Gaps in Evolution

Hey guys.

Just a short intro: I believe in evolution. I do also, however, enjoy arguing and try to understand both sides of the argument as best as possible. Unsurprisingly, the argument about God is the most interesting argument for me as sitting on the fence allows for a lot of arguing room.

Oh right, not atheist. Agnostic. I may find God one day. I would like that. But I haven’t been convinced yet either. So I shall just discuss things going for or against a divine Being, and just having fun along the way.

A lot of creationists have been saying that evolution doesn’t exist, that macroevolution is not an observable science and therefore invalid. Okay, that’s fine. I’ll still believe in it, but here are some flaws in evolution that we have to fix, and I have not heard these flaws mentioned anywhere before (Maybe I just haven’t been looking enough), so I will point them out so you may use them to continue arguing.


  1. A theory can be unscientific if it can be made to fit to any scenario. That means, if you cannot refute evolution because it can be made to fit somehow every time, then it’s not really scientifically valid. This is my weakest point, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

  2. The concept of Regulation in organisms. This is when the egg becomes damaged during the creation process of an organism. Take a water flea for example. A normal water flea would use the entire size of the egg to become a full individual. If the egg were ‘strangled’, so to speak, in the middle of the egg, then the organism would still grow up to be a complete individual, albeit only half as large. Even though nothing we know of dictates the movement of the first cells, they can still create an organism in special circumstances. The individual, however, will also just be half as large, but alive and mentally able for the most part. We cannot explain this phenomenon as far as I know.

  3. Coming back to the refuting of the evolutionary theory. We are not yet able to fully grasp evolution and all it’s principles. Many have suggested that there are ‘laws’ that we have not discovered that determine regulation and everything else. However, this is making the theory irrefutable, and thus an invalid theory.

  4. Sorry, if this one sounds a little mushy. I’m translating from german. Not always easy with hard words.

Anyway, this is the concept of different appendages with the same DNA. For example, the human arm and leg. The DNA contained in these two body parts is identical, as well as the proteins, muscle cells, tissue cells, etc. This has to be done during creation from the zygote, but at the precision in which the cells are capable to do that is a fact science cannot explain. Science, in its atheism, must claim that it is a physiochemical process, but has been unable to do so.

  1. This is another theoretical approach:

Evolutionary science assumes that we will be able to solve:

  1. The three-dimensional structure of all proteins

  2. To the enzymatic and other properties of proteins.

  3. The entire metabolism of an organism.

  4. The nature and effect of all organisms and their position information during creation (how the cells know where to form and when)

  5. The structure and placement of cells, tissue, and organs and the form of the organism as a whole; finally, the instincts of an animal as well.

Science cannot even begin to make basic assumptions that regulate all of these traits. If we assume, that all points could be explained with the physical laws today, then they would probably be wrong. However, if they stated, that the workings are based on known and unknown workings of nature, then it would be, once again, irrefutable.


I would like to put a disclaimer here: although these are problems in science, they are problems that may be solved in the future. They may also not be solved in the future and may give strong evidence to workings outside of our knowledge.

If people want to hear more, then I can provide more points, if it helps anybody or is interesting. I just thought that these points were a bit more interesting rather than the normal drivel on, “You can’t observe it.” Though I can’t say I’m much too versed in the field, so do enlighten me if I have made any egregrious mistakes.

The book:

Rupert Sheldrake: Das Schöpferische Universum: Die Theorie des morphogenetischen Feldes.

(A New Science of Life: the hypothesis of formative causation), 2002 7th edition

Cheers!

I too am a believer in evolution but was interested in a podcast on Catholic Radio International which had an interview with a Turkish moslem creationist doctor Dr Babuna.

catholicradiointernational.com/heartofmatter.php

One of Babunas main points to support inteligent design centres around the enormous complexity of living organisms, such as the number of amino acids that must be correctly assembled in a particular sequence to form a protein and that the odds of this happening narurally were mathematically impossible.

Following the program i googled him and found that Babuna and his associates seem to have been discredited on a personal level including recently being thrown out of a Vatican conference on evolution. However, i could not find anything that categorically refutes the point described above i.e. the odds of the amino acids being sequenced correctly.

Can anyone shed more light on this issue?

There is a book titled “Revelation, Rationality and Truth” by Mirza Tahir Ahmad. In that book there was a chapter (or two chapters) discussing evolution (and some aspects of it, such as natural selection.) . That was not a science book. But it discussed some aspects of evolution. I could hardly understand it.

Evolution is a theory, and a damn good one at that! I think it’s how God created animals and stuff. It certainly fits with His way of working slowly, patiently, not rushing or hurrying. And the Catholic Church dose not say evolution is false, nor dose it say creationism is true. In fact, the Church teaches that the story of creation is symbolic, not literalistic.

  1. A theory can be unscientific if it can be made to fit to any scenario. That means, if you cannot refute evolution because it can be made to fit somehow every time, then it’s not really scientifically valid. This is my weakest point, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

A couple of things should be understood here:

That separate populations of a species may divide into separate species and that the dominant features of a population transition over time are observed phenomena. This aspect of evolution cannot be disproved by counterexample, but only by scrutiny of the examples. However, various examples have already been subject to plenty of scrutiny, so don’t expect much on this front.

The current explanation (i.e. theory) of the common descent of modern species is indeed testable. The most common (hypothetical) counterexample I have heard of would be to find a rabbit fossil buried (under ordinary circumstances, of course) in the same strata as dinosaurs. Such a discovery would force a serious reevaluation of evolutionary theory.

  1. The concept of Regulation in organisms. This is when the egg becomes damaged during the creation process of an organism. Take a water flea for example. A normal water flea would use the entire size of the egg to become a full individual. If the egg were ‘strangled’, so to speak, in the middle of the egg, then the organism would still grow up to be a complete individual, albeit only half as large. Even though nothing we know of dictates the movement of the first cells, they can still create an organism in special circumstances. The individual, however, will also just be half as large, but alive and mentally able for the most part. We cannot explain this phenomenon as far as I know.

What does this have to do with evolution?

  1. Coming back to the refuting of the evolutionary theory. We are not yet able to fully grasp evolution and all it’s principles. Many have suggested that there are ‘laws’ that we have not discovered that determine regulation and everything else. However, this is making the theory irrefutable, and thus an invalid theory.

You misunderstand scientific laws. According to Merriam-Webster, a law is “a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions.” Scientific laws are established as we gain understanding of a process and become confident that it is universal. They do not supersede observations, and cannot make a theory that depends on them unfalsifiable.

Anyway, this is the concept of different appendages with the same DNA. For example, the human arm and leg. The DNA contained in these two body parts is identical, as well as the proteins, muscle cells, tissue cells, etc. This has to be done during creation from the zygote, but at the precision in which the cells are capable to do that is a fact science cannot explain. Science, in its atheism, must claim that it is a physiochemical process, but has been unable to do so.

This paragraph is talking about the development of an organism from a zygote, and, once again, has nothing or very little to do with the theory of evolution.

Evolutionary science assumes that we will be able to solve:

Already wrong. Science doesn’t assume itself to be unlimited.

Science cannot even begin to make basic assumptions that regulate all of these traits. If we assume, that all points could be explained with the physical laws today, then they would probably be wrong¹. However, if they stated, that the workings are based on known and unknown workings of nature, then it would be, once again, irrefutable².

(annotations mine)

¹ That’s why we have a scientific method that involves testing of hypotheses. If our explanations are wrong, we can find out and then refine our hypotheses or invent new ones to test. Our current inability to know everything about biology does not mean that we should throw out what we already know and give up on trying to learn more.

² What would exist in evolution’s place that is not based on “unknown workings of nature”? Certainly, creationism is not falsifiable as long as there are committed Last Thursdayists.

One of Babunas main points to support inteligent design centres around the enormous complexity of living organisms, such as the number of amino acids that must be correctly assembled in a particular sequence to form a protein and that the odds of this happening narurally were mathematically impossible.

Following the program i googled him and found that Babuna and his associates seem to have been discredited on a personal level including recently being thrown out of a Vatican conference on evolution. However, i could not find anything that categorically refutes the point described above i.e. the odds of the amino acids being sequenced correctly.

Can anyone shed more light on this issue?

As always, the TalkOrigins Archive has a good refutation: Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations. This image in particular summarizes the inapplicability of these probabilities to a realistic (i.e. non-strawman) abiogenesis hypothesis.

Note also that the origin of life (abiogenesis) is separate from the theory of evolution itself, which only applies to organisms that already self-replicate.

Strange how your God would go about creating life, in such a manner, that today, in 2009, 99% of all life that has ever existed, is now extinct. Seems like a whole lot of trial and error, or perhaps just a death wish.

I suppose, what you’ve posted, does sound so very rational and wise. It is the type of thing that must be said, in order to be taken seriously by just about everyone, outside of evangelical fundamentalist Christians.

How do I know this? I used to claim to believe the exact same thing. Which of course, I never really did, it was just something I needed to believe, in order to keep God front and center.

As one atheist to another, I ask you not to derail a completely unrelated thread with a spurious “gotcha” on the existence of God. Half of the discussion on this forum is wasted because of this type of quote-sniping.

Although you want me to ignore what people post, I cannot agree to what your asking me to do.

Last I checked, the entire purpose of an online forum is to discuss openly, that which other people post.

A Theist was posting how they felt that evolution was consistent with the good Lord being responsible. By slowly, carefully and painstakingly creating and using evolution in his divine plan, and I took said belief to task.

There was nothing spurious, rude or inane in my post, nor did I breach any forum rules or decorum.

Although you may choose to ignore the content of peoples posts, I cannot and will not.

Actually, everything I have posted in this thread is a response to “the content of people’s posts,” and I would not ask you to do otherwise, or to ignore what people post. However, I do ask that you discuss matters irrelevant to the stated topic of this thread outside of this thread, so that it does not undesirably morph from a scientific consideration of evolution to a discussion of its theological implications.

Evolution, an old theory formulated 150 years ago, has been pretty well proven false. This has nothing to do with religion but the fact that it’s dependent on the theory that all this was created by random events, a theory which now has been mathematically disproven by many, Paul Davies for one who has switched to Deism from atheism. The fact that a slight difference in the “cosmological constants” would cause this to all cave in on itself, suggests that God isn’t ONLY the “First Cause” but that it is He that sustains the universe as well.

Cannot argue with science. evolution is now out dated and unscientific…

I found vast problems with it in 1978 when Scientific American had an entire issue on it. It amuses me now, that science has pretty well proven that it’s not possible (evolution). :thumbsup:

That’s my views on the matter summed up in a nutshell

I agree with many of Eleve’s points. I think a distinction may need to be made; it seems that the OP took the theory of evolution in the sense of a materialistic theory of evolution, as a theory that explains everything on the basis of material development. Particularly the 2nd, 4th, and 5th points are valid for evolution taken in this sense.

In fact evolution in the sense of common ancestry of many species of living beings may be considered a fact, but it is not a fact that everything in the process can be ultimately reduced to material or physical causes–that is either a methodological or philosophical assumption (one can dispute whether it is methodologically or philosophically warranted, which takes us to the question of the nature of science.

I’ve recently finished a booklet on evolution (it’s more from a philosophical perspective than a scientific one, but also addresses some aspects of the “Intelligent Design” scientific or quasi-scientific arguments), and put parts of it online.

Umm, did you read the link at the bottom of the post five posts above yours? Because I think that wraps up the ‘mathematically disproven’ argument nicely. (Even if you’re not talking about explicit abiogenesis calculations the fallacies mentioned in the article pepper virtually every evolution-deniers probability calculations.)

I laughed out loud when I saw this refuted by a Deist.

What are you talking about? Science has not proven that evolution is not possible. In fact every year new scientific discoveries further confirm evolution. There has been NOTHING that proves it false. Paul Davies arguments apply only to biogenesis and biogenesis has nothing to do with the theory of evolution. Davies admits that random mutations plus natural selection, Darwinian evolution, can and does account for the diversity of life since biogenesis.

Paul Davies from The Fifth Miracle

“In this case we have a ready-made solution to the puzzle, called Darwinism. Random mutations plus natural selection are one sure-fire way to generate biological information, extending a short random genome over time into a long random genome. Chance in the guise of mutations and law in the guise of selection form just the right combination of randomness and order needed to created ‘the impossible object.’ The necessary information comes, as we have seen, from the environment.” (P. 89)

Evolution, an old theory formulated 150 years ago, has been pretty well proven false. This has nothing to do with religion but the fact that it’s dependent on the theory that all this was created by random events, a theory which now has been mathematically disproven by many, Paul Davies for one who has switched to Deism from atheism. The fact that a slight difference in the “cosmological constants” would cause this to all cave in on itself, suggests that God isn’t ONLY the “First Cause” but that it is He that sustains the universe as well.

Cannot argue with science. evolution is now out dated and unscientific…

I found vast problems with it in 1978 when Scientific American had an entire issue on it. It amuses me now, that science has pretty well proven that it’s not possible (evolution).

How exactly has science proven that evolution isn’t possible?

Evolution is a hoax, just like Global Warming, Global Climate Change, the “hole” in the ozone layer and Y2K.

Don’t forget heliocentrism.

Evolution has been consistently supported by vast amounts of scientific data, collected from multiple independent fields, over the last 150 years. To the best of my knowledge it is taught in every Catholic university in the US, and probably the world, as by far the best explanation of the diversity of life on earth.

Mike

Never the less. Evolution contradicts the Bible.

That doesn’t seem to be a problem of Modernists.

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