More Trouble for Darwinism
Regis NicollRegis Nicoll's weblog
- 2008 Apr 25
Now this is something that should trouble the Darwinian establishment. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), researchers found “that a deficiency in an enzyme called pyruvate kinase, which is required for energy production in the body, provides protection against malaria infection."
Here’s the trouble: Darwinian evolution depends on the ability of unguided, naturalistic processes to build genomes over geological time scales. Note that the information content of the smallest genome would fill a 500-page book. (The instructions in the human genome would fill a 50,000 page book!)
The astute person will wonder how an unconscious process could lead to the creation of what amounts to a mini-library from scratch. The catechistic answer is that genetic words, sentences, and whole books are written through the creative power of genetic mutation. Mutations that have “cash value” in evolutionary “fitness” are accumulated over time, leading to an increasingly complex code of life.
It’s like believing that, given two hundred million years, a double-wide trailer could become the Taj Mahal from the combined influences of cosmic rays, wind erosion, tectonic movement and quantum effects. As any homeowner knows, it’s precisely such unconscious effects that lead to home deterioration, not home improvement. But, on occasion, even deterioration can have a beneficial effect.
Consider that double-wide in the tropics without air conditioning. A wind that wasn’t strong enough to destroy it, but sufficiently strong to blow out all the windows, could enhance creature comfort without any structural additions.
And that was what the researchers in the NEJM found. The enzyme deficiency needed for malaria protection, results from the suppression of genetic instructions rather than from their creation.
Increased “fitness” by the shuffling or suppression of existing genes, rather than by the accumulation of new ones, is a direct affront to gradualism. While that should rattle the ranks of the Darwinian faithful, their resiliency against such evidence never ceases to amaze.
Consider the "crystals" and "aliens" offered, in Expelled, as the best answers to the question of life's origin by their most celebrated evangelists. They may be still on the playing field, but the game is long over.