Help Dr. Lenski to Design Real LTEE

[Admin edit: This thread is, with the agreement of the thread author, a rule-free thread.]

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)”… 😉

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

  1. “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…”

    The lack of self awareness is noted. Why aren’t you disappointed in the ID/creationists because they aren’t doing these experiments to prove the evolutionists wrong???

    The ID/creationists always criticize, but never do the science.

  2. As some of you already suspect, due to the old concerns at TSZ, I was very kind to Dr. Lenski and his unnecessarily overrunning experiment that most creationists would predict the result of…
    I will try to be as gentle as possible and yet, I will not refrain from exposing nonsense…
    Lizzy, the owner of the TSZ, stated clearly that this blog is about skeptics and no-one should be banned…
    So, unless I break the law, I can say whatever wish…
    Any objections?

  3. “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…

    It’s “No power in the ‘Verse can stop me” — where “‘Verse” is slang for “Universe”.

  4. Kantian Naturalist: It’s “No power in the ‘Verse can stop me” — where “‘Verse” is slang for “Universe”.

    Really?

    “No Power in the (Uni) Verse Can Stop Me (IT)”… 😉
    Need a link?

  5. J-Mac: Are you sure you are not violating any rules?

    Pretty sure. And this is a rule-free area. Other than spam, porn, outing, defamation and hate speech, anything goes.

  6. The experiment was not designed to answer questions J-mac feels are important, so J-mac, random internet nobody, considers the experiment a failure.

    Nobody gives even the slightest of fucks.

    /thread

  7. Alan Fox: Pretty sure. And this is a rule-free area. Other than spam, porn, outing, defamation and hate speech, anything goes.

    If this is true, as you claim, why so many of my comments were moved to guano for supposedly attacking the commentator? Do you need the links or you know where guano is?
    I’m sure you and DNA Joke will find another excuse to justify your abuses…
    Power corrupts… even on this level…

  8. Rumraket:
    The experiment was not designed to answer questions J-mac feels are important, so J-mac, random internet nobody, considers the experiment a failure.

    Nobody gives even the slightest of fucks.

    /thread

    Angry bird,
    I’m still waiting for one piece evidence ONLY to prove the creative powers of the thermal vents…
    You provide one piece of evidence, I will join your ranks of the angry birds..
    Until then, so long stupidisimo…;-)

  9. Alan Fox:
    J-Mac,

    The rules apply except for the exemption, agreed with you, granted for this thread, pimple-face!

    You made me agee to the rules you had made up…
    Are you sure you would like to contimue?
    I’m sure the owner cares about this… Or you know…

  10. J-Mac: You made me agee to the rules you had made up…

    How on Earth did I do that? Neil suggested we would allow a warts-and-all experiment and publish this travesty if you agreed to allow suspension of the normal rules for this thread. Did you misunderstand?

  11. Rumraket:
    The experiment was not designed to answer questions J-mac feels are important, so J-mac, random internet nobody, considers the experiment a failure.

    Nobody gives even the slightest of fucks.

    /thread

    Exactly right. To elaborate a little more, Lenski’s experiment was never designed to “make E-coli bacteria to evolve into anything else other than bacteria”, not even close. The fact that the goal was something different doesn’t make it “poorly designed”. It was extremely well-designed to do what Lenski et al set out to do: answer more fundamental question about fitness trajectories and adaptation. To quote from Lenski’s first LTEE paper (Lenski et al. 1991):
    “The primary goal of our study is to provide a series of such analyses and experiments, which we hope will provide greater insight into the roles of selection, chance, and history in promoting adaptation and divergence”

  12. “Admin edit: This thread is, with the agreement of the thread author, a rule-free thread.]”
    How do you like that?
    I don’t think the admins thought this special new rule through…But I love it…;-)

  13. Alan Fox: How on Earth did I do that? Neil suggested we would allow a warts-and-all experiment and publish this travesty if you agreed to allow suspension of the normal rules for this thread. Did you misunderstand?

    So, you suggest that the owner of this blog agrees with your new rule, even if there are liabilities related to this rule? Or, which part of the rule I didn’t understand?

  14. I’m just wondering what would happen to our and chimp or bonobos ancestor if he/she/they ended up in Dr. Lenski’s lab…
    We would have never evolved…not only that, our common ancestor would have devolved, as per Lenski’s admission…

  15. If Lenski’s e-coli turned into a racoon overnight, would that convince you of the powers of evolution?

  16. dazz:
    If Lenski’s e-coli turned into a racoon overnight, would that convince you of the powers of evolution?

    It’s not 5 o’clock in Spain is it not? Then, you should try prune juice instead….

  17. J-Mac: It’s not 5 o’clock in Spain is it not? Then, you should try prune juice instead….

    Why is it that you’re never willing to defend your retarded posts? I simply asked a straightforward question.

  18. J-Mac:
    Prune juice – the forgotten remedy for constipation

    In other words, prune juice helps thoise who are “full of it”

    Then it’s prime time you tried that remedy on yourself. You’re so full of it you could explode, yet you do nothing to alleviate your own pain. Lead by example J-Mac. (If you make it to this point in the paragraph I’ll be very surprised. If you understand half of it I’ll be very impressed.)

  19. Entropy: Then it’s prime time you tried that remedy on yourself. You’re so full of it you could explode

    One could argue, successfully I think, that “relieving himself” is pretty much what J-mac does when he posts here. I have yet to see him write something that doesn’t have the quality of raw sewage.

  20. Rumraket:
    One could argue, successfully I think, that “relieving himself” is pretty much what J-mac does when he posts here. I have yet to see him write something that doesn’t have the quality of raw sewage.

    Yeah. It’s more like J-Mac has an infinite supply. So much that her/his brain’s tissue has been completely substituted for that brown material.

  21. I think that we could move beyond the lab vs real environment nonsense…
    Just imagine, if you can, that Behe is Lenski, doing all the experiments for 31 years trying to prove common descent he so strongly believes in against my advise…

    Can you do it?

    Can you set aside you bias?
    Would you look at the same lab results differently, if an ID proponent was in doing it?

  22. J-Mac: I think that we could move beyond the lab vs real environment nonsense…
    Just imagine, if you can, that Behe is Lenski, doing all the experiments for 31 years trying to prove common descent he so strongly believes in against my advise…

    Lenski is not trying to prove common descent. He knows the bacteria are descended from an original population unless the designer has been messing with the bacteria. Too bad you weren’t around in 1988 to give him your advise…

    Can you do it?

    Shouldn’t matter who does it as long as they follow the same procedures.

    Can you set aside you bias?
    Would you look at the same lab results differently, if an ID proponent was in doing it?

    If a raccoon was created by the designer one would have a different view, for sure.

  23. newton: Lenski is not trying to prove common descent. He knows the bacteria are descended from an original population unless the designer has been messing with the bacteria. Too bad you weren’t around in 1988 to give him your advise…

    Shouldn’t matter who does it as long as they follow the same procedures.

    If a raccoon was created by the designer one would have a different view, for sure.

    What is Lenski trying to prove, then? That life systems change overtime?
    Even creationists had known that before his experiment…It was written in their holy books thousands of years ago…The best scientific prediction ever…:-)

  24. newton: If a raccoon was created by the designer one would have a different view, for sure.

    This is an amazing example of adaptation…
    The town I live in has spent millions changing the garbage containers because racoons can open anything but picking safe locks… 😉

  25. J-Mac: What is Lenski trying to prove, then? That life systems change overtime?

    A simple search will tell you. Yes and to know in what way and how much you keep records. Just because you know you are getting fatter ,sometimes it is sobering to put actual numbers on it.

    Even creationists had known that before his experiment

    As much as anything can change in six thousand years or so. How do they feel about plate tectonics?

    …It was written in their holy books thousands of years ago

    Was unaware of much in the sacred books about mutation rates in E.coli. Remember something about the sun stopping in the sky. Very messy.

    best scientific prediction ever…:-)

    Sure ,somewhere between Magic Eight Ball and your daily horoscope.

    0

  26. J-Mac: This is an amazing example of adaptation…
    The town I live in has spent millions changing the garbage containers because racoons can open anything but picking safe locks…

    I guess we are lucky that E.coli doesn’t evolve directly into raccoons , nothing would be safe.

  27. J-Mac: What? You don’t want to hear the truth?
    Why?

    I certainly want to know the truth about bacterial evolution via the LTEE.

    I just don’t get it from anything that you contribute.

  28. J-Mac: What is Lenski trying to prove, then?

    I already gave you this quote from Lenski’s first LTEE paper, published back in 1991. Did you miss it?
    “The primary goal of our study is to provide a series of such analyses and experiments, which we hope will provide greater insight into the roles of selection, chance, and history in promoting adaptation and divergence”

  29. evograd: I already gave you this quote from Lenski’s first LTEE paper, published back in 1991. Did you miss it?
    “The primary goal of our study is to provide a series of such analyses and experiments, which we hope will provide greater insight into the roles of selection, chance, and history in promoting adaptation and divergence”

    Really?! That’s he’ll of the thing!

    So, why continue for another 31 years to prove the role of selection and chance in adaptations that have been beaten to death and exposed by Behe and others mainly as degrading gene functions?

    IF LAB EXPERIMENTS don’t mimic the world environments realistically, why do federal funding agencies award grants to those who study laboratory evolution?
    Shouldn’t they fund the more realistic experiments, like polar bear evolution? (That is if polar bears even evolved…We’ll see about that…😉)

  30. Neil Rickert: Because there is still more to learn.

    Learn more? Like what? That becteria will continue to break or blunt gene functions?
    Neither of us will be alive in 31 years to see what we already know today, nor that it is needed…
    I already predicted it..

  31. J-Mac: Learn more? Like what? That becteria will continue to break or blunt gene functions?

    Odd then how there are still becteria after thousands of years. You’d think that eventually you’d run out of genes to break.

    J-Mac: Neither of us will be alive in 31 years to see what we already know today, nor that it is needed…

    If it is not needed that means you know it already. It’s a shame you can’t convince anybody else however.

    J-Mac: I already predicted it..

    On a, by your own words, failing blog? You should write it up formally and submit it to one of the many many ID journals that need content. Otherwise the predictions of J-Mac may just be lost if this blog ever shuts down! Do your bit for posterity and make sure that your wisdom is preserved for the ages.

  32. 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…

    The quoted paragraph concentrates a huge amount of stupidity. Unbelievable. I’d explain, but J-Mac cannot read for comprehension.

  33. Entropy: The quoted paragraph concentrates a huge amount of stupidity. Unbelievable. I’d explain, but J-Mac cannot read for comprehension.

    I can’t read with the same bias, or as YOU would like the truth to be…
    What can I change to see things the way you do? Can I evolve, perhaps?

  34. Why in the hell the LTEE were called the Long-Term Evolution Experiment if it really wasn’t designed to prove evolution? It should have been called the Long Term Evaluation Experiment Of What We Already Know…
    or what we knew, and Behe, told us years ago…or the waste of time and money by whoever…

  35. J-Mac:
    I can’t read with the same bias, or as YOU would like the truth to be…
    What can I change to see things the way you do? Can I evolve, perhaps?

    I don’t need you to see things the way I do. You need to understand a some basic philosophy, and a lot about basic science. However, as I said, you cannot read for comprehension, so why bother? I doubt you will make it to this sentence, and I doubt that you understood what I said in the first two.

  36. J-Mac:
    Why in the hell the LTEE were called the Long-Term Evolution Experiment if it really wasn’t designed to prove evolution?

    See what I say? You’re beyond stupid J-Mac. There’s no need to prove evolution, we already know that it has occurred and that it continues to occur. The experiment was designed to probe (not prove), some aspects of evolution. You really need to learn basic philosophy, basic science, and basic reading skills. Starting with the latter, obviously.

    Again, I doubt that you made it half through my comment, and I seriously doubt that you understood any of the sentences.

  37. Entropy: You need to understand a some basic philosophy, a

    I like evidence ONLY…
    I’m sorry to disappoint your strong beliefs in philosophy…

  38. Entropy: See what I say? You’re beyond stupid J-Mac. There’s no need to prove evolution, we already know that it has occurred and that it continues to occur. The experiment was designed to probe (not prove), some aspects of evolution. You really need to learn basic philosophy, basic science, and basic reading skills. Starting with the latter, obviously.

    Again, I doubt that you made it half through my comment, and I seriously doubt that you understood any of the sentences.

    Just say you don’t like what I say…I will not accept your stupidity… but someone may think otherwise… 😉

    BTW: I have not read your comment past the first few words in … a long, long time…
    Who can blame me? 😉

  39. J-Mac:
    I like evidence ONLY…

    No, you don’t care about evidence at all.

    J-Mac:
    I’m sorry to disappoint your strong beliefs in philosophy…

    I don’t have strong beliefs in philosophy, I just understand why schools try to compensate stupidity, such as the profound stupidity you display, by teaching some basic philosophy. I doubt you have the mind to understand any of it. You cannot be helped.

    ETA: Thanks for making my point, you didn’t make it past the word “philosophy,” and you missed the point, showing that you didn’t understand the few sentences you “read” either.

  40. J-Mac:
    Just say you don’t like what I say…I will not accept your stupidity… but someone may think otherwise…

    I’m sorry J-Mac, but I’m not the one writing such incredibly imbecilic statements like “proving creationism/ID wrong” or “if the experiment was not designed to prove evolution.” Both betray not just ignorance, but actual, authentic, stupidity and lack of self-awareness.

    J-Mac:
    BTW: I have not read your comment past the first few words in … a long, long time…
    Who can blame me?

    I know you don’t, and I don’t blame you. I blame your lack of self-respect and your profound idiocy. You cannot read for comprehension J-Mac. You don’t even try because you know you’re not going to get it, and you also lack the courage and stamina to do better.

    ETA: I doubt that you know the meaning of stamina and courage.

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