Back to theodicy: guessing about God's 'bad' designs (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 23:17 (60 days ago) @ David Turell

A review of human mistakes about God's designs:

https://evolutionnews.org/2021/05/verdicts-of-poor-design-in-biology-dont-have-a-good-t...

"The Vertebrate Eye Wired Backwards
"For years people cited the wiring of the vertebrate eye as evidence of “poor design” in biology. But starting in 2010 (Labin and Ribak) and continuing through 2014 researchers solved the mystery of the backwards wiring. “For the first time, we’ve explained why the retina is built backwards, with the neurons in front of the photoreceptors, rather than behind them. The retina is not just the simple detector and neural image processor, as believed until today,” said Erez Ribak, a professor at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology). “Its optical structure is optimized for our vision purposes.” It turns out that the backwards wiring enables improvements in daytime vision without affecting night vision:

"The findings presented here indicate that the spectral separation of light by Müller cells provides a mechanism to improve cone-mediated day vision, with minimal interference with rod-mediated night vision. This is achieved by wavelength sorting of incident light by the Müller cells.

"The Appendix Labeled as a Vestigial Organ
"The misunderstood appendix, often vexed by the modern diet, has been labeled for many years by scientists and medical practitioners alike as an “evolutionary leftover.” Today, with an improved understanding of the microbiome and immune system, scientists now realize that the appendix is actually a safe house for normal gut bacteria. It reseeds the colon with normal gut bacteria following diarrheal washout and facilitates the development of the intestinal immune system. There you have it. Another example of the “poor design” label being incorrectly applied to an area of human physiology that was poorly understood.

"The GTP Proofreading Step as a Wasteful Side Reaction
"The misguided verdict of “poor design” has extended even to core molecular machinery. Cells rely on extremely accurate protein translation to ensure the correct folding and function of proteins. The accuracy of protein translation depends upon a GTP hydrolysis mediated proofreading step that was once considered a “wasteful side reaction.” Uri Alon in his book An Introduction to Systems Biology explores how this reaction allows for a second discrimination step that results in multiplicative lowering of the error rate.

"The fact that the modified tRNA can fall off seems wasteful because the correct tRNA can be lost. Moreover, to make c* costs energy: each amino acid incorporated into a protein requires hydrolysis of GTP which is about one ATP’s worth of energy. This cost adds up to a large part of the cell’s energy balance. However, it is precisely this design that generates high fidelity. The secret is that c* offers a second discrimination step: the wrong tRNA, once modified, can fall off the codon, but it cannot mount back on.

"Assuming the GTP driven proofreading step was a wasteful side reaction is logical only if you think biology is the cobbled-together product of random Darwinian processes. In order to make better predictions, we must start with better assumptions.

"In my last post, I explained why there is not sufficient knowledge of overlapping reading frames or adequate consideration of constraints to confidently state that INK4a and ARF are evidence of poor design. Historical examples also caution against prematurely labeling not-well-understood biological phenomena. "

Comment: Human judgements about God's 'bad 'designs are bad judgements. Please wait until the research is done to explain what seems bad. Human judgement is not at God's level.


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