Monday, August 24, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust: Creationist/Inteligent Design Proponents Major Gap Gets Filled.

One of the biggest Gaps that has been pointed to by Creationist/Intelligent Design advocates has been filled.

The evolution of life is one of the most beautiful things I have studied. I am a puzzle fan. I love to put together complex puzzles whether jigsaw, three dimensional, mathematical or geometric. I have had a fascination with puzzles my whole life. When I have trouble putting it together I don't say there has to be a magical step I sit down and try to solve the step or Gap that I'm having trouble with. I have also been a fan of evolution since I first read The Origin of the Species (celebrating it's 150 anniversary this past February) at the age of nine. When you think about the bits of information on life it is not the 2500 pieces of a complex jigsaw puzzle that gets me excited but the billions of facts that we have amassed from almost every field of science by 100's of thousands of scientists from every country in the world. These scientific disciplines include : biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, geology, paleontology, archeology, anthropology mathematics, genetics, mathematics and statistics, plus many more. The amazing thing is that these billions of independently arrived at facts all fit together with very few contradictions and these contradictions do not disprove the theory of evolution but just point out holes or as creationist call them gaps. When there are contradictions or gaps this points to areas were research needs to be done.

It is a thing of beauty how nicely this fits together. An example of this is the biologic clock. Scientist have determined the relative rate at which random changes in amino acids lead to substantive genetic changes. Scientist have found that these happen at relatively fixed periods based upon the number of generations. The beauty is that in any two species ( and ten's of thousands of pairs of animals have been looked at) when you look at the number of differences between them and then calculate when they should have a common ancestor it works out to a very high degree of accuracy. This method has been used by scientists to predict what geological layers these common ancestors will be found in and when they look they find the fossils in the right place. This is the most powerful proof of evolution. There are other similar spectacular predictive aspects to evolution and an amazing array of puzzle pieces, literally billions, that fit the puzzle precisely.

Well that Gap was how did Eukariotic(cells with a nucleus) cells develop from prokaryotic(cells without a nucleus) cells. Well in today's Nature researches using two different prokaryotic cells have seen one cell get engulfed by the other forming an endosymbiote or a cell living in harmony within another cell. Over time there is an exchange of genetic material and the engulfed cell becomes the nucleus for the other cell. Also this occurred in an oxygen poor environment. Photosynthesis could not occur until you had eukaryotic cells. This symbiosis led to terraforming of the entire earth to an oxygen rich environment that allowed life as we know it to evolve. In addition this fusion of two cells produced the mitochondria that is present in all eukaryotic cells.

I am sure that the Creationists will find excuses, such as, this happened in a glass dish and there were no glass dishes in the soup that was our early oceans. They may then say that there are now two gaps, one on each side of this finding. The point is that science predicted this result and it fits all of the mountain of data we have and contradicts none. Why would they want a God of the Gaps whose domain keeps getting cut into smaller and smaller pieces. If there is a God isn't it better to envision that that entity created a universe were life can form and not have to do mental gymnastics that try to fit God into gaps we just haven't filled with facts yet.


  1. Alan, you said it your own self:

    - most beautiful things I have studied.
    - billions of facts that we have amassed from almost every field of science by 100's of thousands of scientists from every country in the world.
    - amazing thing is that these billions of independently arrived at facts all fit together.
    - a thing of beauty how nicely this fits together.

    This does NOT sound like talk of a "big bang," an explosion, and chaos. You are obviously talking about Intelligent Design!

    Listen to yourself!

    Have you ever asked yourself "what makes US different from every OTHER mammel?" and how come insects, reptiles, fish and birds can't THINK, like WE do? Humans are the only living thing on earth who actually KNOW we have an appointment with death. And how come WE have a conscience, and THEY don't? Can you imagine a bunch of giraffs holding court? Ha!

    All your talk of how the billions of puzzle pieces fitting together, just exemplify the wonder of Intelligent Design, where there are no gaps.

  2. Those "Intelligent" Designers are out to get the puzzle pieces that fit their own particular preconceived political "godly" agenda. The question is: Did god create man or man created "god"? If narcissism can be measured, those intelligent designers will be masters. They said man has dominion over other animals. And who gave them the license for such dominion: "god", their own created god. Wake up folks and smell the coffee!

  3. Here is the abstract from nature:

    Evidence for an early prokaryotic endosymbiosis

    James A. Lake1,2,3,4

    Top of page
    Endosymbioses have dramatically altered eukaryotic life, but are thought to have negligibly affected prokaryotic evolution. Here, by analysing the flows of protein families, I present evidence that the double-membrane, Gram-negative prokaryotes were formed as the result of a symbiosis between an ancient actinobacterium and an ancient clostridium. The resulting taxon has been extraordinarily successful, and has profoundly altered the evolution of life by providing endosymbionts necessary for the emergence of eukaryotes and by generating Earth's oxygen atmosphere. Their double-membrane architecture and the observed genome flows into them suggest a common evolutionary mechanism for their origin: an endosymbiosis between a clostridium and actinobacterium.

  4. All of the billions of data point fit the theory of evolution. That is not cherry picking the data that fit your point that there was an intelligent designer but taking all data and seeing that it fits natural selection and all the aspects of evolution without a designer. It also doesn't keep make the gap that the designer does get smaller and smaller. A theory should stand up to new data not have to change your theory every time a gap gets filled