GK-PID and the origin of species

Even though most biologists accept Darwin’s theory of natural selection as the explanation for how modern species came to exist, the mystery remains of how complex multicellular plants and animals evolved from far simpler single-celled organisms that rely on asexual reproduction to perpetuate their species. The offspring of single-celled organisms have the genes and DNA from only one parent, requiring no fusion of gametes or changes in the number of chromosomes.

Single-celled organisms are independent creatures. The average human body contains anywhere between 60 and 90 trillion cells that cooperate and work in collaboration to function as bones, organs, and tissue. The biological processes and rules that governs the creation of DNA from two parent organisms are far more complex and require the development of new protein structures which single-celled organism neither have nor need and therefore should not be produced by asexual reproduction. However, recent research and experiments have suggested a protein structure named GK-PID facilitated evolution from ancient, ancestral single-celled organisms into more complex and modern creatures and humans.

Christian beliefs regarding the origin of life vary from young earth creationism with an earth only 6,000 years old to old earth creationism, which finds no conflict between the Big Bang theory as the explanation for the origin of the universe and Genesis 1:3, which reads, “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Christians may also believe that intelligent design or even theistic evolution best describes how God created the universe. The common denominator in Christian thought is that we know God is responsible for creation, but we may disagree on how God created our universe and the life within.

Scientists must rely on a hypothesis from chemistry called abiogenesis to attempt an explanation for how inanimate matter became alive without any need for divine intervention, using the rationale that no matter how unlikely, the origin of life only had to have happened once. The most successful experiments were conducted by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey in the 1950s and produced a few precursor amino acids, but no living cells, nucleotides or DNA. Still, biologists believe that chemical reactions caused DNA to form and a living cell to be created (which logically must have been a single-celled organism.)

Now the GK-PID molecular carbiner, which binds two partner molecules that work together acting as an anchor and motor combination, has been proposed as an ultimate missing link bridging the gap between single-celled organisms like bacteria, and far more complex creatures like us. Researchers now claim to have sequenced DNA that existed almost a billion years ago and resurrected that DNA in a laboratory in order to perform “molecular time travel” experiments. These experiments allegedly showed how a single, lucky mutation could have caused this ancestral protein to evolve and develop a completely new function that enabled this remarkable transition from single cells into more complex organisms. Because of Darwin’s theory, biologists have assumed that new information can be added by viral insertion into an existing genome and becomes an inherited trait passed down to offspring, eventually culminating in dramatic metamorphosis and a classification as new species. According to current biological rules of sexual reproduction, we know that for mating to result in fertile offspring, both parents must belong to the same species.

What is a species?

Biologist’s use of the term species has become alarmingly inconsistent. There is only one classification of species for humans, homo sapiens. This application of the term is perfectly logical, because no matter where two human beings (male and female) were born, should they meet one day and choose to become parents, they should have no difficulty producing fertile offspring that may perpetuate our species. For example, a person from Sweden where blond hair and blue eyes are dominant characteristics could marry someone from Japan, where dark hair and brown eyes are common, and their children will have a somewhat blended physical appearance due to their unique DNA. There is one species for all dogs, canis lupus familiarus.

An ornithologist will more than likely classify a seagull found in the U.K. as a European herring gull, Larus argentatus. The same gull in America will probably be identified as Larus smithsonianus, an American herring gull. Why are there 28 different species of seagulls in North America alone, each with its own unique Latin name? Why is there only one species of domestic dogs, sub classified into breeds, but eight unique species of bears? Even two varieties of the same fruit fly have been classified into separate species, even though hawthorn fly and apple maggot fly are virtually identical in physical appearance. However, the claim that new species have evolved from existing species is actually contradicted by known, easily observed evidence. Two human beings will always give birth to a human child. Two apes will always produce an ape. Even if apes and humans attempted to mate (they can’t because of the different number and configuration of chromosomes) their offspring would be sterile just like mules, zedonks, and other hybrid animals, because they are not the origin of a new species. The offspring would be a biological dead end. It is only by redefining the meaning of species and applying arbitrary rules to the definition can biologists claim to have observed in both laboratory experiments and in the wild the process known as speciation, or the emergence of new species after changes to an existing species become persistent.

Only by adding time to the equation can the advocates of evolution claim, as Darwin himself famously scribbled in his notebook “monkeys make men.” Of course, modern biologists word it somewhat differently, only claiming that humans and apes share a common ancestor. The problem is these same known biological processes: sexual reproduction, isolation of a breeding population, and time are supposed to explain man’s relationship to the turnip as well as the chimpanzee. As biologist and author Richard Dawkins wrote: “Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eyewitnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips…continue the list as long as desired.” [1]

Does GK-PID bridge a significant evolutionary gap?

It is theoretically possible that GK-PID does play the role researchers have claimed allowing the transition from single-celled organisms as these remarkable experiments have suggested, but it should be noted that these tests should actually be considered examples of intelligent design. DNA evidence that is nearly a billion years old does not exist. Computer simulations produced a theoretical sequence for this ancestral organism based on reasonable expectations, but not scientific evidence.

Even so, researchers were able to synthesize this ancestral DNA and inject the results into bacterial and insect cells by experiment, and then observed the development of new molecular function, according to their published results.

Professor of ecology and evolution Joe Thornton, the leader of the project said, “It’s just coincidence that the two molecules look so similar. But that lucky resemblance is why a simple genetic event could cause the evolution of a molecular partnership that is now essential to the biology of complex animals.” [2]

It is interesting to believe that serendipity could have played such an important role in causing our existence, but if evolution can ever be seen as a replacement for creation, good fortune must have played a vital role. In the GK-PID laboratory experiments, researchers worked backwards using the DNA of known species to reconstruct the prehistoric model on which the experiments were based. But that one minor mutation in single-celled organisms is hardly the only amount of luck necessary to believe this universe came to exist without God as the cause. These experiments utilized highly probable pathways for evolution, but the Big Bang and abiogenesis were definitely not probable events. The Big Bang may be considered solid scientific theory, but it depends on multiverse hypotheses, string theories, or an equally unproven Grand Unified Theory. Abiogenesis has yet to graduate from hypothesis to theory. And biologists have exaggerated the significance of certain scientific evidence.

Is the rationale for mainstream atheism based on belief in some unbelievable good luck?

Are hybrid species really out of the question?

Of course, there have been examples of wild speculation attempting to explain how new species might evolve from existing species. In 1940,Richard Goldschmidt proposed that new species could rarely but suddenly result from profound mutations caused by sexual reproduction, referring to them as “hopeful monsters.”

More recently one respected physicist rather ludicrously suggested that chimpanzees might have successfully mated with pigs in the past, producing human hybrids. Other scientists have proposed that increased consumption of fruit was a significant factor in human-to-ape evolution.

These competing theories and hypotheses have one thing in common — apparently people who don’t believe in a supernatural creator God will believe in just about anything else.

 

[1] Dawkins, Richard. The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution. Page 8. New York. Free Press. 2009. Print.

[2] Jiang, Kevin. “A single, billion-year-old mutation helped multicellular animals evolve.” Science Life. The University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences. January 7, 2016. Online.

 

 

Critical thinking versus indoctrination

My_Headshot

NOT Richard F. Miniature

I feel compelled to say something about an article published by American Thinker yesterday — an article strangely critical of critical thinking, titled “The Great Critical Thinking Dodge.

The article describes critical thinking as the means by which liberals “shut out and shout down” the scientific method but in my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

Liberal academics absolutely love the scientific method, and actually use it as a weapon to discourage critical thinking skills.  Liberal teachers don’t want to teach their students to think for themselves — they want students to simply believe what they have been taught.

In July of 1925 the Scopes Monkey Trial was held because critical thinking in schools was literally illegal — students could only be taught creationism in science class, not Darwin’s theory of evolution via natural selection.

From September to November of 2005, the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial was held because critical thinking is still illegal — students can only be taught the theory of evolution in science (not philosophy) class, and teaching intelligent design is illegal.

Apparently the goal of education isn’t really to teach young people how to think, but what to believe. Indoctrination is not optional.

Most people believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is true, well supported by copious amounts of scientific evidence. Biologist Jerry Coyne even wrote a book titled Why Evolution is True. An overwhelming consensus of biologists agree that the evidence is overwhelming.

“Critical thinking” about the theory of evolution isn’t really allowed anymore — we must accept total indoctrination into that system of beliefs, or face severe scorn and ridicule. We aren’t supposed to question the conclusions of the intelligentsia, if we know what’s good for us.

Unfortunately, apparently I don’t know what’s good for me.southernprose_cover_CAFG

When Dr. Ken Miller described human chromosome #2 as a “fusion” of two primate chromosomes and smoking-gun evidence for ape-to-human evolution, I wrote an open letter to the well known and respected biologist specifically to question his use of that particular word, which typically describes a process that happens instantaneously — was he suggesting that the first humans were born of apes? Dr. Miller specifically told his audience that if this evidence of fusion did not exist, then the theory of evolution would be in serious trouble.

Dr. Miller was kind enough to reply to my question, but his answer still left me confused — if the fusion of two ancient primate chromosomes was not a driving force in the development of our species, homo sapiens, how can it be called evidence of ape-to-human evolution?

Perhaps some day in the future I’ll summon the courage to bother him a second time with another query, but if I do I’ll be sure to be very specific with my questions. Dr. Miller certainly knows more about biology than I do, to be sure.

But I was hoping to inspire him to think critically about what he’s saying, and to ponder the process of evolving into a new species.

What are the driving forces of natural selection that led to the origin of a species? According to Jerry Coyne they are sexual reproduction, isolation of a small breeding population, and time.

However, that seems lacking. Something besides sex, isolation, and time must be missing from our list of driving forces that explain what caused the differences between a chimpanzee and a human being, because the differences are significant.

According to the American Thinker article, critical thinking today means that when a pot of water is placed over a flame, the critical thinker can then think about whether or not we want the temperature of the water to increase, which is completely absurd.

So I Googled “critical thinking” found this rather useful definition:

Critical thinking is the process of analyzing and evaluating information, applying logic and reason to the information we currently have at our disposal, in order to reach a conclusion.

And just about everybody has a worldview they believe is correct — otherwise, it wouldn’t be much of a worldview, would it?

If one comes to believe his or her worldview is incorrect, they should change it, shouldn’t they?

More importantly, critical thinking is how we learn to best interpret evidence obtained via the scientific method.

To illustrate how critical thinking has a detrimental effect on society, the American Thinker article referred to Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and claimed that critical thinking was the reason those failed policies remain in effect.

However, in my opinion, it has been the absence of critical thinking that allows liberals to continue the War on Poverty. As a general rule, society cannot afford to pay able-bodied men and women not to work, which is what entitlement programs do. Yet we continue to waste money on programs that prolong misery rather than actually helping people.

Too many modern liberals are not only incapable of critical thinking, they are violently opposed to the idea, and viciously attack those who do apply logic and reason to their personal worldview.

Take, for example, the climate change/global warming debate. The typical liberal position is this: the subject is closed, no longer open to debate. An overwhelming consensus of climate scientists (97 percent is the most popular number cited) have agreed that something must be done to stop anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.

What exactly must be done? Raise taxes, of course. How does that solve the problem of climate change, if we assume it exists? Taxes don’t. Raising the price of coal and petroleum won’t reduce need, it will only affect the affordability of energy.

Question: from where does this 97 percent of climate scientists figure come, exactly? Is this number an actual statistical value, or a SWAG? (acronym for Sweeping Wild-Assed Guess) As far as I know, Jon Oliver or Bill Nye could have made it up. Or it could just be the product of a silly television stunt.

Second question: what has consensus got to do with the scientific method? If consensus is so great and wonderful, then why do liberals tend to get upset when I bring up Galileo and Boris Belousov after they start throwing around buzz words and phrases like “consensus” and “peer review?”

If liberals actually wanted more people to learn how to think for themselves, they would not be advocating that people should be fired from their jobs or even imprisoned for daring to question their “consensus” opinions — the most insidious form of censorship there is.

Here’s another example to illustrate why consensus is useless when it comes to science: of every 100 people, 97 of them or more would agree that injecting a form of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) into a girl dying from leukemia would be a terrible idea.

And they would be wrong. Terribly wrong, in fact.

Consensus is nothing more than an agreement of opinion, not the establishment of some scientific truth. Critical thinkers do not put a pot of water on the stove and then decide whether or not they want hot water. Even consensus seekers would agree that the only reasonable and logical reason to put a pot of water on a stove would be that you wanted hot water.

But the critical thinker asks questions and observes results. If the water doesn’t get hot in a sufficient amount of time, the critical thinker uses logic and reason and asks why is the water still coldperhaps then discovering that the burner was turned back off or the flame blew out.

We should encourage,and never discourage critical thinking.

Advancements in science will never be made and new knowledge will never be gained if we’re afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, which we should never blindly trust.

 

Why evolution is probably false

Dr_Kenneth_MillerI’ve never wanted nor pretended to be a biologist. I prefer to blame this possible character flaw on the fact I never liked dissecting animals, or the smell of formaldehyde.

My approach to science has always been “need to know” — meaning if I decide that I need to know something, I’ll put a little effort into figuring out how it works.

In the years since graduating from college I have certainly learned how to make children and grandchildren. For the longest time, I felt like that was enough knowledge of biology to satisfy my curiosity; I knew how to do my part to perpetuate of the species, and that was all I thought I needed to know.

When these evangelists for atheism like Richard Dawkins began using their belief in evolution as justification for attacking belief in the existence of a creator God, I decided it was probably time for me to learn a bit more about this theory used to justify their claims of having eliminated the possibility that a supernatural God could exist.

The Business Dictionary provides an excellent definition that I like which describes information as “Data that is (1) accurate and timely, (2) specific and organized for a purpose, (3) presented within a context that gives it meaning and relevance, and (4) can lead to an increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty.”

As a former professional software developer, that definition seems both useful and apropos. Computers accept raw data as input. Software applications inside the computer process that raw data to convert it into useful information.

The key phrase in the definition was “specific and organized for a purpose.”

DNA is very compacted, specific information– genetic raw data is processed by organic cells and turned into information exponentially more complex than computer machine language.

The best analogy I can think for DNA is that it seems to be a perfectly blended recipe comprised of four nucleotides organized into specific sequences to produce one unique living organism of the same species as the parents — we know from experience that hybrid animals are biological dead ends.

However, advocates of evolution theory typically take a dim view of criticism. They will vociferously object to the idea of intelligent design being offered as an alternative for evolution theory.

Dr. Ken Miller has openly said that he believes people like me who have raised questions about the theory of evolution are motivated by bias toward religion and belief in the supernatural rather than scientific curiosity.

I would respond to that accusation that my stubbornness stems from the inability of experts such as him to answer my questions, which admittedly pose challenges the theory of evolution.

And before I swallow Darwin’s theory hook, line, and sinker, I need to know what mechanisms allow physical transformation that could most easily be described incredible shapeshifting that allegedly takes over many generations — the transformations necessary to evolve from apes to men must be nothing short of spectacular.

Nevertheless, I have frequently been accused by my critics of being too dumb to understand the theory of evolution, which strikes me as a relatively simple concept. Given enough sex, isolation, and time, monkeys can allegedly evolve into men.

I’ve learned to consider the source, and to take into account that that the most obnoxious and personal insults come from less well-educated people and frequently contain numerous grammatical errors and misspelled words. My thirst for knowledge exceeds my ego. I’m willing to swallow my pride and risk the wrath of my critics to make myself clear. It also helps that more intelligent people like Dr. Miller tend to be very courteous and respectful, so risking the potential embarrassment of asking the question often proves to be well worth the effort.

My response to my critics is always the same: my inability to understand how the theory of evolution works in the real and observable world to cause the origin of new species certainly hasn’t been for the lack of trying.

What biological process(es) other than sex, isolation, and time, might exist that allows monkeys to turn into men? It seems we are missing a critical piece to the Big Picture puzzle.

I’ve read a lot of books on evolution theory, including The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins, and of course Jerry Coyne’s book Why Evolution is True, in my attempts to understand the theory of evolution yet my fundamental “how did it happen?”questions have remained unanswered to my satisfaction.

Evolution theory isn’t a terribly complicated concept, in my opinion. It may be summed up using only three words: descent with modification.

According to this theory, because you don’t appear to be clones of your parents or grandparents, you may safely assume that several million years ago, your ancestors were apes. Not modern apes, of course. Extinct, common ancestor apes that we know weren’t gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, even though we don’t know what they were.

My problems with this theory of evolution are fairly simple and straightforward: if humans evolved from apes, how did this happen? And if every living organism is related through descent by sex, isolation, and time, then we are cousins to all plants and animals on Earth.

So here we go, one more time: apes have 24 pair of chromosomes (48 total.)

Humans have 23 pair, or 46 total chromosomes. a mismatch in count.

About ape-to-human evolution Dr. Miller has said,

If a whole primate chromosome was lost, that would be lethal. So there’s only two possibilities. And that is, if these guys (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and humans) really share a common ancestor, that ancestor either had 48 chromosomes or 46.

Nevertheless it seems to be quite logical to assume that at some point in time, a living organism with 48 chromosomes must have given birth to an organism with only 46, if we’re going to work from the assumption that humans descended from other primates.

After reading those books and many others on evolution theory, I published open letters written to biologists Jerry Coyne, Francis Collins, and Ken Miller so that I might also learn why design is considered inconceivable and descent believed without question.

Replies from Dr. Miller and a response that came from Dr. Benoit LeBlanc on behalf of biology professors (in lieu of Dr. Coyne) were published in unexpurgated form.

1506128_10151920696573075_80923712_o

My question remains simple: how did humans really descend from creatures that resembled the one as claimed in the picture to the right?

According to the theory of evolution, the answer is simply sex, isolation, and time.

In this video Dr. Miller said,

What must have happened is that one pair of chromosomes must have gotten fused. We should be able to look at our genome and discover that one of our chromosomes resulted from the fusion of two primate chromosomes. So we should be able to look around our genome and you know what? If we don’t find it, then evolution is wrong, and we don’t share a common ancestor.

When I wrote Dr. Miller to question his use of the word “fusion” to describe the joining of two chromosomes, he assured me that the word was appropriate, though the official biological term for the phenomena was a “Robertsonian translocation.

A little research on Robertsonian translocations taught me the following:

  1. Robertsonian translocations are rare mutations caused by the fusion of two chromosomes in offspring created by sexual reproduction.
  2. Most cases of Robertsonian translocations are either harmful or fatal to offspring (trisomy 13 (Down), trisomy 21 (Patau), and Edwards syndromes.)
  3. In the event of “balanced” Robertsonian translocations, the individual is not harmed because no genetic information has been gained or lost.
  4. Variations in the number of chromosomes caused by fusion does not create a new species. There is a healthy human male allegedly discovered to only have 44 chromosomes, but in reality chromosomes 14 and 15 merely joined together. Nevertheless, the article found at the Stanford Tech Review reported that the man’s “chromosomes are arranged in a stable way that could be passed on if he met a nice girl who had 44 chromosomes too. And this would certainly be possible in the future given his family history.”

But how could this this possible?

If this man can’t produce viable offspring with anyone except a “nice woman” with a matching count of 44 chromosomes (presumably with the same two chromosomes fused), how could we ever have a new species of humans that only have 44 chromosomes?

If these traits are both rare and undetectable within members of a population, how do the “44s” know to pair together in order to produce viable offspring?

Before I can believe evolution is true, I need to know how these things could happen.

This article was titled Why evolution theory is probably false for these reasons:

  1. Robertsonian translocations are rare events, and usually detrimental or fatal.
  2. Genetic information cannot be added or subtracted to an existing genome without causing the offspring serious harm.
  3. Robertsonian translocations do not cause the origin of a new species. Therefore, if translocations have no relationship to the origin of new species, then any examples of an apparent translocation between two species could only be coincidence or illusion.
  4. The primary feature of other genetic abnormalities such as Klinefelter syndrome is sterility.
  5. The title of Jerry Coyne’s book is Why Evolution is True, but I don’t think it is true. I’m allowing for the possibility that I might be wrong, however.

Evolution theory tells us that unguided and unintelligent processes gradually transformed less intelligent animals into more sophisticated creatures, including from apes to human beings simply through sex and isolation, given the vagaries of time.

The “experts” can produce evidence that they claim “proves” species have originated in this way, but they don’t have the foggiest idea how it possibly could have happened. The ape on the right above had to have mated with a male ape that looked like her and matched her genetics. There’s nothing I’ve discovered in biology that might explain why their descendants would ever look significantly different.

Genetic material cannot be accurately described as information until it has been processed according to specific rules by an intelligent application to produce meaningful results.

Otherwise you end up with useless gibberish.

[hat tip to Maurice D. for posting the YouTube video featuring Dr. Ken Miller titled “How to Shut Up Pesky Creationists” that inspired this article.]