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Category Archives: Evolution

Hello, living fossil!

Reading many textbooks, mainstream articles, we are presented reports of absurdly long ages, “ancient”, “primitive” animals and plants depicted as the predecessors of the present, “modern” ones… Dinosaurs, trilobites and numberless others extinct species are alleged to have lived in Earth dozens of millions years ago. But, how can they be so sure of these “facts”? What if the dating methods aren’t accurate, and all they do is making use of untested speculations? It’s defended that, giving millions of years, complex, functional and fit features can spontaneously appear in organisms…

It’s also said the human evolved from ancient primates a “mere” million years ago, that means: in so few (evolutionary) time we evolved our wonderful anatomy (i.e., been able to walk upright, skilled hands with thumbs to handle stuffs, etc), speaking ability, amazing brain, consciousness, complex languages, etc! This is quite improbable and contradictory, even more after noticing the following species, called “living-fossils”.

“A living fossil is a living species (or clade) of organism which appears to be the same as a species otherwise only known from fossils and which has no close living relatives. These species have all survived major extinction events, and generally retain low taxonomic diversities.” Wikipedia

Beginning with a classic, the coelacanth:

Coelacanths are a part of the clade Sarcopterygii, or the lobe-finned fishes. Externally, there are several characteristics that distinguish the coelacanth from other lobe-finned fish. They possess a three-lobed caudal fin, also called a trilobate fin or a diphycercal tail.

Claimed to be extinct since the Cretaceous period (145 ± 4 to 66 million years (Ma) ago), found only in fossils… Well, until 1938! In that year fishermen off the coast of Madagascar hauled a live coelacanth to the surface in their nets!

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, who alerted the scientific community to the find, with the 1938 specimen.

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, who alerted the scientific community to the find, with the 1938 specimen.

Any difference to its grandpa?

5192coelacanthcomp

Explanations for this lack of “evolution”?

“The reason for this lower substitution rate is still unknown, although a static habitat and a lack of predation over evolutionary timescales could be contributing factors to a lower need for adaptation.” (Nature)

If you have predators chasing you, surely you’ll evolve new features quickly, right?

To make things weirder, Wikipedia states:

“They follow the oldest known living lineage of Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish and tetrapods), which means they are more closely related to lungfishreptiles and mammals than to the common ray-finned fishes.

A BBC article reiterates this sarcopterygii-mammal kinship:

“This class of fish was ancestral to all of the four-legged vertebrates: amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.” (BBC Nature)

If 400 million years (ncbi) hasn’t caused a change at all in the coelacanth, how much  time would thus be needed to turn it into a human?

Since 1938 others coelacanths have been caught, not just off the African and Madagascan coastlines, but also in Indonesian waters. It’s weird to see no sign of mutation, evolution after so many time! Maybe a fish is a lot complex, thus, demanding even more time to turn into something else! What about something smaller, huh, a mite to begin with; surely, such a small and “simple” creature could have changed a lot after millions of years:

Gracilidris ant

This Gracilidris specimen caught on amber is alleged to have lived in  the upper Oligocene or lower Miocene (15-20 million years ago), and surely, being a small creature with few chromosomes, it has modified a lot after that time, right? Not!

What about a 100-million years old spider?

No new (nor outdated, ancient, “vestigial”) feature over again..

The examples of living fossils with zero sign of evolution are endless:

Nautilus (500 million years old):

Tuatara (spine-bearer, in Maori idiom) (around 200 million years ago):

 

 

Tuataras are reptiles, yet retain more primitive characteristics than lizards and snakes.” says a Wikipedia article, however, only because of its resembling ancient look, such as a spiny crest along the back, its dentition, in which two rows of teeth in the upper jaw overlap one row on the lower jaw, unique among living species, and some features in its skeleton, which is said to be “apparently evolutionarily retained from fish” . Nonetheless, how can the tuatara be primitive and at the same time having such a magnificent, complex characteristics: 

“The eyes can focus independently, and are specialized with a duplex retina that contains two types of visual cells for both day and night vision, and a tapetum lucidum which reflects onto the retina to enhance vision in the dark. There is also a third eyelid on each eye, the nictitating membrane.”

A characteristic which tuataras share with lizards is an eye on the top of their heads. This third or pineal eye however is better developed in the tuataras than in other living creatures. It is visible in young animals as a translucent scale, but as they age it becomes covered with normal skin. Underneath lie a lens, a retina and a nerve which passes through a hole in the top of the skull to the brain. As the structure lacks an iris it may simply be sensitive to light, for these animals are for the most part nocturnal, or active at night. SOme say it may be useful in absorbing ultraviolet rays to manufacture vitamin D,[7] as well as to determine light/dark cycles, and help with thermoregulation.[13]

It’s interesting that they are endangered with risk of extinction, both European and New Zealand varieties.  It was the tuataras’ difficulties in competing with mammals like rats, for example, that ended in the elimination of the tuatara from the larger New Zealand islands. So, it boggles our mind with the question: how could such “unfit” animal survive that long, whereas creatures like dinosaurs, megalodon, predator X and other much more able creatures come into extinction?

“That is one of the big mysteries about biodiversity….Why these evolutionary losers are still around is a very hard thing to explain. They have been drawing inside straights for hundreds of millions of years. It’s a real mystery to biologists how there can be any tuataras, given their low rate of speciation.”

[Alfaro, M. E. et al. Nine exceptional radiations plus high turnover explain species diversity in jawed vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print July 24, 2009.]

Ginkgo Biloba (170 million-year old)

                        

Any difference here?

Echidna (supposedly split from Platypuses 115 million years ago)

                        

Weird animal which belongs to the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals, along with platypus! The fact that it lays eggs has been used by scholars as evidence of mammal’s evolutionary past, allegedly evolved out of reptiles. But there’s no fossil evidence showing any gradual modification, no reptile-like ancestor, nothing! Another strange characteristic of echidna is the presence of a non-venomous spur on the hind feet of males. Also, there’s  no sign that they are in transition phase, “evolving” into a new form, species, they were just born this way.

 

Hoatzin (24-48 mya):

 

 

This bird lives in South America forests. It’s considered a living fossil merely because it has an uncommon feature: The newly hatched bird has claws on its thumb and first finger and so is enabled to climb on the branches of trees with great dexterity! When it reaches the adulthood, however, the claws are gone.

 

Young Hoatzin climbing the tree with its claws

 

Crocodiles (83.5 mya):

                     

 

Well, 83.5 millions years old, but no single feather has appeared…

 

Horseshoe crab (450 mya):

        

 

450 million years later… It absolutely remained the same fashion. It’s worth note that the horseshoe crab has a wonderful immunologic system which responds to any bacterial infection much faster than that of vertebrates! No wonder Dr. Norman Wainwright (immunologist at the  Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, USA), said, ‘One of the reasons the horseshoe crab has survived for so long is its advanced immune system’ (ABCNews)

Researchers at MBL are using one species, called Limulus polyphemus, to develop a test for bacteria. Bacterial cell walls contain distinctive LPS molecules (lipopolysaccharides, molecules containing sugar units and a fat). These trigger a cascade of enzyme reactions in horseshoe crab blood that attack the bacterial proteins and culminate in the production of a protein called fibrin. This clots the crab’s blood and, in the wild, would effectively seal a wound. (CMI)

So it turns out that this “primitive” creature has a much more efficient system than the “advanced” vertebrates?

There are much more examples of these living fossils, none of them showing any slight sign of evolution; we have insects, invertebrates with advanced eyes, such as the trilobites, dragonflies, etc, dated to million of years. Meanwhile, in a few million years, however, this astounding evolution occurred:

 

 

Well, this reminds me of a famous quote:

“Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” (Theodosius Dobzhansky)

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Our inverted retina: Not a bad design

Evolutionists frequently maintain that the vertebrate retina exhibits a feature which indicates that it was not designed because its organisation appears to be less than ideal. They refer to the fact that for light to reach the photoreceptors it has to pass through the bulk of the retina’s neural apparatus, and presume that consequent degradation of the image formed at the level of the photoreceptors occurs. In biological terms this arrangement of the retina is said to be inverted because the visual cells are oriented so that their sensory ends are directed away from incident light. It is typical of vertebrates but rare among invertebrates, being seen in a few molluscs and arachnids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As usual, evolutionists like to point this out as an evidence of “bad design”, thus, being supposedly more explainable under the light of natural, unguided view. Dawkins, while admitting that light traversing the inverted retina is not disturbed significantly during its passage to the photoreceptors, writes as follows :

‘Any engineer would naturally assume that the photocells would point towards the light, with their wires leading backwards towards the brain. He would laugh at any suggestion that the photocells might point away, from the light, with their wires departing on the side nearest the light. Yet this is exactly what happens in all vertebrate retinas. Each photocell is, in effect, wired in backwards, with its wire sticking out on the side nearest the light. The wire has to travel over the surface of the retina to a point where it dives through a hole in the retina (the so-called ‘blind spot’) to join the optic nerve. This means that the light, instead of being granted an unrestricted passage to the photocells, has to pass through a forest of connecting wires, presumably suffering at least some attenuation and distortion (actually, probably not much but, still, it is the principle of the thing that would offend any tidy-minded engineer). I don’t know the exact explanation for this strange state of affairs. The relevant period of evolution is so long ago.’ 1

First, we must review some things about ocular anatomy:

 

Figure 2Light enters the human eye via the transparent cornea, the eye’s front window, which acts as a powerful convex lens. After passing through the pupil (the aperture in the iris diaphragm) light is further refracted by the crystalline lens. An image of the external environment is thus focused on the retina which transduces light into neural signals and is the innermost (relative to the geometric centre of the eyeball) of the three tunics of the eye’s posterior segment. The other two tunics of the eye’s posterior segment are the white tough fibrous sclera which is outermost and continuous with the cornea anteriorly, and thechoroid, a pigmented and highly vascular layer which lies sandwiched between the retina and sclera.

The retina consists of ten layers, of which the outermost is the dark retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) which because of its melanin pigment is opaque to light. The RPE cells have fine hair-like projections on their inner surface called microvilli which lie between and ensheath the tips of the photoreceptor outer segments. There is thus a potential plane of cleavage between the RPE and the photoreceptors which is manifested when the neurosensory retina becomes separated from the RPE, e.g. as a result of injury, a condition known as retinal detachment.

Each photoreceptor, whether rod or cone, consists of an inner and an outer segment, the former having organelles (intracellular apparatus) for manufacturing the visual pigment present in the latter. The rod and cone layer and all eight layers internal to it constitute (in distinction from the RPE) what is known as the neurosensory retina which is virtually transparent to light. By means of many complex nerve connections within the neurosensory retina, electrical impulses generated by light reaching the photoreceptors are processed and transmitted to the retina’s nerve fibre layer and thence pass up the optic nerve to the brain.

In many species for whom vision in very low levels of illumination is important, a layer of reflective crystalline material, the tapetum (Latin: carpet) is incorporated in the RPE or choroid.1 Acting as a mirror, the tapetum reflects light which has passed between the photoreceptors, so augmenting the light bombarding the photoreceptors. Hence the proverbial ‘cat’s eyes’ when caught by a beam of light in the dark.

The retinal pigment epithelium

Fundamental to understanding the inverted retina is the crucial role played by the RPE. Many of its important functions are now well known. Each RPE cell is in intimate contact with the tips of 20 or more photoreceptor outer segments which number over 130 million. Without the RPE the photoreceptors and the rest of the neurosensory retina cannot function normally and ultimately atrophy.

The outer segment of a photoreceptor consists of a stack of discs containing light-sensitive photopigment. These discs are being continually formed by the inner segment from where they move in succession outwards in the outer segment towards the RPE which phagocytoses (Greek: φάγω (phagō) = eat) them and recycles their chemical components.

The RPE stores vitamin A, a precursor of the photopigments, and thus participates in their regeneration. There are four photopigments which are all bleached on exposure to light: rhodopsin (found in the rods, for night vision) and one for each of the three different types of cones (one for each of the primary colours). It synthesises glycosaminoglycans for the interphotoreceptor matrix, i.e. the material lying between and separating the photoreceptors.

Besides oxygen, the RPE selectively transports nutrients from the choroid to supply the outer third of the retina and removes the waste products of photoreceptor metabolism to be cleared by the choroidal circulation. By selective pumping of metabolites and the presence of its tight intercellular junctions, the RPE acts as a barrier, called the blood-retinal barrier, preventing access of larger or harmful chemicals to retinal tissue, thereby contributing to the maintenance of a stable and optimal retinal environment.

The RPE has complex mechanisms for dealing with toxic molecules and free radicals produced by the action of light. Specific enzymes such as the superoxide dismutases, catalases, and peroxidases are present to catalyse the breakdown of potentially harmful molecules such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. Antioxidants such as a-tocopherol (vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are available to reduce oxidative damage.

Our photoreceptors thus continually synthesise new outer segment discs with their specific photopigments, recycling materials from used discs digested by the RPE. This prompts the question, ‘Why have such a complicated process?’ The answer must be that it is an example of biological renewal, by means of which tissues exposed to damaging chemicals, radiation, mechanical trauma, etc., are able to survive. Without self renewal, tissues such as the skin, the lining of the gut, blood cells etc would quickly accumulate fatal defects. In the same way, by the continual replacing of their discs the photoreceptors counter the relentless process of disintegration accelerated by toxic agents, particularly short wavelength light.

 

The choroidal heat sink

 

It has been observed that the damage to photoreceptors in an experimental model is strongly related to temperature, and other studies have confirmed that heat exacerbates photochemical injury. Any system designed to protect against the latter should also protect against the former. In 1980, a paper was published which explained for the first time something already known about the choroid.2 That is, its very high rate of blood flow which far exceeds the nutritional needs of the retina, despite the latter being highly active metabolically, as indicated.

The choroidal capillaries (the choriocapillaris) form a rich plexus lying immediately external to the RPE, predominantly its central area, and separated from it by only a very thin membrane (Bruch’s). The absorption of excess light by the RPE produces heat in the outer retina which has to be dissipated if thermal damage to the delicate and complex biological machinery, its own and that of its neighbourhood, is to be avoided.

The authors of this study cogently argue that an important function of the choroid with its torrential blood flow (in local terms) and its close proximity to the RPE, is to act as a heat sink and cooling device. Still more fascinating are the results of further studies by the same workers indicating that there are central (via the brain), light-mediated nervous reflexes regulating choroidal blood flow, increasing the blood flow with increased illumination. Both RPE and choroid are essential for vision, but they are opaque, so it follows that for light to reach the photoreceptors, both RPE and choroid have to be located external to the neurosensory retina; hence we can conclude that there are sound reasons for the inverted configuration of the human and vertebrate retina.

 

The foveola

Although the neurosensory retina is virtually transparent apart from the blood in its very slender blood vessels, there is an additional refinement of its structure in its central region called the macula. The retina and the occipital cerebral cortex (called the visual cortex) of the brain, to which the former transmits visual information, are so organised that the VA is maximal in the visual axis. The visual axis passes through the foveola which forms the floor of a circular pit with a sloping wall, the fovea (Latin: pit) at the centre of the macula. Away from the fovea the VA diminishes progressively towards the periphery of the retina. Thus the colour photoreceptors—the cones for red, green and possibly also blue—have their greatest density of 150,000 per square mm at the foveola, which measures only 300–330 µm across.

 

Xanthophyll pigment

The optical system of the human eye is such that ambient light tends to fall with peak intensity on the macular area of the retina with much less on the retinal periphery. It must be significant therefore that not only is melanin more abundant in the macular region because its RPE cells are taller and more numerous per unit area than elsewhere30 but there is also in the retina’s central area the yellow pigment xanthophyll (Greek: ξάνθος xanthos, yellow). In this region of the retina, xanthophyll permeates all layers of the neurosensory retina between its two limiting membranes and is concentrated in the retinal cells, both the neurons and the supporting tissue cells. Recently attention has been drawn to the presence of a collection of retinal supporting tissue cells (called Müller cells after the person who first described them) over the internal surface of the fovea and forming a cone whose apex plugs the foveolar depression.

Retinal xanthophyll is a carotenoid, chemically related to vitamin A, whose absorption spectrum peaks at about 460 nm and ranges from 480 nm down to 390 nm It helps to protect the neurosensory retina by absorbing much of the potentially damaging shorter wavelength visible light, i.e. blue and violet, which is more scattered by small molecules and structures.

 

The blind spot

Because of the retina’s inverted arrangement, the axons (nerve fibres) transmitting data to the brain pass under cover of the retina’s inner surface to converge to a small area which is the optic nerve head, where they all exit the eye together as the optic nerve. The optic nerve head has no photoreceptors and so is blind, thereby producing a small blind spot in the visual field. No surprise, evolutionists criticized that. As Williams puts it:

‘Our retinal blind spots rarely cause any difficulty, but rarely is not the same as never. As I momentarily cover one eye to ward off an insect, an important event might be focused on the blind spot of the other.’ 3
Notwithstanding, this issue has to be viewed in perspective: the blind spot is centred at 15° away from the visual axis (3.7 mm from the foveola) and is very small in relation the visual field of an eye, occupying less than 0.25%. As mentioned above, the further away a point in the retina is from the foveola, the less will be its VA and its sensitivity. The retina surrounding the optic nerve head, in the light-adapted state, has a VA of only about 15% of that at the foveola. We can safely infer that the theoretical risk referred to by Williams arising from the blind spot in a one-eyed person, is negligible; and, in keeping with this, it is considered safe for a one-eyed person to drive a private motor car, i.e. for non-vocational purposes.’ 

Because the two visual fields overlap to a large degree, the blind spot of one eye is covered by the other eye’s visual field. It is true that occlusion or loss of one eye is a handicap, but this is not because of the blind spot of the seeing eye for the reasons given above.

 

Invertebrated eyes

Some claims that the verted retinae of cephalopods, such as squids and octopuses, are more efficient than the inverted retinae found in vertebrates. But this presupposes that the inverted retina is inefficient in the first place, and we’ve seen that isn’t the case. Also, they have never shown that cephalopods actually see better. On the contrary, their eyes merely ‘approach some of the lower vertebrate eyes in efficiency’ and they are probably colour blind. Further, the cephalopod retina, besides being ‘verted’, is actually much simpler than the ‘inverted’ retina of vertebrates; as Budelmann states, ‘The structure of the [cephalopod] retina is much simpler than in the vertebrate eye, with only two neural components, the receptor cells and efferent fibres’.5 It is an undulating structure with ‘long cylindrical photoreceptor cells with rhabdomeres consisting of microvilli’, so that the cephalopod eye has been described as a ‘compound eye with a single lens’. Finally, they live in regions with much lower light intensity than most vertebrates, which contributes to show that cephalopods eyes don’t need to be so complex as it’s usually claimed.

Despite the efforts of evolution promoters, the inverted retina isn’t an evidence of bad design; all the way around, even its “backwards wired” design poses a clear sign of planned origin, as to suit the demands of each living being, in accordance to its environment.

(From the article:  Is our ‘inverted’ retina really ‘bad design’?-Creation Ministries)

 

God bless you!

 

References

 

1 Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. W.W. Norton and Company, New York, p. 93, 1986

2 Duke-Elder, S., System of Ophthalmology, Henry Kimpton, London, vol. 1, p. 147, 1958.

3 Parver, L.M., Auker, C., Carpenter, D.O., Choroidal blood flow as a heat dissipating mechanism in the macula, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 89:641–646, 1980.

4 Williams, G.C., Natural Selection: Domains, Levels and Challenges, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 72–73, 1992.

5 Budelmann, B.U., Cephalopod sense organs, nerves and brain, 1994. In Pörtner, H.O., O’Dor, R.J. and Macmillan, D.L., ed., Physiology of cephalopod molluscs: lifestyle and performance adaptations, Gordon and Breach, Basel, Switzerland, p. 15, 1994.

Oh, homochirality…

Naturalistic theories have many insurmountable problems, dilemmas, if not for their anti-theistic commitment, many brilliant, renowned persons would never bother to conceive such a stupid wishful thinking, because the odds for a mere protein to form itself without intelligent influence are astronomical, in fact, impossible! Read now some scientific facts against the homochirality to happen by chance.

An organism is composed of countless molecules, the “building blocks” of life. Nearly all biological polymers must be homochiral (all its component monomers having the same handedness. Another term used is optically pure or 100 % optically active) to function. All amino acids in proteins are ‘left-handed’, while all sugars in DNA and RNA, and in the metabolic pathways, are ‘right-handed’. Whether or not a molecule or crystal is chiral is determined by its symmetry. A molecule is achiral (non-chiral) if and only if it has an axis of improper rotation, that is, an n-fold rotation (rotation by 360°/n) followed by a reflection in the plane perpendicular to this axis maps the molecule on to itself. Thus a molecule is chiral if and only if it lacks such an axis.

A 50/50 mixture of left- and right-handed forms is called a racemate or racemic mixture. Racemic polypeptides could not form the specific shapes required for enzymes, because they would have the side chains sticking out randomly. Also, a wrong-handed amino acid disrupts the stabilizing α-helix in proteins. DNA could not be stabilised in a helix if even a single wrong-handed monomer were present, so it could not form long chains. This means it could not store much information, so it could not support life.

To begin with, it’s a well known FACT that homochiral molecules are never found outside a cell (except, of course, in labs, under the human, therefore intelligent,  manipulation). Why? Laws of physics, dear!

consequence of the Laws of Thermodynamics. The left and right handed forms have identical free energy (G), so the free energy difference (ΔG) is zero. The equilibrium constant for any reaction (K) is the equilibrium ratio of the concentration of products to reactants. The relationship between these quantities at any Kelvin temperature (T) is given by the standard equation:

K = exp (–ΔG/RT)

where R is the universal gas constant (= Avogadro’s number x Boltzmann’s constant k) = 8.314 J/K.mol.

For the reaction of changing left-handed to right-handed amino acids (L → R), or the reverse (R → L), ΔG = 0, so K = 1. That is, the reaction reaches equilibrium when the concentrations of R and L are equal; that is, a racemate is produced. A famous textbook correctly stated:

‘Synthesis of chiral compounds from achiral reagents always yields the racemic modification.’ and ‘Optically inactive reagents yield optically inactive products.’ (Morrison, R.T. and Boyd, R.N., 1987. Organic Chemistry, 5th ed. Allyn & Bacon Inc. p.150)

It also states:

‘We eat optically active bread & meat, live in houses, wear clothes, and read books made of optically active cellulose. The proteins that make up our muscles, the glycogen in our liver and blood, the enzymes and hormones … are all optically active. Naturally occurring substances are optically active because the enzymes which bring about their formation … are optically active. As to the origin of the optically active enzymes, we can only speculate’

Nonetheless, they (the naturalists) are “sure” of the casual origin of everything… They just can’t explain HOW could it happen, nor can they show the farthest, slightest evidence of the nothingness creating things that violate its laws, such as homochirality! English biologist John Maddox called it “an intellectual thunderbolt that natural proteins should contain only the left-handed forms of the amino acids.”. But it was not for the lack of efforts and guesswork. The famous Oparin once went on to say:

“The probability of the formation of one antipode or the other is therefore the same. As the law of averages applies to chemical reactions the appearance of an excess of one antipode is very improbable, and, in fact, we never encounter it under the conditions of non-living nature and in laboratory syntheses . . . .
In living organisms, on the contrary, the amino acids of which naturally occurring proteins are made always have the left-handed configuration. . . . This ability of protoplasm selectively to synthesize and accumulate one antipode alone is called the asymmetry of living material. It is a characteristic feature of all organisms without exception but is absent from inanimate nature. 

Pasteur pointed out this fact as follows: “This great character is, perhaps, the only sharp dividing line which we can draw at present between the chemistry of dead and living nature.”” (A. I. Oparin, Life, Its Nature, Origin and Development (New York: Academic Press, 1961), pp. 59, 60)

Ever since, many theories were proposed, in an effort to solve this unbelievable puzzle, but they have all failed, as we’re going to see some now.

How can we separate the left from the right?

It’s not that simple! First of all, you need of intelligence behind the process… To resolve a racemate, another homochiral substance must be introduced. The procedure is explained in any organic chemistry textbook. The idea is that right-handed and left-handed substances have identical properties, except when interacting with other chiral phenomena. The analogy is that our left and right hands grip an achiral (non-chiral) object like a baseball bat equally, but they fit differently into a chiral object like a left-handed glove. Thus to resolve a racemate, an organic chemist will usually use a ready-made homochiral substance from a living organism.

However, this does not solve the mystery of where the optical activity in living organisms came from in the first place. An world conference on ‘The Origin of Homochirality and Life’ made it clear that the origin of this handedness is a complete mystery to evolutionists (Cohen, J., 1995. Science, 267:1265–1266). The probability of forming one homochiral polymer of N monomers by chance = 2–N. For a small protein of 100 amino acids, this probability = 2–100 = 10–30. Note, this is the probability of any homochiral polypeptide. The probability of forming a functional homochiral polymer is much lower, since a precise amino acid sequence is required in many places.

A further problem is that homochiral biological substances racemize in time. This is the basis of the amino acid racemization dating method. Its main proponent is Jeffrey Bada of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California(Bada, J.L., Luyendyk, B.P. and Maynard, J.B., 1970. Science, 170:730–732). As a dating method, it is not very reliable, since the racemization rate is strongly dependent on temperature and pH, and depends on the particular amino acid (Gish, D.T., 1975.  Impact series #23, ICR). Racemization is also a big problem during peptide synthesis and hydrolysis. It shows that the tendency of undirected chemistry is towards death, not life.

Beta decay and the weak force

β-decay is one form of radioactive decay, and it is governed by one of the four fundamental forces of nature, the weak force. This force has a slight handedness, called parity violation, so some theorists thought β-decay could account for the chirality in living organisms. However, the weak force is aptly named—the effect is minuscule—a long way from producing the required 100 % homochirality. One specialist in the chirality problem, organic chemist William Bonner, professor emeritus at Stanford University, said, ‘none of this work has yielded convincing conclusions’. Another researcher concluded:

‘the exceptional prebiotic conditions required do not favour asymmetric β-radiolysis as the selector of the exclusive signature of optical activity in living nature.’

Another aspect of parity violation is that the L-amino acids and D-sugars have a theoretically slightly lower energy than their enantiomers so are slightly more stable. But the energy difference is immeasurable—only about 10–17 kT, meaning that there would be only one excess L-enantiomer for every 6×1017 molecules of a racemic mixture of amino acids.

Homochiral template

Some have proposed that a homochiral polymer arose by chance and acted as a template. However, this ran into severe problems. A template of 100 % right-handed poly-C (RNA containing only cytosine monomers) was made (by intelligent chemists!). This could direct the oligomerisation (formation of small chains) of (activated) G (guanine) nucleotides. Indeed, pure right-handed G was oligomerised much more efficiently than pure left-handed G. But racemic G did not oligomerise, because:

‘monomers of opposite handedness to the template are incorporated as chain terminators … This inhibition raises an important problem for many theories of the origin of life.’ (Joyce, G.F., Visser, G.M., van Boeckel, C.A.A., van Boom, J.H., Orgel, L.E. and van Westrenen, J., 1984. Nature, 310:602–4)

Do you like probabilities? Let’s see what Dr. Harold J. Morowitz of Yale University has found on his extensive research for discovering the theoretical limits for the simplest free-living thing which could duplicate itself.

“He took into consideration the minimum operating equipment needed and the space it would require. Also, attention was given to electrical properties and to the hazards of thermal motion. From these important studies, the conclusion is that the smallest such theoretical entity would require 239 or more individual protein molecules.
This is not very much simpler than the smallest actually known autonomous living organism, which is the minuscule, bacteria-like Mycoplasma hominis H39. It has around 600 different kinds of proteins. From present scientific knowledge, there is no reason to believe that anything smaller ever existed. We will, however, use the lesser total of 239 protein molecules from Morowitz’ theoretical minimal cell, which comprise 124 different kinds. 
It was noted earlier that there obviously can be no natural selection if there is no way to duplicate all of the necessary parts. In order to account for the left-handed phenomenon, chance alone, unaided by natural selection, would have to arrange at least one complete set of 239 proteins with all-left-handed amino acids of the universal 20 kinds. There is reason to believe that all 20 of these were in use from the time of life’s origin.
Using figures that were furnished by Morowitz, it can be calculated that the average protein molecule in the theoretical minimal living thing would contain around 445 amino acid units of the usual 20 kinds. One of the 20 types of amino acids, glycine, cannot be left- or right-handed, because its “side chain” is not really a chain, but merely a hydrogen atom like the one opposite it. It can be presumed that this minimal theoretical cell would in many ways resemble bacteria in its make-up. In some bacteria, glycine accounts for just over 8 percent of the total amino acid molecules, so we will estimate that in the average protein of the minimal cell, there will be 35 glycine units in the chain. That will leave 410 of the total 445 which could be either left- or right-handed.

If amino acids had been formed naturally in the “primitive” atmosphere, they would have occurred in statistically equal amounts of the left- and right-handed isomers. This became clear from experiments described in the preceding chapter. That means, then, that if a protein chain is to form by random linkups, all 410 of the nonglycine sites could be occupied with equal ease by either L- or D-type amino acids.
The first one has a 1 out of 2 chance of being left-handed. The same is true for each of the other 409. Since we are now figuring this at equal probability for either hand, the probability at anyone site is not affected by the amino acid before that one in the chain.
To calculate the probability in such a case, the formula to use is the multiplication rule, the heart of probability theory. Mathematician Darrell Huff said it thus: “To find the probability of getting all of several different things, multiply together the chances of getting each one.”
To get the probability of all 410 of the isomeric or handed amino acids of just one protein chain, we must multiply the 1/2 probability which is the case for each position in the chain. It is like flipping a coin 410 times, hoping to get all heads. For each step, there is 1 chance in 2, so we must multiply the 2 by itself (2 x 2 x 2 x . . . x 2). using the figure 410 times. That is 1 chance in 2410. (The exponent means: Multiply together 410 two’s.)
It will be easier to work with this figure if we translate it
to powers of 10 instead of powers of 2. As you know, multiplying 10 by itself is just adding another zero. The equivalent of 2410 is roughly 10123.

The probability that an average-size protein molecule of the smallest theoretically possible living thing would happen to contain only left-handed amino acids is, therefore, 1 in 10123, on the average.
That is a rather discouraging chance. To get the feel of that number, let’s look at it with all the 123 zeros: There is, on the average, 1 chance in –
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
that all of the amino acids of a particular protein molecule would be left-handed!” (creationsafaris)

Well, it’s a bit annoying when atheists, materialistic people claim to live completely exempt of faith, after seeing these frightening numbers against them!

“Life on Earth is made of “left-handed amino acids (L-amino acids)”. The question of why organisms on Earth consist of L-amino acids instead of D-amino acids or consist of D-sugar instead of L-sugar is still an unresolved riddle. In other words, a major mystery of life on Earth is that organisms are exclusively made up of left-handed amino acids. Therefore, the effort to solve this problem is one of the biggest in research into the origins of life, a subject that remains enveloped in mystery. “ (PhysOrg)

Sources: 

CMI;

Crev.info

God bless you all!

Vestigial Organs? No more!

Let’s review some of the most cited examples of “vestigial organs”, so claimed by evolutionists:

From: CreationStudies

The Human Coccyx (Tailbone)
What happens when a scientist does not take to the indoctrination of Darwinian Evolution? Enter Dr. David Menton. Dr. Menton has a Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University. He has a long and illustrious career as medical school professor earning the Silver Award for Basic Research from the American Academy of Dermatology. He was awarded the ‘Distinguished Service Teaching Award’ from Washington University School of Medicine in 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997. Dr. Menton was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at Washington University School of Medicine in 1979 and was elected ‘Professor of the Year’ by that same institution.

Dr. Menton has been a thorn in the flesh of those who try to brainwash and indoctrinate others into believing that Darwinian evolution is a fact of science. Why would a medical school professor become a thorn in the flesh of the evolutionary faithful?  The reason is really very simple: because he boldly and unashamedly gives his students, and anyone else who is willing to listen, information that the evolutionary establishment will not disclose.

Dr. Menton responded to a clinical case report that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled, “Evolution and the Human Tail” by Dr. Fred Ledley. In his article, Dr. Ledley strongly implied that this growth (called a caudal appendage) was essentially a ‘human tail’, though he admitted that it had virtually none of the distinctive biological characteristics of a tail! (Menton 1994)

Dr. Menton corrected the erroneous statements of Darwinian scientists that the human tailbone was a vestigial structure and noted that “all true tails have bones in them that are a posterior extension of the vertebral column. Also, all true tails have muscles associated with their vertebrae which permit some movement of the tail” (Menton 1994). Rather than leaving the reader with the impression that the coccyx has no real function in human beings, Dr. Menton points out “that most modern biology textbooks give the erroneous impression that the human coccyx has no real function other than to remind us of the ‘inescapable fact’ of evolution. In fact, the coccyx has some very important functions. Several muscles converge from the ring-like arrangement of the pelvic (hip) bones to anchor on the coccyx, forming a bowl-shaped muscular floor of the pelvis called the pelvic diaphragm. The incurved coccyx with its attached pelvic diaphragm keeps the many organs in our abdominal cavity from literally falling through between our legs. Some of the pelvic diaphragm muscles are also important in controlling the elimination of waste from our body through the rectum” (Menton 1994).

But this is only one of the allegedly “100’s” of vestigial structures we are being told offer evidence of Darwinian evolution. What of the other three or four mentioned in our biology textbooks? We would not want our wisdom teeth, or those allegedly useless muscles that aid us in moving our ears and noses, to escape the scrutiny of simple logic. Or would we?

Muscles in our Ears and Noses


Would it surprise anyone that Darwin himself wrote on this very subject in his book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex? Darwin questioned other experts in the field of anatomy to gain their insights into the reason that men, and several of their alleged ape-like ancestors, had lost the ability to move their ears in ways similar to other mammals. He attributes this to the ability that apes and men have to move their heads in a horizontal plane (emphasis added) allowing them to catch sounds from all directions (Darwin 1890). Why no questions about the ears of a Macaque monkey, and some other monkeys, that have far more developed ear muscles? These muscles enable them to focus towards sounds without using their much touted horizontal planes?  Like a great deal of the evolutionary rhetoric, things are just stated in support of the theory and most other non-supportive information is simply excluded.

Wisdom Teeth

That takes us to the other example from our 1999 biology text book: our wisdom teeth. Jonathan Safarti has earned a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry (with condensed matter and nuclear physics papers substituted) and a Ph.D. in Spectroscopy (Physical Chemistry) from Victoria University at Wellington. Dr. Safarti addresses this subject in his book entitled By Design: Evidence for Nature’s Intelligent Designer – the God of the Bible.

In the publication, Dr. Safarti explains that “wisdom teeth” is a popular term for our third molars, which often don’t develop properly. Instead, they can be impacted against their adjoining teeth, or partially erupt so the gum doesn’t form a bacterially-tight seal (leaving the tooth vulnerable to infection), or erupt crookedly and then cut the cheek frequently. Thus they are often removed (Safarti 2008).

Dr. Safarti reminds the reader that modern dentistry has identified the problem with wisdom teeth as being primarily linked to the diet in modern cultures.  In non-technological cultures, impacted wisdom teeth are extremely rare as their tougher diet exercises their jaw muscles properly during chewing, thus helping the jaw to develop properly. The grittier diet also results in tooth wear, and the normal compensation for this loss of tooth surfaces is mesial migration (tooth movement towards the front of the mouth) making more room for the back molars. The modern diet fails both to provide the same jaw exercise, so the jaw doesn’t develop to full size, and to provide tooth wear that would enable them to avoid crowding (Bergman 1998).

When I sought to gain a broader perspective about these vestigial organs, I discovered at one time as many as 180 vestigial organs were claimed to exist (Wiedersheim 1895).  Dr. Jerry Bergman offers some insight concerning the original 180 specimens.  Dr. Bergman has two earned PhD’s. One in human biology, from Columbia Pacific University 1992 and one in measurement and evaluation, minor in psychology, Wayne State University 1976. He has a M.A. in Social Psychology from Bowling Green State University and another M.Ed. from Wayne State University. In his paper entitled “Do Vestigial Organs Exist in Humans,” Dr. Bergman claims that the original list published in 1890 had shrunk down to 0 by 1999 (Bergman 2000).

The Wings of Flightless Birds

Much to my surprise, on the very same web publication that announced the possible removal of the appendix from the vestigial structure/organ list, AOL’s Live Science, I came across Brandon Miller’s Top Ten Useless Limbs (and other Vestigial Organs) list (Miller 2009). Miller begins his countdown with the ‘wings of flightless birds.’ What Mr. Miller fails to include in his support of Darwinian Theory is the fact that there are other explanations concerning these apparently useless structures.

There is more than one explanation for wings that do not produce flight. Even if the wings of these flightless birds are indeed ‘useless’ for purposes of flight, and even if they were derived from birds that once could fly, this does not falsify the creationist’s model.  Loss of feathers is relatively easy by natural processes, whereas acquisition of new complex characters, requiring specific DNA information, is impossible. Loss of wings most probably occurred in a beetle species that colonized a windy island.  Again, this is a loss of genetic information, so it is not evidence for microbe-to-man evolution, which requires masses of new genetic information (Wieland 1997).

Secondly, the wings of these flightless birds have a function. Some possible functions, depending on the species of flightless bird, are: balance while running, cooling in hot weather, protection of the rib-cage in falls, mating rituals, scaring predators (emus will run at perceived enemies of their chicks, mouth open and wings flapping), sheltering of chicks, etc.  If wings are useless, why are the muscles functional, allowing these birds to move their wings (Safarti 2008)?

It might be helpful if those who espouse Darwinian evolution to be a fact of science honestly gave us all the information, pro and con, and then allowed open discussion and academic debate to rule the day.  It seems that asking the evolutionary faithful to allow all the evidence to be heard is no longer an option. Rather than talking about different ways to interpret the data, the evolutionary establishment refuses to even allow any alternate or conflicting opinions to be heard.

Hind Leg Bones in Whales

The ninth in Miller’s countdown is ‘hind leg bones in whales’. Mr. Miller begins his review of this alleged vestigial structure with the ‘just so’ story of vertebrate evolution. He describes the story of how fish might have become the first land lovers by developing hips and legs and walking out of the water. Then, for no particular reason I can understand, Mr. Miller tells us that this evidently fickle process of evolution caused these one time ‘refugees from the ocean’ to go back into the water.  By this process, we are told aquatic mammals allegedly came into existence. Then “despite their apparent uselessness, evolution left traces of hind legs behind, and these vestigial limbs can be seen in the modern whale” (Miller 2009).

While the proponents of Darwinian evolution hold up the fossil evidence for whale evolution as one of the best examples of Darwin’s theory in the fossil record, the reality is far different from the hype. It is good to keep in mind that most paleontologists believe that a single-celled organism evolved from inorganic matter and continued to evolve into virtually every living organism that lives today, ever has lived in the past, or ever will in the future live on planet Earth. There is real debate, even among the evolutionary faithful, concerning whale evolution.

Dr. Carl Werner is a medical physician and the author of Evolution: The Grand Experiment. In this book, Dr. Werner interviews many of the leaders in the field of paleontology seeking real answers to the questions concerning evolution. In the chapter devoted to the fossil record of whales, Dr. Werner personally interviews several leaders in the field of whale evolution and discovers that the alleged ancestry of whales is not as unanimous as the evolutionary faithful might want us to think. There are some glaring problems with the evolution of whales, not the least of which is the fact that all whales are carnivores. Even the large filter-feeding baleen whales eat small crustacean animals called krill. Evolution scientists have chosen meat-eating land mammals such as the cat-like Sinonyx or the hyena-like Pachyaena, as the land animal precursor of whales, because of the similarities of the meat-eating teeth when compared to teeth of the oldest fossil whales (Werner 2007).

Even though a comparison of teeth is often used to trace evolutionary ancestry, in recent times DNA has been used to search for links in the phylogenetic history of living organisms. This was the case in Tokyo when researchers at the Tokyo Institute found evidence that hippopotamus DNA is the closest match to the DNA of whales when compared to all other mammal groups (Werner 2007).

But what of those alleged remnants of hips in whales?  Dr. Jonathan Safarti echoes the opinions of his fellow creationists, Bergman and Howe, when he explains that many evolutionists support whale evolution by alleging that there are vestigial hind legs buried in their flesh.  However, these so-called ‘remnants’ are not useless at all, but help strengthen the reproductive organs — the bones are different in males and females. So they are best explained by creation, not evolution (Safarti 1999).

There continues to be a myth that some whales have been discovered with hind legs complete with thigh and knee muscles. Dr. Carl Wieland spent much time and effort tracking down this evolutionary ‘urban legend’. In his article entitled “The Strange Tale of the Leg on the Whale,” Dr. Wieland traced the origin of this myth to a book by Dr. R. Baker in which Dr. Baker writes:

‘And every once in a while a modern whale is hauled in with a hind leg, complete with thigh and knee muscles, sticking out of its side. These atavistic hind legs are nothing less than throwbacks to a totally pre-whale stage of their existence, some fifty million years ago.’ (Baker 1986) 

In an effort to document Dr. Baker’s source, Dr. Carl Wieland arranged for a colleague to contact Dr. Baker and track down the source for the statement concerning the whale-leg appendage.  Dr. Baker indicated that the source for this was Everhard Johannes Slijper (1907–1968).  Slijper was professor of general zoology at Amsterdam University, Netherlands and he was the world’s leading authority on whales. In chapter 2 of his classic work is entitled Evolution and External Appearance, he talks about a bone in whales that he calls the ‘pelvic bone’, which is some 30 centimeters (12 inches) long, “but unlike the pelvis of normal mammals, it is not attached to the vertebral column.” This bone serves as an anchorage for the male reproductive organs. Slijper goes on to say that sometimes “another small bone may be attached to it.” Being an evolutionist, he naturally interprets this smaller piece of bone as a throw-back to the femur, or thigh bone, of the whale’s evolutionary ancestor. However, he states that in these occasional cases, the bone in question is generally 2.5 cm (just over an inch) in length, and that it is sometimes ‘fused’ with the pelvic bone (Wieland 1998).

The attempt to further track down the alleged whale with a “hind leg, complete with thigh and knee muscles, sticking out of its side,” brought Dr. Wieland to write: “the closest thing to the claim which launched our pursuit of this whole trail is where Slijper states, ‘Thus, at Ayukawa Whaling Station (Japan), a Sperm Whale was brought in 1956, with a 5-inch tibia projecting into a 5½-inch “bump,” and a Russian factory ship in the Bering Sea had a similar experience in 1959.’ No photo is provided.”

Ignoring – for the moment – the purely anecdotal nature of the evidence, what is it that is being claimed? Sperm whales are massive — up to about 19m (62 feet) long. A 14 cm (5.5 inch) ‘bump’ on its side would look like an almost unnoticeable pimple. Inside the bump is a piece of bone, some 12.5 cm (5 inches) ‘long’. There is no evidence given of anything which could reasonably be called a ‘leg’. Slijper calls the bone inside the ‘bump’ a ‘tibia’. But we have already seen that it doesn’t take much for evolutionary believers to label abnormal pieces of bone in ways to fit their naturalistic religion (Wieland 1998).

So the search for photographic evidence of an atavistic leg, dangling uselessly from the underbelly of a whale, ends in failure. The reason such myths find a home in Darwinian theory, is due to the fact that ‘just so’ stories rarely provide any substantive evidence. Whether it the atavistic leg in whales or the prehensile tails in neonates, looks can indeed be deceiving, especially if the entire theory is based upon a faulty premise.

Erector Pili and Body Hair


Erector Pili are smooth muscle fibers that are responsible for giving human skin a bumpy appearance normally referred to as goose bumps.  The evolutionary establishment sees all evidence through the lens of Darwinian spectacles. The conclusions they reach are affected by their chosen paradigm of naturalism. Therefore, they see absolutely no reason for humans to have goose bumps. While the small size of these miniature muscles make them likely targets for evolutionists, Dr. Menton reminds us that the size of these structures should not be any indication of their usefulness to the organism. As is the case with all allegedly vestigial organs, not understanding their current function does not mean that they have no function, e.g. the now non-vestigial tonsils and appendix.

We are reminded by Dr. Menton, while virtually all of the larger muscles of the body have obvious (as well as some not so obvious) mechanical functions, smaller muscles are not necessarily useless. For example, two of the smallest muscles in the body, the stapedius and the tensor tympani, serve to dampen the movements of the auditory ossicles and the tympanic membrane (respectively) preventing loud sounds from overloading these delicate structures of the middle ear. In general, most small, short muscles of the body produce fine adjustments in the movement of larger muscles (Menton 2000).

With an almost perfunctory statement alluding to the eyebrow being the only worthy statement of function for body hair, the proponent of the ‘Top Ten Vestigial Organs’ goes on to say that, aside from the possible aesthetic qualities influencing sexual attraction, “all the rest of the hair, though, is essentially useless” (Miller 2009).

Here is where the obvious influence of Darwinian thought starts to resemble anti-science. It may very well be a problem on both sides of the debate, that is, coloring our interpretation of the data through our individual worldview rather than looking at all the evidence independent of bias. However, Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists are willing to look at all the possibilities without automatically excluding any of them.  We see how the concept of ‘molecules to men’ evolutionary thinking, and their unswerving allegiance to naturalism, clouds the minds of the evolutionary faithful and colors all of their conclusions. They will inevitably assume that man shares a common ancestor with other primates. Primates are usually very hairy; therefore, man must have lost his hair, because he no longer needed it. This is why goose bumps are seen as a rudimentary vestige of our furry relatives, puffing themselves up to appear larger to predators or generating warmth in particularly cold circumstances.

It may be too easy to play devil’s advocate with this subject, but just for a minute indulge me. First of all, is human hair really degenerating fur, lost to eons of clothing and improvements in central heating? Can eyebrows, and the ability to grow the hair on our heads longer than other body hair really be traced back to the sexual mores of our alleged furry forefathers, as those ‘wise of all’ scientists – the proponents of evolutionary psychology – tell us? Is it really as cut and dried as fur and hair being the same thing?

Let’s look at the similarities and the differences between hair and fur. First of all, hair and fur have the same chemical composition. They are both made of keratin and when speaking of non-humans, the term “fur” is used to describe the coat of fur-bearing animals. The real difference between fur and hair is found in the core of the hair follicle. In the case of animals, the hair follicle allows for more insulation to coat the hair shaft. Human hair lacks this ability and therefore, it does not provide the same insulation and weather proofing that animal fur provides.

Another area of difference is in the growth patterns of fur versus hair. In humans, the hairs grow distinctively from one another without the typical, closely woven appearance of fur.  Animal hair will fall out at a predetermined length, while some human hair, e.g. head hair, facial hair in men, etc., can be grown to considerable length. Animal hair seems to have double the composition of human hair and therefore, animal hair is much thicker than human hair.

Because evolutionary biology assumes common ancestry between animals and humans, these biologists automatically assume that similarities indicate common ancestry. This is why Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists cry foul when only one possible explanation is presented. Bible believing people see similarities in design as evidence of the ultimate Intelligent Designer, God. Man did not lose body hair as he made an evolutionary leap across time. Man was created with the God-given ability to be fruitful and multiply. He was not some Geico Neanderthal moving up the evolutionary ladder to modern man. The forever-missing link aside, man has reamined virtually unchanged since he was created in the Garden of Eden.

Some men are hairier than others.  I remember the professional wrestler, ‘George the Animal Steele’, whose body hair was so thick he would have to shave it. It left him with what looked like a fur collar of body hair around his considerably thick neck. ‘The Animal’ walked with a stooped posture, a hairless head and a thick mat of natural fur-like hair on his exposed arms and torso. Wrestling broadcasters often speculated that The Animal was indeed “the missing link.”  The fly in this proverbial ointment, as is usually the case, was the truth.  George the Animal Steele was not the Neanderthal throwback his promoters presented to his Worldwide Wrestling Federation (WWF) fans. George was a teacher with both a bachelors and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University. George honed his skills in wrestling while serving as both a teacher and the amateur wrestling coach at Madison High School in Madison Heights, Michigan. In reality, George was nothing like his WWF persona. George was just an educator-turned-professional-wrestler who turned his extraordinary fur-like body hair into a successful show-biz shtick.  In reality, George was not really a throwback to some long-lost evolutionary ancestor, any more than our human hair is the remnant of any long-lost evolutionary ape-like forefathers.

The Blind Fish Astyanax Mexicanus 

The next in the line of the top ten vestigial organs is not really what it is being promoted to be. Like the ‘bait and switch’ tactic of the evolutionary faithful, adaptability is being promoted as evidence of the ‘molecules to men’ grand theory of evolution. Adaptability is not evidence of inorganic molecules forming themselves into organic molecules by natural selection and beneficial mutation. Adaptability is not evidence of a living single-celled microorganism that – contrary to all biogenetic law – is going to be able to produce new information allowing it to morph itself into every living creature that has ever lived, or will ever live, on planet Earth. This ability to transform one form of life into another is often referred to as “macro-evolution.”  It is descriptive of the large and complex changes being postulated by Darwin’s theory.

Smaller changes can be produced by an incremental accumulation of genetic changes due to a loss of genetic information, or loss can occur due to atrophy. These are the types of changes that produce blind fish or blind salamanders, etc., and do not require new information to be generated.  The ‘use it or lose it’ type of changes we observe are often referred to as “micro-evolution.” These are the horizontal changes within a species, e.g. the variety of species within canis familiaris from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane.  These changes within the dog species are due to the incredible variety contained in the DNA; that is, information already contained therein and not newly created through natural selection and beneficial mutation. The ability to breed in and out certain genetic traits is far more indicative of special creation and Intelligent Design theory than Darwinian evolution. These changes are real, but not sufficient in nature to produce the vertical changes postulated by Darwinian Theory.

As noted previously, the fact that a fish, or other creature, may suffer the loss of ability in part, or the whole, of an organ or organ system is called atrophy, not evolution. The fact that muscles left unused will shrink with time and become virtually useless is not evidence of macro-evolution at all. It is even less supportive of adaptation, or micro-evolution. The loss of function is not necessarily traced back to loss of genetic information and, as modern genetics has clearly established, no major changes can be achieved without new genetic information being generated.

Another incredible truth concerning our blind fish is that scientists have been able to reverse their blindness, so the loss of sight was not even permanent. That raises another question. Can some of these losses, e.g. flightless birds and insects, be reversed? The answer, according to 2003 report in the Washington Post, is a resounding “yes” (Gugliotta 2003). The article went on to say how surprised these researchers were to discover that insects commonly known as ‘walking sticks,’ had evolved from winged to wingless and back again to winged. If is all sounds a bit confusing, don’t be alarmed. Darwinian Theory often sounds ridiculous when the ‘just so’ stories get told.

 

The Sexual Organs of Dandelions 

Here is another example of the skewed thinking that permeates all evolutionary writing. The bait and switch tactic is used here again to imply that not using a particular organ, or ability, is change that is supportive of macroevolution. This ‘use it or lose it’ scenario sounds a lot like Lamarckism, a debunked theory named for the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) who postulated that certain traits in an organism (occurring during the life time of that organism) could be passed on to their offspring.  Charles Darwin entertained this Lamarckian concept as a possible adjunct to natural selection (Desmond & Moore 1991).

The dandelion has the proper organs, e.g. the stamen and pistil, for sexual reproduction, but opts for asexual reproduction. This is seen as supportive of Darwin’s Theory even though, by Darwinian standards, sexual reproduction is considered superior for the proliferation of the species over asexual reproduction (Fisher 1975).

Dandelions are being held up as the ‘poster boy’ for asexual reproduction and evidence of vestigial structures. However, the fact remains that other organisms have this ability using both methods to reproduce, e.g. several species of algae, many protists and fungi, flora, and aphids along with some species of amphibians and reptiles, the hammerhead shark (Eilperin 2007) and the blacktip shark (Chapman et al. 2008).

So does the loss of an ability to reproduce sexually support Darwin’s Theory? When talking about dandelions, it is important to remember that although they evidently choose to reproduce asexually, the stamen and the anther of the dandelion remain intact and fully functional.  Dandelions self-pollinate, they do not clone or bud, thereby offering an advantage that mere cloning or budding does not. Given the fact that most evolutionary biologists believe asexual reproduction preceded sexual reproduction, the loss of the ability to reproduce sexually is really evidence of devolution, not evolution (Miller and Levine 2004).

We have also been told that the beautiful flower of the dandelion is a vestigial structure, since the dandelion is no longer reproducing sexually. This is an interesting but flawed argument, because the flowers of the dandelion are not superfluous at all, when one considers the symbiotic relationships that undeniably exist in God’s creation. Dandelion leaves are more nutritious than anything you can buy in the local health food store. They’re higher in beta-carotene than carrots. The iron and calcium content is phenomenal, greater than spinach. You also get vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc by using a tasty, free vegetable that grows on virtually every lawn. The root contains the sugar inulin, plus many medicinal substances. Dandelion root is one of the safest and most popular herbal remedies. The specific name, Taraxacum officinale, implies that it’s used medicinally. The decoction is a traditional tonic that is supposed to strengthen the entire body, especially the liver and gallbladder, where it promotes the flow of bile, reduces inflammation of the bile duct, and helps get rid of gall stones. It is good for chronic hepatitis, reduces liver swelling and jaundice, and helps indigestion caused by insufficient bile. Don’t use it with irritable stomach or bowel, or if you have an acute inflammation (Morrow 1994).

Fake Sex in Virgin Whiptail Lizards (Vestigial Behavior) 


Coming in as number 3, is a species of lizard designated genus Cnemidophorus. The females of this particular species do not need the males, because they reproduce by parthenogenesis. Parthenogenesis is a form of reproduction in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual.  Despite the fact that it is unnecessary and futile to attempt copulation with each other, the lizards still like to try, and occasionally one of the females will start to act like a male by attempting to copulate with another female. Evolutionists say these lizards evolved from a sexual species and the behavior to copulate like a male – to engage in fake sex – is a vestigial behavior; that is, a behavior present in a species, but expressed in an imperfect form, which in this case is useless (Miller 2009).

The Whiptails are not the only parthenogenic organisms on the planet. This form of asexual reproduction is also found in some fishes, several varieties of insects, and a few species of frogs and lizards. The largest lizard known to exhibit this form of reproduction is the female Komodo dragon.  Unlike the whiptails, Komodo dragons continue to be able to reproduce sexually. Unlike their smaller cousins – the Whiptails – who always produce female offspring, Komodo dragons that reproduce asexually only produce males.

Unlike our evolutionary counterparts, we do not see everything through the lens of Darwinian spectacles. Evolution assumes in the case of the Whiptail lizard, that the ability to reproduce asexually via parthenogenesis is the result of evolutionary change. This is an assumption that is not consistent throughout Darwinian Theory.

The standard view is that the oldest life forms are cyanobacteria that have a photosynthetic capability, survive and thrive in anaerobic conditions, and allegedly arose in the aquatic primordial soup of primitive Earth approximately 3.5 billion years ago. I like to call this “the original ‘just so’ story of evolution.  Cyanobacteria belong to a relatively new category of organisms called Archaea (Jarrell et al. 1999) and are commonly referred to as blue-green algae.

Under normal circumstances, blue-green algae reproduce asexually, thrive without oxygen, and can endure extreme temperatures in aquatic environments. These are some of the reasons they are considered the most primitive form of bacteria on the planet. Included in this category are the thermophiles that thrive in conditions considered primordial by today’s standards.  The dirty little secret is that microorganisms – including some species of blue-green algae – reproduce both sexually and asexually, but when it comes to evolutionary theory, the details don’t seem to matter that much.

The writer of our top ten focuses on the fact that female Whiptails still occasionally act like males attempting a sexual union with other females. Creationists would theorize that Whiptails were created to reproduce both ways and eventually, through natural selection, they completely switched over to asexual reproduction. That does not mean that instinctual behaviors intended to allow these creatures to “be fruitful and multiply” would completely disappear, hence the occasional female acting like a male and attempting sexual reproduction with another female.  So, yes, in this case we do seem to have a “vestigial” behavior if we define “vestige” purely to mean a “leftover” or trace evidence of something that once existed, but it is certainly not a leftover of any evolutionary process.  Rather, it is a behavior that signifies a useful trait that once existed in a more fully-endowed population, and has been lost forever in the degenerated form of the whiptail that survives today.

Intelligent Design theorists would say much the same, noting that both forms of reproduction are intended to propagate the species in question. Although it is considered more beneficial for the health of a species to reproduce sexually, e.g. twice the genetic information, less inbreeding, etc., some creatures have not benefited as much from sexual reproduction.  For example, parthenogenesis is forced on some species of wasps when they become infected with bacteria, as in the genus Wolbachia (Nair 2007).

With all the details of the evolution of microorganisms aside, the trace memories of sexual reproduction among a now (but not always) asexually reproducing species of lizard, hardly confirm this practice as evidence of upward change, e.g.  Darwinian evolution.

Male Breast Tissue and Nipples


Here our top ten list becomes almost comical. Our writer states that both men and women have nipples, because in early stages of fetal development an unborn child is effectively sexless. It is true of all neonates that nipples are present in both males and females, and it is only in a later stage of fetal development that the more overt signs of sex differentiation are evident in the fetus. All mammals, male and female, have mammary glands. Our top ten list compiler notes, if male nipples are truly vestigial; they may perform a small role in sexual stimulation and a small number of men have been able to lactate. However, he claims they are not fully functional and, because cancer can grow in male or female breast tissue, the tissue can be dangerous (Miller 2009).

The initial statement concerns the pathway that decides the sexual identity of a fetus. The author of the top ten list seems willfully ignorant when he implies that the sex of a child is determined solely by hormonal secretions. Not one mention of the genetic factors involved in sex determination is offered or even alluded to.  The fact that some male breast tissue has been known to lactate indicates that these anatomical features still function as originally designed. Sexual stimulation, for some reason, is not really a sufficient function according to our evolutionary friends.

Dr. Jonathan Safarti asks: what is the evolutionist’s explanation for male nipples? Did males evolve (or devolve) from females? Or did ancestral males suckle the young? No evolutionist would propose either of these options. He concludes that male nipples are neither evidence for evolution nor evidence against creation (Safarti 2008).

Remembering that both men and women are made in God’s image, should give us some insight into why some features are common to both the genders.  However, we must remember that evolution leaves no room for an Intelligent Designer, much less an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God.

The Human Appendix


There it was!  The number one allegedly vestigial organ in our top ten list: the human appendix. Yet this was the organ that is being demoted off the list of so-called vestigial organs and appeared in the Live Science.com article that suggested it was not really vestigial at all (Choi 2009). As we noted in the opening paragraph of this article, Live Science reported:

“Maybe it’s time to correct the textbooks,” said researcher William Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a ‘vestigial organ.” 

Our top ten promoter opines, in plant-eating vertebrates, the appendix is much larger and its main function is to help digest a largely herbivorous diet. The human appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine where it joins the small intestine and does not directly assist digestion. Biologists believe it is a vestigial organ, left behind from a plant-eating ancestor. Then Mr. Miller states in a monumental example of bogus reasoning, in 2000 there were nearly 300,000 appendectomies performed in the United States, and 371 deaths from appendicitis. Any secondary function that the appendix might perform certainly is not missed in those who had it removed before it might have ruptured.

Aside from the attempt to prove an organ vestigial, because it might become infected and result in death, not all the scientists agree with this view. As we noted earlier, Dr. David Menton has a Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University. Dr. Menton has had a long and distinguished career teaching medical students anatomy and physiology. Dr. Menton provides the following information on the allegedly vestigial organ called the appendix.

The appendix, like the once “vestigial” tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body’s immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system.  Believing it to be a useless evolutionary “left over,” many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice (Menton 1994). 

So, the list of vestigial organs continues to shrink. The more we discover about our great God and Savior, Messiah Jesus, the more we stand in awe of His creative abilities. The more true science looks at the universe, the more evidence piles up in support of special creation. Today we are seeing the cracks in the foundation supporting Darwinian Evolution. One by one the pillars are giving way to true science and the warning of the Apostle Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy, becomes all the more timely:

– See more at: http://www.creationstudies.org/Education/vestigal_organs.html#Organs

Submitted by: 
Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.  

References

Baker, R. (1986). The Dinosaur Heresies: A Revolutionary View of Dinosaurs, U.K. edition, Longman Group, Essex, 1986; published in USA as The Dinosaur Heresies: New Theories Unlocking the Mystery of the Dinosaurs and their Extinction, Morrow, New York, 1986. p. 317.

Bergman, Jerry (1998). Are wisdom teeth (third molars) vestiges of human evolution? J. Creation 12(3):297-304.

Bergman, Jerry (2000). Do any vestigial organs exist in humans? Answers in Genesis. Technical Journal 14(2):95-98.

Chapman, D. D., B. Firchau, and M. S. Shivji (2008). Parthenogenesis in a large-bodied requiem shark, the blacktip Carcharhinus limbatus. Journal of Fish Biology 73(6): 1473. See report in Science Daily: “Virgin birth” By shark confirmed: Second case ever. Retrieved September 1, 2009 at the New World Encyclopedia. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Asexual reproduction.

Choi, Charles (2009). Appendix may be useful organ after all. Live Science. Originally Accessed September 1, 2009 at http://news.aol.com/health/article/researchers-say-
appendix-has-uses/637211?icid=main|hpdesktop|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fnews.aol.com%2Fhealth%2Farticle%2Fresearchers-say-appendix-has-uses%2F637211.

Darwin, Charles (1890). The Descent of Man and Selection in Sex. 2nd Edition. London: John Murray, Ablemarle Street. 1890. p. 32.

Desmond, A. , Moore, J. (1991). Darwin Penguin Books p.617 “Darwin was loathe to let go of the notion that a well-used and strengthened organ could be inherited.”

Eilperin, J. 2007. Female sharks can reproduce alone, researchers find. Washington Post May 23, 2007, p. A02. Retrieved September 1, 2008.

Fisher, Ronald A. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930. Quoted by Michelle J. Solensky in the Evolution of Sexual Reproduction
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/01/16/1042520723454.html on September 12, 2009.

Jarrell, Ken F., Bayley, Douglas P., Correia, Jason D., Thomas, and Nikhil A. (1999).

Recent excitement about the Archaea.(Archaebacteria). Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan., Publisher. BioScience, July 1, 1999. First accessed on September 15, 2009
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Menton, David (1994). The human tail and other tales of evolution. Originally published in St. Louis MetroVoice, January 1994, Vol. 4, No. 1. Originally accessed at
http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro07.html on August 25, 2009.

Menton, David (1994). Ibid.

Menton, David (1994). Ibid. This version accessed September 8, 2009 at http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/evoltail.txt.

Menton, David (2000). The plantaris and the question of vestigial muscles. Answering the critics. CEN Technical Journal 14(2) 2000.

Miller, Brandon (2009). Top Ten Useless Limbs (and other Vestigial Organs). Live Science. at http://www.livescience.com/animals/top10_vestigial_organs.html on August 25, 2009.

Miller, Brandon (2009). Ibid. Whale evolution.

Miller, Brandon (2009). Ibid. Erector Pili and body hair.

Miller, Brandon (2009). Ibid. Fake sex in virgin Whiptail lizards.

Miller, Brandon (2009). Ibid. Male breast tissue and nipples.

Miller, Kenneth, R., Levine, Joseph (2004). Biology. Glossary, Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. p.1104.

Miller, Kenneth, R., Levine, Joseph (2004). Ibid. Similarities in embryology. p. 385.

Miller, Kenneth, R., Levine, Joseph (2004). Ibid. Evolution of protists. p. 498.

Morrow, William (1994). Identifying and Harvesting Edible Plants in Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Places. Harper Collins Publishers, New York.

Nair, Jayakumaran A. (2007). Principles of Biotechnology. Cell growth and development. Laxmi Publications, LTD., Publisher. New Delhi, India. p. 351

Safarti, Jonathan (2008). By Design: Evidence for Nature’s Intelligent Designer – the God of the Bible. Creation Book Publishers. Powder Springs, GA. p 204.

Safarti, Jonathan (2008). Ibid. Flightless birds. Ibid. p. 205-206.

Safarti, Jonathan (2008). Ibid. Flightless birds. Ibid. p. 206.

Safarti, Jonathan (2008). Ibid. Why do males have nipples? p. 206.

Safarti, Jonathan (1999). Refuting Evolution. Whale evolution. Master Books. Brisbane,

Australia. p 77. Footnote – J, Bergman and G. Howe. “Vestigial Organs” are Fully Functional, Creation Science Society Monograph No. 14.

Schraer, William D., Stoltze, Herbert J. (1999). Biology. Evidence of evolution. Prentice Hall Pub. Upper Saddle River, NJ. p. 583.

Werner, Carl (2007). Evolution: The Grand Experiment. The fossil record of whales. New Leaf Press. Green Forest, AR. p. 134.

Werner, Carl (2007). Ibid. Originally retrieved from Science News on Line on September 29, 2006 at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_ml1200/is_19_156/ai_57828404. On page 3 of the on-line article, Dr. Monastersky quotes Dr. Norhiro Okada, a Biologist and Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology: “I am one hundred percent confident with the conclusion that most the most closely related species to whales, among extant mammals, is the hippo.”

Wiedersheim, R (1985). The Structure of Man: An Index to His Past History. 2nd Edition. Translated by H. and M. Bernard. London: Macmillan and Co. 1985. Originally
Wiedersheim postulated 86 vestigial structures in 1983 but expanded it to no less than 180 vestiges in later publications.

Wieland, Carl (1997). Beetle bloopers: even a defect can be an advantage sometimes. Creation 19(3):30.

Wieland, Carl (1998). The strange tale of the leg on the whale. Creation Ministries International

Publisher. Creation magazine 20(3):10-13. June 1998.

Wieland, Carl (1998). Ibid. – See more at: http://www.creationstudies.org/Education/vestigal_organs.html#Organs

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