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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Understanding the difference between Darwinist evolution and speciation

I, Radar, have been having major health issues and have been very glad to have a friend like Piltdown Superman stepping up to make blog posts so that my absence does not mean the blog dies out.

It seems that there is a great deal of confusion and obfuscation involved in comprehending the difference between Darwinist evolution (which creationists reject) and speciation (which creationists support).  So I am going to make the distinction between these two versions of organism change very clear and do so in layman's terms.

LIFE EXISTS AND WE DO NOT KNOW OF AN EARTH WITHOUT LIFE

First thing, the idea that life came from non-life does not enter in to this debate...thankfully, as that is one issue that we can put aside.  So let us give both sides a world in which life in some form(s) already exists on the Earth.  We know of no Earth without life.

Second thing, we will also allow the existence of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.  Prokaryotes consist of bacteria and archaea and are relatively simple organisms.

 "...any cellular organism that has no nuclear membrane, no organelles in the cytoplasm except ribosomes, and has its genetic material in the form of single continuous strands forming coils or loops, characteristic of all organisms in the kingdom Monera, as the bacteria and blue-green algae."

But "simple" is a relative term.  The simplest possible living organism, an organism that is self-sustaining and can reproduce, consists of many hundreds of thousands of components

LIFE IS COMPLEX

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati has suggested that even a hypothetical simpler-than-can-be-found-in-nature must consist of hundreds of thousands of parts.  Quoting that article, "...modern science has discovered vast quantities of complex, specific information in even the simplest self-reproducing organism. Mycoplasma genitalium has the smallest known genome of any free-living organism, containing 482 genes comprising 580,000 bases. Of course, these genes are only functional with pre-existing translational and replicating machinery, a cell membrane, etc. But Mycoplasma can only survive by parasitizing more complex organisms, which provide many of the nutrients it cannot manufacture for itself. So evolutionists must posit a more complex first living organism with even more genes."   A reference is made to A. Goffeau, ‘Life With 482 Genes’ Science, 270(5235):445-6, 1995.

So it is understood that a typical prokaryote has many hundreds of thousands of components and often millions of them.  This is what Darwinists consider "simple life."

More complex organisms have cells with a classic nucleus and are called eukaryotes. 

"any organism having as its fundamental structural unit a cell type that contains specialized organelles in the cytoplasm, a membrane-bound nucleus enclosing genetic material organized into chromosomes, and an elaborate system of division by mitosis or meiosis, characteristic of all life forms except bacteria, blue-green algae, and other primitive microorganisms."

Eukaryotes consist of vast numbers of components.  A cell will be more complex than Mycoplasma and a typical human being will have probably 20 to 70 trillion cells.  However, life does not exist in a vacuum and, for each human cell, there will be about 10 microscopic organisms living upon and within that person.  We cannot digest food properly without a host of bacteria breaking down the food we eat, for instance, and if we had the vision to see all the life floating in the air, creeping on the surfaces of our room, clinging to our skin and so on and so forth, well, it would make an exceedingly good basis for a horror movie, n'est-ce pas?

NOW ON TO DARWINIST EVOLUTION VERSUS SPECIATION

We did not even discuss the remarkable complexity of the cell, the remarkable coding mechanism that is DNA or any of the other aspects of life that Michael Behe has written of in his books, particularly Darwin's Black Box.  His book argues that there are irreducibly complex systems in living organisms, systems that put the lie to Darwinist evolution because they would not be able to be built by one-change-at-a-time mutations. 

But that idea of mutations building new life forms is fundamentally flawed.  Mutations are mistakes, they are coding errors, they are glitches in the machine.  You would not expect to purchase a bicycle and then keep dropping it down the side of a canyon in hopes it would become a Harley-Davidson.  You'd not throw a bunch of wood and nails into an empty field and expect the pile of stuff to build itself into a house.  This is what Darwinism asserts, that breaking things necessarily builds better and more complex things.  However that is the reverse of what happens in the world around us.

VARIETY IS NOT PROOF OF EVOLUTION

Yes, there is an amazing number of different organisms that exist from the heights of the tallest mountain to the deepest parts of the oceans.  New varieties of known life forms are constantly being found.  Beyond that, we find fossils of organisms we'd not previously known continually, although many "new" finds are simply the same dinosaur or shellfish found before of a different size than the first found.  We also know that many organisms have gone extinct within recorded history.  So with so many varieties of living things, it seems to make sense that Darwinist evolution must be true.  How the heck could so many life forms exist unless simple life evolves into more complex life?  Especially since the fossil rock records seem to present a world of simple aquatic life forms evolving into very large and complicated animals?

In fact, the fossil rock records represent flood layering - layers made by a flood, a receding of floodwaters and the various post-flood events like rapid glaciation followed by melting ice and dike breaks, and also volcanic and tectonic events related to a world-wide catastrophic era.  Darwinists do not like people to actually know very much about the fossil record.  For instance, 90 % of the dinosaur fossils are carnivorous or omnivorous therapods, a percentage completely unsustainable in a real ecosystem.   But animals able to run fast and swim AND survive on carrion would have a much better chance of surviving longer during a rising global flood...thus the preponderance of therapods in the fossil rocks. 

SPECIATION

Study organisms, and you will find that all have a gene pool from which they can reproduce many varieties of the same kind.  Grasses come in an incredibly wide variety of forms, many of them produced by men who understood that desired qualities of plants can be selectively bred.  Dogs, same thing, and cattle and fish...on and on.  We can breed for all sorts of variation in dogs, to stay with that example, but we cannot breed a dog into a cat.  Also, not all features of organisms can be selected for in an organism.  Don't expect someone to be able to breed a moose-style horn rack on the head of an Irish Wolfhound because antlers are not included in the genetic structure of the dog kind.

Studies on speciation have proved a few interesting things.  Rapid speciation is possible in organisms that breed often and when there are quick changes in the ecosystem.  I posted an article or two on rapid speciation, just in case you want to search through Radaractive and find them.  I would also suggest searching for articles with keywords like "redundancies and contingencies."

I believe God put life on Earth and designed it well enough that any changes in the environment would not be sufficient to wipe out life during the time He intended the world to exist.  The Earth is like a space station that allows life to thrive while being surrounded by an incredibly hostile environment.  When humans build a space craft, we build in all sorts of redundancies to all systems, so if there are failures in a system, those living within can still survive.  There are contingency plans in place to deal with catastrophic events.  So God made many kinds of organisms with very rich gene pools so that changes in environment and even a world-wide flood would not deplete the world of organisms necessary to provide a world-wide ecosystem that supports the human population.

But there is far more to the world of organisms than simple survival.   The vast array of colors and shapes and sizes and behaviors of life on Earth provides amusement and entertainment to us...hence the popularity of animal shows on cable networks.  Dancing and hopping Birds of Paradise, meerkats being meerkats, animals like dogs and dolphins willing and able to do tricks and have relationships with us?  God is a God of wonders and love.  There could be just one kind of plant, one kind of herbivore, one kind of carnivore, and so on...everything could be just one color.  We would still live if there was only one variety of dog or if all people had brown skin and brown eyes and brown hair.  It might be a bit boring but how would we know, if we did not know other varieties existed, that we were missing out on anything?

WHY DARWINISM?

Paleontologists have found flesh remains in fossils for decades and we are just now finding out about it.  Virtually every contention that Darwin made (that was not stolen from a creationist) has been disproven.  Darwinism flies in the face of the Laws of Thermodynamics, so-called "living fossils" are found year after year.  No matter how hard Darwinist science tries, they cannot figure out a way to get a cat to become a rodent or a bacteria to evolve into an aphid.  No new information enters into the gene pools of organisms, they either lose information or information becomes corrupted.  A poodle is a dog, but it has less information than a mixed breed, not more.  Speciation involves winnowing out potential features rather than adding new ones in. 

So why do people want to believe in Darwinist evolution?   Why are they so opposed to the idea that God created it all when the incredible contortions of logic to believe that everything just poofed into existence from nothing?  Is it simply because they fear that knowing there is a God who gave them life is a responsibility?  Probably so...and yet, if God did create all things, the responsibility is there whether acknowledged or not.  What do you think about that?