For decades evolutionists have mostly characterized the massive biological variation their theory depends on as a consequence of genetic changes. One example everyone remembers from their high school biology class is mutations, but there are many others as well. But these changes and rearrangements depend on the preexistence of elaborate and complex molecular structures and machines. The DNA macromolecule is just one player in this profound micro choreography. With evolution, what we must believe is that this molecular world somehow evolved, and then as luck would have it the various biological variation mechanisms, that evolutionists place so much faith in, became possible. In other words, evolution produced evolution.
That is quite a bit of serendipity that has been built into evolutionary theory. But that’s not all.
In recent years an even more elaborate source of biological variation has been recognized to be important in biology. It is called lateral or horizontal gene transfer to indicate that genetic material is transferred between individuals rather than vertically between generations. In other words, genes can move from one individual to another, and even between species.
Horizontal gene transfer doesn’t just happen. It is not for free. As with other forms of biological variation it rides on a train of elaborate mechanisms and just-right molecular properties.
And evolutionists are now depending on increasingly heroic versions of horizontal gene transfer to explain what science is telling us. One example is how evolutionists use horizontal gene transfer to explain the origin of biology’s molecular machines.
For example, the universal genetic code has for half a century now been used as powerful evidence for evolution. After all, all species share essentially the same code. It is the ultimate homology running through all of biology. Is it not obvious that the species have inherited the code from an early ancestor via evolution, as the code remained unchanged for eons?
But if that’s so obvious, then how did the code arise in the first place. In fact, the code has remarkable properties useful for the higher eukaryote species. How did such a profound design happen to arise so long ago? The evolutionary explanation that it was a “frozen accident” not only seems rather facile, but does little to help our understanding.
More recently evolutionists have found that attempts to simulate the evolution of the genetic code via traditional evolutionary mechanisms leads to failure. As one report explained:
Starting with a random initial population of codes being used by different organisms—all using the same DNA bases but with different associations of codons and amino acids—they first explored how the code might evolve in ordinary Darwinian evolution. While the ability of the code to withstand errors improves with time, they found that the results were inconsistent with the pattern we actually see in two ways. First, the code never became shared among all organisms—a number of distinct codes remained in use no matter how long the team ran their simulations. Second, in none of their runs did any of the codes evolve to reach the optimal structure of the actual code. “With vertical, Darwinian evolution,” says Goldenfeld, “we found that the code evolution gets stuck and does not find the true optimum.”
Enter horizontal gene transfer. To remedy their failures, the evolutionists built their computer world on a super horizontal gene transfer capability. In this HGT-on-steroids world, species not only could readily and successfully exchange genetic material, but in such a way that they could swap parts of the genetic code as well. In other words, the evolutionists constructed an algorithm to evolve the code:
The results were very different when they allowed horizontal gene transfer between different organisms. Now, with advantageous genetic innovations able to flow horizontally across the entire system the code readily discovered the overall optimal structure and came to be universal among all organisms.
Like a Newton-Raphson search, the algorithm nicely tracked to more advantageous codes. Of course there is no evidence that the world so long ago just happened to provide for such an algorithm. But that has never stopped evolutionists. After all, if evolution is true then it must have happened somehow:
Goldenfeld admits that pinning down the details of that early process remains a difficult task. However the simulations suggest that horizontal gene transfer allowed life in general to acquire a unified genetic machinery, thereby making the sharing of innovations easier. Hence, the researchers now suspect that early evolution may have proceeded through a series of stages before the Darwinian form emerged, with the first stage leading to the emergence of a universal genetic code. “It would have acted as an innovation-sharing protocol,” says Goldenfeld, “greatly enhancing the ability of organisms to share genetic innovations that were beneficial.”
Perhaps so, but what we do know for certain is that these evolutionists are good with computers.
We also now know that evolution relies on an even greater degree of serendipity. Biological variation has always been slipped in through the back door, but now the free lunch is even more obvious. The story now calls for an elaborate innovation-sharing protocol world to have arisen which, in turn, just luckily constructed another vertical evolution world. Once again, evolution creates evolution. Religion drives science and it matters.