2018/09/18

Scientists Confirm: Darwinism Is Broken

Evolution believers need a new theory

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/david-klinghoffer/scientists-confirm-darwinism-broken

Excerpts: "Darwinian theory is broken and may not be fixable. That was the takeaway from a meeting last month (11/2016) organized by the world's most distinguished and historic scientific organization, which went mostly unreported by the media.

The three-day conference at the Royal Society in London was remarkable in confirming something that advocates of intelligent design (ID), a controversial scientific alternative to evolution, have said for years. ID proponents point to a chasm that divides how evolution and its evidence are presented to the public, and how scientists themselves discuss it behind closed doors and in technical publications. This chasm has been well hidden from laypeople, yet it was clear to anyone who attended the Royal Society conference, as did a number of ID-friendly scientists.

Dr. Meyer, a Cambridge University-trained philosopher of science, writes provocatively in the book's Prologue:
“The technical literature in biology is now replete with world-class biologists routinely expressing doubts about various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory, and especially about its central tenet, namely the alleged creative power of the natural selection and mutation mechanism.
“Nevertheless, popular defenses of the theory continue apace, rarely if ever acknowledging the growing body of critical scientific opinion about the standing of the theory. Rarely has there been such a great disparity between the popular perception of a theory and its actual standing in the relevant peer-reviewed science literature.”
The opening presentation at the Royal Society by one of those world-class biologists, Austrian evolutionary theorist Gerd Müller, underscored exactly Meyer’s contention. Dr. Müller opened the meeting by discussing several of the fundamental "explanatory deficits" of “the modern synthesis,” that is, textbook neo-Darwinian theory. According to Müller, the as yet unsolved problems include those of explaining:
  • Phenotypic complexity (the origin of eyes, ears, body plans, i.e., the anatomical and structural features of living creatures);
  • Phenotypic novelty, i.e., the origin of new forms throughout the history of life (for example, the mammalian radiation some 66 million years ago, in which the major orders of mammals, such as cetaceans, bats, carnivores, enter the fossil record, or even more dramatically, the Cambrian explosion, with most animal body plans appearing more or less without antecedents); and finally
  • Non-gradual forms or modes of transition, where you see abrupt discontinuities in the fossil record between different types.
As Müller has explained in a 2003 work (“On the Origin of Organismal Form,” with Stuart Newman), although “the neo-Darwinian paradigm still represents the central explanatory framework of evolution, as represented by recent textbooks” it “has no theory of the generative.” In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection lacks the creative power to generate the novel anatomical traits and forms of life that have arisen during the history of life. Yet, as Müller noted, neo-Darwinian theory continues to be presented to the public via textbooks as the canonical understanding of how new living forms arose – reflecting precisely the tension between the perceived and actual status of the theory that Meyer described in “Darwin’s Doubt.”
 
Yet, the most important lesson of the Royal Society conference lies not in its vindication of claims that our scientists have made, gratifying as that might be to us, but rather in defining the current problems and state of research in the field. The conference did an excellent job of defining the problems that evolutionary theory has failed to solve, but it offered little, if anything, by way of new solutions to those longstanding fundamental problems.

...This largely semantic, or classificatory, issue obscured a deeper question that few, if any, of the presentations confronted head on: the issue of the origin of genuine phenotypic novelty – the problem that Müller described in his opening talk.

Indeed, by the end of Day 3 of the meeting, it seemed clear to many of our scientists, and others in attendance with whom they talked, that the puzzle of life's novelties remained unsolved – if, indeed, it had been addressed at all. As a prominent German paleontologist in the crowd concluded, “All elements of the Extended Synthesis [as discussed at the conference] fail to offer adequate explanations for the crucial explanatory deficits of the Modern Synthesis (aka neo-Darwinism) that were explicitly highlighted in the first talk of the meeting by Gerd Müller.”

In “Darwin’s Doubt,” for example, Meyer emphasized the obvious importance of genetic and other (i.e., epigenetic) types of information to building novel phenotypic traits and forms of life. The new mechanisms offered by the critics of neo-Darwinism at the conference – whether treated as part of an extended neo-Darwinian synthesis or as the basis of a fundamentally new theory of evolution – did not attempt to explain how the information necessary to generating genuine novelty might have arisen. Instead, the mechanisms that were discussed produce at best minor microevolutionary changes, such as changes in wing coloration of butterflies or the celebrated polymorphisms of stickleback fish.

Moreover, the mechanisms that were discussed – niche construction, phenotypic plasticity, natural genetic engineering, and so on – either presupposed the prior existence of the biological information necessary to generate novelty, or they did not address the mystery of the origin of that information (and morphological novelty) at all.

Unfortunately, however, the conference will be remembered, as Suzan Mazur intimated in her coverage, for its failure to offer anything new. In particular, it failed to offer anything new that could help remedy the main “explanatory deficit” of the neo-Darwinian synthesis – its inability to account for the origin of phenotypic novelty and especially, the genetic and epigenetic information necessary to produce it.

These are still problems that evolutionary theory tells us little about – constituting, in our judgment, an invitation to scientists to consider the alternative of intelligent design.
"

(Dr. Paul Nelson and Mr. David Klinghoffer are Senior Fellows with Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture.)

My comment: Any change in organisms is due to epigenetic regulation of existing biological information or gradual but inevitable corruption of information. Darwinism is broken. Why to build theories that don't work? The truth can be found in the Bible.