Talk:Nylon-eating bacteria

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"The latter claim that the plasmids in the bacteria allow for it to adapt to different food sources, and that this is an irreducibly complex feature"

Which would simply prove that IC features can evolve. Is there a creationist response to this experiment which isn't actually self-defeating? Tsumetai 12:55, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Whoever put that they even know what the heck a plasmid is??? It makes ZERO sense to anyone with a shred of knowledge in biology Tmtoulouse 13:09, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
I know. I was trying to get the gist across, but I am admittedly a bad person to try and push an ID argument. Maybe someone else has a different argument that supports their claim more forcefully? Also, I was just trying to put something in here that didn't make the claim that the bacteria sat around dormant until the invention of nylon. Any biologist that can make better sense of this is more than welcome to fix what I wrote.--Dave3172 13:14, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
If someone has a link to a discussion from an ID perspective I will try.... Tmtoulouse 13:31, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Here ya go. Have fun... [1]--Dave3172 13:35, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for the citation. It is VERY interesting, and well written. It does, however, have some flaws. Now, this would be better flushed out by a bench researcher, as my bench days are over, but let me just leave a few points. First, the article actually gives no evidence that evolution/NS did not play a part here. Most of their specific complaints are invalid. For example: Point 1) They point to the usual argument that it "suggests design". This is an opinion. Point 2) This is a simple dismissal of evolution without evidence. Point 3) They say chances are very low of the mutated plamid naturally occuring, and give a number (unclear from where) of 1 x10 to the 12th. Well, of couse chances are very low. That is why bacteria are so darned good for observing natural selection. With their short generation time, and logarithmic growth phase, even unlikely events can occur with reasonable frequency. If you have, say, 10 (a very small number) of bacteria exposed to a new environment, over the course of a few DAYS, there will be BILLIONS of daughter cells exposed to the new environment, giving plenty of opportunity for a new mutation to occur and be amplified. Palmd001 14:14, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

The reference mentioned above suggests that there was some sort of adaptation. How did the information for the adaptation get transferred from one generation to the next? If the bacteria get taken out of their nylon-only environment and get put in an environment of plentiful multiple food sources, do they continue to feed on the nylon? I stand by my original statement that they were waiting around for the nylon. --Descartes 14:27, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

This is fairly basic microbiology and genetics. There is a limited, but large, amount of information in a genome. Mutation over time allows for novel genes (and their products). It takes many, many generations, as non-lethal mutations are not frequent. The individual bacteria did not "adapt"--they either divided or died. If they survived to divide, the information in their genome was replicated via binary fission/mitosis and the two daughter cells in turn did the same. INDIVIDUAL CELLS DID NOT ADAPT TO THE ENVIRONMENT, THE POPULATION DID. If the population is moved out of a nylon-only environment, or any other environment with different selective pressures, the population either adapts as above, or dies out. Palmd001 14:34, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Darn it, it happens every time. I give a sensible response, and my discussant disappears. It only seems to happen when I make a good, clear point about biology/evolution. Why does this always happen to me?Palmd001 16:31, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Don't puff up your chest and beat it just yet, Mister. I have to wait until my boss is not looking to "reappear". And as it happens, I'm headed out for the weekend.  :-) --Descartes 19:04, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Well, I look forward to hearing back from you.Palmd001 21:31, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Yawn...still waing Rene. PalMD 23:59, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

I'm suprised you haven't caught on. Why would I create this article in the first place unless I understood its importance in explaining evolution? Check out my additions to "See Also". Also, have you noticed my username? --Descartes 14:09, 26 April 2007 (EDT)


Cut from article:

The former believe it is an evolutionary example of a population changing in response to environmental selective pressures.[1] The latter claim that the bacteria have some way to adjust to new food sources without needing to evolve.

Can someone explain the sides better? I didn't really glean much from the summary of the NMSR site. --Ed Poor 18:53, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

I like your edit. I can help you out a little here. Evolution is sometimes complicated, and requires lots of words, which is why i stated it as above. Also, the ID folks like to get into this faux-information theory stuff which really isnt relevant. The main debate is that ID folks feel that there is no way to explain the phenomenon naturally, and Evos believe there is, e.g. as explained above. I can restate it here if you like.--PalMDtalk 18:55, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

I think, in fact, I explained it well above, but I can try again...--PalMDtalk 18:56, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Poor citations

With, this is a secondary source itself offering an interpretation of several articles. is a blog that is a tetrirary source itself - it is reporting on a news article and is presenting opinions. Please cite primary sources and be prepared to give an analysis of them yourself to show how they support the argument. --Mtur 19:06, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Needless to say, they are not my citations. I'd be happy if they were dropped.--PalMDtalk 19:07, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

Which creationists and ID proponents deny that mutations can create new information and new functions?

Lots and lots of what one might term "amateur creationists" make this claim, and finding a source sufficient to show that the claim is made at all is trivial. viz: "There are two fallacies in this argument. The first is that random changes in existing information can create new information."; "If you find a message that contains information (such as the location of Amelia Earhart's airplane), someone had to write it. Random chance does not produce information. If there is information coded in a DNA molecule (and there certainly is), an intelligent source must have put it there. There is no scientific evidence that even a small amount of information can be generated by chance. There is scientific evidence that random changes to a message can remove information. Mutations might remove information, but they will never create it." -- Do-While Jones in the "Science Against Evolution" journal.

"It must be noted that the process of natural selection deletes genetic information (the weaker traits), it cannot create new information required by the evolutionary theory."; "But random mutations never add new information, they can only decrease information. Therefore most mutations are harmful, and many of them lethal." -- Evolution Theory article at

More satisfying, however, is to try to trace it back to the 'big names'.

Answers in Genesis comes close ("The real issue concerns mutations, the alleged source of all the new information needed for evolution. With a detailed probabilistic analysis, based upon the standard evolutionary mathematics of such authorities as Gaylord Simpson and Fisher, Spetner shows that the chance of getting the required mutations for such ‘cumulative selection’ is just way too small.") and closer, but wordier, here: "The anti-theistic physicist Paul Davies admits: ‘There is no law of physics able to create information from nothing’ (this issue, p. 42). Information scientist Werner Gitt has demonstrated that the laws of nature pertaining to information show that, in all known cases, information requires an intelligent message sender," and here: "But since observational science has never revealed any natural process that can create information, i.e. ‘write the program,’ the most logical conclusion is that the programs themselves, i.e. the information in the original created kinds, arose from an intelligent mind—the same way programs arise today."

AiG explicitely says "Mutations in genes can only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones." here.

The claim is implicit in not a single [Darwinist] has answered Egnor’s question: How does Darwinian mechanisms produce new biological information? from The Discovery Institute. --Jtl 12:11, 28 April 2007 (EDT)