Common Traits = Common Ancestor?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, May 3, 2018 0 comments

by Steve Risner

After a few conversations in a variety of groups online, I decided to look into the “mountain of evidence” that supposedly supports evolution. I make it a habit to ask to see the mountain, but very little if any of this mountain is ever revealed so I needed to do some digging. Turns out, the evidence is underwhelming. The theme that kept coming up as a strong candidate for the “best” evidence was common traits. Supposedly, common traits or similar characteristics mean we all used to be pond scum. Another way to say it we can organize organisms into “nested hierarchies,” therefore, evolution. A nested hierarchy is an organized group. Groups of related organisms share similar traits. The more traits that are shared, generally, the more “related” the organisms are. This is somehow evidence for universal common descent. As laughable as that may be, this exposes 2 major things in my mind: 1) the evidence for Darwinian evolution is terrible, and 2) people who suggest things like this are strong evidence for evolution have no idea what they're talking about. Let's touch on that first and go back to the former one in a moment.

Evidence is interesting stuff. It doesn't really speak for itself, although many will suggest it does. The observer of the evidence must make the facts tell a story. The facts themselves do not do this. This is easily demonstrated if we look at a court case. Everyone involved has the same evidence, but the prosecutor and the defendant tell very different stories regarding that evidence. If we're talking about something that happened without anyone seeing it, it can be difficult to know for certain if one thing is true or another. But the real reason that this sort of evidence exposes a terrible lack of understanding of this topic is that the same evidence can strongly be used to support intelligent design. If facts are interpreted to support two very different ideas, then they likely are not strong support for one over the other. The facts are simply the facts. There seems to be a great many things that are strong evidence for evolution that are equally supportive of creation or intelligent design. If that is the case, then suggesting it is one of the greatest evidences for one side is foolish. Let me explain a little more.

Common traits are looked at by evolutionists as evidence for evolution. This is because they believe if two organisms have a common trait, then these organisms must have a common ancestor who shared these traits with them. However, creationists will see common traits and see it as evidence for a Designer who chose to use common designs for organisms. And why wouldn't He? It would make sense to use a superior design with a variety of living things, would it not? In a moment, we'll see how this actually does strongly support creation. The evidence is so contradictory to evolution it should never be brought up by Darwinists because they actually support a creation of distinct types within ordered groups, not Darwinian evolution. I hope you're tracking with me.

An obvious consequence of common traits being evidence for evolution would be that similar structures (common traits) would develop at the same time or similar and in the same way or similar. For a terrific number of traits, this is not true at all. For example, and I touched on this in another blog post, the five digits and hands of a human develop exactly backward from the five digits and hand of a frog. If we share a common ancestor, we would not expect these similar traits to develop completely differently, yet they do. As you can see in the blog post linked above, they've tried to use this as support for Darwinism for over a century, and even though they know that the “facts” concerning it that support them are fraudulent. Yet they persist in using it as evidence. If you have to use fraudulent ideas to support your origins myth, doesn't that say something pretty obvious about your origins myth?

Dr. T Dobzhansky said, “Homology does not prove evolution, in the sense that nobody has actually witnessed the gradual changes in the millions of consecutive generations which led from a common ancestor to a bird on the one hand and to man on the other.” The fossil record reveals no such lineage either. When traits are seen in the fossil record, they are fully formed with no ancestral, more primitive version. This is true all the way back to the Cambrian Explosion. So, in essence, the only way this can be used as support for universal common descent (that pond scum evolved into people) is by making up a story. There is no physical evidence suggesting such a thing and, in fact, it seems likely the idea is completely bogus anyway. Dr. A.J. Jones, a creationist, said, “The evolutionist argument from homology lacks scientific content... The evolutionist concept of homology is now shown to be entirely subjective.” In other words, one can make up anything they like, generally based on their worldview, and this is NOT supportive of evolution. It is nothing more than story telling.

The fact of the matter is, there are a very large number of exceptions to common traits that make evolution look naive and completely a child's mindless idea. This is true of a great many things, but this is a good one. There has been an entire concept devoted to such anomalies (which are closer to the rule than the exception): convergent evolution.

Even though convergent evolution is a rescuing device used to save the theory that doesn't actually fit the evidence, it's hailed as a great pillar of their faith. Convergent evolution is used to explain why humans and the octupus have the same type of eyes. Now, if you know anything about eyes, you know they're exquisitely complicated (find out more here). Believing the eye developed accidentally once is a stretch. Believing a nearly identical eye developed in an organism allegedly very far removed from humans in a completely different environment is really just laughable. This is but one example; there are huge numbers of them. Hemoglobin is another great example. This molecule very efficiently transports oxygen and other gases through the blood. Without it, we would not exist. Hemoglobin is a very complex molecule with thousands of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc., all very specifically organized to function as it does. Why do I bring it up? Hemoglobin is found in all vertebrates (except one fish family). That would seem to support common design or Darwinism. However, it's also found in some earthworms, fungi, starfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and bacteria. How could this extremely complex molecule vital for life be found in such a wide variety of organisms? Many of these organisms have “close relatives” that do no use hemoglobin but other types of carriers.

How did it develop multiple times across such vast spans of unrelatedness? This doesn't make sense from a Darwinist perspective at all, but it does work quite well with common design. Again, why not use a good design repeatedly? Sure, He didn't have to (and He didn't use it everywhere) but it makes sense when we see it.

A nurse shark and a camel have receptor proteins that are unusual (compared to other “close relatives”) and are not really shared with other organisms. How did these two very different organisms in VERY different environments develop the same receptors? There are long lists of structures that the evolutionist must rely on convergent evolution to explain. But does it really explain it, or just brush it aside? In all honesty, explaining how a single slightly complex structure would have evolved leaves much to be desired. Explaining how marvelously complex structures evolved exactly the same in two (or many) completely different organisms in polar opposite environments should not be considered rational by anyone, in my opinion. Convergent evolution has no supportive evidence whatsoever. They see two similar structures and can only conclude, because they are bound to the idea of evolution, that they evolved independently of each other.

These things and many others beautifully exemplify what has been referred to in the past as ideal archetypes. In other words, these structures are designed very well to do what they need to do, so they were designed into a number of different organisms. A modern example of this would be the wheel. A wheel on a car is similar to the wheel on a lawn tractor. They share traits with the wheels on a bicycle and a wheelbarrow. The wheel in a pulley is also similar. However, this does not support common ancestry of the wheel. It's because this design is perfect for what it's used for. And wouldn't we expect similar structures in a variety of organisms? Many of the stresses of life are the same, so similar structures and even similar genetic coding for such structures makes sense. Better designs would then be preferred over lesser designs, thus the Designer would give them priority.

We don't see the exact same design in many structures but extremely similar. Variety is the rule. Again, this points to a Designer. He is an artist—anyone that creates something, especially entirely out of His imagination, is an artist. If an artist sculpted the exact same thing over and over, he'd be bored to death and would lack creative talent. However, even slight variations show a mind at work. Dr. Jerry Bergman said, “Although many similarities exist in almost all animal structures, structural variations are the norm. Often the variations found in the animal world seem to exist solely to produce variety, and not for the purpose of conferring a survival advantage.” Survival advantage is what it's all about for the Darwinist, really. Variety for the sake of variety just shows the creative nature of our God. He's amazing and the fact that we, mankind, are constantly copying His designs for our own creations demonstrates the superiority of His creative mind over ours. Bio mimicry is a topic for another time, but man doesn't come up with much that he didn't swipe from nature—which means it was stolen from God.

We'll continue investigating this “mountain of evidence” in the future.

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