Getting Out of Controlcome clean as a reviewer of Thijs Ettema’s latest paper which makes the rather startling claim—with McInerney’s full approval—that complex archaea “bridge the gap” between prokaryotes and eukaryotes and share a common ancestry with eukaryotes. That is quite a claim. What Ettema and co-workers discovered was an archaeal phylum they have named “Lokiarchaeota,” after the mythological Norse deity Loki. The moniker is fitting both because the new microorganism was discovered near Loki’s Castle—an area of active hydrothermal vents in the north-Atlantic—and because Loki is, as Stefanie von Schnurbein explains, “a staggeringly complex, confusing, and ambivalent figure who has been the catalyst of countless unresolved scholarly controversies” much like the controversies surrounding the evolution of eukaryotes. And why is the evolution of eukaryotes so controversial amongst evolutionists? Because the scientific evidence is so contradictory.
With evolution we must believe that the last common eukaryote ancestor was a super ancestor because we continue to find similar genes in otherwise highly disparate, extant eukaryotes. This makes for, as one evolutionist admitted, “The Incredible Expanding Ancestor of Eukaryotes.” That early eukaryote must have had not only the vast majority of the complex DNA replication, RNA splicing and interference, and protein translation machinery, it was also capable of advanced movement and was equipped with versatile energy conversion systems.
The ancestor of today’s eukaryote’s also must have had incredibly complex DNA repair mechanisms. And it probably would have had at least some introns—the intervening regions scattered amongst eukaryotic “genes.”
And that last common eukaryote must have initiated an uncanny evolutionary history where, for example, peculiar and complex designs evolved again and again, independently—a pattern that is inconsistent with the expectations of common descent.
Before the last common ancestor of the eukaryotes evolved, the supposed evolutionary pathways that would be required are equally nonsensical. For instance, the cytoskeletons of prokaryotes and eukaryotes reveal patterns of distinctly different designs rather than an evolutionary pathway.
So it is not surprising that theories of eukaryote evolution can be controversial amongst evolutionists—the data do not support such an idea to begin with. A paper from almost thirty years ago, that admitted “One of the most important omissions in recent evolutionary theory concerns how eukaryotes could emerge and evolve,” remains just as relevant today.
Given the fact that evolutionists have failed to provide anything close to a scientific explanation of how eukaryotes could have spontaneously arisen (yes, evolutionists claim eukaryotes spontaneously arose—in fact they insist this is a fact beyond all reasonable doubt), Ettema’s and McInerney’s claims represent nothing less than a scientific breakthrough of the century.
But alas, and as usual, there was no such breakthrough. What in fact the evolutionists found was that using a highly select, prepared, refined and cleansed set of molecular sequence data, with computer algorithms whose logic assumes evolution is true to begin with, their new Lokiarchaeota species align with the eukaryotes. And so from an evolutionary perspective, there is an important evolutionary relationship with the eukaryotes. In all they found a whopping 3.3% of the Lokiarchaeota proteins to be similar to eukaryotic proteins.
That leads the evolutionists to declare that today’s Lokiarchaeota shares a common ancestry with eukaryotes. From a scientific perspective that is not merely an unsupported conclusion, it is contradictory to a mountain of empirical evidence.
And as usual the evolutionist’s cast their imagined findings in a teleological narrative with its attendant serendipity. Watch for the Aristotelian infinitive form:
This provided the host with a rich genomic “starter-kit” to support the increase in the cellular and genomic complexity that is characteristic of eukaryotes
A starter kit? So evolution created a rich genomic “starter kit” which then enabled, yes, evolution to occur.
This is beyond absurd, and the evolutionist’s non-scientific truth claims have had the usual effect of fueling yellow journalism. One need look no further than the Washington Post, whose headline declares that:
Newly discovered “missing link” shows how humans could evolve from single-celled organisms
Shows how humans could evolve? The Post goes on to explain that the finding is “a major clue on the origins of life.” This isn’t even wrong and is reminiscent of the “Life in a Test Tube” headlines following the much celebrated, and equally meaningless, Miller-Urey experiment.
But can journalists be blamed when evolutionists are feeding them these misrepresentations of science? The article quotes Eugene Koonin, for example, with this bizarre, non-scientific claim:
These findings clinch the case for the origin of eukaryotes from within the archaeal diversity and point to a specific part of the archaeal evolutionary tree where eukaryotes belong.
Clinch the case? This claim is so problematic it is difficult to know where to begin. Religion drives science and it matters.