Evolution

You can say I am disillusioned about my belief that God created the universe and all creatures within it. Many evolutionists are similarly disillusioned how they believe species can evolve from nothingness, and they will make a leap of faith argument that demonstrates their lack of regard for science.

Recently researchers from Harvard University posted a time-lapse video showing how E. coli develops drug resistance within 2 weeks. It was blogged by the Bad Astronomy guy Phil Plait on slate.com which quickly turned into a rant.

"Some people pick and choose their science—not a terribly scientific attitude—and the ones who don’t believe in evolution probably won’t be swayed by a video like this. ... (... no doubt because they get their science from people who don’t understand it)"

This "I'm holier than thou because I know I'm right" attitude is detrimental to the development of science. Science is a model that approximates the truth, but science is not the truth. The model is never set in stone, and we can always refine the model as our understanding about nature increases. The model does not explain the purpose or the lack of purpose behind the way nature works.

As a corollary, science does not explain that things are created or that they are not created. It simply presents you this is how things work, regardless there is a creator or not. To illustrate how science and truth are irrelevant, good science can come out of religious context: the Roman Catholic Church sponsored scientific research such as calendar reform and maritime navigation that enabled some amenities of modern life that we now take for granted. Bad science can come out of anti-religious context as well: Charles Darwin based his atheism belief due to the death of his daughter, and this belief also poisoned his thesis On the Origin of Species to erroneously conclude that "as species are produced and exterminated by slowly acting and still existing causes, and not by miraculous acts of creation and by catastrophes."

The evidences presented in Darwin's thesis only supported that species are exterminated by slowly acting causes and catastrophes, but they do not rule out that production of new species is a miraculous act.

Those observing how bacteria evolve drug resistance cannot generalize microevolution to macroevolution, and macroevolution remains a myth. There are even well-defined physical limits to how microevolution works. For example, proteins become denatured at high heat. Even the most heat resistant form of protein—prion which is responsible for the mad-cow disease—become denatured at around 134°C. It would be physically impossible for a bacteria to evolve heat resistance above the physical limit in which it is constructed.

Of course, heat resistant bacteria that can withstand 134°C is going to be quite devastating. On the other hand, if the bacteria are made entirely out of prions, it will compromise its functionality, including its ability to infect other living organisms. If we were to engineer such bacteria, the science will inform us about the design trade-offs.

The mechanism that bacteria evolve drug resistance is well-understood. The drug typically kills bacteria by targeting and blocking a key metabolism pathway. It is limited so that it could be bypassed by (1) producing enzyme that deactivates the drug, (2) changing the target site so it's not affected, (3) changing the metabolism pathway to avoid the affected target site, or (4) reducing drug accumulation inside the bacteria. These mechanisms carry a metabolic cost: you can see from the Harvard University video that drug resistant strains of the bacteria grow slower (lighter shades). It also means that in the absence of anti-bacterial drug, the drug resistant strains are at a survival disadvantage compared to the non-resistant strains.

Bacteria are already known to adapt to the environment by adjusting its metabolic cost, so drug resistance is not really an evidence of evolution after all. The adaptability of species is merely a preexisting cost function.

If evolution is actually taking place, it's because humankind is making it happen. We selectively breed agricultural crops of those that are more palatable to our taste, so many of the wild varieties have become extinct, endangering agricultural biodiversity. Beer yeast has a better chance to survive with humans than pathogens such as E. coli. If so, why don't E. coli magically evolve into beer yeast? If it does, it will have to be an intentional effort intellectually designed by humans.

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