Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Another Bad Day for Darwinism

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One mutation at a time. No need for simultaneous mutations (since the mathematics verges on impossibility). But, maybe, by gosh, we do need those “simultaneous mutations.”

Here’s the abstract from Nature of an article where MCT (micro-computed tomography) reveals the ‘innards’ of a primary fossil. Just read it, and you’ll get the notion of how modern science is simply eviscerating Darwinism.

Phylogenetic analysis of early tetrapod evolution has resulted in a consensus across diverse data sets in which the tetrapod stem group is a relatively homogenous collection of medium- to large-sized animals showing a progressive loss of ‘fish’ characters as they become increasingly terrestrial, whereas the crown group demonstrates marked morphological diversity and disparity. The oldest fossil attributed to the tetrapod crown group [that is, the very beginnings of this supposed evolutionary divergence] is the highly specialized aïstopod Lethiscus stocki, which shows a small size, extreme axial elongation, loss of limbs, spool-shaped vertebral centra, and a skull with reduced centres of ossification, in common with an otherwise disparate group of small animals known as lepospondyls. Here we use micro-computed tomography of the only known specimen of Lethiscus to provide new information that strongly challenges this consensus. Digital dissection reveals extremely primitive cranial morphology, including a spiracular notch, a large remnant of the notochord within the braincase, an open ventral cranial fissure, an anteriorly restricted parasphenoid element, and Meckelian ossifications. The braincase is elongate and lies atop a dorsally projecting septum of the parasphenoid bone, similar to stem tetrapods such as embolomeres. This morphology is consistent in a second aïstopod, Coloraderpeton, although the details differ. Phylogenetic analysis, including critical new braincase data, places aïstopods deep on the tetrapod stem, whereas another major lepospondyl lineage is displaced into the amniotes. These results show that stem group tetrapods were much more diverse in their body plans than previously thought. Our study requires a change in commonly used calibration dates for molecular analyses, and emphasizes the importance of character sampling for early tetrapod evolutionary relationships.

IOW, we see a kind of “explosion” of body plans, a top-down radiation of species instead of the bottom-up (think of Darwin’s ‘tree’) radiation expected by Darwinism.

Here’s a quote from the PR:

We used to think that the fin-to-limb transition was a slow evolution to becoming gradually less fish like,” [Pardo] said. “But Lethiscus shows immediate, and dramatic, evolutionary experimentation. The lineage shrunk in size, and lost limbs almost immediately after they first evolved. It’s like a snake on the outside but a fish on the inside. . . .

The anatomy didn’t fit with our expectations.” . . .

“Many body structures didn’t make sense in the context of amphibian or reptile anatomy.” But the anatomy did make sense when it was compared to early fish.
“We could see the entirety of the skull. We could see where the brain was, the inner ear cavities. It was all extremely fish-like,” explains Pardo . . .

IOW, a “fish” became a “land animal.” Just like that.

Liberals could solve all the problems of the world if they had enough money. And Darwinists could explain everything about evolution if they had enough time—in the fossil record, that is.

44 Replies to “Another Bad Day for Darwinism

  1. 1

    “…modern science is simply eviscerating Darwinism.”

    No question about it, and it’s happening on a daily basis.

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    IOW, a “fish” became a “land animal.” Just like that.

    Of course, why not? Things happen, don’t they?

    Remember Cinderella’s story? A pumpkin became a carriage, mice turned into horses, a grasshopper got hired as cochero.

    🙂

  3. 3
    critical rationalist says:

    You seem to have confused the theory of the history of the theory of life on earth and the theory of evolution.

    Or are you suggesting there isn’t a difference?

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    The so-called theory of evolution is just a gross extrapolation of the observed variety of biological systems.
    It’s pseudoscientific hogwash or to say it nicer, low grade bovine excreta. Wanna discuss the real stuff? Ready to answer serious questions?

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    They ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
    The most fascinating discoveries are still ahead.

    The reductionist bottom-up reverse engineering research approach takes the scientists on a long and winding road that leads to ‘surprising’ and ‘unexpected’ discoveries, while the Big Data keeps piling up on the clouds.

    Biology research is by far the most fascinating field of serious science these days. Because it’s a WYSIWYG deal.

    Unfortunately some otherwise interesting papers may contain irrelevant text with archaic pseudoscientific hogwash which makes the whole paper look like low grade bovine excreta.

    The evo-devo folks struggle to find a serious case that may satisfy the conditions described @1090 in the thread “A third way of evolution?” to no avail.

    Complex complexity.
    The more we know, the more we have to learn

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    The paper doesn’t mention mutations, so Denyse’s first paragraph is just blather.

    Is limb loss really that difficult, from a developmental perspective? My impression is not, but I’m not a developmental biologist.

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    Bob O’H @6:

    “The paper doesn’t mention mutations, so Denyse’s first paragraph is just blather.”

    Denyse’s first paragraph???

    Huh???

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    Bob O’H @6:

    The paper doesn’t mention mutations, so Denyse’s first paragraph is just blather.”

    Denyse’s first paragraph???

    Huh???

  9. 9
    tribune7 says:

    critical rationalist

    Are you saying that the Theory of Evolution can’t be wrong even if the paradigm that previously supported it flips entirely?

    That would make the theory a dogma which means it can’t be science.

  10. 10

    T7 @ 9: Of course it is a dogma. Always has been.

  11. 11
    harry says:

    If Darwin was correct the fossil record should have eventually been found to be a record of a series of slightly changing fossils — a record of transitional forms — that made incremental evolution clearly visible, with a few exceptions where new species seemed to pop out of nowhere.

    Instead we have the exact opposite. According to Stephen Jay Gould:

    The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.

    Gould’s theory of Punctuated Equilibria amounts to, even though it wasn’t his intention, occasional miraculous, divine interventions in the history of life. The fossil record has new species appearing without discernible predecessors, remaining without change for millions of years, and often then disappearing from the record (although some ancient creatures have remained to this day). After over a century and a half of looking for Darwin’s transitional forms, they remain the (often dubious) exception, not the rule that they should have been if Darwin’s theory was correct.

    The insurmountable problem for Darwinian theory is the source of the new digital information required for the construction of new tissue types and body plans. Random mutation just doesn’t explain it, anymore than making random changes to your accounting software would ever add new, handy features to it. Any computer programmer who has built very functionally complex systems consisting of many complex, interdependent subsystems knows that even the smallest modifications to such a system can be catastrophic in terms of its overall functionality. This is why the vast majority of mutations do not improve functionality and are very often harmful if not lethal to the organism.

    Darwinists, where did the required new information come from?

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    harry,

    “[…] occasional miraculous, divine interventions in the history of life.”

    Well, they have this [kind of vague] argument: genetic co-option. Check this out:

    http://www.nature.com/scitable....._co_option

    It seems like pseudoscientific hogwash on steroids, but it has many followers. What else is new?

  13. 13
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    It’s me, and not Denyse, who posted this. The connection between, let us say, “fast”, maybe, “superfast”, evolution and simultaneous mutations should be rather obvious, no?

  14. 14
    harry says:

    Dionisio @ 12,

    I looked at that link. Now I understand completely how optical, auditory and tactile systems emerged mindlessly and accidentally. It was all a matter of previously existing genes that had been deployed in new contexts. I understand that many Darwinists have brain genes that they might deploy someday. ;o)

  15. 15
    J-Mac says:

    “…occasional miraculous, divine interventions in the history of life…”

    I’ve always thought that there were same miraculous interventions in the history of life…

    Gen 9:1-4

    “1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2″The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3″Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.”

    People were no longer vegans and some animals became carnivores…If most animals became fearful of man, that means they weren’t fearful before…right?

    Doesn’t this require a miraculous intervention?

  16. 16
    critical rationalist says:

    I asked

    You seem to have confused the theory of the history [] of life on earth and the theory of evolution.

    Or are you suggesting there isn’t a difference?

    So, no takers?

    Again, is the OP suggesting that the theory of the history of life on earth cannot be found incorrect independent of the theory of evolution?

    Is there no difference between the two?

  17. 17
    critical rationalist says:

    @Dionisio

    The so-called theory of evolution is just a gross extrapolation of the observed variety of biological systems.
    It’s pseudoscientific hogwash or to say it nicer, low grade bovine excreta. Wanna discuss the real stuff? Ready to answer serious questions?

    I know your opinion of evolutionary theory. However, that’s not the question I asked. To repeat, is there a difference between the theory of the history of life on earth and the theory of evolution, regardless of how low of an option you have of it.

    I can see why you would want to try to ignore the question. On one hand, it would be in your best interest to try to portray them as being equivalent, but admitting they are distinct would appear disingenuous at best. On the other hand, appearing not to know would imply ignorance. So, I can’t blame you, or anyone else, for trying to avoid the question

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @15:

    “Doesn’t this require a miraculous intervention?”

    Well, just the existence of the observed biological systems demands a serious explanation, which nobody has been able to provide.

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    critical rationalist @17:

    I don’t understand your question. It doesn’t seem clear. Please, elaborate to clarify. Thank you.

  20. 20
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio@18

    Well, just the existence of the observed biological systems demands a serious explanation, which nobody has been able to provide.

    Sure it does but that’s not my point…
    The abrupt change in the biological system that can’t be explain by adaptation or any other means should be addressed similarity to the Cambrian explosion…

  21. 21
    Dionisio says:

    harry @14:

    yes, their term “co-option” seems to cover a multitude of unexplained stuff. Basically it seems like an exit door to leave the serious discussion. Perhaps it’s like a biology version of “multiverse”. Anyway, I don’t understand it well.

    Let’s wait and see what future research discoveries will reveal. I believe we ain’t seen nothin’ yet in science. The most fascinating discoveries are still ahead. There are several control levels in the biological systems that are unaccounted for. Future research should shed more light on that.

    I believe Christ made everything, as it is written in the Christian Scriptures, hence I don’t have to discuss many things other folks discuss here. My position is far beyond that point.

    The ID supported in this website mainly operates within the boundaries of science, hence they don’t go as far as I go with declaring the identity of the Designer Creator. The ID unites a wide variety of philosophical and theological worldview positions. It’s a literal “eintopf”.

    Sometimes the politely dissenting folks may ask me questions assuming I’m an ID proponent, but I’m not, as I have publicly declared here in previous occasions.
    Perhaps that’s why I may not understand what they write to me, because they are assuming incorrectly how I interpret what they write.

    I enjoy reading serious science papers, specially in some areas of biology. Not many people have posted more references to biology research papers in this website in the last 3 years. However, I have not seen many comments from the politely dissenting interlocutors in response to my comments about the referenced papers. Why?

    Perhaps they lack what it takes to have serious discussions on those topics. Maybe that’s why they don’t even try. Even a distinguished Canadian biochemistry professor tried but decided to quit right away. They leave me alone.

    But their problem is really not with me, but with God. The Bible text (1 Cor 1) implies that God might use nobodies like me to humble the PhDs of this world. Maybe that’s what we see here.

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @20:

    Yes, I see your point. Thanks.

  23. 23
    Dionisio says:

    PaV @13:

    I wonder why Bob O’H thought Denyse had written your OP. Your authorship is visibly obvious. What could have blinded his mind so badly?
    Anyway, let’s wait for Bob O’H to explain it himself.

  24. 24
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV @ 13 – thanks for the update. Apologies to you & Denyse for mixing you up!

    No, the “connection between, let us say, “fast”, maybe, “superfast”, evolution and simultaneous mutations” isn’t “rather obvious”. What for a palaeontologist is super fast can be slow for people who work with extant populations. Without knowing more about the genetic architecture of the changes, I don’t see how you can conclude anything about the necessity of simultaneous mutations.

  25. 25
    Dionisio says:

    Bob O’H,
    why did you write @6 that the OP was written by Denyse?
    Mental lapse? Didn’t read the author’s name? Something else?
    Just curious

  26. 26
    Pindi says:

    Dionisio, its time you got a new shtick. This one’s getting boring.

  27. 27
    Bob O'H says:

    Dionosio – I think the author was originally “News”. Or it just read like Denyse’s writing.

  28. 28
    tribune7 says:

    Critical rationalist: Again, is the OP suggesting that the theory of the history of life on earth cannot be found incorrect independent of the theory of evolution?

    The claim all life come from a common ancestor via random sequential genetic changes fixed by natural selection is the theory of the history of life on earth. Are you saying it’s not the theory of evolution?

  29. 29
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    Kimura once calculated the time needed for one mutation to become fixed via neutral molecular evolution. It was something like 5 million years.

    We’re dealing with a different organism with different effective population sizes; however, evolution needs time. If you lower the population size, it takes longer for the needed mutation to arise; if you increase the population size, then it takes longer to become fixed. I think a population size of 10,000 ends up being optimal–and found rather routinely in the literature because of its optimal character (i.e., it give evolution its ‘best shot’).

    To use Dawkin’s silly metaphor, here we’re “jumping” up “Mt. Improbable,” not walking along a path on its backside.

    No need to rehash old positions. One of the main points of this post is simply this: modern methods–of all sorts—are now the “enemy” of evolutionary theory. The more we learn, the more stilted does Darwinism appear.

    IOW, “another day, another bad day for Darwinism”!

    But let’s also acknowledge that this species appears to be a “tetrapod” on the outside, and a “fish” on the inside. Is that what evolution should look like?

    Where are the true, GRADUAL, intermediates? In Darwin’s time they weren’t there. In our time, they’re still not there. This specimen only serves to point out this lack of intermediate forms.

    “Show me the money!” Show me the intermediate forms that Darwinism “predicts,” and I’ll become a Darwinist.

    Simple fact, I have a degree in Biology, and accepted Darwinian theory to be true until age 45. (But then I started nosing around)

  30. 30
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV – what does neutral evolution have to do with this? I doubt anyone would suggest that large morphological changes seen in the fossil record are neutral.

    But let’s also acknowledge that this species appears to be a “tetrapod” on the outside, and a “fish” on the inside. Is that what evolution should look like?

    Given the coarseness of that description, why not? Some parts of its morphology will evolve faster than others. It’s almost as if this is an intermediate between what as before and what was afterwards. I don’t know what you mean by “true, GRADUAL, intermediates”, but couldn’t the fossil record simply be incomplete?

    BTW I don’t wave around my authority, because I think the issues are more interesting, and the main effect would be to inflate my ego at the cost of a good discussion. My ego is big enough as it is.

  31. 31
    Dionisio says:

    PaV,

    Bob O’H wrote @27:
    “I think the author was originally “News”. Or it just read like Denyse’s writing.”

    Did you explicitly author this OP right from the beginning or Denyse started it and later you took over it?

    Does your writing style looks like Denyse’s?

    PS.
    Sorry to bother y’all with these irrelevant questions, but I’m studying written communication to see if there’s any hope that someday I may learn how to read and write. These questions are part of a learning exercise. 🙂

  32. 32
    critical rationalist says:

    @harry

    If Darwin was correct the fossil record should have eventually been found to be a record of a series of slightly changing fossils — a record of transitional forms — that made incremental evolution clearly visible, with a few exceptions where new species seemed to pop out of nowhere.

    Instead we have the exact opposite.

    That’s like saying we should expect to see the sun on a cloudy day.

    The degree that we expect to see transitional fossils is based on a number independent formed, yet relevant theories, such as our theory of fossilization. Just as the degree that we expect to see the sun is based on a number of independently formed, yet relevant theories, such as the theories of geometry, optics, etc.

    Just because evolutionary theory doesn’t predict goats must will appear given some initial conditions and the laws of motion, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide an explanation.

  33. 33
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    My degree in biology is so old that it isn’t really a relevancy here. The point was that I didn’t begin by doubting Darwinism; that’s where I ended up. I ended up there because when you look closely at Darwinism, things just don’t add up.

    The part about neutral evolution is just short-hand for the rather larger issue evolution needing vast amounts of time to truly function.

    . . . Some parts of its morphology will evolve faster than others. It’s almost as if this is an intermediate between what as before and what was afterwards. I don’t know what you mean by “true, GRADUAL, intermediates”, but couldn’t the fossil record simply be incomplete?

    I read about “dinosaur footprints” being preserved. Flowers, too. How many places are there left to look? The intermediates aren’t there. Q.E.D.

    I’ve sort of trademarked the phrase, “Another Day; Another Bad Day for Darwinism.” It is really rare for me to read an article that makes me think Darwinism has a chance at explaining the evolution of life forms. But almost every day, I read articles that just destroy conventional Darwinian thought.

    As they say on Wall Street: “The trend is your friend.”

    And I enjoy a good discussion, too.

  34. 34
    critical rationalist says:

    @tribune7

    The claim all life come from a common ancestor via random sequential genetic changes fixed by natural selection is the theory of the history of life on earth. Are you saying it’s not the theory of evolution?

    The theory of the history of life on earth refers to the specific, concrete order in which life occurred on earth. It’s a theory about where and when improvements in organisms occurred.

    On the other hand, neo-Darwinism is a theory about the origin of the knowledge of how to make those improvements. It’s a theory about how that knowledge was genuinely created.

    In contrast, a theory suggesting that knowledge was already present at the outset is creationism. A theory that suggesting it “just happened” is spontaneous generation. In the current crop of ID a theory for that knowledge is absent. And, in inductivism, the theory for that knowledge is irrational.

    The most general way of stating the central assertion of Neo-darwinism is that a population of replicators subject to variation, such as those performing imperfect copying, will be overtaken by variations that are better than their rivals at playing a causal role in being replicated. This is not specific to biology.

    Implied in the theory is that those replicators actually play a causal role in being replicated. Specifically, they contain the knowledge of how to cause themselves to be replicated at the expense of rival replicators. In biology, genes often do this by providing useful functionality to their organisms. In those cases, the knowledge in those genes incidentally contains knowledge about that functionality. That functionality is achieved by encoding into genes regularities in the environment and, in some cases, even rule of thumb approximations of the laws of nature, in which case those genes incidentally contain that knowledge as well.

    But the most fundamental explanation for the appearance of a gene is that it was replicated more than its rivals.

    Furthermore, we may discover more ways that genes can be varied beyond hybridization. For example, new means of variation can (and likely will) be discovered that are compatible with Neo-Darwinism, such as horizontal gene transfer, etc.

  35. 35
    tribune7 says:

    @critical rationalist –The theory of the history of life on earth refers to the specific, concrete order in which life occurred on earth. It’s a theory about where and when improvements in organisms occurred.–

    You are playing a semantic game. The theory of the history of life on earth occurring in a specific concrete order with improvement occurring only applies to evolution.

    One cannot exist without the other.

    It’s like saying the origin of life is not part of the theory of evolution. Really? http://evolution.berkeley.edu/.....soflife_01

    It sort of depends on the mood one is in one supposes.

  36. 36
    Dionisio says:

    Pindi @26:

    Please, be more precise, specific, and tell exactly what you don’t like in my comments and why. Can you?

    Thanks.

  37. 37
    Dionisio says:

    Anyone may argue evolutionary issues all they want, that’s fine, but unless they present comprehensive macro-evolution examples that coherently satisfy the fundamental “evo-devo” problem summarized @1090 in the thread “A third way of evolution?”, their arguments will remain unconvincing to any discerning reader that seriously tests everything and holds what is good.

    Biology is a serious science. Speculating, guessing and fantasizing may be fine somewhere else, but not in Biology where WYSIWYG.

    The gross extrapolation of the built-in variability framework found in the biological systems is pseudoscientific hogwash.

    In order to be valid any biology-related argument must answer the most fundamental question:
    Where’s the beef?

  38. 38
    Dionisio says:

    error @31:

    It should read “look” instead of “looks”.

  39. 39
    Dionisio says:

    Dean_from_Ohio,

    Very insightful commentary @39. Thanks.

  40. 40
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV @ 33 –

    The part about neutral evolution is just short-hand for the rather larger issue evolution needing vast amounts of time to truly function.

    Hm. Next time I’d suggest you use a short-hand that isn’t so misleading.

    . . . Some parts of its morphology will evolve faster than others. It’s almost as if this is an intermediate between what as before and what was afterwards. I don’t know what you mean by “true, GRADUAL, intermediates”, but couldn’t the fossil record simply be incomplete?

    I read about “dinosaur footprints” being preserved. Flowers, too. How many places are there left to look? The intermediates aren’t there. Q.E.D.

    Eh? We have fossils, therefore some fossils aren’t there?

    There are amazing photos & video of some events in history (e.g. the fall of the Berlin wall). Does this mean that any event that wasn’t photographed didn’t happen?

    Yes, preservation can be amazing, but that doesn’t mean that everything gets fossilised. And even if it does,it might be destroyed, or not be available to us (e.g. it’s under a pile of ice in Antarctica, or at the bottom of an ocean).

  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
    Dionisio says:

    At the end of the day they have to present macro evolutionary cases that satisfy the basic evo-devo conditions described @1090 in the thread “A third way of evolution?”.

    The Darwinian evo-devo folks have written gazillion papers but still the main question one asks after reading them is: where’s the beef? 🙂

    The Darwinian researchers will remain surprised by unexpected discoveries as long as they keep their reductionist bottom-up reverse engineering approach to biology.

    The Darwinian researchers will remain ‘surprised’ by ‘unexpected’ discoveries as long as they reject open-mindedness and refrain from thinking out of wrongly preconceived boxes.

  44. 44
    Dionisio says:

    A politely dissenting interlocutor has apparently missed reading the comment @36?

    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/another-bad-day-for-darwinism/#comment-634471

    🙂

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