The-Gospel.org

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations - Matthew 28:19a

Back to Seven Absurdities of Evolution

My response to David

David's Closing Remarks

Jeff,

I appologize for the informal response format.

I would like to address a few of your arguments and their misconceptions of both biological science in general and some misunderstandings you seem to have with the theory of evolution. First, I would like to make clear that microevolution, over a long period of time, results in macro evolution. I do not believe that it is impossible for a species to change into a new "type". For this to occur, the number of changes a population experiences must accumulate to differentiate that population from other populations of what was the same species. Additionally, there is no hard and fast definition of a species, which may have led to your statement about finches:

"For example, while some of Darwin's finches can interbreed and will have fertile offspring, they are classified as different species."

What we see in the case of these separate species of finches is likely a combination of the morphological species concept (i.e. two species are differentiated by their appearance) as well as the recognition species concept (i.e. these two finches do not recognize members of the opposite species as mates and, because of this, do not readily mate with one another in the wild). Indeed it is true that many animal species which you or I would call separate species can in fact, produce viable offspring. Another example of this is the Mule and Whitetail deer. The Mule and Whitetail deer populations in some parts of the United States intersect, and at those intersections it is unusual, but not unheard of, for the two species to interbreed.

Next, you make the point that:

"Using the E. coli's 20 minute reproduction rate, if we got a mutation in every cycle, it would take about 8.7 hours to get our first letter 'm'. For humans with a 20 year reproduction cycle, it would take 520 years"

You make this point in reference to your statistical endeavor in which you spell “m a k e e y e s” strictly by chance. While your statistics may be flawless, there is no possible application of your work here to the theory of evolution and the production of eyes. Additionally, the evolution of eyes would indicate a macro evolutionary advancement because, as with the finches, above even if the organism remained the same general size, shape, body configuration, etcetera; it would appear very different, and most likely not interbreed with another creature. Also, as I’m sure you realize, it is ridiculous to think that two organisms could diverge and produce two different species with the sole difference between the two being that the first lacks eyes while the second possesses a fully developed complex eye. At first glance, there are two huge problems with the application of your statistical straw-man argument to evolution. First, Humans are not the only animals with eyes, nor were they the first, so your statistical analysis with the human reproductive cycle of 20 years is irrelevant. The evolution of the eye is one of the most highly studied areas of evolutionary biology because its apparent complexity seems to create a gaping hole in the theory of evolution. The complex eye we see in human beings today was not the first of its kind. The following article does a good job of explaining the types of eyes we see in mollusks today: http://www.weichtiere.at/english/mollusca/eyes.html. It is foolish to apply the human life cycle to any statistical effort to disprove the evolution of an eye because the first organism to develop an eye (this is not to say that that first organism was a mollusk, nor am I implying that every other subsequent animal on earth descended from this first organism to develop an eye) was likely very primitive. Indeed, the first few primitive eyes, the photosensitive patch, the pit eye, and even the photosensitive cup, evolved from very primitive animals. The modern eugelnoid possesses these photosensitive cells and has a life cycle very similar to that of E. coli, these lesser organisms evolved precursors to eyes. These precursors then developed over millions of years to become more and more complex, each developmental step providing more and more utility to the organism. This utility, or increased functionality, is the second huge problem with your basic statistical analysis and its application to evolutionary biology. You attempt to create “m a k e e y e s” by chance all at once, when in reality, it would be more likely to happen in a step by step process. By this I mean that the mutation for “m” would benefit the animal, let’s say m represents photosensitive cells. Then let’s say that in one of those creatures, the “a” mutation occurs and it represents the pit eye. This pit eye indeed benefits the organism even more than the photosensitive cells produced by the “m” mutation do. Even using your math with the human life cycle, you claim that it would take 20 years * 26 possible mutations equaling 520 years to produce the first mutation. Because each step is functional and beneficial to the organism, each step in eye evolution represents an independent conditional probability. The next mutation “a”, by your scenario and given that each mutational step benefits the animal and will not be destroyed in the population by natural selection, would then take 20 years * 26 possible mutations equaling 520 years from the “m” mutations meaning that “ma” would be present in the organism after 1040 years. At this rate, “make eyes” would be present after only 4,160 years. I agree with you that to assume the complex eye we see today arose from nothing out of sheer chance is ridiculous, but while this over simplified example does not accurately describe the rate, mechanism, or process by which eyes likely arose in the animal kingdom, it does illustrate that the evolution of the eye is a cumulative process. Each successive step towards the complex eye we see in organisms today benefited the organism which first evolved it.

Additionally, in reference to Richard Lenski’s long term evolution experiment with E coli you say:

"What did the E. coli accomplish in this time? They gained an immunity to certain antibiotics."

This is completely un-true. The organisms evolved a highly complex metabolic pathway with biochemical steps dependent upon one another to allow the organism to digest citrate. This is not an example of simple biological immunity, it is the creation of an entirely new biological pathway by very specific genome mutations. If questions or doubts persist, please re-read my first response or explore Mr. Lenski’s website here: http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/

Written by David Ince, email address is davidince08@gmail.com, feel free to post this in the event that any readers have any questions for me.