Saturday, February 16, 2013
REAL Evidence for Evolution
Alate_One and other geniuses here don't understand exactly what would constitute
good evidence for common descent.
What all the examples given have in common is their incompleteness,
which is actually fatal to any claim of their being evidence for common descent.
To see why this is, we can take a simple parallel case
with hand-copied manuscripts.
If manuscripts were simply copied, and never compared and corrected,
then tracing the genealogy of any manuscript would be child's play.
Each time an 'error' or variation is introduced into the copying transmission line,
it would be copied by subsequent scribes and all descendents of that manuscript
from that point on would contain the error.
Even if a small number of copies in the lines were lost,
we could still reconstruct the original archetype or common ancestor
In fact, even if we only had the very last generation of copies,
and all earlier ones were destroyed, we could reconstruct with good reliability
the original text, as long as certain assumptions were made about
the number of copies made from each manuscript, and just how
representative of the whole transmission line (for the entire period)
that the final sample (the last generation) of manuscripts was.
The assumption would be made that manuscripts on average
were copied about the same number of times,
and also that the error rate (accidental changes introduced into the copying line)
was also more or less constant.
On the basis of those two assumptions,
we could look at variations, and make deductions about the original text.
For instance, if only 10 manuscripts had one reading,
and 90 manuscripts had an alternate reading at some place,
we could assume that the minority reading was a late error,
which only affected 10% of the copying stream.
On this basis, we could create a hypothetical copying tree,
and even 'date' the errors, or at least put them in a temporal order,
based upon how strong the reading was (what % of copies contained it).
The genetic information in DNA is a similar case:
(1) The DNA is copied and transmitted generation to generation.
(2) Occasional errors are introduced.
(3) Subsequent copies contain the errors.
(4) The 'error rate' is presumed to be reasonably constant.
(5) Errors cannot be corrected once introduced, because the DNA can only be genetically inherited.
So much for theory, now lets look at practice,
based on the real situation on the ground:
In the case of manuscript copying,
(1) Copies are also proofread and corrected before release into the population.
(2) Copies are often corrected not just from their own master-copy,
but also from earlier copies, and even copies from a different line of transmission.
(3) Cross-pollination of readings makes tracing genealogies virtually impossible,
even if we were to possess every copy or source in every
transmission line. It is impossible for instance, to know which copy
a scribe used in correcting the text, when thousands of manuscripts
already would have had the reading used.
(4) This is the phenomenon called in Textual Criticism "mixture".
This contamination process not only makes it impossible to construct
the real genealogies of manuscripts, but it also makes it impossible
to even accurately group or classify manuscripts, because of their 'mixed'
groups of readings, which are often randomly scattered in the texts.
Sometimes clusters of manuscripts seem well-behaved,
sometimes they simply don't:
Now lets turn to the problem of DNA genealogies:
Inside the Same Species:
(1) Within a species, sexual reproduction in higher species means that
mixture of DNA lines is constantly taking place, and this mixture makes
genealogy impossible to trace beyond a few generations. It also makes
it impossible to strictly classify individuals in a population according to
their DNA coding.
(2) The very limited additional constraints imposed by Mitochondrial transmission
and Y-chromosome transmission (through sexual reproduction)
for higher animals, combined with the short time-spans,
make genealogical tracing very limited and of little practical value.
Currently geneticists can only make general statements extending back
100,000 years or so.
(3) Furthermore, Recombination further mixes DNA transmission lines,
making genealogical tracing impossible.
(4) Finally however, the genealogical relationship between members of the
same species is not in doubt, and neither is it any kind of evidence for
the Theory of Evolution, which is intended to explain the appearance of
(1) Outside a species, mixture CANNOT in theory take place, since
it is impossible for DNA lines to mix once again, after speciation
has occurred and cross-breeding is no longer a viable channel of mixture.
(2) However, genealogical relationships between completely different species
are the very thing to be proved. Evidence must be independently
procured for genealogical dependence and descent between species,
before DNA data can be reliably applied.
(3) Like the case with ancient manuscripts, typically we only have access to
the DNA of currently living animals or recently deceased species,
i.e., the last few generations of DNA copying.
(4) This means that all genealogical relationships between species
must be reconstructed working backward from current DNA samples
of living species, if DNA evidence is to be used.
(5) In order for temporal ordering of DNA mutations to be accomplished,
the rates of change must be assumed to be constant, or non-volatile,
i.e., changing slowly and reliably.
(6) At the same time, in order to construct real time-lines, the mutation rates
must not only be known to be constant, but they also must be known
in absolute terms, so that time periods can be estimated, and distant
parallel branches of DNA mutation can be ordered.
(7) However, Natural Selection as a process must operate in response to
real changes in the environment and so the ultimate transmission of DNA
mutations CANNOT be constant, but must be responsive to actual ground conditions
and so actual TRANSMITTED mutations must be volatile and unpredictable in reality.
(8) Furthermore, the current evidence of punctuated equilibrium is
not a mere artifact of an impoverished fossil record, but is a very real
phenomenon predicted by the Theory of Evolution. If accepted,
this fundamental fact negates not only the assumption of fixed DNA
mutation rates, but prevents any hierarchical ordering of specific changes
on a real timeline, either in parallel branches, or consequently in direct
lines of descent.
(9) External principles of 'parsimony' or other methodology must be used
in order to organize the information of DNA differences themselves.
Hence, DNA evidence cannot be used to directly support any theory
of genealogical relationship, nor any specific reconstructions of the
relationships between species.
If DNA evidence can't prove Evolution, i.e., speciation, descent,
or even a temporal order of events, let alone a real timeline,
nor can it independently corroborate other independent evidence
of descent, what can it do?
Remarkably, Genetic information provided by DNA actually
can do something very important:
Genetic information can disprove or falsify specific claims made
by the Theory of Evolution.
If DNA evidence demonstrated probable evidence of "mixture",
when speciation in fact prohibits mixture,
then the Theory of Evolution is dead in the water:
Some other explanation for genetic similarities,
sharing of DNA information, would have to be proposed.
In order for genetic information to disprove Evolution,
complete comparisons are required,
between more than two species:
(1) Genetic information could be shared between any two species.
(2) Identical genetic information could be shared between three or more species.
(3) However, DIFFERING genetic information could NOT be shared
between two overlapping pairs of species, because it would be impossible
to explain how the 'mixture' occurred.
(4) This is the 'acid test' for Evolutionary theory, because the theory offers
no mechanism whatever for how significant DNA information could cross
between any two species AFTER speciation has occurred between the three different species.
Lets see why this would utterly disprove Evolution;
Take the parallel case of manuscript copying:
If two late copies shared the same reading, there is only one of three
possibilities to explain it;
(1) Either it is the original reading, shared by common descent,
(2) Mixture has occurred, and a reading was borrowed from another line,
(3) Its a remarkable coincidence: two scribes independently made the same mistake.
Since (2) Mixture is impossible between species, only (1) and (3)
are viable options to explain the phenomenon.
But as the number of potential cases of 'mixture' increase,
the likelihood of 'accidental coincidence' (i.e., identical mutations)
drops dramatically, and in fact quickly to the point of impossible.
The alternate explanation left behind, is that
some other cause for the shared DNA sequences must be postulated,
namely physical design constraints, or mechanical borrowing,
or re-use of identical parts in assembly.
This is the reason why human / chimp DNA sequences are
not reviewed in total, but in small samples, like partial samples
of mitochondrial DNA, or singe genes.
This is also the reason why Evolutionists avoid comparing
more than one species at a time in total.
The obvious 'mixture' phenomena would be apparent to all,
and the Theory of Evolution would be dead in the water.