Darwinists, Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents are unable to explain anomalies in the emergence of domesticated plants, animals and humans.
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 9, Number 4 (June-July
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THE ABSURDITIES OF DOGMA
In 1905, a 25-year-old patent clerk named Albert Einstein demolished the 200-year-old certainty that Isaac Newton knew all there was to know about basic physics. In a technical paper only a few pages long, Einstein sent a huge part of his current "reality" to history's dustbin, where it found good company with thousands of other discards large and small. In 1905, though, Newton's discard was about as large as the bin would hold.
Now another grand old "certainty" hovers over history's dustbin, and it seems only a matter of time before some new Einstein writes the few (or many) pages that will bring it down and relegate it to history. And, as was the case in 1905, every "expert" in the world laughs heartily at any suggestion that their certainty could be struck down. Yet if facts are any yardstick--which should always be the case, but frequently isn't--Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is moving towards extinction.
Please note this: not everyone who challenges evolution is automatically a Creationist. Darwinists love to tar all opponents with that brush because so much of Creationist dogma is absurd. Creationists mulishly exclude themselves from serious consideration by refusing to give up fatally flawed parts of their argument, such as the literal interpretation of "six days of creation". Of course, some have tried to take a more reasonable stance, but those few can't be heard over the ranting of the many who refuse.
Recently a new group has entered the fray, much better educated than typical Creationists. This group has devised a theory called "Intelligent Design", which has a wealth of scientifically established facts on its side. The ID-ers, though, give away their Creationist roots by insisting that because life at its most basic level is so incredibly and irreducibly complex, it could never have simply "come into being" as Darwinists insist.
Actually, the "life somehow assembled itself out of organic molecules" dogma is every bit as absurd as the "everything was created in six days" dogma, which the ID-ers understand and exploit. But they also suggest that everything came into existence at the hands of God (by whatever name) or "by means of outside intervention", which makes clear how they're betting. "Outside intervention" is a transparent euphemism for "You Know What" (with apologies to J. K. Rowling). [In Rowling's "Harry Potter" books, the arch villain is so despicable and dreadful, his name should not even be uttered; thus he is referred to as "You Know Who". Similarly, the very idea that humans might have been created by extraterrestrials is so despicable and dreadful to mainstream science and religion that no mention of it should be uttered; thus the author refers to it as "You Know What". Ed.] To Darwinists, Creationists and ID-ers alike, creation at the hands of You Know What is the most absurd suggestion of all. Yet it can be shown that You Know What has the widest array of facts on its side and has the best chance of being proved correct in the end.
Virtually every scientist worth their doctorate will insist that somehow, some way, a form of evolution is at the heart of all life forms and processes on Earth. By "evolution", they mean the entire panoply of possible interpretations that might explain how, over vast stretches of time, simple organisms can and do transform themselves into more complex organisms. That broad definition gives science as a whole a great deal of room to bob and weave its way towards the truth about evolution, which ostensibly is its goal. However, among individual scientists that same broadness of coverage means nobody has a "lock" on the truth, which opens them up to a withering array of internecine squabbles.
In Darwin's case, those squabbles were initially muted. Rightly or wrongly, his theory served a much higher purpose than merely challenging the way science thought about life's processes. It provided something every scientist desperately needed: a strong counter to the intellectual nonsense pouring from pulpits in every church, synagogue and mosque in the world.
Since well before Charles Darwin was born, men of science knew full well that God did not create the Earth or anything else in the universe in six literal days. But to assert that publicly invited the same kind of censure that erupts today onto anyone who dares to challenge evolution openly. Dogma is dogma in any generation.
Darwin's honeymoon with his scientific peers was relatively brief. It lasted only as long as they needed to understand that all he had really provided was the outline of a forest of an idea, one that only in broad terms seemed to account for life's stunningly wide array. His forest lacked enough verifiable trees. Even so, once the overarching concept was crystallised as "natural selection", the term "survival of the fittest" was coined to explain it to laymen. When the majority of the public became convinced that evolution was a legitimate alternative to Creationism, the scientific gloves came off. In-fighting became widespread regarding the trees that made up Darwin's forest.
Over time, scientists parsed Darwin's original forest into more different trees than he could ever have imagined. That parsing has been wide and deep, and it has taken down countless trees at the hands of scientists themselves. But despite such thinning, the forest remains upright and intact. Somehow, some way, there is a completely natural force at work governing all aspects of the flow and change of life on Earth. That is the scientific mantra, which is chanted religiously to counter every Creationist--and now Intelligent Design--challenge to one or more of the rotten trees that frequently become obvious.
Even Darwin realised the data of his era did not provide clear-cut evidence that his theory was correct. Especially troubling was the absence of "transitional species" in the fossil record. Those were needed to prove that, over vast amounts of time, species did in fact gradually transform into other, "higher" species.
So right out of the chute, the theory of evolution was on the defensive regarding one of its cornerstones, and more than 140 years later there are still no clear-cut transitional species apparent in the fossil record.
Because this is the most vulnerable part of Darwin's theory, Creationists attack it relentlessly, which has forced scientists periodically to put forth a series of candidates to try to take the heat off. Unfortunately for them, in every case those "missing links" have been shown to be outright fakes and frauds. An excellent account is found in Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells (Regnery, 2000). But scientists are not deterred by such exposure of their shenanigans. They feel justified because, they insist, not enough time has passed for them to find what they need in a grossly incomplete fossil record.
The truth is that some lengthy fossil timelines are missing, but many more are well accounted for. Those have been thoroughly examined in the past 140-plus years, to no avail. In any other occupation, a 140-year-long trek up a blind alley would indicate a wrong approach has been taken. But not to scientists. They blithely continue forward, convinced of the absolute rightness of their mission and confident their fabled missing link will be found beneath the next overturned rock. Sooner or later, they believe, one of their members will uncover it, so they all work in harmonious concert towards that common goal. Individually, though, it's every man and woman for themselves.
TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE
Plants and animals evolve, eh? Alright, how do they evolve?
By gradual but constant changes, influenced by adaptive pressures in their environment that cause physical modifications to persist if they are advantageous.
Can you specify the kind of gradual change you're referring to?
In any population of plants or animals, over time, random genetic mutations will occur. Most will be detrimental, some will have a neutral effect and some will confer a selective advantage, however small or seemingly inconsequential it might appear.
Really? But wouldn't the overall population have a gene pool deep enough to absorb and dilute even a large change? Wouldn't a small change rapidly disappear?
Well, yes, it probably would. But not in an isolated segment of the overall population. An isolated group would have a much shallower gene pool, so positive mutations would stand a much better chance of establishing a permanent place in it.
Really? What if that positive mutation gets established in the isolated group, then somehow the isolated group gets back together with the main population? Poof! The mutation will be absorbed and disappear.
Well, maybe. So let's make sure the isolated population can't get back with the main group until crossbreeding is no longer possible.
How would you do that?
Put a mountain range between them, something impossible to cross.
If it's impossible to cross, how did the isolated group get there in the first place?
If you're asking me just how isolated is isolated, let me ask you one. What kind of mutations were you talking about being absorbed?
Small, absolutely random changes in base pairs at the gene level.
Really? Why not at the chromosome level? Wouldn't change at the base pair level be entirely too small to create any significant change? Wouldn't a mutation almost have to be at the chromosome level to be noticeable?
Who says? Change at that level would probably be too much, something the organism couldn't tolerate.
Maybe we're putting too much emphasis on mutations.
Right! What about environmental pressures? What if a species suddenly found itself having to survive in a significantly changed environment?
One where its members must adapt to the new circumstances or die out?
Exactly! How would they adapt? Could they just will themselves to grow thicker fur or stronger muscles or larger size?
That sounds like mutations have to play a part.
Mutations, eh? All right, how do they play a part?
This game of intellectual thrust and parry goes on constantly at levels of minutiae that boggle an average mind. Traditional Darwinists are one-upped by neo-Darwinists at every turn. Quantum evolutionists refashion the work of those who support the theory of peripheral isolates. Mathematicians model mutation rates and selective forces, which biologists do not trust. Geneticists have little use for palaeontologists, who return the favour in spades (pun intended). Cytogenetics labours to find a niche alongside genetics proper. Population geneticists utilise mathematical models that challenge palaeontologists and systematists. Sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists struggle to make room for their ideas. All perform a cerebral dance of elegant form and exquisite symmetry.
Their dance is, ironically, evolution writ large throughout science as a process. New bits of data are put forth to a peer group. The new data are discussed, written about, criticised, written about again, criticised some more. This is gradualism at work, shaping, reshaping and reshaping again if necessary until the new data can comfortably fit into the current paradigm in any field, whatever it is. This is necessary to make it conform as closely as possible to every concerned scientist's current way of thinking. To do it any other way is to invite prompt rejection under a fusillade of withering criticism.
This system of excruciating "peer review" is how independent thinkers among scientists have always been kept in line. Darwin was an outsider until he barged into the club by sheer, overpowering brilliance. Patent clerk Einstein did the same. On the other hand, Alfred Wegener was the German meteorologist who figured out plate tectonics in 1915. Because he dared to bruise the egos of "authorities" outside his own field, he saw his brilliant discovery buried under spiteful criticism that held it down for 50 years. Every scientist in the game knows how it is playedÉand very few dare to challenge its rules.
The restrictions on scientists are severe, but for a very good reason. They work at the leading edges of knowledge, from where the view can be anything from confusing to downright terrifying. Among those who study the processes of life on Earth, they must cope with the knowledge that a surprising number of species have no business being here. In some cases, they can't even be here. Yet they are, for better or worse, and those worst-case examples must be hidden or at least obscured from the general public. But no matter how often facts are twisted, data are concealed or reality is denied, the truth is out there.
THE EMERGENCE OF DOMESTICATED PLANTS
There are two basic forms of plants and animals: wild and domesticated. The wild ones far outnumber the domesticated ones, which may explain why vastly more research is done on the wild forms. But it could just as easily be that scientists shy away from the domesticated ones because the things they find when examining them are so far outside the accepted evolutionary paradigm.
Nearly all domesticated plants are believed to have appeared between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago, with different groups coming to different parts of the world at different times. Initially, in the so-called Fertile Crescent of modern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, came wheat, barley and legumes, among other varieties. Later on, in the Far East, came wheat, millet, rice and yams. Later still, in the New World, came maize (corn), peppers, beans, squash, tomatoes and potatoes.
Many have "wild" predecessors that were apparently a starting point for the domesticated variety, but others--like many common vegetables--have no obvious precursors. But for those that do, such as wild grasses, grains and cereals, how they turned into wheat, barley, millet, rice, etc. is a profound mystery.
No botanist can conclusively explain how wild plants gave rise to domesticated ones. The emphasis here is on "conclusively". Botanists have no trouble hypothesising elaborate scenarios in which Neolithic (New Stone Age) farmers somehow figured out how to hybridise wild grasses, grains and cereals, not unlike Gregor Mendel when he cross-bred pea plants to figure out the mechanics of genetic inheritance. It all sounds so simple and so logical, almost no one outside scientific circles ever examines it closely.
Gregor Mendel never bred his pea plants to be anything other than pea plants. He created short ones, tall ones and different- coloured ones, but they were always pea plants that produced peas. (Pea plants are a domesticated species, too, but that is irrelevant to the point to be made here.) On the other hand, those New Stone Age farmers who were fresh out of their caves and only just beginning to turn soil for the first time (as the "official" scenario goes), somehow managed to transform the wild grasses, grains and cereals growing around them into their domesticated "cousins". Is that possible? Only through a course in miracles!
Actually, it requires countless miracles within two large categories of miracles. The first was that the wild grasses and grains and cereals were useless to humans. The seeds and grains were maddeningly small, like pepper flakes or salt crystals, which put them beyond the grasping and handling capacity of human fingers. They were also hard, like tiny nutshells, making it impossible to convert them to anything edible. Lastly, their chemistry was suited to nourishing animals, not humans.
So wild varieties were entirely too small, entirely too tough and nutritionally inappropriate for humans. They needed to be greatly expanded in size, greatly softened in texture and overhauled at the molecular level--which would be an imposing challenge for modern botanists, much less Neolithic farmers.
Despite the seeming impossibility of meeting those daunting objectives, modern botanists are confident the first sodbusters had all they needed to do it: time and patience. Over hundreds of generations of selective crossbreeding, they consciously directed the genetic transformation of the few dozen that would turn out to be most useful to humans. And how did they do it? By the astounding feat of doubling, tripling and quadrupling the number of chromosomes in the wild varieties! In a few cases, they did better than that. Domestic wheat and oats were elevated from an ancestor with seven chromosomes to their current 42--an expansion by a factor of six. Sugar cane was expanded from a 10-chromosome ancestor to the 80-chromosome monster it is today--a factor of eight. The chromosomes of others, like bananas and apples, were only multiplied by factors of two or three, while peanuts, potatoes, tobacco and cotton, among others, were expanded by factors of four. This is not as astounding as it sounds, because many wild flowering plants and trees have multiple chromosome sets.
But that brings up what Charles Darwin himself called the "abominable mystery" of flowering plants. The first ones appear in the fossil record between 150 and 130 million years ago, primed to multiply into over 200,000 known species. But no one can explain their presence because there is no connective link to any form of plants that preceded them. It is as ifÉdare I say it?Éthey were brought to Earth by something akin to You Know What. If so, then it could well be that they were delivered with a built-in capacity to develop multiple chromosome sets, and somehow our Neolithic forebears cracked the codes for the ones most advantageous to humans.
However the codes were cracked, the great expansion of genetic material in each cell of the domestic varieties caused them to grow much larger than their wild ancestors. As they grew, their seeds and grains became large enough to be easily seen and picked up and manipulated by human fingers. Simultaneously, the seeds and grains softened to a degree where they could be milled, cooked and consumed. And at the same time, their cellular chemistry was altered enough to begin providing nourishment to humans who ate them. The only word that remotely equates with that achievement is: miracle.
Of course, "miracle" implies that there was actually a chance that such complex manipulations of nature could be carried out by primitive yeomen in eight geographical areas over 5,000 years. This strains credulity because, in each case, in each area, someone actually had to look at a wild progenitor and imagine what it could become, or should become, or would become. Then they somehow had to ensure that their vision would be carried forward through countless generations that had to remain committed to planting, harvesting, culling and crossbreeding wild plants that put no food on their tables during their lifetimes, but which might feed their descendants in some remotely distant future.
It is difficult to try to concoct a more unlikely, more absurd, scenario, yet to modern-day botanists it is a gospel they believe with a fervour that puts many "six day" Creationists to shame. Why? Because to confront its towering absurdity would force them to turn to You Know What for a more logical and plausible explanation.
To domesticate a wild plant without using artificial (i.e., genetic) manipulation, it must be modified by directed crossbreeding, which is only possible through the efforts of humans. So the equation is simple. Firstly, wild ancestors for many (but not all) domestic plants do seem apparent. Secondly, most domesticated versions did appear from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. Thirdly, the humans alive at that time were primitive barbarians. Fourthly, in the past 5,000 years, no plants have been domesticated that are nearly as valuable as the dozens that were "created" by the earliest farmers all around the world. Put an equal sign after those four factors and it definitely does not add up to any kind of Darwinian model.
Botanists know they have a serious problem here, but all they can suggest is that it simply had to have occurred by natural means because no other intervention--by God or You Know What--can be considered under any circumstances. That unwavering stance is maintained by all scientists, not just botanists, to exclude overwhelming evidence such as the fact that in 1837 the Botanical Garden in St Petersburg, Russia, began concerted attempts to cultivate wild rye into a new form of domestication. They are still trying, because their rye has lost none of its wild traits, especially the fragility of its stalk and its small grain. Therein lies the most embarrassing conundrum botanists face.
To domesticate a wild grass like rye or any wild grain or cereal (which was done time and again by our Neolithic forebears), two imposing hurdles must be cleared. These are the problems of "rachises" and "glumes", which I discuss in my book, Everything You Know Is Wrong &endash; Book One: Human Origins (pp. 283&endash;285) (Adamu Press, 1998). Glumes are botany's name for husks, the thin covers of seeds and grains that must be removed before humans can digest them. Rachises are the tiny stems that attach seeds and grains to their stalks.
While growing, glumes and rachises are strong and durable, so rain won't knock the seeds and grains off their stalks. At maturity, they become so brittle that a breeze will shatter them and release their cargo to propagate. Such a high degree of brittleness makes it impossible to harvest wild plants because every grain or seed would be knocked loose during the harvesting process.
So, in addition to enlarging, softening and nutritionally altering the seeds and grains of dozens of wild plants, the earliest farmers also had to figure out how to finely adjust the brittleness of every plant's glumes and rachises.
That adjustment was of extremely daunting complexity, perhaps more complex than the transformational process itself. The rachises had to be toughened enough to hold seeds and grains to their stalks during harvesting, yet remain brittle enough to be collected easily by human effort during what has come to be known as "threshing". Likewise, the glumes had to be made tough enough to withstand harvesting after full ripeness was achieved, yet still be brittle enough to shatter during the threshing process. And--here's the kicker--each wild plant's glumes and rachises required completely different degrees of adjustment, and the final amount of each adjustment had to be perfectly precise! In short, there is not a snowball's chance that this happened as botanists claim it did.
THE EMERGENCE OF DOMESTICATED ANIMALS
As with plants, animal domestication followed a pattern of development that extended 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. It also started in the Fertile Crescent, with the "big four" of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, among other animals. Later, in the Far East, came ducks, chickens and water buffalo, among others. Later still, in the New World, came llamas and vicuna. This process was not simplified by expanding the number of chromosomes. All animals--wild and domesticated--are diploid, which means they have two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent. The number of chromosomes varies as widely as in plants (humans have 46), but there are always only two sets (humans have 23 in each).
The only "tools" available to Neolithic herdsmen were those available to farming kinsmen: time and patience. By the same crossbreeding techniques apparently utilised by farmers, wild animals were selectively bred for generation after generation until enough gradual modifications accumulated to create domesticated versions of wild ancestors. As with plants, this process required anywhere from hundreds to thousands of years in each case, and was also accomplished dozens of times in widely separated areas around the globe.
Once again, we face the problem of trying to imagine those first herdsmen with enough vision to imagine a "final model", to start the breeding process during their own lifetimes and to have it carried out over centuries until the final model was achieved. This was much trickier than simply figuring out which animals had a strong pack or herding instinct that would eventually allow humans to take over as "leaders" of the herd or pack. For example, it took unbridled courage to decide to bring a wolf cub into a campsite with the intention of teaching it to kill and eat selectively and to earn its keep by barking at intruders (adult wolves rarely bark). And who could look at the massive, fearsome, ill-tempered aurochs and visualise a much smaller, much more amiable cow? Even if somebody could have visualised it, how could they have hoped to accomplish it? An aurochs calf (or a wolf cub, for that matter), carefully and lovingly raised by human "parents", would still grow up to be a full-bodied adult with hardwired adult instincts.
However it was done, it wasn't by crossbreeding. Entire suites of genes must be modified to change the physical characteristics of animals. (In an interesting counterpoint to wild and domesticated plants, domesticated animals are usually smaller than their wild progenitors.) But with animals, something moreÉsomething ineffableÉ must be changed to alter their basic natures from wild to docile. To accomplish it remains beyond modern abilities, so attributing such capacity to Neolithic humans is an insult to our intelligence.
All examples of plant and animal "domestication" are incredible in their own right, but perhaps the most incredible is the cheetah. There is no question it was one of the first tamed animals, with a history stretching back to early Egypt, India and China. As with all such examples, it could only have been created through selective breeding by Neolithic hunters, gatherers or early farmers. One of those three must get the credit.
The cheetah is the most easily tamed and trained of all the big cats. No reports are on record of a cheetah killing a human. It seems specifically created for high speeds, with an aerodynamically designed head and body. Its skeleton is lighter than other big cats; its legs are long and slim, like the legs of a greyhound. Its heart, lungs, kidneys and nasal passages are enlarged, allowing its breathing rate to jump from 60 per minute at rest to 150 bpm during a chase. Its top speed is 70 miles per hour, while a thoroughbred tops out at around 38 mph. Nothing on a savanna can outrun it. It can be outlasted, but not outrun.
Cheetahs are unique because they combine physical traits of two distinctly different animal families: dogs and cats. They belong to the family of cats, but they look like long-legged dogs. They sit and hunt like dogs. They can only partially retract their claws, like dogs instead of cats. Their paw pads are thick and hard like a dog's, but to climb trees they use the first claw on their front paws in the same way a cat does. The light-coloured fur on their body is like the fur of a short-haired dog, but the black spots on their bodies are inexplicably the texture of cat's fur. They contract diseases that only dogs suffer from, but they also get "cat only" diseases.
There is something even more inexplicable about cheetahs. Genetic tests have been done on them, and the surprising result was that in the 50 specimens tested they were all, every one, genetically identical with each other! This means the skin or internal organs of any of the thousands of cheetahs in the world could be switched with the organs of any other cheetah and not be rejected. The only other place such physical homogeneity is seen is in rats and other animals that have been genetically altered in laboratories.
(Cue the music from The Twilight ZoneÉ)
Cheetahs stand apart, of course, but all domesticated animals have traits that are not explainable in terms that stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny. Rather than deal with the embarrassment of confronting such issues, scientists studiously ignore them and, as with the mysteries of domesticated plants, explain them away as best they can. For the cheetah, they insist it simply cannot be some kind of weird genetic hybrid between cats and dogs, even though the evidence points squarely in that direction. And why? Because that, too, would move cheetahs into the forbidden zone occupied by You Know What.
The problem of the cheetahs' genetic uniformity is explained by something now known as the "bottleneck effect". What it presumes is that the wild cheetah population--which must have been as genetically diverse as its long history indicates--at some recent point in time went into a very steep population decline that left only a few breeding pairs alive. From that decimation until now, they have all shared the same restricted gene pool.
Unfortunately, there is no record of any extinction events that would selectively remove cheetahs and leave every other big cat to develop its expected genetic variation. So, as unlikely as it seems, the "bottleneck" theory is accepted as another scientific gospel.
Here it is appropriate to remind scientists of Carl Sagan's famous riposte when dealing with their reviled pseudoscience: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." It seems apparent that Sagan learned that process in-house.
It also leads us, finally, to a discussion of humans, who are so genetically recent that we, too, have been forced into one of those "bottleneck effects" that attempt to explain away the cheetah.
THE ARRIVAL OF HUMANS
Like all plants and animals whether wild or domesticated, humans are supposed to be the products of slight, gradual improvements to countless generations spawned by vastly more primitive forebears. This was firmly believed by most scientists in the 1980s, when a group of geneticists decided to try to establish a more accurate date for when humans and chimpanzees split from their presumed common ancestor.
Palaeontologists used fossilised bones to establish a timeline that indicated the split came between five and eight million years ago. That wide bracket could be narrowed, geneticists believed, by charting mutations in human mitochondrial DNA--small bits of DNA floating outside the nuclei of our cells. So they went to work collecting samples from all over the world.
When the results were in, none of the geneticists could believe it. They had to run their samples through again and again to be certain. Even then, there was hesitancy about announcing it. Everyone knew there would be a firestorm of controversy, starting with the palaeontologists--who would be given the intellectual equivalent of a black eye and a bloody nose and their heads dunked into a toilet for good measure! This would publicly embarrass them in a way that had not happened since the Piltdown hoax was exposed.
Despite the usual scientific practice of keeping a lid on data that radically differs from a current paradigm, the importance of this new evidence finally outweighed concern for the image and feelings of palaeontologists. The geneticists gathered their courage and stepped into the line of fire, announcing that humans were not anywhere near the official age range of eight to five million years old. Humans were only about 200,000 years old. As expected, the howls of protest were deafening.
Time and much more testing of mitochondrial DNA and male Y-chromosomes now make it beyond doubt that the geneticists were correct. And the palaeontologists have come to accept it because geneticists were able to squeeze humans through the same kind of "bottleneck effect" they used to try to ameliorate the mystery of cheetahs.
By doing so, they left palaeontologists still able to insist that humans evolved from primitive forebears walking upright on the savannas of Africa as long ago as five million years, but that between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago "something" happened to destroy nearly all humans alive at the time, forcing them to reproduce from a small population of survivors.
That this "something" remains wholly unknown is a given, although Creationists wildly wave their hands like know-it-alls at the back of a classroom, desperate to suggest it was the Great Flood. But because they refuse to move away from the biblical timeline of the event (in the range of 6,000 years ago), nobody can take them seriously. Still, it seems the two sides might work together productively on this crucial issue. If onlyÉ
Apart from disputes about the date and circumstances of our origin as a species, there are plenty of other problems with humans. Like domesticated plants and animals, humans stand well outside the classic Darwinian paradigm. Darwin himself made the observation that humans were surprisingly like domesticated animals. In fact, we are so unusual relative to other primates that it can be solidly argued that we do not belong on Earth at allÉthat we are not even from Earth, because we do not seem to have developed here.
We are taught that, by every scientific measure, humans are primates very closely related to all other primates, especially chimpanzees and gorillas. This is so ingrained in our psyches that it seems futile even to examine it, much less to challenge it. But we will.
Bones. Human bones are much lighter than comparable primate bones. For that matter, our bones are much lighter than the bones of every "pre-human" ancestor through to Neanderthal. The ancestor bones look like primate bones; modern human bones do not.
Muscle. Human muscles are significantly weaker than comparable muscles in primates. Pound for pound, we are five to ten times weaker than any other primate. Any pet monkey is evidence of that. Somehow, getting "better" made us much, much weaker.
Skin. Human skin is not well adapted to the amount of sunlight striking Earth. It can be modified to survive extended exposure by greatly increasing melanin (its dark pigment) at its surface, which only the black race has achieved. All others must cover themselves with clothing or frequent shade or both, or sicken from radiation poisoning.
Body Hair. Primates need not worry about direct exposure to sunlight because they are covered from head to toe in a distinctive pattern of long body-hair. Because they are quadrupeds (move on all fours), the thickest hair is on their back, the thinnest on the chest and abdomen. Humans have lost the all-over pelt, and we have completely switched our area of thickness to the chest and abdomen while wearing the thin part on our back.
Fat. Humans have ten times as many fat cells attached to the underside of their skin as primates. If a primate is wounded by a gash or tear in the skin, when the bleeding stops the wound's edges lie flat near each other and can quickly close the wound by a process called "contracture". In humans, the fat layer is so thick that it pushes up through wounds and makes contracture difficult if not impossible. Also, contrary to the propaganda to try to explain this oddity, the fat under human skin does not compensate for the body hair we have lost. Only in water is its insulating capacity useful; in air, it is minimal at best.
Head Hair. All primates have head hair that grows to a certain length and then stops. Human head hair grows to such lengths that it could be dangerous in a primitive situation. Thus, we have been forced to cut our head hair since we became a species, which may account for some of the sharp flakes of stones that are considered primitive hominid "tools".
Fingernails and Toenails. All primates have fingernails and toenails that grow to a certain length and then stop, never needing paring. Human fingernails and toenails have always needed paring. Again, maybe those stone "tools" were not only for butchering animals.
Skulls. The human skull is nothing like the primate skull. There is hardly any fair morphological comparison to be made, apart from the general parts being the same. Their design and assembly are so radically different as to make attempts at comparison useless.
Brains. The comparison here is even more radical because human brains are so vastly different. (To say "improved" or "superior" is unfair and not germane, because primate brains work perfectly well for what primates have to do to live and reproduce.)
Locomotion. The comparison here is easily as wide as the comparison of brains and skulls. Humans are bipedal; primates are quadrupeds. That says more than enough.
Speech. Human throats are completely redesigned relative to primate throats. The larynx has dropped to a much lower position, so humans can break typical primate sounds into the tiny pieces of sound (by modulation) that have come to be human speech.
Sex. Primate females have oestrous cycles and are sexually receptive only at special times. Human females have no oestrous cycle in the primate sense. They are continually receptive to sex. (Unless, of course, they have the proverbial headache!)
Chromosomes. This is the most inexplicable difference of all. Primates have 48 chromosomes. Humans are considered vastly superior to them in a wide array of areas, yet somehow we have only 46 chromosomes! This begs the question of how we could lose two full chromosomes--which represents a lot of DNA--in the first place, and in the process become so much better. Nothing about it makes logical sense.
Genetic Disorders. As with all wild animals (plants, too), primates have relatively few genetic disorders spread throughout their gene pools. Albinism is one that is common to many animal groups as well as humans. But albinism does not stop an animal with it from growing up and passing the gene for it into the gene pool. Mostly, though, serious defects are quickly weeded out in the wild. Often, parents or others in a group will do the job swiftly and surely, so wild gene pools stay relatively clear. In contrast, humans have over 4,000 genetic disorders, and several of those will absolutely kill every victim before reproduction is possible. This begs the question of how such defects could possibly get into the human gene pool in the first place, much less how they remain so widespread.
Genetic Relatedness. A favourite Darwinist statistic is that the total genome (all the DNA) of humans differs from chimpanzees by only 1% and from gorillas by 2%. This makes it seem as if evolution is indeed correct and that humans and primates are virtually kissing cousins. However, what they don't stress is that 1% of the human genome's three billion base pairs is 30 million base pairs--and to any You Know What that can adroitly manipulate genes, 30 million base pairs can easily add up to a tremendous amount of difference.
Everything Else. The above are the larger categories at issue in the discrepancies between primates and humans. There are dozens more listed as sub-categories below one or more of these.
To delve deeper into these fascinating mysteries, check The Scars of Evolution by Elaine Morgan (Oxford University Press, 1990). Her work is remarkable. And for a more in-depth discussion of the mysteries within our genes and those of domesticated plants and animals, see Everything You Know Is Wrong.
When all of the above is taken together--the inexplicable puzzles presented by domesticated plants, domesticated animals and humans--it is clear that Darwin cannot explain it, modern scientists cannot explain it, not Creationists nor Intelligent Design proponents. None of them can explain it, because it is not explainable in only Earthbound terms.
We will not answer these questions with any degree of satisfaction until our scientists open their minds and squelch their egos enough to acknowledge that they do not, in fact, know much about their own backyard. Until that happens, the truth will remain obscured.
My personal opinion, which is based on a great deal of independent research in a wide range of disciplines relating to human origins, is that ultimately Charles Darwin will be best known for his observation that humans are essentially like domesticated animals.
I believe that what Darwin observed with his own eyes and research is the truth, and that modern scientists would see it as clearly as he did if only they had the motivation or the courage to seek it out. But for now, they don'tÉso, until then, we can only poke and prod at them in the hope of some day getting them to notice our complaints and address them. In order to poke and prod successfully, more people have to be alerted to the fact that another scientific fraud is being perpetrated.
Future editions of Icons of Evolution will discuss the current era when scientists ridiculed, ignored or simply refused to deal with a small mountain of direct, compelling evidence that outside intervention has clearly been at work in the genes of domesticated plants, animals and humans. You Know What has left traces of their handiwork all over our bodies, all through our gene pools. All that will be required for the truth to come out is for a few "insiders" to break ranks with their brainwashed peers.
Look to the younger generation. Without mortgages to pay, families to raise and retirements to prepare for, they can find the courage to act on strong convictions. Don't expect it of anyone over forty, possibly even thirty. But somewhere in the world, the men and women have been born who will take Darwinism down and replace it with the truth.
The fat lady is nowhere in sight, but that doesn't mean she's not suiting up.
About the Author:
Lloyd Pye, born in 1946 in Louisiana, USA, is a researcher, author, novelist and scriptwriter. His independent studies over more than three decades into all aspects of evolution have convinced him that humans did not evolve on Earth, or at least are the product of extraterrestrial intervention. His book, Everything You Know Is Wrong &endash; Book One: Human Origins, is available by ordering through http://www.iUniverse.com or Barnes & Noble at http://www.bn.com. Visit Lloyd Pye's website at http://www.lloydpye.com.