Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Biology doesn’t support the idea of biological evolution

“Dismantled” (2020) is a movie, which is a scientific dismantling of the theory of evolution

Although the concepts of evolution are contrary to many of our experiences in daily life, it’s commonly used to explain everything about life. But does biology support the idea of biological evolution – that single cells changed into humans by mutations and natural selection?

This post is based on the documentary movie “Dismantled” by Back2Genesis.

Where did everything come from?

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered how the vast expanse of the universe with its countless stars and galaxies came into existence? How do you explain the incredible diversity of plants and animals that fill our habitable planet? And how do you explain the origin of mankind and the beautifully diverse ethnic groups?

For centuries we have struggled to understand were we came from. Many theories have been proposed. Some rational and thought provoking, others wildly speculative and seemingly impossible to verify. So how do we sort through all of these theories to determine which one is most logical? Modern science is revealing important clues to this puzzle helping us to understand the full picture of our origin. However, the mystery still remains, where did everything come from?

The standard answer offered is the big bang explanation for the origin of the universe. And the evolutionary theory for the origin of the species. This means whether it was the formation of the universe, the first life forms, or people, the answer is the same. It was all the result of blind natural processes acting on matter and energy over many millions and even billions of years. As stated by National Geographic magazine (July 2013), “It all began in chaos”. In other words, the universe and everything in it, including you and me, came from a series of natural accidents.

For the big bang theory, the universe formed through accidental collisions of atomic particles. For biological evolution, the species formed through accidental copying errors in the DNA, called mutations. This is the story we’ve all been told. But what if the standard answer is not as convincing as we may have been led to believe? What if there are fundamental problems with the big bang and the evolutionary theory that scientists are well aware of but have not been made known to the general public?

In the last decade alone compelling new evidences from the major fields of science have cast serious doubt of the evolutionary view of natural history. Discoveries so profound that if made known to the world would have the power to drastically change our understanding of the past. Might the biblical view of origins as described in the book of Genesis offer a more reasonable explanation?

Biology

Evolution is often referred to as a very slow process occurring over many millions of years. For this reason, evolutionary scientists openly acknowledge that large scale changes known as macroevolution (such as land animal to whale, fish to reptile, dinosaur to bird, rodent to human) cannot be directly observed. Naturally this leads to the question, if it’s not observable then on what grounds can anyone claim that evolution is a scientific fact? The typical response is to claim that although we have never seen “macroevolution” (see Appendix) we can see evolution happening today on a small scale known as “microevolution” (see Appendix). Microevolution involves tiny genetic modifications (genetic recombination, mutation, artificial selection) that result in superficial changes in an organism such as an increase in a bird’s beak size. These type of minor changes (change in allele frequency) help the organism to adapt to a slightly different environment. No one denies that this kind of adaptive fine tuning occurs though mutations and natural selection. However, proponents of evolution believe, if given enough time, the small observable changes seen in microevolution will inevitably add up to large scale changes known as macroevolution. This is the micro equals macro fallacy, which assumes that macroevolution is essentially microevolution extrapolated over long periods of time without limit. This is an example of unbounded extrapolation, which is known to be extremely poor science.

Although in theory both types of changes involve the same underlying genetic processes like recombination, mutation, selection, genetic drift, and gene flow, there is a profound and essential difference between macro and micro evolution that is often overlooked. Macroevolution requires vast amounts of additional genetic information meaning the formation of many new functional DNA sequences, while microevolution does not. And microevolution is mainly the expression of built-in variation within the Genesis kinds.

According to evolutionary theory all living creatures evolved from a single ancestoral life form that lived billions of years ago. A micro-organism believed to be similar to bacteria. As the first living organism to emerge from the primordial sea it would have had minimal genetic information – just enough to carry out the essential life functions. A reasonable estimate for the amount of DNA contained in a hypothetical primitive bacterium would be less than 500,000 genetic letters, equivalent to about two 500-page books of type written information. This may sound impressive, but not compared with humans with 3.2 billion DNA letters in a single cell, equivalent to about 1,000 500-page books. Thus in order for an ancestoral microbial species to evolve into mankind a mind-boggling amount of new functional DNA sequences would have to build up over time. This new genetic information would be essential in order to specify new functions and structures such as eyes, ears, brain, heart, lungs and a multitude of other biological features found in higher life forms. The genetic specifications for even a single type of higher life form represent a large library of information. Yet there are millions of life forms: plants, sea creatures, birds, reptiles, and mammals, each with their own library of genetic instructions.

Evolutionists claim these new genetic specifications can arise though random mutation and the reproductive filter of natural selection. Text books offer a number of examples that claim to be direct evidence of evolution in action. Let’s look carefully at a couple of popular examples to see whether they involve the addition of new functional DNA sequences in order for macroevolution to be possible.

Some of the numerous varieties of domesticated dogsTesting macroevolution: canines

Consider the observable changes occurring within canines (Canidae family): wolves, coyotes, jackals, dingoes, and the numerous varieties of domesticated dogs are all believed to have descended from an ancestral wolf species. In text books the development of the various dog breeds is cited as a demonstrable example of evolution on a small scale. McGraw Hill’s widely used biology text book (“Biology” by Raven et al) states this type of change will inevitably lead to large scale evolution over time. Quote, “If selection operating over a period of only 10,000 years can produce such substantial differences, it should be powerful enough, over the course of many millions of years, to produce the diversity of life we see around us today”.

In making this claim the text book authors are committing the micro equals macro fallacy. The blunder of employing unbounded extrapolation. The superficial differences seen in the various dog breeds are not caused by the formation of new functional DNA sequences that are required for macroevolution. Instead the differences are caused by degenerative mutations in a small number of already existing genes. Mutations in these genes are responsible for variations in traits like coat color, face shape, and foreshortened limbs. But such mutations are limited in the extent of change that they can produce before they disrupt the necessary function of those genes. Factor in the well understood process of genetic recombination, the reshuffling of pre-existing genetic information and the formation of the many dog breeds is easily explained.

Although mutations have provided an additional source of variation for breeders to select from, this is not the type of change that macroevolution requires since it has not resulted in any new genes or new genetic information. There is no new genetic information. In fact, producing dog breeds through artificial selection results in an overall loss of genetic information. The non-desirable traits that are not selected are literally bred out of the gene pool. This explains why it is possible to breed wolves and select for certain traits over a number of generations to produce chihuahuas. But you can never breed chihuahuas to get back to wolves. The DNA information that is necessary to get back to a wolf has been lost.

Everyone knows that within the dog kind we have lots of different breeds of dog. And some people might say if we can see all these different breeds of dog (long ears, short ears; long fur, short fur etc), surely that’s an example of new genetic information that’s being added to have those traits. But when we observe this at the genetic level, that is not what we see. We’re just seeing variations on traits that those organisms already had. The genes that code for fur in a dog can produce various kinds of fur, but they never produce feathers or wings! They don’t change like that because they don’t have that information to be able to do that. And there is no genetic mechanism that allows you to add the information that you need for evolution to occur. All you see is variation within the traits that they already have.

The same applies to other examples of microevolution in various kinds of creatures like the the beaks of finches on the Galapagos Islands and the color of peppered moths in England. The superficial differences seen between them are not caused by the formation of new functional DNA sequences that are required for macroevolution. The variability already existed within the genome, no new genetic information has been added. This variability was made evident through natural selection.

Testing macroevolution: bacterial resistance to antibiotics

The modern theory of evolution is founded on the concept that beneficial mutations are the raw material for eventually building new sets of genetic instructions. One of the most popularly cited examples of beneficial mutations is the development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Standard biology text books claim that it is direct evidence for evolution. But is true evolution taking place here?

Certain classes of antibiotics are considered prodrugs, which means they do not pose a threat to the bacteria until they are activated into their reactive or lethal form through the assistance of enzymes naturally produced by the bacteria. However, random mutations in the bacterium have been shown to disable the function of the required enzyme preventing the antibiotic from converting into its lethal form resulting in resistant bacteria. Although these mutations may be considered beneficial since the bacteria are now able to survive the antibiotic treatments the genetic information that encodes in otherwise useful enzyme is lost. This is the opposite direction required for macroevolution. In the long run these types of loss of function mutations are counterproductive to macroevolution. For this reason, bacterial resistance to antibiotics cannot be considered as direct evidence for evolution.

One of the ways in which bacteria become resistant to antibiotics is through horizontal gene transfer. And this is unique to bacteria. Humans and animals don’t do it. What happens is that bacteria can swap genetic information with each other. For example, an antibiotic resistant gene can be transferred from one organism to another. But simply transferring genetic information between two bacteria is not what evolution needs – it’s not the type of genetic change that we need to go from one kind of organism to another kind. Lots of new information (functional genes) would be required to go from one kind of organism to another kind.

For evolution to create higher life forms from lower life forms there must be a very large increase in total genetic information. Additional genetic information is needed to encode the complex biological capabilities that characterize higher life forms. Any hypothetical large-scale evolutionary change would require vast amounts of new functional DNA sequences, which would have to arise through beneficial mutations filtered by natural selection. Although adaptive changes can occur through rare beneficial mutations it is consistently at the expense of destroying DNA information as seen with bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Testing macroevolution: sickle-cell anemia

There are many mutations that are advantageous because they help adaptation to a certain circumstance but when they looked at what happened the mutation almost always involved loss of function. Something is broken, a protein isn’t functioning properly. There’s a disease called sickle-cell anemia in which red blood cells are shaped like a cresent moon. And those deformed red blood cells can’t carry as much oxygen as they should and they are prone to causing blood clotting. Well, how is that beneficial? If you have this terrible disease, you’re not as susceptible to the malaria parasite. In certain areas where malaria causes lots of deaths you’re trading one pathology for another. It’s better to have sickle-cell anemia where you are sick but not dead, than to get malaria and die. So it’s a very bizarre idea that sickle-cell anemia is a beneficial mutation. They use it because there are so few examples of beneficial mutations.

No new genetic information

Particles-to-people evolution requires changes that increase genetic information, but all we observe is sorting and, overwhelmingly, loss of information.

The information eroding nature of beneficial mutations makes sense when we think about what mutations really are. They are literally random copying errors in the DNA. Think of them as genetic typographical errors. By their very nature they disrupt cellular processes such as gene regulation and enzyme function by scrambling the organism’s genetic instruction manual. They do not create information, they erode information bit by bit. This type of genetic change occurring over deep time will never result in genome building evolution – it is going in the wrong direction informationally. Thus the common argument that given enough time a series of small changes (microevolution) will eventually add up to large-scale changes (macroevolution) is a fallacy. The rarity of beneficial mutations complicates things further. It is widely acknowledged in the genetics community that harmful mutations vastly outnumber beneficial mutations. These destructive mutations are eroding the information content of the genome at a much faster rate than rare beneficial mutations could build it.

Devolving

So if you have bad mutations, even a fraction of them are accumulating at a slow rate, and you have very few beneficials to counteract that, you’re going downhill. The fact that beneficial mutations are very rare and that most mutations are neutral or deleterious is one of the best tested facts of biology.

In addition, most of these harmful mutations caused very subtle biological effects – they are called slightly harmful or nearly neutral mutations because their effect is too subtle to be affected by natural selection. This means that natural selection can do nothing to remove them from the population. They are below what is known as “the selection threshold”. Consequently the slightly harmful mutations are accumulating in the genome at a steady rate. With every generation the average couple passes on roughly 100 additional mutations to their children. It is because of these slightly harmful mutations that mankind is undergoing genetic degeneration. In fact, there is strong evidence that we are not evolving but devolving! Although natural selection can slow genetic degeneration, it cannot stop it. The reason selection fails is mutations are coming into the population faster than they can be selected away. And because most mutations, especially beneficial mutations, are too subtle, that is their impact is invisible, to natural selection.

Genetic entropy

Genetic entropy is the degradation of DNA information caused by mutations accumulation over time. Genetic entropy is increasingly being recognized as a very serious problem for the modern theory of biological evolution. From the 1950s to the present, the apparent certainty of genetic degeneration of mankind has repeatedly been acknowledged by leading population geneticists, some of who played a central role in the development in the modern theory of evolution. Contemporary population geneticist Alexey Kondrashov titled his paper in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, “Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: why have we not died 100 times over?” (J theor. Biol. 1995, 175, 583).

To date the problem of genetic degeneration remains unresolved despite numerous attempts by leaders in the field to rescue the theory of evolution.

The evidence from modern genetics demonstrates that the observable changes in animals are going in the wrong direction informationally to lead to large-scale evolution. While species certainly have the ability to adapt, the extent of change is limited based on the available genetic information. Rather than one kind of creature evolving into a totally new kind though random mutations and natural selection, the Genesis account reveals that in the beginning God created distinct kinds of plants and animals, each to reproduce according to their kind.

Biblical creation

The first chapter in Genesis reads, “And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:24-25NIV).

Bible: variation/speciation within basic kinds is like a forestIf what the biblical view of biology suggests is true, that each basic kind of life arose independently, then Darwin’s vision of a single tree of life with its root tracing back to a primordial bacterium would have to be replaced with a forest of trees reflecting an independent origin for each form of life. Each tree branching out into its own diverse set of species and each tree having built-in genetic diversity allowing for the formation of numerous variations (branches) within those basic kinds. Thus enabling their descendants to survive and adapt to a wide variety of environments. This however is not macroevolution since it does not involve the formation of any new functional DNA sequences. It is simply the fragmentation of each created kind into beautiful and diverse variant species through the sorting, selection and reshuffling of already existing genetic information. This is variation/speciation within basic kinds; just as the biblical view of biology suggests.
Darwin’s vision of a single tree of life with its root tracing back to a primordial bacterium

Conclusion

We have seen that the variety in canines, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and sickle-cell anemia are examples of microevolution. But the superficial differences seen on these occasions are not caused by the formation of new functional DNA sequences that are required for macroevolution. Macroevolution requires vast amounts of additional genetic information, meaning the formation of many new functional DNA sequences. Instead, the changes that are observed are due to natural selection revealing built-in variation within the existing Genesis kinds. They are not due to the supposed process of evolution.

So biology doesn’t support the idea of biological evolution: molecules to mankind. Although biology doesn’t support the idea of biological evolution, maybe paleoanthropology does?

Acknowledgment

The content of this post comes from the documentary movie “Dismantled” (2020), which is a scientific dismantling of the theory of evolution.

Appendix: Microevolution and macroevolution

In this post “microevolution” is the expression of variation that was built within the genome of the Genesis kinds and “macroevolution” is what is commonly known as “evolution”.

I would prefer not to use these terms as they could imply that evolution is occurring when it is not. However, they are used extensively in the “Dismantled” documentary movie.

Posted, November 2020

Also see: Paleoanthropology doesn’t support the idea of biological evolution
Genetics doesn’t support the idea of biological evolution

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