Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mainstream Scientists Admit the Evidence for the Natural Origin and Evolution of Life is Missing

Many mainstream scientist admit the evidence for the natural origin and evolution of life is missing. The following excerpts from articles written by Casey Luskin provide several examples.

Intelligent Design Has Scientific Merit in Paleontology By Casey Luskin

"What one actually found was nothing but discontinuities. All species are separated from each other by bridgeless gaps; intermediates between species are not observed. ... The problem was even more serious at the level of the higher categories."
--Leading 20th Century Evolutionary Biologist Ernst Mayr

Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record By Casey Luskin

Stephen Jay Gould explains:
The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.
The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.

A Primer on the Tree of Life By Casey Luskin

Looking higher up the tree, a recent study published in Science tried to construct a phylogeny of animal relationships but concluded that “[d]espite the amount of data and breadth of taxa analyzed, relationships among most [animal] phyla remained unresolved.”6 Likewise, Carl Woese, a pioneer of evolutionary molecular systematics, observed that these problems extend well beyond the base of the tree of life: “Phylogenetic incongruities [conflicts] can be seen everywhere in the universal tree, from its root to the major branchings within and among the various taxa to the makeup of the primary groupings themselves.”7

The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Citation Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information By: Casey Luskin

As Professor of Neurosurgery Michael Egnor insightfully said in response to one evolutionary biologist:
[G]ene duplication is, presumably, not to be taken too seriously. If you count copies as new information, you must have a hard time with plagiarism in your classes. All that the miscreant students would have to say is 'It's just like gene duplication. Plagiarism is new information- you said so on your blog!'16

Biologist Austin Hughes warns that most inferences of positive selection are based upon questionable statistical analyses of genes:
A major hindrance to progress has been confusion regarding the role of positive (Darwinian) selection, i.e., natural selection favoring adaptive mutations. In particular, problems have arisen from the widespread use of certain poorly conceived statistical methods to test for positive selection. Thousands of papers are published every year claiming evidence of adaptive evolution on the basis of computational analyses alone, with no evidence whatsoever regarding the phenotypic effects of allegedly adaptive mutations. … Contrary to a widespread impression, natural selection does not leave any unambiguous ‘‘signature’’ on the genome, certainly not one that is still detectable after tens or hundreds of millions of years. To biologists schooled in Neo-Darwinian thought processes, it is virtually axiomatic that any adaptive change must have been fixed as a result of natural selection. But it is important to remember that reality can be more complicated than simplistic textbook scenarios. … In recent years the literature of evolutionary biology has been glutted with extravagant claims of positive selection on the basis of computational analyses alone ... This vast outpouring of pseudo-Darwinian hype has been genuinely harmful to the credibility of evolutionary biology as a science.19

Problems with the Natural Chemical "Origin of Life" (updated) By Casey Luskin

After seeing difficulties faced by the origin of life, perhaps this is why over 20 years ago, the noted scientist who discovered the structure of DNA, Francis Crick, said:
"The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going."38

Klaus Dose said the following about the state of OOL research:
"More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance. New lines of thinking and experimentation must be tried."47

Top Five Problems with Current Origin-of-Life Theories By Casey Luskin

Have modern theorists explained how this crucial bridge from inert nonliving chemicals to self-replicating molecular systems took place? Not at all. In fact, even Stanley Miller readily admitted the difficulty of explaining this in Discover Magazine:
Even Miller throws up his hands at certain aspects of it. The first step, making the monomers, that's easy. We understand it pretty well. But then you have to make the first self-replicating polymers. That's very easy, he says, the sarcasm fairly dripping. Just like it's easy to make money in the stock market -- all you have to do is buy low and sell high. He laughs. Nobody knows how it's done.12

Frank Salisbury explained the problem in a paper in American Biology Teacher:
It's nice to talk about replicating DNA molecules arising in a soupy sea, but in modern cells this replication requires the presence of suitable enzymes. ... [T]he link between DNA and the enzyme is a highly complex one, involving RNA and an enzyme for its synthesis on a DNA template; ribosomes; enzymes to activate the amino acids; and transfer-RNA molecules. ... How, in the absence of the final enzyme, could selection act upon DNA and all the mechanisms for replicating it? It's as though everything must happen at once: the entire system must come into being as one unit, or it is worthless. There may well be ways out of this dilemma, but I don't see them at the moment.19

As two theorists observed in a 2004 article in Cell Biology International:
The nucleotide sequence is also meaningless without a conceptual translative scheme and physical "hardware" capabilities. Ribosomes, tRNAs, aminoacyl tRNA synthetases, and amino acids are all hardware components of the Shannon message "receiver." But the instructions for this machinery is itself coded in DNA and executed by protein "workers" produced by that machinery. Without the machinery and protein workers, the message cannot be received and understood. And without genetic instruction, the machinery cannot be assembled.20

Harvard chemist George Whitesides was given the Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society. During his acceptance speech, he offered this stark analysis, reprinted in the respected journal Chemical and Engineering News:
The Origin of Life. This problem is one of the big ones in science. It begins to place life, and us, in the universe. Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth. How? I have no idea.21

As Nobel prize winning neurophysiologist Sir John Eccles said, promissory materialism is superstition. Because of all this missing evidence, it is materialism that is the "god of the gaps" argument.

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