Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds

One of the paragraphs from the conclusion of Douglas Axe's recent article:
Clearly, if this conclusion (A dawinian search is insufficient to find new protein folds) is correct it calls for a serious rethink of how we explain protein origins, and that means a rethink of biological origins as a whole. Drawing on some of the points developed here, I presented an earlier version of this case several years ago to two prominent experts in the field. Bothered by my conclusion, both felt that it must be in error. When the three of us met for a discussion, they had their own hunches about where my reasoning might have gone wrong. Interestingly, though, after perhaps two hours of heated discussion neither agreed with the other’s hunch, and we ended up at a polite but dissatisfying impasse. I left with the distinct impression that my conclusion was being rejected not because it was unfounded but because it was unwelcome.