Evolution Shaken to Its Foundations

If you are an evolutionist in any of the currently understood and mainstream senses, the following study — conducted by mainstream evolutionists — simply cannot be true.

From World Magazine:

Researchers are shocked by the unexpected results of a large new genetic study that appears in the journal Human Evolution. The findings indicate that either most animal species and humans originated at approximately the same time, or some major population crash wiped out most of the original species.

In the past, researchers studied DNA in the nucleus of cells, which differs markedly from one species to another. But the new study analyzed a gene sequence found in mitochondrial DNA. (Mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, produce about 90 percent of a cell’s chemical energy.) Although mitochondrial DNA is similar across all humans and animals, it also contains tiny bits that are different enough to distinguish between species. This difference allows researchers to estimate the approximate age of a species.

The researchers analyzed these gene sequences in 100,000 species and concluded that the event—either the simultaneous appearance of humans and most animals, or a population crash—occurred about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. That proposal challenges the bedrock of evolutionary theory.

The story is picked up at Phys.org:

It is textbook biology, for example, that species with large, far-flung populations—think ants, rats, humans—will become more genetically diverse over time.

But is that true?

“The answer is no,” said Stoeckle, lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Evolution.

For the planet’s 7.6 billion people, 500 million house sparrows, or 100,000 sandpipers, genetic diversity “is about the same,” he told AFP.

The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,” Thaler told AFP.

That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 percent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?

These findings are only “startling,” in and of themselves, if you begin from the presumption that a scientific hypothesis that has never been sufficiently supported by the kind of physical evidence such hypotheses demand simply must be true because the “scientific community” has circled the wagons for it — in spite of the fact that this insufficiently-supported hypothesis, in the modern form in which it owns the academy, is barely a hundred and fifty years old. Those of us who do not make our living by believing what everyone else believes, and who therefore have always maintained a certain healthy skepticism about Darwinian evolution, may skip over all the shock and awe stuff, and simply be amused.

Amused to watch Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson worm their way out of this one. (Let’s hope Tyson does a little better here than he has done on global warming.)

Amused to see the only empirically verifiable microevolution occurring — yet again — not in the biological world, but in the academic discipline of evolutionary biology itself, as the discipline’s careerists and popular advocates mutate once more to meet the harsh demands of life lived on a planet so uncooperative to the theory at whose teat they suckle their livelihood and sense of self-worth.

For what it’s worth, I have always been underwhelmed by Darwinism in all its guises, and nonplussed by how impatiently, angrily, so many people just need me to believe it. (That impatience and anger is, for me, always a sure sign that I ought to think it over a little more before believing it.) It just seems so trivial and flimsy a theory compared to what a truly serious thinker would do with the thought of the “origin of species.” That is why, whenever I have had the chance to do so, I have always introduced students to the cosmic cycle of Empedocles as the only theory of evolution that, from a philosophical perspective, I can really take seriously. Aristotle, though believing his own biological findings were more grounded in the evidence, nevertheless returns often to Empedocles as a springboard for his own thought. What important thinker, by contrast, could gain any height jumping from the lowly Darwin? That, rather than any mythological hang-up, is why, as a matter of historical fact, no significant philosopher so far has ever allowed his own thought to be influenced much by modern evolutionary biology.

The best Darwin has done so far, in the realm of serious thought, is the few passing references he gets from Nietzsche, such as this one from The Gay Science:

Once more the origin of scholars.— The wish to preserve oneself is the symptom of a condition of distress, of a limitation of the really fundamental instinct of life which aims at the expansion of power and, wishing for that, frequently risks and even sacrifices self-preservation. It should be considered symptomatic when some philosophers–for example, Spinoza who was consumptive–considered the instinct of self-preservation decisive and had to see it that way; for they were individuals in conditions of distress.

That our modern natural sciences have become so thoroughly entangled in this Spinozistic dogma (most recently and worst of all, Darwinism with its incomprehensibly onesided doctrine of the “struggle for existence”) is probably due to the origins of most natural scientists: In this respect they belong to the “common people”; their ancestors were poor and undistinguished people who knew the difficulties of survival only too well at firsthand. The whole of English Darwinism breathes something like the musty air of English overpopulation, like the smell of the distress and overcrowding of small people. But a natural scientist should come out of his human nook; and in nature it is not conditions of distress that are dominant but overflow and squandering, even to the point of absurdity. The struggle for existence is only an exception, a temporary restriction of the will to life. The great and small struggle always revolves around superiority, around growth and expansion, around power–in accordance with the will to power which is the will of life. [Gay Science, Kaufmann translation, §349]

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