Friday, August 14, 2009

The Red Ape

This month a new study reports that orangutans are particularly resourceful tool makers as they have been found to use a tool for communicating. Orangutans not only are sophisticated but, interestingly, share many similarities with humans. These "people of the forest," as they have been called, have more in common with humans than do the other great apes. This includes features of anatomy, reproductive biology and behavior. This is interesting because it conflicts with evolutionary expectations. The conflict arises because there is one feature in which orangutans are not the closest species to humans: DNA.

In evolution-dom, DNA is king. Long ago evolutionists settled on DNA as the explanation of how the information for macro evolution could be stored and passed on. Ever since then DNA has been viewed as the blueprint for biological design. DNA fulfilled the role of the biological "program" that determines the nature of an organism, just as a computer program determines what a computer does. The other parts of the organism, as with the computer, were viewed as merely mechanically performing tasks and following instructions.

Evolutionists needed DNA to fulfill this role because they needed unguided change to be heritable. Such change was viewed as created by DNA mutations, which could then be passed on to offspring. Scientific problems with this dogma are mounting, but evolutionists have been slow to adjust and reconcile such a fundamental failure.

Until recently the DNA dogma was even more narrow, as evolutionists viewed only the genes within the DNA as important. The remainder of the DNA (the vast majority) was often thought of as useless junk. Now that science, no thanks to evolution, is discovering that most of the "junk" is actually important, evolutionists changed their view to include more of the DNA.

Now science is taking the next step, again no thanks to evolution, in finding that the nature of an organism may be influenced by players outside the exalted DNA.

Nonetheless, within evolution DNA is still king, and humans share about 98.4 per cent of their DNA with chimps, 97.5 per cent with gorillas and 96.5 per cent with orangutans. Therefore, according to evolution, chimps rather than orangutans are our closest relatives.

Of course the supposed human-chimp relationship has its own problems, as they share genomic differences that don't make evolutionary sense. As one evolutionist put it:

The way to evolve a human from a chimp-human ancestor is not to speed the ticking of the molecular clock as a whole. Rather the secret is to have rapid change occur in sites where those changes make an important difference in an organism’s functioning. HAR1 is certainly such a place. So, too, is the FOXP2 gene, which contains another of the fast-changing sequences I identified and is known to be involved in speech.

The evolutionist doesn't skip a beat when reporting on evolution's "secret" miracles. In this case, evolution's secret is to focus the mutations right where they are needed to construct jaw-dropping designs. In other words, evolution targeted a whole bunch of mutations to create the human from the human-chimp ancestor. The silliness of evolution reaches yet new heights.

And the silliness continues when the orangutan enters the picture, for it looks and acts more like humans than do chimps. As one evolutionist admitted, if it weren't for DNA, it would be the orangutan rather than the chimp pictured next to the human in the evolutionary tree. Contra the DNA evidence, only a handful of visible characters make it look like humans are most similar to chimps, whereas many more characters point to orangutans being more similar to humans than chimps. As one researcher put it:

There remains, however, a paradoxical problem lurking within the wealth of DNA data: our morphology and physiology have very little, if anything, uniquely in common with chimpanzees to corroborate a unique common ancestor. Most of the characters we do share with chimpanzees also occur in other primates, and in sexual biology and reproduction we could hardly be more different. It would be an understatement to think of this as an evolutionary puzzle.

Yet once again we find conflicting characters when trying to align the species to an evolutionary tree. Even presupposing that evolution is true, we are left with an array of contradictory data. Here is how one evolutionist summed it up:

revisiting the red ape is a useful reminder that not everything to do with morphology can be attributed to the closeness of a genetic relationship. We can evolve likenesses even to our more distant cousins if both sets of ancestors faced similar problems.

In other words, similarities indicate evolution--except when they don't. If I didn't know better, I would think that Darwinism might not make sense. But of course, Darwinists will clear all this up. They've already determined that macro evolution is a fact. Next they'll explain the evidence.