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ECONOMICS AND ESOTERICA FOR A NEW PARADIGM

Darwin: Not by chance

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Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution
by  Lee M. Spetner

Author’s comments on the significance of the book:

After having seen comments made about my book – some correct, some incorrect – I think it appropriate to post here my own comments about the significance of my book.

In the book I show that neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory cannot do what is claimed for it. The theory cannot account for the development of life from some simple beginning. It cannot account for the broad sweep of evolution.

The book is a bit technical in spots, but I have tried to write it in a form that a layman could follow, even if it takes some effort. I had to make it somewhat technical because I attack a paradigm to which most biologists declare allegiance. I had to present my argument comprehensively enough to withstand any potential criticism from evolutionists. Indeed, several respected biologists, including a Nobel laureate, have praised my book and have acknowledged the force of my argument. Others have criticized the book, but none of the criticism so far has been substantive. No one has yet been able to point to a flaw in my basic argument. No one has so far refuted my conclusion.

When prominent biologists claim that “evolution is a fact”, they are stating a half-truth that means far less than what they would like the public to believe. The theory states that the development of life is a purely natural process, driven by known mechanisms. This is simply not true. There is no evidence that life developed, or even could have developed, by a purely natural process.

According to neo-Darwinian theory, the process that accounts for the evolution of all life is that of random mutations shaped by natural selection. The theory says that evolution is built up by a long series of many steps. In each step many random changes occur in the hereditary storage of organisms. If one of these random changes should by chance happen to make the organism better adapted to its environment, then natural selection will spread that change through the population. Each of these changes is said to be small, but the accumulation of a long series of them is said to account for large changes in populations adapting them to their environment. This process is assumed to work, and on the basis of that assumption evolution is said to account for the development of all life.

Experiments have also been performed to show that the process of selection does indeed work under the right conditions. Moreover, random mutations have been observed that do improve the adaptivness of the organism under certain conditions. From these observations, evolutionists have extrapolated to say that random mutations and natural selection can account for the development of life.

I have shown in my book that the broad sweep of evolution cannot be based on random mutations. I have shown it on both theoretical and experimental grounds. On theoretical grounds, I have shown that the probability is just too small for random mutations to lead to a new species. On experimental grounds, I have shown that there are no known random mutations that have added any genetic information to the organism. I go through a list of the best examples of mutations offered by evolutionists and show that each of them loses genetic information rather than gains it. One of the examples that where information is lost is the one often trotted out by evolutionists nowadays in an attempt to convince the public of the truth of evolution. That is the evolution of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Now, clearly, if random mutations could account for the evolution of life, then they must have added a lot of information to the genome from the time of the putative first simple organism until the appearance of all present life. If this vast amount of information was built up by an accumulation long series of random mutations and natural selection, then each of these many billions of mutations must have, on the average, added some information. Yet after all the molecular studies that have been done on mutations, not a single one has been found that adds any genetic information! They all lose information!

There is, however, evidence that some evolution has occurred. There is some indirect evidence and there is even some direct evidence. How did it occur? In Chapter 7 of my book, I suggest that although significant evolution cannot occur by random mutations, it could occur by nonrandom mutations. Nonrandom here means that the environment itself influences what mutations can occur. I cite a lot of evidence for evolution by nonrandom mutations-evidence that spans life forms from bacteria through vertebrates.

Whereas standard neo-Darwinian theory relies on point mutations that are essentially mistakes in replicating the DNA, there are other kinds of mutations that are not mistakes. Genetic rearrangements are complex genetic changes. They are carried out with precision and are driven by sophisticated cellular mechanisms. These mutations appear to be triggered by cues from the environment and they do not appear to be the product only of chance. I suggest that these genetic rearrangements are part of a built-in mechanism that permits a line of organisms to adapt to a new environment. I suggest that built into the genetic program of the organism is a set of genetic switches that can be triggered by the environment and enable a heritable switch in the organism to one of a limited set of alternate forms. An interesting feature of this mechanism is that it can cause a population to adapt rapidly to a new environment.

Since my book has been published I have seen that biologists are beginning to acknowledge the importance of these nonrandom mutations in evolution. They suggest, though, that these built-in mechanisms have themselves evolved. Can this be? Classic neo-Darwinian evolution calls for many steps, each consisting of a large number of trials whose duration is a generation. For the evolution of these built-in mechanisms one must invoke the same kind of process, but each trial would have a duration of millions of generations. Can this really be?

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The destruction of a popular religion, January 18, 1998 
Reviewer: John S. Waldrip from Monrovia, CA

Evolution is the secular religion of many contemporary scientists. But is their religion based on real science? Dr. Lee Spetner has written a blockbuster book for those who will take the time to wade through the material. This is not an easy read, but even for the reader who does not have a background in biology, genetics, or even mathematics, there are nuggets everywhere. When science, real science, numbers and facts and experiements type science, is brought to bear on the theory of evolution it cannot stand. As Spetner wrote on page 174, “There may be good reasons for being an atheist, but the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution isn’t one of them.” He systematically dismantles current evolutionary thought the way precocious child dismantles a broken clock, one piece at a time. Only with Dr. Spetner, you conclude that the clock never did work. One recommendation? Highlight and bold face the staggering conclusions that the lay reader is looking for as he reads through the book the next time it’s revised. It will be easier to read and attractive to a wider audience.

Evolution: Science or Religion?, January 11, 1999 
Reviewer: Robert C. Slate from Seattle

Each new revelation in genetic research, no matter how bizarre and unforeseen, can be construed as a ringing confirmation of the theory of evolution, or so evolutionary biologists would have us believe. With this book, Dr. Lee Spetner risks the wrath of the evolution establishment by challenging the validity of the neo-Darwinian theory, or “dogma” as he calls it. Evolutionists assume that the observed ability of organisms like finches and bacteria to adapt to altered environments is clear proof of the NDT, which holds that random mutations in the DNA molecule are a prime factor in these adaptations. But this inference is negated by compelling new evidence at every level of biology according to Spetner, whose credentials include an MIT doctorate in physics, expertise in molecular biology, and published papers on biology in prestigious scientific journals. Numerous experiments are cited indicating many of these survival modifications are linked to a particular class of nonrandom mutations responding on cue to specific changes in the environment. A given external stimulus will trigger the same chain reaction of hormone-induced DNA mutations every time, yielding an identical adaptive response.

Spetner claims research findings like these which don’t fit approved doctrine are simply ignored by evolutionary biologists. That charge is echoed with gusto by renowned biologist Lynn Margulis, who issues scathing denunciations of their obscurantist tactics in “Slanted Truths.” She believes the “stranglehold” of the Darwinian “religious movement” can only be broken by a rational counter-force from outside the fold. Spetner’s authoritative book is an ideal instrument for this deliverance. Critics of the NDT will savor the hard-science rigor of molecular arguments adduced against a theory they believe is largely based on speculative just-so stories.

In a historical overview, the author reminds us that when the so-called synthetic theory was first crafted fifty years ago, DNA had yet to be discovered. Darwin himself was blissfully ignorant of the functions and structure of the cell. We now know that mammals are composed of trillions of cells, each containing an information-packed DNA molecule and hundreds of interacting organelles. It is therefore not unreasonable to ask: What if Darwin’s quaint theory were advanced today for the first time? The proposal that a clumsy hypothetical mechanism modeled on eighteenth century economic theories and pigeon breeding practices could possibly account for the origins of EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT in the incredibly complex universe of microbiology unfolding before our eyes would be laughable. The hodgepodge theory of evolution has become a religious faith so deeply ingrained in its adherents they appear oblivious to its absurdities. This book relates how stunning advances in biotechnology in just the past two decades have dramatically widened the gulf separating the realities of empirical science from the myths of neo-Darwinism.

A number of these myths are spun in “The Blind Watchmaker” by one of evolution’s high priests, zoologist Richard Dawkins. Spetner searched this work for traces of solid science and found mainly false assumptions and technical inaccuracies instead. He notes that, “like many passionate believers, Dawkins did not examine his evidence critically.” Indeed, his vaunted cumulative selection thesis is riddled with unfounded assumptions. He built his case for it entirely on the power of the concept, with not one word of proof. His biomorph and lexical computer simulations are demonstrated not to represent natural selection as his uncritical disciples may believe, only artificial selection, as in pigeon breeding.

The author’s diversified background, which also includes lectureships in information theory and communication theory at John Hopkins University, enables him to speak expertly on a host of technical issues surrounding this subject. Laymen who’ve fallen behind the dazzling pace of microbiology will be intrigued by his lucid account of the counter-intuitive adaptive strategies in Nature’s arsenal. The architecture and mechanisms of the DNA molecule are examined in depth, introducing lay readers to a host of basic concepts like introns, transitrons, point mutations, mutation rates, genetic information and heritable genetic switches. This potent brew is spiced with liberal doses of humorous asides and amusing anecdotes.

It should be noted that Spetner’s work is narrowly focused on the purely secular, scientific aspects of his topic. It rarely strays into the domains of metaphysics or theology. Amazon reviewers of this book who parrot mindless shibboleths about creationism and gods of the gap as they did with Michael Behe’s ground-breaking “Darwin’s Black Box ” will clearly establish they either didn’t read the book or have been hopelessly brainwashed in orthodox biology classes.

To appreciate the extent of evolutionists’ distortions in the classroom, one has only to browse through a current biology textbook after reading Spetner. To cite one case, he has found thousands of examples of convergence, or parallel evolution, buried in the literature, so one might assume they are a significant fact of biological life. He demonstrates mathematically the impossibly long odds against these uncanny near-identities of features in unrelated species, like wings in birds and bats, being evolved by any feat of natural selection. Evidently academic biologists prefer not to dispute this conclusion. A typical nationally distributed college text, “Biology ” by N.A. Campbell, contains 1200 pages saturated with evolution mythology, but just one short paragraph on convergence. An equally inextricable companion phenomenon, mimicry, is completely ignored. Other slanted omissions and distortions abound.

Spetner’s definitive treatise on what many consider an extremely important issue deserves a much wider audience than it presently commands. Whereas the shelf space afforded the evolutionist tomes of Dawkins and Steven J. Gould in the mega book stores Barnes & Noble and Borders is measured in linear feet, “Not by Chance” is nowhere in sight, not even in inventory. These giant outlets are rapidly driving out alternative book sellers. The inability of an author of Spetner’s stature to address a substantial segment of the population that would be sympathetic to his message amounts to de facto censorship by a quasi-monopolistic distribution system. Although most of them will never have the opportunity, avid evolutionists would find this slender volume an eye-opening read. 

Powerful demolition of neo-Darwinian dogma, May 21, 2001
Dr. J. Sarfati (Brisbane, Queensland Australia) – See all my reviews

Spetner does a great job of refuting the atheistic faith that random mutations plus natural selection can generate all the complexity in the biosphere. It must be stressed that real ‘goo-to-you-via-the-zoo’ evolution is particles to people, i.e. a means of increasing genetic information. It is not enough simply to point out examples of change, because no creationist denies that organisms change within a kind (the Bible makes this clear); it must be information-increasing change. Alas, many evolutionary propagandists resort to deceitful equivocation when using the word ‘evolution’ to describe *any* change and use this to prove that molecules could have turned into mice or men and to disprove creation.

Creationists have long argued that many examples of ‘evolution’, how e.g. loss of wings can be a survival benefit to beetles on a windswept island and how fish with shrivelled eyes can do better in dark caves. But these are losses of information; the exact opposite of what goo-to-you evolution requires. They do not explain the origin of that complex information to construct functional wings or eyes in the first place.

Spetner makes the same point on the scale of the information coded in DNA, and the information content of the enzymes they code for. He shows that even the beneficial mutations are caused by information loss, so are irrelevant for the goo-to-you theory. For example, some DDT resistance in insects is caused by a mutation causing loss of binding ability. It’s amazing to see that some atheists are unable (or unwilling) to grasp the points: increasing survival advantage, YES; increasing information, NO. Alternatively, natural selection, YES; evolution, NO.

Another important example he covers is the alleged evolution of a new enzyme ability. In this book and subsequent articles, he has shown that even these cases are really losses of information. That is, a mutation ruined the precise fit of the active site to the protein, so it no longer does its former job so well, but does allow other substances to be affected too. But this is leading away from the specific, high-information enzymes required for life, and the conclusion of this process would be a general catalytic compound that catalyzes many things, none of them particularly well. This is hardly anything to write home about – ordinary acids and bases can both catalyse many hydrolysis reactions.

Note that Spetner does not say that a mutation could never add information, just that it is so unlikely that it could never account for the amount of information we see in living things. Furthermore, if mutations do account for the huge amounts of genetic information we see today, then there should be plenty of information-adding mutations to be seen, but there are not. Spetner challenges evolutionists to provide a single such example.

Spetner also argues against the Darwinian contention that emphasises that any mutation, however slight, will have a survival value. Even the most complex organisms can supposedly be built up over eons from an accumulation of small mutations with slight survival values. Spetner shows that the smaller the change, the smaller the selective advantage. This is expressed by the selection coefficient s. If a mutation has s = 0.001 or 0.1%, a supposedly typical value, then the number of surviving offspring is 0.1% greater for organisms with the mutant than without it. But the smaller the selective advantage, the more likely that random effects (e.g. genetic drift) will eliminate it — its probability of survival is about 2s (actually 2s/(1-e-2sN), where s = selection coefficient and N is the population size). So the above mutation has only one chance in 500 of surviving, even though it is beneficial..

A deathblow to the heart of bacteria-to-man evolution!
Michael J. Felker (Atlanta, GA) 
In his book, “Not by Chance,” Dr. Lee Spetner does a fantastic job of hitting the Theory of Evolution where it hurts. In my opinion, the concept of information is the biggest problem for evolutionists to overcome and Dr Spetner demonstrates this beautifully. It is no wonder that reviewers are posing Ad Hominem attacks, spending many paragraphs criticizing Dr. Spetners degrees rather than criticising the science. When evolutionists result to personal attacks, I automatically assume that they have given up the debate and admitted defeat. 

In the first chapter, Dr. Spetner discusses the history of evolution. If you have devoted any study to the creation/evolution controversy, this chapter may just be a repetition of things you already know. However, Dr. Spetner does an excellent job of discussing a very important aspect of the controversy, the history. 

The second chapter reads basically like a college biology textbook. I found it very interesting that Dr. Spetner felt compelled to discuss and define many aspects of biology. I suppose he did this so that the uneducated will have some idea as to what the key concepts in biology are. Something Dr. Spetner did that I really appreciated was to offer an appendix that discusses topics in more detail like the structure of DNA, how enzymes work, Transcription, etc. Because Dr. Spetner is a physicist, I was skeptical as to whether or not he would be correct on concepts such as these (although any freshmen biology major would be qualified to write about DNA, enzymes, and Transcription). It turned out that Dr. Spetner was right on target on every topic he touched. In fact, I felt he discussed these topics with much more clarity than do most college biology textbooks(which I own and cross checked them with Spetners work). 

In the next few chapters, Spetner deals with defining the Neo-Darwinian theory and discussing probability. I honestly found chapters 3 and 4 to be boring. I have never been a fan of probability arguments, mainly because it is so easy to make mistakes and unintentional straw-man arguments. Nonetheless, Dr. Spetner demonstrated the best probability arguments that I have ever seen. Sadly, evolutionists will probably spend all their time criticising Spetners calculations while ignoring his ideas on information. 

If you, the reader, are planning on reading anything in this book, let it be chapters 5-7. These deal with the heart of the matter. In the earlier chapters, Spetner was being generous when dealing with probability because he assumed that increases in new genetic information are possible(which he doesn’t believe, of course). Now he shows that increases in new genetic information is not only unlikely, but impossible. 

Lee Spetner’s book was published in 1997. Before this time I have never read any anti-evolution literature that deals with the concept of information in relation to the Theory of Evolution. This is suprising, since information theory has been around for a long time. Before Dr. Spetner’s work, anti-evolutionists used the micro-macro arguments(unfortunately many still do). Although Dr. Spetner used the micro-macro argument, he defined the terms in such a way so that it ties into the concept of information. What Dr. Spetner does is demonstrate that no increase in new information has ever been found in nature. He says that if large scale evolution were possible, then increases in new information should be found all throughout nature, happening every day. So its not about how large of a change can happen, but rather the TYPE of change. No doubt, large changes can and do happen, but they can happen as a result of a LOSS of information. Anti-evolutionists need to stop using the micro-macro arguments and start using the information concept, which Dr. Spetner beautifully demonstrates. 

I think that anyone interested in the creation/evolution controversy can benefit from this book. If you are an evolutionist, you will become more aware of the new attacks that are being posed at your theory so that you can defend it better. If you are an anti-evolutionists, you will encounter one of the best apologetic defense of special creation ever encountered, next to the Bible. I must warn, that if you haven’t had atleast an introductory course in biology, this book might be a boring read. If you are a beginner to the creation/evolution subject, I would recommend purchasing a college biology textbook so that the unfamiliar terms and concepts can be explained. 

Mathematical, Logical, Precise, July 2, 2004
S. Gabie “the-gabe” (Downingtown, PA) 
So many people take neo-Darwinism by default, without thinking things through or challenging old assumptions. Spetner blows away the old Darwin myths with solid mathematical precision. He also opens up an entire gateway of thinking, allowing the reader to go beyond the complexities he deals with in this book, to imagine others, and think them through.

Spetner shows that no mutation has ever added positive information. He also shows the shear mathematical impossibility of neo-Darwinism in a detailed explanation, which is fairly put in laymens terms. Scientists and non-scientists alike should read this book. We simply need to re-think evolution, and so many of its warn out and old ideas, and Spetner gives us cause and tools to do so. Scholarly and meant for those who use brains, not emotions

Richard Lombardi (Germany, but I am American) 
I am not one who argues from a religious point of view. Please, just the facts and the tests will convince me of something. So, I have no emotional interest in whether the Theory of Evolution is true or false. I personally have no problem with either God, one or many, aliens, or even evolution. I just want the facts and tests presented to me.

Ever since I was in graduate school in Physics, I have learned to ask questions and not believe without facts and tests. No one in the biology departments were able to answer my questions concerning genetics and evolution concisely and accurately. Perhaps it was the times; but after reading this book, I know now they did not know the answers themselves, but, only expected me to believe them. Acutally, I have the same problem with people who expect me to believe their religion, Christian or other.

I found first in this book a clear presentation of genetics and mutations. Wonderful ! First set of questions answered. Second, I found the books arguments well documented and mostly tractable. This book is not in the “easy reading” category, nor, is it in the “Particle Physics” level. You must exercise your brain.

I always expected from evolutionists an explanation for speciation. If evolution were a real theory I thought, they should be able to show me the steps of mutations to change one species to another. We could test this and go on. This book clarified for me why my second set of quesions to biologists, ie, tests, were never answered. There are none and again, I was supposed to just believe them.

This book clarifies not just genetics in the most coherent fashion than any I have read before, but, goes on to show how using the suppositions of evolution and the evolutionist’s data, you reach contradictions. Ergo, it cannot be true. The evolutionists must come from another logic universe, or are just professing their religion. If there are some problems with the logic or mathematics the author quotes, I am convinced, they would be minor and not contradict the conclusions of this book. Anyone who searches for the truth of evolution, must read this book.

Information generation and misinformation removal, August 29, 2003 Jonatas Machado (Coimbra Portugal) 

After the works of men of different persuasions such as H. Morris, J. Morris, D, Gish, K. Ham, J. Sarfati, R. Humphreys, J. Baumgardner, M. Behe, W. Gitt, W. Dembski, J. Wells, G. Gonzalez, P. Johnson, M. Denton, R. Milton, and L. Spetner, the least we can say is that neo-Darwinism is in real trouble.

1) Most of the icons of evolution have been debunked.

2) Mutations and natural selection can’t generate complex specified information

3) The metaphysical naturalism behind neo-darwinism has been exposed

4) The links are still missing, both in the fossil record and in molecular biology

5) Evidence for design and fine tuning is overwelming, as even some evolutionists seem recognize (v.g. “designoids”; “appearence of design”, “machines”, “systems”, “codes”)

6) Probability and information theory say that information presuposes an intelligent sender and a meaningful code.

7) The big bang and the cosmological principle are under sustained attack

8) Many evolutionary arguments cancel each other, leading neo-darwinism to a dead end.

9) Biblical creationism can generate good and testable scientific models and predictions

10) Mayr, Lewontin, Gould and Dawkins are bright people but they cannot get their theories right, because assumptions are wrong and facts don’t fit. (you may be an excellent runner but that won’t help you win the race if you are running in the wrong direction!)

Lee Spetner just demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that mutations never generate brand new DNA information. On the other hand, natural selection by definition removes information. Although the mechanism of mutations and natural selection can explain speciation, it has nothing to do with particles-to-people evolution. Speciation (Top-botton) is not evolution in the neo-darwinistic (botton-top) sense.

Speciation requires the pre-existence of information. Evolution is meant to generate information out of nothing. Biblical creationism has no problem with natural selection and speciation. On the contrary, it predicts it and explains it. By studying the problem of mutations and information generation, Lee Spetner goes a long way in removing evolutionary misinformation.

Does As The Title Suggests, April 10, 2003
aintsaying (california)

Lee Spetner certainly follows through on his premise. He convincingly shows Neo-Darwinism (modern theory of evolution) is genetically and mathematically impossible. He achieves this with cold hard facts concerning genetic mutations (no mutation has EVER been shown to ADD new functioning genetic information which would be ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for the modern theory of evolution to occur – mutations followed by natural selection gradually over long periods of time, etc.) and logical mathematically equations on probability. He scores more points with his own theory on the brilliance of evolution/adaption within creatures provided by the Creator (Non Random Evolutionary Hypothesis). Note: He destroys Richard Dawkin’s quasi-religious manifesto called “The Blind Watchmaker”, which falsely purposts itself to be “science”-minded. Ironically, Spetner relies far less on leaps of faith than that of pseudo-scientific neo-Darwinists like Dawkins!

Not well written, but packs a punch, John G (Maryland, USA) 
Not an especially well written book; it’s painfully repetitive in places. The explanations and examples are not always very clear. The introduction seems to promise to look at evolution in light of modern information theory, but the book never really defines or describes information theory.

Despite its faults, the main point seems inescapable: theories of evolution based on random variation can’t hold up under close scrutiny. If you’re a naturalist taking refuge from intelligent design in evolutionary theory, you have three choices: 1) Insist that evolution is some how above or immune to the natural laws of mathematics and probability (i.e. evolution is “super-natural”). 2) Abandon your self delusion. 3) Press the back button now. Don’t read this book. Place your hands over your ears and repeat loudly, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU”.

Wesley L. Janssen (San Diego, CA. USA)
Israeli physicist and biophysicist, Lee Spetner, illustrates the mathematical roadblocks to popular theories of organic macroevolution. Spetner’s case is particularly devastating to what is called ‘classic,’ orthodox,’ and/or ‘ultra’ – Darwinism. This is the theory of evolution featured in most biology textbooks and Spetner’s case against it centers on the limits imposed on genetic adaptation by the firm mathematics of information theory. Discussing the difficulty of the idea that chance mutation could be the source of innovation for large-scale adaptation, Spetner points out that in a starting stable population of one million, given one million subsequent generations, a total of 10 to the 13th power individuals (if you wonder why this would be the approximate number, refer to any logical definition of a population stable enough to produce a million generations), the probability that a single adaptive recombination of DNA sequence would survive in the population requires a number of such recombinations approaching 10 to the 2,000th power.

This surrealistically huge number from a population of 10 to the 13th. Note again that this is the probability of a SINGLE such genetic innovation surviving among what would be the GREATEST number of contributing mutations proposed by the NDT (the idea in this case being an attempt to mitigate statistical roadblocks by suggesting that mutations might be somehow ‘stored up’ within a genome). Darwin said that genetic innovations must occur in “inconceivably great number” to fuel the engine of macroevolution, and that a large number of these must survive.

But the mathematics deny Darwin his fuel. “With this we see that copying errors, even if they are stored as potential recombinations, cannot provide the random variation needed by the NDT (Neo-Darwinian Theory).” Some will want to point out that genetic innovation is more likely to survive in small, unstable populations, but this idea actually leads to even greater mathematical difficulty. Some will claim that probability studies only establish the difficulty of macroevolution and not that it is impossible. But evolutionary theory provides for only a relatively small number of years — less than 4 with a mere nine zeroes after it – in which all of life must be accounted for. So much for the magic-wand of `evolutionary time’; it seems that the NDT, as it stands, is, in fact, mathematically impossible.

Spetner has been published in the mainstream literature, writing about evolution in journals like Nature and the Journal of Theoretical Biology. This volume is published by small Judaica Press and may never have the readership it deserves. This is unfortunate because the arguments presented are fundamental, mathematically sound, and do great damage to theories of large-scale biologic evolution as a process of “natural” mechanism. Spetner is hardly the first to demonstrate the mathematical refutation of neo-Darwinism. Mathematicians Schutzenberger, Hoyle, Wickramasinghe, and others have done so. Spetner also debunks the popular, but strangely non-critical, claim that relatively quick changes in specifically cited populations (such as shifts in the melanism of peppered moths) could be an example of ‘punk-eeq’ theories of abrupt evolution. Such examples do not provide the population with any new innovation within the genome. One (already extant) gene is simply selected while another gene is subtracted from the genome. No complexity has been added, any change in the genome is in fact a subtraction of information.

The author does not insist that large-scale evolution is impossible, and contrary to what some have said, he is not a ‘young-earth creationist’, but he does conclude that no theory of mechanistic evolution has the necessary tools (mechanisms) available to be a workable theory. Only Intelligently orchestrated evolution could bypass the lack of natural mechanism and the mathematical roadblocks to neo-Darwinian theory. Says Spetner, “The NDT not only stands in the way of a better understanding of the life sciences, it also tends to prevent us from appreciating that there may be spiritual values in the universe that stem from a source high than man.” 

When pitted against the mathematical difficulties confronting evolutionary theory, we often hear statements to the effect that biology cannot be understood mathematically. This argument is disingenuous. Mathematics is the “servant and queen” of physics, chemistry, and non-evolutionary disciplines of biology. Why must this supposed incompatibility of science and mathematics come into such sharp focus in theories of macroevolution alone? Might the theories be seriously incorrect?

Ben Holcomb (Wichita):
This book is a must have if your interested in the origins debate. Spetner does a great job of revealing the flaws of darwinism, namely that mutations coupled with natures selection pressures could not have produced the genetic complexity of information organisms contain today. The only way mutations could produce such complexity is if the mutations were “planned” in the right spot, or designed in the right spot. Mutations, however, are random according to darwinism and as such darwinism’s fate is forever sealed. Mathematically, darwinism could not have happended. Anyone that wants to claim that darwinism is correct, fine. More power to them. But to ignore statistical facts, mathematic probabilities, all in the name of saving a doomed theory is wrong. It is high time darwinists step up and admit that their theory, along with creation, is not a scientific theory.

This book can bring the failures of Darwinism to light to those who have been told science fully supports Darwinism. Buy the book, show it to a friend, or give it as a gift. The book is somewhat complex, so it is not for everyone. Spetner though does take the time to explain his statistics in laymans terms.

On a side note, Spetner does not discredit evolution, only Darwinism. He seems to be keen on an idea similar to Lamarckism. So even those readers who fear this is another creationist book, it is not. Read it for yourself and find out.

Jonathan Happel (Streamwood, Il United States):
Spetner in just a few chapters makes a devestating case that random mutations plus natural selection is an insufficent explanation for all of lifes diversity. Spetner demonstrates that mutations that give a slight selective advantage have a very low change of survival. For example a genome with an SV(selective value) of .1% will only have a chance of 1/500 of surviving a large population. If the population is smaller the mutation has a better chance of survival but the population also has a greater chance of extinction. He also showed that mutation rates are limited in organisms with larger genomes. While single celled organisms may be able to tolerate larger mutation rates, more complex organisms like plants and animals will be adversely effected by high mutation rates.

In his book he assumes it takes 500 small selective steps for a new specie to occur based on a study by a NDT architect. All these steps must be random according to cummulative selection. Based on the fossil record of living and extinct species the chance of a new species occuring in 500 steps is about 1 in 1,000,000 for evolution to work. The chance an adaptive mutation will occur is about 1/600 and the chance it will survive is about 1/500 so the chance it will both appear and survive is about 1/300,000. Now this must occur for a succession of 500 times for a new specie. The odds of this happening is about 3.6×10^2,738 to 1 essentially impossible. Spetner also showed that all the point mutations that ever been observed to date have never added new information to genome. He also devotes an entire chapter to what he calls the non random evolutionary hypothesis which he says is the best explanation for the evidence for evolution. That is organisms already contain the information to adapt and the changes that have been observed are not random but non-random evolution. This book is recommended and the math is really not heavy at all just some fairly basic statistical analysis.

Dr. J. Sarfati (Brisbane, Queensland Australia):
Spetner does a great job of refuting the atheistic faith that random mutations plus natural selection can generate all the complexity in the biosphere. It must be stressed that real ‘goo-to-you-via-the-zoo’ evolution is particles to people, i.e. a means of increasing genetic information. It is not enough simply to point out examples of change, because no creationist denies that organisms change within a kind (the Bible makes this clear); it must be information-increasing change. Alas, many evolutionary propagandists resort to deceitful equivocation when using the word ‘evolution’ to describe any change and use this to prove that molecules could have turned into mice or men and to disprove creation.

Creationists have long argued that many examples of ‘evolution’, how e.g. loss of wings can be a survival benefit to beetles on a windswept island and how fish with shrivelled eyes can do better in dark caves. But these are *losses* of information; the exact opposite of what goo-to-you evolution requires. They do not explain the origin of that complex information to construct functional wings or eyes in the first place.

Spetner makes the same point on the scale of the information coded in DNA, and the information content of the enzymes they code for. He shows that even the beneficial mutations are caused by information loss, so are irrelevant for the goo-to-you theory. For example, some DDT resistance in insects is caused by a mutation causing loss of binding ability. It’s amazing to see that some atheists are unable (or unwilling) to grasp the points: increasing survival advantage, YES; increasing information, NO. Alternatively, natural selection, YES; evolution, NO.

Another important example he covers is the alleged evolution of a new enzyme ability. In this book and subsequent articles, he has shown that even these cases are really losses of information. That is, a mutation ruined the precise fit of the active site to the protein, so it no longer does its former job so well, but does allow other substances to be affected too. But this is leading away from the specific, high-information enzymes required for life, and the conclusion of this process would be a general catalytic compound that catalyzes many things, none of them particularly well. This is hardly anything to write home about – ordinary acids and bases can both catalyse many hydrolysis reactions.

Note that Spetner does not say that a mutation could never add information, just that it is so unlikely that it could never account for the amount of information we see in living things. Furthermore, if mutations do account for the huge amounts of genetic information we see today, then there should be plenty of information-adding mutations to be seen, but there are not. Spetner challenges evolutionists to provide a single such example.

Spetner also argues against the Darwinian contention that emphasises that any mutation, however slight, will have a survival value. Even the most complex organisms can supposedly be built up over eons from an accumulation of small mutations with slight survival values. Spetner shows that the smaller the change, the smaller the selective advantage. This is expressed by the selection coefficient s. If a mutation has s = 0.001 or 0.1%, a supposedly typical value, then the number of surviving offspring is 0.1% greater for organisms with the mutant than without it. But the smaller the selective advantage, the more likely that random effects (e.g. genetic drift) will eliminate it — its probability of survival is about 2s (actually 2s/(1-e-2sN), where s = selection coefficient and N is the population size). So the above mutation has only one chance in 500 of surviving, even though it is beneficial.

Most Excellent, August 24, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
After reading the guy who wrote the review using an analogy of cars and intersections, I wondered if this guy read the same book I did. The point of the book was not that random events cannot happen, but rather that two billion years of random events cannot explain the endowment of DNA with the information content it has, by any known means, unless you are willing to believe in some kind of spontaneous arrangement of molecules that require more faith than the supernatural. At any rate, Dr Spetner does a fine job of demonstrating that neo-darwinism simply has no credible explanation for the information content in DNA. And when it’s all said and done, if you cannot show how the information got there, you have no explanation. Moreover, if one can show the virtual impossibility of DNA aquiring information in the way neo-darwinism asserts, then neo-darwinism is simply a false hypothesis. Dr Spetner does this aptly. Information aquisition is the name of game here, and Dr Spetner is an expert in information theory, unlike most neo-darwinists. Dr Spetner also demonstrates why all the examples of mutations are not evidence for neo-darwinist evolution. I particularly enjoyed his treatment of Richard Dawkins (having seen the same flaws in Dawkins’ apologetics myself. It’s no wonder that Dawkins refuses to debate Dr Spetner.) Dr Spetner also speculates about the source of variations. Get this book and consider the contents carefully. This book will appeal to the technical mind, unlike so much of the “creationist” drivel in print these days.

Rigorous, persuasive critique of Darwinism, August 5, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
This book provides a carefully reasoned argument against the Darwinist claim that natural selection can increase the complexity of organisms. The author shows that the probabilities for evolution of more complex species from less complex ones are essentially zero. He explains how many examples cited in favor of natural selection as a path to greater complexity or information content in the genome of an organism are wrong. For example, many cases of antibiotic resistance in bacteria are due to a LOSS of function in that makes the bacteria able to resist the effects of the antibiotic. This loss of the function that is targeted by the antibiotic makes the bacteria actually less able to survive when the antibiotic threat is removed.

The author notes that mutations are very rare (and have to be if the organisms are going to survive to reproduce) and more likely to reduce survivability and information content of the genome than to increase them. Further, a favorable mutation must spread rapidly through the population to have an impact, yet the probability of the favorable mutation spreading in succeeding generations rather than dying out due to its rarity in the population is extremely small.

While the arguments are based on mathematics, the book is readable without expertise in this subject. My only concern about the book is with the last few pages, in which the author offers an alternative to Darwinism, but does not devote enough pages to this topic to adequately explain and justify his concept.

The Handwriting on the Wall, July 16, 2000
John Landon “nemonemini” (NYC, NY United States)     
This is a most useful and interesting critique of the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis, and it is hard to know where Darwinists have been all these years maintaining a position that, as Spetner points out, always defied common sense. Perhaps, just for that reason, the need to undo common sense with biological dogma under educational stress, the persistence of Darwinism has rendered everyone a theoretical cripple. One must caution that no argument is yet without flaws, and the injection of new thinking about information by Spetner is as important as it is still incomplete. But the argument, without providing a full alternative, can help to provide a new foundation of ‘theoretical self-repair’ after the protestant reformation of the Darwin religion. Spetner’s controversial somewhat speculative notions at the end about environmental induction of variation must constitute the last straw for Darwinists leary of Larmarck but this new perspective has a funny rightness to it, however much we still have to learn. Excellent, though perhaps too short.

The House of Cards, February 9, 2000
Kevin Anderson (USA)
As a research scientist in molecular genetics, I found Dr. Spetner’s conclusions not only sound, but very compelling. The writings of many of the current leading advocates of evolution, such as Dawkins and Gould, reveal they lack an in-depth understanding of genetic principles and processes. The molecular genetic basis of their arguments has always been as flimsy as a house of cards. And, as with any house of cards, a slight tap will bring it crashing down. Spetner, though, has done far more than just tap. Within the scientific circles that I travel, no one has yet been able to offer a single valid refutation of his conclusions. In fact, I’ve even witnessed a small degree of panic as the full weight of his arguments became painfully clear. Despite what most people (including many scientists) have been led to believe, genetics has never offered much hope for the types of evolutionary changes that either Darwin, Dawkins, or Gould have proposed. As Spetner methodically illustrates, it likely never will.

Jewish Scientist Exposes Evolution’s Fatal Flaws, January 3, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
If you think that only fundamentalist Christians sense the fallacies of evolution, this book is for you. The author, a Jewish scientist, demonstrates that living things are much too complex to have arisen in a step-by-step fashion from nonliving chemicals.

Excellent! Among the best books on evolution! September 30, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
Anyone interested in evolution theory should read this book. Spetner writes very clearly, with solid science and math. Kind of like an Asimov without the materialist bias. The book shows strong proof that evolution has taken place, but in a NON-RANDOM way. Sure to anger both Creationists and Neo-Darwinists. I love this book!

An excellent, objective book, August 26, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
“Not By Chance” is definitely the most objective and rational refutation of Darwinism that I have ever read. The only possible defence from neo-Darwinists and adherents of Richard Dawkins are emotional, faith-soaked hopes that genetic information can be added in such a way that human beings can arise via natural processes alone. This book reveals that such hopes are empty.

Materialists must hold that inanimate atoms can accidentally give rise to self-awareness, love and intrinsic value. You want reason and logic? This book reveals that you won’t find it with the materialist’s view. “Not By Chance” is a must read.

The Watchmaker has perfect eyesight! June 16, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
This books puts Neo-Darwinian Theory under the microscope of a rigorous quantitative critique. As the author points out, where facts and figures are important non-quantitative arguments can mislead. “Clever debaters have long shown that they can make even the weakest case look strong.”

Spetner quotes Fisher’s conclusion based on the latter’s quantitative work in population genetics: “A mutation, even if favourable, will have only a very small chance of establishing itself in the species if it occurs once only.” In other words many favourable mutations which occur in individuals never get passed on to their populations. This is contrary to the assumption of Darwin, Dawkins and Dobzhansky. This problem is of course much more acute for small isolated populations.

Using numerical data provided by evolutionary paleontologists from their study of horse evolution, Spetner computed one small evolutionary step to require about 50 million births. Ledyard Stebbins estimated that it takes 500 such steps to generate a new species. Assume each of these steps consists of establishing a single transcription error (the most trivial mutation available) in the population. Suppose only one in every million species needs to be successfully generated for NDT to work. Spetner calculated that it would require at least a million adaptive transciption errors. This does not take into account the fact that macro-evolution demands mutations which are not just adaptive, but which also contain novel information. This is a demand that evolutionists prefer not to discuss, as apparently not even a single such mutation is known to exist.

It is extremely unlikely that a population’s genome contains so much potential for adaptive errors, let alone information-enhancing ones. But Spetner goes on to demonstrate quantitatively that if there were, then they would provide such an enormous number of potential evolutionary paths as to rule out the possibility of convergent and parallel evolution, which are a major feature of NDT. So either way, NDT loses.

Richard Dawkins’ famous computer simulations come under scrutiny. They are doubtless clever, and fun to play with, but have little to do with the real world of biology. The `weasel’ program is deterministic, not stochastic. Moreover, good mutations invariably get established in the population, and are frozen, the mutation rate is far too high, and the ‘genome’ has far too few symbols. The same calculation mentioned earlier that shows speciation cannot happen under NDT also shows that the `weasel’ algorithm will succeed in a relatively few trials. But “If he had run a more realistic simulation he would have been at his computer for a long time.”

The `biomorphs’ program is equally irrelevant to the biology of the real world. Selection is artificial, based on the selector’s whim with no predefined criteria; at any stage any mutation could be chosen as adaptive; there are no lethal mutations and hence no limit on the mutation rate. “Because of the way it’s built, the simulation sidesteps the reason evolution doesn’t work in real life.”

Spetner agrees with the `tachys’ that the evolution that is observed to occur, i.e. micro-evolution, is effected by the action of recombination on regulatory genes, but he argues that these mechanisms require far too much precision and therefore micro-evolutionary changes cannot be random.

One very important basic fact is that mutations are known to cause loss of information, while macro-evolution demands gain in information. “Just like a fortune can’t be made by losing money, evolution can’t build up information by losing it. Moreover before you can lose money, or information, you first have to make it.” This is a problem that NDT advocates must honestly address.

Evolutionists often make the bland assertion that a 5 billion year earth provides plenty of time for even for the most improbable events to occur. In doing so they often pull the wool over their own eyes. As an example, Richard Dawkins (The Blind Watchmaker) asserts that a hypothetical alien with a lifespan of 100 million years would not be surprised to be dealt an occasional perfect hand at bridge. He will “scarcely trouble to write home about it when it happens.” This is an example of how a non-quantitative argument can mislead. Spetner assumed that this hypothetical alien played 100 bridge hands every day of his life! Even so the probability of his ever getting a perfect hand comes to less than two in a thousand million million! Anyone with a basic knowledge of probability theory can verify Spetner’s result. The ICR newsletter Acts & Facts (June 1999) relates the following incident:

One student related a recent incident when her teacher challenged the class: “If your car breaks down, could you open the hood, step back 20 feet, throw a wrench at the engine, and fix your car? No. But what if you threw the wrench one million times. Chances are you’d fix it.”

This is the kind of absurdity evolutionary thinking generates! That a treatise as specious as The Blind Watchmaker can be embraced with so much uncritical enthusiasm is symptomatic of such mental aberration. Needless to say there is far more to the book, and this review is only able to give a flavour of what is in store for the reader. You have to read the book itself to appreciate the full force of the arguments.

Diehard evolutionists usually react to serious challenges to their cherished theory in two ways: ad hominem attacks on the challenger, and the hand-waving technique. However, intellectual integrity requires them to provide a detailed and rigorous scientific response to those challenges.

One of the most important books of the century, April 17, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
National Review just put out a list of the top 100 non-fiction books of the 20th century. Michael Behe’s book destroying evolution by chance, Darwin’s Black Box, came in at #92. I beg to differ. With all due respect to the estimable work loathed and feared by evolutionists, Dr. Spetners’ book is the more significant work.

Dr. Spetner’s book literally puts those who believe in primordial soup-to-man evolution in the same boat as flat-earthers. He demonstrates that we are not evolving up from a primordial soup but down from the Garden of Eden. Every iota of evidence from evolutionary biology fits this pattern of degenerative change. It is significant that when Dr. Richard Dawkins was recently asked for a single bit of evidence for innovation – not degeneration or neutral mutation – in nature, he was literally speechless.

Suburb Critique on neo-Darwinian theory, February 23, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
Spetner not only crushes the more influential speaker/writer for neo-Darwinism, Richard Dawkins, but he also shows, with wonderful clarity and perfect mathematics, that natural selection and random mutations cannot lead to increases in genetic information. He completely undermines the foundations of Darwinian philosophy.

Creationists/IDians will love this book, and Darwinists will be saddened, if not converted. This book is very compelling and makes you stop and think – something the Darwinians rarely do.

With an author who’s an obvious authority on information theory and genetics, it’s no surprise that it has been ignored by evolutionists of all persuasions and gone completely unrefuted. If there’s one book on creation/evolution that you should read, it should be this one. If $11.00 is all the money you have, spend it on this book and save your soul!

A wonderful array of data for other mechanisms in evolution, February 21, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
This book follows in a long line of other books which presents challenges to neo-Darwinism as a complete theory of evolution. Although epigenetic (nonrandom induced mutations) inheritance seems to occur, why aren’t these facts getting out there into mainstream science (outside of microbiology at least)? Spetner presents the evidence in a clear and concise manner, supplemented with a primer in genetics in the Appendix. Books like this, as well as Jablonka and Lamb’s “Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution” are often maligned or ignored by the mainstream. Why are so many so hostile to other mechanisms at work in evolution? Is science still a quest for the truth or merely the upholding of accepted orthodoxy?

Enjoyable read, February 17, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
Very enjoyable read! I was only disappointed with the inability to quantitatively measure “information.” We know that it exists, but if we can’t measure it how do we know it needs to increase? According to Richard Dawkins, of which Spetner refutes, evolution works sporadically and unpredictably. In his original two books, The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype, he established himself as an authority, and broke free with his book The Blind Watchmaker. The recent books, River out of Eden and Climbing Mount Improbable elaborate on that book. His other points, as I said, were refuted, but his main thesis cannot be ignored. Spetner would have refuted his entire thesis if he could have been more specific about what he meant by “information” and showed how it’s measured. It seems very subjective at best, and it therefore undermines a great deal of his book. It is also not true information theory, but consists of made-up definitions, sort of like a “theory of meaning”. He does show how mutations are basically always harmful and that the probability of evolution is slim, but I was haunted with the problem of the above.

But ignoring only this minor flaw for a moment, the book is great and should be read by both parties. It should have also been more widely distributed, as the previous reviewer rightly pointed out.

Though this point is hard for me to ignore, it might be easier for others to. I myself am very familiar with the information theory, as introduced by Claude Shannon, and tend to read William Dembski. I suggest his books also.

Dr. Spetner is a brilliant scholar on information and communication theory, physics, and biology, and cannot be overlooked. His reputation is impeccable and I strongly suggest he follows up this book with a sequel. I myself WILL hold my breath for such a book, because I know he can do a tad better. Wonderful critique of Darwinism, Lee!

Great Analysis of a Bad Religion, August 23, 1998
Reviewer: A reader
Dr. Lee Spetner puts together a great book with obvious challenges to the NDT. What sticks out the most is the DNA information cannot possibly make new infomation. This is of course, a fact, and evolutionists know that. However, they claim “mutations” can account for the changes. Is this possible? No.

If we look at dogs or dingos, it’s quite easy to see how they might have adapted in variation over generations. Just like with people. But a new species have not been made. You cannot make totally new infomation from infomation that was previously not there! The wolves (“ancestors”) to dogs is common. It’s rearrangment or sorting out of the DNA infomation, not adding anything.

You cannot make a motorcycle from a bicyle. But you can rearrange the bicyle in a number of ways to make a scooter. However, this takes intellegent design nonetheless. It has a goal in mind. It can never be anything but an adapted bicyle, and cannot create a new complex function from infomation not there. Besides, either the complex function “pops” into place or it doesn’t work at all! A good book to read about this is Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe.

Lee Spetner proves his point powerfully and with good stats. The earlier “Man from Isreal” totally missed the point alltogether. He says, and I quote:

“For example, transposons, that can transfer whole segments of genetic information (mentioned only twice in this book); e.g. the Philadelphia chromosome, in which a specific chromosomal transfer is highly associated with several forms of leukemia (so chromosomal translocations can be random and non-random). There are “introns” and “exons”, which divide the genome into two groups, one that is expressed (exons) in genes (and hence in the physical characteristics or phenotype) and one that is not (the intervening sequences or introns that are spliced out). One thing is clear, NDT is hardly likely to be defended by any modern biologist. Consequently Spetner has erected a massive “straw man” to beat and berate with such determination.”

Wait a minute: Open your eyes, Sir. For one thing, transposons are not what Spetner is talking about and I think you know that. Transposons can “re-locate” genetic infomation, what does that prove? It’s not “adding” anything, it’s rearranging the DNA, which is what mutations can do. They do nothing more. Have you ever in your life saw a mutation that adds anything to an organism? All we can observe NOW (which is called SCIENCE) is variation by genetic sorting-out and rearrangment after generations of breeding and interbreeding under certain environmental conditions and pressure from the living world around them. This does not prove evolution, it proves natural selection. Natural selection is not the mechanism for evolution, it’s just an observable process which fits perfectly in with the Bible and the Flood of Genesis!

Variation is horizontal, not vertical. It’s impossible with mutations and DNA infomation as Dr. Lee Spetner proves in his great book. And as far as “introns” and “exons” goes: They cannot add information either. Not in the way you believe it to be. If this were proven true evolution would have a big A+ and would publish it widely. This is not the case however, and can only be seen in small sections of biochemist magazines.

I would combine this book with Dr. Michael Behe’s (mentioned above), Dr. Michael Denton’s “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”, Phillip Johnson’s “Darwin on Trail”, and Dr. Henry Morris’s “The Genesis Flood”. All are great and worth reading with an open mind.

Don’t let the dogmatic religious teachings of evolution fool you. There are plenty of scientists who are coming to conclusions that evolution is false and breaks all the known science Laws there is, including those of Thermodynamics. Perhaps Jack S. Cohen should re-read before blabbering on and on about something he obviously did not understand because of personal prejudices.

Bottom line: They don’t want to let the theory go. It’s not going anywhere and won’t go anywhere. They can come up with many excuses, sure, everyone’s good at that. It doesn’t change the facts. This is a highly suggested reading for everyone including evolutionists. Great book.

Written by aurick

17/03/2009 at 11:14 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Spetner makes the same point on the scale of the information coded in DNA, and the information content of the enzymes they code for. He shows that even the beneficial mutations are caused by information loss, so are irrelevant for the goo-to-you theory. For example, some DDT resistance in insects is caused by a mutation causing loss of binding ability. It’s amazing to see that some atheists are unable (or unwilling) to grasp the points: increasing survival advantage, YES; increasing information, NO. Alternatively, natural selection, YES; evolution, NO.

    Except that the resistance and immunity to DDT in mosquitoes is caused by entirely new alleles, and consequently would be counted as an increase in information in this methodology. This is very well studied (see Jonathan Weiner’s 1994 book, The Beak of the Finch, a story of evolution in our time for details).

    Evolution works. It keeps diabetics alive. Don’t go all Pharisee on us here.

    Ed Darrell

    18/03/2009 at 3:48 am

    • Yes, evolution works, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with Darwinism. Medical science is what keeps diabetics alive. Just because there is an increase in information (in the example you gave) hardly weighs in as some kind of definitive proof of the ultimate truth of Darwinism. The beak of the finch example is no more than macroevolution. One species does NOT and has NEVER changed into another. A flapping arm or leg does not become a wing even after a trillion centuries. And a hurricane blowing through a junkyard for all eternity does NOT eventually assemble a jet aircraft, even if all the pieces were already existent. Did you actually read this whole post? Have you read the book itself, Not by Chance? Methinks not. All the same, have a nice day.

      aurick

      18/03/2009 at 12:40 pm

  2. So leave Darwin out of it — Darwin was the guy who first described how evolution works, but you have a right to be quirky — the medical science that keeps diabetics alive is evolution theory applied, in the discovery of the cause of the disease, in the development of the first treatments using insulin from other large mammals, and finally in the creation of genetically-engineered bacteria to produce human insulin.

    The beaks of the finches example has been proven (in lay terms) to be evolution in action. There are probably a dozen papers by Peter Grant and others specifically pointing that out in science journals with not a single paper suggesting the contrary.

    But I referred to that book NOT for the story of the finches, but because of the clear documentation it offers on the rise of the A1 and A2 alleles in mosquitoes, the alleles that make the critters resistant and immune to DDT. Again, this is an issue that has now 100 years of genetic data (thanks to mosquitoes kept in museum collections). The rise of immunity to DDT involved brand-spanking-new mutations, an increase in information by any rational definition, and a spread exactly as Darwin — excuse, me — evolution predicts. Go read the book. Weiner even has a story about you in there.

    Niles Eldredge has a collection of 2,000 trilobites covering 300 million years of geologic time, housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Each of the 2,000 is a transitional, and when they are lined up we can plainly see the rise of new limbs, the evolution of eyes, and creation of new organs — the stuff you claim cannot happen. Fossils clearly show many other such transitions, from Tiktaalik and the turning of a fin into a leg, to the Karoo Formation specimens that stunningly show conversion from scales to fur in the rise of mammals from reptiles. We have about 20 species showing the rise of modern humans from the last common ancestor we had with other great apes, showing the origin of upright walking, the slinging forward of the pelvis and the consequent problems in child birth, etc., etc. In whales, we now have 23 transitional species showing the former edge-of-water dwelling carnivore progressively going into the water, loss of fur, loss of legs, change in hearing, moving of nostrils.

    All the evidence we have points to evolution making exactly these kinds of changes throughout history.

    One species never changed to another? So you deny the existence of grapefruit? Broccoli? Radishes? Beef? The American apple maggot? HIV doesn’t exist?

    Every part of evolution theory has been demonstrated in real time, in the wild and in the laboratory. I can’t deny the thousands of observations. Nor can I figure why you would.

    No, I didn’t finish Not by Chance. I find claims that evolution is information to be flawed. Spetner starts with the assumption that evolution is like the signal in a wire. His entire case is built on argument by analogy.

    It’s a faulty analogy. Evolution is carried on genes in cells. A better analogy would be to the entire information process, not just the information itself. DNA is not just the signal in the wire, it’s also the wire, it’s also the transmitter and receiver. It’s also the repairman who tinkers with the machines to keep them going. It’s also the editor of the story that goes out over the wire, and sometimes the writer of the information.

    Accounting for interference with a signal in a wire is one thing. Accounting for the entire process is quite another, and Spetner doesn’t.

    Ed Darrell

    18/03/2009 at 3:33 pm

    • Wow, that was some riposte! Look Ed, I’m going to have to come back to you, I’ve got a few things to attend to. Your penultimate paragraph interests me greatly, I do believe that DNA is a much larger story than most people (even scientists in the field) allow. I will post another story going into detail on that one. But thanks very much for your comments, I’ll try to follow up some of that info, but until then, hang loose.

      aurick

      18/03/2009 at 4:16 pm


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