Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Evolution: The Walking Dead?

If macro-evolution is a fact, this should be illustrated by the fossil record and how its patterns of common descent are paralleled by accompanying genetic similarities. In other words, common structures should have common genes if common descent is a reality. We should be able to detect a genetic and morphological pattern of lineal descent, not a hodge-podge of common traits (homologies) or structures found in unrelated species.

This assumption is so fundamental to the theory of evolution that Linus Pauling and Emile Zuckerkandl predicted that there would be no difficulty in demonstrating that common structures and their assumed common ancestry – as reflected in the Darwinian tree of life – should coincide with the tree of life generated from molecular (genetic) studies:

  • If the two phylogenic trees [one constructed based on common morphology and the other on common genetics] are mostly in agreement in respect to the topology of branching, the best available single proof of the reality of macro-evolution would be furnished. (Evolutionary Divergence and Convergence of Proteins, 1965, 101)

While the undertaking was reasonable, the results were damning. Biochemist, W. Ford Doolittle confessed:

  • Molecular phylogenists will have failed to find the “true tree,” not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a “tree.”

  • It is as if we have failed at the task that Darwin set for us: delineating the unique structure of the tree of life.

Doolittle’s conclusions agree with those of many other biochemists. Michael Syvanen had examined 2000 genes across different phyla in an attempt to establish a lineal consistent pattern or tree. However, he found that different genes told “contradictory evolutionary stories”:

  • We just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more; it’s a different topology entirely.

Casey Luskin summarizes these dismal findings:

  • Biological similarity is constantly being found in places where it wasn’t predicted by common descent, leading to conflicts between phylogenetic trees. (Salvo, Issue 27, 50. All of these quotations have been taken from Luskin’s article.)

If this is true, this undermines the evolutionist’s claims of common descent based on either common morphology or common molecules. But how extensive is this problem? Luskin cites a 2012 paper that claims that it is truly extensive:

  • Phylogenetic conflict is common and frequently the norm rather than the exception.

Luskin cites another paper from the journal of Biological Theory (2006):

  • Overall similarity reflects degree of relatedness…Review of the history of molecular systematics and its claims in the context of molecular biology reveals that there is no basis for the “molecular assumption.”

“No basis?” However, Darwinism requires a tree – molecular and morphological - that can illustrate some kind – any kind - of lineal descent! No tree, no evidence of common  descent! But the tree seems to be non-existent. Then, perhaps also macro-evolution?

Is the theory of evolution a dead man who is still walking, meanwhile threatening and banishing opposition, in a vain attempt to circumvent its inevitable demise?

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