Sunday, August 4, 2019

What if Darwin was Wrong?

Darwin's Caricature
Vanity Fair (Sept 30, 1871)
“But what if Darwin was wrong?” asks David Gelernter, professor of Computer Science at Yale University, in his essay, “Giving Up Darwin.” This is a good question because new advancements in science are making it clear that origin of species is precisely the thing that Charles Darwin’s theory cannot explain.

Gelernter points out that “they remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one.” This is true— Darwinism was supposed to provide a scientific explanation for the origin of species on earth, but it has become the world’s new religion. People believe in it not because there is scientific evidence to back Darwin’s claims, but because they are impelled by their modern atheistic mindset to have “faith” in the Darwinian theory.

On the “Cambrian explosion” of around half a billion years ago, Gelernter says: “a striking variety of new organisms—including the first-ever animals—pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years. This great outburst followed many hundreds of millions of years of slow growth and scanty fossils, mainly of single-celled organisms, dating back to the origins of life roughly three and half billion years ago.” But the problem is that while the fossil records of the creatures of the Cambrian explosion have been found, there is no sign of the Precambrian fossils. The fossil records do not support an upward-branching structure that Darwin has predicted.

The new challenge that Darwin’s theory faces comes from Molecular Biology, a field that did not exist in the time of Darwin. The models developed by the molecular biologists prove that in practical terms, there are “zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life.” Minor mutations within the species are common in nature, but major mutations are rare and fatal. If this is the case, then it’s not possible for one species to evolve into another species and Darwinism stands refuted.

In the concluding segment of his essay, Gelernter says: “Darwin is no Newton. Newton’s physics survived Einstein and will always survive, because it explains the cases that dominate all of space-time except for the extreme ends of the spectrum, at the very smallest and largest scales. It’s just these most important cases, the ones we see all around us, that Darwin cannot explain.”

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