ASM Statement on Evolution

American Society for Microbiology has now issued this statement in support of evolution and against intelligent design:

Knowledge of the microbial world is essential to understanding the evolution of life on Earth. The characteristics of microorganisms–small size, rapid reproduction, mobility, and facility in exchanging genetic information–allow them to adapt rapidly to environmental influences. In microbiology, the validity of evolutionary principles is supported by [1] readily demonstrated mutation, recombination and selection, which are the fundamental mechanisms of evolution; [2] comparisons based on genomic data that support a common ancestry of life; and [3] observable rates of genetic change and the extent of genomic diversity which indicate that divergence has occurred over a very long scale of geologic time, and testify to the great antiquity of life on Earth. Thus, microorganisms illustrate evolution in action, and microbiologists have been able to make use of the microbes’ evolutionary capacity in the development of life-improving and life-saving innovations in medicine, agriculture, and for the environment. By contrast, proposed alternatives to evolution, such as intelligent design and other forms of creationism, are not scientific, in part because they fail to provide a framework for useful, testable predictions. The use of the supposed “irreducible complexity” of the bacterial flagellum as an argument to endow nonscientific concepts with what appears to be legitimacy, is spurious and not based on fact. Evolution is not mere conjecture, but a conclusive discovery supported by a coherent body of integrated evidence. Overwhelmingly, the scientific community, regardless of religious belief, accepts evolution as central to an understanding of life and the life sciences. A fundamental aspect of the practice of science is to separate one’s personal beliefs from the pursuit of understanding of the natural world. It is important that society and future generations recognize the legitimacy of testable, verified, fact-based learning about the origins and diversity of life.

Well said. Statements like this are important as a counter to ID propaganda claiming that ID is gaining momentum, or that evolution is on its way out. Not only is there not a single reputable scientific organization willing to endorse ID, you can not even find one to give it the time of day.

Comments

  1. #1 inal
    February 19, 2007

    This statement claimed that evolution theory can still survive in the world of modern science. Is this true? From non biblical creationism point of view, here are refutations to that statement:

    1. Louis Pasteur refuted evolution theory because, through a long research, he proved that one of evolusionist concept: Spontaneous Generation, is imposible to happen (see Sidney Fox, Klaus Dose, Molecular Evolution and The Origin of Life, W.H Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 1972, p. 4).

    2. Gregor Mendel (founder of Genetic Law) had refuted Jean B. Lamarck’s (the first founder of evolution theory) and Darwin’s evolution theory. The laws discovered by Mendel put Darwinism in a very difficult position, (see B.E Bishop, “Mendel’s Opposition to Evolution and to Darwin”, Journal of Heredity, 87, 1996, p. 205-213).

    3. Until now, The Modern Synthetic Evolution Theory still cannot able to explain how each 10 factors of equilibrium population evolutionize: spatial clines, temporal clines, heterozygote advantage, sexuality and self-incompatibility factors, sex differences in genotypic fitness, mutation-selection balance, host-pathogen interactions, frequency-dependent selection (non-Darwinian selection), non-Mendelian inheritance, and neutral genes. So, macroevolution still remains as myth.

    4. Colin Patterson, the senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London and a prominent evolutionist, stresses that natural selection has never been observed to have the ability to cause things to evolve: “No one has ever produced a species by the mechanisms of natural selection”, (Colin Patterson, “Cladistics”, Interview by Brian Leek, interviewer: Peter Franz, March 4, 1982, BBC). Further research, however, revealed that there was no struggle for life in nature as Darwin had postulated. As a result of extensive research into animal groups in the 1960s and 1970s, V. C. Wynne-Edwards, a British zoologist, concluded that living things balance their population in an interesting way, which prevents competition for food. Animal groups were simply managing their population on the basis of their food resources. Population was regulated not by elimination of the weak through factors like epidemics or starvation, but by instinctive control mechanisms. In other words, animals controlled their numbers not by fierce competition, as Darwin suggested, but by limiting reproduction, (V.C.Wynne-Edwards, “Self Regulating Systems in Populations of Animals”, Science, vol. 147, 26 March 1965, pp.1543-1548; V. C. Wynne-Edwards, Evolution Through Group Selection, London, 1986). Even plants exhibited examples of population control, which invalidated Darwin’s suggestion of selection by means of competition.The botanist A. D. Bradshaw’s observations indicated that during reproduction, plants behaved according to the “density” of the planting, and limited their reproduction if the area was highly populated with plants, (A. D. Bradshaw, “Evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity in plants,” Advances in Genetics, vol.13, pp.115-155; cited in Lee Spetner, NOT BY CHANCE!: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution, The Judaica Press, Inc., New York, 1997, pp. 16-17). On the other hand, examples of sacrifice observed in animals such as ants and bees display a model completely opposed to the Darwinist survival of the fittest. It’s true that there is competition in nature, how ever, there are clear models of self-sacrifice and solidarity, as well.

    5. Industrial Melanism is only myth. Many experiments conducted after Kettlewell’s revealed that only one type of these moths rested on tree trunks, and all other types preferred to rest beneath small, horizontal branches. Since 1980 it has become clear that peppered moths do not normally rest on tree trunks. In 25 years of fieldwork, many scientists such as Cyril Clarke and Rory Howlett, Michael Majerus, Tony Liebert, and Paul Brakefield concluded that in Kettlewell’s experiment, moths were forced to act atypically, therefore, the test results could not be accepted as scientific, (Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong, Regnery Publishing, Washington, 2000, pp. 149-150). As the research deepened, the scandal changed dimension: “The moths on tree trunks” photographed by Kettlewell, were actually dead moths. Kettlewell used dead specimens glued or pinned to tree trunks and then photographed them. In truth, there was little chance of taking such a picture as the moths rested not on tree trunks but underneath the leaves, (Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong, Regnery Publishing, Washington, 2000, pp. 141-151).

    6. All kind of mutations are dangerous. The evolutionist scientist Warren Weaver comments on the report prepared by the Committee on Genetic Effects of Atomic Radiation, which had been formed to investigate mutations that might have been caused by the nuclear weapons used in the Second World War: “Many will be puzzled about the statement that practically all known mutant genes are harmful. For mutations are a necessary part of the process of evolution. How can a good effect—evolution to higher forms of life—result from mutations practically all of which are harmful?”, (Warren Weaver et al., “Genetic Effects of Atomic Radiation”, Science, vol. 123, June 29, 1956, p. 1159.) The American pathologist David A. Demick notes the following in a scientific article about mutations: “With this array of human diseases that are caused by mutations, what of positive effects? With thousands of examples of harmful mutations readily available, surely it should be possible to describe some positive mutations if macroevolution is true. These would be needed not only for evolution to greater complexity, but also to offset the downward pull of the many harmful mutations. But, when it comes to identifying positive mutations, evolutionary scientists are strangely silent”, (David A. Demick, “The Blind Gunman”, Impact, no. 308, February 1999). Every effort put into “generating a useful mutation” has resulted in failure. For decades, evolutionists carried out many experiments to produce mutations in fruit flies, as these insects reproduce very rapidly and so mutations would show up quickly. Generation upon generation of these flies were mutated, yet no useful mutation was ever observed.The evolutionist geneticist Gordon Taylor writes thus: “It is a striking, but not much mentioned fact that, though geneticists have been breeding fruit-flies for sixty years or more in labs all round the world—flies which produce a new generation every eleven days—they have never yet seen the emergence of a new species or even a new enzyme”, (Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, Abacus, Sphere Books, London, 1984, p. 48). So, “gross mutation” that was described by model of punctuated equilibrium is scientificly unacceptable.

    7. Variations are not evidences of evolution, because variations are but the outcomes of different combinations of already existing genetic information, and they do not add any new characteristic to the genetic information. The important thing for the theory of evolution, however, is the question of how brand-new information to make a brandnew species could come about. Biologist Edward Deevey said: “Remarkable things have been done by cross-breeding … but wheat is still wheat, and not, for instance, grapefruit. We can no more grow wings on pigs than hens can make cylindrical eggs. A more contemporary example is the average increase in male height that has occurred the past century. Through better health care (and perhaps also some sexual selection, as some women prefer taller men as mates) males have reached a record adult height during the last century, but the increase is rapidly disappearing, indicating that we have reached our limit”, (Jerry Bergman, “Some Biological Problems With the Natural Selection Theory”, The Creation Research Society Quarterly, vol. 29, p. 23, December 1992). Peter and Rosemary Grant, who spent years observing the finch varieties in the Galapagos Islands looking for evidence for Darwinistic evolution, were forced to conclude that “the population, subjected to natural selection, is oscillating back and forth,” a fact which implied that no “evolution” that leads to the emergence of new traits ever takes place there, (H. Lissle Gibbs and Peter R. Grant, “Oscillating Selection on Darwin’s Finches”, Nature, 327, 1987, pp. 513; for more detailed information, please see Jonathan Wells, Icon of Evolution, 2000, pp. 159-175). Scientificly speaking, traits will never able to produce new features. So, evolutionists are still unable to resolve Darwin’s problem about “origin of species.”

    8. According to the theory of evolution, every species has emerged from a predecessor. One species which existed previously turned into something else over time, and all species have come into being in this way. According to the theory, this transformation proceeds gradually over millions of years. If this were the case, then innumerable intermediate species should have lived during the immense period of time when these transformations. For instance, there should had lived half man/half ape creature on earth. If such creature had really existed, there would have been millions,even billions, of them. More importantly, the remains of these creatures should be present in the fossil record. The number of these transitional forms should have been even greater than that of present animal species,and their remains should be found all over the world. Despite the abundance of fossil sources, not a single transitional form has been uncovered, and it is unlikely that any transitional forms will be found as a result of new excavations. A professor of paleontology from Glasgow University, T. Neville George, admitted this fact years ago: “There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration… The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps”, (T. Neville George, “Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective”, Science Progress, vol. 48, January 1960, pp. 1, 3). N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall also make an important comment: “The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the emperor’s new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it. Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin’s predicted pattern, simply looked the other way”, (N. Eldredge and I Tattersall, The Myth of Human Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1982, pp. 45-46).

    9. In molecular Biology, evolution theory fails even to account for the building-blocks of a cell. The formation, under natural conditions, of just one single protein out of the thousands of complex protein molecules making up the cell is impossible. William Stokes, an American geologist, admits this fact in his book Essentials of Earth History, writing that the probability is so small: “That it would not occur during billions of years on billions of planets, each covered by a blanket of concentrated watery solution of the necessary amino acids”, (W. Stokes, “Essentials of Earth History”, 186 (4th ed. 1942), cited in W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Thomas Nelson Co., Nashville, 1991, p. 305). So what does all this mean? Perry Reeves, a professor of chemistry, answers the question: “When one examines the vast number of possible structures that could result from a simple random combination of amino acids in an evaporating primordial pond, it is mind-boggling to believe that life could have originated in this way. It is more plausible that a Great Builder with a master plan would be required for such a task”, (J. D. Thomas, Evolution and Faith, ACU Press, Abilene, TX, 1988, pp. 81-82). Robert Shapiro, a professor of chemistry at New York University and a DNA expert, calculated the probability of the coincidental formation of the 2000 types of proteins found in a single bacterium (There are 200,000 different types of proteins in a human cell.) The number that was found was 1 over 1040000.244 (This is an incredible number obtained by putting 40,000 zeros after 1), (Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Summit Books, New York, 1986, p.127). So, mathematicaly and statisticaly, microevolution is imposible.

    10. Evolusionists ignore the second law of Thermodynamic. The mechanism offered by evolution totally contradicts the second law. The theory of evolution says that disordered, dispersed, and lifeless atoms and molecules spontaneously came together over time, in a particular order, to form extremely complex molecules such as proteins, DNA, and RNA, whereupon millions of different living species with even more complex structures gradually emerged. According to the theory of evolution, this supposed process—which yields a more planned, more ordered, more complex and more organized structure at each stage—was formed all by itself under natural conditions. The law of entropy makes it clear that this so-called natural process utterly contradicts the laws of physics. Evolutionist scientists are also aware of this fact. J. H. Rush states: “In the complex course of its evolution, life exhibits a remarkable contrast to the tendency expressed in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Where the Second Law expresses an irreversible progression toward increased entropy and disorder, life evolves continually higher levels of order”, (J.H Rush, The Dawn of Life, New York, Signet, 1962, p. 35).

    11. The Archaeopteryx Misconception. Archaeopteryx, the so-called ancestor of modern birds according to evolutionists, lived approximately 150 million years ago. The theory holds that some small dinosaurs, such as Velociraptors or Dromaeosaurs, evolved by acquiring wings and then starting to fly. Thus, Archaeopteryx is assumed to be a transitional form that branched off from its dinosaur ancestors and started to fly for the first time. However, the latest studies of Archaeopteryx fossils indicate that this explanation lacks any scientific foundation. The thesis that Archaeopteryx was a “half-bird” that could not fly perfectly was popular among evolutionist circles until not long ago. The absence of a sternum (breastbone) in this creature was held up as the most important evidence that this bird could not fly properly. (The sternum is a bone found under the thorax to which the muscles required for flight are attached. In our day, this breastbone is observed in all flying and non-flying birds, and even in bats, a flying mammal which belongs to a very different family.) However, the seventh Archaeopteryx fossil, which was found in 1992, disproved this argument. The reason was that in this recently discovered fossil, the breastbone that was long assumed by evolutionists to be missing was discovered to have existed after all. Morevoer, the structure of the bird’s feathers became one of the most important pieces of evidence confirming that Archaeopteryx was a flying bird in the true sense. The asymmetric feather structure of Archaeopteryx is indistinguishable from that of modern birds, and indicates that it could fly perfectly well. As the eminent paleontologist Carl O. Dunbar states: “Because of its feathers, [Archaeopteryx is] distinctly to be classed as a bird,” (Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1961, p. 310). Paleontologist Robert Carroll further explains the subject: The geometry of the flight feathers of Archaeopteryx is identical with that of modern flying birds, whereas nonflying birds have symmetrical feathers. The way in which the feathers are arranged on the wing also falls within the range of modern birds… According to Van Tyne and Berger, the relative size and shape of the wing of Archaeopteryx are similar to that of birds that move through restricted openings in vegetation, such as gallinaceous birds, doves, woodcocks, woodpeckers, and most passerine birds… The flight feathers have been in stasis for at least 150 million year, (Robert R. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 280-81). The well-known ornithologists L. D. Martin, J. D.Stewart, and K. N. Whetstone observed that Archaeopteryx and other similar birds have unserrated teeth with constricted bases and expanded roots. Yet the teeth of theropod dinosaurs, the alleged ancestors of these birds, had serrated teeth with straight roots, (L.D Martin, J.D Stewart, K.N Whetstone, The Auk, vol 97, 1980, p. 86). These researchers also compared the ankle bones of Archaeopteryx with those of their alleged ancestors, the dinosaurs, and observed no similarity between them, (L.D Martin, J.D Stewart, K.N Whetstone, The Auk, vol 97, 1980, p. 86; L.D Martin, “Origins of the Higher Groups of Tetrapods”, Ithaca, Constock Publishing Association, New York, 1991, pp. 485-540). Furthermore, J. Richard Hinchliffe, from the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University of Wales, studied the anatomies of birds and their alleged reptilian ancestors by using modern isotopic techniques and discovered that the three forelimb digits in dinosaurs are I-II-III, whereas bird wing digits are II-III-IV. This poses a big problem for the supporters of the Archaeopteryx-dinosaur link, (Richard Hinchliffe, “The Forward March of the Bird-Dinosaur Halted?”, Science, vol. 278, no. 5338, 24 Oktober 1997, pp. 596-597). Hinchliffe published his studies and observations in Science in 1997, where he wrote: “Doubts about homology between theropods and bird digits remind us of some of the other problems in the “dinosaur-origin” hypothesis. These include the following:
    (i) The much smaller theropod forelimb (relative to body size) in comparison with the Archaeopteryx wing. Such small limbs are not convincing as proto-wings for a ground-up origin of flight in the relatively heavy dinosaurs.
    (ii) The rarity in theropods of the semilunate wrist bone, known in only four species (including Deinonychus). Most theropods have relatively large numbers of wrist elements, difficult to homologize with those of Archaeopteryx.
    (iii) The temporal paradox that most theropod dinosaurs and in particular the birdlike dromaeosaurs are all very much later in the fossil record than Archaeopteryx”. Another fossil that refuted the evolutionist claims regarding Archaeopteryx was Eoalulavis. The wing structure of Eoalulavis, which was said to be some 25 to 30 million years younger than Archaeopteryx, was also observed in modern slow-flying birds”, (Pat Shipman, “Birds Do It…. Did Dinosaurs?”, New Scientist, 1 February 1997, p. 28).
    Another fossil unearthed in China caused even greater confusion. In November 1996, the existence of a 130-million-year-old bird named Liaoningornis was announced in Science by L. Hou, L. D. Martin, and Alan Feduccia. Liaoningornis had a breastbone to which the muscles for flight were attached, just as in modern birds, (“Old Bird,” Discover, March 21, 1997). This proved that million years ago, there were birds indistinguishable from modern birds in many respects, flying in the skies.Unable to find what they were looking for in Archaeopteryx, the advocates of the theory of evolution pinned their hopes on some other fossils in the 1990s and a series of reports of so-called “dino-bird” fossils appeared in the world media. Yet it was soon discovered that these claims were simply misinterpretations, or, even worse, forgeries. The first dino-bird claim was the story of “feathered dinosaur fossils unearthed in China”, which was put forward in 1996 with a great media fanfare. A reptilian fossil called Sinosauropteryx was found, but some paleontologists who examined the fossil said that it had bird feathers,unlike modern reptiles. A SCIENCE article titled “Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur” stated that the structures named as “feathers” by evolutionary paleontologists definitely had nothing to do with feathers: “Exactly 1 year ago, paleontologists were abuzz about photos of a so-called ‘feathered dinosaur’, which were passed around the halls at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The Sinosauropteryx specimen from the Yixian Formation in China made the front page of The New York Times, and was viewed by some as confirming the dinosaurian origins of birds. But at this year’s vertebrate paleontology meeting in Chicago late last month, the verdict was a bit different: The structures are not modern feathers, say the roughly half-dozen Western paleontologists who have seen the specimens. …Paleontologist Larry Martin of Kansas University, Lawrence, thinks the structures are frayed collagenous fibers beneath the skin—and so have nothing to do with birds”, (Ann Gibbons, “Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur,” Science, vol. 278, no. 5341, 14 November 1997, pp. 1229-1230).

    12. The unscientific horse evolution. Until recently, an imaginary sequence supposedly showing the evolution of the horse was advanced as the principal fossil evidence for the theory of evolution. Today, however, many evolutionists themselves frankly admit that the scenario of horse evolution is bankrupt. In 1980, a four-day symposium was held at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, with 150 evolutionists in attendance, to discuss the problems with the gradualistic evolutionary theory. In addressing this meeting, evolutionist Boyce Rensberger noted that the scenario of the evolution of the horse has no foundation in the fossil record, and that no evolutionary process has been observed that would account for the gradual evolution of horses: “The popularly told example of horse evolution, suggesting a gradual sequence of changes from four-toed fox-sized creatures living nearly 50 million years ago to today’s much larger one-toed horse, has long been known to be wrong. Instead of gradual change, fossils of each intermediate species appear fully distinct, persist unchanged, and then become extinct. Transitional forms are unknown”, (Boyce Rensberger, Houston Chronicle, November 5, 1980, p. 15). The evolutionist science writer Gordon R. Taylor explains this littleacknowledged truth in his book The Great Evolution Mystery: “But perhaps the most serious weakness of Darwinism is the failure of paleontologists to find convincing phylogenies or sequences of organisms demonstrating major evolutionary change… The horse is often cited as the only fully worked-out example. But the fact is that the line from Eohippus to Equus is very erratic. It is alleged to show a continual increase in size, but the truth is that some variants were smaller than Eohippus, not larger. Specimens from different sources can be brought together in a convincing looking sequence, but there is no evidence that they were actually ranged in this order in time”, (Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, Abacus, Sphere Books,London, 1984, p. 230).

    So, evolution can no longer provide a well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incoporate facts, laws, and inferences, because all evolusionist fundamental work has been tested. The results: evolution theory is scientificly invalid and has lost its adherents. That is also the reason why the list of evolutionists problems above still remain scientificly unsolved for 200 years. Or perhaps, for eternity?

  2. #2 Pastor Bentonit, FCD
    February 26, 2007

    Inal opined:

    (Endless blather)

    The inclusion of the “2nd Law of Thermodynamics” canard is a dead giveaway, Inal. Nothing escapes the second law of thermodynamics, and yet there are PYGMIES+DWARFS??!

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