Darwinism Evolution

What to expect from the Royal Society’s public evolution summit November 7-9

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Royal Society Some of us worried that it would be a fizzle, but maybe not. Do Darwin faithful own evolution or does evidence matter even if thy did not sponsor it? Does it make any difference if they can’t plausibly explain it? We’ll see.

From Suzan Mazur’s new book on the Royal Society’s Public Evolution Summit:

It seems a long time in coming for those of us watching from the sidelines. But on November 7-9, 26 distinguished scientists will meet with a public audience of nearly 300 (including other distinguished scientists) at London’s Royal Society — the world’s oldest scientific organization—to present and discuss evidence for evolution paradigm shift and hopefully send the selfish gene, once and for all, into literary history.

The expectation is a hotly contested meeting. It’s a conversation that first made headlines in March 2008 with news of a private symposium of academics at “Altenberg!” was whether to extend the standard theory of evolution, otherwise known as the Modern Synthesis/neo-Darwinism.

Journalist Mazur is too modest to say that she is the principal reason anyone even knows about Altenberg, and probably the main force behind any public awareness of the need for accountability from the custodians of “evolution.”

For decades, they were able to get away with running a very poor show, way out of date, while bellering to dimwitted pop science writers about threats from “creationists.”

In November, they better come up with a better story than that.

Eight years after Altenberg, the meaning of the word “extend” is on the table with scientists now quibbling over whether “extend” means (1) amending the standard theory of evolution, (2) a parallel theory of evolution, or (3) a replacement of the Modern/Synthesis/neo-Darwinism. (P. 1, Public Evolution Summit)

Save a virtual seat. And get the book. This is the most interesting event since Gould and Lewontin’s attempted revolution against Darwinism back in the early ‘70s. They meant well but could not stand the heat.

Welcome, Asbestos People. Have a seat on the barbecue.

See also: Die, Selfish Gene


Some Altenberg 16 (= g’bye, Darwin, evolutionary biologists) have now organized the Oxford 50?

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26 Replies to “What to expect from the Royal Society’s public evolution summit November 7-9

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Susan Mazur is publishing a book about a meeting that hasn’t even happened yet? Does she have time-traveling sources she’s not telling us about?

    The Altenberg 16 seems to have been a bit of a damp squib as paradigm shifts go. And punctuated equilibria were never proposed as a replacement for Darwinian evolution, rather it approached evolution from a different perspective. It was still evolution not revolution

  2. 2
    J-Mac says:


    Mazur must be a smart lady. She must already know that this meet is a veneer to protect one thing; the religion of evolution at any cost. So… while reluctantly, I can agree with Mazur.

    As far as I know, with the exception of Larry Moran, no Darwinist is officially attending, not to mention speaking there.

    While I was hoping that Larry Moran was given an opportunity to defend his faith publicly, I gather from his blog that his is anxious even about questioning the New Darwinian Religious… I’m just wondering; how is he going to defend his genetic drift nonsense?

  3. 3
    News says:

    Mazur called it right starting in 2008. Many people now realize we must talk about this ridiculous “Darwin religion” that is making biology sound like social science on uppers.

    Why not sit down and look at the jointly agreed fact base?

    PS: I don’t care if Moran shows up or not but would advise him: He had better.

  4. 4

    The theory of Darwinian evolution is in free fall. The upcoming summit will have no impact on that. None.

  5. 5
    Florabama says:

    PE was the “poof” theory of evolution. It happened so fast –poof — it left no evidence as opposed to gradulism — it happened so slowly it left no evidence. Yeah, no need for a new theory.

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    J-Mac @ 2 –

    As far as I know, with the exception of Larry Moran, no Darwinist is officially attending, not to mention speaking there.

    Well, there are no Darwinists around nowadays (yes, evolutionary biology has progressed a lot since his time), so that’s trivially true.

    Several of the speakers are evolutionary biologists (e.g. Paul Brakefield, Russ Lande, Andy Gardner, just to mention some I’ve had personal contact with) who would not be out of place giving plenaries in big evolutionary meetings. So if I’m going to interpret your use of “Darwinists” to mean people who work in the field (and community) of evolutionary biology, then you’re simply wrong.

  7. 7

    Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution in which all species arise through natural selection. Is it not accurate to call someone who believes in that theory a Darwinist?

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @ 7

    Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution in which all species arise through natural selection. Is it not accurate to call someone who believes in that theory a Darwinist?

    Is every Christian a Baptist?

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    TWSYF – that would be a very naive view of how evolution occurs – more than natural selection is needed for speciation (indeed, allopatric speciation may be as much influenced by drift as by selection). Thus, by that definition, there would not be any Darwinists. As I wrote, we’ve moved a long way on from Darwin.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “more than natural selection is needed for speciation”

    Translation: “because of the math of population genetics, Natural Selection, Darwin’s main claim to scientific fame, i.e. the ‘designer substitute’ that was supposed to be the naturalistic explanation for the ‘appearance of design’ that we all see pervasively throughout life, has now been thrown under the bus. Now any self respecting “Darwinist” holds that random chance, practically all by its lonesome, is how all the unfathomably complex biological features in life came into being.”

    there all better. Hope that helped get your unstated point across 🙂

    Haldane’s Dilemma
    Excerpt: Haldane, (in a seminal paper in 1957—the ‘cost of substitution’), was the first to recognize there was a cost to selection which limited what it realistically could be expected to do. He did not fully realize that his thinking would create major problems for evolutionary theory. He calculated that in man it would take 6 million years to fix just 1,000 mutations (assuming 20 years per generation).,,, Man and chimp differ by at least 150 million nucleotides representing at least 40 million hypothetical mutations (Britten, 2002). So if man evolved from a chimp-like creature, then during that process there were at least 20 million mutations fixed within the human lineage (40 million divided by 2), yet natural selection could only have selected for 1,000 of those. All the rest would have had to been fixed by random drift – creating millions of nearly-neutral deleterious mutations. This would not just have made us inferior to our chimp-like ancestors – it surely would have killed us. Since Haldane’s dilemma there have been a number of efforts to sweep the problem under the rug, but the problem is still exactly the same. ReMine (1993, 2005) has extensively reviewed the problem, and has analyzed it using an entirely different mathematical formulation – but has obtained identical results.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 159-160

    Walter ReMine on Haldane’s Dilemma – interview

    Haldane’s Pre-Cambrian Rabbits and Natural Selection Falsified by Population Genetics – video

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in response to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    “many genomic features could not have emerged without a near-complete disengagement of the power of natural selection”
    Michael Lynch
    The Origins of Genome Architecture, intro

    “the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer”
    Michael Lynch
    The Origins of Genome Architecture, p 368

    “a relative lack of natural selection may be the prerequisite for major evolutionary advance”
    Mae Wan Ho
    Beyond neo-Darwinism – Evolution by Absence of Selection

    Kimura (1968) developed the idea of “Neutral Evolution”. If “Haldane’s Dilemma” is correct, the majority of DNA must be non-functional.
    – Sanford

    In other words, Neutral theory, and the concept of junk DNA, was not developed because of any compelling empirical observation, but was actually developed because it was forced upon Darwinists by the mathematics of population genetics. In plain English, neutral theory, and the concept of junk DNA, is actually the result of a theoretical failure of Darwinism within the mathematics of population genetics!

    Austin L. Hughes – The Neutral Theory of Evolution – Chase Nelson – 2016
    Excerpt: Originally proposed by Motoo Kimura, Jack King, and Thomas Jukes, the neutral theory of molecular evolution is inherently non-Darwinian.2 Darwinism asserts that natural selection is the driving force of evolutionary change. It is the claim of the neutral theory, on the other hand, that the majority of evolutionary change is due to chance.

    Further notes:

    Thou Shalt Not Put Evolutionary Theory to a Test – Douglas Axe – July 18, 2012
    Excerpt: “For example, McBride criticizes me for not mentioning genetic drift in my discussion of human origins, apparently without realizing that the result of Durrett and Schmidt rules drift out. Each and every specific genetic change needed to produce humans from apes would have to have conferred a significant selective advantage in order for humans to have appeared in the available time (i.e. the mutations cannot be ‘neutral’). Any aspect of the transition that requires two or more mutations to act in combination in order to increase fitness would take way too long (greater than 100 million years).
    My challenge to McBride, and everyone else who believes the evolutionary story of human origins, is not to provide the list of mutations that (they think) did the trick, but rather a list of mutations that (actually) can do it. Otherwise they’re in the position of insisting that something is a scientific fact without having the faintest idea how it even could be.”
    Doug Axe PhD.

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.

    Genetic Entropy – references to several peer reviewed numerical simulations analyzing and falsifying all flavors of Darwinian evolution (neutral theory included),, (via John Sanford and company)

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)

    Lynn Margulis Criticizes Neo-Darwinism in Discover Magazine (Updated) – Casey Luskin April 12, 2011
    Excerpt: Population geneticist Richard Lewontin gave a talk here at UMass Amherst about six years ago, and he mathemetized all of it–changes in the population, random mutation, sexual selection, cost and benefit. At the end of his talk he said, “You know, we’ve tried to test these ideas in the field and the lab, and there are really no measurements that match the quantities I’ve told you about.” This just appalled me. So I said, “Richard Lewontin, you are a great lecturer to have the courage to say it’s gotten you nowhere. But then why do you continue to do this work?” And he looked around and said, “It’s the only thing I know how to do, and if I don’t do it I won’t get grant money.” –
    Lynn Margulis – biologist

    “It is clear that population genetics models rely on assumptions known to be false, and are subject to the realism/tractability trade-off. The simplest population-genetic models assume random mating, non-overlapping generations, infinite population size, perfect Mendelian segregation, frequency-independent genotype fitnesses, and the absence of stochastic effects; it is very unlikely (and in the case of the infinite population assumption, impossible) that any of these assumptions hold true of any actual biological population.”
    Samir Okasha

  11. 11
    tjguy says:

    It would be nice if they put Darwinism to bed for good, but they won’t do that unless they can come up with something better and whatever that is will never allow any room for intelligence, purposeful design, or activity by a Creator so whatever.

    If they succeed in coming up with a new idea, it will just give the Materialists a new hypothesis to rally around until it dies a painful death like Darwinism some time in the future.

    They will never consider Intelligent Design, no matter the evidence. Their worldview will not allow it.

  12. 12
    Vy says:

    As I wrote, we’ve moved a long way on from Darwin.

    Darwinian myths change on a daily basis so “moving on” is not really a new thing.

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 – no that’s not a summary of any unstated points. Darwin’s claim to fame still exists, but it’s a historical one. We’re now aware of a great many factors (some, but not all, could be called “chance”) affect evolution, so we have incorporated these into the theory.

    tjguy – if by “Darwinism” you mean Darwin’s own theory, then good news: we put that to bed about 100 years ago. He got a lot wrong, so we’ve built on his ideas, and (for example) added a better model of inheritance.

    Vy – well, indeed. It’s how science works, by moving on as we acquire more evidence.

  14. 14
    Vy says:

    well, indeed. It’s how science works

    And pseudosciences like evolution, spontaneous generation etc. which morph to fit contradictory data even occasionally turning said contradictory data into evidence for their myths.

    The best lies have a bit of obvious truths in them after all and your prior comments to ba77 and tjguy are perfect examples.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    “Darwin’s claim to fame still exists, but it’s a historical one.”

    Let’s see if I got this right. Natural Selection is shown, by population genetics, (and empirical evidence), to be grossly inadequate to be the ‘designer substitute’ that it was originally envisioned to be by Darwin and his atheistic followers. And since Darwin’s main claim to scientific fame, i.e. Natural Selection, is now falsified, you hold that his claim to fame is merely a ‘historical’ claim to fame? i.e. You apparently hold that he was still a great scientist even though his primary hypothesis, Natural Selection, is now shown to be false? And exactly why, in the full view of historical science, should anything less than endless derision and scorn be heaped upon Darwin and his followers since his now falsified hypothesis has misled, and even now continues to mislead, millions of people? Exactly why should he not be labelled the scientific scoundrel that he truly was and is by historians of science? Especially, since he was SO spectacularly wrong on his supposed primary contribution to science? Anything less than giving him the just derision that he so richly deserves would be a disservice to science. A disservice to science’s proud history of roundly rejecting, and pouring scorn on, scientific crackpots.

    “One wonders what would have become of evolution had Darwin originally claimed that it was simply the accumulation of random, neutral variations that generated all of the deeply complex, organized, interdependent structures we find in biology? Would we even know his name today?
    What exactly is Darwin really famous for now? Advancing a really popular, disproven idea (of Natural Selection), along the lines of Luminiferous Aether?
    Without the erroneous but powerful meme of “survival of the fittest” to act as an opiate for the Victorian intelligentsia and as a rationale for 20th century fascism, how might history have proceeded under the influence of the less vitriolic maxim, “Survival of the Happenstance”?”
    – William J Murray

    Majestic Ascent: Berlinski on Darwin on Trial – David Berlinski – November 2011
    Excerpt: The publication in 1983 of Motoo Kimura’s The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution consolidated ideas that Kimura had introduced in the late 1960s. On the molecular level, evolution is entirely stochastic, and if it proceeds at all, it proceeds by drift along a leaves-and-current model. Kimura’s theories left the emergence of complex biological structures an enigma (since Natural Selection no longer played a role), but they played an important role in the local economy of belief. They allowed biologists to affirm that they welcomed responsible criticism. “A critique of neo-Darwinism,” the Dutch biologist Gert Korthof boasted, “can be incorporated into neo-Darwinism if there is evidence and a good theory, which contributes to the progress of science.”
    By this standard, if the Archangel Gabriel were to accept personal responsibility for the Cambrian explosion, his views would be widely described as neo-Darwinian.

    Here is a Completely Different Way of Doing Science – Cornelius Hunter PhD. – April 2012
    Excerpt: But how then could evolution proceed if mutations were just neutral? The idea was that neutral mutations would accrue until finally an earthquake, comet, volcano or some such would cause a major environmental shift which suddenly could make use of all those neutral mutations. Suddenly, those old mutations went from goat-to-hero, providing just the designs that were needed to cope with the new environmental challenge. It was another example of the incredible serendipity that evolutionists call upon.
    Too good to be true? Not for evolutionists. The neutral theory became quite popular in the literature. The idea that mutations were not brimming with cool innovations but were mostly bad or at best neutral, for some, went from an anathema to orthodoxy. And the idea that those neutral mutations would later magically provide the needed innovations became another evolutionary just-so story, told with conviction as though it was a scientific finding.
    Another problem with the theory of neutral molecular evolution is that it made even more obvious the awkward question of where these genes came from in the first place.

    Moreover Bob, since you realize Natural Selection is false, and you realize that it has been proven to be false for many decades now, then you should really spend your time trying to educate your fellow atheists on this subject and while you are at it, you should also try to stop them from making up endless ‘just so stories’ with the fictitious character of Natural Selection, i.e. the ‘designer substitute’, being as creative as God almighty in their fact free stories.,,, Don’t you agree that this would be a far more productive thing for you to do with your time than instead of you being basically a useless troll on UD?

    Can Darwinian Evolutionary Theory Be Taken Seriously?
    – Stephen L. Talbott – May 16, 2016
    Excerpt: Evolutionary biologists today find themselves in a troubled relationship with the American public. Their great source of discomfort and wonder lies in the fact that the theory of evolution is “still under siege”1 by a substantial and sometimes aggressively disbelieving population — this despite being “an established and accepted scientific theory for 150 years”.2 “What are we doing wrong?” asks Jason Wiles, a biologist and educator at Syracuse and McGill Universities. His answer: “We do not know”.3,,,

    ,,,The objection these estimable biologists were raising has never gained the traction it deserves. ,,,

    On the other hand, it would have been hard to find even a slight blush of embarrassment when Stephen Jay Gould, countering the sort of doubt voiced above by his peers, asked, “Why was natural selection compared to a composer by Dobzhansky; to a poet by Simpson; to a sculptor by Mayr; and to, of all people, Mr. Shakespeare by Julian Huxley?” The answer, according to Gould, is that the allusions to poetry, musical composition, and sculpture helpfully underscore the “creativity of natural selection”:

    “The essence of Darwinism lies in its claim that natural selection creates the fit. Variation is ubiquitous and random in direction. It supplies the raw material only. Natural selection directs the course of evolutionary change. It preserves favorable variants and builds fitness gradually”.36

    And so it is possible for leading theorists of evolution to declare an abstract algorithm — natural selection — a capable artist, even though the only place where we observe an actual creative and artistic activity going on is in the organism itself. And even though the explanatory appeal to natural selection simply hides the fact, as we saw above, that the explanation assumes this very same creative activity in the organism. ,,,

    What we do have is a god-like power of natural selection whose miracle-working activity in creating ever-new organisms is vividly clear to eyes of faith, but frustratingly obscure to mere empirical investigators. This is not a science ready for submission to a larger public along with a demand for acquiescence. Not if this public has yet to dull its sensitivity to fundamental questions in the way that the research community seems to have done.

  16. 16
    Pindi says:

    TWSYF: So the theory of evolution is in free fall (although admittedly this apparently has been going on for a good many years now). It’s the perfect time of ID science to take over! This is the premium ID science site right? But not a lot of science talk going on here is there?

    But I guess if even Dembski is moving on, it might be time to pack the tent up:

    “Official Retirement from Intelligent Design

    September 23, 2016 by Bill Dembski

    Two weeks ago, Sean McDowell interviewed me about the current state of intelligent design as an intellectual project and cultural movement. He and I had written a popular-audience book on ID about a decade ago.

    As someone no longer active in the field but still to some extent watching from the sidelines, I gave my impressions in the interview about the successes and failures of the ID movement.

    The reaction to that interview was understandably mixed (I was trying to be provocative), but it got me thinking that I really am retired from ID. I no longer work in the area. Moreover, the camaraderie I once experienced with colleagues and friends in the movement has largely dwindled.

    I’m not talking about any falling out. It’s simply that my life and interests have moved on. It’s as though ID was a season of my life and that season has passed. Earlier this month (September 10, 2016) I therefore resigned my formal associations with the ID community, including my Discovery Institute fellowship of 20 years.

    The one association I’m keeping is with Bob Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab, but I see the work of that lab as more general than intelligent design, focusing on information-theoretic methods that apply widely and which I intend to apply in other contexts, especially to the theory of money and finance.”

  17. 17
    News says:

    Pindi at 16 should wait to see what the Royal Society meeting turns up.

  18. 18

    Pindi @ 16: Saying that the theory of Darwinian evolution is in free fall has nothing to do with the state of ID, or whether William Dembski is breaking ranks from the ID movement.

    Darwinian evolution is in free fall because it is not supported by empirical science. Lots of speculation and philosophizing, but no empirical evidence to prove that natural selection working on random, unguided processes is capable of speciation, let alone abiogenesis. Modern science is revealing not only that there is no evidence for such things, but that it is highly unlikely that such things could happen by Darwinian evolution. Hence the free fall.

    Thanks in large part to leaders of the ID movement, including William Dembski, people are no longer afraid to challenge atheists on this issue. If nothing else, the ID movement has exposed the glaring flaws in Darwin’s theory. That alone is a major accomplishment given the entrenched and untouchable status the theory has held in academia for many years.

    Also, Stephen Meyer, Jay Richards, Michael Behe, Michael Denton, Ann Gauger, Jonathan Wells, and many others are more than capable of carrying the torch for ID, as is Douglas Axe, whose recent book, Undeniable, has become an instant classic in the ID genre, garnering much praise, even from scientists. See http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03005.html

    By the way, there are other scientists, doctorates, professors, etc. who challenge the theory of Darwinian evolution but not under the banner of ID. Hugh Ross, James Tour, Dave Berlinski, and many others fall into that group.

    Regarding your point “not a lot of science going on here” (at uncommondescent.com), surely you know that everyone here understands and appreciates the scientific method. You should not expect to see “science going on here,” but you should expect to see a robust discussion about science going on here. Which is exactly what you find.

  19. 19

    Bob O’H @ 9: Got it. Thanks for that explanation. Do they still call it Darwinian evolution?

  20. 20

    Again, do they still call it Darwinian evolution?

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    TWSYF – sorry, been busy today (working on Mongolian livestock and then reviewing a paper on evolution).

    Some people use the term “Darwinian evolution”. I’m not sure what the “it” is you’re referring to.

    ba77 – I don’t think anyone who actually understand evolutionary biology would say that natural selection has been falsified. The notion that “all of evolution can be explained by natural selection” has been, but that’s a straw man caricature of evolutionary biology. The world is more complex than such simplistic ideas (such as everything being explainable by a single factor) allow, so our theories also have to be more complex and multi-factorial.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “I don’t think anyone who actually understand evolutionary biology would say that natural selection has been falsified. The notion that “all of evolution can be explained by natural selection” has been (falsified), but that’s a straw man caricature of evolutionary biology.”

    So you agree that natural selection, as Darwin and his atheistic followers envisioned it, as a ‘designer substitute’ is falsified?

    That is the exact point I was making. And although you are reluctant to agree with just how grossly inadequate Natural Selection is, thank you none the less for being honest enough to agree with the overall point that Natural Selection, as it was originally envisioned to be, is falsified.

    And again, please help get the word out to your fellow atheists that Natural Selection is NOT the creative force, i.e. the designer substitute, that they imagine it to be and also tell them to stop with their embarrassing ‘peer-reviewed’ just so stories that elevate Natural Selection as some kind of ‘unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems’.

    Perhaps you can join “The Third Way” which have many atheists saying exactly that

    some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.
    List of people who are members of The Third Way

    As to falsifying Darwinian evolution, and all of its naturalistic spin-offs, in general, Darwinian evolution, at least how atheists presently have it configured, is not scientifically falsifiable. That it to say, there is no test that someone can perform that has the potential to falsify evolution. And since it is not falsifiable, then it does not qualify as a science but is more realistically classified as a pseudo-science along the line of tea leaf reading:

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Haldane himself basically agreed with the point that Darwinian evolution is basically untestable in the lab, and therefore unfalsifiable, when he offered up the laughable ‘pre-cambrian rabbit’ as a supposed test that would falsify evolution:

    Haldane’s Pre-Cambrian Rabbit plus Natural Selection Falsified by Population Genetics – video

    The reason why Darwinian evolution, as it is presently configured, is a unfalsifiable pseudo-science is because it has no rigid mathematical basis to test against (As say Quantum Theory and General Relativity have a rigid mathematical basis to test against):

    Deeper into the Royal Society Evolution Paradigm Shift Meeting – 02/08/2016
    Suzan Mazur: Peter Saunders in his interview comments to me said that neo-Darwinism is not a theory, it’s a paradigm and the reason it’s not a theory is that it’s not falsifiable.
    Peter Saunders is Co-Director, Institute of Science in Society, London; Emeritus professor of Applied Mathematics, King’s College London.
    Peter Saunders has been applying mathematics in biology for over 40 years, in microbiology and physiology as well as in development and evolution. He has been a critic of neo-Darwinism for almost as long.

    Evolution is Missing a Mathematical Formula
    Excerpt: Virtually all scientists acknowledge that mathematics is the real language of science. Every theory uses words to describe and postulate the theory, but the true test of a theory is numbers and mathematics. It is numbers and mathematical formulae that distinguish true science from hocus-pocus.,,,
    Every scientific theory that has been promoted to the status of being a scientific law has been quantified and/or embodied into one or more mathematical formulae that make accurate predictions.
    But no scientist has been able to derive any working formula from the Theory of Evolution and no one has been able to quantify its dictums. Millions of scientists have tried to quantify the Theory of Evolution and they have all failed to do so.

    The primary reason why no scientist has been able to ‘quantify its dictums’ is because there are no known laws of nature for Darwinists to appeal to to base their math on. In other words, there is no known ‘law of evolution’, such as there is a ‘law of gravity’, within the physical universe for us to test against:

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004
    Excerpt: biology (Darwinian Evolution) differs from the physical sciences in that in the physical sciences, all theories, I don’t know exceptions so I think it’s probably a safe statement, all theories are based somehow or other on natural laws. In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.
    ,,, And so that’s what I do in this book. I show that the theoretical basis, you might call it, or I prefer to call it the philosophy of biology, has a totally different basis than the theories of physics.

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, not only does Evolution not have any universal law to appeal to as other overarching theories of science have, Entropy, a law with great mathematical explanatory power in science, almost directly contradicts Darwinian claims that increases in functional complexity can be easily had (Granville Sewell, Andy McIntosh). Moreover, empirical evidence is also overwhelmingly telling us that Genetic Entropy, as a overriding principle, holds for biology (Michael Behe, First Rule of Evolution, John Sanford, Genetic Entropy)

    Dr. John Sanford “Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome” 1/2

    And whereas Darwinian evolution has no known law of nature to appeal to so as to establish itself as a proper, testable, science, Intelligent Design does not suffer from such a disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks. et al) in order to establish itself as a proper, testable, and rigorous science.

    Of supplemental note:

    Besides the abject failure of natural selection within population genetics, we also have the abject failure of natural selection when looking at its supposed explanatory power from two different level of physical reality (Princess and Pea paradox and Quarter Power Scaling).

    The abject failure of Natural Selection on two levels of Physical Reality (Princess and Pea paradox and Quarter Power Scaling)

    supplemental, supplemental notes

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.”,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)

  24. 24

    Bob O’H @ 21: I see. Let’s try this again.

    When you refer to evolution, are you referring to biological evolution? If so, how does that process differ from what is commonly referred to as Darwinian evolution, i.e. natural selection (survival of the fittest) working on unguided processes.

  25. 25
    Bob O'H says:

    TWSYF – sorry for the delay in replying.

    Yes, I am referring to biological evolution. Sorry of that wasn’t clear. It differs from Darwin’s theories because (1) it is based on realistic models of inheritance, and (2) we are aware of many of the other forces that act on populations (drift, mutation, migration etc.). We now know a lot about the molecular basis of evolution: sometimes which mutations are involved, and how they act.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “We now know a lot about the molecular basis of evolution: sometimes which mutations are involved, and how they act.”

    Yes, for instance we now know that DNA alone is not responsible for an organism’s body plan and, by default, mutations to DNA can never generate new body plans. In other words, we now know that central dogma of the modern synthesis is false. Which kind of puts a big damper on the erroneous belief of Atheistic Materialists that mutations to DNA are somehow or other responsible for all the stunning diversity, and unfathomable complexity, of all the life on earth that we see around us.

    ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body-plan. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’
    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins and Information for Body Plans – video

    “In addition to the information stored in individual genes and the information present in the integrated networks of genes and proteins in dGRNs [developmental gene regulatory networks], animal forms exemplify hierarchical arrangements or layers of information-rich molecules, systems, and structures. For example, developing embryos require epigenetic information in the form of specifically arranged (a) membrane targets and patterns, (b) cytoskeletal arrays, (c) ion channels, and (d) sugar molecules on the exterior of cells (the sugar code)… Much of this information resides in the structure of the maternal egg and is inherited directly from membrane to membrane independently of DNA…
    “…This information at a higher structural level in the maternal egg helps to determine the function of both whole networks of genes and proteins (dGRNs) and individual molecules (gene products) at a lower level within a developing animal.”
    Stephen Meyer – Darwin’s Doubt – (pp. 364-365)

    Body Plans Are Not Mapped-Out by the DNA – Jonathan Wells – video

    Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism – Jonathan Wells – February 23, 2015
    Excerpt: humans have a “few thousand” different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,,
    The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It’s called genomic mosaicism.
    In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,,
    ,,,(then) “genomic equivalence” — the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA — became the accepted view.
    I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common.
    I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.

    Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA – Jonathan Wells – 2014
    Excerpt: Embryo development (ontogeny) depends on developmental gene regulatory networks (dGRNs), but dGRNs depend on pre-existing spatial anisotropies that are defined by early embryonic axes, and those axes are established long before the embryo’s dGRNs are put in place.,,,
    DNA sequences do not specify the final functional forms of most membrane components. Still less does DNA specify the spatial arrangements of those components. Yet their spatial arrangements carry essential ontogenetic information. The fact that membrane patterns carry ontogenetic information that is not specified by DNA poses a problem for any theory of evolution (such as Neo-Darwinism) that attributes the origin of evolutionary novelties to changes in a genetic program—-whether at the level of DNA sequences or dGRNs.

    Peer-Reviewed Paper: Development Needs Ontogenetic Information that Cannot Arise from Neo-Darwinian Mechanisms – Casey Luskin – June 2, 2014
    Excerpt: Jonathan Wells has published a new peer-reviewed scientific paper in the journal BIO-Complexity, “Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA.” With over 400 citations to the technical literature, this well-researched and well-documented article shows that embryogenesis depends on crucial sources of information that exist outside of the DNA.
    This ontogenetic information guides the development of an organism, but because it is derived from sources outside of the DNA, it cannot be produced by mutations in DNA. Wells concludes that because the neo-Darwinian model of evolution claims that variation is produced by DNA mutations, neo-Darwinism cannot account for the origin of epigenetic and ontogenetic information that exists outside of DNA. (Read more here:)

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