Tuesday, September 18, 2012

6 Reasons Why Evolution Isn't A Sure Thing

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/scientific-weaknesses-of-evolution-2012-9


Former children's television host and scientist Bill Nye recently captured national media attention when he blasted Americans who believe in creationism and reject Darwin's theory of evolution.  

The scientific concept of evolution holds that each species on Earth developed from a process of natural selection acting on random genetic mutation.

Obviously there's loads of scientific evidence that supports evolution. But we wanted to understand why some people oppose it.   

First, there are several different varieties of creationists. 

Traditional creationists believe that the universe was created by God.

A separate theory, called Intelligent Design, does not dispute the definition of evolution as "change over time" or, for the most part, that living things are related by common ancestry. However, this group does believe that the natural world is too complex and diverse to have occurred through random processes.

The Discovery Institute, a religious think tank that supports the theory of Intelligent Design, outlines their own findings of scientific weakness in modern evolutionary science.   

Genetics: Random mutations cause harm to organisms and do not build complexity.

"Dar winian evolution relies on random mutations that are preserved by a blind, undirected process of natural selection that has no long-term 'goals.' Such a random and undirected process tends to harm organisms and does not improve them or build complexity. 

In the words of leading geneticist Lynn Margulis, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has said: 'new mutations don't create new species; they create offspring that are impaired.'

Similarly, past president of the French Academy of Sciences, Pierre-Paul Grasse, contended that '[m]utations have a very limited ‘constructive capacity’' because '[n]o matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.' 

According to the research of University of Wisconsin biologist Ralph Seelke, mutations can break features in bacteria but they cannot put even modestly complex features back together. Likewise, biochemist Michael Behe and physicist David Snoke have published research in the journal Protein Science showing that even simple biochemical features like protein-protein interactions cannot be built by random mutation."

Source: Discovery Institute

Biochemistry: Random and undirected processes do not seem capable of producing cellular complexity.

"Our cells contain incredible complexity, like miniature factories using machine technology but dwarfing the complexity and efficiency of anything produced by humans. Cells use miniature circuits, motors, feedback loops, encoded language, and even error-checking machinery to decode and repair our DNA. Darwinian evolution struggles to build this type of integrated complexity. As biochemist Franklin Harold admits: 'there are presentl! y no det ailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.'

Biochemist Michael Behe has found that Darwinian evolution tends to break molecular functions rather than building new ones. Likewise, biochemical engineer Douglas Axe has published work in the Journal of Molecular Biology and elsewhere showing that amino acid sequences which yield functional protein folds are too rare to be produced by Darwinian processes."

Source: Discovery Institute

Paleontology: The fossil record shows abrupt appearance and generally lacks intermediate fossils.

"The fossil record’s overall pattern is one of abrupt explosions of new biological forms, and possible candidates for evolutionary transitions are the exception, not the rule.

This has been recognized by many paleontologists such as Ernst Mayr who explained in 2000 that '[n]ew species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates.'

Similarly, a zoology textbook observed that 'Many species remain virtually unchanged for millions of years, then suddenly disappear to be replaced by a quite different, but related, form. Moreover, most major groups of animals appear abruptly in the fossil record, fully formed, and with no fossils yet discovered that form a transition from their parent group.' This pattern is contrary to what would be expected from Darwinian evolution."

Source: Discovery Institute

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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