Science Needs Evolution Like It Needs Terrorism
Don’t follow the hype that Darwinian principles
are useful for science, medicine or government policy.
Occasionally a member of the Darwin propaganda machine argues that evolutionary theory is useful. Some even claim it is necessary. Such appeals try to put a happy face on the Stuff Happens Law in an attempt to correct “misunderstandings” by people who perceive Darwinism as racist, atheistic or “just a theory.” We examine three recent examples.
1. Antibiotic Resistance
Using evolutionary principles could prevent antibiotic resistance (eLife, 31 Aug 2021). Antibiotic resistance is an alarming concern in hospitals. Doctors are running out of “antibiotics of last resort” when germs cease to be affected by traditional antibiotics, risking untreatable infections. Darwin to the rescue!
“We are currently in an antibiotic crisis, where the overuse of antibiotics is leading to increased antibiotic resistance and certain infections have become difficult and even impossible to treat,” says first author Aditi Batra, a graduate student at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and the University of Kiel, Germany. “It is the ability of pathogens to evolve and adapt to drugs that underlies this resistance, but evolutionary theory predicts that adaptation is difficult when the environment changes rapidly.
Practically speaking, the only thing they could advise was to use different medicines in a more rapid sequential manner. This allows less time for the bacteria to “evolve” resistance, they say. But does Darwinism have anything to do with it? The well-known Darwin critic Michael Behe wrote a whole book about this: The Edge of Evolution, in which he shows that bacteria can quickly explore mutational space to escape antibiotics if the changes are point mutations. But when two or more coordinated mutations are required, the “waiting time problem” becomes exponentially longer (see Evolution News, 18 Aug 2021).
Mutations that escape antibiotics do not typically improve the organism. In his recent book Darwin Devolves, Behe argues that bacteria will “throw overboard” anything that is not immediately essential in order to survive. Actually, by this he means that those bacteria in a population of millions of rapidly-dividing cells without the trait will come to predominate. An alternate view by Randy Guliuzza proposes that cells are pre-engineered with adaptation mechanisms; they have sensors of the environment that connect to preprogrammed mechanisms that can rewire systems threatened by the environment (see 6 Aug 2021).
Microbiologists are also coming to understand that antibiotic-resistant forms thrive in the artificial habitat of hospitals but quickly become less “fit” than wild-type forms in the outdoors. This is one reason why hospitals are encouraging patients to return home as quickly as safely possible after surgery. Some hospitals are planting gardens in which recovering patients can stroll, in order to gain exposure to wildness as protection against the resistant forms in the hospital.
These alternatives are beside the point anyway: antibiotic resistance is not a case of Darwinian evolution! Scientists are coming to find that genes for antibiotic resistance are readily shared between cells by horizontal gene transfer (23 June 2017). In fact, whole genomic libraries are being discovered that bacteria can access (see Evolution News, 13 Aug 2021). Additionally, many bacteria exist as “quasi-species” that can share information among members if some become threatened. These are examples of design with foresight, not evolution!
In conclusion, the “evolutionary principles” that Darwin propagandists promote offer nothing helpful to doctors needing to deal with antibiotic resistance.
The fight against coronavirus needs to embrace evolutionary theory (New Scientist). This piece commits similar errors. Writer Jonathan R. Goodman starts by making sure the reader understands neo-Darwinism (the “modern synthesis”), the “bedrock” of biology:
The connection between an organism’s genetic make-up and its environment is the bedrock of what is known as the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology. According to the modern synthesis, random genomic changes that increase fitness in a given environment will inevitably become more common.
This is a bedrock of sand. Fitness is a subjective, slippery example of equivocation (19 June 2014). Variants of SARS-CoV-2 are matters of international concern now that the “delta” and “mu” variants are circulating. Can Darwinian evolution come to the rescue?
It wouldn’t have been a surprise to evolutionary theorists, for example, that a covid-19 outbreak among mink in Denmark would lead to mink-specific mutations. The particular genetic changes are important, but they are more like descriptions of the behaviours – rewritten in the language of genetics – that we can and should plan for.
What is his advice, drawing on the ‘useful’ principles of evolutionary theory? Basically, ‘stuff will happen.’ Variants will arise, so get ready. “We can’t predict the precise genetic changes, at least not yet, but we should assume they will arise, and plan accordingly.” Wow. Profound. Darwinian theory is so useful. Look—stuff will happen! Hey; health officials have known about variants in cold and flu for decades without having to open The Origin of Species as a medical text.
As the UK removes covid-19 restrictions, we are likely to see further, fitter variants that some argue will allow the virus to evade vaccination. Genomic data can tell us exactly how this happens, but aren’t necessary for making the overall evolutionary prediction.
In the US, for example, the window between first and second mRNA vaccine doses is three weeks, not the 12 initially used in the UK. The delta variant has, consequently, taken longer to gain a foothold there – predictable from evolutionary theory.
Covid-19 is still a long way from being under control. The data we are collecting about its ongoing genetic changes, coupled with Darwinian evolutionary logic, should inform the timing of booster shots and local lockdowns.
Darwinians are not going to evolve an eye or a wing by a process that breaks things to keep from going extinct. As in the first article, the timing of shots has more to do with keeping ahead of a bacterium’s ability to locate the code for resistance or rewiring its systems to evade a threat. If Goodman thinks that evolution can “inform… local lockdowns,” keep him out of politics!
Public health needs evolutionary thinking (Grazyna Jasienska, PNAS, 3 August 2021). This Polish health scientist makes a valiant attempt to prove that Darwinism can benefit medicine. She builds on the Dobzhansky quote, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” applying the proverb to “demography and public health.” But is her prime example, breastfeeding in developing countries, really a matter of neo-Darwinian evolution? Are women evolving wings or prehensile tails by exercising “evolutionary thinking”? Women already have breasts that can manufacture the exquisite potion of proteins and nutrients in mother’s milk (see Bergman, 27 Sept 2020). They already have some control over birth spacing. Where, O where, is the Darwinism?
The main take-home message is that human fertility cannot be fully understood without an evolutionary perspective. The evolved reproductive strategy of any organism, including humans, is to maximize fitness. Since energy is crucial for successful reproduction, maternal physiology must be sensitive to energetic factors—energy intake, energy expenditure, and energy balance. The organism should have evolved mechanisms that carefully assess its own energetic status and make decisions, based on energetic cues, whether to begin the next reproduction.
This is absolute poppycock (see 6 Sept 2021, yesterday’s post). Evolution has no mind, foresight or concern about fitness or anything else. Stuff happens; that is it! Evolution has no way to “evolve mechanisms that carefully assess its own energetic status and make decisions, based on energetic cues” as she claims. She has made an idol out of Darwinism. Useless. Her take-home message is to meditate until the bearded visage of Darwin appears (see 27 Aug 2021).
Changes in maternity reflect Dr Randy Guliuzza’s model of Continuous Environmental Tracking (CET, see ICR article). Our Creator designed organisms with environmental sensors and supplied them mechanisms to assess their status and make decisions. That makes sense; it requires foresight and design for a purpose by a Mind. Intelligence – not evolution – is a cause that is necessary and sufficient to explain the observations presented by Jasienska. Evolution was as useful for her article as having a terrorist as one’s policy advisor. Considering the death and destruction that Darwinism has wrought, that is no exaggeration (30 Nov 2005).
Stop offering God’s works to Darwin-Baal, the idol of death. Evolution brought forth the death of millions with eugenics and atheistic communism. If you put lipstick on Darwin’s monster, it is still a monster. Fitness. Hah! Look at the horrors that word produced.
The Science department needs evolution like it needs terrorists. Truth and morality need an eternal, truthful and righteous Cause: our Creator, the God of the Bible. Nothing in evolutionary biology makes sense except in the light of God’s Word, which reveals it to be a lie of the devil.