Assessing the possibility of a functionally discontinuous biological paradigm
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This project sets as its goal the development of an Intelligent Design paradigm that makes falsifiable predictions. According to Karl Popper, such falsifiability is a key component of scientific theories. To accomplish this, two hypothetical historical narratives are first outlined based on guided processes and the design points they predict. A biochemical approach to characterizing organisms then defines a protein's global functional limits as determining the set of amino acids that allow it to successfully perform its functions in any situation. The local functional limits restrict this potential substitution set to only those proteins viable within an individual genetic background. Proteins are referred to as the first-order of specified complexity because a protein's gene is the fundamental unit of inheritance. Other orders of specified complexity are described culminating in the organism level, which is the fundamental unit of selection. Each phylogenetic tree within the two intelligent design scenarios is founded by an original group or archetype. The descendants of this archetype are known as the archetype's genus. Speciation events within the genus are brought about by a slow process called co-adapted drift that creates distinct species through functional incompatibilities. A theory of natural selection is developed that attempts to characterize the relationship between the gene and the organism. Natural selection in this sense is described as a preservation mechanism that selects against deleterious phenotypes instead of selecting for beneficial ones. Finally, a practical methodology is developed that begins by determining the history of a gene in a given species by the symmetrical causal relationships of the alleles and the species allelic distribution. The original alleles in this species and their local functional limits are then compared with those of analogous genes in similar species to determine if these species were functionally compatible at that time. The two Intelligent Design paradigms predict patterns of incompatibilities, or design points, where guided actions were involved. This is a falsifiable prediction that raises the status of these paradigms in a Popperian sense.
Schroeder, James William (2005). Assessing the possibility of a functionally discontinuous biological paradigm. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from