Cambrian explosion Darwinism Evolution

Darwinian Gradualism vs Reality: No Contest

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In the Early Edition of PNAS, there’s an article about the fly’s evolutionary tree. While not having access to the article, the supplemental information is available online.

In the abstract the authors note that:

. . . we use micro-RNAs to resolve a node with implications for the evolution of embryonic development in Diptera. We demonstrate that flies experienced three episodes of rapid radiation—lower Diptera (220 Ma), lower Brachycera (180 Ma), and Schizophora (65 Ma)—and a number of life history transitions to hematophagy, phytophagy, and parasitism in the history of fly evolution over 260 million y.

If you connect to the link below, and then scroll to the last page (p. 8), you’ll see the graph which compares the actual species diversity (clade size) versus the age of the fly grouping, and which includes dark lines indicating the “expected” relationship between “clade size” and “age”. The dark line is at a 45-degree angle, in conformity with the notion of Darwinian gradualism: that is, as organisms slowly evolve (a radiation outward from the major form), they slowly diverge morphologically, one from the other. So, the greater amount of time, the greater amount of diversity in a particular family of flies.

Clade Size vs. Age for Diptera Families pnas Mar 14 2011

But what the graph demonstrates is that the diversification happened suddenly, and over a short period of time.

As usual, Darwinian expectations (weak predictions) prove to be wrong. ID predictions: if some major form is introduced, then micro-evolutionary forces, over rather short periods of time, will diversify the major forms, adapting the form more and more closely to existing niches in the ecosystem; viz, one form, then rapid radiation.

Where we part company with Darwinism is that we would expect the form to show up suddenly (an act of the designer). If you look closely at the PNAS provided graph, you’ll see that the average diversity is tracked by a line that is drawn from top directly down to the bottom: that is, a “sudden”, or, in the words of the authors, a “rapid” radiation.

Here we go again. More information. More discrepancies with Darwinian theory. More correspondence with ID thought.

But, of course, Darwinians are right. Just ask them.

5 Replies to “Darwinian Gradualism vs Reality: No Contest

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks PaV for another paper detailing the sudden appearance of a life form (kind), rapid diversity, and then stasis over millions of years. What model best explains that? Top Down Design or Bottom up Evolution???

    Of note PaV, I think it is possible that you may find, in the details of the paper, that not only is stasis demonstrated over tens of millions of years, but you may also find a pattern of loss in diversity that will conform to the principle of Genetic Entropy;

    Don Patton – Entropy, Information, and The ‘Deteriorating’ Fossil Record – video with references

  2. 2
    GilDodgen says:

    If Darwinian orthodoxy is true, all of the following must be true:

    1) Every single feature of every living thing that has ever existed — from the level of biochemistry, to that of the information-processing mechanisms of the cell, to that of tissues, organs, and body plans — must be approachable in a step-by-tiny-step fashion.

    2) Each of these tiny steps must be the result of purely undirected, random errors introduced by a variety of random factors.

    3) Each of these tiny steps must have provided a sufficient survival advantage such that the good random errors could be fixed in the population.

    3) Sufficient probabilistic resources must have been available in order that this process could transform a microbe into Mozart.

    When Darwinian orthodoxy is presented in this fashion (a legitimate, unvarnished representation of its claims) it becomes transparently obvious that this is the biggest anti-scientific hoax ever propagated. It is pathetically accepted by highly educated people who should be able to identify con-artistry of this magnitude through a simple process of logical, analytical scrutiny, as presented above.

  3. 3
    PaV says:


    One reviewer of Darwin’s Origins wrote this at the time (or something like it):

    “That which it contains that is already known, is true. And that which it contains that is new, is false.”

    Hoyle, in his The Mathematics of Evolution sets up a classic feedback equation (exponential) and says that this formulation of NS is why people think that it is all powerful. The next thing Hoyle does is to ‘normalize’ the equation based on the fact that while populations remain constant, animals generally have more offspring than are needed to maintain the population. When he re-writes the simple feedback equation, whereas in the original feedback equation it takes but a few generations for a trait to go from almost nothing to fixation, in the ‘normalized’ equation it takes a significant number of generations just to get the trait frequency to 50%. He notes that this is quite a contrast to the original feedback equation.

    If you think NS is but a simple feedback formula, then, yes, you’re going to think it could do almost anything. And yet just a simple adjustment tremendously slows down its efficacy and renders it power fairly diminished.

    Why people want to think of things in so simplistic a fashion is anybody’s guess. But let’s not call it science.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    PaV, here is the subtle hint, that I always found to come out of these long time-span studies, that conforms to the principle of genetic entropy:

    Surprises in Science Never End
    Excerpt: Not mentioned as surprising, but arguably so, is the fact that “members of the oldest, still-living fly families are rare’

  5. 5
    PaV says:

    BA77 [4]:

    I’m warming up to the idea of GE myself. The more you look at things—i.e., the more scientists look at things and report back—the more GE appears to be a general pattern.

    I suppose that the “rapid radiations” can be looked at as the intervention of the Designer. You know how they’re always asking how, when, where. Basically, this graph kind of looks like what you might expect would happen if particular classes are “front-loaded” into the created order.

    But, of course, we need more information and research to begin to feel secure in such an understanding.

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