IS DARWINIAN EVOLUTION A HYPOTHESIS OR FACT?
By Chrisopher C.L. Custer, MD
"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"l
I have always admired Stephen Meyers in his book, SIGNATURE OF CELL, by using the scientific method to cast doubt on the current scientific explanations for the creation. Additionally, he raises doubts about the THEORY OF DARWINIAN EVOLUTION which are quite plausible. Above all I admire him for being skeptical of the status quo of traditional science-asking inconvenient questions-and of thinking outside the box. He is truly one of the foremost original thinkers of the 21st century. His answer is intelligent design, despite the misunderstandings of being a " Creationist". It was a logical one, derived from his arguement against traditional scientific explanations. Nowhere does he ·mention God or even says what represents the "intelligent design", it’s up for the reader to decide who the intelligent designer is. In short he is giving us an example-to challenge things we thought we took for granted. In,the last analysis all inventors challenge the way things are done and find new ways ie. to invent a better mouse trap.First of all, we all agree species change with time. Darwin’s theory is just one explaination of how these changes take place. I don’t like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution being taught as a fact, not theory in our schools. Darwin was taking data about Galapagos Island finches and how their beaks changed in form, as he surmised was due environmental conditions. He thought of a mechanism- survival of the fittest, to explain the evolving of one shape to another. He then took a leap of faith and extrapolated this intra species phenomena to explain the creation of a newer different species. The title to his famous book, “The Origin of Species" so aptly describes his theory. However, no mutation experiments have shown this theory to be true at the genetic level. My question is why do we accept Darwinian Evolution as fact when there is substantial evidence to the contrary?
But maybe randomness can be explained if there was infinite time or places for life to occur.
But an incurable skeptic myself I questioned some of his logic. He makes four arguments to discredit Darwinian theory of evolution. First he addresses the disparity vs. diversity question. Darwinian Evoution’s tree of life says that diversity begat disparity. Small changes in the DNA accumulate (diversity) to form a completely new species(disparity). Evidence is found in the fossils of the Cambrian Period that show that contradicts that theory. The presence of 7 different body plans (disparity),occurring within 20 million years, much less time than for Darwinian evolution’s diversity first the disparity after, would predict. This evidence points to the opposite happening-disparity occurred followed by diversity. Going from a multicellular organism with no cellular specialization to a specialize life form able to adapt to its environment. All this solely due to Darwin’s version of evolution in just 20 million years. This is not possible using evolution as we know it today. Additionally, despite being predicted by Darwinian evolution, no fossil record resembling transition forms have been found in the strata called the Pre Cambrian. However, if we don’t have evidence that something exists doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. We must keep looking. So at least now Meyer’s argument passes muster. Additionally his “ the best known cause" explaination, is very convincing. An example of this in the near past in the Mediterrean Sea the island of Thera was erased by a very large volcanic eruption, and large deposits of ash are found buried under 3000 years of geology. So when we see other similar deposits we can say pretty safely accretion of debris whether it comes from meteorites or volcanoes occurs on the earth. However, we cannot assume Darwinism is the last word. The lack of transition form of flagella from cell membrane protein pores cannot be explained by Darwins form of evolution. First, it predicts transition forms will be present. At the same time it argues that transition forms have no inherent advantage in fact they are just the opposite, imperfect forms. Thus have no reason to exist for they exist in the valley between two ideal forms. Therefore, the Law of the Fittest cannot be working here. Its two conclusions contradict each other. His weak point was for me originally its strong point intially, where Dr.. Meyers proved mathematically how the mechanism of random selection by which evolution works, was not tenable. How randomness is intimately association with the creation of life and how random genetic mutations create new species by the accumulations of genes beneficial to the oganism by the Law of the Fittest, has not the first explaination that comes to me. Other explainations should be investigated. He writes there is not enough time to elapse since the beginning of the earth, or for that matter since the time of the Big Bang, to explain the the probabilities of life by random. He cites one chance in 10^184. for a protein of 150 amino acids to form spontaneously. To put that number in perspective there are only 10^80 atoms in the universe. But maybe randomness can be explained, if there was infinite time or places for life to occur. Then the slightest of probabilities of life arising from random could and would occur. The theory of Anthropy states that if things are not quite right like physical constants, or where the Laws of Thermodynamics could allow broken glass to spontaneously reform into an intact glass somewhere in one of the infinite number of universes, then we would not be around to ponder how was life created. For randomness being a valid answer, one must consider the idea of parallel universes and the infinite number of universes. The number 10¹⁸⁴ loses its significance when compared to infinity. So there could have been infinite worlds where just one could have the right events for life to occur. According the weak Antropy Principle we are here to observe it so it must exists in our universe.
So while Dr. Meyers questioned evolution and the creation of life by the sheer improbability of randomness, may not hold water his other arguements do. These include disparity and diversity, best known cause, and lack of transitional forms are rather convincing. Maybe we shouldn’t be so certain of Darwinism and consider other possibilities for the existence of life in our universe.