Miscellany: gaps in evolution cause discontinuity (General)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 22:54 (225 days ago) @ David Turell

Major gaps are not explained:


"whale fossils are supposed to provide some of the best examples of “transitional forms” in the fossil record, demonstrating common descent between whales and land mammals. Whale intermediates have become a favorite argument for common descent. I distinctly recall one of my professors teaching us that the evolution of whales happened “incredibly fast” — at an almost unbelievably rapid pace. ID researchers are looking at the genetic changes necessary to transform a land mammal into a whale, and when you apply the mathematics of population genetics to the time available from the fossil record, there simply is not enough time for standard evolutionary mechanisms to produce those genetic changes.

Koonin and Company:

"Major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity. The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin’s original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution.

"Below I list the most conspicuous instances of this pattern of discontinuity in the biological and pre-biological domains,

"1. Origin of protein folds:
There seem to exist ~1,000 or, by other estimates, a few thousand distinct structural folds the relationships between which (if existent) are unclear.

"2. Origin of viruses:
For several major classes of viruses, notably, positive strand RNA viruses and nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) of eukaryotes, substantial evidence of monophyletic origin has been obtained. However, there is no evidence of a common ancestry for all viruses.

"3. Origin of cells:
The two principal cell types (the two prokaryotic domains of life), archaea and bacteria, have chemically distinct membranes, largely, non-homologous enzymes of membrane biogenesis, and also, non-homologous core DNA replication enzymes. This severely complicates the reconstruction of a cellular ancestor of archaea and bacteria and suggests alternative solutions.

"4. Origin of the major branches (phyla) of bacteria and archaea:
Although both bacteria and archaea show a much greater degree of molecular coherence within a domain than is seen between the domains (in particular, the membranes and the replication machineries are homologous throughout each domain), the topology of the deep branches in the archaeal and, especially, bacterial phylogenetic trees remains elusive. The trees conspicuously lack robustness with respect to the gene(s) analyzed and methods employed, and despite the considerable effort to delineate higher taxa of bacteria, a consensus is not even on the horizon. The division of the archaea into two branches, euryarchaeota and crenarchaeota is better established but even this split is not necessarily reproduced in trees, and further divisions in the archaeal domain remain murky.

"5. Origin of the major branches (supergroups) of eukaryotes:
Despite many ingenious attempts to decipher the branching order near the root of the phylogenetic tree of eukaryotes, there has been little progress, and an objective depiction of the state of affairs seems to be a “star” phylogeny, with the 5 or 6 supergroups established with reasonable confidence but the relationship between them remaining unresolved.

"6. Origin of the animal phyla:
The Cambrian explosion in animal evolution during which all the diverse body plans appear to have emerged almost in a geological instant is a highly publicized enigma. Although molecular clock analysis has been invoked to propose that the Cambrian explosion is an artifact of the fossil record whereas the actual divergence occurred much earlier, the reliability of these estimates appears to be questionable...the relationship between the animal phyla remains controversial and elusive.”


"In biogeography, evolutionists appeal to unlikely and speculative explanations where species must raft across vast oceans in order for common descent to account for their unexpected locations.

"Paleontology fails to reveal the continuous branching pattern predicted by common ancestry, and the fossil record is dominated by abrupt explosions of new life forms.
Regarding molecular and morphology-based trees, conflicting phylogenies have left the “tree of life” in tatters. Inconsistent phylogenetic methods predict that shared similarity indicates common inheritance, except for when it doesn’t.

"Similar inconsistent methodological problems exist in embryology, where significant differences exist between embryos in their early stages, leading evolutionary biologists to predict that similarities will exist between vertebrate embryos, except for when we find differences, and then it predicts those too.

"The collective evidence cited above shows that those who believe the tree of life is not 100 percent continuous across all organisms aren’t crazy. Whatever burdens of proof need to be met to have our view taken seriously, we’ve far exceeded them."

Comment: Want more proof?

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