The Science of it All

Chromosome Fusion 2 Debunked

A popular claim is that the genomes of chimpanzees, or chimps (Pan troglodytes), and humans (Homo sapiens) are nearly identical. This paradigm is based primarily on cherry-picked highly homologous DNA and protein sequences

One of the most popularized molecular arguments for human-primate evolution is the hypothetical prehistoric head-to-head fusion of two primate chromosomes (corresponding to 2A and 2B in chimpanzee) to form human chromosome number 2. Much of the research supporting this hypothetical model is derived from indirect evidence of DNA hybridization and chromosomal staining techniques. These techniques provide only approximate estimates of sequence similarity, with hybridization-based analyses being more accurate than the analysis of stained chromosomal bands. These were the first attempts and today’s scientists stick to the initial faulty conclusions with a vengeance.

DNA sequencing technologies have improved and have become considerably more proficient and automated. As a result, DNA similarity research between humans and chimps is able to utilize actual DNA base-pair information on a larger scale. As noted by Marks, it is important to understand that since only four DNA bases exist in all genomes, any two random stretches of DNA of the same length will always be about 25% identical. In other words, the starting point in human–chimp DNA comparisons is not zero, but 25%.[i]

Popular reviews on this subject often include a simplified drawing depicting how the putative fusion of two small acrocentric[ii] ape-like precursor chromosomes could have fused end-to-end to form the larger human chromosome 2, as shown in figure 1.

Chromosome_fusion

Of the two genomic features that are claimed to support the fusion model, the primary evidence used is the presence of a reputed (not able to prove except by speculation) fusion site. This site is located in a pericentric region (meaning it is close to the present functional centromere) on the long arm of human chromosome 2. The DNA sequence at this location is the supposed evidence of a head-to-head telomeric fusion of two acrocentric chromosomes.

Miller cites as proof for the fusion states only that “Human chromosome two is unique to the human lineage in being the product of a head-to-head fusion of two intermediate-sized ancestral chromosomes” and provides no evidence for this conclusion. Fairbanks offers more detail and claims that there appears (or rather it seems like based upon what I want to believe) to exist a fusion site involving a set of 158 telomere sequences, and, of the 158 repeats, he notes only 44 sets can be manipulated to achieve perfect telomere consensus sequences. Another example of the same claim from a book popularizing human evolution is as follows: “The DNA sequences in the human chromosome are exactly as expected from this scenario. Telomeres consist of many repeats of the nucleotide sequence TTAGGG, and at the fusion point of the human chromosome, where the two telomeres fused, this sequence is found ‘head to head’. The functional centromere in chromosome 2 lines up with the chimpanzee chromosome 2p13 chromosomal centromere. The remains of the redundant centromere from one of the ancestral ape chromosomes can also be found.”[iii]

We need to briefly clarify the structure and nature of telomeres as to what would be expected if such a fusion event occurred. In so doing, we will even take into account the accepted evolutionary presuppositions and timelines related to such an event. (Just to show you how bad science is passed off as ‘proof’).

Telomeres are typically found at the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and confer stability by preventing fusion via a ‘capping’ function. The telomere region involves a complex and dynamic framework of DNA motif repeats, structural loops, structural and functional RNAs and a wide variety of proteins.[iv]

The consensus telomere motif in humans, chimps, apes, and mammals in general, is (TTAGGG)n and typically occurs in perfect tandem for stretches of DNA from about 10 to 15 kb (10,000 to 15,000 bases) and contains 1,667 to 2,500 telomere repeats at each chromosome end. In a head-to-head fusion of two chromosomes, we would expect at least 5,000 bases of (TTAGGG)n repeats in tandem, albeit in a slightly degenerate state, given a supposed ~1 to 5 million years of evolution since the fusion event occurred. At the point of fusion, we would also expect the orientation of the plus-strand repeat to change to the reverse complement (CCCTAA)n, which should also occur in near-perfect tandem for approximately 5,000 or more bases.

One of the major problems with the fusion model is that, within the 10 to 30 kb window of DNA sequence surrounding the hypothetical fusion site, a glaring paucity of telomeric repeats exist that appear mostly as independent monomers, not tandem repeats. Based on the predicted model, thousands of intact motifs in tandem should exist. For the TTAGGG repeat to the left of the fusion site, less than 35 motifs exist, a normal human telomere would typically have 1667 to 2500.iv For the CCCTAA reverse complement sequence, to the right of the fusion site, less than 150 telomere motifs can be found. Another problem with these two motifs, is that their occurrences are found scattered throughout both sides of the fusion site where they would not be expected. In other words, both the forward and reverse complement of the telomere motif populate both sides of the fusion site.

The only evolutionary research group to seriously analyze the actual fusion site DNA sequence data in detail were confounded by the results which showed a lack of evidence for fusion—a genomic condition for this region which they termed ‘degenerate’.[v] In attempting to correlate rates of evolutionary change with the extreme degeneracy observed in the putative fusion region, they claimed that the “head-to-head arrays of repeats at the fusion site have degenerated significantly from the near perfect arrays of (TTAGGG)n found at telomeres.” They also stated, “if the fusion occurred within the telomeric repeat arrays less than ~6 Ma, why are the arrays at the fusion site so degenerate?” The actual data indicates that perhaps the only thing that is degenerate is the evolutionary dogma surrounding the fusion model.

indels

The key papers that report DNA sequence similarities do so using multiple levels of biological sample and/or data preselection. In most cases, the authors only report the ‘best of the best’ data—a form of dogma-driven bioinformatic cherry picking. For example, only the protein-coding gene sequences of preselected highly similar DNA are often used—guaranteeing high levels of similarity.[vi]

indels_2

In retrospect, it appears that the early reports of human–chimp DNA similarity, based on reassociation kinetics, has set a ‘98 to 99% Gold Standard’ whereby the results of subsequent DNA sequence-based research conformed accordingly, even though the buried and obfuscated data related to these reports said otherwise. Such conformity to largely unspoken academic rules is typically required to achieve success in grantsmanship, publishing, tenure, and job security in general.[vii]

The candid quote below from a fairly recent evolutionary paper states the issue very clearly.

“However, with both amount of data and number of studies increasing, the crux of the matter emerges. Regardless of the type of phylogenetically informative data chosen for analysis, the evolutionary history of humans is reconstructed differently with different sets of data.”[viii]

The common but false assumption that repetitive DNA (‘junk’ DNA) is irrelevant is prevalent. By using techniques similar to those used in making comparisons between humans and chimps, human DNA also turns out to be, roughly, estimated to be about 35% identical to daffodil DNA, but it does not follow that we are physically 35% daffodil.i Chimp and human share greater DNA similarities than either chimp or human compared to a daffodil, but putting a precise measure on the similarity is not a trivial task, and the published numbers are clearly misleading due to their beguiling appearance of simplicity, the unstated assumptions required to produce them, and the illusion of precision that they convey.

Chromosome_fusion-2

If you are anything like me, your first question is what do all the colors mean? To verify the BLAT results and to identify homologous sites in the chimpanzee genome, the BLASTN algorithm was used (with no masking or gap extension) for comparisons between the 798-bp core 2qfus sequence and the most recent builds of the human (v 37.1) and chimp (v 2.1) genomes maintained at NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/). Although the BLASTN query against the human genome was more data intensive than the index-based BLAT search, the results produced a total of 85 significantly placed hits on all human chromosomes except chromosomes 13, 16 and 17 (1–12, 14, 15, 18–22, X and Y). While the number of hits was reduced, compared to BLAT, more chromosomes with homologous sites were identified with the BLASTN search because of the more direct nature of the algorithm (figure 3). Interestingly, human chromosomes 2, 16, 21 and 22 were peppered with the ‘fusion site’ sequence over the length of their entire euchromatic landscape (figure 3). Pretty impressive scientific mumbo-jumbo isn’t it. This is what it means:

When the 798-bp core fusion sequence was BLASTN queried against the chimpanzee genome, the significantly placed hit count was reduced to 19, only 22% of the amount observed in the human genome. This is a startling find in light of the wide-spread claims that the human and chimpanzee genomes contain DNA sequence that is supposedly 96 to 98% similar. This claim is perhaps related to the fact that the human genome was used as a scaffold to build the chimpanzee genome.[ix] In addition, the human-chimp hit locations did not show strong synteny, as only 13 of the 19 hits (68%) shared visually similar locations in the genome (on chimpanzee chromosomes 1, 2B, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 18, 20 and 22).

The most startling outcome of this analysis is that the fusion site did not align with chimp chromosome 2A, one of the supposed pre-fusion precursors. Furthermore, the alignment at two locations on chromosome 2B, an internal euchromatic site and the telomere region of its long arm, did not match predicted fusion-based locations based on the fusion model. If the fusion model was credible, this should have produced an alignment with the telomeric region on chimpanzee 2B on the short arm.

 

If published research statements concerning highly selective cherry-picked data are taken at face value, to conclude that human and chimpanzee DNA are 94% (or greater) similarity is still seriously misleading. The problem is that we tend to think of DNA sequence as a human-written language, in standard linear format similar to the English 26 letter alphabet. Such reasoning evaluates differences as if one would line up parallel written texts. Two books written by humans that are 98% similar are essentially the same book. Evolutionists often use this analogy, but it is completely inappropriate. The DNA four-letter alphabet code that designates twenty different amino acids by codons (triplet bases of specific sequences) considers only the small fraction of the genome that actually codes for protein.

The rest of the genome involves many other DNA code types that includes for regulatory function, nuclear matrix attachment features, nuclear arrangement and packaging, and a whole diversity of two-and three-dimensional structures. The extreme diversity of informational code in the genome also occurs, not only in multiple abstract layers of extreme informational complexity, but also in both two-and three-dimensional formats (topology-based information) that are interactive with linear-based sequence information. Many linear-based genomic codes (genomic features) also contain multiple levels of meaning and are far beyond the complexity of the human alphabet or any man-made, high-level, object-oriented computer code.[x]

Next we will deal with VIGE (variation-inducing genetic elements) and how biological information is inherited which will take us back to and update a previous series and information and what it is. If you wish to review that information it can be found at:

https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/natural-vs-materialistic-information-pt1/

https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/2nd-part-of-information-vs-matter/

 

If at any time you feel over your head in information and need something explained further, please drop me a line at LEMBlogs@suddenlink.net and I’ll do my best to explain things further for you.

 

[i] Marks, J., What it Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People and Their Genes, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, University of California Press, 2002

[ii] Acrocentric chromosome has one arm that is considerably shorter than the other arm. The ‘acro-’ in ‘acrocentric’ refers to the Greek word for ‘peak’. The human genome contains five acrocentric chromosomes: 13, 14, 15, 21 and 22. The naming system of chimpanzee chromosomes ‘2A’ and ‘2B’ was first used by McConkey, E.H., Orthologous numbering of great ape and human chromosomes is essential for comparative genomics, Cytogenet Genome Research105:157–158, 2004. Prior to that, the chimpanzee chromosomes were numbered according to size, as is the system used for all other species.

[iii] Fairbanks, D.J., Relics of Eden, Quotations and analyses are in reference to Chapter 1, Fusion, Prometheus Books, Amherst, N.Y., pp. 17–30, 2007

[iv] Tomkins, J. and Bergman, J., Telomeres: implications for aging and evidence for intelligent design, J. Creation 25(1):86–97, 2011.

[v] Fan, Y. et al., Genomic structure and evolution of the ancestral chromosome fusion site in 2q13-2q14.1 and paralogous regions on other human chromosomes, Genome Research 12:1651–1662, 2002.

[vi] Britten, R.J., Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5% counting indels, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99:13633–13635, 2002.

[vii] See Bergman, J., Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters, Leafcutter Press, Southworth, WA, 2008.

[viii] Ebersberger, I. et al., Mapping human genetic ancestry, Molecular Biology and Evolution 24:2266–2276, 2007.

[ix] The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome, Nature437:69–87, 2005.

[x] Barash, Y. et al., Deciphering the splicing code, Nature 465:53–59, 2010.

Evillution, The Science of it All

Apes vs Human DNA

ape_human

This is a tough subject to deal with because we have to delve into some heavy-duty science of biology and genetics. For me to simplify it for the average reader without losing the technical aspect for the more advanced will be somewhat of a challenge. Along the way, I’m going to insert comments in the text that will look like this (This is a comment I have on what you just read). I will be doing this because I want you to read and understand what the official secular scientist has to believe in and I’ll be pointing out things that I believe are wrong with that thought.

Now we have to clarify some of the terminology we will be using in this and future articles. This is usually where I lose Gomer and Goober of Mayberry High, but most others manage to end up with a little more understanding of genetic biology.

Acrocentric = describes a chromosome that has arms of unequal length, because the structure at which the two arms join centromere is located toward one end.

Chimera = is a single organism composed of genetically distinct cells. This can result in male and female organs, two different blood types, or subtle variations in form. (Not the monster from Greek mythology that breathes fire and has a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a snake’s tail)

Centromere = the point on a chromosome by which it is attached to a spindle fiber during cell division.

Chromatin = the readily stainable substance of a cell nucleus, consisting of DNA, RNA, and various proteins, that forms chromosomes during cell division.

Chromosome = a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes.

Diploid = a cell or nucleus containing two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent

Eukaryote = A single-celled or multicellular organism whose cells contain a distinct membrane-bound nucleus.

Gene = a part of a cell that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing. (Definition I grew up with)

Gene = a specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that is located usually on a chromosome and that is the functional unit of inheritance controlling the transmission and expression of one or more traits by specifying the structure of a particular polypeptide and especially a protein or controlling the function of other genetic material. (Full definition)

Genetic = relating to or determined by the origin, development, or causal antecedents of something

Genome = the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism

Histone = any of a group of basic proteins found in chromatin.

Putative = commonly accepted or supposed. (Not the facts but what is believed)

Telomeres = The end of a chromosome. The ends of chromosomes are specialized structures that are involved in the replication and stability of DNA molecules.

Synteny = the presence together on the same chromosome of two or more gene loci whether or not in such proximity that they may be subject to linkage

So let us get started with the basics, if your head isn’t already spinning from just the definitions we will be using.

Chromosomes are packages of DNA, wound around proteins called histones. Humans have 23 chromosome pairs, as we inherit 23 chromosomes from our father and 23 from our mother. Chimps inherit 24 chromosomes from each parent and have 24 chromosome pairs. Although far from being beyond a reasonable doubt, the secular scientists make the case that humans did, indeed, have 24 chromosome pairs originally, and that chromosome fusion[i],[ii] has occurred, resulting in our now having only 23. For the sake of the argument, let us concede that this is true.[iii]

Kenneth Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University, Rhode Island, and a prominent critic of creationism and the intelligent design movement. He has supported court actions against schools that seek to include Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolutionary indoctrination, even appearing as a witness for the plaintiffs,[iv] and regularly speaks in defense of the teaching of evolution as a scientifically proven fact.

According to Miller, there are only two possible explanations for the difference in the number of chromosomes. The first is that we share a common ancestor with chimps and that, during the course of evolution, chromosome fusion has taken place. The second is that the creator/designer made humans with chromosomes which have the appearance of having been fused at some time in the past. The second explanation, he argued, is ridiculous, thus showing the first to be correct. (Of course, the assumption that chromosomal fusion existed and how they are supposed to appear under an electron microscope is purely speculation, and is ‘ridiculous’ really a scientific finding of fact?)

The incredible logical fallacies from a highly esteemed scientist in his field, which we will take apart piece by piece is amazing. Miller, a vociferous protagonist of evolution ridiculed the idea that DNA provided evidence for intelligent design, describing human DNA as a ‘hodgepodge of borrowed, copied, mutated and discarded sequences and commands that has been cobbled together by millions of years of trial and error.’[v]

The reason for the lack of consistency is in what is commonly called the ‘Evolutionary Paradigm.’ If it is accepted that ‘evolution is a fact’ then any data gathered will always be interpreted according to this belief—despite whether or not there is a valid alternative interpretation of that data. If humans had been found to have 24 chromosome pairs, this would have been understood as evidence for common ancestry with apes because apes also have 24. Since humans actually have 23, it is understood that this provides evidence that evolution resulted in two ape chromosomes being fused together. For the evolutionists, then, it’s ‘heads I win, tails you lose’. (Nothing like stacking the deck in your favor).

One of the leading molecular arguments for human evolution from a shared common ancestor with apes, particularly chimpanzees, is the ‘chromosome 2 fusion model’. This scenario involves the claim that the fusion of two small chimpanzee-like chromosomes (2A and 2B) formed one stable chimera chromosome in humans, leading to the difference in diploid[vi] chromosome numbers between humans and great apes. A majority of the data for the fusion model is based on DNA hybridization and chromosomal staining experiments conducted prior to the sequencing of the human and chimpanzee genomes. This was the beginning of the ‘Evolutionary Paradigm’ which the secular scientists cling onto with such passion.

We will cover this particular sequence before covering the fallacies of the human and ape genome. It is the mindset that was developed during this early stage of genetic research that has created the ‘infallible’ concept that the secular scientists will distort whatever new information comes up to continue to justify their preconceived notions.

Much of the research supporting this hypothetical model is based on indirect evidence derived from DNA hybridization and chromosomal staining techniques. These techniques provide only approximate estimates of sequence similarity, with hybridization-based analyses being more accurate than the analysis of stained chromosomal bands[vii]. This type of initial evidence, along with some targeted DNA sequencing of small genomic regions in human, seemed to indicate support for the fusion model.

The second key site purportedly represents a cryptic, non-functional centromere that was silenced following the fusion event (because a single functional centromere is required for chromosome stability and function). According to these claims, this fusion event accounts for the fact that humans have only 46 (2N) chromosomes and the great apes 48 (2N). Actually, the diploid genomes of gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan have 48 but some gibbons have 44, and one Malaysian ape has 50.[viii] The fusion model scenario involves a hominid evolved from a shared common ancestor with a diploid genome of 48 chromosomes, and, in some early human ancestor, two chromosomes fused, reducing the diploid chromosome complement to 46.

So from the start they assumed that all apes had 48 (2N) and did not bother to change their beliefs once a more accurate counting of the ape genome occurred. Couldn’t we have been related to the gibbon with 44 pairs and we have 2 pairs separate into smaller pairs to make the 46 human pairs? How closely related are the entire ape family if there is such variation in their chromosomes?

The actual chromosome number is about operational science, the repeatable, observable facts about the world and how it works. Evolution, on the other hand, is about historical science, where the facts are not at issue—it’s all about interpretation. Evolution/long ages has become the ruling paradigm, a framework of thought that is taken for granted and is used as the foundation for how all other data is then interpreted.

It was previously believed that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor only 2 to 6 million years ago. Now they are claiming that it is 11 to 17 million years ago with the average being about 13.The reality of the situation is that simply adding more time doesn’t solve evolution’s immense problems. Giving evolution another 6 or 7 million years still does not explain why chimps and humans are so vastly different, not only in their anatomy and behavioral traits but also the glaring 30% difference in their genomes—some 900,000,000 DNA letter differences. Jesus Christ compared this type of philosophically flawed selective attitude to “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew 23:24. ESV). When the entire genomes are compared between humans and chimps, it becomes clear that they were each engineered uniquely and separately by an Omnipotent Creator.

Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft, declared in his book, ‘DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.’[ix] Indeed, rather than being the hodgepodge that Kenneth Miller claims it to be, DNA appears to be the most complex, ingenious and awe-inspiring information system that mankind will ever behold.

———————-

Next article “Chromosome Fusion 2 Debunked” We will get into more and more scientific detail with graphs and pictures in the next two segments.
—————————–

[i] http://designed-dna.org/blog/files/3e06d2e493f6210f9ceaaf555397ec29-86.php

[ii] http://designed-dna.org/resources/Human_Chimp_DNA_Similarity_2014.pdf

[iii] Sodera, V., One small speck to man—the evolution myth, 2nd edn, ch. 12, Vij Sodera Productions, 2009

[iv] Selman v. Cobb County, 2005 and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005.

[v] Wells, J., The myth of junk DNA, Discovery Institute Press, Seattle, 2011 p.22.

[vi] Is a cell or nucleus containing two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.

[vii] Yunis, J.J. and Prakash, O., The origin of man: a chromosomal pictorial legacy, Science 215:1525–1530, 1982

[viii] Jauch, A. et al., Reconstruction of genomic rearrangements in great apes and gibbons by chromosome painting, PNAS89:8611–8615, 1992.

[ix] Gates, B., The Road Ahead, Penguin Group, New York, p. 188, 1995.

Biblical Discussions

Christianity and the ecology

In 1967, Lynn White, an historian from the University of California, published an article in Science magazine entitled ‘The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis’.[i] In the article, White maintained that because modern science and technology are products of Western culture which has at its roots Christian attitudes and principles, and because Christianity is arrogant toward nature and views nature as having no reason for existence except to serve mankind, then Christianity bears a huge burden of guilt for our current ecological crisis.

In 1866, the term ecology was first coined by Ernst Haeckel (remember him- the guy who faked the drawings of embryos), from the Greek oikos, meaning ‘house’ or place-to-live[ii] and ology, study of. The study of ecology concerns the relationship of organisms which include both, interactions with each other and with the abiotic environment. The field is an integration of many sciences including geology, physics, chemistry and biology. These complex biotic and abiotic interactions comprise the ‘ecological system’ or ‘ecosystem’. The ecosystem concept was developed in the 1930s by English ecologist, George Tansley,[iii] and ecosystems can range in size from a drop of water to the biosphere, depending on where researchers want to draw their study boundaries.

As with all scientific disciplines, interpretations of ecosystem dynamics are often dependent on the presuppositions of the researchers, who are ultimately affected by their worldviews. Unfortunately, public school and university educators do this deliberately and end up producing a blend of scientific facts with worldview interpretations. The confused result is a belief that the creation/evolution issue is a war between science (evolution) and religion (creation). All observations are interpreted through the lens of a worldview.

I prefer to take the view that the issues surrounding ecosystem origins are not issues of science verses religion, but worldviews of materialistic naturalism verses biblical theism (supernaturalism).

The environment is understood to provide the selective forces needed in the concept of natural selection. Thus, understanding ecology would seem to be an important first step in understanding evolution. As relationships and conditions vary in a community, different selection pressures are imposed on its members. Thus, a community is dynamic with species varying over both space and time. Nevertheless, the concept of natural selection does not answer the question about how ecological relationships originated, except to invoke co-evolution as a universal underlying theme. It is supposed that as species evolved, so did ecology.

Coevolution is defined as: ‘… joint evolution of two or more non-interbreeding species that have a close ecological relationship; through reciprocal selective pressures, the evolution of one species in the relationship is partially dependent on the evolution of the other [emphasis added].’[iv] The problem is, since coevolution requires already existing ecological relationships, it cannot account for the origin of ecology.

It is possible for two species in close ecological relationship to refine their relationship through mutual selection, but this does not explain how they came to be ecologically related in the first place.

evolution vs creation timeline

Figure 1: Two views of the origin of ecology. In the evolutionary origin, there is little ecology at the beginning. It develops along with the proliferation of species. In the creationary origin, ecology is highly developed from the beginning, but it degenerates over time to where we are today.

Accumulating evidence from ecology and biodiversity studies suggests something quite different from gradual evolutionary accumulation of species and step by step development of what would eventually become essential ecological relationships. The current indispensable nature of many ‘ecological services’, and the relationships that provide them, suggests that, just as ecological services are necessary now, past ecosystems would also have needed them, but not necessarily in identical ways. Moreover, the essential nature of ecological relationships now does not appear to allow time for evolutionary development of ecology. Ecosystems would have failed many times over without the full range of ecological services (see Figure 1).

Biodiversity refers to the collection of species in ecosystems, different populations of those species with their genetic variations (estimated to number as many as 220 populations per species for an estimated total of between 1.1 and 6.6 billion populations world-wide[v]). In its greatest sense biodiversity is the collective ecological services all the populations provide. Taken together, these three entities produce an enormous amount of structural and functional variation and interdependence. Ecological linkages between organisms in ecosystems make it difficult to remove just one species.

No organism lives independently, but both gives to and takes from its environment. Thus, there is a range of interdependent organisms. Just as an individual body depends upon a division of labor among its cells, so an ecosystem depends upon division of labor across a diversity of organisms. Without biodiversity services, there would be no ecosystem and probably no life.

As the value of species in ecosystems started to became evident, then the complexity of services and the interdependence of species derived from those services, speak beyond the immediate needs of ecosystems to the origin of ecosystems and ecology and even of life itself. However, very few individuals have made such connections; the immediate conservation problem of the ‘endangered species of the moment’ has been the primary focus. In recent decades biodiversity information has been accumulating. Unfortunately, much of the information has come from ecosystem damage and destruction.[vi] That is, after species become extinct or rare, it has been easier to guess at what their ecological roles might have been. But only a short-sided ‘snap-shot’ can be produced, because we are unable to assess the entire biodiversity interactions of that species over a long period of time.

The portion of Scripture most quoted by critics who consider Christianity to be arrogant toward nature is found in Genesis:

And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth”’ (Genesis 1:27–28).

These two verses tell us three critical points about the Christian and Biblical bases of land conservation and stewardship.

  1. Human beings did not evolve from non-human primates, but were created in the image of God. Men and women possess physical attributes that are not shared by animals, such as an erect posture, hands with a highly developed opposable thumb that can do work, faces capable of expressing great emotional feelings, and a brain and tongue capable of articulate speech. In addition humans posses spiritual attributes not present in animals, such as a moral consciousness, the ability to think abstractly, an understanding of beauty, emotion, and the capacity to know and worship God.
  2. Human beings are commanded by God to be fruitful and to populate the earth. Men, women and children are this world’s greatest resource, not its greatest liability. Estimates of the world’s human carrying capacity, that is, how many people this world can sustainably support, are meaningless unless we answer the question of how many people can be supported at what level of material affluence and habits of consumption. While the six-fold increase in world population over the past two centuries has been alarming (nothing as bad as Paul Ehrlich postulated), a clear picture of the worlds population and density can be found here. http://larrythecontrarian.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/todays-loser-2/ Be sure to look at the link at the bottom for graphic images.
  3. God entrusted humans to be the Earth’s stewards. To subdue the Earth and rule it, while not stated in today’s ‘required’ politically correct speech, is similar to the process of gardening. Gardening involves subduing and ruling a small patch of wild nature to yield a benefit useful to people. The Scriptures even tell us that it was God who planted the Garden of Eden as a home for the first man and woman (Genesis 2:8)—as if providing an example for us to follow. Humankind has been given the honor and privilege of managing and administering God’s creation, with the expectation that we will do it responsibly.

If Christianity is not to blame, then what is the root of our ecological crisis? Interestingly, the answer to that question—and a solution—can be found in an examination of the historic roots of the environmental movement itself.

George Perkins Marsh published Man and Nature, the first book to attack the myth of the superabundance and inexhaustibility of the earth. His legacy is honoured at Woodstock’s Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont, the only US national park to focus on the theme of conservation history and the changing nature of land stewardship in America. The best known quote from Man and Nature is, ‘Man has too long forgotten that the earth was given to him for usufruct alone, not for consumption, still less for profligate waste.’[vii] Except for the use of the obscure legal term usufruct (in Roman-based legal systems, the temporary right to the use and enjoyment of the property of another, without changing the character of the property.), Marsh’s words are as powerful and relevant today as they were 137 years ago. They are also Biblically and theologically correct. Having defined the symptom, Marsh also correctly defined the cause as human indifference, short-sightedness, selfishness and greed.

Biblical Christianity, far from being the root of our ecological crisis, in fact offers not only a credible explanation for our ecological crisis but also the very solution to our ecological crisis. As the popular author Wendell Berry has stated it, our ecological crisis is a crisis of character, not a political or social crisis.[viii]

God’s command to have dominion and subdue creation has been misunderstood.[ix] People have used this verse as a justification for wonton environmental harm. In biblical theology, Christians are to manage and take care of that which is God’s. The Hebrew for ‘have dominion’ is רךה (radah) and ‘subdue it’ כבש(kabash), both carry the idea of being in charge.[x]

Why does Christianity not have the earth in perfect condition every where? Two reasons for it as far as I am concerned.

The first reason deals with Christianity’s unqualified embrace of the current economics of growth and consumerism. Traditional capitalism’s emphasis on work and the rewards of honest labor, restrained by Christianity and the Bible’s many admonishments against greed and covetousness, has produced great benefits for the good of society.

With Christianity now relegated to the edges of society, the economics of growth and consumerism are spiralling upwards, unchecked, driven by relentless advertising. It is putting forth a worldview based upon dissatisfaction and a craving that tells us we will be happier if we buy more things that wear out that we don’t really need, that provide only fleeting pleasure, and ultimately leaves us in greater debt. This has been at a disastrous cost to the human spirit and world ecology.

The second reason is a false assumption that this world does not matter in the eternal scheme of things. The minds and hearts of Christians (rightly so) should focused less on this life and more on the life to come. Biblical prophecy predicts the destruction of this world and the creation by God of a new heavens and a new earth. If this world and everything in it is headed for destruction, then why should we worry about some ecological degradation along the way? And that lays in the fault of many pastors for concentrating their focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life than on sin. They are trying to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude.

Christian stewardship is based on the concept that everything we have was given to us—our health, our emotions, our intellect, our talents, the social and economic benefits into which we have been born, and all we do or earn or make with what God has given us—all ultimately are gifts from God for which we cannot take credit. In fact, because God created everything, He owns everything and they are only on loan to us. We are not owners but caretakers. And as the Biblical parable of the Talents[xi] tells us, we will be held accountable to God for what we do with the resources He has entrusted to us.

What are ethical Christians—as stewards of God’s creation—to do in light of the environmental challenges thrust upon us? We certainly are supposed to be taking care of creation, but I doubt that means that industrial and agricultural development should be stopped or severely restricted. Nor does it mean that the needs of human beings should be subjugated to the desire to maintain a pristine environment.

With respect to the environmental challenges mankind now faces, and with a fair assessment of what needs/should to be done, I believe the following principles should be taken into account:

  1. Is the problem definable. Can it be empirically and scientifically verified? Is the perceived problem really a problem or just a reaction to a ‘perceived’ problem? Is the scientific and factual basis still in dispute?
  2. Is the problem caused directly or indirectly by human action, or is it a result of natural processes or a combination of both?
  3. Is the cost (in money or human life, of human suffering) of fixing the problem greater than the cost of coping with the problem?
  4. Is the environmental impact or damage insignificant when compared with the overwhelming benefit it provides to human beings? For example, if we build a powerstation that services a city of several million people, does it really matter, in the grand scale of things, if we destroy the habitat of some obscure bird or animal?

These principles are based on the Christian belief in, and respect for, objective truth, and that human beings are God’s image bearers and the pinnacle of His creation

 Since the early 1960’s the “Precautionary Principle” has been the environmentalists best friend. The precautionary principle infers that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.

The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.

On closer inspection, however, the Precautionary Principle makes little sense. One of the most basic principles of logic is that every effect has a cause. Yet the Precautionary Principle absurdly assumes that we can be absolutely certain of the effect, even though we are unsure about the cause. Further, the claim that the cost of drastic action to reverse the perceived problem is much less than the cost of not acting, is not only dubious in the extreme, it is totally myopic. Who exactly will be bearing this cost, and how much will it be? In has in the past lead to a much lower standard of living and massive unemployment.

In my opinion, environmentalists, both Christian and non-Christian, seem far too eager to make radical changes in governmental policy to affect the environment without any careful consideration of the impact on the lives of the people affected of those policy changes. Their demands for virtually immediate action without respect to the cost, both financial and in human life, appear, in many cases, to be motivated by a sense of moral superiority. Such people appear to be more interested in feeling good than actually doing good!

When Noah stepped out of the ark 4,500 years ago, the world had just gone through the most drastic change yet (except fot the Creation). God’s judgment on the his people, the land and its creatures was devastating and complete. That judgment has implications for how we interpret the current mechanisms of geologic processes, organism diversification and distribution (biogeography), and complex biological interactions. Insights learned from understanding the land within a biblical creation model have biblical implications and applications in origin of life assumptions, godly stewardship, human relations, world hunger, sustainable agriculture, and energy use among many more.

The more humans understand complex ecological inter-relationships within a creation ecology model, the better managers they will be of it. The potential is there to create opportunities for representing God, in the management of his resources, for the benefit of all.

[i] White, Jr., L., The historical roots of our ecological crisis, Science 155(3767):1203, 1967.

[ii] Spurr, S.H. and Barnes, B.V., Forest Ecology, 2nd Ed., John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York, p. 3, 1973

[iii] Floyd, D.W., Forest Sustainability: The History, The Challenge, The Promise, Forest History Society Issues Series, Durham, NC, p. 83, 2002.

[iv] Smith, R.L., Elements of Ecology, Harper Collins, New York, p. 3, 1992

[v] Calculations by Hughes, J.B., Daily, G.C. and Ehrlich, P.R., as cited in Science News 152(17):260, 1997.

[vi] Daily, G.C., Introduction: what are ecosystem services? in: Daily, ref. 9, p. 5

[vii] Marsh, G.P., Man and Nature (1864), Lowenthal, D. (Ed.), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, p. 36, 1965

[viii] Berry, W., The ecological crisis as a crisis of character; in: The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1996

[ix] Genesis 1:28–30

[x] Wieland, C. and Sarfati, J., Earth day: is Christianity to blame for environmental problems? <creation.com/earth>.

[xi] See Matthew 25:14–30.

Education vs Common Core, Evillution, Intelligent Design

High School Biology hasn’t changed in 50 years.

Most people have heard of or been taught the idea that the human embryo goes through (or recapitulates) various evolutionary stages, such as having gills like a fish, a tail like a monkey, etc., during the first few months that it develops in the womb.

The idea has not only been presented to generations of biology/medical students as fact, but has also been used for many years to persuasively justify abortion. Abortionists claimed that the unborn child being killed was still in the fish stage or the monkey stage, and had not yet become a human being. Ernst Haeckel has since been discredited as will be discussed later, but his initial drawings and ideas are still being taught in the textbooks 50 years later.

haeckels_drawings

And yet this drawing is still being used in high school anatomy classes around the country. It purports to show a human embryo, that according to the prevailing evolutionarytheory, passes through various stages. In each of these stages of development, our growing human embryo ‘revisits’ our evolutionary past. Thus, when a microscope slide is made of an early human embryo, we discover a sort of visual history of our evolutionary past:

embryo_stock

They label it as the “human embryo” and the three vestigial elements that are left over from our evolutionary upgrade from pterodactyl to teacher over millions of years. In certain stages of our development, allegedly we had gill slits which are evidence of our evolutionary fish past. Also the ever present yolk sac which is evidence of our evolution from birds (every egg that you have cracked open has a yoke sac- right). And of course we ‘see’ evidence of the vestigial tail, which is ‘proof positive’ evidence of our monkey past. This fallacious concept was given the name ‘Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny’. This evidence is believed to be virtually conclusive of the validity of evolution, or so most of us were taught and thus believed in order to get a passing grade (well, I knew a lot who believed it but didn’t pass the class- so I guess that was a cheap shot).

So what is the truth? Well for the past 50 years, the actual truth has not been presented in the high school text books. If you took an embryology class in college- and how many students actually do that- you would have been taught something entirely different. The following picture should be used instead.

embryo_correct

The yolk sac (which is a misnomer) has nothing to do with yolk. During embryonic development, this organ is the primary route of exchange between the embryo and the mother. The yolk sac also provides nutritional, immunologic, metabolic, endocrine, and hematopoietic functions until the placental circulation is established through the umbilical cord. Extensive first-trimester sonographic examinations have not yet proven that the so called ‘yolk sac’ develops into the umbilical cord but research is continuing.

Let’s look at the alleged gill slits. Gills are used by fish to transfer carbon dioxide into the water and remove oxygen from the water. Gills are filled with blood vessels. On the growing human embryo we do see what appear to be little slits. They are actually pharyngeal pouches which are simply layers of outer skin tissue that fold inward to form glands in the neck and the middle ear canals. That means that since no opening ever forms, they are not even ‘slits’, let alone ‘gill slits’.

How about the vestigial tail of the human embryo is not a tail at all. The vertebrae (spinal bones) grow ahead of the legs to facilitate proper muscle attachment. As the embryo develops, the legs will eventually assume their proper position, removing any semblance of a tail.

The whole concept of the gill slits was, outrageously, never a fact! It was a false idea set forth to prove evolution. It never had any true science behind it. It never had any true science behind it. Over the years I have begun to wonder, what else have I been taught as absolute proof of evolution that will turn out to be, at worst, a hoax or, at best, a serious mistake?   And that is the purpose of my blogs to explore the information and seek the truth.

I have come to realize since that much of today’s apparent contradiction between science and the Bible will be intentionally forgotten tomorrow as it turns out to be in error. It will be replaced quietly with the newest and latest ‘proof’. That, in turn, will soon be replaced with something else that is new and astonishing, flashing boldly across the headlines. All the while the Bible remains quietly, persistently presenting its message. No changes will be necessary.

 

The Science of it All

The Dangers of Conclusion Jumping

We have all at one time or another used a stereotype to identify a person or group of people or to separate a group into smaller groups. Moreover, based up those stereotypes we acted or behaved in a certain fashion to them, which would be different if they did not match the stereotype. We may have even jumped to a conclusion that may or may not have been justified based upon the erroneous stereotype.

Bing dictionary defines stereotype as:

  1. oversimplified conception: an oversimplified standardized image of a person or group
  2. metal printing plate: a metal printing plate cast from a mold in another material such as papier-mâché
  3. reduce somebody to oversimplified category: to categorize individuals or groups according to an oversimplified standardized image or idea

Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination are understood as related but different concepts. Stereotypes are regarded as the most cognitive component and often occurs without conscious awareness, whereas prejudice is the affective component of stereotyping and discrimination is the behavioral component of prejudicial reactions. In this tripartite view of intergroup attitudes, stereotypes reflect expectations and beliefs about the characteristics of members of groups perceived as different from one’s own, prejudice represents the emotional response, and discrimination refers to actions.

The freedictionary.com defines : jump to conclusions: to judge or decide something without having all the facts; to reach unwarranted conclusions; to guess the facts about a situation without having enough information; to judge a situation without enough information about it.

We all know that we should not jump to conclusions based on stereotypes and oversimplifications, but it seems to be built into most of the cultures of the world. Some sociologists (and you can easily look them up) believe that it serves a positive image role in helping us to define groups that we as individuals wish to be associated with.

What surprises me is the amount of stereotyping and conclusion jumping that is increasing in frequency in the scientific community. This would be one area that we would expect the most rigorous demands for facts to be demonstrated and verified before one would make a proclamation about having advanced a certain area of scientific endeavor to new heights.

Let us demonstrate the dangers of conclusion jumping. About a year ago, the scientific community was all a buzz with “proof” that a bacterium had undergone a genetic mutation and it was duplicated in a laboratory setting. This was proof that “evolution” had occurred and put to rest the creationists complaint of no new species have evolved. This subject bears emphasis because evolutionists from Darwin on have been guilty of jumping to unwarranted conclusions from inadequate data. We will look closely at the paper by Burleigh et al. (1974, Biochem. J.143:341) to illustrate the roblem.

Ribitol is a aturally occurring sugar that some soil bacteria can normally metabolize, and ibitol dehydrogenase is the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in its etabolism. Xylitol is a sugar very similar in structure to ribitol, but does not occur in nature. Bacteria cannot normally live on xylitol, but when a large population of them were cultured on only xylitol, mutants appeared that were able to metabolize it. The wild-type enzyme was found to have a small activity on xylitol, but not large enough for the bacteria to live on xylitol alone.

substrate_1

The mutant enzyme had an activity large enough to permit the bacterium to live on xylitol lone. Fig. 1 shows the activity of the wild-type enzyme and the mutant enzyme n both ribitol and xylitol. Note that the mutant enzyme has a lower activity than ribitol and a higher activity on xylitol than does the wild-type enzyme.

An evolutionist would be tempted to see here the beginning of a trend. He might be inclined to ump to the conclusion that with a series of many mutations of this kind, one after another, evolution could produce an enzyme that would have a high activity on xylitol and a low, or zero, activity on ribitol. Now wouldn’t that be a useful thing for a bacterium that had only xylitol available and no ribitol?

Such a series would produce the kind of evolutionary change NDT ((NDT=neo-Darwinian theory) calls for. It would be an example of the kind of series that would support NDT. The series would have to consist of mutations that would, step by step, lower the activity of the enzyme on the first substrate while increasing it on the second. But Fig. 1 is misleading in this regard because it provides only a restricted view of the story. Burleigh and his colleagues also measured the activities of the two enzymes on another similar sugar, L-arabitol, and the results of these measurements are shown in Fig. 2. With the additional data on L-arabitol, a different picture emerges. No longer do we see the mutation just swinging the activity away from ribitol and toward xylitol. We see instead a general lowering of the selectivity of the enzyme over the set of substrates. The activity profiles in Fig.2 show that the wild-type enzyme is more selective than is the mutant enzyme.

substrate_2

In Fig. 1 alone, there appears to be a trend evolving an enzyme with a high activity on xylitol and a low activity on ribitol. But Fig. 2 shows that such an extrapolation is unwarranted. It shows instead a much different trend. An extrapolation of the trend that appears in Fig. 2 would indicate that a series of such mutations could result in an enzyme that had no selectivity at all, but exhibited the same low activity on a wide set of substrates.

The point to be made from this example is that conclusion jumping from the observation of an apparent trend is a risky business. From a little data, the mutation appears to add information to the enzyme. From a little more data, the mutation appears to be degrading the enzyme’s specificity and losing information. Just as we calculated information in the two special cases above, we can calculate the information in the enzyme acting on a uniform mixture of the three substrates for both the wild type and the mutant enzyme. Using the measured activity values reported by Burleigh et al. we find the information in the specificities of the two enzymes to be 0.74 and 0.38 bits respectively. The information in the wild-type enzyme then turns out to be about twice that of the mutant.

The evolutionist community, from Darwin to today, has based its major claims on unwarranted conclusion jumping. Darwin saw that pigeon breeders could achieve a wide variety of forms in their pigeons by selection, and he assumed that the reach of selection was unlimited. Evolutionists, who have seen crops and farm animals bred to have many commercially desirable features, have jumped to the conclusion that natural selection, in the course of millions of years, could achieve many-fold greater adaptive changes than artificial selection has achieved in only tens of years. Such extrapolations are ill founded because breeding experiments, such as those giving wheat greater protein content or vegetables greater size, result from mutations that disable repressor genes. The conclusions jumped to were false because they were based on data that could not be extrapolated to long sequences. One cannot gain information from a long sequence of steps that all lose information. That would be like the merchant who lost a little money on each sale, but thought he could make it up on volume.

However, just think: if you buy two copies of the newspaper, do you buy twice as much information? Of course not. Duplication of anything does not constitute an increase of information. Another simple experiment will help clarify the point that changing the gene frequency is not the same as producing evolution. Obtain multiple copies of the back page of both an early and a late edition of an evening newspaper. These pages of information represent the genetic information in the two forms of peppered moth. The information printed on both versions of the back page will be very similar. Probably only the stop press and one or two minor items will be altered, but this is enough to make them two different and unique sets of information. If we now make multiple copies of the late edition’s back page but keep only the original single copy of the early edition’s back page, we have increased the frequency of the later edition’s information. Note carefully that we have done nothing whatsoever to alter the total amount of unique information. It would not matter if we made a million copies of both editions of the back page; we would still have only two pages of unique information. The multiple copies are merely that-mere copies, mimics. They do not add any new information. To obtain increased information (rather than just an increase in the frequency of existing information) is far more complicated. It would entail journalists researching a new story, layout people formatting it up, so as to yield a unique back page full of new information. You could not get new information without intelligent design.

Random mutations to change the duplicated gene would not add information unless the mutated sequence coded for some new, useful protein. To illustrate: if “superman” were the duplicated “gene”, and mutations in the letters changed it to “sxyxvawtu ”, you have clearly lost information, although you have a new sequence. This is the difference between complexity and specified complexity. A pile of sand is complex, but is information-poor, because it specifies nothing. A sand sculpture is a complex structure that has had intelligent design applied to the meaningless pile of sand.

sand_sculpture

Another recent and highly touted conclusion jumping was the combining of certain reptile-mammals into the evolutionary precursors of all mammals. The so-called mammal-like reptiles are believed by evolutionists to be the ancestors of the mammals and to have become more mammal-like with the passage of time. Evolutionists consider anatomical traits to be mammal-like if they occur in modern mammals but not in other modern vertebrates.

The highly-touted, alleged succession of mammal-like reptiles towards increasing ‘mammalness’ is not found at any one location on Earth. It can only be inferred through the correlation of fossiliferous beds from different continents. Judgments are made as to which stratum on one continent is older than another stratum on another continent. Moreover, intercontinental correlations are made even when the fossil genera do not correspond with each other. Instead, the correlations are based on the general similarity of specimens, as well as their assumed degree of evolutionary advancement. The circularity of such reasoning is obvious.

A very detailed (more so than I want to go into at this time) discussion showing the fallacy of counting similar traits to determined the ‘mammalness’ of a fossil is discussed here: http://creation.com/mammal-like-reptiles-major-trait-reversals-and-discontinuities

Clearly, the ruling evolutionary paradigm existed before the discovery of mammal-like reptiles, and would have flourished had these reptiles never been discovered. In that event, today’s evolutionists would be extolling some extinct amphibian group as the transitions (or stratomorphic intermediates) leading up to mammals. Cladograms would be constructed to show the close branching pattern between that chosen group of amphibians and mammals.

All else would fall in place according to the dictates of evolutionary dogma. The evolutionist triumphalists would be telling everyone that evolution is fact because of the many obvious similarities between the ‘ancestral’ amphibians and the ‘descendant’ mammals. Compromising evangelical evolutionists would preach about the fact that God would never mislead us by separately creating mammals and amphibians with so many shared structures. Leading humanist scientists would inform us that anyone who questions the amphibian-mammalian transition cannot possibly be a scientist, no matter his degrees or publications. And, of course, the secularist fanatics would whip up considerable hysteria about the fact that the questioning of the amphibian–mammalian transition is a dangerous threat to the very survival of science and reason, and that, if not quickly reversed, it will soon return us to the Dark Ages.

It is similar to if Hilary had been elected president then every time we opposed what she was doing we would be called sexists instead of racists because of Obama’s heritage.

Natural selection is simply the effect the natural world has on living things, selecting out living forms that can survive from those that can’t handle their environment and therefore perish. All too often we see the results of natural selection being claimed as evidence of ‘evolution’ in action. Such a conclusion is either a bad case of ‘jumping to premature conclusions’, or shows a poor understanding of what ‘evolution’ really is. Evolution and natural selection are two entirely different things.

pile_of_buttons

The following simple and easy-to-do experiment will show what that difference is. It can be performed with a large stack of miscellaneous clothes buttons and some builder’s sieves of different mesh sizes.

Sieving the buttons through the mesh, mimics the action of natural selection—sorting out which objects will survive the testing process. The use of different mesh sizes will sort out the buttons quite differently (this is analogous to different environmental conditions or selection pressures). Buttons that survive one sieving may be caught out in the next.

What we have at the end of the sieving or selecting process are groups of buttons of similar size, each of which will be quite different from the original collection of all shapes and sizes thrown in together.

sorting_buttons2

No button has changed, but what if some buttons did not make it right through the sieving process? If all the buttons which stuck on the first sieve were thrown into the fire and burnt, you could claim they had become extinct. That is what natural selection does—it can eliminate species. Likewise from our button experiment, it would be extremely naive to claim that the button populations (the groups of buttons) had ‘evolved’ since all the buttons were present right at the start—no new types of buttons had appeared from the beginning. If you wanted new buttons to appear on the scene, only the supplier of the buttons could introduce new kinds of buttons. However, note that each pile of buttons you have from your sieving will be a new combination, a previously unseen combination of those things that already existed at the start.

So the choice of NOT jumping to conclusion and keeping an open mind and not stereotyping results to fit your point of view is up to you. Evolution and natural selection occurs and both Biblical scientists and evolutionary scientists can generally agree on those facts but disagree on the conclusions and implications. Evillutionists however want to prove that viruses might have evolved into virologists or one of those buttons became a zipper.