October 14, 2019 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin Got It Wrong

More findings contradict Darwinian principles. When will scientists jump his sinking ship?

 

The public defection from Darwinism by Yale computer science professor David Gelernter made waves. He said in an interview with Daniel Robinson that he had not suffered any persecution from his colleagues so far, but based on what he knows from others’ testimonies, Gelernter warned that “they will destroy you” if you leave the Darwin camp. That’s because it’s a religion to them, he added. Nevertheless, there have been others, as Evolution News reports today: Wolfe, Shapiro, Prager, Nagel among them. Matti Leisola is another. Will a critical mass be reached that will make it easier for others to jump ship? Maybe if the Darwin ship keeps taking on water and is about to sink scientifically, others will rush to the lifeboats.

Bacteria contradict Darwin: Survival of the friendliest (University of Copenhagen) Evolutionists in Denmark are not abandoning Darwin, but they were intrigued to observe that bacteria don’t behave like the Bearded Buddha thought they would. They cooperate! Bacteria will even help members of other species, these researchers discovered to their surprise. The announcement was echoed by Science Daily. Rather than fight, bacteria will work shoulder to shoulder against an environmental threat:

New microbial research at the Department of Biology reveals that bacteria would rather unite against external threats, such as antibiotics, rather than fight against each other. The report has just been published in the scientific publication ISME Journal. For a number of years the researchers have studied how combinations of bacteria behave together when in a confined area. After investigating many thousands of combinations it has become clear that bacteria cooperate to survive and that these results contradict what Darwin said in his theories of evolution.

“In the classic Darwinian mindset, competition is the name of the game. The best suited survive and outcompete those less well suited. However, when it comes to microorganisms like bacteria, our findings reveal the most cooperative ones survive,” explains Department of Biology microbiologist, Professor Søren Johannes Sørensen.

It’s a pretty bold step for any academic science site to say Darwin was wrong about anything. Their scientific paper is a little more reserved so as not to cause a disturbance: “Deciphering links between bacterial interactions and spatial organization in multispecies biofilms” is the title, and the Abstract avoids mentioning Darwin.

Other science news reports, while not explicitly contradicting Darwin, show non-Darwinian mechanisms at work in biological change.

Tea and banana plants have been genetically modified by bacteria (New Scientist). Agricultural scientists have known about Agrobacterium for some time; the bacterial species infects many plants with its own genes and causes them to emit certain chemicals. Scientists have used “nature’s genetic engineer” to transport designed genes into plants for GMO foods. What the scientists didn’t know, this article says, is that Agrobacterium’s changes are heritable. One of the scientists sees a non-Darwinian mechanism at work:

Because the genes inserted into plants by Agrobacterium can produce big changes, Otten thinks this process could drive the evolution of new plant species. His research suggests that tobacco plants have been modified by Agrobacterium several times in the past few million years, and these events seem to have coincided with the emergence of new species.

Like we saw with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, sharing of existing genetic information may be a primary mechanism for adaptation. This contradict’s Darwin’s picture that selection of random variations caused all the diversity of life.

Infection by Agrobacterium isn’t the only way that transgenic organisms can be created naturally. Viruses often move genes between species. For instance, monarch butterflies have acquired genes from wasps in this way, and gonorrhoea bacteria have some human DNA inside them.

It has also been discovered that the horticultural process of grafting different plants together can lead to the exchange of genes, meaning humans have inadvertently been creating transgenic plants for millennia. From genome studies, we can see that gene swapping has been going on since the dawn of life.

Such ideas not only contradict Darwin’s view, they comport with creationist views of biology. Information gets passed around, but it doesn’t originate from gibberish. The concept of genetic sharing also calls into question the moyboy timeline. Genes can be passed around rapidly. No longer must biologists depend on vast ages to allow time for improbable events to occur by chance.

Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution (Science Daily). Evolutionary biologists have long been baffled by the sudden rise of agriculture about 11,500 years ago (in the evolutionary timeline). Some at the Santa Fe Institute are deciding on a very non-Darwinian cause: early people thought about it. They reasoned that even though hunting and gathering produced short-term benefits, they would all prosper better if they respected one another’s property. Jung-Kyoo Choi, an economist at Kyungpook National University in South Korea, says:

Farming initially succeeded because it facilitated a broader application of private property rights, not because it lightened the toil of making a living.

If these scientists had been operating under the “classic Darwinian mindset,” they would have been looking for natural selection acting on mutations for larger brains. Unguided chance—the Stuff Happens Law—contradicts the idea of reasoned thought.


Did you catch the sophoxymoronic phrase, “Darwinian mindset”?

When the Darwin hot air balloon falls, scientists can once again have their feet on the ground instead of their heads in the clouds.

Credit: J.B. Greene

 

 

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