HOW “PROVING” ONE OF DARWIN’S THEORIES ACTUALLY DISCREDITS THE THEORY

HOW “PROVING” ONE OF DARWIN’S THEORIES ACTUALLY DISCREDITS THE THEORY

© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved.

The Claims

At this difficult time, a laugh is sorely needed, and one has been provided for us by evolutionary scientists at Cambridge University.  The headlines are breathless and triumphant:

One of Darwin’s evolution theories finally proved by Cambridge researcher (Phys Org)[1]

Scientists ‘prove Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory’ (ITV)[2]

One of Darwin’s Evolutionary Theories Has Been Proved by Scientists: ‘We Are Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ (Newsweek)[3]

According to Phys Org, “Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution for the first time—nearly 140 years after his death,[4] while the ITV reports that “Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution – survival of the fittest – for the first time[5] and Newsweek proclaims that “More than 160 years after Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, scientists say they have proved one of his theories right.[6]

The theory that was supposedly proven is Darwin’s supposition that a genus with more species would present more varieties among them than a genus with fewer species.  In itself, this is a trivial statement, akin to saying that a family with many children will have more grandchildren with varieties among them than families with few children; it is simple common sense.  There is nothing to see here.

Now, Darwin suggested that

From looking at species as only strongly-marked and well-defined varieties, I was led to anticipate that the species of the larger genera in each country would oftener present varieties, than the species of the smaller genera; for wherever many closely related species (i.e. species of the same genus) have been formed, many varieties or incipient species ought, as a general rule, to be now forming.[7]

The Cambridge researchers reformulate this as “Darwin proposed that lineages with higher diversification rates should evidence this capacity at both the species and subspecies level. This should be the case if subspecific boundaries are evolutionary faultlines along which speciation is generally more likely to occur,[8] which is certainly not equivalent to what “Darwin proposed.

It does not matter, however, as speciation and subspeciation[9] are the opposite process to what Darwinian evolution requires.  To evolve from the first living cell to humans requires the spontaneous generation of some 3.2 billion bits of qualitatively new, functioning genetic data, rather than the corruption or loss of already existing genetic data, and this latter is what happens in speciation and subspeciation.  As Niles Eldredge puts in,

[P]artitioning of pools of genetic information would help focus a species’ adaptation to the environment : one large species, spread out over a variety of environments, would contain the genetic information pertinent to each localized environment (and that information would spread in a process called gene flow)… to partition that vast array of genetic information – in short, to make two species where there once had been but one.[10]

Clearly, then, speciation and subspeciation, which is what is being discussed by the Cambridge researchers, can do nothing to support Darwinian evolution.[11]  Study co-author Laura van Holstein’s claim, therefore, that is utter nonsense.[12]

Ms. van Holstein also claimed that

We found the evolutionary relationship between mammalian species and subspecies differs depending on their habitat.[13]

No; they found a correlation between the size of the genera and the number of subspecies, and that this is a correlation between this and terrain.  Any “evolutionary” relationship inferred from this is purely imaginary.

Presentation in the Popular Media

The way this material is presented in the popular media is problematic in the extreme.  ITV, as we have seen, claims that “Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution – survival of the fittest – for the first time“ – yet the research is related only tangentially at best to natural selection (“survival of the fittest”),[14] a concept that is also trivially obvious and is not Darwinian evolution, nor does it support it.

ITV further claimed that

Ms. van Holstein’s research also proved that evolution happens differently in land mammals and sea mammals and bats because of differences in their habitats and differences in their ability to roam freely.[15]

No, her research did nothing to prove anything about how evolution happens, since there is no evidence that it ever did happen, nor can anyone even begin to give a viable suggestion as to how qualitatively new, functional genetic data could be produced by random natural processes.  Until and unless that is done, the theory of evolution is a nonstarter.  All that was shown was a correlation between size of genera and number of subspecies, along with a correlation to terrain.

Meanwhile, Phys Org tells that Ms. van Holstein “discovered mammal subspecies play a more important role in evolution than previously thought” and that “van Holstein’s research also proved that evolution happens differently in land mammals (terrestrial) and sea mammals and bats (non-terrestrial).”  Again, her research proved nothing about evolution; that is illegitimately read in.

So what we see here is the usual practice, the popular media acting as uncritical shills for Darwinism, so that the average reader who does not bother to check the facts is left thinking that yet more scientific evidence for the theory of evolution has been uncovered, when nothing of the sort has been done.

Interestingly, though, Newsweek said that

The researchers suggest these differences [in subspecies size] caused by geographical boundaries.

But to suggest such a thing is a tacit admission that the idea has not, in fact, been proven by the research, as the astute reader would know.

The Laugh

Research that purports to offer proof for the theory of evolution but fails to do so is par for the course, as is seeing the popular media serve this up to the public as if were valid.  But this time there was an element that offers a huge laugh as soon as it is noticed.

Look again at these claims, this time with bolding added:

  • “One of Darwin’s evolution theories finally proved by Cambridge researcher”[16]
  • “Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution for the first timenearly 140 years after his death[17]
  • “Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution – survival of the fittest – for the first time[18]
  • More than 160 years after Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, scientists say they have proved one of his theories right.”[19]

Now, think about the significance of this; for one hundred and forty years, we were told that Darwin’s theories are scientific fact.  Anyone who denied them was derided as being “anti-science.”  And now we are discovering that they were not actually proven until now?[20]

Folks, this is not how science works.  In real science, researchers observe the natural world, looking for phenomena that always happen (or never happen) and examine these phenomena via repeated experiments, with a view to formulating laws and evidence-based conclusions.  Conclusions are not to be proclaimed until they have been proven.[21]

Evolution is not that; it was never about science, but about finding a pretext to deny God.  As Professor Edward J. Larson, a world leading expert in the history of the theory of evolution says,

During the Enlightenment, during, say, the 1700’s, notions of evolution began creeping back in, that, is, creation by natural law.  If a people are intent in pushing out God, or rejecting divine causation, really the only alternative is where species, well, they could be eternal, as Aristotle said, or they had to come from other species.  Where else could they come from?[22]

This is demonstrated by Dr. Richard Dawkins’ statement that

Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.[23]

We even see this in Darwin’s seminal book:

The main cause, however, of innumerable intermediate links not now occurring everywhere throughout nature depends on the very process of natural selection, through which new varieties continually take the places of and exterminate their parent-forms. But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.[24]

And there you have it, folks; the theory of evolution did not start out as conclusions based on observational evidence; on the contrary, the conclusion was decided upon first, and it was promised that the supporting evidence would follow later.[25]  That is the opposite of genuine science.

And now we see this again; after a mere 160 years, an element of Darwin’s theory has been “proved,” another clear case of the conclusion proclaimed first, with the evidence to follow.  Yet, as we have seen, this time, too, nothing has been offered that actually proves the theory of evolution.

So there is our laugh in these tough days.

On second thought, one should not laugh as this situation.  The attempt to drive out God is to be decried under any circumstances, and the intellectually bankrupt approach of promoting the theory of evolution is particularly rebarbative.  Truly it is written,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things … they did not like to retain God in their knowledge … (Romans 1:18-23, 28α)

Epilogue

On the day this article was being finished, the New York Post published an article entitled “Meet the ‘Wonderchicken’,” with the subtitle “Fossil ‘shocks’ scientists.”[26]  According to the article, a newly unearthed fossil “is providing a rare glimpse into the early evolution of modern birds at the twilight of the age of dinosaurs.

What was actually found?  The fossil was that of an “anatomically modern bird, sharing skull traits with today’s landfowl, such as chickens, turkeys, quail and pheasants, as well as waterfowl, such as ducks, geese and swans.”  We must ask, did this fossil come with, say, stamps saying, “once upon a time a feathered dinosaur” or “on this site will be built a bird”?  If so, the article neglected to mention it.

In fact, the fossil is that of an “anatomically modern bird” – an anatomically modern bird, similar to the ones you can find in the kitchen of your local KFC.  There is nothing about this fossil to prove or demonstrate or tell us anything about evolution – yet we are told that this anatomically modern bird “is providing a rare glimpse into the early evolution of modern birds.”  Yet again, we see baseless claims being used to promote the intellectually vacuous theory of evolution.  And the beat goes on.

Appendix

We previously quoted from p. 55 of Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species.  Let us revisit the quote, looking at what comes after:

From looking at species as only strongly-marked and well-defined varieties, I was led to anticipate that the species of the larger genera in each country would oftener present varieties, than the species of the smaller genera; for wherever many closely related species (i.e. species of the same genus) have been formed, many varieties or incipient species ought, as a general rule, to be now forming. Where many large trees grow, we expect to find saplings. Where many species of a genus have been formed through variation, circumstances have been favourable for variation; and hence we might expect that the circumstances would generally be still favourable to variation. On the other hand, if we look at each species as a special act of creation, there is no apparent reason why more varieties should occur in a group having many species, than in one having few.[27]

Nonsense.  If the formation of “many species of a genus” indicates that the circumstances were favourable to speciation and subspeciation (not, as Darwin put it, “variation”), then many species and subspecies would come about regardless of where the genus came from in the first place.  In other words, we would see the same result if the species came about through “a special act of creation.[28]  It is difficult to understand how Darwin could have made such an elementary logical blunder, and it is tragic he allowed it to mislead him so.  But the days of being misled by his theories should now be over.


Footnotes

[1] “One of Darwin’s evolution theories finally proved by Cambridge researcher” by University of Cambridge, March 17, 2020.  Posted at https://phys.org/news/2020-03-darwin-evolution-theories-cambridge.html.

[2] “Scientists ‘prove Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory’,” ITV Report, March 18, 2020 at 12:02 A.M.  Posted at https://www.itv.com/news/2020-03-18/scientists-prove-darwins-survival-of-the-fittest-theory/.

[3] McCall, Rosie. “One of Darwin’s Evolutionary Theories Has Been Proved by Scientists: ‘We Are Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’,” March 18, 2020 at 12:02 P.M. EDT.  Posted at https://www.newsweek.com/darwin-evolutionary-theory-proved-1493015.

[4] “One of Darwin’s,” op.cit.

[5] “Scientists prove,” op.cit.

[6] McCall, op.cit.

[7] Darwin, Charles. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray, 1859, p. 55

[8] van Holstein, Laura and Robert A. Foley. “Terrestrial habitats decouple the relationship between species and subspecies diversification in mammals.” Proc. R. Soc. B.287:20192702 (2020). Abstract.

[9] Speciation is the development of new species from a previous genus group or species by partitioning specimens into different population groups (thus partitioning the genetic data), each of which lose some genetic data so that different characteristics are emphasized in each population.  Subspeciation is the same process, albeit with smaller differences (e.g. Bengal tigers, Siberian tigers, etc.).  The identification of species and subspecies is rather arbitrary.  For example, there used to be thirty-eight species of brown bear in North American and now there are two – not because of extinction but because the bears were reclassified into two species.

[10] Eldredge, Niles. The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2000, p. 73.  Eldredge is basing this in Theodore Dobzhansky’s explication.

[11] Eldredge shows some impressive chutzpah, as he goes on to say, “Could this simple process also account for all the changes among the larger groups of animals and plants – between, say, reptiles and mammals? … in principle, the evolution of a family should be no different in its basic nature, and should involve no different processes … Q.E.D.: If adaptive modification within species explains the evolutionary differences between species within a genus, logically it must explain all the evolutionary change  we see between families, orders, classes, phyla, and the kingdoms of life.” (Eldredge, op.cit., pp. 76-77).  No, Dr. Eldredge, the corruption or loss of already existing genetic data cannot explain the putative creation of billions of bits of qualitatively new, functional genetic data; that should be obvious.

[12] “The research explored whether subspecies could be considered an early stage of speciation—the formation of a new species. van Holstein said: ‘The answer was yes.’” (“One of Darwin’s,” op.cit.)

[13] ibid.

[14] “Scientists prove,” op.cit.

[15] ibid.

[16] “One of Darwin’s,” op.cit.

[17] “One of Darwin’s,” op.cit.

[18] “Scientists prove,” op.cit.

[19] McCall, op.cit.

[20] And, as we have seen, they have not been proven now.

[21] Science is based on inductive logic and cannot absolutely prove anything, but it can certainly prove things beyond a reasonable doubt.

[22] Larson, Professor Edward J., University of Georgia, “The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy,” The Great Courses (Course No. 174), Lecture 1 (bolding and underlining added).  Larson is now at Pepperdine University.

[23] Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1986, p. 6.  The statement is arrant nonsense, of course, as we are seeing.

[24] Darwin, op.cit., pp. 279-280.  Bolding and italics added.

[25] It never did, of course.  Billions of fossils have been uncovered since Darwin wrote those words, and not one even one clear, indisputable transitional form has been found among them.

[26] Dunham, Will. “Meet the ‘Wonderchicken’: Fossil ‘shocks’ scientists,” New York Post, March 19, 2020, p. 18.  The quotations in this Epilogue are all taken from this article.

[27] Darwin, op.cit., p. 55.  Bolding and underling added.

[28] Actually, God created “kinds” of animals, not “species”; a “kind” can correspond to a species or a genus or family or, in some cases, possibly even to an order.  See, for example, Morris, Henry M. “Looking at the original kinds,” Creation 10:4, September 1988, pp. 15-16.  Posted at https://creation.com/original-kinds.

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