From the summer of 1993, up until about a year ago, I engaged in a lively debate on the topic of evolution in the Science and Math Forum on Compuserve. Eventually, people got tired of listening to me rant and rave about evolution, so I was shown the door. I did, however, save all the notes that I posted over those several years and I've chosen a representative sample to present here.
Well, I guess you can make up any kind of a story about how
something *might* have happened. But just because it *could* have happened
a certain way doesn't mean that it did. Evolutionists make up a story
about how something might have happened and then dare you to prove that
it didn't. This is not science as I know it. But they seem to have gotten away
with this little scam for quite a while with no major challenges from
other scientists. I wonder why?
Also, when you are talking about gross anatomy, it's probably easier to
envision how change could occur through a small series of intermediate
steps. However, when you're talking about complex biochemical processes that
are in delicate balance and will not work without all the components, it's a little
harder to explain it in terms of gradual modification.
Evolutionists are playing antics with semantics with the public.
When they say evolution is a "fact", I know that they are referring to the
very narrow definition of a change in the frequency of alleles in a
population, or changes in the fossil record that occur over time. I have
no quarrel with this and never had. But the popular definition of evolution
in the mind of the average lay person is much broader. It means things like
"humans descended from apes" and "we all evolved from one-celled animals"
or "Darwin's theory of mutation and Natural Selection" that is taught in
most high school biology courses. The disclaimer about "mechanism" of
evolution being under question is lost in the translation.
There is also no evidence of any kind, and I challenge anyone to provide it,
that these changes in the frequency of alleles in populations can lead to new
genera, families, classes and phyla. The most quoted example of the pepper moth
in England is a "oscillatory" phenomenon in that when the conditions changed
back, the allelic frequencies shifted with them. Were they de-evolving? No,
they never evolved in the first place. It was merely a change in allelic frequency, not a step
towards a new species.
I've detailed the alleged evolution of the horse in several past notes.
Allow me to quote from G.G. Simpson (1953): "The most famous of all equid trends,
'gradual reduction of the side toes' is flatly fictitious. There was no such trend
in any line of Equidae..." The fact that two groups approach each other closely
in terms of their skeletal morphology is *not* evidence of phyletic evolution.
As Stanley (1979) said "The known fossil record fails to document a single
example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition
and hence offers no evidence that a gradualistic model can be valid". The
so-called transitional series that you present are relatively minor morphological
transformations (if that's the right word) that show the forms are *related*
but give no clue as to the nature of that relationship.
is, that your examples are all at the outermost fringes of the evolutionary
bush, if such a thing exists. We know minor variation occurs and we also know
that natural selection can act on this variation. This is what we refer to
as micro-evolution, and no one that I know denies that it occurs. The issue
is, the power of variation and natural selection to proceed beyond these
trivial changes to produce new types.
You present to me as evidence, changes in beak length or moth coloration,
or chemical resistance. I say to you, yes, these effects do occur, but this is
not macroevolution and it is not a step towards higher classes. It is minor
variation within an existing type. On the other hand, I ask you to explain to
me the evolutionary mechanism whereby complex structures such as a bacterial
flagellum was evolved. We have a rather exalted opinion of what is "higher"
AND "lower" in the hierarchy of life. Most people would put bacteria at the
very bottom. Yet, we do not live in the "Age of Man" or even the "Age of
Mammals" or the "Age of Insect". We live, and probably always have, in the "Age
of Bacteria". The bacterial flagellum, possessed by some bacteria, is a complex
biophysical system and thousands of papers have been written on it over the
years. Not one paper, however attempts to explain how this structure might
have "evolved". The flagellum "motor" requires hundreds of proteins, and these
must be put together in an exact way, so that it functions. It resembles a
regular motor, in that it has rings, pins, bushings, rods, rotor, stator,
and universal joints. It acts as a rotary propellor, in contrast to the cilium,
which acts more like an oar. It uses the energy generated by a flow of acid
through the bacterial membrane, rather than energy stored in ATP.
Now don't forget, bacteria are probably the *oldest* living organisms on
earth, dating back to around 3.45 B.Y.A. How could have such a complex structure
have "evolved" in such a short time? The only conclusion I can come to, is that
bacteria did not arise on earth from nothing, they came to earth from elsewhere
with these structures already in place.
In my opinion, the reason that you believe in evolution is that you are
only looking at the simplest and most trivial of effects. I think if you
took a closer look at the far more complex systems and processes, you too
would begin to wonder (as I'm sure many scientists have) how they came to be.
Ernst Mayr states in his book "Populations, Species and Evolution"
(pg 361) "A new taxon does not arise as an order, class or phylum.
It arises as a new species and eventually becomes a new genus that
we assign to a new order only because its subsequent descendants show
the degree of distinctness and of discontinuity (after much extinction)
that by convention is considered to signify ordinal rank."
This means that the species is the starting point for evolution in the
neo-darwinian view. Now, if we look at the fossil record to verify this,
we find the very opposite to be true. When new forms appear, they are fully
characteristic of their phylum and class. Only after some period of time do
they give rise to new families, orders and genera. The species is the
end-point of this diversification, not the beginning. There appears
to be something very wrong here. Your "tree of life" has its leaves
planted in the ground and its roots high up in the sky. In my view,
the "archetype" came first, fully characteristic of its design. It then
proceeded to "diversify" into many varieties of this quintessential
form. And this view is fully compatible with what we see in the fossil
The analogy between biological evolution by natural selection
and technological advances is a false analogy.
The analogy is false because at no point in the development of the
automobile or the airplane was
any element of the design achieved by chance.
Only by the most strict application of the rules of engineering
and aerodynamics was the final result obtained. There is no way that
a random search could ever have discovered the design of the internal
combustion engine. In all cases, the search for function is intelligently
guided. Evolution by random mutation is analagous to
problem solving without any intelligent guidance.
In the case of every kind of complex, functional system, the total
magnitude of all combinational possibilities is nearly infinite.
Meaningful islands of function are so isolated that to find even one
by chance would be truly a miracle.
There is no reason to believe that the primeval atmosphere contained
ammonia or methane. Kastin (Science Vol. 259 12 Feb 1993 pp 920)
concludes: "Although many details of how the earth's atmosphere evolved
remain unresolved, a general picture has emerged.
The formation of an atmosphere containing N2 and CO2 and an
ocean containing H2O
appears to be a natural consequence of planetary accretion in the
terrestrial planet region...Once the main accretionary phase had
ended, the surface heat flux would have dwindled and the steam
atmosphere would have rained out to form an ocean. The remaining
atmosphere would probably have been dominated by carbon and nitrogen
compounds, primarily CO2, CO and N2."
The second reference is a discussion article, expressing the authors
opinions. None of what he says is supported by experimental data.
The only data offered (their synthesis has been demonstrated
from simpler compounds under pre-biotic conditions)
depends upon knowing what these conditions were.
Further, the oldest known rocks are found in the Isua district
of west Greenland. Dr, Manfred Schidlowski of the Otto-Hahn
Institut in Mainz Germany is convinced that the carbon in these
rocks once went through photosynthesis (History of Life, Richard
Cowen, pp41). Warrawoona rocks from Australia are dated at 3550 Ma.
They contain the oldest cells, found in stromatolites. Stromatolites
are believed to be formed mainly from photosynthetic blue-green
algae, or cyanobacteria. The same are found in Shark Bay, Australia
and the Gavish Sabkha in the Sinai. Cyanobacteria grow and
photosynthesize so luxuriantly that they form dense mats.
As to why the increase in oxygen didn't occur until around
2 b.y ago: "95% (of the oxygen released in photosynthesis) today
reacts with sulfides and ferrous iron compounds to form sulfates
and iron oxides. These reactions must have used up every oxygen
molecule produced on the early earth...it would have taken
literally hundreds of millions of years to satisfy these demands
before significant amounts of free oxygen began to accumulate
in air and water" (Cowen, p47)
Photosynthesis, in my opinion, did not "evolve" from anything.
It is one of the original processes on earth, going back to the
oldest cells. And I believe it came to earth from elsewhere.
Just a brief summary to clarify my position. I do not believe that
mutation and natural selection together constitute the mechanism of
evolution, nor do they explain the appearance of the multitude of
plants and animals on earth. This theory states that all of the plants
and animals on earth "evolved" by the gradual accumulation of fortuitous mutations
over a long period of time. These mutations conferrred a "selective advantage"
that accumulated over time to produce new orders, classes and phyla.
Here are my objections:
1. Certain biological processes and structures have no selective
advantage at intermediate stages of evolution. Why then, are they
2. In many organisms, fewer offspring are produced than are able to
survive. There is, therefore, no struggle for existence and natural
selection doesn't occur.
3. In most past extinctions, it has been chance, not cause, that led to
the elimination of species.
4. New taxa appear suddenly, not gradually in the fossil record. When
these new classes appear, they are fully representative of their
class and show all the characteristics of that class.
5. There is an almost total absence of transitional links between
major classes. If Darwin were correct, we would be up to our
ears in transitional forms.
6. There are no "common ancestors". Where are they?
7. Biochemical analysis has shown that the major classes are equidistant
from each other. If Darwinian evolution occurred, the more advanced
classes would be proportionally further from less advanced classes.
8. Mathematical analysis has shown that a random search process, such
as proposed by Darwin could not have found all of the life forms
in the time available.
9. Darwinian evolution (as of now) cannot be simulated in artificial
10. An experimental proof of natural selection has not been demonstrated.
Artificial selection has been shown to be a dead end street
11. If the DNA is analogous to a computer program, as many believe,
then it could not have "arisen" by chance. Mathematical proof has
shown that the validity of an algorithmic process is not itself
an algorithmic process. At least one higher intelligence is needed.
12. The argument from design. Some say that Hume defeated Paley's
argument from design but all he proved is that since Paley's
argument proceeds by analogy, that this does not constitute a
formal proof. Agreed. An analogy is only as good as it's ability
to persuade. I find it very persuasive. If I were to find a Mac
computer on Mars, I would not think that it had assembled itself
from the native elements by a process of random chance. I would
assume that it had been designed for a purpose. So with life.
All living organisms appear to be biochemical machines that show
evidence that they were designed for a purpose.
13. If evolution were occurring, one would expect to see some new
phyla from time to time. All of the major phyla appear in less than
10 million years and no new phyla have appeared in the last 500
14. The number of phyla, classes, orders. etc. is decreasing over time.
If evolution is occurring, I would expect them to be increasing.
15. Darwinian evolution violates the 2d Law of Thermodynamics. This
law states that entropy (disorder) increases in all natural processes.
The evolution of life from simple to complex is a decrease in entropy.
16. There has been very little change on a cellular level over billions
of years. The basic biochemical processes such as cell respiration,
photosynthesis, protein synthesis, appear to be very ancient and
show no evidence of having "evolved" over time. The DNA replication
and protein synthesis in the oldest bacteria is essentailly the same as
in modern humans.
17. There isn't one single shred of evidence to support natural selection.
as the mechanism for evolution. All that has been shown is that it
is a trivial effect that can produce variety in already existing forms.
Why is it not possible that there is also a computer algorithm in the DNA
that led to the unfolding of all the living organisms on the earth from
a single origin? I have never said that evolution did not occur. I am
only questioning the mechanism. Mutation and natural selection is NOT
the mechanism of evolution. I believe that the evolution of life on
earth is the end result of a yet undiscovered computer program, found
in the DNA, which came to earth from elsewhere billions of years ago.
The changes were not "the gradual accumulation of beneficial mutations
over a very long period of time" as Darwin supposed, but the step by
step unfolding of a preconceived plan.
How can you look at the functioning of the Hox genes and still believe
that life evolved by random chance and error?
Assuming that chlorophyll could assemble itself de novo from existing
chemicals, there is a long road between a molecule of chlorophyll, which
by itself can do NOTHING. and a chloroplast. As you well know, I'm sure,
all chloroplasts come from pre-existing chloroplasts. They cannot be made
by the cell cytoplasm. Organelles such as plastids have their own independent
reproductive mechanism. Now, where do you suppose the first chloroplast came
from? The DNA in chloroplasts is like the DNA in prokaryotes, leading to
the suggestion that they are, in fact, modified prokaryotes. Now, how did
the DNA in chloroplasts "learn" the code to manufacture this chlorophyll
that arose in the primeval seas by chemical accretion?
Natural selection requires an infinitude of
point mutations that stretch out over an immense period of time.
We should be up to our ears, literally, in transitional forms.
This we do not see. Take birds, for example. Save Archeopteryx,
there are no examples at all of transitional birds linking the
birds to the reptiles. Where are they?
Why not. Virtually all cells have a complete set of genes
necessary to reproduce the entire organism. Why does a bean plant
carry genes that can code for hemoglobin? Why do nerve cells in the
brain contain genes that code for testosterone? If each cell carries
a complete set of genes for the entire organism, why can't it also
contain all the genes necessary to produce all of the organisms on earth?
After all, many genes are found across a broad spectrum of different
species and perform similar functions. All of the basic processes
are the same, respiration, transcription, replication, etc. A few
alterations could easily change a camel into a horse. Not to mention
the fact that more than half the DNA is inactive. Junk left over
from evolution? I think not. The coded data for every species of
animal that ever lived on the earth. (maybe plants too.)
You say that "homology is, by definition,
derivation by descent" while at the same time, descent is being
defined by the presence of observable homology. And if it is so, that
homology is derivation by descent, how are we to separate true
homology, if it exists, from mere analogy?
For example. the forelimbs of terrestrial vertebrates are built
on the same pentadactyl design as the hindlimbs. Are we to conclude
from this that the forelimbs are homologous to the hindlimbs, or that
hindlimbs evolved from forelimbs, or that forelimbs and hindlimbs
evolved from a common ancestor?
It is my belief that the DNA came to earth with all of the
code necessary to construct all of the living things on earth. These
basic processes did not "evolve" here de novo, they were imported
from elsewhere. The basic processes themselves have not changed at
all over the billions of years. But you are correct that horizontal
transmission of DNA is more important than realized. And the role of
viruses may be the key element. Blocks of genetic material are being
moved around and this may be the cause of the "evolution" we think
we see. The microorganisms may represent a pool of genetic potential
that is moved around and assembled by viruses into different forms.
The same genes are being seen over and over again in a wide range
of different plants and animals. In many cases, the so-called homologous
structures are being arrived at by completely different routes and
apparently homologous structures are being specified by different genes
in different species.
It has also been shown that most genes in higher organisms are
pleiotropic and have multiple effects on different organ systems. These
pleiotropic effects are invariably species specific. This suggests a
new level of organization in the genome, one in which groups of genes
act together in different combinations to produce different effects.
Two facts seem clear to me. The genes themselves and the genetic
code did not "evolve" by point mutations and natural selection but
came to be by some other process. Also, changes in the DNA (evolution)
does not occur by point mutations acted upon by natural selection, but
rather by the movement of large blocks of genetic material across species
lines. It is my belief, as a speculation, that the genes came to earth
from elsewhere, and have not changed over the eons and that viruses, and
perhaps bacteria are the instruments by which these movements occur and
that perhaps the large numbers of microorganisms act as a "pool of genes"
from which higher organisms are constructed.
Evolutionists have cited the fossil record as evidence for evolution.
I have been told repeatedly that the fossil record is so incomplete and
it's so hard to preserve fossils and less than 1% of all species are
preserved so I can't cite it as evidence against natural selection.
Well then, you can't cite it as evidence for natural selection. So
goodbye fossil record. It's useless.
What else do evolutionists offer? Homology? You just got finished
telling me that homology exists because of an absence of natural
selection. Where is your evidence? What do you offer other than a hunch?
What do you have more substantive than "it seems likely" or "we assume"
The fact is, natural selection is a theory without one single fact to
support it. Not one. On the other hand, questions like "where are the
transitional birds?" and "what about the Cambrian explosion?" and
"Why do new species appear suddenly with no precursors?" are ignored.
I believe that it is self-evident that the eye did not
evolve by the process of mutation and natural selection. Not
only is the rate of so-called "beneficial" mutations ridiculously
low, but the eye is an integrated structure that fits in with
the nerves, bones and muscles of the body. Even if you can
concede the possibility of the eye itself evolving, you would
have to account for the concurrent evolution of the bones of
the head, the eye socket, etc, the muscles that control the eye,
the nerves that carry the images, the blood vessels that supply the
eye and the cerebral cortex necessary to process the images.
Evolutionary biologists forget, sometimes, that all of an
organism is integrated together, the parts and processes are not
separate. For one to "evolve", all must evolve and in a manner
that allows the parts to function together. This would require
such a fantastically large number of intermediate forms with
various combinations of "beneficial" mutations that it puts the
whole concept of evolution well beyond the reach of chance.
Finally, the main argument that the mathematicians presented
was that darwinian evolution by natural selection is merely a
special case of the general procedure of problem solving by
trial and error. Even Dawkins agrees that this method would
never be successful in achieving the level of organization
that we see. It is too inefficient. There would not be enough
room in the universe for all of the rejects.
Also, you would expect to find an infinitude of intermediaries,
which we also do not see.
I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER said that. NEVER EVER.
You go on and on and on, for page after page, telling me how
wrong I am, and how tolerant you have been, and how polite everyone
is, and how you ALL told me, and how I fell down, or stepped in it,
or have egg on my face and why I don't get any respect and how I
have IGNORED your questions and how forgetful I am, and how deficient
I am in knowledge and how unequipped I am to handle it, and what I said
that I didn't say, and how I mutilate quotes and make invalid
statements and how I treat people to wild claims, utter non-
sequitors, and how I omit answers and how I quote out of context,
all the while, amusing Susan no end and earning the respect of all
the learned members of the forum with your incisive wit and
But there's only one thing you've never done. You've never said
anything to defend your theory of evolution. You've never answered
any of my arguments with anything approaching a defense and you've
totally ignored my questions.
If we had an impartial jury, I'd have won this debate 6 months ago.
Everywhere I go, I look for pre-cambrian beds. I examined such rocks in
the Grand Canyon, in Canada, in upstate N.Y. and many other places. I have
yet to find a fossil of any kind in these rocks. However, just above these
strata, in cambrian, ordivician and silurian beds, I find a multitude of
invertebrate and vertebrate fossils. The Ediacara are probably not related
to modern forms and are unique in their own right. The Tommotian does
contain some creatures with identifiably modern design, but most of its
members are tiny blades, caps and cups of uncertain affinity. I don't think
the jury is in yet on the Tommatian fauna. They may be ancestors, or they may
a failed fauna that was later supplanted by the organisms of the cambrian.
Even Gould is astounded by the sudden appearance of multicellular life
in the cambrian. He says in his book "Wonderful Life" : Nearly 2.5 billion years of
prokaryotic cells and nothing else-two-thirds of life's history in stasis at the
lowest level of recorded complexity. Another 700 million years of the larger and much
more intricate eukaryotic cells, but no aggregation to multicellular animal life.
Then in the 100 million-year wink of a gelogical eye, three outstandingly
different faunas-from Ediacara to Tommotian, to Burgess. Since then, more than 500
of wonderful stories, triumphs and tragedies, but not a single new phylum
or basic anatomical design added to the Burgess comliment."
He goes on to say "...you may want to read this as a tale of predictable
progress: prokaryotes first, then eukaryotes, then multicellular life. But
scrutinize the particulars and the comforting story collapses."
But it gets worse.
When Gould wrote those words in 1989, not much was known about the Chengjiang
fauna, at least as important as the Burgess Shale. Dr. Jan Bergstron writes
in his 1991 paper: "the Chengjiang arthropods are not much different from
those of the Burgess Shale, despite their distinctly older age (570 m.y.)...
during this time span (Chengjiang to Burgess, 40 m.y.) evolution seems to have
produced very little change. Another equally long step backward in time
brings us back to the initial "Cambrian fossil explosion", before which
almost no trace of animal fossils occurs. Trace fossils indicate that life existed,
but that it was different from that of the Cambrian, consisting probably of
acoelomates and pseudocoelomates, but not of
All of this evidence is consistent with life arriving suddenly on earth
from elsewhere and is inconsistent with life having "evolved" gradually
by the slow accumulation of fortuitous mutations over a long period of time.
. The algorithm itself cannot decide whether it's
doing the right thing. A higher intelligence (the observer) is needed.
Nor can another algorithm do the job. The second algorithm can determine
whether the Turing machine stops or not, but it cannot determine whether
stopping is good or bad. That requires insight. To the algorithm, living
is equal to dying. Neither is "better" or "worse" than the other. For
evolution to work, living must be "better" than dying. Who decided that?
For this to happen, the organism must live rather than die. You are
just citing a more specific example of the general rule: from an evolutionary
standpoint, living and reproducing is better than dying and not reproducing.
My question is, by what authority is one better than the other? My original
argument is that one algorithm cannot decide the "worth" of another algorithm.
Either the turing machine stops, or it doesn't stop. What makes one choice
better than the other? Can an algorithm decide this, or is *insight*
necessary? If there is no "purpose" in our existence, then not existing is
just as good as existing. Why do we choose to exist?
All plants and animals, and most humans, don't give a damn
whether their genes are passed on or not. They mate and reproduce
because this behavior is programmed into their genes. They make no
logical or conscious decision to "pass on their genes". If sexual
intercourse had nothing to do with producing progeny, we would still
be screwing our brains out anytime we could. Homosexual men, for example,
engage in sexual behavior even though progeny are not an outcome.
My point is, if urge to survive and reproduce is programmed into our genes,
how did it get there? Is it possible that a "higher intelligence" with
*insight* determined that living and reproducing was better than dying and
not reproducing? As far as the universe is concerned, it doesn't make a
bit of difference whether the earth is a ball of bare rock like mercury or
is populated by billions of organisms, like earth.
Well, I usually don't get so metaphysical, but sometimes I do.
I read a report a few days ago about the fosB gene in mice. Mice that
lack this gene ignore their own infants and let them die from neglect.
One possible explanation is that when the mother sniffs her newborns,
the smell signals a cascade of reactions in the brain that activates
the nurturing reflex. We have to face the fact that a large part of
behavior, both animal and human, is controlled by genetic programming.
My point is, how did this programming get there? Where did it come from?
Did it "evolve" by the slow accumulation of fortuitous mutations over
a long period of time? Computer programs just don't write themselves, or
create themselves from any kind of haphazard, random process. What's more,
once the program is written, someone with insight has to decide whether
it is working properly. Living organisms are just too complex to have arisen
by any kind of non-directed, purposeless process. There is a deeper level of
explanation than that given by any current evolutionary theory.
Well why don't you just put that tolerance to work and explain to me
the series of steps by which the process of blood clotting "evolved" by
darwinian evolution. Show me how any of the hypothetical intermediate
steps could have been useful so as to be selected for. Show me how a cascade
reaction with many steps and many proteins could have evolved into a
process that cannot work if any step, or any protein is missing. Now don't
forget, you not only have to initiate clotting at the wound, you have to
prevent clotting elsewhere in the system. Don't forget also, that no blood
clotting occurs until the *third* step. If tissue factor evolved first, what
would it do without prothrombin? If prothrombin evolved first, why does it
have the ability to bind with tissue factor? In short, the many different
proteins are organized in a way that none can function without all the others.
But save your energy, because no one on earth has any idea at all about how
the coagulation cascade came to be. So let's go on to a new (and perhaps easier
) problem. Let's try explaining how the bacterial flagellum evolved...
I really object to your lumping people who criticize darwinian
evolution with Flatearthers, astrologers "and other proponents of
pseudoscience or superstition". Some of our most respected scientists
have voiced similar claims and concerns. Are they all fools? Is Lynn
Margulis a fool? Is Sir Fred Hoyle a fool? Are John McDonald, Jerry Coyne,
Jon Cairns, Roger Penrose, Steven Jay Gould, Michael Behe, George Miklos,
John Endler, Hubert Yockey, Stuart Kauffman, Francis Hitching, Michael
Denton, Paul Davies, Barry Hall and Jan Bergstrom all fools? They have voiced
the same kind of concerns as I have about darwinian evolution. Any theory
in science should be open to discussion, debate and criticism. It should
not become an ideology whose proponents refuse to acknowledge any problems.
You're problem is that you've become Dawkins-ized by that garbage that they
call science in the talk.origins group. You repeat the same mantras over and
over and you really believe that they are responses to troubling questions.
I just got through reading almost the whole Talk.Origins Archive FAQ on the
web. It is almost totally devoid of any kind of factual evidence to support
darwinian evolution. Any fool can see through the obfuscation and irrelevancy
of their so-called scientific facts.
Gould speaks for himself. I'll leave it to you and others to
decide for yourselves what he means. I will remind you, however, that
his theory of punctuated equilibrium viewed the gaps in the fossil record as
real phenomona of nature, a result of the mechanism of evolution itself,
rather than as artifacts, resulting from the imperfection of the fossil
record. Darwin was strongly against the idea of any sort of evolution in
jumps and strongly defended the gradualism inherent in his theory of
As far as blood clotting is concerned, if you are proposing a darwinian
origin for this mechanism, the responsibility is yours to provide the hypothetical
framework, the series of steps by which this might have occurred. It is not
good science to simply declare that something happened, then challenge others
to prove that it didn't. But fear not, your job has been done for you! Russell
Doolittle, the worlds leading authority on the evolution of blood clotting has
proposed just such a set of steps by which the mechanism of clotting might
have originated. (Doolittle, R.F.(1993) "The Evolution of Vertebrate Blood
Coagulation: A Case of Yin and Yang," Thrombosis and Homeostasis, 70, 24-28)
Yin and Yang????
Anyway, lets see what Professor Doolittle has to say on this subject:
"Tissue factor appears..."
"A Thrombin receptor is fashioned..."
"Fibrinogen is born..."
"Antithrombin III appears..."
"Plasminogen is generated..."
"A thrombin-activatable protein is unleashed..."
"Plasminogen activator springs forth..."
"Stuart factor appears..."
Wow!!! All that springing and leaping!!! With all due respect to Professor
Doolittle, he attributes these leaps and springs to gene duplication and by
undirected, random duplication and recombination of gene pieces. The first problem
is, however, that if a gene is duplicated, it would not immediately have these new,
necessary properties, it would produce a protein with the old properties! How did
these new, duplicated genes acquire these new properties? If we relegate the
new functions to shuffling of gene pieces or beneficial mutations, how many
worthless, unusable proteins would have to be tried before the correct one was
"found"? Professor Doolittle also does not answer the crucial questions of
how much factor is formed, where is it formed and how fast is it formed. Any
changes in the exact location, quantity and timing of the appearance of these
factors would produce inappropriate clots, that would harm the organism. All of
the factors have to be introduced at the same time, in the correct proportions
and in the correct location for the whole system to work.
In short, Professor Doolittle's explanation doesn't hold...blood :-)
Lake Victoria in Africa has been found to be only 12,000 years
old. Over 300 unique fish species have been documented in the lake.
It almost brought the "God of Evolution", Dr. Ernst Mayr to tears.
He said "All of these species, this whole universe of chiclid fishes,
that all this could have evolved in 12,000 years...as improbable as it
seems, the facts force you to accept it." In contrast, only about 20
species of Finches have "evolved" on the Galapagos over 4 million years.
There is no longer any question in my mind, nor should there be any
question in yours. Darwin's theory of evolution by mutation and natural
selection is DEAD DEAD DEAD. As dead as Darwin himself.
Mayr himself says "the most common way in which species evolve
is by being isolated from one another geographically and slowly evolving
to become two distinct species. HOW COULD GROUPS OF FISH ALL SWIMMING
TOGETHER IN LAKE VICTORIA EVER BE ISOLATED ENOUGH TO PRODUCE
As long as science insists on making up preposterous theories
to fill in their lack of knowledge, instead of admitting that they
don't know the answer, and then presenting these theories, not as
theories, but as irrefutable facts, their credibility will continue
Every HS student "knows" that the interior of the earth is
made of iron and nickel, but is this a fact or an opinion? Every
HS student "knows" that oil and gas were formed from the bodies
of dead sea creatures, but is this a fact or an opinion? Every
HS student "knows" that all life evolved from simpler forms over
a very long time, but is this a fact or an opinion? Every HS student
"knows" that the Andromeda galaxy is 2 x 10^6 light years away, but
is this fact or an opinion? Every HS student "knows" that the oceans
were formed when the earth cooled and water vapor condensed as rain,
but is this a fact or an opinion.
Much of what we teach in science is nothing more than opinion
and speculation. Therefore, when a true fact is uncovered and our
theories must be "corrected", we look like morons. When will we learn?
Yes, and many of these so-called "truths" turn out to be totally
wrong. In Aristotle's time it was considered self-evident that heavier
objects fell faster than lighter objects. We teach our children that the
core of the earth is made of iron and nickel without any direct evidence.
We assume that gravity is the same everywhere in the universe. We assume
that the universe is expanding because we see a phenomenon called
red-shift. We assume that life arose on the earth, because we can't
imagine how it could have come from elsewhere. We assume that radioactive
decay rates have never changed over time and that the waters in the ocean
came from outgassed water vapor from earth's interior. We don't even
know where the internal heat of the earth comes from or how oil and
gas were formed or how the solar system was formed or how the universe
came to be. But oh, we have theories for everything. Theories, theories,
theories...enough to make you gag. Well frankly, I'm sick of it. Let's
just say it clearly: this is what we know, this is what we don't know.
I think we'd get a lot more respect.
I was not aware that some skeletons of Archaeopteryx were found
without feathers and were mis-classified as reptiles. As for its
reptilian chracteristics, they are at best cosmetic. Mammals share many
characteristics in common with birds, such as the 4 chambered heart and
thermoregulation, but I don't see anyone saying that mammals evolved
from birds. When traits are shared between classes, it might mean that
they are related, but it does not necessarily imply an ancestor-descendant
relationship. I don't think there is any more evidence to indicate that
birds evolved from reptiles (or dinosaurs) than to say that mammals
evolved from birds.
Even so, hundreds of millions of years of evolution would have been
necessary for backboned animals to acquire the structures necessary for
even the most rudimentary kind of flight. There must have been uncounted
numbers of transitional forms leading up to birds. Yet, none have been
discovered in the fossil record. There are no forms with lungs intermediate
between the reptilan lung and the avian lung. There are no forms intermediate
between reptilian scales and feathers. At the first appearance of birds in
the fossil record, they are, as near as we can establish, fully characteristic
of birds. The primitive feathers of Archaeopteryx are identical to modern
In addition to feathers, there are a large number of other features
that are characteristic of birds that would have to be undergoing evolution
at the same time. This increases the number of required transitional forms
to an even greater number. Yet, not one single example of any of these
myriad of forms has been discovered.
The only explanation for the appearance of feathers, provided by
Heilmann in his 1927 book is strictly a Lamarckian explanation. The problem
has been put aside by darwinian evolutionists because of lack of evidence.
As always, the darwinian paradigm is a millstone around the neck
of scientific progress. Since evolution by mutation and natural selection
is considered by most biologists to be close to fact, any evidence is
examined in light of the existing theory. Assumptions are made and
interpretations put forth that are not justified by the facts. Obvious
inconsistencies and "problems" are simply ignored. The chance that
life evolved by a series of fortuitous mutations, over a very long
period of time, essentially from nothing, by random processes is as
close to zero as one can get.
The business of science is really just figuring
out how things work and predicting what is most likely to happen as
time goes on. Feynman states that the business of science is not to
prove or disprove, but merely to say what is most likely. This is an
affirmation that scientific truth can proceed by analogy and induction
as stated by Paley. Hume was correct in stating that Paley's argument
proceeded by analogy and therefore did not constitute a formal proof.
But the strength of an analogy is in its ability to persuade. A study
of nature evokes a fascination and respect for its depth and beauty
and subtlety that is akin to religious awe. (After Davies)
If all of the human beings on the earth lacked the sense of
sight, would there still be stars in the sky? Can a fish swimming in
the ocean have any concept of quantum electrodynamics? What arrogance
makes us think that we are the smartest, biggest, baddest and most
worthy beings in the universe and that we somehow have the ability
to "figure everything out"?
The issue is a scientific one. Is there sufficient evidence
to conclude that all of the life forms on earth evolved from
simpler forms by the process of mutation and natural selection?
Or should we consider other alternatives that are equally consistent
with the observed facts?
There is no evidence of any kind that any life form on this
earth is "descended" from any other life form. There is a large
amount of evidence from anatomy, physiology, genetics and molecular
biology that all life forms are RELATED, but this does not imply
that any one is ANCESTRAL to any other.
I believe that all life came to earth from elsewhere and that
life on earth is a part of a much larger cosmic ecosystem. I believe
it is possible that what we call evolution is the unfolding of a genetic
program already present in the DNA when it arrived on earth, or a
modular construction based upon already functional subunits. I believe
that the role of microorganisms, especially viruses may be important
in this process.
One thing is clear, the DNA contains information necessary to
specify the processes and structures of living beings. This information
did not create itself from random and undirected processes.
Thus spoke Cleanthes to Demea (David Hume):
"Look round the world: contemplate the whole and every part of it:
you will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into
an infinite number of lesser machines, which again admit of subdivisions,
to a degree beyond what human senses and faculties can trace and explain.
All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted
to each other with an accuracy, which ravishes into admiration all men,
who have ever contemplated them. The curious adapting of means to ends,
throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the
productions of human contrivance; of human design, thought, wisdom and
intelligence. Since therefore the effects resemble each other, we are
led to infer, by all the rules of analogy, that the causes also resemble;
and that the Author of Nature is somewhat similar to the mind of men;
though possessed of much larger faculties, proportioned to the grandeur
of the work, which he has executed..."
Hume concludes, and it is here that I differ with him, "By this
argument 'a posteriori'(from experience and observed facts) and by this
argument alone, do we prove at once the existence of a Diety, and his
similarity to human mind and intelligence." Leaving off this last
sentence still allows room for a purposeful universe without invoking
the existence of a supernatural Diety and allowing for a scientific
explanation of some kind.
Show me ONE transitional fossil between fish and invertebrates. Show
me ONE transitional fossil between fish and amphibians. Show
me ONE transitional fossil between insects and any other class.
Show me one transitional fossil leading to Angiosperms. Show me
ONE common ancestor. Any one. WHERE ARE THEY? Still buried in
the rock? The laws of probability and mathematics
require them to be there. If a rock
layer contains Form A and also contains Form B, then if there are
transitional forms leading from Form A to Form B then they
MUST BE THERE. They cannot NOT be there. We have searched the
Devonian strata and found numerous examples of invertebrates and
also numerous examples of fish. Where are the intermediates between
these groups? Their absence speaks volumes. They never existed.
Colleges are not oracles of truth where
one goes to absorb the prevailing dogmas. They should be places of
inquiry, where open minds explore all of the alternatives. True
education is not simply being able to memorize and regurgitate what you
hear but to think for yourself and forge new paths.
As far as computer simulations are concerned, I wouldn't mention this
too often if I were you. The fact is, most simulations, such as the one
Dawkins uses in "Blind Watchmaker" do more damage to evolutionary theory
than good. In fact, they point up clearly one of the major dilemmas of
evolutionary theory, which I metioned a few times and got brushed off on.
This dilemma was pointed out by JBS Haldane in the 40's and is commonly
known as Haldane's Dilemma. There are simply not enough beneficial mutations
to explain the origin of humanity from chimp-like ancestors. In effect,
for evolution to occur, the more common traits must be replaced by the new
traits, which are much less common. This rate of replacement is controlled
and limited by the species' reproductive capacity.
For evolution to have occurred as you say it did, would require an
implausibly high level of reproductive capacity, far beyond what is possible.
Haldane suggested that the higher vertebrates, such as mammals have only
enough reproductive capacity to sustain an average rate of 300 generations
per substitution. Thus in 10 million years, it could substitue only a few
thousand beneficial nucleotides. Is that enough to explain upright posture,
speech, language, and a variety of other unique human traits? You can argue
about a lot of things that may or may not have happened, but when it comes
to mathematics, you can't argue with the numbers. Mathematical analysis
constitutes a formal disproof of Darwinism.
Darwin's theories were formulated
in a time when almost nothing was known about the incredible complexity
of structure and function in living things. His theory is based upon a most
simplistic understanding of life and should have been discarded 100 years ago.
I put it right along side the tooth fairy and the Great Pumpkin in believability.
Imagine a poulation of 100,000
human-chimp "common ancestors". That's not to far out of line and a reasonable
estimate. If there is one beneficial mutation per generation that is so
wonderful that it provides a significant advantage, that's still only
500,000 beneficial mutations in 10 million years. Keep in mind that the human
genome has about 30 million base pairs. So this turns out to be .5/30 or
about .015 % of the genome. It is a well known fact that human and chimp
genomes vary by about 2-3 % And this scenario assumes that the one beneficial
mutation is so good that only it survives and the others all die off. This
would require a reproductive capacity for the surviving female sufficient
to re-populate the original numbers. And this is a best case scenario. In
reality, there are many other deductions that eat into this number. After all
is said and done, you can't expect more than a few thousand *maximum* of
beneficial mutations. This represents about 50 miilionths of 1% of the genome.
If you have any numbers to contradict this, I would be happy to hear them.
I like to think that I'm challenging people to think and to defend their
beliefs with facts. You have no idea how frustrating it is to encounter
the kind of pig-headedness and closed-mindedness that I often encounter.
There are a lot of problems with evolutionary theory, but not once in the
last two years has anyone granted me even the smallest point. This has led me
to the conclusion that evolutionary theory is not a scientific theory, but
a religious belief that people will defend at all cost, even when the facts
do not support it. Take the "no evolution for 800 million years" argument
that I made. No one will grant that it is a problem. They're trying to prove
to me that there *was* evolution, despite the observational evidence. Just
say, "yes it's a problem and we haven't got an answer yet". But evolutionists
will *never* admit that they don't have an answer. They just make up something
that sounds good and put it forth as the truth. This is *not* science as I know
it. Evolutionists (and cosmologists) should have to adhere to the same rigorous
standards as all other scientists. But for some reason, they seem to be exempt.
They are allowed to put forth any bizarre hypothesis and demand that others
disprove it. A belief in evolution requires a belief in miracles. That something
as profoundly complex as a living organism could spring up from nothing by a
series of chance events.
You raise an interesting point. I thought I had addressed this
question before, but it is worth saying again. The problem lies in the
definition you apply to the word "intermediates". There is absolutely no
question in my mind that most all vertebrates are closely *related*. They
have many features in common to the point that is obvious that they must have
had some kind of common origin. It is not an accident that across the entire
vertebrate class (or sub-phylum), cell function is almost identical and morphology
is very similar. The question is, what does this *mean*?
Does the fact that organisms are related allow us to assume that there
is an ancestor-descendent relationship? I made this point before, that
mammals and birds have thousands of traits in common. Does this allow
us to conclude that mammals are "descended" from birds?
Birds and Coelurosaurs have many traits in common, as you
point out. Does this allow us to conclude that birds are
"descended" from Coelurosaurs? If one form has a two-chambered
heart and another form has a four-chambered heat, are we allowed to
conclude that a form with a three-chambered heart in an
"intermediate"? Do you see what I'm getting at?
What I am taking
issue with, is the *mechanism* by which these various groups came to be.
My main premise, as you correctly state, is that mutation and natural
not the mechanism of evolution. I do not believe that a biochemical machine as complex
as a living organism could spring up from nothing by a series of random errors.
I have postulated that the information needed to code for all of
the living creatures on the earth could have come to earth from elsewhere
with a high information content already present. I have also postulated
that the variations that we see may have come about by
the unfolding of information already present in the gene pool or by
the insertion of new information from outside the genome,
possibly by microorganisms such as viruses. Since all higher
vertebrates are basically the same, it would not require too many
changes or too much additional information to generate
the variation we see. It is also my opinion that the observational
evidence and the experimental evidence (what little there is :-)
does *not* support the mechanism of mutation and natural
selection as proposed by Darwin and as stated in current
evolutionary theory. All I'm asking people to do is to
consider other possibilities and not be bound by the dogmatic
beliefs of die-hard darwinists. This is the *least* I could
expect from a true scientist.
Now I've discussed this issue of homology before. The reason there is
homology is because the same genes are used over and over again in many
different forms. If you go back in history, the concept of homology
began in the 1830's, probably with Owens famous paper in which he defined
homology as "the same organ in different animals under every variety
of form and function". While people have continued to try to "define"
homology for the past 150 years, even today there is no consensus on
the definition of homology, although everyone agrees that it has
something to do with "sameness and common ancestry". There are many
ancient words floating around, like "species" and "adaptation" that we
try in vain to give exact modern meanings, never fully agreeing on their meaning.
This is one reason why evolutionary theory is so hard to attack. It's
jargon is largely undefinable, with no precise technical meanings.
The trend in evolutionary biology, as I see it, has been to broaden
the iconography of descent. linear descent gave way to the "evolutionary
tree" which gave way to the "evolutionary bush", which gave way to
the "evolutionary lawn". Where does it all end? If it goes on like this,
it will end up just as I predicted. Every living thing is related to
every other living thing, but no one form is ancestral or descendant
to any other form.
. Did you notice how everything doesn't just fit
neatly into our human classification schemes? I wonder why. Could it be
that we're trying to do something that can't be done? Let's face it,
everything in the world is just exactly what it is. No more and no less.
Despite our pathetic efforts to make it something else. Our need to "classify"
comes from the processing that goes on in our right brain. We have to find
a pattern, an order to things, to help fill in the blanks. Our belief in
evolution is an extension of this basic human need to 1) explain our origins
and 2) find pattern and meaning in nature.
First let me say that the 2d Law, as seen through the eyes of
statistical mechanics, is a statement of what is most *likely*, not
of what must be. Nothing in the 2d Law forbids evolution, nor does
it forbid heat from flowing from a colder object to a hotter object.
All it says, is that this is a highly unlikely event. And after all,
this is what Feynman says is the purpose of science, to determine what
is most likely, not what must be. I cannot prove conclusively that the
sun will rise tomorrow, but the chances of its not rising are highly
unlikely. Therefore, this becomes as close as we can get to a scientific
As for entropy, the understanding that I have is that if the laws of
nature are allowed to act without interference, a disorderly arrangement
is more likely than an orderly arrangement and entropy is a measure of
that disorder. All natural systems tend towards disorder and the entropy
of the universe is always increasing. This is represented mathematically
by S = k ln W where k is Boltzmann's constant and W is the probability
of the occurrence of an event.
What I'm saying is that because of this tendency for systems to move
towards disorder, the probability of life having arisen de novo by natural
processes is very small.
Let me try to
explain my understanding. First of all, it is a common misunderstanding
that the earth and its inhabitants gains energy from the sun. What the
earth does is take energy in a low entropy form and then radiate it all
back into space in a high entropy form. The net energy budget of the earth
is zero. The sun is a source of low entropy. The sun emits energy in the
form of high energy photons of visible light. These photons are used by
plants in the process of photosynthesis. This changes high entropy
carbon dioxide and water into lower entropy glucose. When the glucose is
used by living organisms as fuel, the high entropy infra-red photons are
emitted and radiated back into space. So therefore, green plants can reduce
entropy by making use of sunlight from the sun. This process is accomplished
in a biochemical factory called a chloroplast. It does not occur anywhere
else on the earth. The net effect of this process is to increase the total
entropy of the universe.
But what about the low entropy of DNA? As far as I know, photons of
visible light have no effect on DNA. It does not add new information to
DNA or create DNA sequences that code for necessary proteins. It does not
create complex biochemical processes that cause blood to clot or electric
signalt to travel along the optic nerve. It had no role in the creation of
mitochondria, or chloroplasts, for that matter. It did not cause one-celled
organisms to aggregate into multicellular organisms. It did not create the
body plans of echinoderms or crustaceans. It did not cause the creation of
the protein synthetic apparatus or the transport system in the cell.
In short, we are talking about two different entropies. The entropy-
reducing ability of chloroplasts in the production of food for organisms
is recognized. But what about the entropy
that exists in the living organisms themselves? Where does this organization
come from? What caused molecules of carbon dioxide and water and nitrogen
to organize themselves into amino acids, proteins, DNA, cells, tissues and
organisms? To believe in organic evolution, you have to believe that you can
get something from nothing. This is precisely what the 2d Law say cannot happen.
I still fail to see how parts that have similar functions
in distantly related organisms (what you call convergence)
is evidence for natural selection. What it means to me is
that the "instructions" for manufacturing these parts are
used across a wide range of species. I do not believe that
the eye of the cephalopod and the human eye "evolved"
independently. Rather, the genetic information on how to make
an eye is present in both forms. Islands of structure and function
are able to move horizontally across species boundaries, perhaps
being moved by viruses or bacteria.
A chevrolet from GM might be found to have a part that is
identical to a part that is found in a toyota. Does this mean
that the engineers at GM and Toyota designed the part independently
and they just happen to be exactly the same? More likely, both
manufacturers bought the same part to use in their vehicle from
a common source. A bearing, for example, is designed to provide
an interface between an axle and a wheel hub and can be used in
a wide variety of applications. It was not designed just to
make the wheels of my Pathfinder turn. There is the same kind
of economy in living things. The same genes are used over and
over again in many different applications. It is therefore
not necessary to redesign each new form from the ground up.
New forms are "assembled" with modification from a pool of
Once again, you seem to be talking in circles. At one point
you say "convergence on a similar solution by extremely divergent
means is in no way "reusing" of some common set of building blocks."
Further on you say "engineers use the same designs over and over
again because there is no better way. So does life." Do you notice
a discrepancy here?
... can't you see what's going on here? The evolutionary
biologists have gotten it all wrong! In a desperate need to refute
special creation, they have made things far worse by defending
a theory that is indefensable. It is time to dispose of natural
selection and get on with the scientific pursuit of knowledge.