Most people assume that a dialectic exists between the paradigm of evolution and deep time on one side, and religion on the other. That is basically wrong. The dialectic is between evolution(ism) and other branches of science, particularly mathematics and probability theory. In the mid 1960s when computers capable of analyzing the math and probabilities involved in evolution became available a series of symposia were held at the Wistar center at the University of Pennsylvania and a non-meeting of the minds ensued involving evolutionary biologists on one side and mathematicians on the other, and both sides left with the feeling that the other was in some sort of denial.
The biggest group of people who do not believe in evolution is probably mathematicians, and not Christians.
Basically, a reasonable person might entertain a theory requiring one probabilistic miracle or zero-probability event in the entire history of the planet, but not a theory requiring an infinite series of zero-probability events; that stands everything we know about probability theory on its head. An intuitive idea of the size of the problem can be had by analyzing what would have to take place for flying birds to evolve.
Suppose then for a moment that you are not a flying bird, but that you wish to become one or for your descendants to be flying birds. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, the system which birds use to rotate flight feathers on up-strokes and down-strokes, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design lungs and an equally high-efficiency heart, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.
For starters, every one of these things would be anti functional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitesimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.
In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitesimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelfth-order infinitesimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.
All of that was the best case. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.
And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.
Consider how close anything comes to such an evolutionary lizard-to-bird process in real life. A coelurosaur trying to evolve its way to bird-hood would need a dozen systems which it does not have. Nonetheless, chickens have all of those things and you might wonder what keeps chickens from ever totally regaining flight. The basic answer is that the chicken as we know it started out as a little one-pound jungle fowl and was bred into a 6-lb. meat animal, but still has the 1-lb bird’s wings. Geese are as heavy as chickens and fly easily enough because they have the wings necessary for a 7-lb bird.
Consider that man raises chickens in gigantic abundance, and that on many farms, these are not even caged. Consider the numbers of such chickens which must have escaped in all of recorded history; look in the sky overhead: where are all of their wild-living descendants?? Why are there no wild chickens in the skies above us???
In other words, if there's any chance whatsoever of a non-flying creature evolving into a flying bird, then surely, surely the escaped or feral chicken, close as it is, could RE-EVOLVE back into being a flying bird. They're only missing the tiniest fraction of whatever is involved.
They've got wings, tails, and flight feathers, and the whold nine yards. In their domestic state, they can fly albeit badly; they are entirely similar to what you might expect of an evolutionist's proto-bird, in the final stage of evolving into a flight-worthy condition.
According to evolutionist dogma, at least a few of these should very quickly finish evolving back into something like a normal flying bird, once having escaped, and then the progeny of those few should very quickly fill the skies.
But the sky holds no wild chickens. In real life, against real settings, real predators, real conditions, the imperfect flight features do not suffice to save them.
In real life, if you ever lose the tiniest part of some complex trait or capability, you will never get it back. In the real world, if you lack the tiniest part of some complex trait or capability, then, other than possibly via some genetic engineering process, you will never get it.
The basic question is: How in hell is some velociraptor supposed to make it the thousand miles, if history proves that a creature which amounts to the final stage of such a development cannot make it the final yard of such a process?
That’s the case for flying birds and every other kind of creature which has ever walked, crawled, slithered, swam, or flown on the Earth involves some equally impossible series of events. In fact flying bats appear to have arisen twice in the history of the world in unrelated cases and the odds against that via any random process are beyond astronomical.
Two things I also observe:
The fruit fly experiments in the early decades of the 1900s should have been the end of it. Fruit flies breed new generations every other day so that running any sort of a decades-long experiment with fruit flies will involve more generations of them than there have ever been of anything even remotely resembling humans on our planet. Those flies were subjected to everything in the world known to cause mutations and the mutants were recombined every possible way; all they ever got were sterile freaks, and fruit flies. Several prominent scientists publicly denounced evolution at that point in time including the famous case of Richard Goldschmidt.
The failure was due to the fact that our entire living world is driven by information and the only information there ever was in the picture was that for a fruit fly. When the DNA/RNA information scheme was discovered, even if the fruit fly thing had never happened, evolution should have been discarded on the spot. But GIVEN the fact of the fruit fly experiments, somebody HAD to have thought to himself "Hey, THAT'S THE REASON THE FRUIT FLY EXPERIMENTS FAILED!!!!!!"
In other words, there is no way in the world anybody should be believing in evolution 40 years after the discovery of DNA and, again, that's just one overwhelming disproof amongst a number of such. Again no legitimate science theory would ever survive such a history.
Then again, there is a basic evolution time sandwich consists of two parts:
The Haldane dilemma from the realm of population genetics which describes the amount of time which evolution needs
The increasing body of evidence of a recent age for dinosaurs, which describes the amount of time the evolutionists actually have.
The Haldane dilemma is basically higher arithematic more so than anything you might call higher math; a sixth grader should be able to understand it.
Walter Remine’s simplistic explanation of it goes like this:
• Imagine a population of 100,000 apes or “proto-humans” ten million years ago which are all genetically alike other than for two with a “beneficial mutation”. Imagine also that this population has the human or proto-human generation cycle time of roughly 20 years.
• Imagine that the beneficial mutation in question is so good, that all 99,998 other die out immediately (from jealousy), and that the pair with the beneficial mutation has 100,000 kids and thus replenishes the herd.
• Imagine that this process goes on like that for ten million years, which is more than anybody claims is involved in “human evolution”. The max number of such “beneficial mutations” which could thus be substituted into the herd would be ten million divided by twenty, or 500,000 point mutations which, Remine notes, is about 1/100 of one percent of the human genome, and a miniscule fraction of the 2 to 3 percent that separates us from chimpanzees, or the half of that which separates us from neanderthals.
In a rational world, that should be as far as most people need to read. That basically says that even given a rate of evolutionary development which is fabulously beyond anything which is possible in the real world, starting from apes, in ten million years the best you could possibly hope for would be an ape with a slightly shorter tail.
There is also the problem of Neanderthals, hominids, and human non-evolution. The idea of humans being descended from hominids of any sort has been disproven and there is no other plausible evolutionary antecedent for modern man. The neanderthal in particular is now being described as genetically about halfway between ourselves and a chimpanzee, and has therefore been ruled out as a plausible human ancestor.
As junk science goes, evolution is a spectacularly dangerous variety. The most major statement of the problem regarding ethics is probably still that of Sir Arthur Keith. A short or executive summary version includes several highlights.
Finally there is the question of the notion of “Genetic Death” and what the German Nazis thought they were seeing in Darwinism. Whatever else they were guilty of, they were not guilty of any sort of a breakdown in basic logic. Starting from Darwinism as an assumption, what they were doing was logical.
What do I recommend as a replacement for evolution or for people who have been accustomed to using evolution as a psychic security blanket? I RECOMMEND Christianity if anybody is LOOKING for a recommendation, and the reasons for that are numerous and good. But if all you require is a replacement for evolution(ism), it doesn’t really matter. Any (other) religion would be an improvement, including Voodoo and Rastafari. Neither Voodoo nor Rastafari require the abolition of modern mathematics and probability theory.
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