean by “wearing down.” There are several genes that promote intelligence, which originated only 30K to 5K years ago, and are still increasinfg in frequency among the population. The Lenski experiment evolved a gene that al;lowed the subject bacteria to utilize a new nutrient medium that it previously could not. Within the past past 80 years, bacteria have evolved new genetic capabilities to utilize nylon, PCPs, and other man-madfe toxins. In waht way are they “rearing out”?

    =============

    [1] You may not be old enough to remeber the early computer game called “core wars,” where competing teams introduced programs that tried to destroy each other and take over the core memory. Universally, the winning programs were shorter and simpler. One was only a couple dozen words long. .

  8. To Olorin; Your philosophy concerning bacteria is interesting, but it’s not a subject that is open to scientific verification because the notion of dominance in this particular comparison is more subjective than anything. I don’t deny that bacteria can be much more numerous than man, as are many other species including termites, but again this is a very subjective question as to whether more is better? or quantity vs quality, etc. I think most would agree, as far as dominance is concerned, that we, not only as thinking individuals, but as for also having the ability to reason and possessing abstract thought, gives us much more control over the planet and the living things within it, as well as its future, whether positive or negative, and much more so than even our supposed prokaryote distant cousins, which I agree are very amazing organisms.

    The question concerning Sanford’s work on genetic entropy is a subject no one in the scientific community has either been able to refute, or has bothered to try based on empirical evidence, although there have been a lot of personal attacks & disagreements with his personal views. There is now overwhelming agreement that on the average humans undergo between 100 – 300 mutations per generation, and most are mutations deleterious and for several reasons. Our genomes are basically going from order to disorder every generation. There are some counter arguments to this conundrum through the use of natural section principles, but if you read Sanford’s book, he goes into great detail and systematically destroys these arguments one by one. He also speaks of all the smoke and mirror strategies that many use trying to resolve this problem. I do not accuse all neo Darwinist of trying to deceive. When I speak of smoke and mirrors I’m speaking about he mouth pieces out there who blow their trumpets very loudly. The Scott’s, the Millers, Dawkins and PZ Meyers types etc.
    And to be fair, ignorance lies on both sides. We also have our share of extremist, but I believe it will ultimately be the cooler heads that will learn the most from each other in the long run.

    I would recommend reading his book and or his published work. This is one of the smartest cats in his field, and he has a body of work to show for it.
    I’m sorry I cannot comment on your plant e.g. without citation or specifics concerning your view of the specific evolutionary methods or constructs involved. Even if I did, I am not a trained biologist, only a very interested layperson who became interested in this important subject through legal research that I was involved in many years ago. I think that even most evo devos now agree that the current neo Darwinian synthesis requires a badly needed overhaul, or what the Altenberg 16 called an extended synthesis.

  9. . . . . . .Genetic Entropy Observed: Falsifying Neo-Darwinism

    Michael reports on approximately 332 falsifications of evolution per year. You’d think Darwinism would be as dead as a doornail[1] by now. Yet 2300 peer-reviewed papers on it spew forth every year, and 484,000 life scientists worldwide keep on plugging away, using it as a basis for their work.

    Do they know something Michael does not?

    =============

    [1] One might wonder why a doornail should be deader than any other kind of nail. But that’s an easy one. If a doornail is not completely, utterly dead, then opening and closing the door will loosen the hinges, and eventually the door will no longer fit its frame properly. Oh—A nail is “dead” when it is hammered all the way through a piece of wood, then its tip is bent over and pounded flat

  10. Thanks Olorin

    I have not replied to this post really because I saw no point, but thanks ^^

  11. Themayan: “The question concerning Sanford’s work on genetic entropy is a subject no one in the scientific community has either been able to refute, or has bothered to try based on empirical evidence, although there have been a lot of personal attacks & disagreements with his personal views. ”

    That is simply not true: there are refutations, and these are NOT personal attacks. See the links I gave earlier (June 7, 2011 at 3:54 am), for example. I do, however, see that you (‘Themayan’) resort to personal attacks yourself in your post above.

    Themayan: ” I think that even most evo devos now agree that the current neo Darwinian synthesis requires a badly needed overhaul,”

    What makes you think that ? Obviously the theory is not finished, but a ‘badly needed overhaul’ ? I see no evidence that warrants such a claim.

  12. Olorin,

    You say, “Michael reports on approximately 332 falsifications of evolution per year.” In answer to your other comment, if a government only pays billions of dollars for a particular research to be done in all areas of science and no others, of course that creates dominance over everything else but it doesn’t mean its right!

  13. Michael, are you hinting at a government funding bias ? Do you have any legal proof for that ?

    In my experience governments pay for ALL research worth doing. At least the European ones I’ve been dealing with (about five of them).

  14. Eelco: Yes I do believe that many evolutionary developmental biologist/evo devo’s are starting to openly question and challenge the limitations of the modern neo Darwinian synthesis. I have posted a video of Suzan Mazur’s interview with evolutionary biologist Stewart Newman who was one of the previous 16 scientist & scholars mentioned earlier who wants to extend the the modern synthesis & incorporate other non Darwinian principles such as gene placidity and self organization models. Its entitled “Will the Real Theory Of evolution Please Stand Up?” In this interview Newman even criticizes his own colleagues and the Dover trial for the way it represented evolution to the public as well as all the hand waiving that goes on and the many things the general public were and are told in spite of it being untrue.

    Below is paragraph from a Wikipedia article entitled that confirms this.

    Evolutionary developmental biology
    Basic principles
    Thus, the origins of evolutionary developmental biology come from both an improvement in molecular biology techniques as applied to development, and the full appreciation of the limitations of classic neo-Darwinism as applied to phenotypic evolution. Some evo-devo researchers see themselves as extending and enhancing the modern synthesis by incorporating into it findings of molecular genetics and developmental biology. Others, drawing on findings of discordances between genotype and phenotype and epigenetic mechanisms of development, are mounting an explicit challenge to neo-Darwinism.

  15. Benny, extending the modern synthesis with new ideas, whether these are Darwinian or not, is not an overhaul in my book. Challenging limitations is fine, of course: the current theory is neither finished nor perfect.

    I still do not see any evidence for your use of ‘most’, which is now ‘many’.
    ‘Others’, as it is put in the wikipedia article, is not ‘most’ or ‘many’.

    Not that numbers matter anyway. All that matters is how well a given theory works, not how many proponents it has.

  16. Quoth TheMayan:

    To Olorin; Your philosophy concerning bacteria is interesting, but it’s not a subject that is open to scientific verification because the notion of dominance in this particular comparison is more subjective than anything.

    I don’t have a philosophy about bacteria. Bacteria as a group are much more fit—i.e., adaptable—to more environments than humans, or than any other class of plants or animals. That is the sense in which a scientist would say that they “dominate.” This is not subjective.

    .

    Then, since bacteria are demonstrably able to evolve to live in new environments for the past 3 billion years, up to and including examples in the past century, how can anyone say that their genomes are suffering a terminal case of entropy poisoning?

    ============

    PS: You might want to review Michael’s original post, where he offered recent results on epistasis as evidence of this soi-disant “genetic entropy. If you know anything of biology, you will know that these experimental results have nothing whatever to do with Sanford’s concept, whether or not Sanford is correct. What Michael claims is sort of like saying that the Moon orbits the earth because Scotland lies north of England. A complete non sequitur.

    PPS: Are you really a Mayan? I am a Tosevite, myself.

  17. Evolution is both a fact and a theory—actually, a bunch of theories.[1] The “fact” part is established by physical evidence, such as the fossil record, genetic analysis, and so forth. The theoretical aspect comprises attempts to describe the ways in which evolution takes place. These theories are tested by their ability to make correct predictions.

    What Sanford attempts is to disprove the fact of evolution by showing that some of the present theories are incorrect. Sorry, John. It don’t work that way. When the theories don’t fit the facts, then the proper response not to deny the facts, but to come up with better theories.

    And that’s what biologists are doing. We realized long ago that selection by the environment wasn’t the whole story. Arguments rage over the adaptation in speciation, the relative effects of neutral drift, and many other aspects.

    We are as far away from “a” theory of evolution as the cosmologists are from a theory of everything.[2] Evo-devo shows great promise, because it is beginning to elucidate the complex links between genotype and phenotype: How do the genes actually build a plant or an animal? Until we figure this out, my opinion is that showing that any current “theory” of what can or cannot evolve is a fool’s errand—because we don’t know what is required in order for an organism to evolve..

    Evolution happened, and is still happening today. Our mission is to find out why—not to argue why not.

    ============

    []1 See Jay Gould’s famous exposition on this.

    [2] Pace, Eelco.

  18. Olorin on June 7, 2011 at 11:05 am said:
    Sorry, but I just have to point out this howling mistake in Michael’s post–
    Mutations are like air tanks on a scuba diver, they weigh him or her down!
    So, Michael. If air tanks weight a scuba diver down, why do scuba divers have to wear lead belts to allow them to sink while wearing the tanks?
    Just in case you still missed it, AIR TANKS CAUSE DIVERS TO FLOAT TO THE TOP, so they must wear extra weights to be able to dive below the surface.
    Just one more laughable example of Michael’s abyssal (sorry, pun intended) ignorance of physical principles and reasoning. After bloopers like that, why should we credit anything Michael says about science?

    Scuba divers have to wear lead weights because the body is naturally buoyant; the wet suits are also buoyant. A full air tank is heavy and does indeed contribute to weighing a scuba diver down; it adds to the buoyancy of the body, wet suit etc. only after you expend the air in it oh bright one.

    Having no life, yours is just one more pitiful example of an angry atheists ignorance of physical principles and reasoning and then you add blatant hypocrisy to your irrational railings against those like Michael who believe in the one true God you claim does not exist. The only thing more glaring than your anger, ignorance and your failure to comprehend what you read is your utter lack of common decency.

    After exposing yourself like that, why should anyone credit anything you say about science, Michael or anything else for that matter? No one in his or her right mind and spirit would.

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

  19. Olorin:

    Regarding your comment on June 7, 2011 at 11:05 am, Michael did not make a mistake, you did not comprehend what he said.

    Scuba divers have to wear lead weights because the body is naturally buoyant; the wet suits are also buoyant. A full air tank is heavy and does indeed contribute to weighing a scuba diver down; it will weigh a diver down until you expend the air in it. Only then does it add to the buoyancy of the body, wet suit etc.

    Michaels analogy is a good one. Mutations are harmful (they are like full air tanks, contributing to weighing a body down) until and unless the DNA repair mechanisms “mend” them; until they let the air out of them so to speak.

  20. Hey Isaiah 53,

    Thanks for the comments, in addition to what you said and that was indeed a great observation, the tanks on a scuba diver hinders ones swimming ability verses not having the tanks on at all. In other words, who swims more efficient in the water? I assume you guessed the person without the tanks! And lastly, your right about Olorin.

  21. Olorin, yes as far as I know, but unfortunately I am not pure blooded. In spite of popular myth, we never disappeared or sailed on to planet X with our ancient Anunnaki Sumerian space brothers, and we havent sacrificed a human since at least 2003. You seem to have an interesting heritage also, as well as a great sense of humor. I think?

  22. And again Michael fawns over commentators that agree with him and ignores those who disagree with him. Another reason why already low his readership has plummeted.

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