Good Evolution Book
More Problems with Darwinism
The more I look into the current, orthodox Neo-Darwinian Theory (NDT) of evolution,
the more I see it as based every bit as much on faith, dogma, and ideology as
any biblical literalist account of creation.
A book that I found to be wonderfully informative, that goes into the hard
numbers that always get brushed over or simply ignored in the standard line
that says cumulative selection of random mutations can explain everything, is
Lee Spetner's Not By Chance!, Judaica Press, New York, 1997. And the
unequivocal outcome at the end of it all is that the standard line can hardly
Two examples of the kinds of results that emerge--(very readably derived and
easy to follow, I might add):
- Odds against a new species coming into existence via the NDT, less than
one in 102,700
- Odds against the kinds of similarities conventionally explained away by
"convergence" when impossible to explain by descent, less than one
Pretty daunting, to say the least.
One of the most interesting, and rarely attempted, aspects of Spetner's book
is the application of information theory (he is a physicist, specializing in
signal processing) to the NDT and its assumptions, with devastating results.
Clearly, the DNA of all biological organisms constitute immense repositories
of information, not only in the form of an assembly program to construct the
organism, but also a maintenance program to regulate its functioning and behavior
afterward. But it turns out that this information cannot have come about
through the gradual accumulation of selected random variations in the way NDT
says. The process simply doesn't have the power to create enough variety to
be selected. And more, no known mutation or other instance cited of evolution
in action has ever added any information to a genome. All have deleted from
The bacteria that evolve strains resistant to antibiotics such as streptomycin,
for example, do so by losing the specificity that makes it possible for the
streptomycin molecule to attach. The much-quoted example of the British peppered
moth that altered from predominantly light to predominantly dark when industrial
soot darkened the tree barks that they settle on illustrates simply a change
in population mix when the camouflage advantage of one type over another altered.
No mutation was involved. Both strains were present from the beginning. Nothing
genetically new was created. Yet these are among the textbook examples given
of the strongest evidence in support of the NDT that can be found.
In place of randomness, discredited as the driving force of evolution, Spetner
develops a convincing case supporting the NDT heresy that the variation responsible
for the big leaps of macro evolution is directed, induced by environmental cues.
This is another way of saying that the genetic information needed to switch
between different body plans is already in there, like a computer program written
to function in different modes. Where it comes from is a good question, and
random variation can't be the answer.
Two examples that I found stunning:
- A strain of e.coli bacteria was produced that lacked the enzyme needed
to metabolize the milk sugar lactose, which is their normal food supply. Two
particular mutations occurring together will create an alternate mechanism.
The calculated chance of this variation coming about through random mutation
under the conditions of the experiment described was about once in a hundred
thousand years. Nevertheless, 40 instances were found within a few days.
- Species of finches introduced into a bird sanctuary comprising a group of
islands in the north west Pacific were found to have developed new beak forms
in 20 years. The results suggest that variations qualifying in every respect
as a new species could arise in a single generation, a result utterly impossible
within the NDT. But there it is.
The explanation seems to be that the diet and eating habits of young animals
profoundly affects the shape and form of things like beaks, teeth, jaws, and
attached muscle structures that develop. In other words, there's an amazing
amount of plasticity built into the program. This raises the intriguing question
of whether the variations that Darwin observed in his famous Galapagos finches
were in fact a product of the random variation followed by selection that he
attributed them too, at all. And more. Since so much of the fossil record consists
of just bones and teeth, how much of the differences conventionally interpreted
as indicating evolutionary change might be simply differing expressions of the
same genome to different environments, with no significant genetic modification
occurring at all?