Adding a prequel: The Jon Woolf Information conversation comment:
"I thought about trying to review the history of the exchange between radar and numerous commenters concerning "information" and its origins, but it's spread too widely over too many posts and there's too much repetition and multithreading going on. Instead, I'll simply summarize:
Radar tried to get away with rigging the argument by using a transparently self-serving, logically invalid definition of "information." (What he means is that I used dictionary definitions bulwarked by one of the leading authorities in the world on information theory. Dictionary definitions! These are the definitions that Mr. Woolf does not consider sensible, the normal ones used by the world in general.)
Presented with several chances to use a more sensible definition, he declined, and instead ended up taking the even-more-ridiculous position that there had to be an intelligence at both ends of a data transmission before the transmission qualified as information. I then pointed out that there is no intelligence present to receive a transmission of DNA sequences in a cell, so by Radar's own definition there couldn't be any information in DNA. At the time he ignored this, but now we see that he's quietly changed his definition of "information" to avoid that particular boobytrap.
This is not true. For instance, it requires intelligence to build and power a radio station. Then we have to have a disc jockey to play the jams and make a few comments. But for the information to be transmitted we need intelligence at the other end - for instance, a designed and powered radio. No radio on the other end, no intelligence transmitted. Guess what? The cell has DNA and when reproduction happens both male and female contribute their DNA (which is a designed information transmission system, among other things) so that both ends, male and female, have intelligence and information and therefore communication happens. The information in the cell, which Jon Woolf has completely failed to explain in a naturalistic way or even define without using the container rather than the information itself, is present at both ends of the transmission. A fifth grader can understand this. I know because one of my grandsons is going into fifth grade and he can understand this. If Mr. Woolf cannot then I frankly cannot help him further in this case.
"I was going to say he seems to be suffering from that well-known old problem: when the only tool you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Radar's only tool is argumentum ad assertion alopecium, so trying to answer substantive queries or discuss the real evidence gives him fits." - Jon Woolf, commenter
Well, since dictionary definitions and the definitions produced by Dr. Werner Gitt are just plain old evidence, it seems that Woolf is backing out of the discussion having been completely defeated. You can withdraw from the tournament but when you quit you have lost. I cannot do anything but urge readers to go back and revisit the discussions on information on this blog to see for yourself.
Homer Simpson's brain
Fast forward a few hundred million years, and you've got stars fusing that hydrogen into helium, lithium etc. Eventually a star will produce Oxygen.
That star explodes, and the oxygen escapes. it goes into a stellar nebula, where it combines (explodes) with hydrogen, and forms water." Go ahead and ask a scientist how he KNOWS this. Ask him for objective evidence. You won't get it.
(1) Big Bang (BB) grand unified super-energy
(2) gravity separates from the super-energy
(3) what's left of the super-energy separates into the strong nuclear force and the electroweak force. Lots of electrons and ant-electrons.
(4) inflation happens
(5) the inflation field collapses into a quark-gluon plasma
(6) the universe continues to expand and cool, the quarks combine to from protons and neutrons.
This all happens in the first 10 seconds.
Much later ... 270,000 years .... the protons and electrons combine to form hydrogen. The hydrogen forms stars (population III). The stars explode, forming heavier elements like oxygen. More stars form (population II and I). These stars come from giant clouds of gas and dust, which includes plenty of hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water."
Well, we sure would love to get into the Wayback Machine to observe all that happening. Now all of this has been, speaking in vernacular, pulled out of thin air. But Sherman and Mr. Peabody are not available for use.
Here is a good one: " ”They have been reminded that abiogenesis says life only comes from life”
You're getting mighty confused here. “Abiogenesis” says no such thing as “life only comes from life”. You’ve now pulled the amazing stunt of not only making up something called a "law of abiogenesis" - a creationist creation based on nothing whatsoever - but you've come full circle by confusing the "Law of Biogenesis" with “abiogensis”, which is of course not the same thing at all. At all. Seriously.
Not only did you not “remind us of this”, you made the erroneous statement and you were corrected on it, again and again and again. The law of biogenesis, dating back centuries, referred to complex, advanced forms of life such as mice, fungi, maggots. It is not related to modern research in abiogenesis, which deals with the formation of extremely simple forms of life." - creeper
”Fallacies like the peppered moths and the Haeckel embryo chart and others are still being taught in the 21st century.”
In what specific way? What exactly is the fallacy of the peppered moth?
Well, for starters, the moths do not naturally alight on dark tree trunks so the Darwinists who presented the so-called evolution of the peppered moth actually had to glue specimens to the tree trunks to take their popular picture. The fairy tale is exposed nicely here. Excerpt:
"...Even L. Harrison Matthews, a biologist so distinguished he was asked to write the foreword for the 1971 edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species, said therein that the peppered moth example showed natural selection, but not ‘evolution in action.’
However, it turns out that this classic story is full of holes anyway. Peppered moths don’t even rest on tree trunks during the day.
Kettlewell and others attracted the moths into traps in the forest either with light, or by releasing female pheromones—in each case, they only flew in at night. So where do they spend the day? British scientist Cyril Clarke, who investigated the peppered moth extensively, wrote:
‘But the problem is that we do not know the resting sites of the moth during the day time. … In 25 years we have found only two betularia on the tree trunks or walls adjacent to our traps (one on an appropriate background and one not), and none elsewhere.’2The moths filmed being eaten by the birds were laboratory-bred ones placed onto tree trunks by Kettlewell; they were so languid that he once had to warm them up on his car bonnet (hood).3
And all those still photos of moths on tree trunks? One paper described how it was done—dead moths were glued to the tree.4 University of Massachusetts biologist Theodore Sargent helped glue moths onto trees for a NOVA documentary. He says textbooks and films have featured ‘a lot of fraudulent photographs.’5,6
Other studies have shown a very poor correlation between the lichen covering and the respective moth populations. And when one group of researchers glued dead moths onto trunks in an unpolluted forest, the birds took more of the dark (less camouflaged) ones, as expected. But their traps captured four times as many dark moths as light ones—the opposite of textbook predictions!7
University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne agrees that the peppered moth story, which was ‘the prize horse in our stable,’ has to be thrown out.
He says the realization gave him the same feeling as when he found out that Santa Claus was not real.5"
Gee, how bad will he feel when he finds out Darwinism is completely made up? Poor guy...
”School science teachers are literally several decades behind the findings of operational science."
You haven’t been able to present any such findings that contradict the theory of evolution. Your recent postings on the subject have merely been instances of an Argument from Incredulity as well as several misunderstandings of certain aspects of biology and the theory of evolution.
Au contraire! Haeckel Embryo charts are STILL being found in textbooks. Darwinism is taught as fact when there is no objective evidence to support it. Gradualism was the means by which rock layers were dated, all based on guesswork and even now that we know that all sedimentary rock layers are catastrophic in nature. Peppered moths are still being used as evidence for macroevolution when they are simple examples of speciation. The genetic material for both dark and light moths is still available within the moth population. Oh, and Darwinists are idiotic when it comes to reproduction. A major State University in Indiana has this statement as a concept that is expected to be learned in Biology 100: "Members of different species cannot interbreed." Oh really? Tell that to bears and whales and zebras and donkeys and so on and so forth. Here is another idiotic statement: "The idea of an ancient earth came with a new understanding of gradualism." Oh, good grief! Gradualism was a joke and people like Lyell intentionally faked things like information about the rate of erosion associated with the Niagra Falls make it a fairy tale. I have spent years pointing out all the problems with uniformitarianism or gradualism. I make long posts with linked articles and well-reasoned arguments. Fossils do not form normally, they require quick burial. We have millions of fossils. Normally a creature dies and immediately various forms of carrion-eating organisms and chemical reactions begin breaking the components of the dead organism down and recycling them. You know that yourself, otherwise we would be falling all over fossilized opossums along the sides of roadways. Go read up on paraconformities and megabreccias and polystrate fossils and tell me about gradualism. Did the Colorado River run uphill to form the Grand Canyon?
”Children are being told a series of fairy tales,”
Okay, here is another one: "Vestigal structures have no purpose." What vestigal structures? Every time a Darwinist points out a vestigal structure it turns out to have a purpose. I do not think there are any vestigal structures commonly found in the animal kingdom. We know that tonsils and the appendix and the thyroid, for instance, have very specific purposes and yet once doctors thought they were "vestigal" because they bought into the Darwinist mindset.
"Homologous structures are similar because they come from a common ancestor - a bat wing is homologous to a bird wing." Oh, really? Says who? Birds and bats come from the same ancestor? Now let's pretend that Darwinists can understand actual science and discuss homology in detail:
Called homology or the homology theory, since Darwin this view has been presented as a major evidence of macroevolution theory. An example of this reasoning is as follows:
'If you look at a 1953 Corvette and compare it to the latest model, only the most general resemblances are evident, but if you compare a 1953 and a 1954 Corvette, side by side, then a 1954 and a 1955 model, and so on, the descent with modification is overwhelmingly obvious. This is what paleontologists do with fossils, and the evidence is so solid and comprehensive that it cannot be denied by reasonable people [emphasis in original].'1Homology is not merely a minor proof of evolution, but instead has been widely cited by evolutionists as one of the most compelling lines of evidence for their theory.2,3 Darwin concluded that homology was critically important evidence for common descent:
'According to Darwin's theory of common descent, the structures that we call homologies represent characteristics inherited with some modification from a corresponding feature in a common ancestor. Darwin devoted an entire book, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, largely to the idea that humans share common descent with apes and other animals … . Darwin built his case mostly on anatomical comparisons revealing homology between humans and apes. To Darwin, the close resemblances between apes and humans could be explained only by common descent.'4Darwin reasoned that the members of the same class of animals resemble each other in the general plan of their design and, in his words, this resemblance is critical because of the fact that 'the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise and the wing of the bat' are all 'constructed on the same pattern' and 'include similar bones in the same relative positions' is specifically what the theory of common descent would expect.5 An early example of how homology was used to argue for macroevolution is a 1928 biology text which, in answer to the question 'Why do the individuals in a species have all of their parts homologous?', said:
'The obvious answer is, that they all descended from the same ancestors … . Biologists carry this answer a step further and say that since homology within the species is the result of common ancestry therefore all homology is due to common ancestry and the closeness of relationship determines the number of homologous parts [emphasis inThe argument from homology has been used in high school and college biology textbooks for generations. A survey by the author of 45 widely used recent college textbooks and 28 high school texts revealed that all of those that discussed evolution (except one) employed homology as a major proof for Darwinism. Most discussions were brief and almost identical in content and thrust. The following example was typical:
'The seven bones in the human neck correspond with the same seven, much larger, neckbones in the giraffe: they are homologues. The number of cervical vertebrae is a trait shared by creatures descended from a common ancestor. Related species share corresponding structures, though they may be modified in various ways.'7Conklin even claims that the only natural explanation for homology is evolution, implying that no intelligent design explanation exists. In his words the fundamental resemblances between embryos, larvae and adults
'are just as genuine homologies as those between adult structures, and the only natural explanation that has ever been found for such homologies is inheritance from common ancestors … . These fundamental resemblances, or homologies, as they are technically called, call for some explanation, and the only natural explanation that has ever been proposed is evolution.'8A much more recent quote illustrates how this line of reasoning is still being used today to argue that the evidence of homology for the common ancestry of all life is 'very strong'.
'Why is it that bats and whales have so much in common anatomically with mice and men? Why do virtually all vertebrate forelimbs have the same basic "pentadactyl" (five fingered) design? (This is one of numerous examples of "homologous" structures exhibited by related species.)'9The author concludes the answer is evolution. Barr lists homology as the first argument on his list of evidence for evolution. As the above quotes show, the same line of reasoning has been used to 'prove' evolution for more than a century. However, Dobzhansky admitted that 'homology does not prove evolution, in the sense that nobody has actually witnessed the gradual changes in the millions of consecutive generations which led from a common ancestor to a bird on the one hand and to man on the other'. But, he adds, homology strongly suggests evolution; 'the facts of homology make sense if they are supposed to be due to evolution of now-different organisms from a common stock. They do not make sense otherwise.'10
Origin of the homology theoryThe comparative anatomy argument called homology was probably first popularized by Huxley in 1863 to argue for human evolution. In his Man's Place in Nature he gathered what Milner concludes is 'overwhelming evidence' for many close homologies 'muscle for muscle and bone for bone', proving the case for homology.11
The concept of homology originally meant only that a set of structures was fundamentally similar. It was first elaborated in 1843 by one of Darwin's most informed critics, Sir Richard Owen.12,13 Before Darwin, homology observations were explained by a concept called ideal archetypes, meaning the Creator used the superior design prototype throughout His Creation. A branch of this worldview now is called intelligent design theory.14 It was not until after Darwin that homology implied common ancestry. After Darwin's ideas spread, the structural similarity in many animals that had been obvious to anatomists for generations was reinterpreted as evidence for common descent.15
An evaluation of homology as evidence for evolutionThat some similarity exists when certain aspects of life forms are compared is obvious. The question is: 'Does the similarity that exists prove that one structure evolved into another and, ultimately, that the complex evolved from the simple?' The simplest and most obvious explanation for the fact that morphological similarities between bones, sensory organs, lungs, or gills exist among most higher animals is that the requirements of life are similar for similar living things, and some designs are preferred in constructing animals because these designs are superior to competing designs.
All automobile, bicycle and pushcart tyres are round because this design is superior for the function of most tyres. A tyre homology does not prove common descent, but common design by engineers throughout history because of the superiority of the round structure for rolling. Likewise, most vertebrate kidneys are similar structurally because they have a similar physiological role in the body and consequently must be similar in both structure and function.
Homology also does not prove that a set of animals is related by descent because both similarities and differences exist for any two animal types, and traits often are chosen by evolutionists only because they seem to provide evidence that two animals are related. The only criterion that was used by Darwinists to select examples of homology was: 'Does the example support what is assumed to be an evolutionary relationship?' Other examples are ignored or explained away. This fact is so well recognized, and so many examples exist that contradict the explanation of common descent, that evolutionists have attempted to separate most putative examples of homology into two types: analogy and homology. The division is based on a distinction between similarity due to common ancestry, or homology, and resemblance which is due solely to similarity of function, called analogy. An example is the forelimbs of humans, horses, whales and birds which are judged homologous because
'they are all constructed on the same pattern, and include similar bones in the same relative positions because these are all derived from the same ancestral bones. The wings of birds and insects, on the other hand, are analogous: they serve the same purpose, but do not constitute modified versions of a structure present in a common ancestor. The wings of birds and bats are homologous in skeletal structure because of descent from the forelimb of a common reptilian ancestor; but they are analogous in terms of their modification for flight—feathers in birds, skin membranes in bats.'16In other words, if a design similarity supports evolutionary assumptions, it is listed as an homology and is accepted as evidence for evolution. Conversely, if a design similarity does not support evolution, it is called analogy, and the conclusion is drawn that the similarity exists because a certain design is highly functional for a specific body part, and not because of a common ancestor. Many analogous structures are assumed to exist due to convergent evolution, which is defined as the separate evolution of similar structures because of similar environmental demands.17 Convergent evolution also is used to explain similar structures that have formed from different embryo structures or precursors.
Many examples of homology are actually better explained by analogy, and the resemblance that exists is often due to similarity of function and/or design constraints. The forelimbs of humans, whales and birds are similar because they serve similar functions and have similar design constraints. The conclusion that two homologous bones are similar because they are putatively 'derived from the same ancestral bones' (as Barr claims) is not based on direct evidence but instead on a priori conclusions demanded by macroevolution. Jones concluded that
' … the evolutionist argument from homology lacks scientific content. This particular lack has very serious implications; it strikes at the root of all attempts by evolutionists to give homology an objective basis and distinguish homology (similarities due to descent) from analogy (similarities not due to descent). The only way they can recognize analogous variation, especially when due to convergent evolution is by criteria (e.g. genetic or embryological) which we now know do not hold for organs of "unquestionable" homology. The evolutionist concept of homology is now shown to be entirely subjective.'18Stephen J. Gould suggested that 'the central task of evolutionary biology is … the separation of homologous from analogous likeness', and then emphasized that 'homology is similarity due to descent from a common ancestor, period'.19 The problem with this definition is that without direct knowledge we cannot know ancestry. In answer to the question 'Can we identify fossil ancestors of species alive today?', University of Michigan Professor Mark Siddall contends that this is impossible and that the use of stratigraphic data when assembling phylogenies must be based on speculation.20
'By the late 1970s this "Idol of the Academy", what Pearson has called "ancestor hunting" but which Eldredge aptly named "ancestor worship" had been thoroughly debunked.'20Huxley understood as far back as 1870 that when dealing with fossils, which are the only evidence we have of past life, one cannot distinguish uncles and nephews from fathers and sons.21 Among the many reasons ancestors cannot be distinguished from sister taxa, as noted by Siddall and others, is that there can be no positive evidence of ancestry, only inferences. Lack of evidence can only allow it as a possibility or an ad hoc postulate.22
Although many similarities exist in almost all animal structures, structural variations are the norm. Often the variations found in the animal world seem to exist solely to produce variety, and not for the purpose of conferring a survival advantage.
Some examples in humans are as follows:
- Attached earlobes: The allele for free earlobes is dominant to the recessive a allele for attached earlobes.
- Tongue rolling: The R allele enables one to roll their tongue into a U shape and is dominant to the r allele (these persons lack this ability).
- Hitchhiker's thumb: People who can bend the last joint of their thumb back to an angle of 60 degrees or more have the recessive allele h and those who cannot have the dominant allele, H.
- Bent little finger: A person with the dominant allele B can lay their hands flat on a table and while relaxed are able to bend the last joint of the little finger toward the fourth finger. Those with the recessive allele b cannot do this.
- Interlacing fingers: People with the C allele can cross their left thumb over their right thumb when they interlace their fingers. The C allele is dominant over the c allele, which results in the person normally crossing their right thumb over their left.
- PTC tasting: Those with this the dominant allele T trait can detect a bitter taste in paper impregnated with phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) when they chew on it for a few seconds. Those persons with the recessive allele cannot taste this chemical.
- Widow's peak: The W allele (for widow's peak, a pointed hairline) is dominant to the allele which produces a straight hairline.23
The comparative anatomy argument fails completely when an attempt is made to trace all living forms of life (and even fossils) back to their postulated universal common ancestor(s). Few skeleton, muscle and brain counterparts exist in single-celled animals (or in many developmental stages afterward).
No biological or logical requirement exists to vary the design of bones, muscles and nerves needlessly in every living form beyond what is necessary to adapt the animal to its environment. Although variety is universal in the natural world, variety that interferes with the life process or an animal's survival usually is avoided in animal design. Design constraints severely limit the possible variations in an animal's anatomy, and excess deviation from the ideal can interfere with the animal's ability to survive.
The many similarities that exist among members of the animal kingdom is the result of the fact that a single designer created the basic kinds of living 'systems', then specially modified each type of life to enable it to survive in its unique environmental niche. Examples of major environments for which organisms must be designed include the air, ground and water. Structures that serve similar purposes under similar conditions and that are nourished by similar foods ought to possess similarity in both design and function. This is illustrated in a critique of Berra's Corvette analogy cited previously:
' … Berra's primary purpose is to show that living organisms are the result of naturalistic evolution rather than intelligent design. Structural similarities among automobiles, however, even similarities between older and newer models (which Berra calls "descent with modification") are due to construction according to pre-existing patterns, i.e., to design. Ironically, therefore, Berra's analogy shows that even striking similarities are not sufficient to exclude design-based explanations. In order to demonstrate naturalistic evolution, it is necessary to show that the mechanism by which organisms are constructed (unlike the mechanism by which automobiles are constructed) does not involve design.'24
One of the most common examples of convergent evolution is wing evolution. Wings are believed to have evolved a minimum of four times; in birds, bats (in the order chiroptera), insects and reptiles (such as the pterodactyl). Scientists have also concluded that bird wings did not evolve from fly wings for several reasons. The main one is that no evidence of insects evolving into birds (or any other animal) exists in the many insect impressions in stone, or the many examples of insects in amber, that have been discovered.
Consequently, although the evolutionary progenitors of birds are highly debated among evolutionists, insects are not considered likely candidates. The most common theory of bird evolution suggests that they evolved from dinosaurs or other reptiles. Thus, the wings of birds and insects are labeled not as homologous, but analogous, because powerful evidence refutes the idea that birds evolved directly from insects. This is one of many examples that evolutionists claim does not falsify homology theory because it was caused by convergent evolution. However, no evidence exists to support the convergent evolution theory though.
A classic example of convergent evolution is the Tasmanian Tiger (a marsupial native to Australia) and members of the dog family (which are all mammals). The two animals appear remarkably alike physically, but geographical separation and evidence from the fossil record militates against the idea that one evolved from the other or both evolved from a recent common ancestor. For this reason, it has been proposed that they evolved independently into two animals that are so close in physical appearance that a close look at the two animals is required to tell them apart! The suggestion that two animals which look remarkably alike (such as the dog and Tasmanian Tiger) evolved independently is not tenable and is a major problem for evolution.
Convergent evolution has been hypothesized to explain the numerous examples of homology in which the available evidence suggested that the animals under consideration were not closely linked by descent. An example of such gratuitous hypothesizing is the following:
'Some similarities between distant species may be caused by adaptation to similar environments, which is known as convergent evolution. Development of streamlined fins in fish (teleosts) and flippers in dolphins (mammals) are analogous: they function alike, but are very different in underlying structure. … Linnaeus's original classification of animals does not distinguish between analogous and homologous structures. Creatures were often put in the same groups by resemblances to an imagined "divine plan" or "design". Since Darwin … species are classified to reflect the relative closeness or distance of their common ancestry.'25One problem with the convergent evolution hypothesis is that it requires 'reinvention of the wheel' scores or even hundreds of times. The eye is hypothesized to have evolved independently as many as 60 different times.26 Given the small probability of the evolution of a single eye or organism, the likelihood of it occurring numerous times is indefensible. Gould noted that even if evolution were repeated a thousand times, it probably would not produce the human mind again.27
Vestigial organs and homologyAnother branch of comparative anatomy studies structures in humans (and other so called 'higher' forms of life) that were believed by evolutionists to be the remains of structures that were required or useful in 'lower', less evolved and less complex ancestral forms, but that now no longer are necessary. In this case, the homologous organ in the more advanced animal is less developed, or even deemed useless. Such homologous structures or organs are referred to as vestigial, with most examples being assumed remnants that resulted from the loss of an earlier, better developed structure. Evolutionists used to proudly point to over a hundred such structures in humans, but the number has decreased consistently as anatomical knowledge has increased.
Today, only a couple of examples at most are usually mentioned (and there is no doubt that even the few examples usually mentioned are useful and not vestigial). As Howitt28 noted, the celebrated German anatomist, Wiedersheim, listed 180 vestigial organs in the human body, but with the increase of knowledge it has been found that every one of them has an important function, although the functions of some organs is presently viewed as minor, or as serving a back-up capacity.29,30
Moreover, if some vestigial organs can be proven to exist, they provide support not for evolution, but for de-evolution|--|i.e. evolution-in-reverse. What the evolutionists must demonstrate is that the development of new and useful organs is occurring today. They also must prove that a process exists that can form new structures called nascent organs, instead of trying to document that once-useful organs now are useless. Evidence for the development of new organs, or those in the process of evolving, would be evidence of evolution. As of now, no evidence of any nascent organ exists.
Embryology and homologyOne major problem is that in many cases organs and structures which appear identical (or very similar) in different animals do not develop from the same structure or group of embryo cells. It is not uncommon to find fundamental structures (e.g. the alimentary canal) that form from different embryological tissues in different animals. For example, in sharks the alimentary canal is formed from the roof of the embryonic gut cavity; in frogs it is formed from the gut roof and floor; and in birds and reptiles it is formed from the lower layer of the embryonic disc or blastoderm.31
Even the classic example of vertebrate forelimbs referred to by Darwin (and cited in hundreds of textbooks as proof for evolution) has now turned out to be flawed as an example of homology. The reason is that the forelimbs often develop from different body segments in different species in a pattern that cannot be explained by evolution. The forelimbs in the newt develop from trunk segments 2 through 5; in the lizard they develop from trunk segments 6 to 9; in humans they develop from trunk segments 13 through 18.32 Denton concluded that this evidence shows the forelimbs usually are not developmentally homologous at all. As an example, he cited the development of the vertebrate kidney which provides a challenge to the assumption that homologous organs are produced from homologous embryonic tissues.
'In fish and amphibia the kidney is derived directly from an embryonic organ known as the mesonephros, while in reptiles and mammals the mesonephros degenerates towards the end of embryonic life and plays no role in the formation of the adult kidney, which is formed instead from a discrete spherical mass of mesodermal tissue, the metanephros, which develops quite independently from the mesonephros.'33The arguments used by evolutionists have taken on new meaning in view of the past half-century of research. For example Dobzhansky argued that
'To be sure, some diehard anti-evolutionists still insist that homology means only that the Creator gratuitously chose to make homologous organs in quite unrelated organisms. This opinion may be said to be implicitly blasphemous: it actually accuses the Creator of arranging things so that they suggest evolution merely to mislead honest students of His works.'34This research supports ReMine's biotic message theory, the conclusion that the natural world was specifically designed to look like it did not evolve, but was created.35 ReMine uses a wide variety of examples to support his thesis which has been very favorably reviewed by the creationist community. ReMine notes that homology has been used as evidence against a designer for decades, but as this review shows, it strongly supports the biotic message theory.
Biochemical homologyThe homology argument from biochemistry parallels the argument in anatomy. Evolutionists suggest that just as the study of comparative anatomy has found evidence of anatomical homologies, likewise research on
' … the biochemistry of different organisms has revealed biochemical homologies. In fact, the biochemical similarity of living organisms is one of the most remarkable features of life … . Cytochrome enzymes are found in almost every living organism: plant, animal and protist. The enzymes of the citric acid cycle are also almost universally distributed. Chlorophyll a is found in all green plants and almost all photosynthetic protists. DNA and RNA are found in every living organism and, so far as we can determine, contain the same hereditary coding mechanism. The fact that underneath the incredible diversity of living things lies a great uniformity of biochemical function is difficult to interpret in any other way but an evolutionary one. Presumably these molecules were put to their current use very early in the history of life and almost all modern forms have inherited the ability to manufacture and use them.'36The fact that animals are 'so similar in their chemical make-up' has long been used to support Darwinism.37 But extensive biochemical research has revealed that the simplest reason for biochemical homology is that all life requires similar inorganic elements, compounds and biomolecules; consequently, all life is required to use similar metabolic pathways to process these compounds. Most organisms that use oxygen and rely on the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins must use a citric acid cycle which is remarkably similar in all organisms. Furthermore, the metabolism of most proteins into energy produces ammonia, which is processed for removal in similar ways in a wide variety of organisms. What evolutionists must explain is why billions of years of evolution have not produced major differences in the biochemistry of life.
Many biochemical structures/systems in yeasts and other so-called 'primitive life' forms are almost identical to the biochemical families used in humans. With some minor variations, all life uses the same sugar and lipid family, the same 20 amino acids, about 14 vitamins and the same basic genetic code.38
Even the complex proteins used in all life are often identical or very similar. Correspondence even exists between very different forms of life such as prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Ribosomes from bacteria, even though translation signals and other differences exist, have enough similarity that they can be made to 'translate human messenger RNAs into human proteins—and vice versa'.39 The problem for evolutionists is that the biochemistry of all life, even that allegedly separated by hundreds of millions of years of geologic time and evolution, is too similar. Despite the many significant differences between the two basic cell forms (eukaryotes and prokaryotes), they are both
' … remarkably similar on the biochemical level … . Procaryotes and eucaryotes are composed of similar chemical constituents. With a few exceptions, the genetic code is the same in both, as is the way in which the genetic information in DNA is expressed. The principles underlying metabolic processes and most of the more important metabolic pathways are identical. Thus, beneath the profound structural and functional differences between procaryotes and eucaryotes, there is an even more fundamental unity: a molecular unity that is basic to life processes.'40Although many biochemical similarities exist in life, millions of biochemical differences exist that are inexplicable via evolution. Many of these differences do not provide a selective advantage as implied by the claim that Darwinistic mechanisms have fine tuned life for the past 3.6 billion years. Creationists suggest that such differences exist due to the need for ecological balance and because the Creator chose to employ variety. Also, were one compound in an organism to be altered, scores of other compounds with which it interacts would often also need to be changed so that the entire biological system could function as a harmonious unit.
Genetics and homologyAccording to the evolutionary theory, homologous features are programmed by similar genes. Gene sequence similarity would indicate common ancestry since such similarities are unlikely to originate independently through random mutations. If the bones of the human arm evolved from the same precursors as the wing of a bat and the hoof of a horse as evolution teaches, then we should be able to trace these alleged homologies to the DNA that codes for them. Some geneticists thought this knowledge would allow them to find the chemical formula needed to produce an arm, leg, or other structure. But once biologists acquired a greater understanding of genetics, they found that what are labeled as homologous structures in different species often are produced by quite different genes.
Homology predicted that features produced by similar genetic sequences are phylogenetically homologous. There are now so many exceptions to this prediction that the concept of genetic homology cannot now be said to be a rule, but the exception. The classic example is mutations in certain homeotic genes41 which can cause wholesale changes in morphology such as producing two pairs of wings instead of the normal single pair, or replacing a fly's antenna with a leg (or can even cause eyes to develop on the fly's leg). Genes that produce results similar to the homeotic genes for flies' wings have been found in most other animal kinds, including mammals and humans.42
In another example, the gene that controls mouse eye colour also happens to control the mouse's physical size; but the gene that controls the fruit fly's eye colour controls not the fruit fly's size, but female sex organ morphology.43 Although mice and flies share a similar gene (called eyeless) which functions to control their eye development, the fly's multifaceted eye is profoundly different from a mouse's mammal eye. In both the fly Antennapedia and mouse eyeless, similar homeotic genes control development of structures which are not homologous by either the post-Darwinian phylogenetic or the classical morphological definition. 44
The finding that similar genes regulate such radically different structures strongly argues against the concept of homology. So many genes used in higher organisms have multiple effects that Ernst Mayr once suggested that genes which control only a single characteristic are rare or nonexistent. The finding that a consistent one-gene/one-characteristic correspondence does not exist has been a major set back to the Darwinian interpretation of homology. Because evolutionary biologists have failed to provide a biological basis for their homology research findings, Roth concluded 'that the title of de Beer's 1971 essay|--|Homology, an unsolved problem|--|remains an accurate description … . The relationships between processes at genetic, developmental, gross phenotypic and evolutionary levels remain a black box'.45 Research at the molecular level has failed to demonstrate the expected correspondence between gene product changes and the organismal changes predicted by evolution.24
Evolution by DNA mutations 'is largely uncoupled from morphological evolution'.46 An example of this is the large morphological dissimilarity that exists between humans and chimpanzees despite a high similarity in their DNA.46 In short we now know:
' … in general the homology of structures such as organs or modules cannot be ascribed to inheritance of homologous genes or sets of genes. Consequently, organ homology cannot be reduced to gene homology. Van Valen recognizes this too and therefore suggests, as an alternative, to reduce homology to a continuity of [developmental] information. Information is not the same as genotypic nucleic acid. But what it is exactly, and how it is continuous, is still an unsolved problem.'47
ConclusionAs scientists learnt more about anatomy, physiology and especially genetics, the concept of homology increasingly came under attack. One problem however, was that examples which seemed to fit evolutionary assumptions were often cited, while the many examples that do not fit were ignored. And, in time, more and more examples were discovered that had to be ignored. Eventually, as one observer noted, homology led Darwinists to assemble very select examples that seemed to prove ancestor-descendant relationships that often were quite convincing. In addition, as Milton has observed,
'It is homology that Darwinists rely on to bridge the gaps in the fossil record. … It is homology that underlies the diagrams drawn up by Darwinists from Haeckel to the present day showing how every living thing is related. Ultimately, however, it is homology that has provided the greatest stumbling block to Darwinian theory, for at the final and most crucial hurdle, homology has fallen.'48The recent information explosion in embryology, microbiology, genetics and especially molecular biology has revealed in minute detail how plants and animals are constructed at the molecular level. If the Darwinian interpretation of homology were correct, then we would expect that the same homologies found at the macroscopic level also exist at the microscopic, biochemical and genetic levels. What researchers in each of these fields often find, has greatly undermined the homology concept. So many exceptions now exist that molecular biologist Michael Denton concluded that the homology theory should be rejected. His main argument is that genetic research has not shown that homologous structures are produced by homologous genes and follow homologous patterns of embryological development. Instead, genetics has found that homologous structures are 'often specified by non-homologous genetic systems' and furthermore, the homology 'can seldom be extended back into embryology'.49
Why do most scientists accept macroevolution theory? A major reason is that it is now the accepted world view of scientists—an idea to which they are exposed from the earliest days of training, and by which they are surrounded daily. Most scientists are influenced by social pressure, and many believers fear recriminations from their fellow scientists if they do not conform to what currently is viewed as correct. To prove their orthodoxy, many scientists have become unscientific and have embraced the religion of 20th century-naturalism.50 Belief in evolutionism requires a credulity induced partly by pressure to conform to a world of science that is saturated with naturalism.
AcknowledgmentsI wish to thank Dr Wayne Frair, Dr Bert Thompson and John Woodmorappe for their critical review of an earlier draft of this paper.
- Berra, T., Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Stanford Univ. Press, p. 117, 1990.
- Denton, M., Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Adler and Adler, Bethesda, p. 143, 1986.
- Jones, A.J., A creationist critique of homology, CRSQ, 19(3):156-175, 1981.
- Hickman, C., Roberts, L. and Larson, A., Integrated Principles of Zoology, William C. Brown, Dubuque, pp. 159-160, 1996.
- Darwin, C., The Origin of Species, 6th Ed., pp. 434-435, 1872.
- Wellhouse, W. and Hendrickson, G., A Brief Course in Biology, Macmillan, New York, p. 147, 1928.
- Milner, R., The Encyclopedia of Evolution, Facts on File, New York, p. 218, 1990.
- Conklin, E.G., Embryology and evolution; in: Mason, F., Creation by Evolution, Macmillan, New York, pp. 72, 74, 1928.
- Barr, S.M., Untangling evolution, First Things 78:15, 1997.
- Dobzhansky, T., Evolution; Genetics and Man, John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 227-228, 1959.
- Milner, Ref. 7, p. 218.
- Berry, R.J. and Hallam, A., The Encyclopedia of Animal Evolution, Facts on File, New York, 1987.
- Boyden, A., Homology and analogy. A critical review of the meaning and implications of these concepts in biology, The American Midland Naturalist 37(3):648-669, 1947.
- Wells, J. and Nelson, P., Homology: a concept in crisis, Origins and Design 18(2):12, 1997.
- Boyden, Ref. 13, p. 648.
- Berry and Hallam, Ref. 12, p. 82.
- Audesirk, T. and Audesirk, G., Biology: Life on Earth, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1999.
- Jones, Ref. 3, p. 159.
- Gould, S.J., The heart of terminology, Natural History 97(2):26, 1988.
- Siddall, M., The Follies of Ancestor Worship, Nature Debates, p. 1, 19 November 1998.
- Huxley, T.H., The anniversary address of the President, Quarterly Journal of the Geology Society of London 26:XLII-LXIV, 1870.
- Siddall, Ref. 20, p. 5.
- From Lewis, R., Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications, 4th Ed., McGraw Hill, New York, 2001.
- Wells and Nelson, Ref. 14, p. 14.
- Milner, Ref. 7, p. 218.
- Dawkins, R., Climbing Mount Improbable, W.W. Norton, New York, 1996.
- Gould, S.J., Wonderful Life, W.W. Norton, New York, pp. 233-234, 1989.
- Howitt, J., Evolution, Science Falsely So-Called, Christian Crusade, Toronto, p. 27, 1970.
- Scadding, S.R., Do vestigial organs provide evidence for evolution? Evolutionary Theory 5:173-176, 1981.
- Bergman, J. and Howe, G., Vestigial Organs are Fully Functional, Creation Research Books, Terre Haute, 1990.
- deBeer, S.G., Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Oxford University Press, London, p. 13, 1971.
- de Beer, Ref. 31, pp. 8-9.
- Denton, Ref. 2, p. 146.
- Dobzhansky, Ref. 10, p. 228.
- ReMine, W., The Biotic Message, St. Paul Science, St. Paul, p. 457, 1993.
- Kimball, J., Biology, Addison-Wesley Pub., Reading, p. 547, 1965.
- Kroeber, E., Wolff, W. and Weaver, R., Biology, D.C. Heath Co., Lexington, p. 483, 1969.
- Hoagland, C. and Dodson, B., The Way Life Works, Random House, 1995.
- Hoagland and Dodson, Ref. 38, p. 122.
- Prescott, L., Harley, J. and Klein, D., Microbiology, Wm C. Brown, Dubuque, p. 87, 1990.
- A homeotic gene produces a transcription factor that controls the activities of a set of genes needed to produce a complete body structure such as an antenna.
- Lewis, R., Human Genetics, McGraw Hill, New York, 2001.
- Wells and Nelson, Ref. 14, p. 15.
- Wells J., Icons of Evolution, Regnery, Washington, pp. 73-77, 2000.
- Roth, V.L., The biological basis of homology; in: Humphrey, C. J. (Ed.), Ontogeny and Systematics, Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 1, 16, 1988.
- Raff, R.A. and Kaufman, T.C., Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, Macmillan, New York, pp. 67, 78, 1983.
- Sattler, R., Homology—a continuing challenge, Systematic Botany, 9(4):386, 1984.
- Milton, R., Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, Park Street Press, Rochester, p. 179, 1997.
- Denton, Ref. 2, p. 145.
- Johnson, P., Science without God, Wall Street Journal, p. A10, 1993.
You’d have to disprove evolution before you can make that statement.
Disprove evolution? Darwinist macroevolution has never been observed to take place. Never. There is nothing to disprove. It is like asking me to disprove Leprechauns exist. Show me one first.
”They have been shown the Laws of Thermodynamics and they deny them by hiding behind the phrase, "open system." “
That is one of the logical objections to the creationist complaint. The basic misunderstanding that YECs bring to the table is that the 2nd law of thermodynamics supposedly states that entropy increases everywhere equally, which is simply not true and a strawman version of the 2nd LOT. We see entropy decrease locally all the time.
That’s what the “open system” rejoinder is about.
But that is not the only counter-argument.
”Hey, the entire Universe could be called an open system.”
Actually, no it couldn’t. The Universe as a whole is a closed system.
So because the Sun can shine on the Earth it is open. But you do know that the LOT were proposed and proved on Earth and they operate on Earth? Also, who are you to declare the Universe a closed system as you have not been to the edge to see what is beyond...is there a beyond? You are no authority. You can call the Earth open if you want but the scientist who proposed and proved the LOT disagrees. In fact, here are a few nice quotes concerning the certainty of the working of the 2LOT:
- Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes and the second law of thermodynamics. All three are processes in which useful or accessible forms of some quantity, such as energy or money, are transformed into useless, inaccessible forms of the same quantity. That is not to say that these three processes don't have fringe benefits: taxes pay for roads and schools; the second law of thermodynamics drives cars, computers and metabolism; and death, at the very least, opens up tenured faculty positions.
- The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.
- Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1915), chapter 4
- A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?
- C. P. Snow, 1959 Rede Lecture entitled "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution".
- The second law of thermodynamics is, without a doubt, one of the most perfect laws in physics. Any reproducible violation of it, however small, would bring the discoverer great riches as well as a trip to Stockholm. The world’s energy problems would be solved at one stroke. It is not possible to find any other law (except, perhaps, for super selection rules such as charge conservation) for which a proposed violation would bring more skepticism than this one. Not even Maxwell’s laws of electricity or Newton’s law of gravitation are so sacrosanct, for each has measurable corrections coming from quantum effects or general relativity. The law has caught the attention of poets and philosophers and has been called the greatest scientific achievement of the nineteenth century. Engels disliked it, for it supported opposition to Dialectical Materialism, while Pope Pius XII regarded it as proving the existence of a higher being.
- Ivan P. Bazarov, "Thermodynamics" (1964)
- A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended its area of applicability. Therefore the deep impression that classical thermodynamics made upon me. It is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown, within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts.
- Albert Einstein (author), Paul Arthur, Schilpp (editor). Autobiographical Notes. A Centennial Edition. Open Court Publishing Company. 1979. p. 31 [As quoted by Don Howard, John Stachel. Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879-1909 (Einstein Studies, vol. 8). Birkhäuser Boston. 2000. p. 1]
”But the Second Law of Thermodynamics was proposed, tested and proven here on Earth and it applies throughout the known Universe.”
That’s right, and evolution happens not to be in violation of it.
Because you say so? What evolution? Of course macroevolution is directly in violation of the 2LOT!
Is reproduction with variation in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics? (Hint: it isn’t, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.)
Wrong. The Second LOT is an observed fact concerning natural processes. In order to work against the Second LOT, one has to bring directed energy or work from outside to counteract the law. For instance, your room gets cluttered but your mom comes in and straightens it up. Did your mom break the 2LOT? No, because she is not part of the natural processes, she brought in energy and information. Similarly, life could not form from non-life, God had to bring in energy and information and produce it. Not only that, He had to set up a system that would cause life to reproduce and survive a wide variety of ecological conditions and thus we have DNA. I cannot say this strongly enough...evolution is supposed to be a naturalistic process and yet it runs backwards in complete opposition (or it would if it existed) to the laws of nature.
Is natural selection (i.e. the greater survival and reproduction of organisms with beneficial traits) in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics?
Is your mom in violation for cleaning your room? We now know that reproduction is an extremely complex and designed process that requires information and supernatural intervention to have ever begun. A rock rolls downhill but I can use my mind and body to pick it up and carry it back uphill. Rocks will not roll uphill by themselves but I can carry one, or shoot it up there with a catapult, or put it in the back of a vehicle and drive it up there. The fairy tale of evolution is that rocks not only roll uphill, but they grow arms and legs along the way without any help. It is such a crock, now that we know more about how organisms function and reproduce, that once the common man understands more about the processes you Darwinists will be condemned as anti-science liars and frauds and with good reason.
If these two are not in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, then neither is evolution.
The lack of understand of the 2LOT by Darwinists is impressive. Like I said, you can pile up a bunch of construction materials and let the Sun shine on them all you like but that house will never be built by natural processes, the materials will just begin to degrade.
”Darwinist Evolution is the opposite of what we observe.”
Wrong again. You were presented with literally dozens of pieces of evidence that indicates that we observe evolution in all kinds of ways. You've run away from this consistently.
If refuting is running away, yes. You Darwinists have never demonstrated an observed macroevolution. You have presented information loss and transfer and mutations that would kill the organism and nothing more. I asked for one piece of objective evidence for Darwinism and I got double-talk and links to long treatises entirely based upon assumptions with absolutely no evidence to back it up.
And of course the sorting of fossils in the rock layer is predicted by the theory of evolution and falsifies the YEC scenario. If you proceeded scientifically at this point, you would have to discard the YEC hypothesis.
If someone will confidently assert this, he is a humbug and a liar. I cannot be stronger than that. The rock layers are a virtual proof of a worldwide flood. I vehemently disagree with you here. You are either ignorant or brainwashed or intentionally deceitful to make such a statement. Sorting of fossils indeed! So many examples of evidence that the rock layers are produced by the flood and the dynamic aftermath world of mud rock formations and glaciation and glacial lake floods...so many examples of fossils caught in the act of eating and reproduction and so many evidences of tracks all running in the same direction. The rock records are somewhat sorted by the level at which creatures lived at the time, their ability to escape initial flood events, and also sorting by weight and size and specific gravity...so many examples of fossils all pointed in the same direction as if caught in a flow of water.
But this one here's a doozy:
”What frightens Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott and others of their ilk, according to news reports and various creationist sources?
The free exchange of ideas”
This on the very same blog where you, Radar, run away from numerous pieces of evidence that contradict your claims and then either lie about how they’ve been answered or they don't exist at all or you cast ad hominems in lieu of addressing them openly, where you’ve misrepresented just about every opposing argument at some point or another, and where you champion a hypocrite like Mastropaolo who whines on about how people won’t answer his questions while he can’t answer the most basic questions himself?
Oh really? He is offering to put up ten grand of his own money against ten grand of yours to take evidence into open trial and debate the subject. You are the one who are afraid to take that challenge.
If you want to have dialogue, Radar, then respond to the discussions that are being opened with you.
If you want to discuss evidence, then have the common decency to acknowledge the evidence that is being presented to you.
Then try to find some instead of the lies and assumptions and just-so stories that you commonly come back with when you supposedly answer. I love the fact that you and yours still cannot give me a source for information.
If you want to have a free exchange of ideas, then acknowledge the ideas being presented to you on their own terms, not in some caricatured strawman form.
Objective evidence. I challenged you to show that either information or life have a natural form, that they can be weighed or measured or explained by natural causes. You have all miserably failed to do it. Because you cannot. I weary of your drumbeat of propaganda that you play when asked for evidence. Darwinists continue to use falsified evidences because they have nothing that cannot be torn to shreds under examination besides the just-so stories of what is supposed to have happened in unobserved time and by unexplained means. Jon Woolf's pitiful epic fail concerning information was at least an attempt to answer me but of course in the end he took his ball and went home, declaring victory without ever giving an answer.
Alternatively, if you want none of those things, keep doing exactly what you’re doing, and expect to be called out for it on a regular basis.