Friday, December 08, 2006

Evolution and Science

The latest claim by the Darwinists is that evolution has just been demonstrated as having occurred – not over millions of years but over a very short span of years. The basis of this claim lies in an experiment done with lizards with no natural predators and confined to a small group of islands. On some of the islands these ground hugging lizards were left alone as a control while a predator lizard was introduced on other islands. The forecast was that the prey lizards would either adapt by moving to the trees or die out. Within a short span of years the population of the prey lizards had been dramatically reduced but the surviving lizards had developed longer legs (as predicted) and had moved into the trees. This is now hailed as dramatic proof that evolution can occur over short periods of time and presumably demonstrating that “punctuated equilibrium” is real.

Of course the flaw in this argument is that this does not illustrate evolution at all because the lizards – while changed – remain lizards and that all this does is demonstrate “adaptation”. Adaptation within a species has never been seriously challenged and has been repeatedly demonstrated. Had these lizards actually changed into a separate and distinct species, one that could not interbreed, then THAT would have been proof of evolution, but alas they did not, they simply remained a long legged version of the same species. This is another – and typical – example of how scientists are desperately clinging to their faith in evolution when it seems everywhere they turn there is growing evidence that the Theory of Evolution is either dead wrong or seriously flawed.

There are several other examples that are quoted in text books and generally cited as “evidence” that evolution has occurred. Perhaps the most common and frequently cited example is that of the horse. Museums and textbooks frequently show Eohippus, (now known as Hyracotherium), Mesoshippus, Merychippus, Pliohippus, and Equus. For this majestic march of evolution to be true would require that these animals would be found in a chronological sequence with the oldest in the lower strata and the earliest in the higher strata. Unfortunately this isn’t the case and in some cases the oldest forms are found above the newest forms and commonly these animals are found to coexist in the strata. To make this example even shakier no full set of bones exist and the examples they do have show that these animals gained ribs and then lost them only to regain them later, so even the anatomy of these animals is fails to meet even the minimum standard for evolution.

The usual descriptions and supporting evidence for evolution almost always cites examples of adaptation, for example the Trilobite. The Trilobite made it’s first appearance in the Cambrian and existed through millions of years, spanning the Ordovician, Devonian, and Silurian periods and eventually becoming extinct. These Trilobites are cited as examples of evolution because they are distinctly different in each epoch and demonstrate evolutionary changes – unfortunately they never became anything other than Trilobites so while they adapted to their changing environments they never became fish, or crabs, or donkeys – just different trilobites. What the scientists who look to the Trilobite for evidence of evolution fail to address the origin of the first Trilobite. In fact, the Pre-Cambrian fossil record is very sparse and consists exclusively of algae, mosses, and some simple worm like creatures. However, at the beginning of the Cambrian the fossil record bursts with evidence of Trilobites and other complex organisms complete with eyes, bodies, digestive tracts, and limbs. So the origin of the Trilobite is not explained, just that once the Trilobite came onto the scene it adapted to the environment and existed for millions of years – as a Trilobite.

It is important to understand that a species “is a group of naturally occurring populations that can interbreed and produce offspring that can interbreed.” This is an important fact because Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” doesn’t address how one species turns into another because different species cannot interbreed. The popular position today is to look to “mutation” as the explanation of how one species changes into another. Alas mutations occur in individuals and are not mass events. So even if a spontaneous mutation were to occur it would affect one individual and not groups. Even if that individual were to reproduce there is no evidence that a whole new species would result, even over extended periods of time. If this were the case then the fossil record would show some evidence of transitional life forms but – unfortunately – it does not and most paleontologists think these transitional fossils will never be found because they don’t exist. This failure of the fossil record to support evolution beyond adaptation, has resulted in a new theory called “punctuated equilibrium” meaning that one species will “evolve” into another species over very short periods of time – perhaps thousands of years rather than millions. This new theory is intended to get around the obvious flaws and failures of evolution as taught by the true believers in the scientific community.

Unfortunately the historic record goes back thousands of years and the alleged ancestors of man go back a million years but once again there is no evidence of any species turning into another. Canines have remained canines, fishes have remained fishes, and apes have remained apes. To circumvent this linear view – called orthogenesis – the newer view is called “branching phylogeny”. In this view animals change (evolve) in fits and starts while some die out and others prosper eventually becoming something quite different from where they started. In this view a simple organism can – through time – become a worm, a fish, an amphibian, a mammal, and a man. To demonstrate this, the horse is once again held up as an example because the fossil record shows that various forms of horses at various levels of sophistication existed simultaneously. Even if this strained view of evolution were accepted as true, there is still no fossil evidence that explains the sudden appearance of sophisticated animals in the Cambrian or evidence that one species actually became another.

The reality is that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is in fact just that – a theory – and one that is increasingly on shaky ground.

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