In part 1 of this 3-part series on the Evolving post-Darwin Evolutionism, we took a look at the evolving tactics of evolutionists, how they’ve drifted away from debates and evidence-based arguments and now embrace mockery and personality cults that perpetuate their canned dogma. We also talked a bit about how scientific paradigms are replaced by attrition [i.e. – the Old Guard dies off and, if they don’t manage to proselytize the next generation, their paradigm dies with them.]
In this part, we’ll be examining how evolution has itself has “evolved.” I’ve joked in the past that the only thing that truly evolves is the theory of evolution itself. As a further irony, it doesn’t; it simply speciates.
It should be noted that while the current Old Guard refuses to allow Darwin to die, in actuality they laid the old man to rest a good while ago. That is, Darwinism as derived from Origins, with its rather Lamarckian gemmules and all that rubbish, was tossed in the bin at the beginning of the last century when the faithful unveiled the Neo-Darwin Synthesis.
One of the reasons NeoDarwinism, aka the Modern Synthesis, was made necessary was because Charles Darwin had imagineered the common descent of all life from a single organism with absolutely ZERO knowledge of genetics. Needing a mechanism that would allow one kind of animal change into another kind [vis. dinosaurs to birds], he imagineered the concept of gemmules. In essence, he believed that the somatic [body] cells could somehow transfer information to the germ [egg and sperm] cells and pass it on to their offspring. So if your dad developed big muscles over his lifetime, there would be the chance that he could pass those big muscles to you. Theoretically, this would have made circumcision a thing of the past within a few generations. Essentially, this was a sophisticated just-so story of how the elephant got its trunk or the giraffe got its neck. Such Lamarckian mechanisms of acquired physical characteristics have been wholly discredited.
Of course, we now know that only the germ cells contain genetic information and somatic cells get absolutely no say in the matter of genetic inheritance. Ironically, Gregor Mendel’s Laws of Genetic Inheritance were discovered in Darwin’s time, but were ignored for about 40 years because people thought they already had the answer: Darwin’s gemmules. It wasn’t until after Mendel’s death that his findings became accepted. Of course, his laws of inheritance form the basis of modern genetics (The few exceptions to his findings are termed non-Mendellian Inheritance). Which is little surprise, since Mendel’s conclusions were based on actual research and experimentation rather than clever imagineering.
Note that the Darwin faithful didn’t let the theory of evolution be falsified. No, they simply took a page from Darwin’s book and imagineered a newer version of it, one they hoped would fit the evidence better. Instead of Lamarckian gemmules, they turned to Mendellian inheritance and genetic mutations as a proposed mechanism for evolution. This is essentially what has been taught as gospel in our public schools for the past century. So the old man Darwinism succumbed to the fires of a well-deserved funeral pyre, but a more robust Neo-darwinism phoenix was birthed from the former’s bones.
Which is not to say that Darwin 2.0 is any better than its predecessor. To the contrary. Oh, they insist that evolution is supported by a mountain of evidence from all fields of science.
But it’s not a mountain; it’s a rather precarious house of cards. Admittedly, it’s an impressive looking house of cards. They’ve rather artfully stacked the evidence to give the impression of overwhelming support and stability, but no matter how they stack it, it’s made of thin and flimsy stuff. There is still essentially zero definitive evidence for their lynchpin claim: the common descent with modification of all life forms on earth from a single ancestor.
Let me tell you what I mean.
Biology evidences changes in animals via natural selection, but one kind of animal never changes into another kind [vis. dinosaurs to birds]. Now when I say a kind of animal, I do not mean a species. I mean that a bacterium may mutate, but it remains a bacterium. A fruit fly may become so specialized that it only exists in one specific tunnel, but it remains a fruit fly. A dog remains a dog and recognizably so, whether a wolf, dingo, English Bulldog or, well, a wiener dog. Evolutionists presume that small horizontal changes within a kind of animal eventually build up to transcend the limits of a particular phenotype until it becomes a new kind of animal entirely, but this has never been observed in biology. And assumption is quite simply not observation. So while some of these folks presumptuously claim that we’re seeing evolution in action everyday, they don’t actually have any evidence that these changes result in proposed vertical microbes-to-man evolution.
The fossil record isn’t much help either. Stephen Jay Gould has lamented that “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…” [Gould, The Richness of Life, 1997, W W Norton & Company. New York, pg. 263] He further admitted that “The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism [ie- traditional evolution]: 1. Stasis. Most species appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; A dog is still a dog and recognizably so. 2. Sudden appearance. A species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; by traditional evolution, No, it appears all at once and `fully formed.’” (Gould, Stephen J. [Professor of Zoology and Geology, Harvard University, USA], “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, Vol. 86, No. 5, May 1977, p.14)
Which is to say, the fossil record largely agrees with what we observe in biology: limited horizontal change within a kind of animal rather than vertical fish-to-philosopher evolution. 150 years after the publication of Origins, rather than Darwin’s hoped-for and necessary plentiful transitional forms, we have only a handful of disputable candidates that could well as be mosaics like the platypus, the pronghorn and the red panda rather than true transitional forms. The dots are only connected in their heads and in our textbooks.
Genetics was to be their salvation, but they started with a lame duck. You see, Mendel believed that his studies in heredity demonstrated that there could be variation but that this variation had limits. NeoDarwinists ignored the limitations implied by Mendel’s experiments and arrogantly presumed that over time they could be overcome or transcended by beneficial mutations. Even a cursory examination of genetics presents a problem for evolution. Namely, whence came the information? Our DNA contains more specified information than all the world’s libraries. Like the notes on a symphony score or the letters which form this article, we recognize such specified complexity as language. Furthermore, information of such specified complexity is observably always the work of an intelligent agent. It is ironic that SETI scans the heavens for a simple code signal so that we might confirm the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, yet we deny any intelligent causation for DNA which well exceeds the criteria SETI has set for an intelligent source.
The problem for evolutionists is two-fold:
 Again, whence came the information? DNA reads its own coding, carries out its own instructions and goes on to create more coding that read itself and so on. But where did it originally come from?
 And where are the increases in orders of information required in order for molecules-to-man evolution to work? They’ll spin you a desperate yarn if you’ll give them your ear. Hopeful mutations, though few mutations are beneficial and none result in the sort of increases of information required for what they propose. For example, a beetle may lose its wings to adapt to a windswept island. This is beneficial to the beetle since now it won’t get blown out to sea, but it has now also lost the ability to fly and is less adaptable overall.
Evolutionists rejoinder with DNA comparisons of man and chimpanzees. We’re allegedly 96% similar in our encoding and this somehow proves common ancestry, right? We share 50% of our DNA with bananas; no one’s saying we descended from those! Creationists note that we’re not at all surprised that creatures that look similar would necessarily have a more similar blueprint [said DNA blueprint being necessary to replicate said creations] but that doesn’t prove flu-to-you evolution so much as it speaks of design efficiency. Both a unicycle and the landing gear have props and wheels, but no one proposes that a unicycle has evolved into a jumbo jet – or even just its landing gear! Their designers used what they knew would best work for the situation. Wheels are good for getting around on the ground. A prop supports weight above a wheel. The designer of the jumbo jet didn’t re-invent the wheel, he simply used what best suited his needs. This is design efficiency.
Tongue-in-cheek, one could well note that the evolutionist argument from DNA similarity is also an example of design efficiency. That is, they’ve found that their argument from homology is convincing so long as no one examines it too closely. DNA similarity is simply the argument from homology revisited.
And so it goes. When mathematicians demonstrated the impossibility of life evolving by chance within the time constraints of the universe, Richard Dawkins, arguably Darwin’s Wiener Dog [see 1st post in this series], invented a computer version of the infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters argument. This infinite monkeys theorem was the argument these mathletes had just destroyed mind you. But Dawkins cheated, DESIGNing a system that knew the final form of of a sentence from Shakespeare [“Methinks it is like a weasel”] to progressively keep [artificially select] the letters produced at random by the computer program in their correct placement until the sentence was complete. Note, Dawkins used design and foreknowledge, the very antithesis of his stated position on evolution. He then dissembled, admitting that he was using design and artificial selection but that this somehow demonstrated that blind natural selection could do the same thing. One wonders if he’s heard of a non sequitur! In any case, his analogy fails fantastically and in fact only serves to demonstrate the unreasonable leaps his faith in blind evolution forces him to take. How embarrassing! Darwin’s Wiener Dog [and evolutionists like him] are placed in a trap of their own making. To mix metaphors, it’s a bit of a [infinite] monkey trap. To trap a monkey, one simply bores a hole in a gourd or coconut and puts something the monkey wants inside. The hole needs to be just big enough to slip one’s hand inside, but small enough so that when the monkey tried to pull his hand out with his fist wrapped around his prize, he can’t get free. If the monkey only released his prize, he could easily slip his hand out of the hole again. If the monkey had the sense to see things as they really were, he’d let go of his bauble. Thus the monkey is trapped by his unwillingness to let go of his prize.
By holding on to their ideas of blind chance evolution and such, they’re forced to reject any sort of design or purpose of any kind in nature. They are forced to insist that everything happened by chance, if it it looks designed. He must ignore all evidence of design at all costs. He must retreat to absurdities. Thus, he’ll say that it’s only apparent design; that, yes, it looks and functions as if it were designed and if he did not know any better he would say it was designed; but it only looks designed for it couldn’t have been actually designed because he knows there is no Designer [At least, he really, reeeally hopes there is not a Designer, considering all of the nasty things he’s said about Him!]. This absurdity forces him to undertake an impossibility: to design a scenario whereby things could have come about to their current state by blind, pitiless, indifferent, directionless chance. He’s forced into this absurdity and impossibility in order to defend his faith, for faith it is. He has faith that there is no God for He cannot prove this. Rather than admit to a Designer, he has placed his faith in the sufficiency of Lady Luck to account for the incredible string of Free Lunches that makes life possible.
And if pushed past his self-imposed absurdity to answer the challenge of what he’d think if it all turns out to be actually designed after all, does he then freely admit that the evidence of design calls for a Designer [aka God]? No, he invokes little green men in the role of designer. And where did these space aliens come from? Oh, they must have themselves evolved by the same blind, chance, directionless processes that did not cause us to be after all.
His faith commitment forces him to continue his climb up Mount Absurdity and never see it for the house of cards it really is. This is the plight of those who remain faithful to the Modern Synthesis.
But some evolutionists are challenging the Neo-darwin paradigm. They recognize the weaknesses of the current theory even if science advocacy [read: evolution enforcement] groups will not allow those weaknesses to be printed in public school textbooks. Some have even proposed yet another incarnation of evolution.
This we will discuss in the final part of this series, Part 3: The Emperor’s New Evolution.