[Author's Note: this is a very shortened version of a much larger document which I have been working on for a very long time. There is absolutely no, NO, creationism involved whatsoever. Evolution must be analyzed on its own claimed basis as a science, as a settled science, valid enough to be incorporated in the law of the land as it has been.
Evolution is claimed to be “true”. It is frequently claimed that “if you understood it, then you’d know it is true”. It is claimed that it is "perverse" to question evolution. But few know what evolution actually entails, and this is a stripped down summary.]
How can we have trustworthy knowledge of reality? Enlightenment based science – Empiricism – is based on the need for objective knowledge in order to eliminate the bias inherent in subjective, personal knowledge, which is referred to as “opinion”. Objective knowledge requires the ability for different observers to obtain the same results when independently re-creating the cause in order to observe the effect. If an hypothesis is objectively true, then by forcing the causal conditions rigorously, then the same effect must be seen every time in order for the hypothesis to be granted the status of objective knowledge, and the cause/effect to be a “theory”. If all reality is physical and has cause/effect relationships which are reliably based in determinism, then it is physically possible to assert a cause and to produce a predictable effect, each and every time the cause is asserted, for all of reality.
Is evolution properly called objective knowledge of a causal phenomenon in physical reality, and is there empirical, experimental, falsifiable, replicable, open data which legitimately grants evolution the title of “objective knowledge”?
Here are some facts – actual facts – about evolutionary theories.
Darwin’s theory comes down to just two causal forces: gradual variation and selection. A third principle was Common descent, but it is not a causal theory in the sense that variation/selection is. And a fourth principle is gradualism, which is enabling and more catalytic than causal. These points were supported by a huge myriad of stories which he derived from inductive observations. After Darwin, the use of story telling became the main feature of evolutionary theory, and the stories were referred to as “Just So Stories” by Stephen Jay Gould. It has been said that Darwin created story telling as a scientific discipline, and it has, in fact become the stock in trade of not only evolutionary theory, but also other non-empirical sciences, which create hypotheses and then claim them as facts without empirical validation. A common claim is that there is a “mountain” of evidence for evolution, and that constitutes two things: fossil record, and genetics. Neither, however, is conclusive objective evidence for evolution.
The fossil record shows that various animals lived at certain times, as is revealed in the strata or layers in which their skeletal remains are found. It is extrapolated inferentially, i.e. without empirical, objective proof, that animals in one layer generated the new species in the next higher layer, and some connected variations are probable, while others are inexplicable. Further, the Darwinian tree of life has become a bush, a grid, a woven fabric, and in the case of the pre-Cambrian Explosion, a lawn.
Because Darwin also accepted Lamarckism, a new theory emerged which accepted variation and selection, but rejected inheritance by changes acquired during the parent’s lifetime, aka soft inheritance. Lamarckism held that if a dog’s tail was cut off, the pups would have short tails. Neo-Darwinism rejected that.
The Modern Synthesis.
Evolutionary theorists agreed finally that variation alone was insufficient to allow speciation. After much internal jousting, the theory became variation or mutation with selection. However, after another half-century and the impact of RNA, DNA and protein generation, it became clear once again that the mere random modification of a few pieces of the genome would not produce the complexities required to change from sponge to the varieties of life found in the pre-Cambrian explosion.
The Extended Modern Synthesis.
In 2008, a group of evolutionary theorists met in Altenberg, Austria. Known as the Altenberg 16, this group compiled new hypotheses and techniques which might help to fill the gap left in the Modern Synthesis. The result is published in “Evolution – The Extended Synthesis”, edited by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Muller. The hypotheses contained in the Extended Synthesis are based on both research into the nature of DNA and inheritance (called epigenetics), and intellectual hypotheses such as inheritance fitness landscapes, the evolution of evolvability, origin of replicators, etc. However, all of these constitute more Just So Stories. These represent areas of investigation, not definitive causal theories which are objectively the immutable case. In fact, it is a tacit admission that no valid theories exist to support the claim of evolution, save the subjective and inductive-only fossil record.
There is no empirical evidence provided which demonstrates conclusively and objectively that the creation of new, useful information can occur deterministically. Bacterial “evolution” is Darwinian micro-evolution, meaning that the variation is happening on information already contained within the genome. However, under the Extended Synthesis both variation and now natural selection have been put under the bus. These theories of 150 years cannot sustain what is known of the fossil record.
Modern Arguments Against Evolution.
Information and Its Agents.
It is conclusive that life is, at a minimum, communication-based in the following sense. A great many features, if not all, of living creatures involve the existence and activities of communicators using a commonly understood code which is transmitted over a commonly accessed communication channel and which is useful information that the communicating agents use in order to produce and maintain life in the organism. This happens within the confines of a cell as well as intercellularly, between organs and between brain and organs.
Many of these information channels have feedback mechanisms used to maintain critical levels in the overall system, meaning that the agents function as both transmitters and receivers, as well as acting on the information which is received. And many of these systems are both essential and simultaneous, necessarily existing in parallel, for life in multicellular life. An example of parallel closed loop regulatory communication channels is the regulation of HCl stomach acid. Two separate, parallel mechanisms are required to produce stomach acid, a hydrogen ion generator and a chlorine ion generator. Stomach acid is produced by the presence of H+ and Cl-; regulation of their presence is performed by feed back.
The idea that a single communication grouping evolved by accidental mutations, stored until sufficiently complex to produce a code useful - not to the communication group itself - but to a system outside the communication group, two agents within the group which not only comprehend the code but perform its communicated request, a channel for the code, from changes in DNA cannot be justified outside of an ideological necessity. It is not possible to deduce the creation of such a teleological code, much less the agents which comprehend and use the code, from minerals. It is logically absurd. Further it is not possible to calculate the probability of such an occurrence without injecting ideology into the calculation, as is frequently done with Bayesian projections of probability.
It has been said that an egg is an information packet with sufficient energy to overcome entropy of the temporarily enclosed system. The system goes from closed system to open system just-in-time. The open system organism operates in what Schrödinger calls “negative entropy”, under which life and only life grows in complexity and maintains its agent-driven activities on both a micro- and macro- basis, turning energy into complexity.
The length of a DNA molecule is far too long to have been correctly assembled by non-purposeful, random forces. Further, it cannot be said to be deterministic because it cannot be deduced to have happened from minerals and their properties. The purpose of the code, the agents, and the code carrier (DNA, RNA, protiens, etc) is purposeful for life, i.e. it is teleological.
Teleology, having purpose, is not a product of determinism, even randomly accidental. Accidental purpose is logically non-coherent.
Dual overlapping code has been found present in DNA. This superimposed second code is a meta-code. The existence of this code reduces the already impossible deterministic theories to be even more conclusively impossible; this again cannot be deduced from deterministic characteristics of minerals.
The jump in complexity from single cells and sponges to all the phyla (except one) in the 50 million years or so in the fossil record requires an impossibly steep aquistion of new information being added to a “common ancestor”. The common ancestor does not exist in the preCambrian fossil record at the present time, despite 150 years of excavations.
Utility as Predictor of Effect based on Causality Principles in the Hypothesis.
Is zero; no predictive ability. All of the theories together give no ability to predict an outcome of any organism in any environment. This prediction of everything and nothing is a specific falsifier for evolution, because there is no causal predictive power such that every possible outcome is called an evolution artifact. Because it cannot be falsified, it is not science, so calling it science is false. Totally false.
Further, the claim that evolutionary theory is the "unifying principle" of biology is completely without empirical or logical basis. If that were true, then all of the issues of life's existence would be resolved. They are not. And noted here are many issues that cannot be resolved by any theory of evolution.
Falsifiability as Determiner of Scientific Viability.
Karl Popper’s demarcation between objective knowledge and subjective inference/opinion is falsification, the ability to prove a proposition either true or false. In physical reality, either something exists or it does not, and that can be shown physically. If a proposition cannot be shown to be false in principle, then it is not subject to objective empirical verification, because it could never be physically false. Thus the unfalsifiable proposition is not a candidate for empirical science and cannot be deemed a valid or objectively true feature of physical reality. Evolution and common descent fail this requirement, including the famed “pre-Cambrian rabbit”.
First, the common descent and acquisition of teleological information along with the communication groups necessary for life happened just once, according to common descent, and thus any direct observation is impossible.
Second, any creation of replicators in a laboratory cannot be known to be the same mechanism as the creation of the common ancestor. Contrarily the failure to create replicators does not falsify evolution due to the promise of Scientism.
Third, the laboratory creation of molecular teleological information, communication groups, and the method to activate them is beyond vanishingly small: it is zero; vanished. This realization does, in fact, falsify evolution. However, for Darwinists the adherence to Materialist, determinist Scientistic ideology as a necessary presupposition requires that the vanishingly small characteristic to be held as non-zero, and to be divided by “deep time”, thereby giving an acceptable answer. This is falsified by the Cambrian explosion and is assuaged by the elimination of gradualism in the Extended Synthesis.
The Cambrian explosion, itself, is an artifact of the fossil record; it could be falsified by significant amounts of truly contrary findings, but has not been. It is the CAUSAL factors for the Cambrian explosion which cannot be falsified they cannot be falsified by observation and in fact they cannot be known in any certain, objective manner.
Fourth, even if it were possible to create this in a laboratory, it would have been intelligently created, not deterministically created straight from minerals. It would not suffice to falsify an ever changing set of hypotheses.
Fifth, a pre-Cambrian rabbit would be rationalized into some sort of non-linear evolutionary hypothesis, just as is the Cambrian explosion; it would require a new story and would not actually falsify the existing Just So Stories.
Consciousness, Agency, Qualia and Self.
It is not possible to deduce consciousness from minerals and their characteristics. There is no possible, rational deterministic path from mineral to consciousness, much less to qualia, agency, intellect, and non-deterministic creativity.
Because this alone falsifies evolution, the theorists take the following approaches:
1. Deny that consciousness exists, as well as a “self”, maintaining that they are delusional.
2. Deny that agency exists, maintaining that it is delusional.
3. Claim that new, useful information is, in fact, created all the time. The evidence is that evolution requires it, and evolution happened, so it has to be “fact” and “truth”.
4. Ignore quantum mechanics and the role of consciousness in the creation of matter/energy.
These denialist approaches are necessary in order to avoid the reality that evolution cannot ever, EVER, account for these natural characteristics of life. However, none of these new “principles” of reality can be shown to be the case; each one self-refutes. If consciousness and self do not exist, then nothing claimed by those who do not have consciousness or self can be considered valid or useful; that makes the claim itself false and non-coherent. The same goes for agency; if agency does not exist in the claimant, then whatever he says is programmed by determinism of the prior locations of electrons and subatomic particles in his makeup, and cannot be considered to have any meaning. The continual creation of new information which both validates evolution and is validated by evolution, is spectacularly circular and without cogent meaning.
And finally, many of the intellectual fathers of quantum mechanics claim that reality is created and maintained not on its own existence but by a supervening conscious presence; that must be ignored by Newtonian Materialist determinists, because evolutionary theory requires that the only reality be Newtonian, Materialist and determistic – otherwise a “divine foot would be allowed in the door.” This essentially requires that evolutionary theorists deny, en masse, the principles of quantum science, in order to defend their own story-telling science. In fairness, some quantum scientists also deny the influence of consciousness in reality despite the empirical validation and data which shows otherwise. Scientists do not wish to have determinism removed from reality, because that eliminates the value of empiricism to determine all things. In other words, it eliminates scientism, not science.
It cannot be rationally said that "evolution is true", nor that "if you understood it you would know it is true" for the reasons given above.
The fossil record, in spite of its ever-changing findings and promotions/demotions of fossils into categories of evolutionary "significance", is not objective proof of evolution; it is subjective, inductive-only information of specific animal life which once existed, and is not objective proof of any descent (In fact descent stories change all the time, because they are created inferences, not empirical fact). All the theories of how it might have happened fail at several points: the creation of first life; the creation of all significant phyla in the Cambrian explosion; the requirement of teleological information and the communication groups in living organisms; the animation of the communication groups in living things; dual coding in the information-bearing molecules; consciousness, agency, intellect and non-deterministic creativity. The inductive-only fossil record has nothing to contribute to these conundrums.
Maintaining that these are trivial issues and not falsifications due to the rank impossibility of their deduction from mineral characteristics, and more importantly the impossibility of their deduction from any theory of evolution, is irrational and is indicative of intellectual infection with ideology.
Evolution is not an empirical science, it is an exercise in story telling based on changing fossil records.