A corrected worksheet targeted for High School students proving that even if Photosynthesis were IC – it would still be evolvable.

This is my second kick at the can and a follow up to my last OP called:

A worksheet targeted for High School students proving once and for all that Photosynthesis is not “Irreducibly Complex”

In deference to Keiths, I have changed the title.

I want to thank participants for their insightful suggestions… yes that includes you Sal. I even included your frog metaphor.

Special thanks go to Mung and to Bill!

A very deep bow and tip of the hat goes to Keiths.


I would appreciate any feedback and suggestions for improvement before I finalize it and submit to the Biology Teachers’ cyber-community for their perusal.

118 thoughts on “A corrected worksheet targeted for High School students proving that even if Photosynthesis were IC – it would still be evolvable.

  1. TomMueller: GODDAMIT – you have a reading comprehension problem?!



    So what does your worksheet say were the first proto-cells?

    And what does your mention of foam bubbles in your worksheet have to do with anything then if you’re not saying they were the first proto-cells?

  2. Entropy: Oh yeah. It’s in the back burner for now. I don’t think I’m done.

    When do you think Tom is going to apologize? Surely a man with his integrity will be doing so anytime now.

  3. As I mentioned at the outset, I posted this OP for decidedly ulterior motives:

    I desired to proactively address specious dissimilitude poisoning my students’ minds outside the classroom.

    I have composed a final cut according to suggestions made by everyone present. Before passing along to my students as well as to Biology teachers in Cyberspace: I wish to vet my efforts past this community such as it is.

    I dedicate this opus to Larry Flammer of ensi fame whose health is suffering.


  4. Shameless “bump”

    Please refer to previous message; I want to put this project to bed before retiring from this thread

    Tip of the hat to Entropy…. I followed your advice and greatly curtailed what was required of students at the end of the worksheet

    Best regards to one and all

  5. Have you confirmed that Larry Flammer, may his health improve, doesn’t mind having his name associated with it?

  6. Same falsehoods as before, “the cell is nothing more than a chemical reaction chamber.” Why not tell your students that the cell is nothing more than a nano-scale quantum computer. It would at least be closer to the truth.

    And you’re still preaching that nonsense about “the first proto-cells” to them. Have you no shame?

  7. TomMueller,

    The thesis is much tighter then before. You still have claims without real support as Mung has mentioned a few. OOL is a monster challenge and your paper does not leave that impression which is a misrepresentation of the status of the science. You end reasonably well but you make claims in the body of the paper that are clearly un supported.

    If you are to claim that it is a difficult problem but an active research area that would be accurate.

    You should address the challenge of producing genetic information because your critics inside the school will.

    I see your dilemma which is bias from the religious groups in the school. Your strategy appears to be to push strongly against that bias with your alternative view point. By doing this your kids are getting two biased view points but no one in the middle to take a rational position that they can trust.

  8. TomMueller,

    Your discussion about endosymbiosis is fine but there are very complex systems that have no known prokaryotic origin such as
    -chromosome structure
    -the spliceosome
    -the nuclear pore complex

    All these structures make the flagellum motor look like a chip shot 🙂

  9. Mung and Colewd,

    You are asking Tom Müller to slit his own throat…
    Even a hint of doubt in what is expected from the paper and he is burnt professionally and he knows it…

    Whether he believes what’s written or not it’s irrelevant now…

    You see, Darwinian inquisitors set the standards of what is expected when it comes to teaching their propaganda and any deviation from those standards is viewed as heresy-the end of career for Tom and possibly no income…
    So, he has to abide or else, face the consequences…

    Funny thing though, that less than 200 years ago Tom most likely would have been burnt alive on a stake for writing this paper in most European countries like Spain…
    If the religious ever take control of the education system, things can look bad again for people like Tom…
    The dominant world view by those in power dictates what is true and what is false… The actual truth is not important… what’s important is what the majority supporting those in power want to hear and believe as truth…

  10. Mung:
    Teach the controversy Tom.

    Exactly correct! I teach just that… specious dissimilitude can be propagated when sophists engage indulgent experts in discussion long enough to create an impression there just has to be is a controversy, otherwise why would the (non)debate be so prolonged?! There is no controversy… just intellectual dishonesty on the part of those who pretend to engage in an exchange of views as well exasperation on the part of those confronting so-called Christians who persist in breaking the 8th (9th depending on affiliation) Commandment.

  11. TomMueller,

    From Jack Szostak

    We think that a primitive cell has to have two parts. First, it has to have a cell membrane that can be a boundary between itself and the rest of the earth. And then there has to be some genetic material, which has to perform some function that’s useful for the cell and get replicated to be inherited. The part we’ve come to understand reasonably well is the membrane part. The genetic material is the harder problem; the chemistry is just more complicated. The puzzle has been understanding how a molecule like RNA can get replicated before there were enzymes and all this fancy biological stuff, protein machinery, that we have now in our cells.

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