Recent Problems in Evolution - 1997

Table of Contents

Molecular Biology Fails to Confirm Darwinism

Although molecular biology has been used to hasten research in many fields of biology, it has failed to confirm the evolutionary mechanisms proposed by Darwinian theory. According to Dr. Paul Sharp, "Attempt to detect adaptive evolution at the molecular level have met with little success."  Although the study described one of the few molecular successes of evolutionary theory, the trend has been that molecular biology contradicts much of evolutionary theory. (Sharp, P.M.. 1997. In search of molecular Darwinism. Nature 385: 111-112).

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Likelihood ratio tests fail to confirm evolutionary theories

With the recent advances in the field of molecular biology, Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA sequencing has become automated, and computer programs have been developed to analyze the large amount of data accumulated using such techniques. As a result, it has become commonplace to perform phylogenetic analyses of numerous species using a statistical method called likelihood ratio tests (LRTs). The use of LRTs has produced the following results in molecular evolutionary theory:

Testing Theories of Molecular Evolution Using LTRs1
Evolutionary Theory Prediction Result
Constant Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rate among lineages (molecular clock) LRTs indicate that the molecular clock hypothesis should be rejected most often, since Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rates vary widely among difference lineages of organisms (2).
A standard Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution model explains evolutionary data The current models of Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA substitution fit the observed data poorly (3).
The Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rate is equal among Structural components, or building blocks, of DNA and RNA. Nucleotides consists of a base plus a molecule of sugar and one of phosphate.nucleotides This model usually does not match the observed data (4).
Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rates are constant among sites within a genetic The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequence Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rates vary widely among sites within a The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequence (5).
Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rates are constant among genomic regions Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rates vary widely among genomic regions (6).
Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution process is identical among lineages Methods of Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution varied significantly among four of the major lineages that reportedly gave rise to present-day life forms (7).
The Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution process in the stem regions of Relating to ribosomes, complexes of RNA and protein that function in the translation of RNA into protein.ribosomal Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA is independent among sites In fact, there is a correlation of Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution at pair-bonded stem sites in Relating to ribosomes, complexes of RNA and protein that function in the translation of RNA into protein.ribosomal Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequences (8).
The Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution process is identical among genomic regions. Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitution rates vary widely among genomic regions of transfer Ribonucleic acid: a chemical that directs the manufacture of proteins and sometimes codes for the genetic material within certain organisms.RNA from mitochondria (6).
Phylogenies for hosts and parasites are consistent with a common evolutionary history For 13 sets of gophers and their associated lice, the phylogenies were different. In a small subset, they were consistent (9).

As can be seen in the above table, the logical predictions of evolutionary theories do not match the actual data. Either 1) evolution is a very random process that does not follow the usual rules of biology and chemistry or 2) life was not created through evolutionary mechanisms.

References

  1. Huelsenbeck, J.P. and B. Rannala. 1997. Phylogenetic methods come of age: testing hypotheses in an evolutionary context. Science 276: 227-232.
  2. Felsenstein, J. 1981. J. Mol. Evol.368.
  3. Goldman, N. 1993. J. Mol. Evol.82.
  4. Yang, Z., N. Goldman, and A. Friday. 1995. Mol. Biol. Evol.316.
  5. Yang, Z. 1996. J. Mol. Evol.587.
  6. Yang, Z. and D. Roberts. 1995. Mol. Biol. Evol. 12: 451.
  7. Huelsenbeck, J.P., D.M. Hillis, and R. Nielsen. 1996. Syst. Biol 546.
  8. Huelsenbeck, J.P. and J.J. Bull. 1996. Syst. Biol. 45: 92.
  9. Huelsenbeck, J.P., B. Rannala, and Z. Yang. 1997. Evolution 51:410.

Climate-Evolution Link Weakens

According to Richard Kerr, "But the best compilation of fossil evidence on mammal evolution to date now shows that climate had little effect on most of the evolutionary churning of the past 80 million years." Even the paleontologist who did the study, Dr. John Alroy said, "This is counterintuitive; I wanted to find a connection." (Kerr, R.A. 1997. Climate-Evolution Link Weakens. Science 276: 1968).

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Neanderthals were not our ancestors

"Neanderthals were not our ancestors" - a quote from the authors of the recently published article, "Neandertal Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Sequences and the Origin of Modern Humans" by Matthias Krings, Anne Stone, Ralf W. Schmitz, Heike Krainitzki, Mark Stoneking, and Svante P��bo. An in-depth analysis can be found here. (Krings, et al. 1997. Neandertal Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA Sequences and the Origin of Modern Humans. Cell 90: 19-30).

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Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny fraud rediscovered

The idea that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" (no longer taught as a paradigm of evolution) has recently been shown to be a fraud by its originator, Ernst Haeckel. Haekel's drawings, depicting embryos at similar stages of development, bear little resemblance to the actual embryos. These drawings were subsequently used in a 1901 book called Darwin and After Darwin and were reproduced widely in English language biology texts. One examples of fraud appears in Haeckel's drawings of embryos in the "tail bud" stage, which he depicted as identical for different species. While real embryos do share many features at this stage, such as a tail and identifiable body segments, they also have key differences. Human embryos, for example, have tiny protrusions called limb buds, particularly if they have developed to the point of having as many body segments as Haeckel gives them. But Haeckel did not include limb buds. And in his drawings, the chick embryo eye is blackened, like a mammal's, although it wouldn't be pigmented that early. Haeckel has also given the bird embryo a curl in the tail that resembles a human's. Not only did Haeckel add or omit features, but he also fudged the scale to exaggerate similarities among species, even when there were 10-fold differences in size. Michael Richardson, an embryologist at George's Hospital Medical School in London, the author of the original article in the August issue of Anatomy and Embryology stated, "It looks like it's turning out to be one of the most famous fakes in biology," According to Scott Gilbert, a developmental biologist at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, "There is more variation [in vertebrate embryos] than had been assumed.". (Elizabeth Pennisi. 1997. Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered. Science 277: 1435)

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Ice Ages did not effect speciation of North American songbirds

Evolutionary theory predicts that much of the speciation of North American mammals and birds was influenced by the climatic changes and geographic isolation produced by the ice ages of the Late Pleistocene. However, in examining the Genetic material found in mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell.mtDNA differences between songbirds, the predicted divergence rate of 0.5% is exceeded by a factor of 10 (the actual rate is 5.1%). Two possible evolutionary explanations exist to explain the data - either 1) the molecular clock is improperly calibrated or 2) climate and glaciation do not effect speciation. If the molecular clock were improperly calibrated, then for two groups of songbirds, the Genetic material found in mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell.mtDNA divergence would have to be 50%, which the researchers describe as "highly improbable," given the likelihood of multiple Replacement of one nucleotide in a DNA sequence by another nucleotide or replacement of one amino acid in a protein by another amino acid.substitutions at the same One of the structural components, or building blocks, of DNA and RNA. A nucleotide consists of a base plus a molecule of sugar and one of phosphate.nucleotide position for such a high divergence. (Klicka, J. and R.M. Zink. 1997. The importance of recent ice ages in speciation: a failed paradigm. Science 1666-1669.)

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Birds are not descended from dinosaurs!

Birds are dinosaurs. This has been the pervasive dogma of the last decade, due to apparent homologies of digits in the avian hand with that of theropod dinosaurs. Theropod hands retain only digits I-II-III, so digits of the modern bird hand are often identified as I-II-III. However, studies of the developing hand in bird embryos, from a variety of species, shows that the digits of the avian hand are II-III-IV. This new report cast serious doubt upon the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs and leads evolutionists to conclude that birds are examples of convergent evolution from some unknown ancestor. A complete report, " Demise of the "Birds are Dinosaurs" Theory" can be found at this site. (Richard Hinchliffe. 1997. EVOLUTION: The Forward March of the Bird-Dinosaurs Halted? Science 278: 596 and A. C. Burke and A. Feduccia. 1997. Developmental Patterns and the Identification of Homologies in the Avian Hand. Science 278: 666.)

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Coordinated stasis - new theory to account for lack of evolution

A new theory of evolution (or lack thereof) has developed from recent studies of the fossil record. Previous studies have indicated species arose and remained unchanged for millions of years before becoming extinct or followed by the appearance of new species. This observation led to the theory of punctuated equilibrium. A recent report furthers this idea with the concept of "coordinated stasis," where entire communities of species remain unchanged for millions of years. These periods can be followed by periods when "upwards of 60% of species seem to be replaced over a period of a few hundred thousand years." (Richard A. Kerr. 1997. Does Evolutionary History Take Million-Year Breaks? Science 278: 576)

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Birds are not descended from dinosaurs (part 2)!

A complete report, "Demise of the "Birds are Dinosaurs" Theory" can be found at this site. (Anne Gibbons. 1997. Lung Fossils Suggest Dinos Breathed in Cold Blood. Science 278: 1229. Ruben, J.A., T.D. Jones, N.R. Geist, and W.J Hillenius. Lung structure and ventilation in theropod dinosaurs and early birds. Science 278: 1267.)

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No link between climate and evolution in Africa

Paleontology tells us that there was a major change in the climate of Africa between 2.8 and 2.5 million years ago. Evolutionists have suggested that this change promoted early human evolution and a turnover of mammalian species at this time. However, a thorough study of mammalian fossils (over 10,000 specimens) from the period of 3.0 to 1.8 million years ago reveals that there was "no distinct turnover pulse between 2.8 and 2.5 Ma." Instead, the most significant period of change in mammalian species occurred between 2.5 and 1.8 million years ago. (Behrensmeyer, A.K., N.E. Todd, R. Potts, and G.E. McBrinn. 1997. Late Pliocene faunal turnover in the Turkana Basin, Kenya and Ethiopia. Science 278: 1589)

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Pelvic problems for mammals

A recent study examined the epipubis or so-called 'marsupial bone,' which has been thought to have been associated with the suckling of young in a marsupial pouch. It was assumed that the epipubis was required to support lactating young for the lengthy period after birth in which considerable growth took place. However, in the platypus (monotreme), there is not pouch. In addition, not all marsupial species have a pouch in females, and it is not found in males and yet all these groups have an epipubis. Therefore, the bone and the pouch do not appear to be functionally associated in any simple way. According to the authors of the study, "It is difficult to visualize how, early in the evolution of placental mammals, diverse groups could have started from the marsupial pattern and arrived independently at the quite different plan found throughout present placentals... The challenge highlighted by these new fossil findings is that we do not know what any possessor of the epipubis does with it, let alone what all possessors do with it." (Presley, R. 1997. Evolutionary biology: Pelvic problems for mammals. Nature 389: 440-441.)

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No transitions between starfish larva

Biologists are now examining the relationships between developmental stages of organisms in order to attempt to determine evolutionary relationships. However, what they have found "is that, unexpectedly, there is no incremental progression from one developmental type to another." The reason proposed is "that it is more difficult for complex larval structures to be gained than lost during evolution." This rather startling revelation from evolutionists, if it is found to apply to all organisms, would overthrow the entirety of evolutionary theory. In the current study, the authors propose that developmental modes should more often go from complex, feeding larval forms to morphologically simpler, non-feeding types. The authors indicate that the "early developmental patterns are evolutionarily labile" They ask the question, "If early developmental events are not evolutionarily sacrosanct, are there any rules at all for the evolution of developmental systems?" They conclude that evolution of larva is not linear, but modular - a sort of punctuated evolutionary scenario. As usual, when evolutionists fail to find evolutionary relationships between obviously related organisms, they evoke a non-linear evolutionary mechanism. (Palumbi, S.R. 1997. Evolutionary biology: A star is born. Nature 390: 556-557)

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Recent origin of American Indian populations.

The analysis of HLA One of the variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.allele frequencies (HLA-DRB1 Variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.alleles) in various American Indian populations suggests that these Variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.alleles may have been generated since the colonization of the Americas (about 20-30,000 years ago). It was originally thought that  human DRB1 Variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.alleles are "ancient", that is, predate the divergence of the hominoids (4-7 myr). Recent analyses of DRB1 A noncoding sequence of DNA that is initially copied into RNA but is cut out of the final RNA transcript.intron The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequences indicate that the Variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.alleles within a lineage (> 90% of the DRB1 Variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.alleles) have arisen relatively recently. (Erlich HA, Mack SJ, Bergstrom T, Gyllensten UB. 1997. HLA class II Variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.alleles in Amerindian populations: implications for the evolution of HLA A common variation in the sequence of DNA among individuals of a species or race.polymorphism and the colonization of the Americas. Hereditas 19-24.)

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Last updated January 2, 1998

 

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