“I don’t believe in evolution because there are so few transitional forms.”

I had a conversation with a guy who explains why he rejects Common Descent:

“Where I’m not buying evolution in large scale, again goes back to the collection (or lack) of “transitionals” to prove this happened on a grander scale. All need to be in place for the large scale to have existed.

It’s one thing to make claims on microorganisms (and I can see it justified). It’s a far greater stretch to make the other areas fit.

This is not to say they can’t (God has that intellect), but proof that they did is very sparse at best call.”

My reply:

There are few transitional forms because they don’t exist. That’s because evolution is not usually gradual. Just like in human technologies, it’s almost instantaneous.

The proof of evolution is not the fossil record, it’s in the lab.

We can and do observe new species in real time – in the lab and in the field, in micro organisms and plants and animals. This happens through large leaps where you get a new species in 1-2 generations (through Horizontal Gene Transfer, Whole Genome Duplication and Inter-Species Hybridization). These mechanisms are well understood today, and they are very much purposefully adaptive and quite non-Darwinian.

Darwinists are in no hurry to tell you about any of this stuff, because once you take this into account they’re no closer to getting rid of God than they were 200 years ago. (These things don’t prove God, but what they do prove is that evolution is teleological. None of these things occur through random copying errors of DNA – far from it!)

And sadly, ID people aren’t in a hurry to tell you about these mechanisms either, because many of them deny common descent. The truth is in the middle, and the truth is 100% compatible with a theistic view. I submit to you that a God who creates an entire evolutionary process is far more impressive and inspiring than a God who merely creates a plant or an animal.

5 Responses

  1. Nicolás says:

    It’s true that creating a mecanism for inteligent evolution would in no way diminish God, but I honestly can’t see how exactly the mechanisms you propose can really inteligently drive evolution in order for it to accomplish long-term objectives (not merely adapting to their enviroment).

    Although it’s true that I haven’t read your book, I read a very similar book called “Intelligent evolution” by Canadian PhD molecular biologist Claire Quinn. She, like you, talked about how epigenetics, HGT, etc.. drive adaptation in a non-random way, but certainly didn’t provide an explanation for how those mechanisms can achieve long-term objectives. Does your book adress this?

    Interestingly, she also talked about how bacteria were designed to transform the hostile early earth into am enviroment more suitable to higher life-forms.

    • The book addresses this as best as I think anybody knows how to address it at the present time. It describes how these various mechanisms combine together to produce coordinated overall progress. More importantly it highlights the questions we still don’t know answers to.

  2. “There are few transitional forms because they don’t exist”? Piffle. The fossil record is awash with transitional forms, many of which have literally been predicted in advance, such as the double-jaw-joint probainognathids in the reptile-mammal transition case and the wasp-ant sphecomyrmids. Now it is true that antievolutionists do not allow transitional forms to exist, in principle, and engage in positively gymnastic maneuvers to do that, while never quite explaining what a form would need to look like to satisfy their never-clarified standards. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve explored the fossil transition case in my #TIP project at http://www.tortucan.wordpress.com, and covered the reptile-mammal transition case (and all antievolutionary counter claimants) in my current book “Evolution Slam Dunk” (including the broad supporting developmental and genetic data that are constantly being utilized by the paleontological community). Your statement here leaves me wondering what of the paleontological record you have bumped into to have thought as you do.

  3. Derek Smith says:

    Intelligence, Long Term objectives, Adaptation – these are terms that have no place in the understanding of evolution.

    In large scale life forms (as distinct from single cellular), hybridisation is the engine of diversity and ‘Natural Selection’ is the engine of change.

    The formation of an F1 hybrid is a matter of geography, compatability and luck. For F1s to be formed, there needs to exist a hybridisation zone, a geographical area cohabited by both interbreeding species, which are sufficiently compatable as to be able to engage in sexual activity and produce a viable F1 offspring (wild herds of mules are a classic example).

    The F1 has a complete copy of the genome from each parent, and when the F1 comes to produce its sexual gametes for its own reproduction, then a mismatch occures between those two genomes, causing a storm of random change. Consequently, effective fertility is critically reduced with most gametes being simply non viable. But when the F1s back breed sufficiently often, luck comes into play and eventually a viable F1 gamete is produced and fertilised, creating the start of a potentially new species.

    This new hybrid will suffer from all the problems of genetic chaos typical of new hybrids, and it is this diversity which is the fuel for the relentless culling of natural selection. Together, hybrid instability coupled with natural selection, sculpt a new life form able to utilise an available niche. The ultimate ‘luck’ situation – no planning, no intelligence, no objectives – just luck of the draw.

    • Derek,

      Prove that the changes you describe as random are really random.

      This is much harder than you probably think. If you have evidence, present it. And gird your loins.

      And by the way Natural Selection is not an engine of change. It is only a source of elimination.

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