18. I Read “The Blind Watchmaker”
The URL for my book is www.Evo-illusion.com.
The above video is about my book Evo-illusion, now available at Amazon. The page begins below.
I just finished reading Richard Dawkins’ book, “The Blind Watchmaker” (paperback, WW Norton Co., 1985). This book is pretty much considered to be the “bible” of modern day evolution. I thought that to really understand modern evolution, this read was a must. I read it with as open of a mind as I could possibly muster. I thought that maybe Richard Dawkins will be such an astute scientist and writer that I will be a reborn evolution believer. A few years ago, I would have sucked up everything he said. Now I look at his book as great proof that evolution isn’t even close to being the solution to the puzzle of the origin of all living organisms and biological systems. Aren’t there any true scientists out there that have the courage to challenge this guy? To Dawkins credit, the biological discussions are excellent. Far more interesting than I can recall from my biological studies at USC. However, Dawkins writings are so full of ill-conceived logic and fallacious evidence that it leaves me amazed. I find it difficult to believe that he could write this book and come to the conclusion that Darwin was correct. But I must say, this is a fun challenge. Dawkins is considered a genius, an icon in his field, the leading evo-illusionist on the planet earth. His writing is so easily dissected and dismantled. My conclusion, after reading this book, is that deep down inside Dawkins knows that evolution can’t cut it as an explanation for how species and complex organ systems appeared on this planet. The adulation from his followers, the pats on the back from his fellow evo-illusionists, and the financial fortune he has made on his writings and speaking engagements will prevent him from ever saying what goes on inside his head. He is much like a preacher who can tell his followers with a straight face that Noah and his family made a wooden boat and collected all of the land animals in the world and put them on that boat, saving all of living nature from an immense flood. Dawkins’ true talent lies in his ability to filter and corral his thoughts without giving the slightest bit of external expression that he is doing so.
The Blind Watchmaker has a large section on the evolution of the eye that really has me thinking, so I will comment first on that. The discussion below also fits any organ in a human or animal body. Dawkins gives a great description of the human eye, and why he thinks it is poorly designed. There are 130 million cells in the retina. Each retinal cell is connected to a nerve fiber, which exits the retina toward the lens of the eye then makes a 180 deg. turn toward the back of the eye. Dawkins feels that this is bad engineering, and evidence against ID, as this turn in the nerve cells may block light intake. (The nerve fibers of some animal eyes exit from the back of the retina.) These fibers then combine to form the optic nerve, which transmits the “light code”, formed by the retina, to the visual cortex of the brain, which then decodes the message and converts the information into a perceived image. A real image never exists in reality. It’s pitch dark in the visual cortex where the perceived image forms. Dawkins states that the eye evolved from “no eye” in 100,000 or so small steps, each of which is created by a minute mutation which forms some sort of change that is beneficial to the animal. According to Dawkins, approximately 1 out of 1 million genetic transactions (reproductions) results in a mutation.
So let’s take a good look at the variables of Dawkins description of how the eye evolved:
1. Of course, number one is how many mutation are “good”, and would be beneficial for an animal. I have never seen or read about a good mutation, but if he says they exist, let’s see some evidence, or at least a current lab experiment that shows that they do. Can it be shown that mutations can bring about retinal cells,or lens cells? Usually mutants are aberrations, and not pretty. I wonder if Dawkins would sign up to be a mutant? Also, considering the fact that according to evolution biologists, well over 50% of mutations are neutral or not “good”, each “good” mutation would have to be accompanied by many neutral or “bad” mutations, which would mean one step forward and many steps back. But this is an old challenge which I am sure can be answered by Dawkins in some illogical way, but answered nonetheless.
2. The fact that 130 million retinal cells collect our visual images, codifying those images, send the code through 1.2 million connected nerve fibers to the visual cortex of the brain which decodes and forms the incredible images that we see is simply beyond imagination. The idea that these cells can casually evolve over eons without a plan is simply beyond unthinkable. Dawkins explains it matter-of-factly as if all you need is millions of years, and it will happen. Sorry Richard, I can’t in my wildest imagination come up with the micro-change scenario that produces a retina, nerve fibers, code, and visual cortex to decode, even ignoring all of the other parts that must somehow magically come together. And, how could a code that the visual cortex of the brain would interpret as vision evolve? Of course here we run into irreducible complexity again. An evolving code would be useless until there was enough to produce vision. How would evolution know……..?
3 . For each gene undergoing a mutation there must be a large number of different possibilities of change. But, to help Dawkins, lets say there are only four or five. According to Dawkins, to evolve eyes, tens or hundreds of millions of mutations would have to occur so that several hundred thousand of the correct mutations could be selected and lead to a vision system. Each change that is selected must have at least two criteria to lead to eye formation: (1) The change must be beneficial, in some way, to the species individual to help it survive, (2) The change must be on the exact road that will lead to the evolution of a fully functioning and incredibly complex vision system. So, if there are four possible changes, what are the odds that the correct mutation will always occur that will accomplish both (1) and (2)? It’s highly possible that the mutation might not lead to eye formation, but be beneficial to the animal at that particular step. It is ridiculous to think that each of the hundreds of thousands of changes would have both criteria (1) and (2). And, since most mutations are neutral or deleterious, the idea that these changes will take a perfect path to vision-hood is simply ridiculous. The path to vision would have to be unimaginably accurate and direct. One slight miscue, one wrong path taken, and there would be no vision. The earliest steps would be most dangerous, because, mathematically, they would cause the greatest drift from the path to vision in the later steps. The odds against “eye” would would be unimaginably immense.
4. Dawkins thinks that there were 100,000 to 250,000 mutations that evolved eyes. Since eyes have about 30 parts, just how did the 100,000 to 250,000 mutations divvy up amongst the 30 parts? Did 10,000 make the retina? Did 3,450 make the iris? Of course the mutations would have to work as a team, later mutations completing the job the that earlier ones started. Later “iris mutations” would have to add to earlier “iris mutations”, for example. Just imagine the accounting system that would be required for eye evolution.
5. Dawkins calls the eyeball an evolutionary “target”, but one that is not chosen ahead of time. Of course targets always require an intelligent chooser, whether it be darts, a gun, a cannon, or an eye system. Targets require intelligence. If a person was to throw darts in a bar without picking a target, he would have some pretty unhappy bar patrons who would probably kick him out. For Dawkins to discuss targets is an admission of intelligence, which he does not even realize.
6. When we think of an eye evolving “in space”, it is kind of easy to think about an eye gradually forming from no eye, and, voila!….a complete eye. But nothing is ever mentioned about the gross realities of eye evolution. No questions are asked by evolution scientists. Did the eye first evolve in just one multi-cellular species, which then spread the miracle to other multi-cellular? Or, did the eye evolve in hundreds/thousands of species all in unison, at the same time, kind of like a huge choir singing? How did this miraculous formation actually take place? The thought that it evolved in only one species population is unimaginable, since the host could only procreate with its own species. How would a single population spread this fantastic evolutionary invention to other animal species? Even if the population with eyes as a trait was split by geological events, causing the formation of additional species, the result would be that few species today would have eyes. The reason? Eyes formed 3.2 billion years or so after the first living species supposedly appeared on Earth. There would just be too many species that would not get eyes from the original single species that evolved them. That scenario just could not produce eyes in the 99% of all of modern multi-cellular animal species that have eyes today.
Also, the thought that vision evolved in unison in millions of animals at the same time is completely preposterous. The odds against similarly designed complex visual systems evolving in hundreds/thousands of species in hundreds of thousands of matched steps, all winding up with the nearly identical targets, is incalculable. Now, add in the evolution of all organs: the brain, liver, heart, pancreas, intestines…………….. Did all of these evolve in a single species? Did they evolve in unison in huge numbers of species? When we throw in the reality of the evolution of all organs, the probability of a mutational pathway to dozens of mature biological organ systems would not be represented by one in the number of atoms in the universe.
7. The really interesting thing about eye evolution is the fact that it supposedly stopped when pretty good perfection was achieved. According to Dawkins, mutations occur at the rate of 1 per million transactions. Therefore, change should be a constant. Eyes, as well as all organs, should be in a constant state of flux. They should still be evolving. The one in a million mutations should be a constant. But, lucky for us, it is not. Eyes pretty much had to discontinued their evolutionary ways millions of years ago. If they were still evolving, they might just evolve into some other organ that might not involve sight! For some reason the evolution stopped. But, why?
8. In arguing that a gradually developed eye would be useful in its early stages from no eye to eye, Dawkins says that an eye that had evolved 5% would give the owner 5% vision, which would certainly be better than no vision at all in escaping predators, and in searching for food. His only problem here is that virtually no mechanical device on earth will function as its intended use with 5% of its parts. A 5% eye will yield no vision at all, anymore than a car with 5% its parts will carry you 5 miles per hour, or a television with 5% of its parts will yield a 5% picture on a non-existent screen. Retinal or light sensitive cells, optic nerves, retinal systems that code the image for transmission in the optic nerve, and a visual cortex capable of decoding the signal are minimal requirements for even 5% vision. These parts would of course represent well over 5% of a complex visual system, facts ignored by Dawkins. Dawkins conclusion here is doltish for an apparently intelligent person. But, I am 100% certain that he would argue that a 5% eye would be different, and yield 5% vision. Why? Because he is an evolutionist! He can say anything, and people will believe!
9. Dawkins states, “Eyes don’t fossilize, so we don’t know how long our type of eye took to evolve its present complexity and perfection from nothing, but the time available is several hundred million years. (p. 40) His big problem here is that soft tissue does fossilize. The evolution of the eye, as well as the evolution of the ear, should be evidenced by the evolution of indentations of early fossils. Of course, there is zero fossil evidence for eye and ear evolution. Also, there are a plethora of examples of soft tissue fossils. Above is a jellyfish fossil. Early single celled animals were detected by fossils.
10. Dawkins writes about the eye:
“Think of all the intricately cooperating working parts (of the eye): The lens with its clear transparency, its colour correction and its correction for spherical distortion, the muscles that can instantly focus the lens in any target from a few inches to infinity; the iris diaphragm of “stopping down” mechanism, which fine-tunes the aperture of the eye continuously, like a camera with a built-in light meter, and fast special-purpose computer ; the retina with its 125 million colour-coding photocells; the fine network of blood vessels that fuels every part of the machine; the even finer network of nerves-the equivalent of connecting wires and electronic chips. Hold all this fine-chiseled complexity in your mind and ask yourself whether it could have been put together by the principle of use and disuse. The answer, it seems to me, is an obvious “no”.” Richard: Ask yourself the same question with natural selection and mutations. Could natural selection and mutations create all of this? It seems to me the answer is a huge and obvious “NO”. Throw in all of the other organs, which would have to go through the same thousands of steps of evolution, and the only answer you could come up with would be: Darwinian evolution is impossible.
Dawkins discusses flight (p, 89):
Dawkins states that many animals that existed before birds were able to leap from tree to tree, like a lot of animals today. Some could jump farther distances than others, and would not fall from heights that would cause them death. Others could not, and they would eventually fall and be killed. Survival of the fittest would be in action here. The best jumpers would out-survive the worst. Plus, the best jumpers may have had skin between their body and legs or aerodynamic bodies that could enhance their flight. Dawkins labels the height at which a leaping animal would just survive h, which makes this discussion seem real scientific, as if he is going to make some mathematical formula. (He doesn’t.) Eventually the animals might find that “flapping” would enhance their flying, and they would begin growing wings and feathers. The final result would be the incredibly aerodynamic wings of modern birds. Of course the question arises: why aren’t the short jumping animals of today falling and dying, and the good jumpers evolving wings that yield flight? There are currently a huge number of species that make tree to tree jumps. I bet Dawkins would say they are “modern” animals, and evolution stopped for them. The most preposterous thing about this scenario is the idea that the animals could spring wings; incredibly aerodynamic wings at that, plus feathers, and brains that are capable of flapping the wings in such a perfect way which yields the unimaginable flight that we see in birds today. And, of course, as with all of evolution, where are the fossils that back up Dawkins? Where are the growing wings? Non existent. Actually one could cite chickens and ostriches, as they have remnant wings. Since evolutionists cite “simple” eyes, why not these flightless small winged birds to demonstrate flight evolution?
Dawkins on bat sonar:
This was a truly fascinating part of this book. Here I have to give Dawkins a lot of credit for good writing. Bats have their own sonar that they can discern from hundreds of thousands of other bats’ sonar when they are flying in dark caves. When they send out sonar, the noise can be damaging to their sonar return device, because the outgoing sound waves must be very strong to form a good echo when the waves return. The return noise is very weak, as it has to be read from bouncing of an insect, and therefore the return sensor is very sensitive and would be damaged by loud noise. For this reason, the outgoing sonar device is separated from the incoming device. They also have to vary the pitch of the sound, much like a wolf whistle, so they can detect both their sound from those of other bats and the distance from the target. I am only lightly touching on Dawkins discussion on the complexity of bat sonar, but this should give the reader an idea of how complex this system really is. We still don’t completely understand how it works. Our Navy sonar is not even close to being as sophisticated as bat sonar. One would think that Dawkins just might think that bat sonar simply could not be put together with mutations and natural selection. If there was ever evidence that Darwin’s theory is impossible, this certainly is proof. Bats have had sonar for millions of years. Mankind started making sonar just a few decades ago. But Dawkins tries to use bat sonar as evidence for evolution. It sure would have been interesting to watch the first bat that had the completely evolved equipment. (There had to be a first!) How did it figure out what to do with its new found ability? Dawkins writes, “The mounting and hinging of these three bones (sonar) is exactly as a hi-fi engineer might have designed it to serve a necessary “impedance-matching” function, but that is another story.” “Echo-sounding by bats is just one of the thousands of examples that I could have chosen to make the point about good design. Animals give the appearance of having been designed by a theoretically sophisticated and practically ingenious physicist or engineer………..” The word “design” just reeks of intelligence. “Bats are like miniature spy planes, bristling with sophisticated instrumentation. (p. 24)” Is he trying to prove intelligence, or Darwin? I will let his words to the speaking.
Dawkins discusses the unbelievably low chance that a hemoglobin molecule could form from some sort of primordial soup (p. 45):
“The number of possible ways of arranging 20 kinds of things (amino acids) in chains 146 links long (making hemoglobin) is an inconceivably large number, which Isaac Asimov calls the “hemoglobin number”. Dawkins calculates for the reader that the chance of making hemoglobin by random luck is 1:10 190th! Dawkins next runs a computer experiment. He calculates that the chance a computer could put out random letters and spaces and come out with the sentence ME THINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL would be about the same odds as the hemoglobin number. The sentence is from a Shakespearean play. Dawkins then uses what he calls cumulative selection in a computer program that takes 27 random letters and turns them into the sentence “ME THINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL” in only 41 steps, which he thinks is manageable. When the computer finds a step (letter or space) that is the correct path to the desired sentence (target), the program keeps that step, and continues adding letters, keeping each step that is correct, until the desired sentence (target) is concocted. Is Dawkins really a scientist? How could he possibly think that this human programmed project could have anything whatsoever to do with what happens in nature? This is nothing more than made up evidence, which so much evolution evidence is. Dawkins says that each step in the synthesis of hemoglobin must have some benefit that would make it stick. Can anyone imagine what benefit each of 41 the steps might be? Dawkins talks about a molecule as if it were an animal! If he is talking about benefiting an animal host in some way, how? It’s unimaginable to visualize each of the steps of hemoglobin formation being beneficial to anything. Again the idea that each step must have some sort of benefit, AND be on the exact path to hemoglobin would make the chance of forming a hemoglobin molecule about as great as the “hemoglobin number”. Also, there are thousands of biochemicals that must be synthesized for life to occur. To calculate the numerical odds of all of these chemicals forming, the individual odds for each chemical would have to be multiplied together to get a true picture of the odds of life forming from some primordial soup. Each step of each chemical formation would also have to be beneficial in some way to the host. The hemoglobin number would be great odds compared to the odds that would be calculated for all biochemicals required for life. To make things even more sticky, all of the amino acid molecules would all have to be in close proximity, and form at exactly the same time. Dawkins again does an unwittingly good job of showing evidence that Darwinian evolution is not possible.
To further gum up the works for Dawkins, he completely overlooks the basic math that makes his evolution so impossible. Say we are trying to make a move of any kind, biological or otherwise, from point A to point B, and there are twelve steps between. Given are the odds that each step has a one in ten chance of being successfully completed. If that were the case, the odds for each step would have to be multiplied to figure out the chance of getting from A to B. In this sample, that chance would be 1:10 to the 12th, or one in 1,000,000,000,000, or one in one trillion. Imagine what this simple math would do to Dawkins’ 41 steps. Here we are only talking about twelve steps. Imagine the number of steps required to go from the very first step of ev-abiogenesis, that of assembling nucleotides, to the self assembly of RNA, to finding montmorellite clay, and on and on, and the immense odds against for each step, and you have a completely impossible situation. Then add the single cell that formed evolving into mankind, and you have another horrendous number of unlikely steps and an impossible situation for evo-illusionists. But the illusion will continue, and those scientists that don’t like math applied to their science will continue to try to fool themselves and you.
Dawkins made a computer algorithm (program) that demonstrates how stick tree branches can multiply and form more complex branches from random steps.(p. 52). Eventually, after many automated steps, some branches of Dawkins computer tree morphed into squiggles that look like insects! Dawkins was delighted, and thought that this was more evidence of evolution. Is he really that naive? Does he not have any idea how complex insects are? Richard, you are wasting your time. This computer model, in fact no human made computer model, can come even remotely close to mimicking what happened in nature to bring about any species. And those squiggles aren’t even close to being insects.
Dawkins on ears and hearing (p. 90):
“Any piece of skin can detect vibrations if they come in contact with vibrating objects.” “Natural selection could easily (I love this word) have enhanced this faculty by gradual degrees.” “Natural selection would then favor the evolution of special organs-ears…” “At this point it would automatically have been sensitive enough to pick up airborne vibrations………” “It is easy to see that there would have been a continuous trajectory of step-by-step improvement, all the way.” Does Dawkins really believe what he is writing? So, to conclude, ear evolution is easy and automatic. Darwin wrote: (in The Origin of Species): “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modification, my theory would absolutely break down.” Dawkins: “One hundred and twenty-five years later….still not a single case is known to me of a complex organ that could not have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications.” Only in your imagination Richard. Dawkins uses a very strange way of communicating. Why didn’t he say, ” It has been proven that all complex organs were formed by numerous successive slight modifications”? Why did he use the negative “could not have been formed?” Does he himself doubt? Try to imagine the frequency of any noise in the seas of the Earth that would have anything to do with the survival of any multicellular species. They would be so rare. What might the noises actually be that brought about the evolution of hearing? A falling rock? Or shell? Predators could not have evolved vocal cords of any kind before hearing evolved, since there were no species with hearing that could be intimidated by the sounds. Hearing had to evolve before vocal cords, and hearing any sounds in the underwater environment would’t proffer any survival advantage. Which means, if evolution were the “source”, all species should be stone deaf. Hearing disproves evolution. Actually, one hundred and twenty-five years after Darwin thought up his solution to the Puzzle, there is not one single organ of any kind that has any sort of reasonable evolutionary explanation whatsoever. Darwin himself would have had the brains to kill his own theory and search elsewhere. But not Dawkins.
Another astounding Dawkins quote regarding the attempt to synthesize life in the laboratory (p. 165), the Cambrian explosion (p. 229), and “gaps”(p. 240):
Dawkins writes, “But actually one can argue that we should be worried if it turned out to be very easy forchemists to obtain life spontaneously in the test-tube.” Astounding! So the complete failure, in the lab, to produce life or anything that remotely resembles life is good for evolution? We should be worried if it was easy? Another perfect example of how evidence against evolution is pulled inside out and made to look like it is “good and just as we expected-just; keep a straight face”. In reality, the entire upside-down pyramid of evolution is balanced on the need to prove that life can form spontaneously. It is stuck. And until that is proven, evolution isn’t even remotely close to a viable theory. Dawkins: “The Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.” Of course this is easily explained away (missing fossils, soft animals don’t fossilize), and is great for evolution too! No matter how bad the evidence is for evolution, it is good; and, up is down. How about this: (Dawkins again) “The”gaps” far from being annoying imperfections or awkward embarrassments, turn out to be exactly what we should positively expect, if we take seriously our orthodox neo-Darwinian theory of speciation.” So gaps in the fossil evidence for evolution is GOOD! What would Dawkins say if there were no gaps?
Dawkins despises creationists and is a believer:
According to Dawkins, both punctualists and gradualists (two schools of evolutionists) “despise so-called scientific creationists equally, and both agree (with zero evidence, of course) that the major (Cambrian) gaps are real, and the they are true imperfections in the fossil record.” The key words here are despise and believe. Evolutionists despise people that disagree with them? Scary. Doesn’t that make evolution a spiteful religion? And, evolutionists believe that the sudden appearance of 47% of all species is due to missing precursor fossils? I hate to tell you this, Richard, but the word “believe” has no place in objective science. And, despising someone who disagrees with you isn’t very scientific either. A great science and its evidence should overwhelm any opposition. Evolution cannot because there is such weak evidence for it and a plethora against, which makes it not great.
Those not educated in evolution, but who are believers, think of species populations morphing into more advanced or very different populations through evolutionary forces. A good example of this would be the illustration above of early apes morphing into homo habilis, then homo erectus, and then homo sapiens. In reality, if evolution happened as pictured above, there would be no increase in the number of species. The billion or so species that have populated the earth for eons could not have formed if one species morphed only one new species while not maintaining the parent species in some form. Darwin’s tree could not survive and continue. Animal population must split into two or more populations so that the morphing would produce at least one new species. The parent species would need to remain intact, or split off into other new species, so that at least two species would result from one. For Darwin’s tree to be real, homo habilis should have split into two populations, homo erectus and homo habilis. Homo erectus should then have split into homo sapiens, leaving the parent homo erectus population intact. We should be able to make friends with at least some of our ancestors, like homo erectus and/or homo habilis, today. According to Dawkins, after the population splits and morphs into two species: “……..if there is significant competition between the two species, most ecologists would expect one or the other species to go extinct…. (Why, since they are separated?) If it happened to be the original, ancestral species that was driven extinct, we should say that it had been replaced by the new immigrant species.”
Dawkins attributes the splitting of populations to “geographic separation”. According to Dawkins, a mountain may arise in the middle of a population, splitting it into two smaller groups. Because each would now have differing evolutionary forces, they would morph into two different species, and they would not be able to reproduce with each other. Can anyone really imagine this scenario happening the millions and millions of times that would be required to produce the millions and millions of species that have inhabited the earth? Aren’t animal populations separated today by mountains, water, and distance, without showing much evolutionary change? Did somebody make up “geographic separation” as a lame explanation of how a species could evolve and still form Darwin’s Tree of Life? ME THINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
Why didn’t coelacanth (latimeria) evolve in the 410 million years that it roamed the seas (p. 247):
The Coelacanth is a living fish which first appeared 410 million years ago. It was thought extinct, but recently has been found live in many locations throughout the world. Coelacanth shows absolutely no sign of evolution since it first appeared, 200 times longer ago than it supposedly took man to evolve from hominids. Why didn’t it grow arms, or something? Dawkins explanation: “It is conceivable that coelacanths stopped evolving because they stopped mutating-perhaps because they were protected from cosmic rays at the bottom of the sea!”More imaginary science! Richard, if this is true, there could have been no evolved species below the depths that coelacanth swims. In reality, the oceans are teeming with millions of species below that level. How did they evolve? Also Richard, “perhaps” is not a good word for a scientist, along with “believe”. If Dawkins were really a good scientist, on this and many other evidences that Darwin was wrong, he would suggest as much. But no matter how bad the evidence may be for evolution, Dawkins will continue explaining it away with a straight face.
In reality, virtually all fossils that I have studied, where the animal is still alive today, have not evolved one iota. Above are only four examples (frog, dragon fly, turtle, fern, coelacanth), but there are thousands of others.
Dawkins and evolution’s opponents (p. 250):
According to Dawkins, there are three main groups of people who oppose evolution. (1) the religious, (I know plenty of these) (2) those who find Darwin’s ideas distasteful because they find the mechanism distasteful. They don’t like natural selection and find it “harsh and ruthless”. (I don’t know any of these.) and (3) people who work in the media that just like upsetting “applecarts”, because it makes good journalistic copy. (I don’t know any of these.) Dawkins forgot two other groups. (1) those who don’t believe in Darwin because, after studying the theory, they come to the conclusion that the evidence is insufficient (A tiny group that includes me.) and (2) people who simply could care less and never even give it a thought (99% of all people.)
Dawkins discusses the fastest evolution ever (p. 228):
“…….one of the fastest evolutionary changes (is) the swelling of the human skull from Australopithecus-like ancestor, with a brain volume of about 500 cubic centimetres to the modern Homo Sapiens’s average brain volume of about 1,400 cc.” It’s fast, but really “only .01 cc. per generation”. Did Richard consider that maybe Australopithecus didn’t evolve into Homo Sapiens? Maybe they were just separate but similar species. Wouldn’t a good scientist consider this possibility?
The monster in the closet here is the fact that Dawkins doesn’t even consider the fact that, if the cranial size change from Australopithecus to Homo Sapiens was represented by inches, the evolution from Australopithecus to consciousness, cognitive thinking, emotions, and verbal communication would be represented by light years. In actuality, the fastest evolution would not be the enlargement of the cranium, it would be the development of the brain. All Dawkins can see is a cranium swelling “like a balloon”. He is blinded by his own “science”.
Dawkins discusses mutations:
Here is how Dawkins and evolutionists say mutations work to yield small changes that over eons produce new organs and species: approximately one of every million genetic transactions (generations) results in a mutation. The vast majority are not beneficial to the host. But a small minority are. Natural selection works to select the good mutation. The individuals that have the bad mutation die because they don’t have the improvement. The new and improved genetic code is spread through the population, which is now ready for another good mutation selection. “……the whole cumulative process is directed by non-random survival.” “The whole sequence of cumulative steps constitutes anything but a chance process, when you consider the complexity of the final end-product relative to the the original starting point.” Does this mean intelligence? Oh, right, natural selection does it.
Dawkins: “…….at each one of the 100,000 steps, mutation offered a number of alternatives, only one of which was favoured because it aided survival. The 100,000 steps of evolution represent 100,000 successive choice points, at each of which most of the alternatives led to death. The adaptive complexity of the modern eye is the end product of 100,000 successful unconscious “choices”. The species has followed a particular path through the labyrinth of all possibilities. There were 100,000 branch-points along the path, and at each one the survivors were the ones that happened to take the turning that led to improved eyesight. The wayside is littered with the dead bodies of the failures who took the wrong turning at each one of the 100,000 successive choice points.” (p. 313) Some questions for Dawkins regarding mutations:
(1) Is it reasonable to assume that an individual in a species population that has mutated a particular step in the evolution of the eye, which constitutes 1/100,000 of the voyage to a fully evolved eye, may not be better able to survive than an individual that didn’t possess the step? Would an individual with stronger muscles, if they had evolved, or quicker reflexes, or some other strong feature, out-survive the individual with the good eye step? Would a healthier individual, or one with better nutrition survive better than the individual with a miniscule portion of an eye? Another problem here is that evolutionists, in a discussion of eye evolution, isolate the eye as the only organ forming in a particular period of time. If the many other organs that would be evolving during this time were to be taken into consideration, which step in which organ evolution would allow the individual to survive? Would a 1/100,000 step in liver evolution trump a 1/100,000 eye step? Would a heart trump a liver? Actually the possibilities are endless.
(2) Doing a mental experiment on how mutated improvements would spread through a population is like running into a block wall. Imagine that there is a population of 10,000 animals of a certain species. Since there are numerous possible mutations, and most are not beneficial, it would seem that a certain type of beneficial mutation (an eye step, eg.) would occur in only one individual in that population. Remember that these mutations represent a 1/100,000 step toward the completed target organ. This individual would have to survive due to the tiny improvement, so that the improvement could be retained, and all other individuals would have to die because they did not have it; that tiny improvement. But, before all the other unlucky individuals died, the lucky mutant individual would have to reproduce with some of the unlucky individuals, and the new progeny would have to retain the tiny mutated step so that it could be passed on to the next progeny. Let’s say the beneficial step involved eye evolution. What would be the odds that the step in eye evolution would allow the individual to survive over the thousands of other individuals that did not possess the change? Would a predator not be able to consume the “lucky” improved individual because of that 1/100,000 step? It’s impossible to imagine that the 1/100,000 eye step would make a lick of difference. Keep in mind that this scenario would have to be repeated thousands of times, with the new lucky mutated individual surviving every time so it could reproduce and hope the good mutation is passed on to its progeny.
(3) Using the four chambered heart as an example: the heart is made up of twenty or so major parts. According to Dawkins, these evolved in 100,000 micro-steps. How do we divvy up the steps and relate them to the parts? Did the ventricle evolve with one mutational step, or did many coordinated mutations form the ventricle? Is it imaginable that three hundred mutations could form the coronary arteries? Or the valve cusps? What about cardiac muscle cells and their attached nerve cells; did one mutation create all of the cells, or did a huge number of coordinated mutations form a million or so with each step. Try the same mental experiment with the kidney, ear, lung, etc. It’s easy to verbalize how species and organs formed through evolutionary micro-steps. But when you really get down to visualizing how it happened through mind experiments, evolution quickly becomes not even a “maybe”, but impossible.
Dawkins concludes (p. 317):
“Even if the evidence did not favour it, it would still be the best theory available. In fact the evidence does favour it. But that is another story.” More self doubt from Dawkins. Evidence favored that the sun went around the earth. In fact there was overwhelming evidence. And that was the best theory at the time. Richard, you are one hell of a scientist. If the evidence doesn’t “favour” it, it’s time to drop it and try to form another model; or admit that there is not enough information to make a model at this time. Isn’t there a hint in this statement that deep down inside he wonders? Actually I think he has many doubts about his science. He is too smart not to.