Thursday, April 30, 2009

Evolution in a test tube

The Science Daily had an interesting report "Evolution In A Test Tube: Scientists Make Molecules That Evolve And Compete, Mimicking Behavior Of Darwin's Finches" It's pretty impressive, I can't wait to learn more. The bottom line is that these specific molecules, that can self-replicate, can also evolve to exploit distinct ecological niches. This is wild stuff and might offer a glimpse into Abiogenesis someday. Imagine, no cells, no designer, no intelligence, just two sets of molecules sharing an environment evolving in different directions under environmental pressure. You have to read it for yourself, I'm not sure I could do it justice.

I figure the DI will have a press release sooner suggesting that this has nothing at all with evolution, or claiming that since it happened in a lab it can't possibly be 'natural selection' at work. Which I do find it funny, on the one hand they claim that evolution has not been witnessed in a lab and yet when it is, they simply break out their creation-colored glasses and do their best to ignore it. As such happened when Tiktaalik roseae was announced and they posted an editorial claiming that "Latest Fossil Find "No Threat To Theory of Intelligent Design". Actually my favorite part of that article was the Dembski quote in which he admits Evolution happened.

"Intelligent design does not so much challenge whether evolution occurred but how it occurred"

Actually I agree with the headline, Tiktaalik is no threat to the 'Theory of Intelligent Design' because there is no theory of intelligent design, but that is neither here nor there to this particular post.

Or maybe Andy Schafly over at Conservapedia will say nasty things like he tried when the Lenski experiment results were made public. The bottom line here is that evolution is being experimented with and once again predictions of evolutionary theory are coming true. The future of evolutionary theory certainly looks interesting indeed.