"A faith that can not survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets" - Arthur C. Clarke

More Definitions
(For Evolution Challenge)

- R. Totten

1. Species:
A "species" is a group of living things which are structurally similar to each other (but different from other species in some respects), and the members of a species are able to interbreed and produce fertile offspring only among themselves.

(From S.S. Mader's Biology, 3rd Edition, ('90)

2. Mechanism:
By "mechanism," this site means a scenario of specified, sequential, cause-and-effect (or at least "functionally dependent"), empirically correlated biochemical steps explaining how genetic information could have originated in nature, without the aid of intelligent management, intervention or design. Any hypothetical mechanism must demonstrate empirical correspondence with "the real world" of biochemistry and molecular biology ----not just mathematical or computer models---- of how the conceptual information so undeniable in living organisms could have arisen. It is not sufficient to limit discussion of information theory to its replication, transmission, or matrix of information retention. The question is: What is conceivably the initial source of the information in biological processes? Which of the known forces of physics or chemistry, or what combination of these forces, produced biological information, and how? What is the empirical evidence for this kind of information spontaneously arising within nature?

3. Statistically Reasonable Probability:
"Statistically Reasonable Probability" will be judged by "Borel's Law of Chance", which states that : Any probability which is smaller than one chance out of 10 to the 50th power (10^50), is statistically classified as having a zero chance of occuring at random.
This reward considers that a random occurrence with a larger (better) chance than one out of 10^50, is conceivably possible.

4. Why a net increase in functional DNA material is required:
This requirement arises from the fact that neo-Darwinian evolution posits the development of all highly complex forms of life from the simplest possible life-form ...such as some sort of proto-bacterium. (In fact, the beginning is thought to be Abiogenesis). Such a minimal life-form might supposedly only code for several proteins, whereas a mammal codes for about 1,000,000 different proteins ...therefore, in the neo-Darwinian scheme of things, from proto-bacterium to mammal, there has supposedly been a net increase in almost a million proteins being coded for in the DNA "programs" of the highest forms of life. This is the macro-evolution taught by neo-Darwinism, for which evidence is not forthcoming, so far.
The same thing goes for the development of a complex structure such as a cilium or a flagellum : A cilium is made of about 200 different proteins (coded for by 200 genes), while a flagellum is made of about 40 different proteins (coded for by 40 genes in the DNA). Therefore, for example, unavoidably neo-darwinian evolution must demonstrate how it is possible that the cilium or flagellum arose by the proto-bacterium aquiring a net increase in the DNA material which code for these new structures.

5. "Functional" Protein:
A "functional protein" is one which "folds" to shape itself properly in a stable, distinctive and discrete fashion in order to perform a function in an organism which is beneficial to that organism's life-functions, and is advantageous for its survival, but is not deleterious or destructive to any life-functions in the organism. If an amino acid chain is just an unfolded peptide that binds to some other protein, and interferes with its function, then the unfolded peptide would not be classified as a new functional protein, because it doesn't perform any function on its own, ...it just interferes with something else.

Read the two summaries of Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box..." for more on this.

6. A Protein "Type":
When we speak of a "type" of protein, this indicates a group of proteins which (because of functional, and often structural, similarities) are grouped as a distinct "category" or "class" (see Webster's College Dictionary, definition of "type"). The most important and widely recognized criteria for classifying proteins is according to their function. -----For example : the cytochromes constitute a type, or class, of proteins (with a similar function), of which there are a number of variations in different life-forms; and still another protein-class, or type, would be the various hemoglobins. Another distinct type of proteins would be the immunoglobulins of which there are, again, a large number of variations throughout nature, and yet, this "type" of protein is distinguishable as a class or category because of its distinctive overall functional similarities.

For helpful discussion about new "types" of functional proteins, read M. Behe's article on "Functional Classes of Proteins...".

(For reading for further clarification on biochemical "types" ----esp types of protein----, read chapter 12 of "Evolution: A Theory In Crisis" by M. Denton, '85, pgs 274-307.)

7. Submissions:
It is suggested that a preliminary contact be made with this Web Site through Email, to see if the proposed evidence offered is close to what is required. The meeting of this site's reward-requirements (when complete) must be addressed & published by the reward applicant in a reputable peer-reviewed scientific journal, such as "Science", "Nature" or "Scientific American." The journal publication must include the applicant's complete presentation of explanation of the evidence which meet each of the required conditions to win this site's reward. Three copies of the journal must be submitted. In the case of a disagreement on winning or not, a mutually agreeable neutral arbitrator may be used, or the county court of R. Totten's county of residence may be employed to arbitrate. The requirements and conditions for this website's reward shall come from this website as of the post-marked date (by registered mail) of the applicant's submission of the published article from the peer-reviewed journal.

This site's reward is to be awarded and paid only one time, at $500 per year for four years, equalling $2,000. If mulitiple applicants win the award at the same time it will be split equally.

Relevant Articles to Consider:

An answer to: "Given Enough Time Anything is Possible - Even Evolution" - by Dr. David N. Menton
The Improbability of Functional Proteins Arising by Chance Processes - By Dr. Michael Behe
Climbing Mt. Improbable (- R. Dawkins) and Darwin's Black Box (- M. Behe) - Reviewed by Phillip Johnson
Darwin Under the Microscope - by Dr. Michael J. Behe
The Incompleteness of Scientific Naturalism - by Dr. William A. Dembski - Chapter 7 of Darwinism: Science or Philosophy
How Simple Can Life Be? - answersingenesis.org Article
The myth of the prebiotic `soup' - by David J. Tyler
Abiogenesis : Hopeful Distortions and Spontaneous Generation Redux - by R. Totten
Cheating With Chance - by Don Batten
DNA : The Message in the Message - by Nancy Pearcey
The Marvelous 'Message Molecule' - by Carl Wieland
Origin of Life: The Left-Handed Problem - by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati
Self-replicating Enzymes in Origin of Life? - by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati
Did scientists create life ... or did the media create hype? - by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati
The Mystery of Life's Origin (three chapters) - by Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, & Roger L. Olsen
Genetics: No Friend of Evolution - by Lane Lester
'Simple'? Whole Bacteria Genome Sequenced - by Don Batten

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Abiogenesis : Hopeful Distortions and Spontaneous Generation Redux
Evolution is Partly True
Creation vs Evolution: Articles and Discussion
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