When I first started examining in earnest the evidence back and forth for intelligent design vs unguided evolution, someone brought up to me the nylonase case. Upon first reading it, I recognized it, if true, as very significant contrary evidence that undermined the basic ID theory… that novel, de novo, “specified” complexity and functionality could arise easily and quickly, without any intelligent agency or purpose.
At the time I was skeptical in general - not so much due to my sympathy for ID - but it simply seemed intuitively more likely to me that a digestive enzyme capable of breaking down a polymer would arise from tinkering or “honing” a pre-existing digestive function. But I tried to keep an open mind and explore. If I confirmed this was a de novo enzyme popping out of nowhere, fully formed, fully functioning, created complete and fully functioning out of the more or less random assembly of amino acids that would happen from a frameshift mutation, this would seriously discredit the basic assumptions of ID.
Some sites (manynaimed at refuting creationism) argued it was the result of a frameshift, but I recall later going to wikipedia (that unerring source of all objective and reliable truth,) and reading about nylonase later being confirmed in 2007 as the result of a few point mutations, though the page seemed a bit of a mess, some parts still arguing for frameshift, but still referring to the original study or articles from 1984.
So recently, I noticed this topic was brought up both on this site and in the “Adam and the Genome” book, arguing again that nylonase is the de novo result of a frameshift mutation. But then Ann Gauger from discovery institute recently argued against that, seeming to point to other research that determined nylonase as the result of some point mutations.
I think the discussion fascinating, and the consequences certainly have great import for or against the assumptions of ID. But I’m not familiar enough with the particular research or methods to make a judgment one way or the other.
Can anyone who is more knowledgeable confirm for me one way or another… do we know if Nylonase is the result of a frameshift mutation, point mutations, or as yet undetermined?