A Mountain of Evidence? (Part 4)

Making a Molehill Out of the Mountain

by Calvin Smith on June 13, 2022
Featured in Calvin Smith Blog
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In my last article, we looked at several common pieces of evidence that many science students might remember as “proof-positive” for the story of evolution—and why they simply don’t hold up under critical scrutiny.

We demonstrated that, even in their own scientific community, these highly promoted prize horses in the evolutionary stable of evidence have failed to stand the test of time; even though they are often included as part of the overall pile of proofs in support of the materialistic account of origins in textbooks and teaching programs to this day.

Plowing Through the Pile

So, let’s continue our exploration with a quick overview of several more items (with in-depth articles linked for those who wish for a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of each). This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of all the supposed evidence for evolution, but it should demonstrate how weak the glass house of evolutionary evidence truly is.

We’ll start with one of the most well-known supposed missing links between apes and man: Lucy.

Lucy

Ah, who could forget the lovely Lucy? Announced with much fanfare, and even having a famous song associated with her (as she was supposedly discovered by workers listening to the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), she was once viewed as the veritable queen of all missing links between man and our ape-like hominid ancestors.

With museum displays showcasing her humanlike hands and feet dangling beneath her stately, quasi-human/ape-like visage, these fleshed-out replicas of her discovered fossils convinced millions of people that the mountain of evidence in support of evolution had indeed grown higher.

Until the details surrounding her discovery were made clearer.

For starters, unlike the way most people imagine how she was discovered, her skeleton is only about 40 percent complete.

Also, despite her paleoanthropological portrayals in public museums depicting her with humanlike digits, they never found Lucy’s hands or feet, just little bits and pieces. The claim that she was bipedal wasn’t due to actual foot bones, they were due to humanlike fossil footprints discovered 1000 miles away that were considered too early in the evolutionary timeline to be human!

You see, rather than question their dating methods, evolutionists believed these “humanlike” footprints (supposedly 3+ million years old and yet indistinguishable from human footprints you’d find on a beach today) must have come from a time before humans evolved.

And since humans weren’t there at the time (according to the evolutionary math), they concluded something else must have made the prints. That’s where Lucy came in.

If Lucy (or one of her kin) had humanlike feet, then that would explain the footprints, so it made sense to portray her with human feet! See how logical and scientific that is?

However, since her discovery, more fossils of the same species as Lucy (Australopithecines) with hands and feet have been discovered, and unfortunately for evolutionists, they don’t have humanlike hands or feet—they have ape-like feet, with curved toes and fingers just like modern apes do.

They also have ape wrists and ape shoulders, which means that Lucy and her kin did not walk upright. Instead, like other apes, they likely lived in trees and walked on their knuckles. The most straightforward conclusion is that rather than a missing link in the evolutionary chain, Lucy is just an extinct ape.

As happens to almost every evolutionary evidence I’ve ever examined, Lucy is now being abandoned by many informed evolutionists. Over time, and as more and more evidence in contradiction to their initial claims piles up, many evolutionary researchers have become lukewarm towards her missing link status and have concluded that Lucy should no longer be considered man’s direct ancestor.

98% Human/Chimp DNA Similarity

At some point, everyone has likely heard the tired, old claim that human and chimp DNA is only 1–2% different from each other, and they share greater than 98% of their genetic make-up. This argument has been made to prove the supposed evolutionary relationship between humans and apes. It’s made frequently but is far from being factual—it’s simply not true.

Informed and honest evolutionists have agreed it’s false. For example, in the rather revealing article (whose title itself shows that the gig is up as far as the “only 1–2% difference” argument goes) “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%.” The evolution-believing author wrote,

Genome wise [referring to the DNA inside the nucleus of the cell], humans and chimpanzees are quite similar, but studies are showing that they are not as similar as many tend to believe.1

Now, many laypeople often have the simplistic view that scientists can somehow line up all the individual chemical DNA letters from both chimp and human genomes beside one another and voilà, 98% of the letters are in exactly the same place, side by side. Like looking at a copy of a book and comparing it to a revised edition and discovering there was only a 2% difference in content.

But this is simply not the case. The 98–99% refers only to substitutions in aligned regions where human and chimp DNA have different bases/letters. However, this isn’t considering the many other differences in their DNA as well.

For example, there are gaps in the aligned region where there is human DNA, but no matching chimp DNA (or vice versa). And there are also millions of bases outside the aligned regions that don’t match whatsoever but that aren’t counted in the “DNA similarity” argument’s conclusion.

However, if all of these differences were counted and combined, it shows a total of 600 million differences between human and chimp DNA and drops the similarity down to only 80%!

Now, some people think, “But it’s still 80% alike!” This infers that any great amount of similarity within creatures lends weight to the evolutionary story by somehow demonstrating a close ancestral relationship between them.

However, evolutionist Steve Jones addressed that misconception while speaking to an audience, stating,

We also share about 50% of our DNA with bananas and that doesn’t make us half bananas, either from the waist up or the waist down.2

The fact is all living things share similar organic building blocks and a similar genetic code/language that contains the instructions for their construction and maintenance. This could be compared to our written English language, for example.

If you picked out two detective novels from your local library and were somehow able to compare their texts using a computer algorithm, the diagnostic would likely find many similar isolated words and phrases.

Just like the genome of any creature, both books follow the same rules of grammar and certain literary conventions that a detective novel typically uses. But the similarity doesn’t mean that one of those books evolved from the other.

The argument for 98% similarity between humans and chimps is a myth.

Vestigial Organs

One of the classic and longest-running arguments used as compelling evidence for evolution is the evolutionary throwback called vestigial organs within living things.

The argument states that many living organisms (including man) have primitive or degraded organs that were once functional in our evolutionary past but now have very reduced function or are just completely useless.

Charles Darwin argued this in his book The Descent of Man, drawing up a list of a dozen organs including wisdom teeth, the appendix, and the coccyx (tailbone), and claimed this was strong evidence we’d evolved from primitive ancestors.

By 1893, the German anatomist Robert Wiedersheim increased that list of “useless organs” to 86, and included the thymus, tonsils, adenoids, valves in veins, the parathyroid, and the pineal and pituitary glands. Not only have all, of course, now been shown to be functional, but also some have been shown to be critical for life itself!

Despite the overwhelming scientific and medical research debunking these vestigial organ claims, the Encyclopedia Britannica claimed as recently as 1971 that there were more than 100 vestigial organs in man, and despite well-known research to the contrary, still listed the appendix until 1997.

The appendix does not serve any useful purpose as a digestive organ in humans, and it is believed to be gradually disappearing in the human species over evolutionary time.3

Today doctors consider that laughable, as the appendix is recognized as a highly specialized organ with a rich blood supply that manufactures several types of antibodies. Over the years, the list of vestigial organs has shrunk to a handful of highly questionable examples within the evolutionary community itself.

But it’s not just the fact that these vestigial organ claims kept getting knocked off the list that makes the claim so weak, it was the fact that the whole concept was a terrible “proof” of evolution to begin with.

Ultimately, evolution is about how new structures, forms, functions, and features came to exist, not about the degeneration of existing structures over time. Something that used to have a function but no longer does is no direct help to the theory of evolution—but it fits perfectly with the biblical history of an original good world that has degenerated over the last 6,000 years.

Junk DNA

Whether they really understand it or not, most people have at least heard of the term junk DNA, and most think it has something to do with supporting the story of evolution.

The basic idea is that when non-coding DNA sequences (like introns) were discovered, and it wasn’t understood whether they did anything productive or not, evolutionists proposed that they must be useless leftovers from our evolutionary past, i.e., vestigial DNA. (Sound familiar?)

This evolutionary view actually impeded scientific progress for decades because researchers considered 98% of DNA to be junk, so many (but luckily not all) evolutionists didn’t even bother to research the non-coding (supposedly junk) regions.

One who did not buy into the idea of junk DNA was Professor John Mattick—a leading figure in the science of genetics—who said,

[T]he failure to recognize the implications of the non-coding DNA will go down as the biggest mistake in the history of molecular biology.4

Why? Because as usual, with more research scientists have discovered (shock of shocks) that it isn’t evolutionary junk after all. As a recent 2021 paper5 published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution (studying the platyhelminth worm) boldly stated,

The days of “junk DNA” are over.

It also admitted,

When the senior authors of this article studied genetics at their respective universities, the common doctrine was that the nonprotein coding part of eukaryotic genomes consists of interspersed, “useless” sequences, often organized in repetitive elements such as satDNA . . . This view has fundamentally changed . . . .

Although there are damaged and corrupted parts of DNA caused by mutations, the story of vast portions of DNA with no function having built up over millions of evolutionary years is defunct for a while, despite it still being taught to students.

Back in 2003, the international team of 442 scientists involved in the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA elements) project began trying to identify all functional elements in the human genome, and what they discovered was shocking to most evolutionists. Discover magazine’s website reported,

ENCODE has shown that the rest of the genome–the non-coding majority–is still rife with “functional elements.” That is, it’s doing something . . . . According to ENCODE’s analysis, 80 percent of the genome has a “biochemical function” . . . the key point is: it’s not “junk.”6

And even that number was too low. As Dr. Ewan Birney (Lead Analysis Coordinator for ENCODE since 2007) explained after looking at 147 of the few thousand types of cells in the human body,

It’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent . . . . We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn’t that useful.

The Mountain Tumbled Down

So, we see once again that the so-called mountain of evidence for evolution crumbles upon close examination, revealing that this claim can be clearly placed under the logical fallacy known as elephant hurling.

If there are so many pieces of evidence but each individual piece turns out to be suspect, how much evidence is there? Do you remember the quote from Professor Richard Dawkins in Part 1?

Nobody has actually seen evolution take place over a long period but they have seen the after effects, and the after effects are massively supported. It is like a case in a court of law where nobody can actually stand up and say I saw the murder happen and yet you have got millions and millions of pieces of evidence which no reasonable person can possibly dispute.7

But these millions of pieces of evidence can and have been disputed by reasonable persons—many of them evolutionists themselves! There is, in fact, no concrete evidence in support of evolution—all of it is circumstantial at best—as it has never been observed.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow—but Forever in the Mind

The fact is evolutionary evidence has come and gone over time and will continue to do so—some lingering longer than others. But as each new crown jewel in the story of evolution gets dethroned, shiny new evidentiary baubles replace those who’ve lost their luster, and so the naturalistic monolith of evolution continues to loom large over the Western educational landscape—influencing each new generation further into a materialistic understanding of our origins.

However, that tower is made up of individual strands of evidence that are, on their own, unable to support the structure they inhabit. They are rather cemented in unison by a humanistic philosophy that welds them together under the guise of science—cladding everything with a veneer of intellectual credibility that most refuse to question for fear of ridicule and expulsion from the mainstream of thought and ideological acceptability.

Uncovering the Foundation of Evolution

Next week, we’ll be uncovering the fallacious foundation on which the evolutionary worldview is perched—the concept of “millions of years”—in “A Mountain of Evidence? (Part 5)—The Bedrock of Evolution.”

Footnotes

  1. Jon Cohen, “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%,” Science 316, no. 5833 (June 2007): 1836.
  2. S. Jones, in a recorded interview, The Science Show, ABC radio, January 12, 2002, abc.net.au.
  3. New Encyclopædia Britannica 1, no. 491, 1997.
  4. “Genius of Junk (DNA),” Catalyst, last modified July 10, 2003, http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s898887.htm.
  5. Maria Stitz, “Satellite-Like W-Elements: Repetitive, Transcribed, and Putative Mobile Genetic Factors with Potential Roles for Biology and Evolution of Schistosoma mansoni,” Genome Biology and Evolution 13, no. 10 (October 2021): https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evab204.
  6. E. Yong, “ENCODE: The Rough Guide to the Human Genome,” Not Exactly Rocket Science blog, Discover Magazine, last modified September 5, 2012. blogs.discovermagazine.com.
  7. The Genius of Charles Darwin (Episode 3): Richard Dawkins, Channel 4 (UK), Monday, 18 August 2008.

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