In the early 20th century modern genetics was integrated into evolutionary theory and the resulting neo Darwinism, or New Synthesis, was hailed as a great advance. Darwin didn’t know the details of how biological variation arose but now that gap was filled in—from changing allele frequencies to genetic mutations, modern genetics provided the answer. Biological variation arose from gene sequence variations. But this version 2.0 of Darwin’s theory would go long without its own difficulties, as exemplified yet again by recent research on the origin of the domesticated chicken.
With the onset of the New Synthesis evolutionists wasted little time exploring the power of their new agent of change: DNA mutations. But their expectations were soon dashed as mutations inevitably proved not to be a source of rich new biological innovation but rather of organic chaos and disaster. As usual evolutionists did not doubt their theory, but instead adjusted their hypotheses into the realm of the unfalsifiable. Yes mutations wrought havoc, but there must be those very rare cases that move toward biology’s new and fantastic designs. Wait long enough and the frog turns into a prince. To augment that narrative evolutionists later added another just-so story: mutations that are neutral—neither good nor bad—would accumulate and serve as a rich source of design options when an environmental shift occurred.
Meanwhile scientists were discovering, much to the chagrin of evolutionists, that populations adapt rapidly via intelligent encodings in the genome. It has little to do with random variations as evolutionists had expected, but instead involves incredible biological machinery that rapidly respond to environmental challenges, using an amazing variety of techniques. For example, teams of specially designed proteins chemically attach a carbon atom surrounded by three hydrogen atoms (a methyl group) to the DNA or to the protein hubs around which DNA is wrapped. These methyl groups act as encodings which influence how other proteins react. The result is that they can induce substantial phenotypic change to a population that directly and rapidly responds to environmental shifts.
Evolutionists resisted and denied these findings using the usual tactics of intimidation, dismissal, blackballing, and manipulation of the science. Were not such epigenetic mechanisms limited to physiological change within a lifetime? Of course that was false. Certainly these mechanisms could not establish lasting change. And of course this was also false.
This brings us to recent research that adds yet more evidence to the epigenetics story. The research finds that epigenetic mechanisms may be the cause of the rapid origin of domesticated chickens brought about by breeding, and that these epigenetic changes are reliably and stably inherited, resulting in lasting change in a population.
While this is yet another failure of evolutionary theory, there is more to the story. The new research also found that the inherited methylation differences were sometimes tissue-specific. This indicates yet more complexity of the epigenetic mechanisms, and reminds us of the serendipity underlying evolutionary theory.
If evolution is true, then all kinds of random events must have occurred which much later would serendipitously aid the cause of evolution. In this case, biology’s crucial adaptive change capability arises not from simple, blind DNA mutations, but from immensely complicated epigenetic mechanisms. So complex proteins happened to arise which, when fully assembled as teams, would produce incredible adaptive response mechanisms. Evolution must have constructed evolutionary mechanisms so that evolution could occur. It is yet another example of why it is, frankly, amazing that evolutionists continue in their dogmatic claims.