Convergent Evolution vs The Evidence

In his book, Wonderful Life, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould argues that if the tape of life were re-wound and played back, life would have taken a very different course but others claim this is not correct. Evolution they say relies on conditions of the environment which creates convergent organisms.

When a ‘theory’ such as evolution is considered scientific law, no further thought or scientific evidence is likely to follow but debates do happen in the realm of evolution but its sole purpose is to preserve it at all costs, not to look for alternatives. As you can imagine, evolution is pretty complex, because over many years that includes our present day, it get falsified and stories are added to it. In other words, the data predicts the theory rather than the theory predicting the data.

As a result, there are various parts of the development of evolution, where structure or behavior is said to have evolved in one or more organisms which have a direct common ancestor. In other words, they get their parts from previous generations and in some instances improve upon them. The other is when there is similarity in a structure or behavior which are genetically unrelated with no common ancestor. The path is then determined by “selective pressures” from the environment. In other words, they evolve features based on need.

For example, tuna are more closely related to seahorses than to marlins, which is making the branches on the fish family tree more complicated. Also, fish unaffected by the catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs and scientists don’t have an explanation yet on why.

“Now, Wainwright and a team of researchers have pieced together a new family tree for this gigantic brood, with more than 18,000 species living today. Using both genetic tools and fossils, the “phylogeny” reveals unexpected links between some spiny-rayed fish, such as tuna and seahorses. The findings were published July 15 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

“There are all these sorts of relationships no one had any inkling of,” Wainwright told LiveScience. “For a fish fanatic like me, these results are sort of life-changing. Until now, we really had no idea how these huge groups of fish were related.

Next there is co-evolution and mimicry.

In the story of co-evolution, mutations create change in the organism so it is suited to another organism. And mimicry is very much similar to co-evolution where one organism mutates to look and or behave like another totally different organism. It then benefits in some way from that relationship. For example, spiders that looked like ants.

How does a non-thinking process which uses random mutations to create new information which then creates new structures based on the needs of the organism in a particular environment? Random change to existing information doesn’t create new information! The fruit fly experiment comes to mind, where many generations were created in a perfect environment but after a period of time became not only resisted to change, but less fit! Mutation experiments have never shown any promise in creating a fit organism by adding more to the genome. Causing something to function is not the same as creating that something to function!

Science has shown DNA, cannot emerge on its own, protein is what builds DNA and information that is understood by the protein comes from DNA rather than the protein itself. When you discover completely unrelated animals or plants displaying the same engineering, it is not science to say, well that’s converge evolution!

P.Z. Myers vs Intelligent Design

The spokesperson for the modern intelligent design movement wrote a review on a NY Times article concerning some genes in fish which might give evolutionists ideas on how fins turned to feet. This prompted P.Z. Myers who uses evolution often to try and discredit the existence of God and creationism in general to respond to the review. Myers writes

“Stop, Casey, and think. Here’s this fascinating observation, that we keep finding conserved genes and conserved regulatory regions between mice and fish, which ought to tell you something, and your argument against a specific example is that it isn’t rare? It really tells you something when your critics’ rebuttal to a piece of evidence is that you’ve got so much evidence for your position that they’re tuning out whenever you talk about the detais.”

Here is what Casey Luskin who is the spokesperson for the modern intelligent design movement wrote in his review

“The real story isn’t quite that interesting. According to the Nature paper, a particular region of DNA associated with a Hox gene cluster in the coelocanth genome showed sequence homology with a stretch of Hox gene-related DNA in tetrapods. Hox genes are known to be widely conserved among vertebrates, so the fact that homology was found between Hox-gene-associated DNA across these organisms isn’t very surprising.”

“The authors aren’t sure exactly what this particular segment of DNA does, though it’s probably a promoter region. In mice the corresponding homologous region is associated with Hox genes that are important for forming the placenta. Ergo, we’ve solved the mystery of how the placenta evolved. Right?”

“Not really. Again, all that was found was a little homologous promoter region in Hox-gene related DNA in these two types of organisms. Given that we don’t even understand exactly what these genes do or how they work, obviously the study offered no discussion of what mutations might have provided an evolutionary advantage.”

No evolutionary pathway was proposed, or even discussed. So there’s not much meat to this story, other than a nice little region of homology between two shared, functional pieces of Hox-gene-related DNA. But of course, such shared functional DNA could be the result of common design and need not indicate common descent or Darwinian evolution.”

Casey Luskin is correct in this regard, there isn’t much to the discovery. No knowledge on how these genes work or why they work. All this paper claims is “homology” which isn’t hard evidence for evolution. Why? For one, similarities between organisms that evolutionists don’t believe are closely related!

Next Myers attacks intelligent design referring to it as “creationism”

“The Intelligent Design creationist explanation requires that every extant species was specifically and intentionally stocked with a set of genes hand-chosen by a designer. God magically inserted IgM into each vertebrate species, except that he missed the coelacanths, and he magically inserted IgW into each and every shark, ray, coelacanth, and lungfish, but he intentionally left them out of every tetrapod and teleost.” 

Of course the modern intelligent design movement denies any reference to God, because to them that wouldn’t be scientific. But they don’t define what an intelligent agent or agents is, thus anyone guessing what they mean by that would be considered an ad hominem argument. But when you use intelligent agent or agents within your framework in which you call science, it is reasonable to challenge or question who or what that is! Of course Myers assumes its God and labels it creationism because the courts outlawed it being taught in the public schools. Myers then also assumes how a mind (in this case, God) would create nature which is interesting.

Myers uses uniqueness as proof for a creator, because evolution uses “homology” for its framework or another words God wouldn’t have created that way so it was evolution. However, he is wrong! For example, a car company often times uses the same parts in different cars. Does that mean cars are not intelligently designed rather they naturally evolved? No! You can tell that Ford models are similar. The Ford company doesn’t make each model drastically different from other models that it produces in that same year. Conversely, most of the genetic code for all living things is universal, because for one, it indicates a lone designer not many different designers. Also, it has a purpose, this makes the code optimal for protecting against errors!

Here is a challenge for Myers! What scientific research has produced hard evidence that an intelligent designer would only produce each species using totally different parts? Didn’t you believe that creationism couldn’t be tested therefore not a science then how could you come up with such a conclusion on how God would create? Didn’t you believe only evolution could be tested therefore a science? Myers uses evolution exactly like a spiritual cult does in order to try and disprove in what he doesn’t want to believe in, and that is God! This is why his argument is a bluff of complexity rather than logical. Science has not disproved God neither has P.Z Myers version of evolution disproved God!        

Can Science Prove or Disprove The Existence of God?

In the previous post within this series, can science prove or disprove the existence of God, we covered Anthropologist, Bruce Latimer’s assumption about what constitutes something intelligently designed like the foot from the argument that sore feet is proof for a poorly designed foot to one of the most marvelous and advanced designs ever to be produced in the universe, the human brain!

Now let’s turn to the fossil record, deemed to be the best evidence for evolution, is actually one of the best evidences for God!

“Animals and plants appear in the fossil record fully formed and remain unchanged through (supposed) millions of years. No knowledgeable individual denies this.”

-Terry Scambray

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

-Stephen Jay Gould

For years, evolutionists have been trying to come up with a solution that solves this “uncomfortable paradox.” of hard evidence against evolution. Like poker players, they attempt to come up with explanations in order to bluff their way through a hand of cards that has been dealt to them unfavorably. Thus, they give an illusion that evolution is stronger than what it actually is, a theory with many falsifications!

“The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory.”  

-Charles Darwin

The Cambrian Explosion is not the only sudden appearance of fossils in the record but also the Ediacara Explosion which is believed to have preceded the Cambrian.

“Surprisingly, however, as shown by Shen and colleagues, these earliest Ediacara life forms already occupied a full morphological range of body plans that would ever be realized through the entire history of Ediacara organisms. “In other words, major types of Ediacara organisms appeared at the dawn of their history, during the Avalon Explosion,” Dong said. “Subsequently, Ediacara organisms diversified in White Sea time and then declined in Nama time. But, despite this notable waxing and waning in the number of species, the morphological range of the Avalon organisms were never exceeded through the subsequent history of Ediacara.” 

-Science daily

If evolution was true in nature, scientists would have discovered a wide range of transitional animals, more so than the species themselves rather they discovered animals fully formed, and very complex! For example, Cambrian animals are not what one would call, “simple” by no means, but rather they are highly complex creatures! Trilobite eyes themselves are astoundingly complex!

Why do you think Gould invented his own pet theory that proposed great acceleration in evolution?  Because gradualism, a structure in nature that is achieved by progressive steps from a mindless process as Darwin proposed was being falsified by hard evidence in the fossil record! On the other hand, the Bible refers to animals after their own kind, and the only way abrupt appearances of animals in the fossil record could only happen when available specified information was present and that information came from God!

One experiment which tested to see how natural selection would choose mutations to change a species or in other words add new information which is evolution. The experiment would have broken the back of the creationist model if proven to be true rather than just using assumptions or invented explanations to argue against it. I’m referring to of course is the fruit fly experiment!

After 600 generations, the fruit flies became what? resistant to change. And after millions of generations, they became handicap, less fit…The original generation had a much more advantage in fitness over the mutated ones! If evolution was true, the mutated ones should have been more fit than the originals! The experiment utterly destroys the whole notion of evolution and unwittingly confirms creationism!

What about reproduction? Does this verify or deny either creationism or evolution? If evolution was true, not only would new information have to be created but also would have to be passed on to future generations! Organisms have an array of very complex functions from the smallest one-cell animals to humans. However, science has revealed that only some of the functions are connected with reproduction! The other functions have nothing to do with reproduction so therefore evolution could not have created them! Because evolution requires selection from something!

So we see, evolution doesn’t create. Animals are discovered fully formed, no transitions and remain the same animal. Evolution is not an engineer, so that is why it doesn’t create biological complex function. Nature is not evolving upwards but rather in a downward trend. Even resistance to pesticides and antibiotics by bacteria is not evolution in action! Existing information is used or a loss of information nothing new created.

Can science disprove the existence of God? The answer is clearly, no! Evolution doesn’t not replace a creator, in fact science has shown confirmation for intelligent design by God, confirmation in the fossil record, confirmation with engineering principles that have purpose, fine tuning, mutation experiments, and so on. What it boils down to is belief rather than hard evidence for evolution! The hard evidence favors creationism!

Can Science Prove Or Disprove The Existence of God?

Continuing with Anthropologist, Bruce Latimer’s assumption that the human body is not intelligently designed because we have things like sore feet which to him demonstrates that a designer would not have created a foot which would get sore. Previously, we went through how intelligent designed built machines eventually break down over time and have problems. This does not mean that those machines were not created with a mind!

We also went over how many negative mutations causes a loss in information which leads such things as aging, sickness and death much like human machines eventually run down and are not longer functional and the only way those machines could remain functional over time would be intelligent intervention!

Unlike  Anthropologist, Bruce Latimer’s assumption, operational science has revealed the human foot to be a marvel of engineering! The foot has arches and a series of bones which allows one to either pound the gridiron or balance tip-toed for hours. You would be absolutely amazed at the design features that are highly complex, integrated into tissue that know as to be bone!

The foot has not one but two arches that support the weight of the body and provide important leverage when walking. What keeps the structure and arrangement of the bones together is ligaments and tendons that form these arches. These arches are not rigid; they yield when weight is placed upon the foot and spring back when lifted.

The foot is what one would call the humblest member of man’s anatomy.  Its five toes is intelligently constructed with 26 separate bones of various sizes and shapes which bound together by a system. It has a complex array of muscles along with a supplied network of fibers and blood vessels. The different bones articulate in gliding joints, giving the foot a degree of elasticity and a limited amount of motion!

Just like steel cables enabling a bridge to carry up a certain amount of weight, likewise arches are held in place and supported by a complex network of strong muscles to carry the weight of the body. But the foot is even more complex than your average bridge. Would you say, the golden gate bridge evolved? Of course you wouldn’t! But Anthropologist, Bruce Latimer would assume a more intricate mechanism such as the foot did because he thinks someone could design it without a person getting a sore foot!

The design of the foot has been reproduced billions of times in every human birth with exactly the same shape and form (barring any birth defects) with the exact same number of tendons and nerves.

We move on to one the most highly specialized and highly engineered parts of the human body and that is the brain! The brain has a massive amount of cells which everything is seemingly connected to everything else, these connections follow a plan based on purpose, an order that we are only scratching the surface in understanding!

The brain weighs about 3 pounds comprising 97 percent of the entire nervous system. The brain is connected to the upper end of the spinal cord.   The brain is divided into three main parts, one is the large cerebrum, he second being the smaller cerebrum, and the brain stem leading to the spinal cord. The brain has an incredible array of weaving strands (ten billion) known as neutrons. The neutrons defy description! You can’t find anything else in the universe that is more complex than the brain!

The whole mental process consists of neutrons transmitting specific chemicals between each other across gaps. As a result, each cell can communicate with every cell at incredible speeds. In just one cubic millimeter of the brain, there are on billion connections among the cells. What does that mean? It means there are 400 billion synaptic junctions in a gram of brain tissue! The total number rivals the stars in the universe, yet all those connections follow an orderly plan with purpose!

We see order and levels of organization in the human body. We see congruent patterns between cellular organelles and the body organs rather than a mindless process going through trial and error. Engineers use the same general principles in creating gears whether is just a watch or an automobile.

To Be Continued!