Apr 272007

Since Atom at Uncommon Descent was so interested in Spetner’s work, I open this thread to discuss Lee Spetner’s book, Not by Chance. Spetner is Johns Hopkins biophysicist. He received an endorsement from Nobel Laureate Christian Anfinsen for his book.


  9 Responses to “Lee Spetner’s Not by Chance”

  1. I may e-mail Lee to solicit his responses to Shroeder’s criticism. I’m sympathetic to Lee, and I’d like to see his work succeed.


  2. Cool, I just registered and here I am. If anyone wants to talk about Spetner’s book or ideas.

    I, for starters, especially liked his discussion of “fast evolution”, where changes (variation) in the population seem to occur only in the prescence of specific environmntal queues. It seems to make a lot of sense from an ID perspective. Designed systems should have built in adaptive repsonses, if they were designed to be robust. Waiting around for a lucky mutation or two hundred seems would seem robust.

  3. Also, I’d like to re-share the link I posted on UD: http://www.trueorigin.org/spetner2.asp. There Spetner defends his argument against one critic.

  4. “Waiting around for a lucky mutation or two hundred seems would seem robust” – That should read: Waiting around for a lucky mutation or two hundred would seem less robust.

  5. Hey Sal, what was Shroeder’s criticism? I googled but couldn’t find it.

  6. Atom, “”Could selection add more than one bit to a genome in one evolutionary step? It can’t if the selection is between only two options.” – Not by Chance p.71, chapter 3″

    I see. That is a little puzzling given what I remember about the rest of the book. Obviously many nucleotides could change and then selection act upon that. I’ll have to take a look at the quotation next week when I get home. One of the salient points in the book, IMO, is the minimum requirement for a selection, which, of course, is one nucleotide. And then he makes calculations based on that.

  7. Hmm… The only critiques I’ve found of Lee Spetner is by Gert Korthof and another by Ian Musgrave…Am not sure if these are worthy critiques of the evolutionary theory because I don’t necessarily have time. So I would be interested in this critique since more time is on my hands =D. I found his idea of directed change, especially when it came to the nylonase eating bacteria a rather interesting read. Evolutionists are very fond of using that example these days and I would like to see a more comprehensive look at it someday from a creationist/IDist perspective.

  8. I read through both critiques and was a little disappointed. The first doesn’t really have an argument for Spetner other than “we’re not sure yet and your mechanism is vague too. Plus, you’re a CREATIONIST.”

    The second at least tries to answer Spetner, but completely misses the point. Most of Musgrave’s comments deal with Spetner’s relating of specificity to information – something that is not controversial. Yet he somehow takes offsense at it. He thn misunderstands Spetner’s “word-zyme” example: he thinks string length is Spetner’s metric for information, when a closer reading would show that Spetner uactually uses SPECIFICITY as his metric. String length was just a side-effect of that specific example, but you can make the same case with invariant length strings, as Spetner indeed does (see “10XXX” vs “10101” when he discusses addressing.)

    So, I still haven’t seen anything controversial about Spetner’s thesis. He seems to be on pretty solid ground.

  9. What Dr Spetner has done was to give us a viable (design) mechanism- “built-in responses to environmental cues”

    Also the link that Atom posted was a continuation of the discussion between Spetner and Max.

    I would also say that anyone who wants to address the information argument should read “Not By Chance” first.

    Gene duplications may just be part of Spetner’s mechanism.

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