In the video A Critique of Darwinist Icons, Jonathan Wells explains why the evidence most often offered as proof of Darwinian evolution doesn't actually prove Darwinian evolution. These misleading examples are often repeated because there really isn't any good evidence for evolution. Wells also explains that the reason these misleading examples are used is that evolutionary biology as taught in schools is really teaching atheism. Neither physics nor chemistry text books make statements about God or religion. Those books just discuss the evidence and the science. It is only in evolutionary biology where statements are made asserting that science makes belief in God and religion unnecessary, and since there is no good evidence to support that point of view, they have to resort to making misleading statements to do it.
The video contains the most important examples of bogus evidence of evolution found in the book Icons of Evolution also by Jonathan Wells. Some of these examples are discussed in Survival of the Fakest by Jonathan Wells. And some of the examples in the book but not covered in the video or Survival of the Fakest can be found in these articles:
- Answering Massimo Pigliucci's Critique of Icons of Evolution
- Icon by Icon: Responding to Massimo Pigliucci on Jonathan Wells's Icons of Evolution
- A Solid 10: Concluding My Review of Massimo Pigliucci's Treatment of Jonathan Wells's Icons of Evolution
Briefly the examples in the video include:
- The evolutionary tree is false: The evolutionary tree shows the relatedness of different organisms. It is possible to produce a tree by comparing the DNA sequence of a gene in different organisms. However, using different genes produces different trees. The Cambrian explosion is also evidence against common descent because the major animal phyla appeared at the same time and there is no evidence they evolved from a common ancestor.
- Homology in vertebrate limbs: Does not support common descent because it doesn't rule out common design. Homology only looks like evidence of evolution if you assume what you are trying to prove, ie. that homology is evidence of evolution.
- Vertebrate embryos: The classic diagrams showing similarities in embryos were faked.
- Peppered moths: Supposedly peppered moths evolved darker protective coloration in response to air pollution making tree trunks darker in color. However, peppered moths don't normally rest on tree trunks. Once pollution decreased, the peppered moths became lighter in color, but this began before the tree trunks became lighter.
- Darwin's finches: A one year drought caused changes in beak morphology, but the beaks reverted after the drought. This is at best microevolution caused by a change in the frequency of existing genes in the population. It is not evidence of macroevolution - substantial changes in organisms such as the development of an eye or land mammals evolving into a whale.
- Four-winged fruit files: Do not show that natural selection can cause changes in organisms because the flies were created by scientists, the extra wings had no muscles to move them, and they made the files less fit for survival.
The article Fact-Checking Wikipedia on Common Descent: The Evidence from Paleontology discusses the lack of fossil evidence for intermediate stages of evolution. The excerpt below discusses the series of fossils claimed to show the evolution of the whale from a land mammal. It is not credible that they could represent a sequence of ancestor species because there is not enough time for the changes in the species to have occurred naturally.
One of the most notable problems with the evolution of the whale is the extremely abrupt timescale over which it is supposed to have occurred. The sheer force of this conundrum is only properly appreciated when one considers the multiple feats of anatomical novelty, innovative engineering and genetic rewiring necessary to change a terrestrial mammal like Pakicetus into a fully aquatic whale. Indeed, evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg has argued that even many of the relatively minor changes are extremely unlikely to have occurred in the time-frame allowed.
Other articles in the same series include:
- Fact-Checking Wikipedia on Common Descent: The Evidence from Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry
- Fact-Checking Wikipedia on Common Descent: The Evidence from Comparative Anatomy