Prize for “evolutionary engineer” reported on BBC News 24 May 2016. The Technology Academy Finland has awarded the Millennium Technology Prize, worth one million Euros to Frances Arnold, a US chemical engineer, for developing a process called “directed evolution” to make new enzymes used in the production of industrial catalysts, medical drugs and other chemicals. The use of these enzymes makes production of chemicals more efficient and avoids the use of more toxic catalysts.
Enzymes are proteins, made up of long strings of amino acids. The function of the protein is determined by the sequence of different amino acids in the string. The amino acid sequence is determined by information on DNA. Changing the DNA code results in a change in the protein.
Frances Arnold, who developed the process, explained how to make enzymes with new function: “I looked at it and said, well, nature didn’t actually design enzymes … How does this happen? You make mutations randomly, you look through a large number of things for the ones that have the properties you’re interested in, then you repeat the process. And you iterate, accumulating beneficial changes over multiple generations – pretty much like we’ve done for cats, dogs, cows, chickens, you name it”.
According to Frances Arnold “Evolution, to me, is the best designer of all time”.
Editorial Comment: Arnold’s process of producing new enzymes may be directed, but it is not evolution. Her method may start with random mutations, but it works only because pre-existing intelligent scientists and chemical engineers know the properties they want, and recognise them when they occur in mutated enzymes, then deliberately choose the enzymes that work. In other words, this whole process is controlled by intelligent minds that are outside the enzyme producing system. Therefore, this process is creative not evolutionary.
However, before any theistic evolutionists suggest that this process is something the God of Genesis could have used, we would remind them that unlike us lesser beings, the Biblical God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and would therefore never need to try random processes just to see what they produced. He knew exactly what He wanted and how it would work, and created it fully functioning from the beginning. Human scientists have to try random mutations followed by selection simply because they are a lot less intelligent than God. (Ref. design, biochemistry, chemistry)
Evidence News vol. 16 No. 10
8 June 2016
Creation Research Australia