Darwinism: In pictures

Darwin drew a lot of criticism from his contemporaries and a fair amount of ridicule also. His fellow biologists and other scientists realized the many weaknesses in his theory and to his credit so did Darwin. His critics were mostly correct but Darwin glossed over the deficiencies in his theory rather than admit the theory simply did not correspond to the observed world.

Darwin himself raised these points in his seminal work.  He recognized that they were valid objections then and unfortunately for the committed Darwinist they remain valid objections today.

The first is the fossil record.  Darwin knew this and famously noted that for his theory to be true the fossil record must yield literally thousands, not a few debatable examples, but thousands upon thousands of clearly transitional species.  Now deceased and world-renowned Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould was one of the first to admit this.  Gould wrote in his essay ‘Evolution’s Erratic Pace’, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”  He endured much abuse from the likes of Oxford professor Richard Dawkins for proposing an alternative to textbook Darwinism that he called Punctuated Equilibrium.  Punk Eek simply acknowledges what the fossil record does in point of fact show, that is: sudden appearance, stasis, then extinction.  This pattern is repeated ad nauseum and does seem to make Darwinists sick.

Darwin knew of the Cambrian Explosion (when all of the major animal phyla appeared in a geological blink of an eye – 5 to 10 million years about 530 million years ago) and he knew that the fossil record did not show the multitude of transitional creatures that should have preceded this explosion of advanced body-types and populated all of the various strata as predicted. Instead the fossil record is absent these creatures, it was absent in Darwin’s day and it is absent today.

The second is informed complexity.  Darwin was aware and so noted that ‘if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’  In Darwin’s day it was the evolution of the eye that gave him ‘cold shudders’.  In our day it is virtually every biological system in every living organism.  Michael Behe who currently serves as professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University has briefly outlined the amazing chemical cascade that takes place when blood clots in his book Darwin’s Black Box.  Most of us stupidly think that when blood hits the air it just clots, like mud drying in the sun.   Nothing could be further from the reality, which is ‘a very complex, intricately woven system consisting of a score of interdependent protein parts.’

Illustration from “Darwin’s Black Box” by Michael Behe

These systems are multiplied a thousand times over in living things and the staggering complexity of each one requires something more than the bare assertion that chance and necessity can produce them. 

A third point and a corollary to the second is the need to demonstrate that incredibly slight modifications to an existing biological entity actually confers a significant enough survival advantage to be ‘saved’ by natural selection.  Again Gould famously asked what good is 5% of an eye?   Dawkins flippantly responded that of course 5% of an eye is better than nothing.  But the fallacy of such arguments is that 5% of an eye is not the same as 5% of actual vision.  Eyesight is not an organ but a fabulously intricate and interrelated system requiring a neural network and brain capable of translating electric impulses into sight.  This entire system would have to appear altogether and at once to be of any use at all.  

And even more disturbing to standard Darwinism is the fact that essentially the same eye evolved entirely separately in two completely unrelated organisms: the octopus and the human.   

My fourth and final point (for the sake of brevity) is the complete imbecility of chance.  Darwin wasn’t much of a mathematician but if he had been he would have noted this one too.  We all know why casinos make so much money.  It is because they understand probabilities and most gamblers do not.  Evolution requires a vast array of fortunate accidents to happen in sequence and by chance.  And each one of these little accidents has to additionally confer enough advantage to the organism that it produces more offspring than its peers.  Gamblers and Darwinists think that a million monkeys typing on a million keyboards for a million years would produce the complete works of Shakespeare, when in fact not even a billion monkeys typing a billion years could produce the sentence you are currently reading. 

Probability theory has been validated over and over, not just in casinos but also by the vast amounts of money insurance companies make playing the odds. If you are reading this blog and don’t know how the probability of an event is determined send me an email response below and I will explain to you how it works.

Darwinism or its modern incarnation the neoDarwinian synthesis is a bankrupt theory relying far too heavily on inference and argumentation rather than the factual evidence we expect and deserve from dominate scientific theories. 

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