23 February 2017

The Cult of Darwin

Evolution is why I originally went to school, specifically to study human evolution. That lasted about a year before I realised that it was simultaneously boring and a cult. It's not occult, it is a cult. It is a materialist quasi-religion with very little evidence. Occasionally you will find a transitional form here or there, but you need about 50,000 transitions between species and maybe you find 2 or 3, which doesn't really prove anything.

Evolution is based on the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc. Because fossil B looks similar to fossil A and appears in later strata that means species B evolved from species A.

There's no way logically to draw that conclusion. Just because B appears after A does not mean A is the cause of B.

First of all, with fossils we're basing phylogeny on morphology. That's wrong. You can't do that. If you were to try that with living organisms you would get nonsense. A hippopotamus looks a lot like a pig, but genetically they're nothing alike. Ants and termites are both eusocial insects that live underground, but genetically they're nothing alike. Birds and bats both have similar skeletal structures that are necessary for flight, but genetically they're nothing alike. You can't base phylogeny on morphology because it doesn't work. Phylogeny needs to be based on genetics if on anything.

And yet all fossils are organised based on morphology even though that technique fails when it is tried on living species. Fossils themselves provide no evidence other than the sudden appearance and disappearance of certain species.

At the same time, every experiment that has ever been conducted to test evolution has also failed.

40,000 years of selective breeding has not turned dogs into a separate species. Dogs can still breed with wolves, and can still breed with coyotes and other canines. That makes them the same species, doesn't it? (That's a separate side issue: we don't even know what a species is.) Furthermore, as Tom Bethell points out in the video below, all these different dog breeds are allowed to mate in the wild and the offspring, over just a couple generations, return to the same morphology of the wild dog. 40,000 years of being separate from wolves and when returned to the wild dogs will revert back to wolves in a couple of generations. Nothing has changed except gossamer cosmetic features.

Another example is Richard Lenski's E. coli. 80,000 generations and nothing has changed. The longest laboratory experiment in evolution ever conducted and nothing has changed but cosmetics. The bacteria are plumper, because they are kept in a hypertonic solution, but if released into the wild they immediately return to their normal shape, and the rate of expression of a single pre-existing gene has increased, allowing for the digestion of citrate. That gene already existed, it was just turned off, and now it's turned on because the bacteria are placed in an environment that has a high concentration of citrate. In 80,000 generations nothing has happened.

And yet we are supposed to believe that in 80,000 generations humans went from Australopithecus to us. It's impossible. You couldn't do it in 8 million generations.

And that's just with natural selection (which, as Karl Popper correctly pointed out, isn't testable and is not a scientific theory). Abiogenesis is a whole other Pandora's can of worms unto itself.

Estimates place the odds of all the correct chemical reactions taking place, forming all the right amino acids, assembling into the right proteins, all in the correct sequence to form the first cell at 1:10^80. Anything beyond 1:10^50 is statistically impossible. It would require more time than the entire expected lifespan of the universe. Deep time is deep, but it's not bottomless. The ONLY recourse to this problem is the multiverse. There needs to be a minimum of 10^500 random parallel universes in order for our one to have life. That's metaphysics; that's religion, not science. It's impossible, even in theory, to verify the existence of these other universes.

Neodarwinism is not science, it's a materialistic religion based on multiple unfalsifiable assumptions. It polices speech and behaviour like any religion, it has dogma like any religion, it's deeply in bed with government like a religion, and it gets tithes (government grants) like a religion. It has a holy book, a prophet, and it has worship service (new atheist revival meetings and undergraduate courses). It absolves its believers of guilt (if you're just an animal and when you die you rot you can justify literally anything and need feel bad about nothing), and it provides believers with a sense of belonging to a community.

Evolution is a religion.

And that's why I quit. I wanted the truth, I didn't want to replace one set of beliefs for another.

At the same time I think it's important to state that I have no alternative. I'm not a supporter of any alternative hypothesis. I don't believe God created all the species all at once, I don't believe ancient aliens visited the Earth and killed off the dinosaurs so they could create humans to mine gold, I don't believe backward causation from some future omega point is pulling life toward an ultimate goal, and that's kind of it, those are really the three hypotheses that people have put forth over the centuries. Within the fossil record some species just appear at one time and die out at another, and we have absolutely no idea why. Within our own experience in the field we find species going extinct (often because we extinct them), and we find new species, but those species were just in inaccessible places, we've never observed a new species evolve.

The only honest, philosophically defensible position, I think, is agnosticism. Species appear and disappear and we have absolutely no clue as to why. Any other position is metaphysics, not science.

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