At Creation-Evolution headlines, Dave Coppedge asks, “If This Is Evolution, What Is Trivia?” (June 24, 2011):
New Scientist printed a dramatic headline, “Lab yeast make evolutionary leap to multicellularity.”
A leap of the imagination, as it happens.
This challenge to Darwinian evolution turned out to be a cinch, it went on to claim: “In just a few weeks single-celled yeast have evolved into a multicellular organism, complete with division of labour between cells,” reporter Bob Holmes announced. “This suggests that the evolutionary leap to multicellularity may be a surprisingly small hurdle.”
Trouble is, other evolutionists aren’t buying it. For one thing, William Ratcliff and colleagues at the University of Minnesota “set out to evolve multicellularity” in yeast cells by centrifuging them for 60 days – hardly a natural situation. He kept artificially selecting the ones at the bottom. After 350 generations, he found some of the remaining ones that weren’t seasick had clumped together in colonies he said resembled snowflakes. They stayed connected even after cell division. “The key step in the evolution of multicellularity is a shift in the level of selection from unicells to groups,” Ratcliff claimed. “Once that occurs, you can consider the clumps to be primitive multicellular organisms.”
Holmes tried to be charitable about this claim. …
The problem is that many yeast strains naturally form colonies and had multicellular ancestors. The best true explanation is that the pressured atmosphere of the centrifuge in which this happened caused the resurrection of an old trait.
File under: Sociologist: Darwinism is the astrology of science
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