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Evolution : is it proven?

Can we rely on the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection with a high degree of confidence?

An engineer’s perspective
S i o n Pa cke r B S c P G C E m Pre vi u s a re a s o f a cti ty o vi

D i i lR ad i g ta o Rel y a S yste m s

Po w e r S u p p l e s fo r i M i i ry S yste m s l ta

Pro d u cti n o e q u i m e n t fo r p a u to m o ti ve e l ctro n i e cs

Molecular Machines
A n a ccu ra te re co n stru cti n o f a ce l e q u i p e d w i a fl g e l u m o r o l p th a l ci i . T h i m a ch i e i co n stru cte d fro m p ro te i s. C e l s l ke th e se a re la s n s n l i fo u n d i m u cu s l n i g s a n d a l m a n y b a cte ri . n i n so a

Let’s look at:
The Theory of Evolution; what it is, how it

developed and why The scientific method Conditions necessary for evolution by natural selection to occur Obstacles to belief in evolution Quotes made by some eminent scientists about evolution

Charles Darwin
 Darwin published ‘On

G re g o r M endel
the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection’ in 1859. It sold out on it’s first day of publication.

In the 1850’s and 60’s

Watson and Crick
James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the molecule used by cells to convey genes. Genes, determining certain aspects of inheritance, have been shown to be merely strings of nucleotides (sub-units of nucleic acid). They had uncovered the biochemical means by which natural selection could conceivably work.

this Austrian monk determined many of the rules underlying inheritance. He laid the foundation for modern genetics, a term actually coined by British biologist William Bateson in 1906. A gene is the term used for a then mysterious token defining an aspect of inheritance.

A heady flow of thought
 

We can see a logical flow of thought and discoveries. Darwin sets out a mechanism for slow change in organisms if characteristics are conferred to the next generation. Mendel infers the existence of units of inheritance later called ‘genes’. Watson-Crick discover a molecule which carries genes.

Reasons to believe Evolution
The theory is elegant and potentially powerful. Darwin is admired by many intelligent people. Leaving aside a creator/designer, science has

come up with nothing else plausible to explain how we got here.

What is Science?
The scientific method: observe, record,

hypothesise, test, repeat and refine We need to look at how well has this been done in particular disciplines of science A suggested mechanism to explain evidence is not a proof unless detailed examination with representative maths and statistics verify it. Really solid, repeatable science tends to become what we call ‘engineering’. We can control it to achieve some of our aims

‘Goo to You’- in ‘easy’ stages
To get from molecule soup to homo sapiens

requires several basic stages: abiogenesis, cell specialisation, diversification of multicellular organisms Before evolution of organisms can occur we need a minimal living organism How do we get it? This is called the ‘abiogenesis problem’ It is a recognised problem, some textbooks contain sweeping statements like ‘(abiogenesis) was likely guided by evolution as it applies on the molecular level’ (e.g. see D &J Voet; Biochemistry pub Wiley)

probability calculation which is intentionally weighted to favour accidental emergence life
It is recognised that we need a cell as a minimum

unit to express life as we know it Every cell requires ‘machinery’ to fulfil it’s functions The ‘molecular machinery’ in every cell is formed from proteins A protein is essentially a bonded chain of typically 100+ amino acids A cell typically a hundred or more different proteins to perform all it’s life functions Could this minimal life substantiating building block come about by chance on the early earth or even elsewhere in the early universe?

Protein Statistics
A simple protein has perhaps 100 active

amino-acid base sites which must all be ‘correct’ There are 20 amino-acids which are present in proteins in living organisms Let’s assume the amino acids have already made themselves by chance and are present in a particular locality The chance of accidental self-assembly of a cell 20100 1 in or 1 in 1.268 x 10130 protein is then

Molecular Formations
27 The Earth has a mass of approx 6 x 10

grams If all the mass of the earth were amino acids 10 49 47 there would be about 3.27 x amino acid 10 molecules which could form 3.27 x ‘100-residue’ proteins 130 10chance of hitting on a useful protein to life The is 1.268 1082  x -see previous slide The chance of just one protein in an earth mass worth of proteins being one useful to life is 1 in

Outcome of Protein Formation Statistics
An actual cell is enormously more complex than a

single protein If we try to get a minimum of 75 proteins for a plausible self-replicating cell, the chances of 9700 getting these on a planet full of amino-acids is 1 10 in 3.7779 x  This is highly problematic! It requires multiple universes to make it likely (a very large number of them), something some scientists have seriously suggested. Even if we had got past that hurdle, our next problem is to build elaborate organisms requiring cells which, while part of the same organism, have differentiated to fulfil different functions in

Cell specialisation
We need a suggested mechanism by which cells

‘learnt’ to collaborate and build themselves into multi cellular organisms, themselves capable of a competitive instinct for survival, as well a cycle of birth/reproduction/death Beware of vague statements like ‘over the eons, the cells evolved the ability to........’ Such statements are based on implicit faith in evolution. They are conjecture, not proven science Assuming this (multi-cellular organisation into organisms) did somehow happen, we are at last in a position for natural selection to actually work

Giraffe Adapti on
A giraffe is more than a change of proportion from similar animals. There are unique mechanisms in it’s neck to enable it to handle the large changes in the height of it’s brain and the associated blood pressure shifts which occur

Irreducible Complexity
An extra faculty, such as a dolphin blowhole, or

a giraffe neck blood vessel non-return valve, or a bombardier beetle defence system, requires a number of collaborative parts all perfected and in place to have any survival advantage. Indeed, with the system only partly functional, they could kill the creature There is no gradual, slow-change path to these extra faculties: the fossil record would be full of dead animals with failed experimental appendages. It is not.

Diversification
Evolution by natural selection requires a basic

means for offspring to diversify outside of the normal bounds for that organism This is believed by evolutionists to be genetic mutation, meaning random mistakes in the genetic copying when reproduction occurs All observed mutations in anything more complex than a virus, without conclusive known exception, have been seen to be destructive to the overall survival capability of the organism The basic mechanism of evolution in higher species is fatally flawed at this point  

Necessity for increasingly complex reproductive systems
As just stated, we need an organism capable of

reproduction and vulnerable to dying. We are asked to believe that often incredibly complex and co-ordinated ‘machinery’ for reproduction and birth managed to evolve in exact step with the complexity of the organism. There is no reason to believe this just happens.

A baby
An astonishing harmony of biochemical systems is at work during conception, gestation and birth

Consciousness
Higher organisms clearly display

consciousness. They consider their actions and have emotions It is reasonable to question statements involving simple molecular matter displaying characteristics of higher consciousness. Why should they have them? To me this implies that they were designed by a higher entity to achieve his conscious purpose. Straightforward Physics and Chemistry does not need anthropomorphisms.

Other issues we could look at
 Lack of transitional species in the fossil record; it could be

argued there are a few, but are there really enough to reflect origin of species by selection?  We really have an extremely limited understanding of the DNA/RNA genetic code. We call the genetic code for a particular animal the ‘genotype’. We call the animal itself the ‘phenotype’. It may surprise you, but our ability to read the genotype in order to predict the phenotype is essentially zero. We cannot do it.  The Cambrian Explosion: why does the fossil record show an apparent explosion of new life-forms in a relatively short period of time well into the supposed life of the earth. Some evolutionists say that evolution happens according to ‘punctuated equilibrium’; this is a interesting phrase but not an explanation.  Everyone agrees that the evolutionary cycle does happen in certain contexts and produces some population change. It is not a viable explanation for increasingly sophisticated organisms.

QuotesI
Evolution by natural selection...has lately come

to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable....

Ø Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe (New York: Basic Books, 20 -Nobel Prize-winning Physicist

Quotes

II

It seems that the evolutionists are convinced

that they have found the last word on life, some of us however, doubt that they have the full answer, and so are still searching.

Ø Dr Milton Wainwright, Dept. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield

Quotes

III

we are forced by our a priori adherence to

material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, ........ Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. (a priori -by deductive reasoning alone)

Ø Richard C. Lewontin Geneticist 1997

Quote

IV

For scientists to refuse to consider

explanations which are totally outside their current understanding is to arbitrarily rule them out. It means they have decided to accept truth only on their own terms.

Ø Simon Packer

BSc/PGCE Physicist

My Conclusion
The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is

not a realistic explanation for the development of life as we see it from simple organisms The self-assembly of a basic living organism by pure chance, in order for evolution to act subsequently, is so improbable as to be not worthy of consideration Rational Inference: There must be an outside agency or agencies of immense intelligence and power at work By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is