Monday, April 29, 2013

Here is That Fish With Clear Blood

Another Falsification

Unlike most areas of science which ask “how?,” evolution, as Ernst Mayr was fond of pointing out, asks “why?” And these days evolutionists are asking themselves why a fish has clear blood. Yes the Ocellated Ice Fish (see the above video) has no hemoglobin. That makes it unique among all the organisms with bones. Hemoglobin is an incredible molecular machine that consists of two pairs of proteins all working together. In humans it transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and returns with carbon dioxide to be released. And for evolutionists, hemoglobin has been a textbook example of how the twentieth century’s molecular evidence confirms the fact of evolution. That has always been a problematic claim, but now even more so.

For decades it has been textbook orthodoxy that genes and proteins, when compared between different species, confirm the expected evolutionary pattern. For example, evolutionists George Johnson and Jonathan Losos in their biology textbook, The Living World ((Fifth Edition, McGraw Hill, 2008) tell the student that:

Comparing the hemoglobin amino acid sequence of different species with the human sequence in figure 17.7, you can see that species more closely related to humans have fewer differences in the amino acid structure of their hemoglobin. … Again, the prediction of evolutionary theory is strongly confirmed.

That is, and was in 2008, simply false. You can read more here. Below is another such claim by Johnson, this time co-authored with Peter Raven (Biology, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2004).

While the “predicted pattern” that Johnson and Raven celebrated has long since been falsified, the Ocellated Ice Fish takes the falsification to a whole new level. These textbooks provide unambiguous evolutionary predictions that are undeniably false.

And if a successful prediction is taken as confirming a theory, then the later falsification of said prediction must pose problems for the theory.

In fact this finding of a fish with no hemoglobin—which even evolutionists admit is a mystery—is yet another of myriad examples of biological observations that most definitely do not fit the “expected pattern.”

Biologists have now coined a new phrase for these ever mounting evidences: Lineage specific biology. Lineage specific biology refers to biological structures and other observations that do not fit into an evolutionary tree pattern but rather are unique to a particular lineage, or even species.

Perhaps evolutionists need to start asking themselves why they believe the world spontaneously arose, in spite of the scientific evidence.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Comparing Evolution to Empirical Observations Such as Gravity

Reveals How Primitive is Evolutionary Thought

In evolutionary thought there is a stark contrast between its scientific ambiguity and its metaphysical certainty. There are all kinds of problems in explaining how the world could have arisen on its own, and yet at the same time evolutionists constantly assure us that evolution is a scientific fact. For example, while Philip Ball urges his fellow evolutionists to admit that we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level he simultaneously presents the idea as a fact and bemoans those who doubt this new truth. But how can we be so certain the species originated spontaneously when our best attempts to explain how this could have happened continue to fall short? When I pointed this out an evolutionist rebuked me for making the elementary mistake of conflating the details of a theory with its truth value:

We don't fully understand how cancer works. Does that make cancer not a fact?

This rebuttal is worth examining not because it makes sense (it doesn’t) but because it is a standard response.

Evolution standard bearer Stephen J. Gould once compared the certainty of evolution with that of gravity:

Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome. And human beings evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

Gould was not the first evolutionist to compare evolution with empirical observations such as gravity. Such comparisons date back practically to Darwin and they have not ceased since then.

This is remarkable because these arguments are fallacious and bankrupt. They tell us much more about the state of evolutionary thought than the supposed truth of evolution.

Whether the comparison is to gravity, or to cancer, or to any empirical observation, we consider it to be a fact because we can observe it. Whether or not we can explain it, and to what degree we can explain it, has no bearing on the observation itself. So Gould is correct that gravity does not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain it.

But we do not observe humans evolving from apelike ancestors. That is the claim of evolution, and it is a claim that suffers from substantial scientific problems. That is not a comment on evolution, it is a scientific fact.

Yes evolutionists do debate rival explanations for how the species originated, but there is no observation of evolution that “doesn’t go away” during the debate. There is no fact of evolution to fall back on while evolutionary explanations encounter scientific problems.

This fallacy in the evolutionist’s comparison with empirical observations is not subtle. In fact the fallacy is so trivial one is embarrassed for evolutionists. And yet there it is. Leading evolutionists have always and continue to use this utterly ridiculous argument. What is important here is not that the argument fails, but that evolutionists believe it is an effective defense of their untenable position. The argument fails in its defense of evolution, but it reveals how bankrupt and vacuous is evolutionary thought.

Evolutionist: Let’s Admit it, We Don’t Fully Understand How Evolution Works

But it’s a Fact Anyway

Philip Ball’s opinion piece in this week’s Nature, the most popular science magazine in the world, is news not because he stated that we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level, but because he urged his fellow evolutionists to admit it. On this 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix, Ball reviews a few of the recent findings that have rebuked the evolution narrative that random mutations created the biological world. Unfortunately Ball fails to take his own advice and ends up doing precisely what he advises other evolutionists against—whitewashing the science.

For instance, evolutionists have had to resort to the explanation that rather than mutations tweaking the DNA’s protein-coding genes to create or improve protein functions, those mutations must have sometimes tweaked regulatory networks that control the expression of said genes. What Ball doesn’t mention is that this new epicycle relies on the prior existence of those regulatory networks and the protein-coding genes they control.

In other words, we now must believe that evolution first constructed the incredible genes and regulatory networks (for which there is no scientific explanation, but that’s another story) which then enabled evolution to proceed.

Such serendipity is unlikely, to put it kindly, but Ball presents it with a straight face:

In a sense this is still natural selection pulling out the best from a bunch of random mutations, but not at the level of the DNA sequence itself.

This is just silly. It is good that Ball admits that we don’t “fully understand” evolution, and it is a positive step for him to urge evolutionists to acknowledge this. But there is a reason why evolutionists avoid the implications of science.

Religion drives science, and it matters.