Category Archives: evolution

Yale U. professor: Darwinian theory of evolution cannot explain the origin of species

In a recent article published in the Spring 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University, maintains that the Darwinian theory of evolution is not just accepted as “settled truth,” it is “the basis of a worldview” and a “replacement religion”.

The problem is this: Although called a “theory,” Darwinism is not a scientific theory because it neither predicts nor explains what it means to explain, which is the actual origin of species, because:

  1. Darwinian evolution is “gradual, step by step” as new life forms evolve gradually from old ones “in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life.” However, fossils of those predecessors of new life forms cannot be found. Instead, the fossil record shows the opposite: “In general, most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” During the Cambrian explosion of around half a billion years ago, for example, the fossil record shows that a striking variety of new organisms — including the first-ever animals — just “popped up suddenly”.
  2. At the molecular biology level, according to Darwinism, evolution is the consequence, over millions of years, of small good-for-survival (“natural selection”) mutations to genetic information within cells which are passed on to the next generation(s), thus changing the future of the species. Inventing a new gene by mutation requires inventing or creating a new protein. But it has been calculated that the mathematical odds of creating a new protein stable enough to be useful are zero, which means that the odds of producing “a single promising mutation in the whole history of life” is also zero. 

Gelernter concludes that “The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer.” That intelligent designer did not act just once, but “interferes repeatedly,” which suggests (what Thomas Aquinas called) “the first cause” must have a purpose — “some sense of the big picture of life on earth.”

David Gelernter

Below are excerpts from Gelernter’s essay, “Giving Up Darwinism“:

Darwinian evolution is . . . basic to the credo that defines the modern worldview. Accepting the theory as settled truth—no more subject to debate than the earth being round or the sky blue or force being mass times acceleration—certifies that you are devoutly orthodox in your scientific views; which in turn is an essential first step towards being taken seriously in any part of modern intellectual life. But what if Darwin was wrong?

Like so many others, I grew up with Darwin’s theory, and had always believed it was true….

Charles Darwin explained monumental change by making one basic assumption—all life-forms descend from a common ancestor—and adding two simple processes anyone can understand: random, heritable variation and natural selection . . . conceived to be operating blindly over hundreds of millions of years….

Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether he can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain.

Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. He cannot answer the big question. Two other books are also essential: The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (2009), by David Berlinski, and Debating Darwin’s Doubt (2015), an anthology edited by David Klinghoffer…. These three form a fateful battle group that most people would rather ignore. Bringing to bear the work of many dozen scientists over many decades, Meyer, who after a stint as a geophysicist in Dallas earned a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge and now directs the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, disassembles the theory of evolution piece by piece. Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.

Meyer doesn’t only demolish Darwin; he defends a replacement theory, intelligent design (I.D.) … [but]  never uses religious arguments, draws religious conclusions, or refers to religion in any way….

Some I.D.-haters have shown themselves willing to use any argument—fair or not, true or not, ad hominem or not—to keep this dangerous idea locked in a box forever. They remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one….

Darwin himself had reservations about his theory, shared by some of the most important biologists of his time. And the problems that worried him have only grown more substantial over the decades. In the famous “Cambrian explosion” of around half a billion years ago, a striking variety of new organisms—including the first-ever animals—pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years. This great outburst followed many hundreds of millions of years of slow growth and scanty fossils, mainly of single-celled organisms, dating back to the origins of life roughly three and half billion years ago.

Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life. Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated…. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors: Darwinian evolution is gradual, step-by-step. All those predecessors must have come together, further back, into a series of branches leading down to the (long ago) trunk.

But those predecessors of the Cambrian creatures are missing. Darwin himself was disturbed by their absence from the fossil record. He believed they would turn up eventually. Some of his contemporaries (such as the eminent Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz) held that the fossil record was clear enough already, and showed that Darwin’s theory was wrong. Perhaps only a few sites had been searched for fossils, but they had been searched straight down. The Cambrian explosion had been unearthed, and beneath those Cambrian creatures their Precambrian predecessors should have been waiting—and weren’t. In fact, the fossil record as a whole lacked the upward-branching structure Darwin predicted.

The trunk was supposed to branch into many different species, each species giving rise to many genera, and towards the top of the tree you would find so much diversity that you could distinguish separate phyla—the large divisions (sponges, mosses, mollusks, chordates, and so on) that comprise the kingdoms of animals, plants, and several others—take your pick. But, as Berlinski points out, the fossil record shows the opposite: “representatives of separate phyla appearing first followed by lower-level diversification on those basic themes.” In general, “most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” The incremental development of new species is largely not there. Those missing pre-Cambrian organisms have still not turned up.

Some researchers have guessed that those missing Precambrian precursors were too small or too soft-bodied to have made good fossils. Meyer notes that fossil traces of ancient bacteria and single-celled algae have been discovered: smallness per se doesn’t mean that an organism can’t leave fossil traces…. The story is similar for soft-bodied organisms…many fossils of soft-bodied organisms and body parts do exist. Precambrian fossil deposits have been discovered in which tiny, soft-bodied embryo sponges are preserved—but no predecessors to the celebrity organisms of the Cambrian explosion.

This sort of negative evidence can’t ever be conclusive. But the ever-expanding fossil archives don’t look good for Darwin, who made clear and concrete predictions that have (so far) been falsified….

Darwin’s main problem, however, is molecular biology. There was no such thing in his own time. We now see from inside what he could only see from outside….

Darwin’s theory is simple to grasp…variation occurs naturally among individuals of the same type—white or black sheep…. A sheep born with extra-warm wool will presumably do better at surviving a rough Scottish winter than his normal-wooled friends. Such a sheep would be more likely than normal sheep to live long enough to mate, and pass on its superior trait to the next generation. Over millions of years, small good-for-survival variations accumulate, and eventually (says Darwin) you have a brand new species….

[M]olecular biology…explains (it doesn’t merely cite) natural variation, as the consequence of random change or mutation to the genetic information within cells that deal with reproduction. Those cells can pass genetic change onward to the next generation, thus changing—potentially—the future of the species and not just one individual’s career….

But what does generating new forms of life entail? Many biologists agree that generating a new shape of protein is the essence of it. Only if… Darwinian evolution is creative enough to do that is it capable of creating new life-forms and pushing evolution forward….

Inventing a new protein means inventing a new gene…. Genes spell out the links of a protein chain, amino acid by amino acid. Each gene is a segment of DNA….

Your task is to invent a new gene by mutation—by the accidental change of one codon to a different codon…. But if you mutate your way to an actual, valid new gene, your new gene can create a new protein and thereby, potentially, play a role in evolution….

Douglas Axe did a series of experiments to estimate how many 150-long chains are capable of stable folds—of reaching the final step in the protein-creation process (the folding) and of holding their shapes long enough to be useful. (Axe is a distinguished biologist with five-star breeding: he was a graduate student at Caltech, then joined the Centre for Protein Engineering at Cambridge…. He estimated that, of all 150-link amino acid sequences, 1 in 1074 will be capable of folding into a stable protein. To say that your chances are 1 in 1074 is no different, in practice, from saying that they are zero. It’s not surprising that your chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore play a part in evolution, are even smaller. Axe puts them at 1 in 1077.

In other words…The odds bury you. It can’t be done…. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses….

You don’t turn up a useful protein merely by doodling on the back of an envelope, any more than you write a Mozart aria by assembling three sheets of staff paper and scattering notes around. Profound biochemical knowledge is somehow, in some sense, captured in every description of a working protein. Where on earth did it all come from?….

There are many other problems besides proteins. One of the most basic, and the last I’ll mention here, calls into question the whole idea of gene mutations driving macro-evolution—the emergence of new forms of organism, versus mere variation on existing forms.

To help create a brand new form of organism, a mutation must affect a gene that does its job early and controls the expression of other genes that come into play later on as the organism grows. But mutations to these early-acting “strategic” genes, which create the big body-plan changes required by macro-evolution, seem to be invariably fatal. They kill off the organism long before it can reproduce. This is common sense. Severely deformed creatures don’t ever seem fated to lead the way to glorious new forms of life. Instead, they die young….

Meyer explains: “genes that are obviously variable within natural populations seem to affect only minor aspects of form and function—while those genes that govern major changes, the very stuff of macroevolution, apparently do not vary or vary only to the detriment of the organism.”….

Darwin would easily have understood that minor mutations are common but can’t create significant evolutionary change; major mutations are rare and fatal….

The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer…now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell….

If Meyer were invoking a single intervention by an intelligent designer at the invention of life, or of consciousness, or rationality, or self-aware consciousness, the idea might seem more natural. But then we still haven’t explained the Cambrian explosion. An intelligent designer who interferes repeatedly, on the other hand, poses an even harder problem of explaining why he chose to act when he did. Such a cause would necessarily have some sense of the big picture of life on earth. What was his strategy? How did he manage to back himself into so many corners, wasting energy on so many doomed organisms? Granted, they might each have contributed genes to our common stockpile—but could hardly have done so in the most efficient way. What was his purpose? And why did he do such an awfully slipshod job? Why are we so disease prone, heartbreak prone, and so on? An intelligent designer makes perfect sense in the abstract. The real challenge is how to fit this designer into life as we know it. Intelligent design might well be the ultimate answer. But as a theory, it would seem to have a long way to go.

~Eowyn

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Stunning new study found human and all animal species today originated only 100,000 to 200,000 years ago

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:06:24 +0000

eowyn2

Research by two scientists on DNA and mitochrondria found that over 90% of animal species in existence today — including humans — had originated only 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

While the two scientists shied away from saying it, their finding that humans and all animals date back to at most only 200,000 years ago is contrary to what evolutionists have been telling us, that the Earth and its life forms had taken millions of years to develop and evolve.

Note: DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid carries the genetic instructions of all known living organisms. Mitochrondria are structures or organelles located in the cell’s cytoplasm outside the nucleus, responsible for energy production. All mitochondrial chromosomes are inherited from the mother.

The two scientists are:

  • Mark Young Stoeckle, Ph.D. and M.D., Senior Research Associate at the Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY. Email: mark.stoeckle@rockefeller.edu
  • David S. Thaler, Ph.D., who researches and teaches Genetics and Microbiology at the Biozentrum – Center for Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Email: david.thaler@unibas.ch; davidsthaler@gmail.com

Their research is published as M.Y. Stoeckle and D. S. Thaler, “Why should mitochondria define species?,” Human Evolution, Vol. 33, n. 1-2, May 2018, pp. 1-30.

Written in a technical and, for non-specialists, arcane language, the article concerns DNA barcoding — a taxonomic method that uses a short genetic marker in an organism’s DNA to identify it as belonging to a particular species. For animals, the preferred barcode regions are in mitochondria — cellular organelles that power all animal life. As the authors wrote (p. 10):

The agreement of barcodes and domain experts implies that explaining the origin of the pattern of DNA barcodes would be in large part explaining the origin of species. Understanding the mechanism by which the near-universal pattern of DNA barcodes comes about would be tantamount to understanding the mechanism of speciation.

For their study, Stoeckle and Thaler relied largely on more than 5 million mitochondrial barcodes from more than 100,000 animal species, assembled by scientists worldwide over the past 15 years in the open access GenBank database maintained by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information. The two scientists used the collection to examine the range of genetic differences within and between animal species ranging from bumblebees to birds. They found surprisingly minute or little genetic variation (between 0.0% and 0.5% variance) within most animal species — but very clear genetic distinction between a given species and all others.

The authors conclude that the surprisingly little genetic variation found within each of nearly all existing animal species can only be explained by the species all being young — no more than 100,000 to 200,000 years old.

Here is the article’s “Abstract”:

More than a decade of DNA barcoding encompassing about five million specimens covering 100,000 animal species supports the generalization that mitochondrial DNA clusters largely overlap with species as defined by domain experts. Most barcode clustering reflects synonymous substitutions. What evolutionary mechanisms account for synonymous clusters being largely coincident with species? The answer depends on whether variants are phenotypically neutral. To the degree that variants are selectable, purifying selection limits variation within species and neighboring species may have distinct adaptive peaks. Phenotypically neutral variants are only subject to demographic processes—drift, lineage sorting, genetic hitchhiking, and bottlenecks. The evolution of modern humans has been studied from several disciplines with detail unique among animal species. Mitochondrial barcodes provide a commensurable way to compare modern humans to other animal species. Barcode variation in the modern human population is quantitatively similar to that within other animal species. Several convergent lines of evidence show that mitochondrial diversity in modern humans follows from sequence uniformity followed by the accumulation of largely neutral diversity during a population expansion that began approximately 100,000 years ago. A straightforward hypothesis is that the extant populations of almost all animal species have arrived at a similar result consequent to a similar process of expansion from mitochondrial uniformity within the last one to several hundred thousand years.

And again, Stoeckle and Thaler wrote (p. 22):

More approaches have been brought to bear on the emergence and outgrowth of Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e., modern humans) than any other species including full genome sequence analysis of thousands of individuals and tens of thousands of mitochondria, paleontology, anthropology, history and linguistics [61, 142-144]. The congruence of these fields supports the view that modern human mitochondria and Y chromosome originated from conditions that imposed a single sequence on these genetic elements between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago [145-147]. (p. 22)

The authors wrote in the article’s “Summary and Conclusion” (pp. 22-23):

Mostly synonymous and apparently neutral variation in mitochondria within species shows a similar quantitative pattern across the entire animal kingdom. The pattern is that that most—over 90% in the best characterized groups—of the approximately five million barcode sequences cluster into groups with between 0.0% and 0.5% variance as measured by APD [average pair-wise distance], with an average APD of 0.2%.

Modern humans are a low-average animal species in terms of the APD. The molecular clock as a heuristic marks 1% sequence divergence per million years which is consistent with evidence for a clonal stage of human mitochondria between 100,000-200,000 years ago and the 0.1% APD found in the modern human population [34, 155, 156]. A conjunction of factors could bring about the same result. However, one should not as a first impulse seek a complex and multifaceted explanation for one of the clearest, most data rich and general facts in all of evolution. The simple hypothesis is that the same explanation offered for the sequence variation found among modern humans applies equally to the modern populations of essentially all other animal species. Namely that the extant population, no matter what its current size or similarity to fossils of any age, has expanded from mitochondrial uniformity within the past 200,000 years.

Dr. Thaler observes: “Our paper strengthens the argument that the low variation in the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans also explains the similar low variation found in over 90% of living animal species — we all likely originated by similar processes and most animal species are likely young.

All this is reinforced by The Rockefeller University’s Press Release about Stoeckle and Thaler’s journal article:

Researchers report important new insights into evolution following a study of mitochondrial DNA from about 5 million specimens covering about 100,000 animal species.

Mining “big data” insights from the world’s fast-growing genetic databases and reviewing a large literature in evolutionary theory, researchers at The Rockefeller University in New York City and the Biozentrum at the University of Basel in Switzerland, published several conclusions today in the journal “Human Evolution.” Among them . . .

* The mass of evidence supports the hypothesis that most species, be it a bird or a moth or a fish, like modern humans, arose recently and have not had time to develop a lot of genetic diversity. The 0.1% average genetic diversity within humanity today corresponds to the divergence of modern humans as a distinct species about 100,000 – 200,000 years ago — not very long in evolutionary terms. The same is likely true of over 90% of species on Earth today.

* Genetically the world “is not a blurry place.” Each species has its own specific mitochondrial sequence and other members of the same species are identical or tightly similar. The research shows that species are “islands in sequence space” with few intermediate “stepping stones” surviving the evolutionary process.

In other words, Stoeckle and Thaler did not find the “missing links” — the intermediate forms that, according to the theory of evolution, developed when one species evolved into another distinct species. As Dr. Thaler notes, “Darwin struggled to understand the absence of intermediates and his questions remain fruitful [i.e., unanswered].”

Allow me to rephrase Stoeckle and Thaler’s stunning study:

  1. When a species began, its members are characterized by genetic sameness (“mitochondrial or sequence uniformity”).
  2. In the natural course of time, members of a species would develop genetic differences (“mitochrondrial variation”) at a rate (“molecular clock”) of 1% variation per million years.
  3. Using a data base of the DNA barcodes of more than 100,000 animals species, the two scientists found very little genetic variation — between 0.0% to 0.5% variance — within each species. The average intra-species genetic variation is only 0.2%. The genetic variation within the human species is even less — 0.1% — which means the human species is about 100,000 years old, younger than most other animal species.
  4. Appealing to Occam’s Razor, a simple explanation for the paucity (0.0% to 0.5%) of intra-species genetic variation is that all animal species, including humans, are very young — no more than 100,000 to 200,000 years old — and therefore did not have the millions of years to develop genetic divergence or variation.
  5. If the theory of evolution is true, we would expect to find a wide range of points-of-origin of animal species — from 100,000 years to millions of years. Instead, Stoeckle and Thaler found that all existing animal species date back no more than 200,000 years ago, which means that they share a similar originating point-in-time — “the extant populations of almost all animal species have arrived at a similar result consequent to a similar process of expansion from mitochondrial uniformity within the last one to several hundred thousand years”.
  6. Lastly, the scientists found that each species is distinct from other species, but could not find intermediate forms (“stepping stones” or missing links) between species.

Note that points 4, 5 and 6 all contradict the theory of evolution, but support the Theory of Creation —

  • That there was a point in time when God created all living things as distinct species (“after their kind” – Genesis 1:21).
  • That man was the last living thing to be created and therefore the human species is younger than other species.
  • All of which means humans and other species had not evolved over the course of millions of years;
  • Which would explain why there are no intermediate forms or missing links.

Genesis 1

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness

~Eowyn

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Darwin Under The Microscope – Part 1

From: 44 Reasons Why Evolution Is Just A Fairy Tale For Adults
January 8, 2014 by Michael Snyder

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was published in 1859.
The Theory of Evolution was adopted quickly as fact and used by educators everywhere to indoctrinate children to the false god of science. As a child I experienced one teacher after another making it their mission to crush the faith I was taught as a Catholic child.. Now let’s put Darwin on the spot, and hold his ideas up to the scrutiny of 158 years of hindsight and research.

Reasons 1-9 not to trust Darwin’s theory

No transitional fossils

#1 If the theory of evolution was true, we should have discovered millions upon millions of transitional fossils that show the development of one species into another species. Instead, we have zero.
#2 When Charles Darwin came up with his theory, he admitted that no transitional forms had been found at that time, but he believed that huge numbers certainly existed and would eventually be discovered…

“Lastly, looking not to any one time, but to all time, if my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking closely together all the species of the same group, must assuredly have existed. But, as by this theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?”

#3 Even some of the most famous evolutionists in the world acknowledge the complete absence of transitional fossils in the fossil record. For example, Dr. Colin Patterson, former senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History and author of “Evolution” once wrote the following…

“I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them …. I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”


#4 Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Harvard University, once wrote the following about the lack of transitional forms…

“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”

#5 Evolutionist Stephen M. Stanley of Johns Hopkins University has also commented on the stunning lack of transitional forms in the fossil record…

“In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.”

#6 If “evolution” was happening right now, there would be millions of creatures out there with partially developed features and organs. But instead there are none.
#7 If the theory of evolution was true, we should not see a sudden explosion of fully formed complex life in the fossil record. Instead, that is precisely what we find.
#8 Paleontologist Mark Czarnecki, an evolutionist, once commented on the fact that complex life appears very suddenly in the fossil record…

“A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth’s geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin’s hypothetical intermediate variants – instead species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God.”

#9 The sudden appearance of complex life in the fossil record is so undeniable that even Richard Dawkins has been forced to admit it…

“It is as though they [fossils] were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists. Both schools of thought (Punctuationists and Gradualists) despise so-called scientific creationists equally, and both agree that the major gaps are real, that they are true imperfections in the fossil record. The only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation and both reject this alternative.”


Read the whole article:
44 Reasons Why Evolution Is Just A Fairy Tale For Adults by Michael Snyder

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Tired of Darwin? Me too.

Darwin has been debunked

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdqYPjA9VxA?rel=0&w=500&h=281]
Darwin’s theory of evolution has been used by Communists as a means of de-humanizing society, and thus to remove the stigma from genocide.
Darwin is now provably wrong, and it is important we tear him down off his pedestal.

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