To: John Jancewicz
From: Paul Ekdahl
THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES REVISTED
c. Comparative Biochemistry and Discontinuous Ancestry
The data of comparative biochemistry also point away from the common ancestry of natural groups of organisms, many evolutionist biologists believe, and instead point toward distinct anscestry,discontinuitist biologists suggest. Major anomalies exist in nearly every area of study: cytochrome c, hemoglobin and myoglobin, hormones, and hereditary material. Biochemical results not only fail to support Darwinian evolution, but better support the "nonevolutionary..pattern" of discontinuous ancestry, according to Denton*:
It is now well established that the pattern of diversity at a molecular level conforms to a highly ordered hierarchic system. Each class at a molecular level is unique, isolated and unlinked by intermediates. Thus molecules, like fossils, have failed to provide the elusive intermediates so long sought by evolutionary biology. Again, the only relationships identified by this new technique are sisterly. At a molecular level, no organism is "ancestral" or "primitive" or "advanced" compared with its relatives. Nature seems to conform to the same non-evolutionary and intensely circumferential pattern that was long ago perceived by the great comparative anatomists of the 19th century.(362)
As with other comparative approaches, similarity does not necessarily reflect common ancestry or relatedness. (363)
(p.101) The anomalies are so widespread that biochemical comparisons do not support the common ancestry required by biological evolution, according to Schwabe*(383) and others.(384) Too many assumed close relatives are too different to have common ancestry, and many assumed distant relatives are even similar by comparison: Molecular evolution is about to be accepted as a method superior to paleontology for the discovery of evolutionary relationships. As a molecular evolutionist I should be elated. Instead, it seems disconcerting that many exceptions exist to the orderly progression of species as determined by molecular homologies; so many in fact that I think the exception, the quirks, may carry the more important message. (385)
Instead, the widespread anomalies in comparative biochemistry support discontinuous ancestry over common ancestry, as Denton* (a molecular biologist) concludes: One of the most remarkable features of these new biochemical discoveries is undoubtedly the way in which the pattern of molecular diversity seems to correspond to the predictions of typology. With very few exceptions the members of each defined taxa are always equally divergent whenever an outgroup comparison is made...[W]hen outgroup comparisons are made the subgroups of the type stand equidistant from more distantly related groups, hold[ing] universally throughout the entire realm of nature. This does not mean, of course, that typology is necessarily correct. But if we accept that closeness to empirical reality is the only criterion by which to judge alternative theories, we would, if strictly impartial, be forced to choose Aristotle and the eidos in favor of Darwin and the theory of natural selection. There is little doubt that if this molecular evidence had been available one century ago it would have been seized upon with devastating effect by the opponents of evolution theory like Agassiz and Owen, and the idea of organic evolution might never have been accepted. (386)
[(p.102) Summary.] There are serious anomalies in the comparative fields of classification, comparative anatomy, and comparative biochemistry that puzzle many evolutionists. In classification, "cladistics is theoretically neutral so far as
(Patterson* 390), but instead "'Transformed Cladistics' is-'natural order systematics'" (Charig*391). In a second of the three schools of clasification,"some more radical numerical taxonomists have abandoned the goal of building a taxonomy that reflects evolutionary descent" (Luria*, Gould* and Singer* 392) Some evolutionists concede that the existence of natural groups, which transformed cladists and radical numerical taxonomists use,"has always been massive empirical evidence for the typological model of nature" (Denton* 393), which is the discontinuouis view of the theory of abrupt appearance.
In comparative anatomy, anomalies are called convergences or parallelisms, and "convergence is everywhere" (Patterson* 394), while"parallelisms occur plentifully in whatever direction we look" (Gates*395). "[T]here are few kinds of characters which are not convergent in some groups (Boyden* 396), and there are "repeated similarities between groups considered to be far apart by paleontologists' that are categorized as "parallelisms, convergences, and so on" (Forey*397). At the same time, the "attempt to find 'homologous genes'... has been given up as hopeless," and it "is useless to speculate on any explanation in the absence of facts" (deBeer* 398); instead,"apparently homologous structures are specified by quite different genes in different species" (Denton*399). Thus,"the facts of comparative anatomy provide no evidence for evolution in the way conceived by Darwin*," and are instead"counter-evidence against the whole notion of transmutation" (Denton*400).
In comparative biochemistry, serious anomalies exist with almost every area of study, such as cytochrome c, hemoglobin and myoglobin, hormones, and hereditary material. It"seems disconcerting that many exceptions exist to the orderly progression of species as determined by molecular homologies; so many in fact that I think the exception, the quirks, may carry the more important message,"which "the neo-darwinian hypothesis is insufficient to explain" in some cases(Schwabe*401). For example, one study of hormones indicates that amphibians are closer to mammals than reptiles or birds are to mammals, and that reptiles are nearer to fish than amphibians are to fish (King* and Millar*402). "Each class at a molecular level is unique, isolated and unlinked by intermediates, "conforming to a "non-evolutionary and intensely circumferential pattern that was long ago perceived by the great comparative anatomists of the nineteenth century" (Denton*403)- mostly discontinuitists.
Those anomalies are serious: some noncreationists see classification are more consistent with natural groups than with evolutionary assumptions, find comparative anatomy with convergences and parallelisms "everywhere" but homologous genes nowhere, and wonder at comparative biochemistry that regularly finds evolutionary cousins more similar than evolutionary sisters and that regularly sounds like a broken molecular clock of perverse chimes. Those anomalies are so regular that they go beyond weakening the theory of macroevolution, and support the theory of abrupt appearance in the view of discontinuitists, which is precisly how the leading systematists and anatomists at the time of Darwin* interpreted them (Stansfield*404)
The biological theory of abrupt appearance is scientific, not religious, and includes at least seven scientific lines of affirmative support. The underlying evidence is conceded by many evolutionist scientists, and the affirmative arguments are framed as follows by many discontinuitist scientists. The paleontology arguments of systematic abrupt appearances and systematic gaps in the fossil record support biological abrupt appearance. The comparative morphology argument of systematic similarity between fossil organisms and their modern counterparts, and of systematic stases, also points toward biological abnrupt appearance. The information content argument similarly shows vast organization, in complex molecules and organs, that is best explained buy biological abrupt appearance. The probability argument concerns the higher probability of biological abrupt appearance than biological macroevolution of complex organisms, complex molecules, and symbiotic relationships. The genetics argument focuses on the genetic limits on viable change. Finally, the comparative discontinuity argument shows that classification, anatomy, and biochemistry better support distinct ancestry of natural groups of organisms through biological abrupt appearance.
These arguments affirmatively support the biological theory of abrupt appearance and do not merely identify weaknesses of the biological theory of evolution, as even some evolutionists concede. The arguments are all empirical, and they thereby show that the theory of abrupt appearance is scientific when compared to the theory of evolution.
[THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES REVISITED by Bird]