"The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macroscopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small. The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable, even on the scale of billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred."
"No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have a random beginning ... there are about two thousand enzymes, the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10^20)^2000 = 10^40,000 , an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup."
Furthermore, no geological evidence indicates an organic soup, even a small organic pond, ever existed on this planet. It is becoming clear that however life began on earth, the usually conceived notion that life emerged from an oceanic soup of organic chemicals is a most implausible hypothesis. We may therefore with fairness call this scenario "the myth of the prebiotic soup.""
... The demands of this information cast their shadow on the macro-evolutionary hypothesis that mutations might somehow bring about the elaborate and specific complexity of biological structures. ... Despite vigorous efforts, no new levels of complexity have been achieved in experimental breeds. Instead, changes have been quite limited, and highly bred organisms have often suffered loss of genetic information. ...
The data from a variety of fields have come together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. While many pieces are still missing, there is nevertheless a picture of clusters of organisms, each harboring variation in nondefining traits, and each major grouping separated from others by distinct gaps. ... We must never give the impression that our present scientific knowledge has provided all the answers, but we can say that the data have not served to support a picture of the organic world consistent with Darwinian evolution."
On the whole, the new biochemical picture has not had the effect that evolutionary theorists have hoped. It has not blurred the distinction between living and non-living objects. The recently revealed world of molecular machinery, of coding systems, of informational molecules, of catalytic devices, and feedback control, is in its design and complexity quite unique to living systems and without parallel in non-living nature.
Despite the fact that no convincing explanation of how random evolutionary processes could have resulted in such an ordered pattern of diversity, the idea of uniform rates of evolution is presented in the literature as if it were an empirical discovery.
... wherever we find significant empirical discontinuities in nature we invariably face great, if not insurmountable, conceptual problems in envisaging how the gaps could have been bridged in terms of gradual random processes. We saw this in the fossil record, we saw it in the case of the feather, in the case of the avian lung and in the case of the wing of the bat. We saw it again in the case of the origin of life and we see it here in the new area of comparative biochemistry.
... Yet in the face of this extraordinary discovery the biological community seems content to offer explanations which are no more than apologetic tautologies."
The beginnings of modern biochemistry came only after neo-Darwinism had been officially launched. Thus, just as biology had to be reinterpreted after the complexity of microscopic life was discovered, neo-Darwinism must be reconsidered in light of advances in biochemistry. The scientific disciplines that were part of the evolutionary synthesis are all nonmolecular. Yet for the Darwinian theory of evolution to be true, it has to account for the molecular structure of life. ...
Mathematicians over the years have complained that Darwinism's numbers just do not add up. Information theorist Hubert Yockey argues that the information needed to begin life could not have developed by chance; he suggests that life be considered a given, like matter or energy. ...
Many scientists are skeptical that Darwinian mechanisms can explain all of life, but a large number do believe it. Since we have just seen that the professional biochemical literature contains no papers or books that explain in detail how complex systems might have arisen, why is Darwinism nonetheless credible with many biochemists? A large part of the answer is that they have been taught as part of their biochemical training that Darwinism is true. To understand both the success of Darwinism as orthodoxy and its failure as science at the molecular level, we have to examine the textbooks that are used to teach aspiring scientists. ...
Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature--in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books--that describe how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations. Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that--the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster.
"Publish or perish" is a proverb that academicians take seriously. If you do not publish your work for the rest of the community to evaluate, then you have no business in academia (and if you don't already have tenure, you will be banished). But the saying can be applied to theories as well. If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon but does not generate even an attempt at an explanation, then it should be banished. Despite comparing sequences and mathematical modeling, molecular evolution has never addressed the question of how complex structures came to be. In effect, the theory of Darwinian molecular evolution has not published, and so it should perish." ...
According to Steven Stanley, the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming contains a continuous local record of fossil deposits for about five million years, during an early period in the age of mammals. Because this record is so complete, paleontologists assumed that certain populations of the basin could be linked together to illustrate continuous evolution. On the contrary, species that were once thought to have turned into others turn out to overlap in time with their alleged descendants, and "the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another".
... the fossil record shows a consistent pattern of sudden appearance followed by stasis, that life's history is more a story of variation around a set of basic designs than one of accumulating improvement, that extinction has been predominantly by catastrophe rather than gradual obsolescence, and that orthodox interpretations of the fossil record often owe more to Darwinist preconception than to the evidence itself."
"A theory built on random events must be checked against the probabilities of those events -- that's the first check that should be made. Why wasn't that check made? When the theory was established in the 30's and 40's, the molecular basis of mutations was unknown.The DNA as the repository of genetic information was not discovered until a decade later. Indeed, the neo-Darwinians did not think there was a problem with the probability of mutations. But there is a big problem with it.
(3) The experimental evidence should be the most telling of all in favor of a theory. Unfortunately, there is no direct experimental evidence of large-scale evolution. Of course, there is fossil evidence, but at best the fossils only show that there has been changes in living organisms in the past. They don't tell us how those changes took place. They don't even tell us that the later forms of life descended from the earlier forms. To say that they did descend is an inference that must depend upon a theory. So we're back to the question of whether the theory is any good. One cannot say that the fossils support the theory unless we beg the question and assume the theory to be correct."
After much painstaking work the research team was able to extract and match pieces of Neandertal DNA strings from the very first Neandertal skeleton ever found, which was dug from a limestone quarry in Neandertal, Germany in 1856. When these fragments were compared with DNA sequences from living humans the differences were enormous. An average of 26 nucleotide links in the DNA chain differed completely. While other studies have found that modern humans differed from one another by an average of only eight links of the chain, and these differences are very slight. Also analysis of an ancient human skeleton (estimated to be 10,000 years old) found only one nucleotide base pair differed from the DNA of modern Europeans.
Their conclusion is also backed up by careful examination of Neandertal skulls by Schwartz and Tattersall (2). From examining carefully more than a dozen skulls they noted that the nasal bones and sinus cavities of Neandertal were many times larger than that of modern humans and that there were no tear ducts. These large anatomical differences they concluded, eliminated the Neandertal from the line of human ancestry.
In the future much will undoubtedly be learned by new techniques concerning the "origin" of the human species. Recent studies have indicated based on mitochondrial DNA that this origin was less than 150,000 years ago (1), and at less than 49,000 years ago based on Y-chromosome analysis (3). We anxiously wait to see how long it will take for those who propose the evolutionary origin of humans to modify their texts based on the above conclusions and how they will modify their proposed "family tree" for the human species!
(2) Jeffrey A Schwartz and Ian Tattersall, "Significance of Some Previously Unaccompanied Apomorphies in the Nasal Region of Homoneandertalenses," Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 93 (1996), pp. 10852-10854.
(3) I. Simon Whitfield, John E. Sulston, and Peter N. Goodfellow, "Sequence Variation of the Human Y-Chromosome," Nature, 378 (1995), pp. 379-380.
... To have a viable theory of abiogenesis, we at least need to find the minimal life-form that can reproduce enough to have a fair shot at evolving. Right now, as far as we can see, a naked gene doesn't have much of a chance at that. Probably an RNA-enzyme system doesn't have much of a chance in the real world either.
So it would seem that the idea of abiogenesis in the real world is fraught with difficulties, perhaps even more so than it was for our viruses. In short, "one must conclude that no valid scientific explanation of the origin of life exists at present." Certainly it would appear that these difficulties will not go away anytime soon.
Furthermore, the philosophical commitments of Darwinism seem to be poisoning it from within. Darwin's hypothesis is undeniably linked to the idea that atomistic materialism is absolute truth, because it posits that materialism not in the laboratory, but in history. Therefore Darwinism demands a degree of philosophical commitment which ordinary science does not. That makes Darwin's hypothesis philosophically fragile. It requires belief. Despite the fragility of this idea, it has become the scientist's paradigm, and he is rarely ready to admit that it is fragile and charged with philosophy.
... scientists should take great pains to found any theory of evolution in a philosophically neutral way. ... if you base a theory on a philosophical truism, you only end up in a philosophical conundrum, because your theory is ascientific to begin with, and you're forever damned to be arguing philosophical issues while trying to maintain a non-philosophic, scientific posture. That is exactly what present day evolution faces,...
Artificial life seems to offer us the machinery to go about formulating a theory of evolution that does not start with philosophical truisms, and does not aim to provide an answer to everything. It offers us the ability to analyze evolutionary scenarios much more clearly and deeply than possible in the real world."
We have seen that random mutations do not put information into the genome. The mutations that contribute to macroevolution are nonrandom -- they are triggered by the environment and lead to adaptive phenotypes. The potential for adaptivity to the environment already exists in the genome. The environment just triggers it. ...
Darwinian evolutionists see the nonrandom interpretation of these expermental results as obviously incorrect because they contradict the neo-Darwinian dogma. I, on the other hand, see this interpretation as confirming, on the bacterial level, the nonrandom variation indicated by many examples in plants and animals -- examples that Darwinian evolutionists have largely ignored because they do not fit in. Resistance to the nonrandom-variation intrepretation stems from a refusal to abandon the Darwinian agenda that must confirm that life arose and developed spontaneously. With that agenda, nonrandom adaptive variation, arising from an environmental signal turning ON an already present set of genes, is hard to account for. One's tendency to accept the nonrandom intrepretation of the experiments on bacterial evolution depends on how strongly one insists on the necessity of the Darwinian agenda. ..."
An objective, reasonable person who follows mathematical and other logical thought processes and the principles of the scientific method will not favor a proposition which has a very low probability over a proposition which has an extremely high probability. Because a person's metaphysical assumptions frequently influence his or her interpretation of data, many otherwise rational persons make unwarranted conclusions, which are based not on evidence and logic, but are made in the absence of evidence and contrary to mathematical probabilities, because of their faith in the ideology of materialism. ... Their conclusions are actually products of their faith in the ideology of materialism, because the selection of a low probability proposition without evidence is not an objective exercise consistent with the methods of science."
Mycolplasma genitalium contains only 470 genes, the smallest number yet discovered for any species. Arcady Mushegian and Eugene Koonin (1) of the National Center for Biotechnology Information have reasoned that whatever genes this simplest of organisms has in common with more complex species are likely to be essential for basic cell functions and necessary for life. They have located 240 such genes and believe that an additional 22 genes are critical for cell survival, and they also trim out 6 which appear to be redundant. The result is a preliminary "ballpark" figure of 256. Realizing that they may possibly have overlooked some essential genes.
The conclusion is that the simplest of known bacterial organisms is not really so simple! And that there is a very large gap between non-organic structures and living organic structures!!!
Anyone proposing that there was a naturalistic origin of life due to "spontaneous generation" must explain how 256+ genes plus all the other chemical components and structures necessary for survival could come together via non-organic processes. And how then does this fortuitous random collection of non-organic chemicals become a living organism and acquire the capability of species reproduction???
... there is no evidence that genetic information can build up through a series of small steps of microevolution. Mutations needed for these small steps have never been observed. By far, most observed mutations have been harmful to the organism. We have seen that there are some point mutations that, under the right circumstances, do give the organism an advantage. There are point mutations that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics. There are some that make insects resistant to insecticides. There are some that increase quantitative traits in farm plants and animals. But all these mutations reduce the information in the gene by making a protein less specific. They add no information, and they add no new molecular capability. Indeed, all mutations studied destroy information. None of them can serve as an example of a mutation that can lead to the large changes of macroevolution.
The NDT (neo-Darwinian theory), based on random variation, cannot account for large evolutionary changes. It can account for only a limited class of small changes. There is no evidence that random mutation and natural selection played any role in the origin of any of the major groups of organisms, including species. ... The NDT dosen't account for the origin of the phyla, the classes, or the orders. It dosen't even account for the origin of species, except in special cases that we may well call trivial compared to the great sweep of life, and which are cases that cannot be extended to include macroevolution."