Sunday, July 16, 2006

The foundation of evolution – is it crumbling?


The foundation of evolution is the concept that microevolution is fundamentally identical to macroevolution. In other words, when we observe that animal breeders are able to create new varieties of domestic animals through selective breeding [microevolution], this same process, using natural rather than artificial selection and extending over millions of years, is capable of transforming microbes into plants, animals and also humans [macroevolution].

This is explained in the first chapter of “Origin of Species”.

According to the neo-Darwinian theory, all evolutionary changes are the result of random genetic mutations.

Some creationist authors have questioned whether this is in fact the case.

For example, Dr. Lee Spetner in his book “Not By Chance” page 183 through 208, suggests that in some cases environmental factors seem to cause non-random genetic changes, however he admits (page 184) that the mechanism which could cause this change has not yet been discovered. Dr. Mark Perakh in his book “Unintelligent Design” p. 307 is quick to point out that Spetner’s hypothesis is merely an unsubstantiated assumption.

However, now this may be changing.

In the current, 8/2006, issue of Scientific American magazine, page 55, Mark Gerstein and Deyou Zhen, bioinformaticians at Yale University, discuss the possible functions of pseudogenes. Pseudogenes are apparently useless, dysfunctional copies of normal, functioning genes. Interestingly, however, certain yeast pseudogenes seem to be reactivated when the organism is challenged by a stressful, new environment. “Thus, pseudogenes may be considered not only as dead genes (which nonetheless provide fascinating insights into our past) but also as potentially unborn genes: a resource tucked away in our genetic closet to be drawn on in changing circumstances, one whose possible roles in our present and future genomes are just beginning to unfold.”

I hope that evolutionists will take note of this discovery and cease using microevolutionary changes as proof of macroevolution; the micro changes may well be nothing more than an expression of pseudogenetic activities and therefore have no relevance to macroevolution.

9 comments:

hayim said...

If this is an argument against Evolution, it has escaped the sagacity of Mark Gerstein, Deyou Zhen and Scientific American.

Just check the publications of the Gerstein Lab, the titles are telling. One example :

http://papers.gersteinlab.org/papers/powerlaw-analytic/index-all.html

Deyou Zhen : http://www.f1000biology.com/article/16612383

What makes you think you understand their discoveries better than themselves ? What are your credentials ?

> The foundation of evolution – is it crumbling?

Your post's title is ludicrous. Have you at least read some of the litterature on evolution ?

Here's a starting point :
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

jewish philosopher said...

Yes, as a matter of fact, apparently some implications of Gerstein and Zhen's research have not yet been pointed out. That's why I'm doing it.

Regarding Dr. Theobald, I am familiar with his writings. You might be interested in my
post.

I don't delete any comments. It's going to be interesting to see if anyone can criticize this post, beyond saying "It must be wrong because evolution is right."

lakewoodyid said...

Hi Jacob,

I admire your courage!!

Chazak Ve'ematz!!

Keep up your good work.

Hopefully together, B'ezer Hashem Yisborach, we'll convince more people to the absolute truth of the Torah!

B'hatzlocha,

LY

Anonymous said...

To LY
"Matsa min et mino"

thanbo said...

No, it's wrong because your premisses are wrong.

"Evolution" does not stand or fall on the question of "is Darwinian natural selection the only mechanism necessary to explain the diversity of species and the descent of man".

Micro-evolution is evolution. Mapping from micro to macro is a logical step, to which you would need a counterexample. Pseudogenes ain't it.

If anything, they demonstrate that macro-evolution is a valid way of looking at the world. X was useful once, it's no longer useful, but it may be useful again - certainly more demonstrative of random evolution than of the monotonic improvements that the Creationists think evolution should be.

jewish philosopher said...

If microevolution is not caused by random mutations, but rather by non-random genetic changes based on environmental influences, then it has nothing to do with neo-Darwinian evolution.

Avi said...

Hopefully together, B'ezer Hashem Yisborach, we'll convince more people to the absolute truth of the Torah!


By all means Lakewood Yid keep trying. The Jewish nonphilosopher just keeps saying repent without proving anything.. You wanna try and convince me, go ahead. I am way ahead of you.

Cameron said...

"If microevolution is not caused by random mutations, but rather by non-random genetic changes based on environmental influences, then it has nothing to do with neo-Darwinian evolution."

- The problem is that finding 'non-random genetic changes based on environmental influences' supports evolutionary theory - it does not refute it.

Sexual selection (a cornerstone of evo theory) is just such a 'non random environmental influence' on genes!

But then you've already demonstrated a completely hermetic view of all science, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

jewish philosopher said...

I don’t think you’re following me.
Sexual selection means that random genetic mutations can spread through a population if sexual selection prefers them.
Pseudogenetic changes are genetic changes which themselves are not created randomly. Rather apparently the environment itself, at least in some cases, can change the genes. This is similar to Lamarckism, but on a small scale.