Common Descent (Darwinism)–Science or Pseudoscience?
Genetic variations can produce observable changes in existing features or traits (microevolution), but there is NO empirical evidence that reflects a new feature appearing which has never been seen before in that organism (macroevolution):
- “In each of these pivotal nexuses in life's history, the principal "types" seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate "grades" or intermediate forms between different types are detectable.”
“The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution,” Eugene V Koonin, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, in Biology Direct 2007, 2:21.
- “It is not necessarily easy to 'see' macroevolutionary history; there are no firsthand accounts to be read. Instead, we reconstruct the history of life using all available evidence: geology, fossils, and living organisms.”
University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education's website, “Understanding Evolution: “What is macroevolution?” page.
Let's examine the typical indoctrination techniques used by evolutionary groups, this one being “29+ Evidences for Macroevolution” from TalkOrigins: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html
Their first three 'evidences' include “The fundamental unity of life”, “A nested hierarchy of species”, and the “Independent determination of the historical phylogeny.” The “unity of life” describes a common creator (God), “nested hierarchy” is the arbitrarily-devised evolutionary history of groups of organisms, and the outdated “phylogenetic tree” has now be shown to be “wrong and misleading”:
“Dr Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, said: 'For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life. We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.' …
Dr Rose said: 'The tree of life is being politely buried – we all know that. What's less accepted is our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change.'”
Telegraph UK Online, “Charles Darwin's tree of life is 'wrong and misleading', claim scientists”, January 22, 2009.
The forth 'evidence' is called “Intermediate and transitional forms: the possible morphologies of predicted common ancestors”:
Note that their figures show changes in existing features mixed with miraculous appearances of new features. Not feeling the need to address where these new features came from, they just add them when needed, and they ALWAYS appear fully formed and functional. (Begin with Figure 1.4.1)
Using TalkOrigins own criteria, let's review how common descent holds up when using the Scientific Method of testing an hypothesis:
- Make observations.
- Form a testable, unifying hypothesis to explain these observations:
“By 'testable,' we mean the predictions must include examples of what is likely be observed if the hypothesis is true and of what is unlikely to be observed if the hypothesis is true. A hypothesis that can explain all possible data equally well is not testable, nor is it scientific. A good scientific hypothesis must rule out some conceivable possibilities, at least in principle.”
- Deduce predictions from the hypothesis.
- Search for confirmations of the predictions; if the predictions are contradicted by empirical observation, go back to step (2).
There is NO direct observation of common descent:
2 & 3. There are NO testable, unifying hypotheses because there are NO exclusive and consistent predictions:
For an excellent overview of falsified Darwinian predictions, go to “Darwin's Predictions”:
a. The Theory of Evolution predicted that new genes were necessary to create more complex features in existing organisms. However, it has been discovered that lower forms of life already possess the genetic “toolkit” needed to cause more complex features to arise in higher forms of life:
- "It is the underlying genetic tool kit that is similar amongst these basal animals. Placozoa have all of the tools in their genome to make a nervous system, but they just don't do it."
- “Another fascinating fact is sea urchins don't have eyes, ears or a nose, but they have the genes humans have for vision, hearing and smelling …
Despite having no eyes, nose, or ears, the creature has genes involved in vision, hearing and smell in humans.”
- “The findings reported in the August 21 online edition of the journal Nature show that while Trichoplax has one of the smallest nuclear genomes found in a multi-cellular creature, it contains signature sequences for gene regulation found in more complex animals and humans.”
- “Another surprise came from a complexity of components of the immune system in sea urchin. In addition to an extremely well developed system of the innate immunity, these animals possess genes encoding major components of the adaptive immune response … Yet, sea urchin does not have antibodies, and possibly lacks adaptive immunity in general. Genes that are seemingly useless in sea urchin but are very useful in higher taxons exemplify excessive genetic information in lower taxons.”
- “Long before animals with limbs (tetrapods) came onto the scene about 365 million years ago, fish already possessed the genes associated with helping to grow hands and feet (autopods) report University of Chicago researchers …
The capability of building limbs with fingers and toes existed for a long period of time, but it took a set of environmental triggers to make use of that capability…
“It had the tools,' he said, “but it needed the opportunity as well.””
b. The Theory of Evolution predicts that life began as simple organisms, but complexity has been rule, not exception, in the earliest known fossils:
- “Part of the intrigue with the Cambrian explosion is that numerous animal phyla with very distinct body plans arrive on the scene in a geological blink of the eye, with little or no warning of what is to come in rocks that predate this interval of time.”
- “One of the most interesting challenges facing paleobiologists is explaining the Cambrian explosion, the dramatic appearance of most metazoan animal phyla in the Early Cambrian, and the subsequent stability of these body plans over the ensuing 530 million years.”
Kevin J. Peterson, Michael R. Dietrich, Mark A. McPeek, “MicroRNAs and macroevolution: insights into canalization, complexity, and the Cambrian Explosion,” (Hypothesis) Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College
- “Two paleontologists studying ancient fossils they excavated in the South Australian outback argue that Earth's ecosystem has been complex for hundreds of millions of years - … Until now, the dominant paradigm in the field of paleobiology has been that the earliest multicellular animals were simple, and that strategies organisms use today to survive, reproduce and grow in numbers have arisen over time due to several factors … "How Funisia appears in the fossils clearly shows that ecosystems were complex very early in the history of animals on Earth – “”
c. There are NO predictions or explanations for the appearance of a molecular structure called a primary cilium, which projects from the surface of most, if not all cells. It acts as a radio antenna that sends precise and essential instructions to the inner cell via frequency modified vibrations, i.e. sound waves.
How they originated and where the instructions come from (God) is impossible to address through secular science. Evolutionists have yet to propose a reasonable explanation:
- “Despite the impressive amount of progress made over the past decade, we are left with even more challenging and critical questions. These questions include how extracellular stimuli perceived by the cilia result in changes in cell behavior and physiology …”
- “The primary cilium, the solitary, antenna-like structure that studs the outer surfaces of virtually all human cells, orient cells to move in the right direction and at the speed needed to heal wounds, much like a Global Positioning System helps ships navigate to their destinations.”
- “The puzzle of how higher animals develop – how a mass of undifferentiated cells organise themselves into specialised, functioning tissues, organs, and organisms – could now be solved – and the clue has been right under our noses for over a century.
Every mammalian cell has a single primary cilium. This structure sticks out from the cell membrane like a cellphone aerial. First noticed by 19th Century microscopists, it was thought to be a useless, vestigial structure like the appendix. But recent discoveries show it is absolutely pivotal in cell differentiation and maintenance of tissue and organ structure and function.”
- “Almost every vertebrate cell has a specialized cell surface projection called a primary cilium. Although these structures were first described more than a century ago, the full scope of their functions remains poorly understood. Here, we review emerging evidence that in addition to their well-established roles in sight, smell, and mechanosensation, primary cilia are key participants in intercellular signaling.”
d. There are NO predictions or explanations for the appearance of highly complex regulatory networks and control systems:
- “The researchers found that blood cells are directed by a multitude of transcription factors, proteins that turn on and off genes … The findings point to densely, interconnected circuits that control this process, suggesting that the wiring for blood cell fate is far more complex than previously thought.”
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, “Global View of Blood Cell Development Reveals New and Complex Circuitry”, January 20, 2011, ScienceDaily.
- “Molecular motors, the little engines that power cell mobility and the ability of cells to transport internal cargo, work together and in close coordination, according to a new finding by researchers at the University of Virginia …
The new University of Virginia study provides strong evidence that the motors are indeed working in coordination, all pulling in one direction, as if under command, or in the opposite direction — again, as if under strict instruction.”
University of Virginia, “Molecular Motors In Cells Work Together, Study Shows,” February 25, 2009. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090213161043.htm
- “FANTOM4 has shown that instead of having one or a few 'master regulator' genes that control growth and development, there is a sophisticated network of regulatory elements that subtly influence the ways in which genes are expressed in different cells in the body," Professor John Mattick said.
University of Queensland, “Study Challenges Notions Of How Genes Are Controlled In Mammals,” April 23, 2009. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420103549.htm
- “Had Amin Rustom not messed up, he would not have stumbled upon one of the biggest discoveries in biology of recent times …
Using video microscopy, they watched adjacent cells reach out to each other with antenna-like projections, establish contact and then build the tubular connections. The connections were not just between pairs of cells. Cells can send out several nanotubes, forming an intricate and transient network of linked cells lasting anything from minutes to hours.
… Nothing in his experience could explain the phenomenon.”
“Tunnelling nanotubes: Life's secret network,” New Scientist, November 18, 2008.
- “The scientists found out that the new electrical signal they called "system potential" was induced and even modulated by wounding. If a plant leaf is wounded, the signal strength can be different and can be measured over long distances in unwounded leaves, depending on the kind and concentration of added cations (e.g. calcium, potassium, or magnesium). It is not the transport of ions across cell membranes that causes the observed changes in voltage transmitted from leaf to shoot and then to the next leaf, but the activation of so-called proton pumps.”
Justus Liebig University of Gießen and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena,“Novel Electric Signals In Plants Induced By Wounding Plant,” March 10, 2009.
- “The p53 protein, which exists in all the cells of the body, is commonly called the "guardian of the genome", since it detects harmful DNA changes and prevents them from being transmitted further into the body. p53 activates genetic programmes that arrest the division and growth of damaged cells or trigger their apoptosis. In half of all cancer tumours, the gene for p53 is damaged, and the scientists believe that the protein has been rendered dysfunctional in all cancer tumours.”
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, “New research on the ‘guardian of the genome,’"May 12, 2009, PhyOrg.com website.
e. The Theory of Evolution predicts that organisms become more complex throughout time, but some become less complex, and some never change at all:
f. The Theory of Evolution predicts that accumulations of genetic change will eventually produce profound changes in organisms. However, inheritable genetic alterations have never created more complexity because most copying errors are ‘re-written’ by miniscule machines, and alterations that proceed to the next generation most often produce less fit organisms:
- “Research published in 2007 showed the importance of the nuclear protein UHRF1 in ensuring that the epigenetic code is accurately copied …
The key element of UHRF1 involved in this "proofreading" process is known as the Set and Ring Associated (SRA) domain, but the exact mechanisms by which the SRA domain accomplishes this task were unclear.”
- “A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order …
The authors sought to identify the underlying cause for this self-correcting behavior in the observed protein chains. Standard evolutionary theory offered no clues … The scientists are working on formulating a new general theory based on this finding they are calling "evolutionary control."”
- “In short, the notion that molecules of germ cells … are in states of perpetual change is not, in our present understanding of cell biology, tenable. This doesn’t mean that “molecular change” does not occur; only that mechanisms provoking such change in germ cells are likely instantaneous and stochastic and probably often lethal (Maresca and Schwartz 2006) – which will preclude their persistence into future generations.”
- “Alterations in the normal recombination pattern are often associated with errors in chromosome segregation in humans, and these errors are a major cause of spontaneous abortions and congenital birth defects, including mental retardation.”
(Go to “Meiotic Recombination Does Not Occur at Random Throughout the Genome”)
g. The Theory of Evolution predicted that once genetic changes were ‘fixed’ in populations, previous DNA would not arise again. However, it has been shown that organisms can miraculously restore DNA up to 200 millions of years in a frog and 8 generations in plants AFTER a feature has disappeared:
- “Gastrotheca guentheri, one of a group of frogs known for carrying fertilized eggs in pouches, is the only ranine species known for sporting teeth on both upper and lower jaws. That trait is unusual because frogs are said to have been missing their lower teeth for some 200 million years.
For that reason, the quirk represents an apparent violation of Dollo’s Law, which states that traits that disappear in the course of evolution will never return. Study leader John Wiens explained, 'The loss of mandibular teeth in the ancestor of modern frogs and their re-appearance in G. guentheri provides very strong evidence for the controversial idea that complex anatomical traits that are evolutionarily lost can re-evolve, even after being absent for hundreds of millions of years.'”
University of Kansas, “Frogs Re-evolved Lost Lower Teeth”, January 31, 2011, BBC News.
- “Here we show that Arabidopsis plants homozygous for recessive mutant alleles of the organ fusion gene HOTHEAD5 (HTH) can inherit allele-specific DNA sequence information hat was not present in the chromosomal genome of their parents but was present in previous generations. This previously undescribed process is shown to occur at all DNA sequence polymorphisms examined and therefore seems to be a general mechanism for extra-genomic inheritance of DNA sequence information. We postulate that these genetic restoration events are the result of a template-directed process that makes use of an ancestral RNA-sequence cache.”
- “Here, we show that a rice triploid and diploid hybridization resulted in stable diploid progenies, both in genotypes and phenotypes, through gene homozygosity. Furthermore, their gene homozygosity can be inherited through 8 generations, and they can convert DNA sequences of other rice varieties into their own. Molecular-marker examination confirmed that this type of genome-wide gene conversion occurred at a very high frequency. Possible mechanisms, including RNA-templated repair of double-strand DNA, are discussed.”
h. The Theory of Evolution predicts that related organisms will share the same genes and similar features (homology), but unrelated organisms share the same genes and possess almost identical features (convergent evolution):
- “Biologists have shown that independent but similar molecular changes turned a harmless digestive enzyme into a toxin in two unrelated species -- a shrew and a lizard -- giving each a venomous bite.
… "It's remarkable that the same types of changes have independently promoted the same toxic end product."”
- “About one-quarter of apid bees are so-called cleptoparasitic bees, which secretly invade host nests and lay their eggs there. The new study reports that these bees did not independently evolve from nest-making bees 11 times over history, as bee experts have reported for years, but independently evolved only four times.”
- “Animals that seem identical may belong to completely different species. This is the conclusion of researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who have used DNA analyses to discover that one of our most common segmented worms is actually two types of worm. The result is one of many suggesting that the variety of species on the earth could be considerably larger than we thought …
But when the researchers examined the worms using advanced methods for DNA analysis, they discovered that they were in fact two different species. Both species of worm differ in one of the examined genes by 17 percent, which is twice as much as the equivalent difference between humans and chimpanzees.”
- “This means that the nervous system, once thought to have arisen once, must have evolved twice from the DNA that coded for these complex systems (keeping in mind that while Placozoans and sponges do not have nervous systems, many of the taxa related to them do.)
DeSalle agrees. "It is the underlying genetic tool kit that is similar amongst these basal animals. Placozoa have all of the tools in their genome to make a nervous system, but they just don't do it."”
- “A team led by Jay Storz (prounounced storts), assistant professor of biological sciences, analyzed the complete genome sequences of multiple vertebrate species and found that jawless fishes (e.g., lampreys and hagfish) and jawed vertebrates (pretty much everything else, including humans) independently invented different mechanisms of blood-oxygen transport to sustain aerobic metabolism.”
- “The researchers were surprised to find that placental and marsupial mammals have largely the same set of genes for making proteins. Instead, much of the difference lies in the controls that turn genes on and off.”
- “Flying squirrels and sugar gliders are only distantly related. So why do they look so similar then? Their gliding "wings" and big eyes are analogous structures. Natural selection independently adapted both lineages for similar lifestyles: leaping from treetops (hence, the gliding "wings") and foraging at night (hence, the big eyes).”
- “Elephant shrews were originally classified as shrews (Soricidae) because of a superficial resemblance. However, in the late 1990s, when biologists began using detailed information on genetic sequences to reconstruct the family tree of mammals, the results were surprising. Elephant shrews were not closely related to shrews or to other mammal groups like rabbits, with which they had sometimes been lumped. Instead, the elephant shrew twig sprang from an unexpected branch of the tree: the aardvark, manatee, and elephant lineage!”
i. The Theory of Evolution predicts that DNA sequencing would establish firm branches in family trees, but it has only added more confusion:
- “Dr Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, said: "For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life. We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality." …
Dr Dupré said: "It's part of a revolutionary change in biology. Our standard model of evolution is under enormous pressure. We're clearly going to see evolution as much more about mergers and collaboration than change within isolated lineages."”
“Charles Darwin's tree of life is 'wrong and misleading', claim scientists”, January 22, 2009, Telegraph UK Online.
- “Today's computational tools use sequence similarity, assuming that genes with similar sequences indicate common ancestry … But Durand's tests showed that this assumption often does not hold. Her team found disturbing results when they compared sequence similarity to their Neighborhood Correlation method in evaluating the 20 gene families with established histories. The sequence similarity method actually yielded false ancestral associations and missed true ancestral relationships.”
j. The Theory of Evolution predicts that fossils can be accurately dated, but new research shows the inconsistency of dating techniques:
- “The precise timing of the origin of life on Earth and the changes in life during the past 4.5 billion years has been a subject of great controversy for the past century. The principal indicator of the amount of organic carbon produced by biological activity traditionally used is the ratio of the less abundant isotope of carbon, 13C, to the more abundant isotope, 12C.
It appears that records related to carbonate platforms which are often used throughout the early history of the Earth are not good recorders of the 13C/12C ratio in the open oceans. Hence, the work presented suggests that assumptions made previously about changes in the 13C/12C ratios of carbonate sediments in the geological record are incorrect.”
- “But in biological systems, there is a small bias in the use of each isotope (called "fractionation") which results in biological tissues having a different ratio of 12C to 13C than the 'wild' carbon floating around, say, in the atmosphere …
It turns out that a study of these different depositional environments, in the paper by Swart, indicates that the two data sources behave differently and the non-ocean bottom deposits cannot be used as they previously were. As a result of this, our understanding of the history of the Earth's carbon cycle has gone all topsy-turvy and now needs to be re-examined.”
k. The Theory of Evolution predicts that molecular and fossil dating will be consistent, but inconsistencies are the rule, not the exception:
- “Therefore, we conclude that dating ages of origin of taxa with molecular phylogenetic trees where fossils are used as calibration points, is, at best, ambiguous (e.g, Sanderson 1997: Thorne & Kishino 2002).”
“Temporal paralogy, cladograms, and the quality of the fossil record” Publications Scientifiques du Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, Geodiversitas, 2004, 26 (3) (See PDF)
- “In line with our model, molecular evolution trees often do not fit a morphology-based evolution tree.”
l. The Theory of Evolution predicts that fossils can be dated by their position within layers of the earth (strata), but layers do not reflect a uniform geological column. In fact, marine fossil remains (limestone) have been found on top of EVERY mountain range in the world:
- "I hope I have convinced you that the sedimentary record is largely a record of episodic events rather than being uniformly continuous. My message is that episodicity is the rule, not the exception…. We need to shed those lingering subconscious constraints of old uniformitarian thinking."
(Emeritus) Professor Robert Dott, Sedimentary Geology, UW Madison, "The Rule", Presidential Address To Society of Economic Paleontologists & Mineralogists, Geotimes, Nov. 1982, p.16 Dott is a co-author of a leading textbook of earth history, Evolution of the Earth (McGraw-Hill), which is now in its 7th edition. In 1995, he received the Geological Society of America's History of Geology Division Award.
- “Relative dating places fossils in a temporal sequence by noting their positions in layers of rocks, known as strata … Sometimes this method doesn't work, either because the layers weren't deposited horizontally to begin with, or because they have been overturned.”
- "Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth's history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.”
m. The Theory of Evolution predicts that evolution is still occurring, but there are no isolated populations emerging that reflect new organs or body parts forming. Regardless of the excuses, documentation of observable macroevolution is non-existent:
4. All predictions are contradictory, so none of the hypotheses of evolution are testable and, therefore, the hypothesis of common descent (macroevolution) cannot be confirmed.
REVIEW WHAT IS CONSIDERED ‘NATURALISTIC’ (SCIENTIFIC) BY EVOLUTIONARY STANDARDS:
- “In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others.”
“Science, Evolution, and Creationism,” 2008, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), The National Academies Press, third edition, page 10.
1. Are there any mechanisms that have been proven to create new features or structures in existing organisms, as well as ones that are a “naturally occurring phenomena”?
a. See the inability of evolutionists to describe how common descent supposedly occurs:
b. See how evolutionists even openly admit to NOT knowing how evolution supposedly occurs:
2. Is common descent “reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others”?
With all the thousands of experiments with bacteria, fruit flies, and other organisms, scientists have yet to create or see any hint of common descent:
- "Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another ...
Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest
forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms."
Alan H. Linton, University of Bristol bacteriologist, in an April, 2001 article entitled "Scant Search for the Maker" Times Higher Education Supplement, 2001.
- "Despite a close watch, we have witnessed no new species emerge in the wild in recorded history. Also, most remarkably, we have seen no new animal species emerge in domestic breeding. That includes no new species of fruit flies in hundreds of millions of generations in fruit fly studies, where both soft and harsh pressures have been deliberately applied to the fly populations to induce speciation...we also clearly see that the limits of variation appear to be narrowly bounded, and often bounded within species."
Kevin Kelly, Board Chair and founder of the ALL Species Foundation, in his book, “Out of Control”: The New Biology of Machines” 1994, Fourth Estate:London, 1995, reprint, p.475. ALL Species Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the complete inventory, including describing and classifying, all of the species of life on Earth by 2025.
Since there is NO proof that common descent (macroevolution) is a “naturally occurring phenomena” or is “reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others,” ALL existing evolutionary explanations for common descent (macroevolution) MUST be given the correct status of being supernatural, i.e. something attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
“Dr Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, said: "For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree
of life. We have no evidence at all that the
tree of life is a reality." …
Dr Rose said: "The tree of life is being politely buried – we all know that. What's less accepted is our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change."”
“Cellular behavior is controlled by signaling pathways which deliver information derived from the surrounding tissue and other cells to the nucleus and other parts of the cell. In order to achieve both efficient and tightly regulated signaling, cells organize their proteins into distinct cellular compartments. This organization is carried out by intracellular highways called microtubules that are specialized in protein transport.
"The most interesting finding of our study is that all these processes are interregulated. Therefore understanding the basic mechanisms of the regulation might help to tackle the primary causes of these changes during disease," says Sara Wickström.”