|Evolution in the News - November 1999|
|by Do-While Jones|
Dicyemids, which are microscopic parasites of squids and octopuses, have among the simplest body plans of all multicellular animals. They lack body cavities and almost all the organs that characterize animals, such as a gut or nervous system, and their development proceeds without germ layers and gastrulation. The adult body consists of a solitary axial cell surrounded by a single layer of 10-40 ciliated outer cells. Here we use information from Hox gene sequences to investigate the phylogenetic affinities of dicyemids, and conclude that dicyemids are lophotrochozoans that have secondarily lost many morphological characters, so the simplicity of their body plan is not a primitive condition. 1
Let us translate that into English for you. There are some microscopic animals called Dicyemids. They are very simple animals consisting of one microscopic cell surrounded by a few even smaller cells. Since they don’t have a stomach, heart, lungs, brain, etc., evolutionists believed that they hadn’t evolved very much from the mythical Frankencell that came to life through a still undiscovered natural process eons ago. It would be reasonable for an evolutionist to believe that a study of the DNA of this simple animal would reveal what the first step in evolution was. Evolutionists would expect to find a very short DNA molecule with only one or two simple genes.
The body of the Nature article explains, in gory technical detail, using words one could not possibly read out loud, that Dicyemids have DNA remarkably like seashells, and therefore should be reclassified at a much more highly evolved level. In their words,
|Rather, our data argue that dicyemids are members of the Lophotrochozoa and are related to phyla such as platyhelminths, molluscs, nemerteans, brachiopods and annelids. We conclude that dicyemids are secondarily simplified from higher protostome animals and that their body plan is enormously reduced as a result of their endoparasitic lifestyle. Along with the enigmatic Myxozoa, they represent one of the most extreme cases of secondary reduction of body-plan complexity. 2|
They believe dicyemids evolved into higher life-forms with brains and stomachs, but then lost their minds and reverted back to being gutless parasites because they didn’t really need a brain or a stomach.
We are pleasantly surprised that they did not try to pass these genes off as “brains ready to happen.” The usual evolutionary fairy tale is that the environment changes, and then some previously unused gene mysteriously expresses itself somehow in a way that enhances the critter’s survival, creating a new and better species. 3 Here is the evolutionists’ great opportunity. Just pull some dicyemids off their squids and see if they have children that learn to think for themselves. The genes are already there. Why don’t they do the experiment? What are they waiting for? You know the answer.
Consider a music CD that contains 12 of your favorite songs. That CD is actually a collection of one dozen computer files containing data that describe the variation in air pressure that was caused by the sound waves produced by some musical instruments. When you play the CD, it uses a diaphragm to produce the same variations in air pressure, which your ear detects as music. The CD also contains a “directory” that tells the CD player where on the CD to find the files containing the music.
If you scratch the part of the CD that contains the directory, the CD player might only be able to read the locations of the first two or three song files. Those will be the only songs you can play. The information for the other songs will still be on the CD, but you won’t be able to play them because the directory has become corrupted. It is perfectly consistent with information theory, signal processing theory, and everyday experience, that damage to the medium conveying information will cause a loss of information.
Dicyemids have DNA that is like a scratched CD. The information is there, but apparently is unreadable. It is entirely consistent with modern scientific understanding that replication errors in one particular individual could cause the information required to build organs to be lost in that individual. If that individual is fortunate enough to survive, it could reproduce offspring that also lack those features. The resulting new “fallen” species would continue to survive with its less-than-perfect, “corrupt” body.
If you had a favorite CD album that you played often but didn’t take very good care of it, it might get scratched and might not play all the songs any more. If you really liked the remaining songs, you might still play it, even though the CD wasn’t as good as when you bought it.
The Dicyemids probably aren’t happy about living with damaged DNA. But given the choice between living with corrupt DNA or not living at all, the choice is obvious. They will live as a new, inferior, corrupt species.
Although a new, mutant species can be produced by damaged DNA, that doesn’t constitute “evolution” in the way the word is generally used. “Evolution” generally refers to the process by which something gets better and more complex as time goes on. Airplanes, for example, have evolved greatly since the Wright Brothers built their first airplane. One could point to countless technological examples where human intelligence has taken products and improved them. What we lack are examples of this kind of evolution apart from conscious, intelligent design.
The fact that information can get lost through imperfect, natural communication processes does not prove that information can be gained through imperfect, natural communication processes.
You can scratch a CD album and you might turn it into a CD single. That doesn’t mean that you can scratch a CD single to make it have 11 more songs by the same artist. You know it won’t. But the theory of evolution depends on random scratches that supply new information to the DNA molecule--adding new songs to the CD so to speak. That’s unscientific.
We are confident that future DNA research will continue to discover exactly what each gene does. It will then become apparent that many species have genes for body features that no longer function. What this will prove is that all species are heading for extinction. Genetic information has the potential for getting lost with each generation, and research will continue to confirm that it does in fact get lost from time to time. The theory of evolution has to explain how information could get added to the DNA molecule at a faster rate than it gets lost. At the present time, it can’t even begin to explain how any information can get added at all. Science is against evolution.
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Nature, Vol 401, 21 October 1999, “Dicyemids are higher animals” page 762
3 Wills, (1993) The Runaway Brain, page 64 (Ev)