Evolution vs Science
If evolution were subject to falsification, it would have been abandoned 160 years ago. The facts keep attacking Darwinism.
Darwinism gets a favored status in academia and the media it doesn’t deserve. Facts have been lodged it against it repeatedly, yet it survives a strong consensus. Why is that?
Senescence: Still an Unsolved Problem of Biology (bioRxiv). Peter Medawar (1915-1987), a Nobel laureate and evolutionist, smeared Darwin doubters by saying, “For a biologist the alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all.” And yet a problem he raised within Darwinian theory remains unsolved. How much more time do they get?
Peter Medawar’s ‘An Unsolved Problem of Biology’ was one of several formal attempts to provide an explanation for the evolution of senescence, the increasing risk of mortality and decline in reproduction with age after achieving maturity. Despite ca. seven decades of theoretical elaboration aiming to explain the problem since Medawar first outlined it, we argue that this fundamental problem of biology remains unsolved.
Horizontal gene transfer overrides mutation in Escherichia coli colonizing the mammalian gut (PNAS). Gut bacteria should be a lab for evolution, because the germs reproduce fast and adapt to their environment. In this study, however, scientists found that bacteria change by sharing existing genetic information (horizontal gene transfer) rather than by the mutation-selection theory predicted by Darwin. The first assertion in the Abstract contradicts the findings:
Bacteria evolve by mutation accumulation in laboratory experiments, but tempo and mode of evolution in natural environments are largely unknown. Here, we study the ubiquitous natural process of host colonization by commensal bacteria. We show, by experimental evolution of Escherichia coli in the mouse intestine, that the ecology of the gut controls the pace and mode of evolution of a new invading bacterial strain. If a resident E. coli strain is present in the gut, the invading strain evolves by rapid horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which precedes and outweighs evolution by accumulation of mutations.
Probing an evolutionary riddle (Science Magazine). This article was mentioned in yesterday’s post, but fits here as well: Evolutionists cannot explain the tendency of humans to harm themselves. Elizabeth Culotta explores various theory-rescues to explain the “evolution of suicide”—which even Darwin considered contradictory to his theory—but ends up confused.
Evolutionary psychiatrist Randolph Nesse of Arizona State University in Tempe says he’s “intrigued, but by no means convinced,” by Soper’s idea that humans have been shaped by tendencies to avoid suicide. Nesse emphasizes that suicide “is a behavior that can have many possible causes and motives,” so no unified evolutionary theory can adequately explain it.
Exceptional preservation of mid-Cretaceous marine arthropods and the evolution of novel forms via heterochrony (Science Magazine). This headline sounds like evolution is scoring points, but whenever you hear the phrase “exceptional preservation,” Darwin gets nervous. An unusual crab fossil is making these Darwinians grab theory rescue devices out of their bag of tricks, including convergent evolution and “heterochrony,” a fancy word for tweaking evolutionary developmental rates to save the theory. Even so, it doesn’t help rescue Darwin’s idea of mutation and natural selection.
Evolutionary origins of novel forms are often obscure because early and transitional fossils tend to be rare, poorly preserved, or lack proper phylogenetic contexts. We describe a new, exceptionally preserved enigmatic crab from the mid-Cretaceous of Colombia and the United States, whose completeness illuminates the early disparity of the group and the origins of novel forms. Its large and unprotected compound eyes, small fusiform body, and leg-like mouthparts suggest larval trait retention into adulthood via heterochronic development (pedomorphosis), while its large oar-like legs represent the earliest known adaptations in crabs for active swimming. Our phylogenetic analyses, including representatives of all major lineages of fossil and extant crabs, challenge conventional views of their evolution by revealing multiple convergent losses of a typical “crab-like” body plan since the Early Cretaceous.
So the thing lost traits and kept its baby parts. How novel. Darwin won’t get humans from bacteria with that kind of evolution.
Oldest completely preserved lily discovered in Brazil (Phys.org). Another exceptionally-preserved fossil challenges Darwinism. Complete with supporting leaves, petals and pistils, this lily was 100% lily at 115 million Darwin Years old—the oldest lily ever found. “Already 115 million years ago, tropical flowering plants were apparently very diverse and showed all typical characteristics.” In addition, the same fossil bed contains diverse angiosperms including “water lilies, aron rods, drought-resistant magnolias and relatives of pepper and laurel.” So where is the evolution? Did flowering plants just pop into existence, like Popeye? (see 17 August 2019).
Plants obey (and disobey) the island rule (PNAS). Here’s an illustration of the proverb, “Evolution works, except when it doesn’t.” There are very few rules in the Stuff Happens Law. One of them was supposed to be the Island Rule: animals evolve toward a medium size on islands. It’s not so simple. Watch theory rescue at work (‘evolution works in strange ways’) in the light of contradictory observations:
The island rule predicts that small animals evolve to become larger on islands, while large animals evolve to become smaller. It has been studied for over half a century, and its validity is fiercely debated. Here, we provide a perspective on the debate by conducting a test of the island rule in plants. Results from an extensive dataset on islands in the southwest Pacific illustrate that plant stature and leaf area obey the island rule, but seed size does not. Our results indicate that the island rule may be more pervasive than previously thought and that support for its predictions varies among functional traits.
Rapid evolution: New findings on its molecular mechanisms (Science Daily). There may be change in this story one could “call” evolution, but it is not Darwinian. It does not involve mutation and selection. It also contradicts a Darwinian prediction that speciation occurs after geographic separation (allopatric speciation). Lastly, it’s a case of microevolution that is not controversial, even among creationists. The kind of microevolutionary “sympatric” speciation described here involves changes in microRNA regulation—an epigenetic heritable change that does an end run around Darwin’s mechanism.
Genetic diversity couldn’t save Darwin’s finches (Univ. of Cincinnati). Darwin’s finches are well-known icons of evolution, but they shouldn’t be. They are very similar birds exhibiting microevolution. Now, however, a new study may turn them into icons of non-Darwinism. “A study by the University of Cincinnati found that Charles Darwin’s famous finches defy what has long been considered a key to evolutionary success: genetic diversity.” There’s plenty of genetic diversity within and between populations of these birds, but it is not saving them from the risk of extinction. Was Darwin wrong?
Yes, Darwin was wrong. As reported earlier (5 August 2019), Yale professor David Gelernter has abandoned Darwinian evolution for its many contradictions to reason and evidence. As more and more prominent scientists become brave enough to risk their careers and reputations by becoming Darwin skeptics, they pave the way for others to do so. Some will get tired of the just-so storytelling habit and continual theory rescues required to force observations into Darwin’s ideology. When a tipping point is reached, the collapse of Darwinism could be rapid.
We had to stop the list of Science vs Darwin cases here in order to keep the article short, but these are far from the only examples. Consider the Cambrian explosion, sudden appearance and stasis in the fossil record, living fossils, non-Darwinian mechanisms, and lack of explanations for all the complexity and beauty of the living world, to say nothing of the origin of life, the origin of consciousness, and all the astronomical and cosmological evidences of fine tuning. Darwin’s days are numbered. Will we live to see the day he is finally laughed off the stage for the charlatan he was? ‘Stuff Happens’—good grief. The most elegant theory in the history of science, Dawkins calls it. Yes, that deserves a round of laughter, mixed with boos and hisses.