Well-recognized evolutionist image of ape evolving into man. Columnist Kate L. Keeler examines how vestigial structures and DNA, the fossil record, homology vs. convergent evolution, misunderstandings surrounding natural selection, integrated complexity, and non-survival mutations work to prevent evolution from gaining the title of fact. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Well-recognized evolutionist image of ape evolving into man. Columnist Kate L. Keeler examines how vestigial structures and DNA, the fossil record, homology vs. convergent evolution, misunderstandings surrounding natural selection, integrated complexity, and non-survival mutations work to prevent evolution from gaining the title of fact.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Opinion – Columnist presents skepticism for evolution

October 4, 2019

Reading Time: 1 minute

Introduction 

The Theory of Evolution. Charles Robert Darwin’s genius brainchild that attempts and, according to evolutionists, succeeds at explaining how the first cells developed into life as we know it. But how genius is Darwin’s theory, really? How irrefutable? Evolution may be widely taught by schools as fact, but it is something to be questioned. 

What is the theory of evolution? 

The Theory of Evolution is defined by Ker Than for LiveScience as “… the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits.” These changes give the organisms they affect a leg up in surviving and reproducing. This, in turn, ensures that such changes in traits get passed on to their offspring. Every living thing, according to Darwin’s theory, is constantly evolving via natural selection in the fight for chances at survival and reproduction. Also according to the theory, all species evolved from the same species, known as a common ancestor.

Time rules Darwin’s predictions inaccurate

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Evolutionists admit that there are holes in evolutionary theory, but are confident that such holes will be filled in over time as more research is done on the matter. Time, however, resting comfortably on her distinguished bench, has ruled with the falls of her gavel that such predictions are inaccurate. How much longer must the judge Time sit for us to respect her rulings? 

 

Vestigial structures, DNA

Vestigial structures and DNA are classic holes in evolutionary theory. But interestingly, rather than claiming that these holes will be filled in through Time, many evolutionists argue that they have already been filled in. Thus so-called vestigial structures and DNA are understood in most biology textbooks as indisputable evidence for evolution. This however is not the case. Time’s gavel has fallen often against this matter. 

So what are vestigial structures? According to LiveScience, they are those structures of an organism that “We (and other species) no longer rely on…for any serious function, or they have atrophied or degenerated to the point that they don’t serve the function they used to.” In general, evolutionists believe that the allegedly unused or less used structures of an organism either existed with the same purpose at the higher function in one or more of an organism’s ancestor(s), or served a different function in one or more of an organism’s ancestor(s). Evolutionists claim that this supports their theory because for common ancestry to be true, there must be evidence. Parts of our genetics both seen by the naked eye and, as I will discuss later, by the microscope, must show signs of a previous ancestor. 

There are many examples of ‘vestigial’ structures that evolutionists have bartered for over the years, but perhaps the most notable examples are that of the human appendix, the human tailbone, and ‘legs’ on snakes. These, along with nearly all so-called vestigial structures, have been ruled by Time and her spouse Discovery to serve a function. Ironically, according to the same LiveScience article, the human appendix has been found  “as an important storehouse for beneficial bacteria.” It also hosts antibody-producing blood cells that are an integral part of the immune system. The human tailbone, otherwise known as the coccyx, according to Healthline, “serves as an attachment site for tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It also…(is) an insertion point of some of the muscles to the pelvic floor. The coccyx also functions to support and stabilize a person while he or she is in the sitting position.” The ‘legs’ of snakes act as stimulators during sexual activity. Furthermore, according to Sarah Chaffee for Evolution News, “biologist Steven Scadding argued that although he had no objection to Darwinism, “

Vestigial organs provide no evidence for evolutionary theory…it is difficult, if not impossible, to unambiguously identify organs (as) totally lacking in function”

— Biologist Steven Scadding

.””

Evolutionists who have realized this will then argue that although the structures serve a function and have served the same function over the course of history, that they are somehow vestigial because the organism that they are a part of can survive and in most cases thrive without them. This claim is simply evolutionists twisting a word’s definition to support their view. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word vestigial as “remaining in a form that is small or imperfectly developed and not able to function.” This was the original definition evolutionists used until it did not work in their favor. Moreover, this play on definitions is illogical. People can survive and in most cases thrive without their pinky fingers, and that does not make pinky fingers a vestigial structure. 

Genetics did not fully become a component of evolutionary theory until after Darwin, but what is true on the physical level must be true on the genetic level. So likewise with the argument for vestigial structures, evolutionists argue for vestigial (or as it is more commonly known as for the sake of catchiness) “junk” DNA. Just like vestigial structures, vestigial DNA is claimed by evolutionists to be evidence for common ancestry; in this scenario embedded into the genetic code, rather than physical appearances. 

Reviewing a book by Dr. Darrell Falk on the subject, Casey Luskin for Evolution News wrote that “Dr. Falk relies heavily upon the argument that introns (a type of DNA) are “gibberish” DNA that we share with other species at the same position, and this supposedly demonstrates common ancestry. The problem for the argument is that introns are not “gibberish,” but have important functions, such as regulating gene expression.” Also according to Luskin, an article by W. Wayt Gibbs for  Scientific American ,explains how “the introns within genes and the long stretches of intergenic DNA between genes … were immediately assumed to be evolutionary junk”…The article admits that “(t)hat assumption was too hasty” and quotes a molecular biologist explaining how this Darwinian-based dogma stifled research, calling the failure to recognize introns as functional possibly “one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.””

Introns are not the only type of DNA that Dr. Falk argues for as junk. He also argues for pseudogenes, which according to a paper in Annual Review of Genetics by Evgeniy S. Balakirev and Francisco J. Ayala,”have been suitably investigated (to) often exhibit functional roles, such as gene expression, gene regulation, generation of genetic… diversity … Pseudogenes exhibit evolutionary conservation of gene sequence, reduced nucleotide variability, excess synonymous over non-synonymous nucleotide polymorphism, and other features that are expected in genes or DNA sequences that have functional roles.” 

Dr. Falk is also not the only evolutionist to support the idea of junk DNA, and introns and pseudogenes are not the only used and debunked examples of such DNA. For the sake of Time, however, I will end there on the topic of vestigial DNA. Her gavel has already pounded too much on the head of this tenent of evolutionary theory. 

 

The fossil record

Evolutionists have long claimed that the fossil record provides sound evidence for evolution. They claim that the record shows how the ancestors of species evolved into what we know them as today. But two main things, unsurprisingly found via Time and her spouse Discovery, contradict this element of evolutionary theory; a lack of transitional forms among fossils, and a pattern of DNA explosions cumulatively known as the Cambrian Explosion. 

It was not until after publishing his book On the Origin of Species, that Darwin realized a detrimental flaw in his evidence for evolution concerning fossils. 

There are transitional forms among fossils. 

If Darwinian theory were true, the fossil record would show the intermediary stages of evolution. For example, a human-monkey hybrid. A handful of paleontologists have discovered what they believe to be transitional forms, but their discoveries have either been debunked or are simply too questionable. Regardless, though, there are not enough such findings to infallibly prove evolution. Considering the amount of species on this planet, would we not have found more alleged transitional forms in the fossil record than we have? 

Desperate to cover his butt, Darwin claimed that intermediate fossils had not yet been found because of physical and human imperfections in the geological record. Because Time had not yet ruled on the matter. In Darwin’s day, this claim worked. But now it is but another lame attempt by evolutionists to twist fiction into fact. According to Luskin once more for Evolution News, “Paleontologists today generally recognize that while the fossil record is imperfect, it is still adequate to assess questions about evolution. One study in Nature (direct source no longer available) reported that “…the past 540 million years of the fossil record provide uniformly good documentation of the life of the past.”” The article then goes on to mention that “realization that the fossil record is not…incomplete has forced evolutionary biologists to accept that the record shows a pattern of explosions, not gradual evolution of living organisms.”

Realization that the fossil record is not…incomplete has forced evolutionary biologists to accept that the record shows a pattern of explosions, not gradual evolution of living organisms”

— M. J. Benton, and/or M. A. Wills, and/or R. Hitchin

First of all, “…a pattern of explosions” is impossible under how Darwinism explains the origins of species. Evolution plays on the gradual, long process of mutations formed via natural selection. The explosions of life mentioned in the article (known wholly as the Cambrian Explosion as they occurred during the Cambrian period) took place either over seventy-million or ten million years, depending on who you talk to. Regardless, though, both proposals are but glimpses of time considering the Earth’s four and a half billion year history. Most evolutionists agree that evolution could not have happened over such a short period of time. Going off of that, the Cambrian Explosion was specifically when phyla (the major animal groups) appeared abruptly in the fossil records. But here is the key thing. The phyla were fully developed, and like I already said, appeared abruptly. 

There is no phyla, nothing remotely related to phyla, or anything that could be the intermediary stages of an ancestor of a kind of phyla becoming that kind of phyla in the precambrian fossil records. 

It was a total explosion. Evolution could therefore not have cultivated the life that the Cambrian period birthed, and Darwin knew this. 

So he tried to cover his butt. 

Darwin thus moved on to argue for physical imperfections in the fossil records. According to Jonathan Wells for Evolution News, “he (Darwin) argued that Precambrian fossils (namely phyla) had been destroyed by heat, pressure, and erosion. Some of Darwin’s modern followers have likewise argued that Precambrian fossils existed but were later destroyed, or that Precambrian organisms were too small or too soft to have fossilized in the first place.” However, “since 1859…paleontologists have discovered many Precambrian fossils, many of them microscopic or soft-bodied. As American paleobiologist William Schopf wrote… “The long-held notion that Precambrian organisms must have been too small or too delicate to have been preserved in geological materials… (is) now recognized as incorrect.”

To conclude, according to the same article, “the abrupt appearance of the major animal phyla about 540 million years ago…is better documented now than in Darwin’s time. According to Berkeley paleontologist James Valentine and his colleagues, the “explosion is real, it is too big to be masked by flaws in the fossil record.” Indeed, as more fossils are discovered it becomes clear that the Cambrian explosion was “even more abrupt and extensive than previously envisioned.”” Time has ruled once again. 

This article has been updated for clarification. 

 

 

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    Contradictions prove evolution faulty

    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Misunderstandings, contradictions

    Faulty arguments contradict themselves, thus evolution contradicts itself. Some minor contradictions have already been discussed, but major ones, like convergent evolution, are yet to be delved into. Evolutionary theory also has a few serious misunderstandings regarding the way in which biology works.

    Homology vs. convergent evolution

    Evolutionists believe that homology (similarities among species) proves their argument for common ancestry. I will admit, there is a certain continuity throughout life and how it functions that cannot be denied. However and ironically, the evolutionary belief of convergent evolution contradicts the idea that homology supports common ancestry.

    Convergent evolution represents species that have homologies (similarities) but do not share a common ancestor. Evolutionists like to believe that this is simply an exception to their rule that homology proves common ancestry. But how many exceptions does it take until the exception becomes the rule?

     According to a Trends in Genetics paper (direct source no longer available) as cited in Evolution News, “The recent wide use of genetic and/or phylogenetic approaches has uncovered diverse examples of repeated (convergent) evolution of adaptive traits including the multiple appearances of eyes, echolocation in bats and dolphins, pigmentation modifications in vertebrates, mimicry in butterflies for mutualistic interactions, convergence of some flower traits in plants, and multiple independent evolution of particular protein properties.” And that is but the tip of the iceberg. 

    According to Evolution News, “Each case (of convergent evolution) shows an example where biological similarity — even at the genetic level — is not the result of inheritance from a common ancestor. So what does this do to the main assumption…that biological similarity implies inheritance from a common ancestor? With so many exceptions to the rule, one has to wonder if the rule itself holds merit.”

    Misunderstandings surrounding natural selection

    According to Dr. David Menton, who holds a Ph.D. in biology from Brown University and served as an award-winning professor at Washington University School of Medicine, “you can’t select something (to mutate) that isn’t there. A dog can’t say…I wish I had wings (so)…I could really nail this squirrel (in a tree)…natural selection can’t select things (to mutate) that aren’t…there.”

    …natural selection can’t select things (to mutate) that aren’t…there.”

    — Dr. David Menton

    To explain, blue eyes are a mutation. This mutation in eye color is only possible because the genes that code for eye pigmentation are there. But fish – of which many evolutionists argue some mammals, including humans, came from – cannot develop uteruses and other mammal specific traits because the genes that code for a uterus are not there. A mammal’s uterus is capable of mutating in various ways because the genes that code for the uterus are there. But an organism that does not have genes that code for a uterus cannot randomly develop one, because the genes that code for the uterus are not there. Natural selection is real, but it can only work with genes that are already present.

    Evolution supports natural selection, but natural selection does not support evolution. Due to the way natural selection works, species cannot mutate fully enough to become different species. 

    Integrated complexity and Time the Judge

    People arguing against evolution will often say the world is too complex for evolution to have occurred. But it is not complexity that puts evolution up for questioning; it is integrated complexity. Living things are multifunctional; they can do many complex things at once. Evolution cannot accurately represent this with its step by step, painfully slow approach to the development of life. 

    To explain, a fetus needs to make its own blood to survive. It relies on its mother via the placenta (see fig. 1) for food and other things necessary for survival, but it must make its own blood. It cannot make its own blood without hemoglobin. The fetus gets hemoglobin from its mother. But there is a very small yet very big problem. Hemoglobin contains iron, and iron cannot permeate the placental barrier. The fetus cannot make its own blood and dies. 

    Chorangioma - intermed mag.jpg

    Fig. 1. Placenta under a microscope. Source

    But this is not the case, and why placental mammals like you and me still exist is because of a glycoprotein known as transferrin. (See fig. 2). Transferrin is able to permeate the placental barrier to deliver iron to the fetus. Thus, the fetus is able to make its own blood and live. Without transferrin, all placental mammals simply would not be around. But they are because one little glycoprotein just happens to exist.

    Fig. 2. The glycoprotein transferrin. Source

    Evolution is based on random mutations. How can randomness birth something so perfect in such a perfect place at such a perfect time? And Time (remember her from Part I?) is not a factor in this equation. Evolution needs billions of trillions of years of her ruling in its favor to even be accepted as slightly possible. Without transferrin, no matter how long Time sits on her bench, placental mammals would not exist. They could not possibly have evolved to possess transferrin, because they would not have been around to evolve without it.

    Non-survival mutations?

    Evolution is only possible with natural selection, and natural selection only involves mutations necessary for survival. Therefore, things like music and the ability to ponder the universe could not have possibly found their way into the human experience via evolution. 

    Music is not something necessary for survival. One can understandably argue that humans evolved to be musical for the sake of communication, but music has always been for the most part, throughout history, a thing of pleasure. We may have very well evolved to speak, read, write and interpret language in general because communication is something necessary for survival, but the ability to create and interpret music is not something necessary for communication and thus for survival. No society has ever used music as a chief and/or an efficient means of communication in the history of the world.

    …trying to survive is not all that the human experience comes down to…and evolution simply cannot explain that”

    — Kate L. Keeler

    Pondering the universe is a strictly human thing that is not at all necessary for survival. Why else would we have things like philosophy and religion? Evolution portrays humans as animals. As creatures like any other, vying for survival. But trying to survive is not all that the human experience comes down to. We, humans, are uniquely separated on many levels (not just by the intellect) from the other creatures we share this world with. Evolution simply cannot explain that. 

    Takeaway

    I am not arguing for creationism, nor am I arguing for any other theory on the origins of life. I am simply arguing against evolution, but even then, that is not my main point. What I want you, dear reader, to take away from this column, is a critical mind. I would rather you suffer the pains of research than blindly understand everything that you remotely agree with as fact. I guarantee that at least sixty-percent of you have never questioned evolution until reading this column, when it is something that is, outside of your biology classes, severely scrutinized. With that being said, research. Research, research, research! If I can leave you with any last words, they are these; never find your belly sated with food that has been spoon-fed to you.

    Pick up the spoon.

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