Works on paper, but does it work in the lab?

Works on paper, but does it work in the lab?

If evolution works, it has to work, not just at the macro level, but even down to the smallest level; proteins. The Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon, has been investigating this, and their findings have given them pause. Or should have.

Venezuela raised its minimum wage. Again. For the 4th time just this year. Can we look to that country to show how raising it here would be good for their economy? (Hint: No. Bernie Sanders supporters, beware.)

Mentioned links:

Oops! Evolutionists Disproving Evolution

Venezuelan President Announces 30% Minimum Wage Increase

Clashes in Venezuela as economic shortages continue to bite

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World 2014

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Show transcript

I know that a discussion of evolutionary science isn’t all that political, but I’ve occasionally strayed off the political pasture in the past, and I’m doing it again this time.

Seems that evolutionary biologists have been trying to uncover the way that evolution took us from single cells to reptiles, mammals and birds. Basically, how did it go from single-cells to multiple-cells in a complex organism? If evolution works, it has to work, not just at the macro level, but even down to the smallest level; proteins. The Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon, has been investigating this, and their findings have given them pause. Or should have.

What’s got them stuck is the idea that while evolution may change one protein within a cell, the problem comes when you consider what that means for the cell. Can a changed protein function in a cell where it’s expecting the old protein? An article in the show notes explains it this way:

Converting a Toyota Corolla into an already similar sedan, like a Hyundai Elantra, seems simple enough as long as we’re just telling general stories. Just swap one part out at a time, right? But the details show why it’s an impractical idea.

Incompatible parts simply won’t fit. For example, the Corolla wheels have holes for four lug nuts, but the Elantra’s wheels have five. The new Elantra wheel will not fit—and trying to use it would leave the “evolving” Corolla unfit for driving during the entire time it “waits” for a Corolla axle to develop a five-lug nut option. The problem is that the car must remain completely drive-able all throughout this hypothetical evolution.

Even with all other parts well-fitted and functioning fine, a car that needs four wheels to operate but only has three goes nowhere, illustrating why simply changing one protein can render an organism useless—even with other proteins working perfectly. The whole cell must remain functional while evolution upgrades one old protein at a time. The whole process is not practical at all.

Perhaps they should have bought a car made in America. Anyway, this is basically what the researchers found. However, instead of questioning the theory based on their observation, they speculated on even smaller, intermediate changes, sort of like the missing link theory, but now between proteins rather than between apes and humans. “Hey, it satisfies us at the macro level; let’s try it at the micro level.”

But biochemist Michael Behe, who was not involved in the study, put it in perspective when he observed, “To the extent that a pre-existing system had to pass through improbable, unselected, or even detrimental states—unguided by natural selection or any other unintelligent factor—to reach a rare new function, then to that extent we can say Darwinian evolution does not explain life.” Yeah, he’s an Intelligent Deisign guy, best as I can tell, but his explanation fits the observed evidence. It’s similar to trying to figure out how something like an eye evolved slowly over time, with so many speculated non-functioning versions until one day some animal got his sight, and thought to himself, “So that’s what this thing on my face was going to do! If I’d known that, I’d have spent the last million years making myself presentable.”

Venezuela, that South American country that has created an economic utopia using socialist policies, is doubling down on those policies. Again. But this time, it’s going to work. Yes, that oil-rich nation that ought to be a shining beacon of democratic socialism of the kind Bernie Sanders identifies with, is increasing its minimum wage. Again. And by “again” I mean that this will be the 30th increase in the past 15 years; the 4th one this year alone.

And if you believed what liberals in the US say that would do for our economy, Venezuela’s economy must be revving right along, right? Sure, if you call waiting in line as a full-time job “revving”. They wait for milk, bread, toilet paper and diapers, for medicine, and for spots in line. Yes, you can make a living getting up early, getting a good spot in line, and selling it. I mean, that’s like the epitome of Ben Franklin’s idea of being early to be and early to rise, though I don’t think selling your spot in the bread line what quite what he had in mind.

And all this while the inflation rate is a mere 100%. Revving along, indeed! And let’s not forget that Caracas, Venezuela is one of the top cities in the world for murder. But hey, you have to take the bad with the … really bad.

If those who say that a higher minimum wage is just the cure for our economic woes would just take a peek at Venezuela, I’m positive … they’d keep pushing for it. Because they don’t want to hobble our economy as much as those socialists have. They just want to hobble it a little. This time. For now.

How’s this for a campaign slogan; “Vote for Bernie Sanders! He just wants to make us a little bit like Venezuela!” Think that’ll get him elected? Well, y’know, unfortunately, it just might.

Filed under: Economics & TaxesEvolutionMinimum WageScienceSocialismSouth AmericaVenezuela