August 16, 2008

A Costly Lesson in Rhetoric II (archaic)

This was posted July 20th, 2004. Please also see commentary and followup.

Original post:

Esther gave me a new book on Creation vs Evolution, that has renewed my interest in the subject. Even after I finished that book, I went out and got another one that is a bit more "science dense".

For those of you who don’t know, and I bet that's very few, I'm a Theo-evolutionist turned Creationist, and I just thought I would put some of my reasons out on the net.

I did not reject evolution because of religious radicalism. I rejected it because it is bad science. Darwin was a incredibly intelligent man who noticed that slight variations within a species can happen so that it can adapt to the environment. This is called Microevolution or inter-species evolution, which is fact. From this he derived what is called Macroevolution or intra-species evolution. This is the theory that given enough times, these small adaptations would lead to a new species. This was a reasonable hypothesis given the information present, and that he stated it was a theory with very little evidence to support it.

Darwin said that in order to prove macroevolution, scientists would need to find the mechanism and a sufficient number of fossils showing the "missing links" from prehistoric animals to present day. Today, neither one of these requirements have been satisfied.

The mechanism that scientists have pointed to is genetics. However when one examines the claim, they find that very bloated defense to be rather empty. The genome has proven to be much to complex to allow organisms to evolve in the clean way that scientists claim. The shear amount of mutation that is required to make a single species jump in a single specimen is nigh impossible. Let alone the millions of specie jumps necessary for the Earth's population and fossil record.

Secondly, no missing links have been found, zero. Lucy has been discovered alive and well in Africa, and the rest of the human evolution was proven wrong decades ago. The evolution of the horse is similar. You combine this with the complexity of the genome, the irreducible complexity of organic systems, and the complications attached to the introduction sexual reproduction, and atheistic evolution becomes impossibility.

But it’s all they have. There exists no other scientific theory short of aliens that exists. So I ask you, and anyone who believes in evolution, why?

Lindsey's comments:
No offense, but are you crazy? As someone with an actual college degree in both biology and chemistry, consider me a credible person. I've read that book for a theology class "Evolution vs Creationism," and as a biologist, I saw it as a complete joke. The guy who wrote it (some last name that began with an M) wasn't even a biologist, we was some kind of an engineer. I've learned all that I know from college professors with actual Ph.D's in the discipline. Unlike the author of that book, they've devoted their lives to learning about the life sciences. Aside from credibility of the source.....

As for evolution, scientists have found numerous missing links. And yes, as someone who has understands genetics and spent hours in the classroom and in the lab learning about it....I know that genetics does prove that evolution exists.

I could write hundreds of things, but I'll only give you a few. If you actually don't believe in evolution, explain to me this:

1) What about allopatric speciation and sympatric speciation? Have you noticed that all examples of this are involved with organisms that can't easily disperse? For example, what about the antelope squirrel that in Grand Canyon? Everyone knows that that's proof of allopatric speciation.

2) To explain harsh genetic mutations.....what about polyploidy? Especially in plants where generations alternate from haploid to diploid? Is has been proven that after meiosis, tetraploids can successfully undergo fertilization with other tetraploids. Not only does the progeny survive, but there becomes a postzygotic barrier between the tetraploids and the original diploids. Not only that, but what about allopolyploids? What if an animal with a balanced polymorphism undergoes assortative mating?

3) Although this is a mundane's always fascinated me. It has to do with the evolutionary progress of phylum chordata, the most advanced and sophisticated. How have scientists been able to identify the bony plates of the primitive ostracaderms and trace their evolution (both through fossil and genetics records) into the tympanic bulla found in eutheria?

4) What about antibiotic resistance? How did those gross mutations occur in such a small time frame? Why is the flu a completely different organism each year?

As for Darwin, his theory may not be completely right, but in the biology community the theory has been refined since he published his book. Read more contemporary literature. Also, I suggest you read literature that has been written by true biologists....not engineers or theologists.

All scientists don't know the answers when they first postulate a theory. For example, Newton's Laws were proven not to be laws in all situations. Einstein proved that at the atomic level, Newton's Laws made no since at all. All great scientists came up with theories that contain mostly truth, but their theories still had to be refined over the years.

Another thing that I noticed confused you was that LUCA (not LUCY) still exists. I don't understand how this proves human evolution wrong. Primitive species can still exist while more advanced species evolve.

I don't know who said the scientists claim that the genome is clean. I've never heard it in all of my years of research involving it at RPI. I guess at the cellular level, the genome is relatively clean because most of the genome is made up of code that has never been used. This is because during evolution, viruses had inserted genetic information into the genomes of their host organisms. Also, in a specific cell, the majority of useful genes are methylated and need to be chemically triggered.

To answer you question involving sexual reproduction, it has been proven to evolve in a similar way the the prokaryotic cell evolved into the eukaryotic cell.

Maybe your ignorance offends me because I'm devoting my Ph.D. research to biochemistry and topics that involve evolution. Just take my advice and only get your information on biological topics from people who actually are biologists. Sorry to write for so long. It's difficult to include years of knowledge into one journal entry.
My reply:

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you Lindsey. However, I didn't actually read the book you were talking about. The book I read was called "Defeating Darwinism", which is a book about the social implications of Darwinism, and was written by a lawyer. I meant the topic Creation vs Evolution, and I'm sorry for the ambiguity. It's obvious you know more than me, and the book I'm presently reading is by a professional bio-chemist. I intend to study the subject more indepthly, but it isn't a priority right now. Though i am quite curious on your comment involving the prokaryotic cell evolving into the eukaryotic cell. Can you email that to me?

Also, your comment about the genome not being clean. I never said that it was. I said that the process of evolution was stated to be cleaner than it really could be given the knowledge that we do about the genome. I know that there is useless DNA in there, and about the theory of viruses putting it there. Also the information about LUCA and the gradual improvement of Darwin's theory

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