A new study into the transfer of genetic material laterally, or across taxonomic divisions, has shown that evolution does not proceed as Darwin thought, and that in fact the present theory of evolution is entirely false. Instead, it transpires that lateral genetic transfer makes new species much more like Empedocles‘ “random monster” theory over 2000 years ago had predicted.
Publishing in the Journal of Evolutionary Diversions, the major journal in the field, Professor Augustus P. Rillful and his colleagues of the paragenetics laboratory at the University of Münchhausen in Germany have shown experimentally that the ability of DNA to cross species boundaries at any distance makes the origin of species a solved problem, only it is solved in a way that Darwin never envisaged. This new theory, called Empedoclean Evolution, explains why novel traits can be found in many different taxonomic groups independently. Instead of being “discovered” by natural selection and then passed on to descendants, a solution can be “found” entirely by chance and shared throughout the living world, even between single celled organisms and plants or animals.
Prof. Augustus P. Rillful
Empedocles, who was mocked by Aristotle for his theory of “man-faced oxen”, held that organic parts randomly assorted to form random monsters until a viable form was found, after which it remained more or less constant. While his mechanism was crude and unrealistic (organs floating about separate from their organisms), the basic idea is now seen to be solid, with DNA packets replacing of organs. A similar view appears to have been held by the famous French naturalist Georges Cuvier, who knew that there were successive faunas, but rejected evolution (in the transformation of species sense) as an explanation. New faunas, according to Prof. Rillful and his team, occur when genes for new traits appear by accident, and cause a knock-on effect throughout the ensemble of species as viruses and bacterial transfer of genes spreads them throughout all the major species. Consequently, any gene that happens to code for a trait to deal with these novelties also gets widely spread, until an entirely new set of organisms now exist, as a new fauna.
Rapid faunal succession, as Rillful has called it, is “like punctuated equilibrium on steroids”; instead of single species remaining stable after they appear, entire faunas do. The role of natural selection is almost entirely eliminated in favour of the spread of chance useful variations. The Empedoclean theory also removes the need for sexual selection as an explanation of such traits as the peacock’s tail – these are unwanted side-effects of genes hopping across the boundaries of species, and even phyla or kingdoms, in which rather than being nonviable as most chance combinations are, some combinations can form species with a burden of less-than-optimal traits.
In the paper, Rillful says “Darwin’s theory of evolution as a purposive process, in which chance is balanced by the pseudodesign of natural selection, is no longer a necessary hypothesis to explain all of life. And the intelligent design argument is entirely shown to be false. Darwin was wrong, and so was Paley. The consensus is moving even further away from the Design hypothesis than even the modern Darwinians expected. Adaptation is an accident.”
Rillful says that humans appear to be the first organisms to develop intelligence, quite by accident, and that he expects other species will start to become intelligent over the next few thousand years, as the gene for this is spread by infection to other species.
A summary of this work will soon be found in the cover story of the April 1 issue of New Scientist. It looks to revolutionise modern biology in ways that can only be imagined.
Rillful, A. P., Metonym, P., Hebe, P., Samsa, G., et al., 2009. “A new theory of evolution based upon the ubiquity of lateral genetic transfer”. J. Evol. Div. 23 (2):69-136.