On Uncommon Descent Luskin asks Ayala the following question:
How would dual coding genes, which are nearly impossible to arise by chance, evolve via Darwinian processes?
Luskin “argues” that
Leading evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala recently wrote in Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that “Chance is an integral part of the evolutionary process.” Ayala then explained why he thinks Darwinian evolution is right and ID is wrong: “Biological evolution differs from a painting or an artifact in that it is not the outcome of preconceived design. The design of organisms is not intelligent but imperfect and, at times, outright dysfunctional.” (“Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer,” PNAS, 104:8567–8573 (May 15, 2007), emphasis added.) This questionable standard and conclusion is Ayala’s punchline against ID.
Ignoring for a moment the empty rhetoric of Luskin, let’s explore how Ayala may answer the question. Oh wait…
Ayala already answered the question
Chance is an integral part of the evolutionary process. The mutations that yield the hereditary variations available to natural selection arise at random, independently of whether they are beneficial or harmful to their carriers. But this random process (as well as others that come to play in the great theatre of life) is counteracted by natural selection, which preserves what is useful and eliminates the harmful. Without mutation, evolution could not happen because there would be no variations that could be differentially conveyed from one to another generation. But without natural selection, the mutation process would yield disorganization and extinction because most mutations are disadvantageous.
Of course, the answer is also found in the paper which outlines the dual coding genes.
Yet in cases of tightly coexpressed interacting proteins, dual coding may be advantageous. Here we show that although dual coding is nearly impossible by chance, a number of human transcripts contain overlapping coding regions.
Seems that there may indeed be advantages to dual coding, in other words, random variation AND selection, which are exactly the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution.
Now that Ayala has answered Luskin’s question, perhaps Luskin can enlighten us how ID explains dual coding? Oops, I forgot, ID does not deal with such ‘pathetic’ questions, to paraphrase ID defender Dembski.
And people wonder why ID remains scientifically irrelevant? It is doomed to remain so by its own foundation in ignorance.
Now I understand why Luskin failed to link to the article in PNAS, Ayala explains it all.