Did They Find the Magic Bullet?new paper explains, “How body pattern evolves in nature remains largely unknown.”
Then how can evolution be a fact?
The paper attempts to take a step toward resolving this issue. It is not exactly a new idea among evolutionists. The idea is that evolution occurs not by adjusting the genes that do and make things, but rather the expression levels of genes that regulate other genes.
In their study they showed that increasing the expression of a regulatory gene, late in the embryonic development phase, resulted in more teeth in the threespine stickleback fish.
Now I’ll be the first to say this was a fine piece of work. But the idea that this suggests how body plans evolve is simply an unwarranted extrapolation, motivated not by the scientific evidence they uncovered but by the assumption evolution is true.
Furthermore, let’s indulge this idea for a moment. Imagine a new experiment shows that yet another regulatory adjustment accomplished more than merely manufacture more teeth. Imagine altering the expression level of some regulatory genes suddenly produced a whole new design. The fish could now crawl, for example.
That narrative would call for an unbelievable level of serendipity. Evolution would have had to create all the parts, pieces and instructions for that design, save for a simple regulatory adjustment. The design was there, latent in the circuitry of the fish, just waiting to be turned on.
And of course that would have to occur over and over, untold number of times, in evolutionary history as species undergo all kinds of improvements. This is far too much serendipity.
So yes, the stickleback fish evolves, but it is not the kind of evolution that we normally think of. As one report explains:
Threespine sticklebacks, small fish found around the globe, undergo rapid evolutionary change when they move from the ocean to freshwater lakes, losing their armor and gaining more teeth in as little as 10 years. A biologist shows that this rapid change results not from mutations in functional genes, but changes in regulatory DNA. He pinpoints a gene that could be responsible for teeth, bone or jaw deformities in humans, including cleft palate
There is much good scientific work being done, but we need to limit our conclusions and claims to what the findings show and avoid baseless speculations.