Last week, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who used the ideas behind evolutionary biology to design a variety of molecules. One of the laureates was Frances H. Arnold, who used a process called “directed evolution” to create powerful enzymes.
For this “directed evolution” research, she inserted the gene that produced the enzyme she wanted to study into fast-reproducing bacteria. With mutations of the gene, she could then examine how well variations of the enzyme worked. She chose the one that worked best and repeated the process — just like evolution chooses the survival of the fittest over succeeding generations.
In her initial experiments in the 1990s, she was able to produce an enzyme more than 200 times as effective as the one she started with by the third generation.
That’s incredible. In fact, in that experiment, the enzyme had ten different mutations which contributed to its effectiveness, which Arnold only figured out due to her ability to harness the randomness of evolution in her favor. As the committee noted, she showed the “power of allowing chance and directed selection, instead
of solely human rationality, to govern the development of new enzymes.”
But because she was inspired by evolution and because the Nobel Prize suggests evolution is true, the people at Answers in Genesis are furious. In other words, the most ignorant people in the world of science are working ever-so-hard to discredit the most brilliant ones.
How are they doing it? By saying that evolution would only be legitimate if Arnold turned one species into another, as if that’s supposed to happen in the blink of an eye, and that her controlled experiments prove that there must always be an Intelligent Designer.
[Answers in Genesis’ Dr. Georgia] Purdom, however, told Baptist Press that Arnold’s scientific process is decidedly different from the process through which Darwinists say life emerged.
“For evolution — if you’re going to go from one kind of organism to another — you have to not just make a protein work a little bit better or a little bit differently,” Purdom said. “You’ve got to make entirely new proteins…. Her work doesn’t show that at all.”
In contrast to Darwinian evolution, Purdom said, Arnold’s research “has nothing to do with random chance. She’s the one shifting around the parts of the DNA and making these proteins better.” Additionally, for Arnold’s process to work, as with development of life, “you have to have an intelligent designer.”
This line of thinking — and I use that word loosely — makes as much sense as a high school physics student claiming to know the real truth about dark matter. I assure you the experts have given enough thought to your “brilliant” theory and are rolling their eyes in unison.
Harnessing the basic idea of evolution to unlock biological secrets is both ingenious and a testament to the power of Darwin’s theory. No amount of ignorant whining from Creationists is going to change that. Someone who wants to criticize evolution should at least have an understanding of it that wouldn’t cause science professors to hang their heads in shame.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for Arnold’s Nobel Prize to be revoked.
(Screenshot via YouTube)