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A very interesting article with surprising relevance to the general public.

Posted by clementkent on 17 Sep 2014 at 16:31 GMT

The authors provide a service to the general evolutionary theory world by showing how two different kinds of evolutionary processes partition DNA sequence space in Polynomial time (P) and Non-Polynomial time (NP) problems. While this will seem very abstract to most general readers, it maps very directly to a common topic in the debate between supporters of evolution and their opponents. A frequent argument by creationists is that the set of adaptations to build a complex organ like an eye are so unlikely they could never happen. This corresponds approximately to the authors' discovery that de-novo evolution of function in long DNA sequences can be NP in the length of the sequence. So in some sense the authors provide a rigorous derivation of the "so unlikely they could never happen" sentiment, <italic>for their first set of models<end italic>. However, by showing that their second set of models can evolve new function in polynomial time, the authors' show that the evolutionary biologists' view of evolution of complex function by a "gradual tinkering" process.

No competing interests declared.