Darwinists in a Muddle: Do Lenski's Microbes Show "Why Evolution Is True," or Not?
Jerry Coyne is ticked off that readers are attributing significance in the wider evolution debate to Michael Behe's current paper in the Quarterly Review of Biology, explicating the results of viral and bacterial evolution studies -- notably the famous long-term study of Richard Lenski:
As I predicted, the IDers completely ignore the limitations of this paper (see my analyses here and here), and assert, wrongly, that Behe has made a powerful statement about evolution in nature.What Coyne "completely ignores" is that Darwinists have accustomed themselves to waving Lenski as a banner that makes "a powerful statement about evolution in nature." In The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins devoted an ecstatic and detailed discussion to Lenski's work, enthusing:
Creationists hate it. Not only does it show evolution in action; not only does it show new information entering genomes without the intervention of a designer, which is something they have all been told to deny is possible ("told to" because most of them don't understand what "information" means); not only does it demonstrate the power of natural selection to put together combinations of genes that, by the naÃ¯ve calculations so beloved of creationists, should be tantamount to impossible; it also undermines their central dogma of "irreducible complexity." So it is no wonder they are disconcerted by the Lenski research, and eager to find fault with it.Coyne himself in his book Why Evolution Is True adduces the evidence of Richard Lenski, showing us "genuine evolutionary change."
So which is it, gentlemen? Is Lenski relevant to the broader debate, or not?