The unity of life —
Remember that famous slogan, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” It was actually the title of a 1973 paper by evolutionary geneticist, Theodosius Dobzhansky, where he claims the profound unity of life at the biochemical level is compelling evidence for evolution. He got the situation exactly backwards. It is potent evidence for Message Theory, and against evolution.
First the data. Life is unified by an abundance of complex biochemical features possessed by all, or virtually all life. Such features are known as biologic universals. The list includes:
DNA, RNA, a triplet-nucleotide genetic code, and the method of translation of the genetic code into sequences of amino-acids in proteins. Proteins constructed of left-handed alpha-bonded amino-acids, the same set of 20 amino-acids (out of several thousand amino-acids that exist). The lipid bilayer construction of cell membranes. Adenosine triphosphate, biotin, riboflavin, hemes, pyridoxin, vitamins K and B12, and folic acid implement metabolic processes everywhere.
For a given complex trait, there are rare, very minor variations away from the standard form. For example, there is now known about two dozen microorganisms that have slight variations on the universal genetic code.
Dobzhansky confidently claimed biologic universals are compelling evidence for universal common descent, and against creation:
“What do these biochemical or biological universals mean? They suggest that life arose from inanimate matter only once and that all organisms, no matter how diverse in other respects, conserve the basic features of the primordial life. …. But what if there was no evolution and every one of the millions of species were created by separate fiat? However offensive the notion may be to religious feeling and to reason, the antievolutionists must again accuse the Creator of cheating. They must insist that He deliberately arranged things exactly as if his method of creation was evolution, intentionally to mislead sincere seekers of truth.” (Dobzhansky, 1973, p 127, italics added)
However, Dobzhansky got it fantastically backwards, and his error was soon known to evolutionists who study the origin-of-life. Nonetheless, his erroneous argument is still publicized to an unwary public.
The key insight comes from the origin-of-life. Leading evolutionists acknowledge that each of the biologic universals is too complex to have been in the first life — nothing even remotely like known life could have originated by known natural processes aided by chance and the available time. The probability is staggeringly too small, even on the scale of the universe. This should have falsified evolution, but instead evolutionists compensated by making their theory unfalsifiable. That is, without any serious evidence, evolutionists now make three bold, untestable, unfalsifiable, unscientific assertions:
- There exists an infinitude (a very large number) of other biochemistries suitable for life. Evolutionists make this unscientific assertion in order to artificially increase the likelihood of life arising by chance. Evolutionists acknowledge the chance origin of any known lifeform is vastly too unlikely, but they claim the chance origin of some lifeform (when allowing for the infinitude of other possible lifeforms) is quite likely. They say there is nothing ‘special’ about Earthly lifeforms, instead life just happened by chance upon the type of life we see on Earth.
- The first lifeforms were vastly simpler than any life known today. The first lifeforms possessed essentially none of the biologic universals.
- Many evolutionists further assert that life may have originated more than once on Earth, perhaps many times.
With those assertions in mind, if evolution predicts anything clearly on this matter, it predicts the opposite of what we observe — it predicts that countless lifeforms lacking all, or most, of the biologic universals must have existed on this planet.
Since we have not found those other lifeforms, it again appears evolutionary theory is falsified. And once again evolutionists compensate by adding another untestable, unfalsifiable, unscientific assertion. They assert (again without serious evidence) that the missing lifeforms all went extinct because those lifeforms — whatever they were — are not suited to survival anywhere in the Earth’s current conditions. Evolutionists possess no such knowledge negating the survivability of unknown lifeforms.
The evolutionists’ stacked assertions are merely an unscientific attempt to protect their worldview from falsification.
For further insight, assume the evolutionists’ story: (a) the last universal common ancestor (or LUCA) contained the biologic universals, and (b) the other lifeforms went extinct. Under those assumptions, there is still no coherent reason why two modern organisms — as different as yeast and elephant — should share any similarities. By the evolutionists’ reckoning, these two organisms are separated by at least two billion years of evolution (one billion years in each direction since divergence), and perhaps as much as three times that figure. Under assertion 1 (above) there is no reason yeast and elephant should still share the same biologic universals. Given this enormous amount of time, and the alleged evolutionary proclivity for change, and an infinitude of other biochemistries suitable for life, there is no reason yeast and elephants should still show the same biochemistry. Evolutionists are caught in a contradiction of their own manufactured storytelling. In evolution, everything changes — except the things they conveniently claim didn’t change.
On the issue of biologic universals, evolution is either false or unfalsifiable — and either way, it is not scientific. On the very issue Dobzhansky raised in his famous paper, there is no “light of evolution.”
The error was obscured and kept from public view by the evolutionists’ habit of rigidly treating evolution as a “separate issue” from the origin-of-life. Recall the numerous times you’ve heard evolutionists say that. Evolutionists pretend the two issues have no bearing on each other. This operated like a magician’s misdirection, to focus your attention toward common descent, and away from the origin-of-life. But the two issues are not separate, because they would both affect the expected pattern of life.
Compare that with Message Theory, which claims life is designed to look like the product of one designer. If you could find any natural living organism (terrestrial, or extraterrestrial) that is not indelibly unified together with our system of life, then Message Theory would be falsified: For example, a lifeform that uses silicon-based chemistry instead of carbon-based chemistry. Countless other examples can be envisioned; indeed these are routinely envisioned, and hoped for, by evolutionists. Message Theory is testable science.
If you were to design elephants and yeast to look like the product of a single designer, you might try putting tusks on yeast. But that isn’t reasonable design for survival, which is another goal claimed in Message Theory. Shared complexity at the biochemical level is the only practical way to unify any two lifeforms. [Note: Where practical, the unity of life is also signaled in additional ways, including morphology and embryology.]
Lastly, life was also designed to resist evolutionary explanations. All three goals claimed by Message Theory are well pursued in the pattern known as biologic universals.
On this issue, and using testability — the same criteria evolutionists use in all their court cases — Message Theory is scientific, and evolutionary theory is not. This is not a lucky accident. It holds true for the other patterns of life also.
— Walter ReMine
The Biotic Message — the book