Tales of Future Evolutionary Pasts all around; Machine World falls apart because of lack o

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Tales of Future Evolutionary Pasts Organization: evolv-o-tron, inc. From: Deaddog Message-ID: Newsgroups: talk.origins Now wait. A long honking time. Joshua Lederbug looks up from his sequencer, his antennae twitching in consternation. "Francis! Francis! Come quickly, I need you." Francis Cricket springs into the room. "What is it Joshua?" "Francis, you know how I've battled the establishment, how I believe that the morphology of extant organisms is inadequately explained by the so-called "Theory of Descent?" "Yes, Joshua," sighs Francis, who has in fact heard his mentor ramble on time and again. They have tried to run Joshua's Creationist Theories past the social insect bureaucracy many times, with little success. No matter that evolutionary arguments held little water -- that the extreme divergence of organisms could not be accommodated within the known history of Earth, that the radioactive isochrons clearly pointed towards a singular origin of life, yet the molecular clocks that Joshua had spent his life measuring suggested that there was no possible way that genetic change could have accumulated so rapidly. The social insects had their own agenda, and it behooved them to speak of 'higher' and 'lower' organisms as though such things could have been brought about through genetic change. "Now they shall have to listen!" chortles Joshua. "What have you found?" asks Francis, growing interested. "Do you recall how we have recently discovered episomes ... what I've called plasmids ... in some bacterial strains?" "Yes, of course." "Well, I have finally managed to sequence one. Look!" The restriction enzymes that the two had developed and (belatedly) patented to assist in their researches had very distinct recognition sequences. They were quite useful in breaking up DNA to manageable size fragments. And they occurred, on average, once every 4000 base pairs. The two bugs were used to finding them more or less randomly scattered about genomes. But now this. "My Bug, Joshua, it's ... it's all of them. Together!" "Yes, my friend. EcoRI, BamHI, HindIII, and several more that I don't think we even know. All together. In one place. In precise alignment." "But what can it mean?" "Mean? It's a message! These were *put* here! This plasmid was made! Created! No process of random evolution assorted these restriction sites in this contrived way." "Astounding ... but perhaps this is a ... template to tell different bacteria about restriction specificities?" "Are you mad?! It would be a suicide plasmid! This is not a transferred episome; look, we've only found it in this extremely odd endosymbiotic bacteria in certain ancient trees. And look at this! The coding sequence for an enzyme that is highly related to our own glutathione transferase ... yet it is in a bacteria! What is it doing there? And look here, if my eyes do not mistake me that is an intron! In a bacteria!" "Well, it is an endosymbiont ...." "Bah, this bacteria does not even have the machinery for splicing. And the messages do not make it to the nucleus; I've checked." "Well, it certainly is odd. But there must be a rational explanation." "There is! This is a sign of Creation! This is the work of the Creator!" [At this moment a group of Army Ants bust in and drag away Joshua, kicking and screaming. He is sedated and put into an asylum. Francis decides to continue his studies of codon frequency in 'higher' organisms.] {The moral? Well, I sometimes wonder if the only evidence of our existence that will survive us is the engineered DNAs that we make. Will a polylinker in a plasmid someday tell our sad tale? A fusion protein serve as our epitaph?} {Technical details: yes, mutation rates would have obliterated most such evidence within a reasonable time span. Other signs, however, would probably remain, and might in fact be recognizable to the bugs of the future.} {Rationale: why is Creation an unlikely possibility? We'd know what to look for. The fingerprints of the Creator would be evident. Any scenario in which organisms were Created would likely show evidence of design at the molecular level. We're still waiting for such evidence. Evolution is most strongly, most convincingly, argued when molecules are allowed to tell their stories. Morphology is a game for the expert, and one man's acquired trait is another's design feature. But molecules cannot be mistaken; they scream the history of the world, and they are strident in their support of evolution.} Non-woof

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