I Have a Theory

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 8, 2018 5 comments

by Steve Risner

The discussion has been on evolution and if creationists really understand it or not. Very often, supporters of evolution (theistic and atheistic alike, unfortunately) will accuse unbelievers (those who do not believe in evolution) of not understanding it. Now, I'm not sure how much hubris is required for such erroneous and baseless statements, but it must be large. As stated numerous times, there are a very large number of highly qualified scientists who reject the theory of evolution outright. Many of them have PhDs or EdDs in biology. Some have taught evolution at the college level and no longer will do so based on their belief that it is incorrect. Dr. Gary Parker comes to mind. I've read some of his books. Regardless, claiming it's because of a lack of knowledge that someone will reject Darwinian evolution is wrong in many (but not all) cases.

Some have said that evolution is “just a theory” and therefore isn't necessarily correct. While this is true—that theories are an explanation of a series of facts—this is not a good argument concerning why evolution from a single or last common ancestor is not true. A theory is, in the simplest of terms, an explanation of the facts. It's not used properly in today's common vernacular: “I have a theory” is what a person will say if they've got an idea about something but don't necessarily have much data to support it. The University of California, Berkeley, defines a theory as “a broad, natural explanation for a wide range of phenomena. Theories are concise, coherent, systematic, predictive, and broadly applicable, often integrating and generalizing many hypotheses.” Notice how they sneak the word “natural” in there. That's because they want to make sure creationist ideas are excluded before they are even considered. This is common and has stunted scientific progress, in my opinion. Many if not most scientific journals run by deep time proponents will rarely if ever publish papers that are supportive of creationist ideas. If they are published, the journals will frequently print criticisms of the paper without giving the original author an opportunity to respond. The belief by many is that the scientific peer-review process is unbiased and highly honorable when, in reality, it is anything but. The bias is astounding and the hypocrisy is profound. That's not really my topic for today though. I want to talk about the theory of evolution and thoughts concerning those words.

One evolutionist told me that theories are superior to facts in science. He said that theories explain facts, so they're of greater importance. Now, I found that to be a terrible statement. The data is not as important as the explanation of the data? The thing is, the data is what it is. The numbers or observations are just that. However, 10 different people can explain the data 10 very different ways. And while theories change over time, the facts don't. Sure, the facts can have a greater understanding over time, but, for the most part, facts are facts. We may be able to add to the facts as more is revealed about them, I get that. But the mass of O2 is the mass of O2. That E=mc2 is how it is. That the sun is about 93 million miles away from earth is a fact. Acceleration due to gravity on earth is 9.8 m/s2. These things are facts.

More closely related to the primary topic—universal common descent—are facts like all organisms found in the fossil record show up abruptly and without more primitive ancestors. The eye of the octopus and the eye of the human are nearly identical but they do not share a recent common ancestor (according to the theory of evolution). DNA can store all of the world's data—all of it—in a teaspoon size amount. An once of DNA holds about 450 thousand billion (that's 450 with 12 zeros behind it) gigabytes of information. Mutations occur. Mutations, as we discussed recently, are mostly neutral (they are not seen or have no effect) but can very often be damaging. Nearly if not every instance of a mutation changing a function of an organism is degenerative—a loss of specificity. These are all facts. It's the way things are. But the interpretation of these facts can change literally daily. How so many hang their hat on something that is so liquid and placid is beyond me.

One reason evolution should really not be considered a scientific theory, strictly, is that it has literally no observational or experimental value. We can't see it happen and can't do experiments to see it happen. That's just the way it is. It is quite literally impossible to test alleged evolutionary events of the past. You can't do it, period. We can see natural selection working on a population, but this only works on what is already there—there is no addition of genetic information or even addition of variety. The stuff that selection works on is present BEFORE it works on it. And most of the data collected to affirm universal common descent can equally be accredited to other ideas—primarily creation theory. Evidence must be interpreted and creation does just fine with the facts. There is no ignoring of facts. There is not denying facts. Creation explains them differently and that is all.

Evolution, in reality and in keeping with strict definitions, is not a theory of science. It is a religious belief that masquerades as a scientific explanation of our origins. But science cannot tell us about one time past events that no one was around for and no one knows the conditions of. There is literally no way for this to be a scientific idea. It's religious and nothing more. If that's wrong, prove it. If it's not wrong, stop trying to argue over scientific stuff. It's not about science and never has been, although creation can keep up just fine with the scientific jargon and data.

The Word tells us that God created the heavens and earth in 6 days and that He created life on a couple of those days. It also shares with us about when this happened. There is no honest way around that. If you are a follower of Christ, you cannot hold to a deep time model and believe the Bible. The two are mutually exclusive and reinterpreting the Bible or rewriting history only proves the point that Christianity and evolution do not work at all together. Stating otherwise exposes a deep conflict of the heart that you truly don't trust God or His Word. Please stop.

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ashleyhr said...

"... We can see natural selection working on a population, but this only works on what is already there—there is no addition of genetic information or even addition of variety..."
Gene duplication - a fact you people do deny/ignore.
"It is a religious belief that masquerades as a scientific explanation of our origins...". That would be young earth creationism.
"If you are a follower of Christ, you cannot hold to a deep time model and believe the Bible." The Bible - in inferences reasonably drawn from it rather than in its direct teaching - is wrong about the age of Earth/when 'creation' happened.
If you believe in reality, interstellar asteroid Oumuamua destroys all 'young universe' ideas. Sorry about that.

Steve said...

What does gene duplication, which no one denies (for crying out loud...if you're going to make an accusation, don't make it such an absurd one), support?

Since Biblical creation and Big Bang and Darwinism all speak of origins, you can't tell me they're not the same thing. One explains the evidence one way while the other explains it another--but we all have the same evidence. Don't be so daft.

The Bible is 100% accurate, Ashley. You reject it. That' doesn't mean it's wrong. Would you care to explain how the first known interstellar object found in our solar system "destroys all 'young universe' ideas?"

According to Dr. Danny Faulkner, "Does ... the discovery of 1I ‘Oumuamua prove the evolutionary paradigm? Hardly. Its discovery merely has been interpreted in terms of the evolutionary paradigm. There are other possibilities. For instance, creationists generally think that God created asteroids and comets in the solar system, along with all other astronomical bodies on Day Four. We also recognize that in the modern sense of our understanding of stars, the sun is a star. Therefore, there is nothing in the biblical model of creation that precludes other stars having orbiting planets, along with asteroids and comets. With so many strange and wonderful things that astronomers have discovered, such as quasars and black holes, is it so remarkable that God may have created small interstellar bodies as well? While we creationists may not have explicitly predicted such a thing, the discovery of 1I ‘Oumuamua is consistent with what we know about creation."

ashleyhr said...

As I wrote by email on 10 February (copied to Jaime at Worldview Warriors among others):

I found this:
Though Answers in Genesis (who regularly use the phrase 'no new information' without mentioning gene/genome duplication) say they debunked it:
https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/gene-duplication/ (I hadn't seen this before as I haven't been following their articles for as long as ten years)
There's also this one from 2008:

Purdom's main argument appears to be 'no new function' (plus accusations of 'circular reasoning' and 'prejudicial conjecture') but I'm not sure she addresses everything in that Wikipedia link - or this one (in her article about that Nature paper she claims the only result was subfunctionalization and not neofunctionalization):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_by_gene_duplication#DDC_model (I accept that they are discussing models)
From the first Wikipedia link:
Gene duplications are an essential source of genetic novelty that can lead to evolutionary innovation. Duplication creates genetic redundancy, where the second copy of the gene is often free from selective pressure—that is, mutations of it have no deleterious effects to its host organism. If one copy of a gene experiences a mutation that affects its original function, the second copy can serve as a 'spare part' and continue to function correctly. Thus, duplicate genes accumulate mutations faster than a functional single-copy gene, over generations of organisms, and it is possible for one of the two copies to develop a new and different function. Some examples of such neofunctionalization is the apparent mutation of a duplicated digestive gene in a family of ice fish into an antifreeze gene and duplication leading to a novel snake venom gene[4] and the synthesis of 1 beta-hydroxytestosterone.[5] "

In the light of the Purdom comments, what Risner wrote about 'no addition of genetic information' is extremely simplistic and potentially misleading. I also note that the Nature article (Purdom's footnote 2) quotes Sean Carroll as saying "When you have two copies of a gene, useful mutations can arise that allow one or both genes to explore new functions while preserving the old function". Purdom ignores this comment whilst alleging that other Carroll comments are "not based on fact". As usual, the YEC appears out to bamboozle her targeted readers.

I have learnt however that rather than arguing that gene duplications are fictional YECs argue that they do not support/are not evidence of 'molecules-to-Man' evolution. But I don't believe these articles address the issue of neofunctionalization.

I've not seen a rebuttal of this paper by AiG:

ashleyhr said...

Young earth creationism is part of a religion - Christianity. It uses a lot of pseudo-science to make its case, whilst rejecting other scientific understandings largely for religious reasons (eg 'the Bible shows a young Earth so that couldn't have happened').

I already explained about Oumuamua - at the BCSE community forum as well as in emails. But maybe you missed that (your friend Charlie has no answer to me either on this point other than falsely claiming we lack 'data' on Oumuamua):

Faulkner's piece did NOT address the obvious issue I raised. About the vast time it has been moving across outer space from where it first originated prior to arriving in our solar system in 2017. I have seen NO YEC address this - not AiG, not Wolcott, not Sorensen, not you (and the ICR, CMI, Coppedge and Hartnett have said NOTHING about this body as far as I am aware).

I am posting this reply at the BCSE community forum also.

ashleyhr said...

For information: