Help Dr. Lenski to Design Real LTEE

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As most TSZ readers already know, Dr. Lenski has been growing bacteria for 31 years now… Unlike the 99.99% of evolutionary biologist, who spend most of their time speculating about evolution, he set out to test evolutionary capabilities, or that what most of us thought he had, by laboratory experiments……

Unfortunately, by his own admission, Dr. Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment (70 000 generations of bacteria; the equivalency of millions of years of human evolution) wasn’t really design to make E-coli bacteria to evolve into anything else other than bacteria… Shocked?

It looks doubtful that LTEE was even designed to make bacteria evolve any novel functions…

Well, judge for yourself:

“The LTEE was designed (intelligently, in my opinion!) to be extremely simple in order to address some basic questions about the dynamics and repeatability of evolution, while minimizing complications. It was not intended to mimic the complexities of nature, nor was it meant to be a test-bed for the evolution of new functions. The environment in which the bacteria grow is extremely simple. The temperature is kept constant at 37C, the same as our colons where many E. coli live. The LTEE “host” is an Erlenmeyer flask, not an animal with an immune system and other defenses. There are no antibiotics present, no competing species, and no viruses that plague bacteria in nature. And the culture medium contains a single source of energy that the ancestral bacteria can use, namely the sugar glucose. In contrast, E. coli lineages have endured and adapted over millions of years to countless combinations of resources, competitors, predators, toxins, and temperatures in nature.

Indeed, the LTEE environment is so extremely simple that one might reasonably expect the bacteria would evolve by breaking many existing functions. That is because the cells could, without consequence, lose their abilities to exploit resources not present in the flasks, lose their defenses against absent predators and competitors, and lose their capacities to withstand no-longer-relevant extreme temperatures, bile salts, antibiotics, and more. The bacteria might even gain some advantage by losing these functions, if doing so saved time, energy, or materials that the cells could better use to exploit the limited glucose supply.

And just as one would expect, the bacteria have diminished or lost various abilities during the LTEE. For example, all 12 populations lost the ability to use another sugar, called ribose, and they gained a small but measurable competitive advantage as a result. Similarly, half of the lines evolved defects in one or another of their DNA repair systems, which led to hypermutability. While hypermutability resulted from a loss of function at the molecular level, it produced a slight gain in terms of the rate at which those lineages adapted to their new laboratory environment. There are undoubtedly many functional losses that have occurred during the LTEE, some that have been described and others not.

If that was all there were to the story, I might say that Behe’s portrayal was correct, but that he had missed the point—namely, that of course evolution often involves the loss of functions that are no longer useful to the organism. Biologists have known and understood this since Darwin.”

I feel disappointed… Evolutionists have one real opportunity to prove creationists/ID wrong, and they don’t even design the experiment right and make the bacteria to evolve into something other than bacteria…

Why even bother?

But here is the kicker: Dr. Lenski plans to continue the same, poorly designed experiment for another 31 years… Can someone tell me why? Not only that, either Lenski, or some of his coworkers think that the participation in this experiment will make them in some unknown to me way, immortal or eternal…

“No Power in the Verse Can Stop Me”– they wrote…I’m really glad that whoever wrote this quote didn’t mean the power of the verse in the Bible…

Anyways, I think it would be helpful if many experts here at TSZ could come up with some tips for Dr. Lenski and his team of immortals and help them how to design the real Long-Term Evolution Experiment that would be about actual evolution, and not about Long-Term Devolution Experiment, just like Michael Behe needed to point this out in his books many times and now, finally, Dr. Lenski seems to be finally getting it…

“Summing up, Behe is right that mutations that break or blunt a gene can be adaptive. And he’s right that, when such mutations are adaptive, they are easy to come by. But Behe is wrong when he implies these facts present a problem for evolutionary biology, because his thesis confuses frequencies over the short run with lasting impacts over the long haul of evolution.”

If Behe is right, why continue with the poorly designed experiment for another 31 years? To prove what? What we already know and Behe and others have been pointing it to you for years that evolutionary mechanism of adaptive mutations break or blunt genes and natural selection is powerless to prevent that…

Or “No Power in the (Uni) Verse  Can Stop Me (IT)”… 😉

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55 thoughts on “Help Dr. Lenski to Design Real LTEE

  1. I’m planning to design a Long-Term Evolution Experiment with finches… I will design it in such a way so as the finches will never evolve beyond the thick and thin beaks…

    I already know that “ …species limits and relationships of the Galápagos finches remain uncertain. Yet the massive study by Lamichhaney et al. (2015), in which the complete genomes of 120 Galápagos finches were sequenced (over 100 billion nucleotides), including representatives of every separate species and population, found that the most highly selected finch gene was ALX1, which, again, is associated with thick versus thin beaks…”

    Here is the kicker though:

    “…If those alterations of the finches’ behavioral and feeding habits required genetic changes, they eluded discovery. Perhaps the ecological changes are mostly the result of nongenetic modifications…”

    So, if finches’ behavioral and feeding habits didn’t require genetic changes, what influenced those changes? It seems reasonable that behind those behavioral and feeding habits in finches there is information beyond DNA… But if my experiment is not DESIGNED to test the influence of say… quantum information, no matter how long my experiment lasts, 31 or 62 years, I will never find out if quantum information is the one influencing the behavioral and feeding habits of finches…

    So, why even bother to set up an experiment to prove what’s already well known? Finches beak size changes back and forth and their behavioral and feeding habits don’t require genetic changes but rather an unknown mechanism or source of information beyond DNA…

    Isn’t it obvious that my experiment set up contradicts the claim of the Long-Term Evolution Experiment? Why would Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment claim be any different? If he had set it up 31 years ago to prove what’s already well known, why continue with his experiment for another 31 years without changing it? Why continue with his experiment for another 31 years if it’s not really designed to prove evolution? It makes no sense…

    Here is my suggestion for Dr. Lenski’s experiment:
    Make a bacteria without a flagellum to evolve anything resembling a flagellum! A paddle would be fine… a sail or even a farting mechanism that would propel the bacteria in order to survive and have more offspring…

    Wouldn’t this be a noble idea for a Long-Term Evolution Experiment?
    I guess Dr. Lenski doesn’t really want to prove evolution and he is just going to continue to make optimistic claims without really meaning them…🤔

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  2. J-Mac:
    I guess Dr. Lenski doesn’t really want to prove evolution and he is just going to continue to make optimistic claims without really meaning them…

    Again? How stupid do you have to be in order to repeat that very same crap? Do you have shit for brains? Oh, yes, yes you do. Sorry. Carry on displaying your profound imbecility.

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