Inadequacies of Darwins Theory Exposed
For a scientist who has been celebrated all year by many as the greatest thinker in history, Darwin left behind a lot of gaps. If his theory of common ancestry by descent with modification is so well substantiated, as the scientific community claims, why are there continual attempts to fill gaps with other notions?
One such attempt was reported by Science Daily. A team at Johns Hopkins University looked for other mechanisms to explain both variation of phenotypes in populations and the persistence of diseases. Why? They argued that Darwin’s theory does not explain them:
For more than 100 years, mainstream science has embraced the basic tenets of Darwin’s view that characteristics that increase an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce will be passed from generation to generation. Scientists later demonstrated that stable, significant traits are indeed inherited in the DNA carried in parental genes on chromosomes and randomly distributed to offspring.
Characteristics that affect an organism’s ability to adapt and survive in times of environmental change have been thought to arise by chance through random mutations in an organism’s DNA. However, this view could not explain how such mutations, which arise only rarely, help organisms of every size and variety adapt quickly enough through time. Nor could it explain how diseases that lead to a dramatic loss of survival – such as diabetes, heart disease, autism, and schizophrenia – persist in populations. Indeed, genes that directly contribute to these conditions have been difficult to find.
Looking for mechanisms in epigenetics (the regulation of genes) has also proved inadequate, say Andrew Feinberg and Rafael Irizarry. They are trying to see if there are genes that contribute to trait variability, which in turn are selected for by the environment. Whether or not this notion improves evolutionary thinking, it is apparent that they believe Darwin’s theory, even as augmented and refined to the present day, does not explain the observations.
Judith Monk opened an article in Science1 with a statement that deflates a year of celebrations about Darwin and his Origin of Species:
Darwin referred to the origin of species as “that mystery of mysteries”, and despite decades of study, evolutionary biologists still cannot agree on the underlying processes that have produced the great diversity of life around us.
Notice she said that it is evolutionary biologists – not creationists or intelligent design advocates – who cannot agree on how speciation occurs. She was writing to add comments to another paper in the same issue of Science by van Doorn,2 Edelaar and Weissing on the possibility of sympatric speciation (that is, speciation within a population lacking genetic or geographical barriers). Sympatric speciation was deemed heretical not long ago by most Darwinians (01/15/2003). It was dismissed by leading evolutionists of the 20th century, like Ernst Mayr and Theodosius Dobzhansky.
The paper by van Doorn et al has a title that seems to challenge or supplant Darwin: “On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection.” Aren’t those the very ideas Darwin championed? Look how they began their paper:
Even as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, discussion continues on whether speciation is adaptive (that is, driven by selection) and to what extent it is inhibited by gene flow. Ecological conditions can induce natural selection for local adaptation, but disruptive or diversifying selection is usually not sufficient for speciation if individuals can migrate between habitats. In such cases, a mating structure has to emerge that strongly reduces hybridization between ecologically specialized populations
They came up with a model (not fieldwork) that shows how natural and sexual selection in concert might lead to sympatric speciation. “Natural and sexual selection are often depicted as opposing forces, but they can work in concert, ”they claimed. “Our model highlights how natural and sexual selection reinforce each other’s actions in the context of adaptive speciation.”
Though this sounds supportive of Darwin’s theory, it is different enough that they themselves distinguished it. Even so, it is not clear how valuable it is to invoke model forces that at times compete and at other times reinforce each other. At best, it is a model whose plausibility is subjective: “Sexual selection acting on indicators of local adaptation could provide such a general explanation,” they said.
Other evolutionary biologists, though, have discounted the role of sexual selection (02/28/2006, bullet 4, 02/26/2003). PhysOrg, which published a brief description of the paper, noted that the model “may soon be tested in the field” – indicating it has not been tested at all. Monk’s ending comment indicates the provisional nature of the model: “This model may be used to test the prevalence of local adaptation and condition-dependent sexual selection in generating diversity, and provides a means to bring sympatric speciation in from the cold.”
Meanwhile, a vocal minority of evolutionary biologists are scuttling Darwin’s mechanism almost entirely (see “Can Evolution Survive Without Darwin?”, 08/29/2008). They found a mouthpiece in reporter Susan Mazur 12/19/2008 bullet 4, 09/10/2008, 08/29/2008, 03/07/2008). Her new book, The Altenberg 16: An Expos� of the Evolution Industry portrays the Darwin establishment as a closed community of pretentious bigots. Mazur and the outsiders are definitely not supporters of intelligent design or creationism, but find Darwinian and neo-Darwinian mechanisms wholly inadequate to explain the diversity of life. A taste of Mazur’s poison pen was shared by Jonathan Wells recently on Uncommon Descent:
Evolutionary science is as much about the posturing, salesmanship, stonewalling and bullying that goes on as it is about actual scientific theory…. Perhaps the most egregious display of commercial dishonesty is this year’s celebration of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species—the so-called theory of evolution by natural selection, i.e., survival of the fittest, a brand foisted on us 150 years ago.
1. Judith Monk, “Evolution: Sexual Selection and Darwin’s ‘Mystery of Mysteries,’” Science, 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1639-1640, DOI: 10.1126/science.1184680.
2. van Doorn, Edelaar and Weissing, “On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection,” Science, 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1704-1707, DOI: 10.1126/science.1181661.
150 years of Darwin and they are still trying to figure out the mechanism he supposedly proved? They are still coming up with new untested models and selling us promissory notes? Look at their right hands shaking Darwin’s hand, while their left hands are picking his pockets. If you are noticing the shady tactics and the voodoo accounting of Darwin supporters, and suspecting there is something else than science going on here, join the ranks of the ex-clueless.