|email - November 2015|
Some evolutionary arguments are like undead zombies, which never really die.
If George’s email had not come a few days before Halloween, we might not have made the connection between belief in the theory of evolution and belief in zombies—but it did. We also realized that lots of people search for information on zombies on the Internet, which gave us a brilliant idea.
This essay is not a vile attempt to malign evolutionists by comparing people who believe in evolution with people who believe in zombies. No, no, no! This is a clever attempt to get Internet search engines to put this article at the top of their list by using words like “undead”, “zombie,” “apocalypse,” and the phrase “zombie apocalypse” gratuitously and unnecessarily as many times as possible in the title, abstract, and first two paragraphs! Hopefully, many people who would not otherwise read this article will stumble on it by accident because it compares obsolete evolutionary arguments to undead zombies in an apocalyptic manner.
It all began when George wrote us this email:
I cannot tell you where all life came from.
What I can tell you is
a) one can measure evolution in a laboratory in an afternoon
b) most DNA is blank and unused, as a pre-caution against replication errors propagating into living organisms.
This is demonstrated in any American Chemical Society program in undergraduate biochemistry program[s] since the 70’s.
Stick to electronics.
Macroevolution has never been measured in a laboratory over any period of time, certainly not in a single afternoon. George has been misled by evolutionists’ intentionally inconsistent use of the word “evolution.” They use the word “evolution” to mean “any kind of change,” which certainly can be seen and measured in nature and in the laboratory. Having established the fact that “evolution has been observed,” the word “evolution” is also used to mean a different kind of change—specifically the change of one form of life into another form of life. That’s the kind of evolution we are talking about, which has never been observed or measured.
The Model-T Ford evolved into the Ford Mustang. You can easily see and measure the differences—but that doesn’t mean the Model-T. rex evolved into the Mustang horse. The fact that a primitive car evolved into a more advanced car does not prove any primitive animal evolved into a more advanced animal.
It is true that the Long Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) observed changes in characteristics of a particular kind of bacterium; but even that experiment never observed bacteria changing into any other forms of life. (We wrote about that experiment in detail seven years ago. 1) If a bacterium could evolve into something other than a bacterium, the LTEE had the best chance of observing it because of the huge number of generations which arise in a short period of time, and the intense, artificial efforts to induce mutations.
George is right that, in the 1970’s, most people did think “most DNA is blank and unused.”
The term "junk DNA" became popular in the 1960s. According to T. Ryan Gregory, a genomic biologist, the first explicit discussion of the nature of junk DNA was done by David Comings in 1972 and he applied the term to all noncoding DNA. 2
The fact that some parts of the DNA molecule don’t contain the code for producing protein doesn’t mean it is “blank and unused.”
Many noncoding DNA sequences have important biological functions. 3
The fact that biologists didn’t know what function the noncoding DNA sequences performed in the 1960’s doesn’t mean that those sequences are blank and unused. It just means arrogant biologists in the 1960’s didn’t recognize their own ignorance. We addressed this issue years ago, too. 4
We sent a short email to George politely telling him that he is a little bit behind the times. Here are the pertinent portions of his response.
Gregor Mendel measured evolution in his garden. Every human being born is evolutionarily different than either of their parents.
To not believe in evolution is to reject science. Science is the best predictor of the future based on current knowledge, religion is the worst. It has always been a plague on mankind. The Bible and Quran have zero correct predictions and measureable [sic] events. No one ever killed someone for believing in quantum field theory.
There is just enough religion in the world to make men hate, but not enough to make them love. ~Louis Cyphre in AngelHeart
Gregor Mendel discovered and measured some laws of heredity—but not evolution. You can see from the first part of his response that he is confusing any kind of change with evolution. The second part of his response gives some insight into why he believes what he believes.
Although Uriah Smith made a compelling argument that the Bible really has made some correct predictions 5, that’s irrelevant. The famous psychic Jeanne Dixon made a correct prediction about the assassination of JFK; but that doesn’t mean everything she said was true. The fact that scientists correctly predicted how much fuel it would take to fly to the moon and back doesn’t prove that everything a scientist says is true. So, we ignored his irrelevant attacks on religion in our response, and just tried to point out that he was confusing heredity with evolution. His response was,
Heredity is part of evolution, but the hereditary changes at the enzymatic level have only been quantifiable ion [sic] the last 40 years or so.
I am not confuse at all in order to have macroevolution microevolution is a necessary criteria. When England started burning coal as the primary fuel instead of wood the soot output was prodigious. Many specious [sic] of moths evolved to be greyish-black when they were much lighter before. Individuals do not evolve populations evolve.
Man is evolving both sexes are slowly but surely getting taller and women are getting their periods years earlier now. Smacks of evolution to me.
When he brought up the peppered moths, we realized he was stuck back in the 20th century. The peppered moth story was debunked years ago. To our knowledge, no modern evolutionist uses that argument. It has been over a decade since we addressed that issue 6 because we don’t want to be accused of flogging a dead horse. Setting aside the questionable aspects of the experiment, the obvious fallacy is that black moths and white moths both existed at the beginning of the experiment, and black moths and white moths existed at the end of the experiment, so the experiment sheds no light at all on the origin of black or white moths. It just shows that the relative percentages of existing variations can change.
His statement that individuals do not evolve, but populations do, is correct—but not in the way he means. We’ve dealt with this issue in detail in the past 7 8 , so we don’t need to say much about that again. Let’s just say that the German population became much less Jewish during World War II—but that doesn’t mean Jews evolved into Nazis. Moths don’t change color because they are eaten by birds.
We aren’t bringing up the peppered moths because we want to shoot fish in a barrel. The point is that some dead arguments just won’t stay dead, and hang around like zombies. We wanted to know why these arguments just won’t die, so we asked George where he was getting his information. Here is his answer.
I am a mathematical physicist by training. I am just using what I remember from undergraduate chemistry I took at U of M medical school 40 years ago, but no serious scientist will lend any credence to your views which ultimately are based on religion which is belief in the absence of proof or in this case denial of truth.
Evolution is no less real because you form ridiculous arguments against it. Complex problems have simple easy to understand wrong answers. Have you ever dissected a pig? They have all the same biological structures performing the exact same functions that we do yet they are not human even thought [sic] are [sic] DNA agree to more than 90%. This is some accident or intelligent design? No, it is the slow but sure process of biological evolution.
OK. That explains why you are still using arguments that evolutionists haven’t used for decades (because they were proved to be wrong long ago).
Which of our arguments are ridiculous?
No, I have never dissected a pig, but I know their anatomy is similar to humans’ anatomy (and cows’, and most other mammals’). That doesn’t prove evolution (or intelligent design, either).
Did you read our last newsletter about The Genetic Case Against Evolution? http://scienceagainstevolution.info/vol19-12.pdf
The last we heard from him was,
My whole point is that all mammals have 90% or so of human DNA. Chimpanzees, our closest relative have more than 99%. This is an accident? No, it is evolution and evolutionary time scales are on the same order as very large gas giant blue stars. One can say that whales speak French at the bottom of the sea a viable assertion that science cannot refute because it has never been measured, yet I suspect it is untrue.
I will read your arguments before I refute them but I suspect serious questionable statistical conclusions. If you cannot measure it, it is not science. I personally despise all faith[s] which are nothing but superstition in fancy dress, and I only believe in what is measureable [sic]. Just what you would expect over the last 40 years of some serious scientific work.
Twice he says it isn’t an accident—but evolution is based on the belief that living things are the result of accidental mutations, not design.
He says he has not yet read our arguments—but he is sure they are wrong. He is sure we are using “questionable statistics” to prove that human DNA isn’t similar to chimp DNA—and he is wrong about that. We have never questioned the amount of similarity. We just question the reason for the similarity.
His statement, “If you cannot measure it, it is not science,” echoes this statement by one of my favorite scientists:
If it ain’t repeatable, it ain’t science. 9
The theory of evolution isn’t repeatable or measurable. Therefore, it isn’t science!
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Disclosure, August 2008, “The Long Term Evolution Experiment”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v12i11f.htm
4 Disclosure, October 2012, “Another Man’s Junk”, http://www.scienceagainstevolution.info/v17i1n.htm
5 Uriah Smith, 1912, Daniel and the Revelation, http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Revelation-Uriah-Smith-ebook/dp/B0086NEVSA/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444922011&sr=1-3&keywords=uriah+smith+daniel+and+revelation
6 Disclosure, February 2002, “Horses and Peppered Moths”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v6i5f.htm
7 Disclosure, July 1997, “Pigeons and Sparrows”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v1i10f.htm
8 Disclosure, June 2002, “Individual Evolution”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v6i9e.htm
9 Jamie Hyneman, Mythbusters, S10|E9 “Accidental Ammo”, about 45 minutes into the program.