In 1837, Charles Darwin sketched out for the first time a tree of life that he thought might visualize the idea of descent of
animal lineages with modifications which would help to explain the origin of species. Though the tree of life idea had been used to visualize taxonomy by Carl Linneaus, it became foundational as a tool for the development of Darwin’s evolutionary hypothesis. Lines connecting groups of organism branched off to more specific and supposedly related forms. Darwin saw that the connections made to groups and the position of species within a group were the result of shared similarities through ancestral descent. His theory was one attempt at explaining how those relationships might have come to exist. Ancestry was presumed to give rise to multiple lineages that diverged to create new life forms. Natural selection was the driving force for the divergence of species from a common ancestor. Natural variation within a type of organism was the generator of novel traits. Together, variation and selection would prove life evolved to its current time in existence.
For a century and a half evolutionary biologists have been trying to prove that this tree is real rather than just a mental concept or a taxonomic tool for naming things. The discovery of DNA was thought to be the answer to validating the hereditary associations of different species. By sequencing the genetic material of living things it was predicted that the relationships of animals could be shown to be real; ultimately supporting the idea that similar beings share ancestry. Gene sequences were thought to enable an unbiased proof of evolution through the construction of molecular phylogenetic trees. It was hoped that random modification in the DNA code would allow scientists to literally visualize the history of evolutionary change. However, what actually has happened is that an entirely new genetic branch of life was discovered; totally unrelated to the bacteria or multicellular organisms. The discovery
of the archaeal bacteria established an entirely new branch of biology. And now there is more unrelated organism to deal with than related organisms. Molecular phylogeny created new problems for evolution and has not answered any problems save the revelation of a failed theory. I repeat, the development of a tree of related species has proven to be false. Gene sequence alignments create “networks” of connections of completely different, obviously unrelated types of beings. DNA did not and will not conform to descent with modification.
For example, 2000 gene sequences common to humans, frogs, sea squirts, sea urchins, fruit flies and nematodes were compared.(1) Theoretically, the results should have constructed a tree that revealed evolutionary relationships. However, different genes aligned in different sequence among the 6 types of life forms. No tree is possible in such an analysis. Ultimately, there appears to be no consistent relationship among these animals. Evolution is undone.
Molecular phylogeny represented as a tree, though widely published as a viable tool for deducing ancestry, has not supported evolutionary suppositions. Though similar life forms that share a fundamental body plan (the mammals, the apes within the mammals) do share many of the same protein genes, they do not share the programming for the use of those genes. For instance, chimpanzees have been said to have only a 3 to 6% difference from humans and yet the chimp genome is some 10% larger to begin with. This means we are at least 10% different because of the larger chimp genome. Currently the assessment of the difference between the two genomes is 70%. Seventy percent different! Not similar.
This method of aligning sequences was hoped to reveal not only the relatedness of living organism but also the point in time when speciation or divergence from a common ancestor occurred. Each attempt at creating such a genetic or molecular clock has failed or when it does align different species the rate of the molecular clock is either too consistent for different gene sequences or never consistent enough for similar sequences. Evolutionary scientists pick and choose which gene they want to use in order to support the dogma of biological relatedness of species. This is neither scientific nor objective. It
is very much like churches that choose to accept some biblical passages but ignore others in an effort to support the teachings of their founder. People, whether religionists or evolutionists, are prejudice. They believe what they want and never let the facts get in the way.
Instead of accepting the evidence (or lack thereof) of molecular alignment, which speaks loudly against common ancestry, evolutionists have decided that other mechanisms are at play in the development of different life forms. Instead of a linear descent of genetic information from one species into another species, genes must have moved horizontally from one form to another.
This transfer of intact genes does occur among some bacterial forms and in the lab has been shown to occur between completely unrelated bacterial species. Virus particles also have been used to move chunks of DNA between bacteria as well as mammalian cell types.
Viral transfers of DNA are highly cell specific. However, no virus has been caught transferring DNA between higher life forms. One group of bacteria, the agrobacteria, can infect wounded plants and transfer its DNA into plant tissues. This transfer is a complex and highly controlled process that requires an elaborate and specialized genetic apparatus and well-defined genetic elements that direct the specific bacterial DNA into the wounded plant cells. Once cells are infected with this DNA the genes code for the over-production of plant hormones and a few unique amino acids. The plant tissue grows uncontrollably into a gall or tumor that encompasses the bacteria. The gall produces amino acids that only the bacteria can metabolize. It is truly a unique way to infect, colonize and parasitize plant tissue. This kind of invasion of foreign DNA into plant biology is not known to pass any genes onto the sex cells of the plant; a requirement of horizontal gene transfer to be useful to the propagation of novel traits in the next generation of the plant.
Also, all viral infections are specifically about the transfer of genetic material into a host cell. The cold and flu virus’, HIV, hepatitis, cytomegalovirus and herpes virus’ in humans and bacterial phage particles in bacteria are examples of infectious particles that transfer the entire genome of the virus into the host cell. There it may integrate into the genome of the host for some time or the viral particles may replicate to extend the infection to other
host cells. Not all cell types are susceptible to such viral infection and, keep in mind, to be useful to any sort of evolutionary propagation such infection would have to occur in the gonadal (sex) tissues. There are no known virus’ that infect the ovary or testis of any animal or plant for that matter.
I guess what makes matters even more embarrassing for the materialistic scientists is their dependence on unproven and purely speculative hypothesis of just how such gene transfers have occurred in the past. The endosymbiotic theory of mitochondrial and chloroplastic development from the invasion of bacterial cells into the eukaryotic cellular machinery is an unsubstantiated claim now accepted as though a proven fact. It has been proposed that sometime in the distant past a bacterium was engulfed by a eukaryotic cell. This fusion of cell types complemented the pair of cell types and over the eons symbiosis between the self replicating pair resulted in a permanent adaptation. The bacteria gave up independent life to specialize as a respiratory package for the larger cell. Genes somehow transferred to the large cell type so that without the genome of both life forms, respiration cannot occur. A similar story is told about how the photosynthetic chloroplast came to be found in plant cells. Far more
voluminous to discuss than in this post is the extensive comparative analysis of mitochondrial function and structure to a bacterial cell. It is like comparing your fingernail to the entire human body in terms of function and structure. Yet, the minor similarities between the size and structure of the respiratory organelle called the mitochondrion and a bacterial cell warrant sufficient evidence for those dedicated to materialism to accept the endosymbiotic theory as reality.
There are also rare transfers of genes from bacteria to yeast cells and from here speculations go wild, becoming forensic in nature, requiring interpretation of existing genetic oddities to potential sources of such gene transfer. None of them are convincing to the skeptic of scientism. Each evidence is shrouded in mystery and begs for some explanation. The only explanation materialists are able to come up with are not based on knowledge or experiment but supposed unseen and untestable events in the distant past; events for which no known mechanism is available.
The tree of life does not exist. Horizontal gene transfer is more of an excuse than an answer as to how the many forms of life share so many identical sequences and why so many genes do not align with their expected ancestral precursors. Among prokaryotic (bacterial) genes, nearly 80% are considered to have been exchanged by transfer to create new species, rather then to have evolve by Darwinian mechanisms. HGT is the rule not the exception. Descent with modification is foiled.
And not to be undone, multicellular life is now claimed to engage in cross species
hybridization to create new life forms. Does this make sense? If Neanderthal was one species and Homo erectus man another, hybridization cannot take place! The very definition of a species is a population of organisms that is reproductively isolated, i.e., reproduction only takes place within a specie not between species. Hybridization is only between varieties or strains within the species. But the need for evolutionists to explain the failure of DNA to support biological evolution opens up the careless and flippant use of terms until those words become conveniently meaningless. If the public would study the information for themselves they would discover that Neanderthal was far more advanced than modern people are today. They had religion, made and used musical instruments, enjoyed art, and made their own clothing, tools, weapons, thread, needles and so on. Neither Neanderthal nor Homo erectus have any statistically significant morphological differences from modern man. Both fall into traits typical of the human population. Hybridization is a farce not a feature of evolution.
Chunks of DNA that have been found common to a wide diversity of animals from frog to bat to opossum and are being accounted for by HGT. A chunk of DNA peculiar to snakes was found in cow. Did the cow give it to the snake or the snake to the cow? “The number of horizontal transfers in animals is not as high as in microbes but it can be evolutionarilly significant”, one scientist, says.(1) The vertical descent of Darwinian evolution has been shown to be meaningless by DNA sequence analysis. Yet evolutionist continue to claim that Darwin’s vision has triumphed when it is apparent in every way
that it has failed. “It does not mean evolution is wrong- just that evolution is not as tidy as we would like…”(1). Why continue to support a failed theory? It is because no other materialistic explanation can be thought up. It does not matter that the mechanisms of such gene transfer in higher species does not exist. Anything goes in an attempt to hold materialism as creator god.
One scientists came close to admitting the failure’s of Darwin’s bad idea, “Our standard model of evolution is under enormous pressure. We’re clearly going to see evolution as much more about mergers and collaborations than change within isolated lineages.” Another scientist said of the tree of life, “It helped us to understand that evolution was real. But now we know more about evolution, it’s time to move on.” This is delusional and evasive thinking. If the tree is proven useless then it taught nothing about truth or science or evolution. We know more about evolution than we did before this genetic research. We now know evolution is false, failed, and fruitless.
The evidence in molecular biology damns the descent with modification hypothesis. New evidence does not just blur the edges of this incredibly poor hypothesis but it erases its hold on biological science altogether. My prediction is that with increased understanding of the totality of many genomes we will discover that evolution is pure nonsense. However, science will not let evolution go. Newer and stranger ideas will come into vogue. Fusion of whole animal types will be acceptable as events in the distant past and inter-species reproduction will be taught as the means of creating new life forms. Butterfly metamorphosis will be explained by teaching that a moth ate a worm and their genomes fused to produce two life forms that we currently know as the butterfly. This has already been put forth for the dimorphic forms of coelomates (corals, jellyfish) No evidence will be given. It will be assumed as fact just as Mary was assumed into heaven (The Catholic church call this the “Assumption”).
Meanwhile other molecular events are being imagined to explain those genetic sequences that simply do not conform to the presumption of molecular evolution. Homoplasty is one such means used to explain away the data. Homoplasty describes the independent development of genes in different groups of organisms that have arrived at the same or very similar sequence. It is a form of convergent evolution and the probability of such events occurring are beyond astronomical. Nevertheless, anything goes in order to preserve evolution, as we have seen. Homoplasty is a real problem for evolutionists yet listen to Richard Dawkins take on the problems of the tree of life:
“… there is, after all, one true tree of life, the unique pattern of evolutionary branchings that actually happened. It exists. It is in principle knowable. We don’t know it all yet. By 2050 we should – or if we do not, we shall have been defeated only at the terminal twigs, by the sheer number of species.” R. Dawkins (2).
Dawkins is prepared for the failure of the molecular revolution to support evolution. So even if it is defeated, he will claim it is only at the terminal twigs. What this means is that only the organisms that exist will interfere with our analysis since these are the organisms that are found at the terminal twigs of the tree… everything else is non existent and theoretical. So, when facts get in the way, toss them out for the sake of the god of evolution.
A recent publication announced genes as a source of public goods; meaning genes are randomly passed from organism to organism… the phylogeny is unknown. The evolutionary biologists published that the tree of life is, “…becoming increasingly implausible.” and “…given our knowledge of the data, it seems that the elastic limit of the original hypothesis (descent with modification) has been passed.” and “It is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile the observed extent of horizontal gene transfers with the central metaphor of a great tree uniting all evolving entities on the planet.” (3) Other researchers are speaking of the tree of life made from molecular phylogeny as a knowledge tool, a heuristic tool for discovery and these comments with respect to tossing the tree of life completely out the window.(4) The new Darwinian theory based on genetic information has proven unequivocally that Darwin was wrong. Evolution is neither by descent nor by lateral gene transfer. The evidence is that biological evolution is a failed hypothesis. The only other alternative is creation by design. Blueprints are specific for each kind of living being.
It is apparent that molecular phylogeny does not support evolution. The first protein sequence used to develop molecular phylogeny was cytochrome C. It was published with
much acclaim but in fact further scrutiny revealed that trees conflict repeatedly. Each conflict is explained away and the theory leads the data rather than the data dictating the theory. Journal articles spend as much time explaining away problems as they do force fitting the data to support evolution. Rather than articles admitting that molecular phylogenetic attempts dispel evolution, the titles always say that molecular sequence alignments are “rewriting evolution”.
This, my dear friends is shear, unadulterated madness. Square pegs do not fit in round holes.
Lawton, G. 2009. Why Darwin Was Wrong About the Tree of Life. New Scientist. 2692: 34-39.
2. Dawkins R (2003) A devil’s chaplain. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
3. Biology Direct 2011, 6:41
4. Biology Direct 2011, 6:32