Playing off the title of Dr. Dembski’s new book, I’m going to cite three articles that are summarized at PhysOrg.com just this past week. I don’t have access to any of them, but let’s just take a look at what these summaries report. I think it’s quite interesting.
First, there is this article, DNA study sheds new light on horse evolution, that informs us that ancient species of zebras and horses are actually much more related to the modern day versions than previously thought. Here’s what they say:
The study used bones from caves to identify new horse species in Eurasia and South America, and reveal that the Cape zebra, an extinct giant species from South Africa, were simply large variants of the modern Plains zebra. The Cape zebra weighed up to 400 kilograms and stood up to 150 centimetres at the shoulder blades.
“The Plains zebra group once included the famous extinct quagga, so our results confirm that this group was highly variable in both coat colour and size.”
while concluding that:
“Overall, the new genetic results suggest that we have under-estimated how much a single species can vary over time and space, and mistakenly assumed more diversity among extinct species of megafauna,” Professor Cooper says.
This now means that the already tiny portion of “intermediate forms” that RM + NS produces in reduced in size. And perhaps greatly. This weakens what Darwin would call the “principle of divergence” and weakens the notion of gradualism that is implicit in his theory.
Next, there is this article: Introns: A mystery renewed.
Here we read:
“Remarkably, we have found many cases of parallel intron gains at essentially the same sites in independent genotypes,” Lynch said. “This strongly argues against the common assumption that when two species share introns at the same site, it is always due to inheritance from a common ancestor.”
which now calls into question prior notions of “proof” of common descent, and, I would think, requires a new look at how transposons operate.
Still further is this :
“Our molecular analyses have enabled us to reject a number of hypotheses for the mechanism of intron origins, while clearly indicating an entirely unexpected pathway — emergence as accidents arising during the repair of double-strand breaks,” Lynch said.
Over the years I have maintained that the “randomness” we supposedly see in species could easily be explained by a directed process utilizing random operators. My motivation for this is that from an engineering standpoint, if you design a creature that will have to adapt to changing envirnoments, then some method of adaptation needs to be built into the architecture. And now, here is evidence that supports the ID approach, and which, again–for the umpteenth time–is a “surprise” for Darwinists. As well, this exposes a weakness in the random mutation portion of RM + NS.
Now the seeming “coup de grace”: it is an article reviewed at PhysOrg with the heading Evolution may take giant leaps. Here is a summary of their experiment:
The new research, carried out by Mark Pagel and colleagues at the University of Reading, in England, studied 101 groups of plant and animal species and analyzed the lengths of branches in the evolutionary trees of thousands of species within these groups. The lengths of the branches are a measure of the time elapsed between two species branching off.
The researchers then compared four models of speciation to determine which best accounted for the rate of speciation actually found. The Red Queen hypothesis, of species arising as a result of an accumulation of small changes, fitted only eight percent of the evolutionary trees. A model in which species arise from single rare events fitted eighty percent of the trees.
Then, we read–which gives rise to this post’s heading:
The work suggests that natural selection may not be the cause of speciation, which Pagel said “really goes against the grain” for scientists who have a Darwinian view of evolution. The model that provided the best fit for the data is surprisingly incompatible with the idea that speciation is a result of many small small events, Pagel said.
Is it really so big a surprise that gradualism is unsustainable? We’ve been trying to tell them this for a long time now. As I say, the end is near: random is no longer random, but directed; and NS is not gradual. The more genomes are investigated, the more Darwinism will end up being part of the “dustheap of history.” Just think, this is just a week’s worth of experiments. What will next year bring?