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The Sound of the Molecular Assumption Exploding

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Pitt Professor Contends Biological Underpinnings Of Darwinian Evolution Not Valid

Explosion
“The history of organic life is undemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely. Most importantly, we have to think about questioning underlying assumptions, whether we are dealing with molecules or anything else,” says Schwartz.

It’ll sure be interesting to read the article in Biological Theory to see how the authors managed to work in the secret handshake in order to get it published. The “secret handshake” is a gratuitous mention that blind evolutionary processes are somehow responsible for whatever finding you are submitting for peer reviewed publication. The ID front loading hypothesis, of course, predicts saltation and is in perfect agreement with Schwartz. Chalk up another missed prediction for orthodox evolutionary theory and another success of front loading.

Nothing makes sense in phylogenesis except in the light of a front loaded genome.

Pitt Professor Contends Biological Underpinnings Of Darwinian Evolution Not Valid

Public release date: 9-Feb-2007
Contact: Patricia Lomando White
laer@pitt.edu
412-624-9101
University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh — Jeffrey H. Schwartz, University of Pittsburgh professor of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, is working to debunk a major tenet of Darwinian evolution. Schwartz believes that evolutionary changes occur suddenly as opposed to the Darwinian model of evolution, which is characterized by gradual and constant change. Among other scientific observations, gaps in the fossil record could bolster Schwartz’s theory because, for Schwartz, there is no “missing link.”

In an examination that further challenges the Darwinian model, Schwartz and cowriter Bruno Maresca, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Salerno, Italy, examine the history and development of what the writers dub the “Molecular Assumption” (MA) in the article Do Molecular Clocks Run at All? A Critique of Molecular Systematics,” to be published in the Feb. 9 issue of Biological Theory.

The MA became a veritable scientific theory when, in 1962, biochemists Emil Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling demonstrated species similarity through utilizing immunological activity between the blood’s serum and a constructed antiserum. Upon observing the intensity of the serum and antiserum reactivity between human, gorilla, horse, chicken, and fish blood, Zuckerkandl and Pauling deduced “special relatedness”—the more intense the reaction, the more closely related the species were supposed to be.

Fish blood was most dissimilar, so it was assumed that the fish line diverged long before the other species. Human and gorilla blood were the most similar, meaning both species had the least amount of time to diverge. Ultimately, the Darwinian model of constant evolutionary change was imposed upon the static observation made by Zuckerkandl and Pauling.

To date, the scientific community has accepted the MA as a scientific truth. It is this assumption, which Schwartz is contemplating: “That always struck me as being a very odd thing—that this model of constant change was never challenged.” Schwartz has his own theories regarding evolution, which are backed by recent developments in molecular biology.

Multicellular animals have large sections of genomes, the genetic material of an organism, which control their development. Schwartz argues that the structure of the genome does not keep changing, based on the presence of stress proteins, also known as heat shock proteins. These proteins are located in each cell, and their main function is to eliminate the potential for cellular error and change via maintaining normal cellular form through protein folding.

This regular cellular maintenance is what Schwartz points to regarding his refutation of constant cellular change. “The biology of the cell seems to run contrary to the model people have in their heads,” says Schwartz, and he contends that if our molecules were constantly changing, it would threaten proper survival, and strange animals would be rapidly emerging all over the world. Consequentially, Schwartz argues that molecular change is brought about only by significant environmental stressors, such as rapid temperature change, severe dietary change, or even physical crowding.

If an organism’s stress proteins are unable to cope with a significant change, the genomic structure can be modified. However, Schwartz notes, a mutation also can be recessive in an organism for many generations before it is displayed in its offspring. Whether or not the offspring survives is another matter. If it does in fact live, the presence of this genetically modified organism is not the product of gradual molecular change but a sudden display of the genetic mutation, which may have occurred myriad years prior.

However, it is not only the current molecular theory that intrigues Schwartz, but the failure of the scientific community to question an idea that is more than 40 years old: “The history of organic life is undemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely. Most importantly, we have to think about questioning underlying assumptions, whether we are dealing with molecules or anything else,” says Schwartz.

Schwartz, who forensically reconstructed three life-size images of George Washington that are on display at Mt. Vernon, is a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science and the World Academy of Art and Science. He is the author of several books, including The Red Ape: Orang-utans & Human Origins (Westview Press, 2005) and Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species (Wiley, 2000). He has spent more than 20 years contemplating the methods, theories, and philosophy of taking data and trying to interpret it for purposes of reconstructing evolutionary relationships.

Use the link at the top for the full article. HT to UD commenter Michaels7 for finding this one.

12 Replies to “The Sound of the Molecular Assumption Exploding

  1. 1
    bFast says:

    “our findings will always be hypothesis” Did Schwartz just admit that there is no theory of evolution?

  2. 2
    DaveScot says:

    bFast

    Did Schwartz just admit that there is no theory of evolution?

    Correct. I bet he didn’t say that in the journal article though. Does anyone here have access to Biology Theory who could verify or possibly excerpt it for us?

  3. 3
    Paul A Nelson says:

    The pdf is available here, at least for the time being:

    http://www.sciencebuff.org/ftp.....ca2007.pdf

    What’s odd is the Eureka Alert page omitted the remainder of the title of the University of Pittsburgh press release:

    http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/m/FM.....#038;-Find

  4. 4
    Apollos says:

    Could someone be so kind as to point to a blog entry, article, or other resource that will provide an overview of the front loading hypothesis?

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    Thanks Paul. I corrected the article and replaced the eureka alert with the link to UofP. The part of the title cut off on the eureka alert appeared on the second line of the UofP press release. That probably has something to do with it being cut off short.

  6. 6
    DaveScot says:

    Apollos

    The front loading hypothesis is pretty simple. All the information needed for phylogenesis to proceed more or less according to a plan (just like an egg develops into a chicken according to a predefined plan) was present in one or a few orginal organisms which were purposely placed on this planet billions of years ago. Perhaps the most famous proponents were Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel. Mike Gene and others at Telic Thoughts are also big on front loading and have a blog entry category here and check some of our writing on it here. Here’s another writeup but I haven’t read through it yet (just found it by googling “front loading” “evolution”). http://www.researchintelligent....._evolution

  7. 7
    j says:

    “The biology of the cell seems to run contrary to the model people have in their heads,” says Schwartz, and he contends that if our molecules were constantly changing, it would threaten proper survival, and strange animals would be rapidly emerging all over the world.

    Where on earth did they get that silly idea.

    Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, p. 318:

    It is the contention of the Darwinian world-view…that slow, gradual, cumulative natural selection is the ultimate explanation for our existence. If there are versions of the evolution theory that deny slow gradualism, and deny the central role of natural selection, they may be true in particular cases. But they cannot be the whole truth, for they deny the very heart of the evolution theory, which gives it the power to dissolve astronomical improbabilities and explain prodigies of apparent miracle.

  8. 8
    Tim says:

    This one is admittedly totally lame, but once you get started on either an opera or a limerick, it is really, really hard to stop!!

    The Marriage of Schwarz and Dawkins,
    (a limero-opera in three parts, sung to the tune of Don Giovanni with an Irish lilt.)

    Enter:
    Two juvenile rivals on chin-up bar
    Or two posturing drunks bloodied in that bar,
    At least one’s spitting-spastic
    (I’ll continue chiastic.)
    Phlegmatic the first, the second cinnabar.

    Chorus:
    “To come out on top, gents, this toturial,
    Use the “handshake” of change – whether quick or centurial.
    You doubt him? Just mumble!
    Or our card house will crumble.
    Scientific? No! Just be mercurial.”

    Finale:
    The two get their money, each hairless bi-ped.
    “Matter?” “No matter, we’ve got our clues from the dead.”
    (Recall Cosi Fan Tutti!
    Opera’s not for the snooty
    Even though my backers end up in red.)

  9. 9
    Apollos says:

    Thanks much, Dave.

    I searched the CSC website and Wikipedia to no avial. Searches on Google for front loading yielded everything from forklifts to military strategies (I didn’t do literal string searches).

    The concept of front loading must cause hives on those with a philosophical commitment to NDE.

  10. 10
    Krauze says:

    In my not-so-humble opinion, my own post here is the best introduction to front-loading. Notice that I use a somewhat different definition of the term that DaveScot does.

  11. 11
    DaveScot says:

    Krauze

    Yeah, I thought we were more on the same page until I started looking around for a definition for Apollos. After considering all the real (vs. the whimsical “overwhelming”) evidence of evolution I came to the conclusion that phyogenesis and ontogenesis are more or less the same process on different scales. Searching for others who’d arrived at the same conclusion is how I found John A. Davison. So if you want my definition of what is meant by front loading I say to think of the way a chicken egg is “front loaded” with all the information it needs for a single cell to “evolve” into an adult chicken. I coined the term “phylogenetic stem cell” to describe the front loaded common ancestor. I presume this phylogenetic stem cell was designed and placed here on purpose as in Crick & Orgel’s directed panspermia. Who did the designing and placing is anyone’s guess at this point but there doesn’t appear to be any need to invoke the supernatural for this iteration of the process. At some point in any theory of origins if one indulges in an infinite regression one gets to the point of needing to explain the origin of space, time, matter, and energy where by definition science is SOL on natural causes so I generally just dismiss the “who panspermed the panspermists” as a pointless infinite regression argument. Everything in phylogeny makes sense in light of a front loaded evolution.

    The obvious objection to my take on front loading is the need for a mechanism to preserve unexpressed genomic information for geologic spans of time. Natural selection is the only known mechanism and it cannot preserve unexpressed information for long. However, being a human designer of systems that manipulate and store information I know that such mechanisms are easily implimented by intelligent designers in any of at least several different ways from CRC to distributed redundant databases. The crux would be finding evidence of such a mechanism and/or identifying it because at this point in time it may have served its purpose and no longer exists. However, there is some reason to presume it does still exist as one might presume that an intelligent designer would plan a recovery path in case of unforseen disaster such as a big asteroid toasting the earth or something. If the front loaded design is still extant and designed to survive such a disaster then evolution could do a graceful restart and get back on track quickly. I look forward to the gene bank getting much bigger and creatures with enigmatically large c-values being added to it. Therein might be found the smoking gun of front loaded phylogeny. There is also this peer reviewed research in comparative genomics (click here to read about it) which is rather compelling evidence of a mechanism other than natural selection which can preserve unexpressed genomic information for geologic timespans.

  12. 12
    Michaels7 says:

    Oooo, the Pitt title ending is more than contending the issue, it succinctly pinpoints another arrow into the heart of evolution. Even if Schwartz is not intent on doing so. “…Darwinian Evolution Not Valid” indeed.

    But if all of those in the know, as Dr. MacNeil virtually screamed in the comments on here before already know that Darwin is dead. Why is such a paper required in such a publication? Could it be that not all scientist got the message?

    Also, why does Dr. Scwhartz use “Darwinian” as a descriptive adjective? We’ve been informed more than once(vehemently at times) by evolutionist, NDEs, etc., this is wrong usage of the term.

    “Darwinist” or NDEs must be reeling. Along with the recent paper by Dr. Doolittle in PNAS(see TOL link on right) declaring Darwin’s Tree of Life a “quixotic pursuit.” many must be cringing over these headlines.

    Rather a flippant insult after millions of $$$$ were tossed into such an endeavor over decades of work. Entire lives, university programs, labs, and books were fashioned on this one ultimate objective of Darwins Tree of Life.

    I rather think that science proceeded despite a wrong theory of evolution afterall.

    Where is the Media Blasting on this finding?

    This equals two admissions by dissenters in two months not by Creationist or IDist, but in agreement with them as critics of past and current theory. One going so far as to admit they’ll forever be making up hypotheses. Which is true of any historical endeavor without documented evidence.

    Behe must be loving that line. It essentially throws in the towel on the flagellum.

    Two devastating papers announce…

    1) “Darwinian Evolution not valid”
    2) Darwin’s Tree is fallen, and a pursuit of such is a waste of time.

    In its place “Pattern Pluralism” is their answer.

    Materialist evolutionist are creeping grudingly closer to Creationist claims of “Kinds” or IDist definitions of pattern detection.

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