Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top Problems with Evolution

Casey Luskin, at the useful Evolution News and Views blog, has just posted Top Five Problems with Current Origin-of-Life Theories.

His list of problems:
1. No Viable Mechanism to Generate a Primordial Soup.
2. Forming Polymers Requires Dehydration Synthesis
3. RNA World Hypothesis Lacks Confirming Evidence
4. Unguided Chemical Processes Cannot Explain the Origin of the Genetic Code.
5. No Workable Model for the Origin of Life
The post elaborates on these and cites pertinent references.

This list supplements Luskin's earlier post What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution? The problems listed here are:

1. Lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information.
2. The failure of the fossil record to provide support for Darwinian evolution.
3. The failure of molecular biology to provide evidence for a grand "tree of life."
4. Natural selection is an extremely inefficient method of spreading traits in populations, unless a trait has an extremely high selection coefficient.
5. Convergent evolution appears rampant -- at both the genetic and morphological levels, even though under Darwinian theory this is highly unlikely.
6. The failure of chemistry to explain the origin of the genetic code.
7. The failure of developmental biology to explain why vertebrate embryos diverge from the beginning of development.
8. The failure of neo-Darwinian evolution to explain the biogeographical distribution of many species.
9. A long history of inaccurate predictions inspired by neo-Darwinism regarding vestigial organs or so-called "junk" DNA.
10. Humans show many behavioral and cognitive traits and abilities that offer no apparent survival advantage (e.g. music, art, religion, ability to ponder the nature of the universe).

In the ensuing comments, readers suggested also:
11. The problem of the evolution of sex
12. The problem of accounting for consciousness.

These posts, along with the references cited, provide a useful short summary of the scientific critique of chemical and biological evolution.
*****


4 comments:

  1. Tangential to the first #4 I would add the impossibility of the simultaneous generation of the first inter-cellular mechanisms for reproducing DNA and the independent codification of them in the first DNA they would have had to have reproduced.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your contribution, Jim. Yes, that does seem to be one of the hardest problems to solve.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Scientists somethings get the obvious wrong too. In the following an astronomer gets is wrong:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/12/13/moon-lunar-phases-christmas.html


    This is not a Christmas eve scene; it's a Christmas morning scene. Just before sunrise service, when everyone is filled with the "news of great joy" and going to church. But before that there are carolers out.

    This is not a scene depicting the "joys" of Christmas commercialism, i.e., the days before Christmas.

    JohnV

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  4. "1. Lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information."

    Actually, no. The mechanism is well understood. It is the mutation, selection, and inheritance process.

    There is no mystery here, except that the question does not define "complex and specified information".

    "2. The failure of the fossil record to provide support for Darwinian evolution."

    This is nothing new as the problem of using the fossil record to affirm the theory of evolution are well known.

    "3. The failure of molecular biology to provide evidence for a grand "tree of life.""

    This is pretty puzzling as the best evidence for a ToL comes from the genomic comparisons.

    "4. Natural selection is an extremely inefficient method of spreading traits in populations, unless a trait has an extremely high selection coefficient."

    And so what? This is just an opinion with no justificaiton for what efficiency is required and why the process falls short.

    "5. Convergent evolution appears rampant -- at both the genetic and morphological levels, even though under Darwinian theory this is highly unlikely."

    ToE makes no predictions on the likelihood of convergent evolution except that it seeks to maximize the probability of reproductive success. If something like winged flight or vision are highly valuable in that regard, then it is a surprise that they might evolve more than once?

    The question provides no estimate on how likely this is given the premises of evolution.

    "6. The failure of chemistry to explain the origin of the genetic code."

    This belongs in the "origin of life" section, as ToL is not a theory about the origin of the first DNA driven life forms.

    "7. The failure of developmental biology to explain why vertebrate embryos diverge from the beginning of development."

    Actually, this is usually cited as evidence for evolution.

    "8. The failure of neo-Darwinian evolution to explain the biogeographical distribution of many species."

    No failures provided.

    "9. A long history of inaccurate predictions inspired by neo-Darwinism regarding vestigial organs or so-called "junk" DNA."

    Vestigial organs and functions are all over biology. And so is non-coding DNA. That some non-coding DNA has some beneficial regulatory function that is preserved by NS is not a surprise.

    "10. Humans show many behavioral and cognitive traits and abilities that offer no apparent survival advantage (e.g. music, art, religion, ability to ponder the nature of the universe)."

    "no apparent survival advantage..." is an appeal to ignorance. ToL does not depend on our understanding the survival value of every trait of every organism before we accept the theory.

    - courtesy of Dudley Chapman

    ReplyDelete

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