Home » Evolution, Genetics, Genomics » Geoff Barnard Delivers Unwelcome News For Darwinism

Geoff Barnard Delivers Unwelcome News For Darwinism

From here:

Geoff has been a professional biochemist for over 40 years, a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at three UK Universities and a regular visiting scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. His last academic position in the UK was as a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, a position he held for over seven years. He now lives in Israel with his wife and is employed as a Senior Scientist in the Diagnostics Industry.

In the video embedded below, Dr Geoff Barnard summarizes the evidence for his claim that the biggest challenge to Darwinism is not the survival of the fittest but rather the maintenance of fertility.

Want to hear more? Then you’ll need to register to come to the forthcoming Intelligent Design conference in Malvern, Worchestershire, England, on the 9th and 10th of September. Geoff will carefully explain in his sessions at the conference on Saturday September 10th, by reference to detailed biological considerations, why he makes this claim. That evidenced claim has, as he says, ‘killer’ consequences for Darwinism.

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25 Responses to Geoff Barnard Delivers Unwelcome News For Darwinism

  1. Well, someone let us know if he bothers to do any comparative biology in his past or future talks. Any informed discussion of the origin of meiosis would have to survey the literature on the diversity of fission & fusion strategies found in single-celled eukaryotes. Which existed long before there were separate sperm and egg cells, by the way, a point which Geoff Barnbard, and JonathanM, seem to be completely unaware of.

    Anyone trying to make an intellectually respectable argument about the impossibility of the natural origin of meiosis would also have to address in detail the literature on the origin of meiosis. Does Geoff Barnbard do this?

  2. notes;

    The machinery for recombination is part of the chromosome structure
    Excerpt: “The more we learn about meiosis, the more mysterious it becomes”, says Franz Klein from the Department for Chromosome Biology of the University of Vienna. “It is surprising that maternal and paternal chromosomes find each other at all. Because at the time of interaction all chromosomes have generated a sister and are tightly connected with her like a Siamese twin.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....osome.html

    here is a cool video on mitosis:

    The Stages of Mitosis – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGV3fv-uZYI

    also of interest:

    Getting a tighter grip on cell division – November 2010
    The molecular machinery that shepherds and literally pulls the chromosomes apart consists of paired microtubules radiating from opposite poles of the dividing cell and an enormous, but precise, molecular complex called a kinetochore.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ision.html

    Dividing Cells ‘Feel’ Their Way Out Of Warp
    “What we found is an exquisitely tuned mechanosensory system that keeps the cells shipshape so they can divide properly,” – Douglas N. Robinson, Ph.D.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142402.htm

    Dna Molecular Biology Visualizations – Wrapping And DNA Replication – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8NHcQesYl8

    Astonishing Molecular Machines – Drew Berry
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6861283

    600 Genes Involved in Fundamental Cell Division – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    Excerpt: The hundreds of genes are involved in an absolutely fundamental biological process is yet another example of evolution’s failure to explain biology.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-cell.html

  3. The diversity of fission & fusion strategies does not mean either arose via accumulations of genetic accidents.

    And anyone trying to make an intellectually respectable argument about the evolution of meiosis would have to demonstrate such a thing is feasible given the mechanism of accumulations of genetic accidents.

    Evidence, not rhetoric, is what your position needs Nick.

  4. Nick, since you consider yourself pretty much a expert on how all this staggering complexity in life came to be (I have severe reservations as to your expertise since even many researchers are quite baffled at the levels of complexity they are finding), perhaps you would care to empirically demonstrate, with observational evidence instead of your ‘just so’ sequence similarity stories, the origination of a single functional protein:

    Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson
    Excerpt: Regardless of how the trials are performed, the answer ends up being at least half of the total number of password possibilities, which is the staggering figure of 10^77 (written out as 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000). Armed with this calculation, you should be very confident in your skepticism, because a 1 in 10^77 chance of success is, for all practical purposes, no chance of success. My experimentally based estimate of the rarity of functional proteins produced that same figure, making these likewise apparently beyond the reach of chance.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35561.html

    Evolution vs. Functional Proteins – Doug Axe – Video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018222

    ============

    It is interesting to note that the ‘optimistic low end’ 1 in 10^12 (trillion) estimate for functional proteins, arrived at by a evolutionist (Szostak), is still very, very, rare and of insurmountable difficulty for the materialist to use in any evolutionary scenario.

    How Proteins Evolved – Cornelius Hunter – December 2010
    Excerpt: Comparing ATP binding with the incredible feats of hemoglobin, for example, is like comparing a tricycle with a jet airplane. And even the one in 10^12 shot, though it pales in comparison to the odds of constructing a more useful protein machine, is no small barrier. If that is what is required to even achieve simple ATP binding, then evolution would need to be incessantly running unsuccessful trials. The machinery to construct, use and benefit from a
    potential protein product would have to be in place, while failure after failure results. Evolution would make Thomas Edison appear lazy, running millions of trials after millions of trials before finding even the tiniest of function.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....olved.html

    ==============

    A Man-Made ATP-Binding Protein Evolved Independent of Nature Causes Abnormal Growth in Bacterial Cells
    Excerpt: “Recent advances in de novo protein evolution have made it possible to create synthetic proteins from unbiased libraries that fold into stable tertiary structures with predefined functions. However, it is not known whether such proteins will be functional when expressed inside living cells or how a host organism would respond to an encounter with a non-biological protein. Here, we examine the physiology and morphology of Escherichia coli cells engineered to express a synthetic ATP-binding protein evolved entirely from non-biological origins. We show that this man-made protein disrupts the normal energetic balance of the cell by altering the levels of intracellular ATP. This disruption cascades into a series of events that ultimately limit reproductive competency by inhibiting cell division.”
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0007385

    ==================

    Proteins Did Not Evolve Even According to the Evolutionist’s Own Calculations but so What, Evolution is a Fact – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....d-not.html

    =====================

    Severe Limits to Darwinian Evolution: – Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The immediate, obvious implication is that the 2009 results render problematic even pretty small changes in structure/function for all proteins — not just the ones he worked on.,,,Thanks to Thornton’s impressive work, we can now see that the limits to Darwinian evolution are more severe than even I had supposed.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Stability effects of mutations and protein evolvability. October 2009
    Excerpt: The accepted paradigm that proteins can tolerate nearly any amino acid substitution has been replaced by the view that the deleterious effects of mutations, and especially their tendency to undermine the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of protein, is a major constraint on protein evolvability,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19765975

    The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway – Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe – April 2011
    Excerpt: We infer from the mutants examined that successful functional conversion would in this case require seven or more nucleotide substitutions. But evolutionary innovations requiring that many changes would be extraordinarily rare, becoming probable only on timescales much longer than the age of life on earth.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2011.1

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....t-collide/

    “Mutations are rare phenomena, and a simultaneous change of even two amino acid residues in one protein is totally unlikely. One could think, for instance, that by constantly changing amino acids one by one, it will eventually be possible to change the entire sequence substantially… These minor changes, however, are bound to eventually result in a situation in which the enzyme has ceased to perform its previous function but has not yet begun its ‘new duties’. It is at this point it will be destroyed – along with the organism carrying it.” Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetski, Unraveling DNA, 1997, p. 72. (Professor at Brown U. Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering)

  5. I’ve commented before that when it comes to the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, the answer is definitely the ‘egg’. This is my objection to so-called “common descent”. It is much more sensible that the egg changes, thus changing the form, than the changing form changing the egg. This can only lead to a ‘discrete’, not ‘continuous’ understanding of descent.

  6. You are excluding all the relevant evidence when you ignore/are unaware of the actual diversity of the system in biology. I’ve seen it a thousand times: creationist “X requires ABC to function, there’s no way it could evolve gradually!” Biologist: “But, you dolt, you didn’t do any research! Everyone who knows anything about this topic knows that X’ has only AB and gets along just fine, and that A and B also have alternative functions in organisms that get along without X or X’ at all.” Don’t you get tired of being wrong like this? How can you call yourselves intellectuals when you won’t even bother to look?

  7. Nick,

    And you know he has not looked? And if he looked, do you know what he would find? Have you looked?

  8. 8
    William J. Murray

    Reproduction success requires chromosomal integrity. Darwinism requires chromosomal variation.

    A long and necessary history of chromosomal errors produces an error-check-and-correction system.

    >blockquote>Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. – Richard Lewontin

  9. “A long and necessary history of chromosomal errors produces an error-check-and-correction system.”

    That is a very succinct way of putting it.

  10. Changes to karyotype without changes to genes is one way the chicken or the egg problem can be resolved.

    For example, when both mother and father pass on the same Robertsonian translocation, the offspring will have a balanced Robertsonian translocation and therefore a karyotype either with + or – 2 chromosomes. Because Robertsonian translocations are highly heritable, the often occur cluster in families, especially those where there is a fair degree of inbreeding (in humans, where there is a practice of cousin marriages). If enough offspring acquire the same balanced Robertsonian translocations, then a sustainable subpopulation arises, marking the start of Parapatric or Sympatric speciation event.

    Karyotypes of Nannospalax (Palmer 1903) populations (Rodentia: Spalacidae) from centraleastern Anatolia, Turkey

    A Network Approach to Study Karyotypic Evolution: The Chromosomal Races of the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) and House Mouse (Mus musculus) as Model Systems

  11. NickMatzke the mind-reader sez:

    You are excluding all the relevant evidence when you ignore/are unaware of the actual diversity of the system in biology.

    Just because diversity exists does not mean it is due to blind, undirected chemical processes.

    Strange that all you have is rhetoric and no evidence.

    Where did you get A or B from, Nick? Why does the theory of evolution HAVE to start with that which requires explaining in the first place?

  12. Changes to karyotype without changes to genes is one way the chicken or the egg problem can be resolved.

    For example, when both mother and father pass on the same Robertsonian translocation, the offspring will have a balanced Robertsonian translocation and therefore a karyotype either with + or – 2 chromosomes.

    So an offspring with a balanced Robertsonian translocation can lay eggs?

  13. Species exist because they survive, duh!

  14. Yes. Balanced Robertsonian translocations have been documented in insects, birds, lizards, etc. For example: Rate of chromosome changes and speciation in reptiles

  15. So an insect, bid, lizard, etc., cannot lay an egg unless it has a balanced robertsonian translocation. Got it…

  16. Joseph,
    It seems the egg analogy has left you confused. PaV was not asking about egg-laying per se, but rather how changes beget speciation in the metaphorical chicken and egg scenario. I answered that balanced Robertsonian translocations (as just one example), can lead to new species (that is, self-sustaining populations with a distinct karyotype) before functional changes to genes occur.

  17. 17

    “Just because diversity exists does not mean it is due to blind, undirected chemical processes.”

    But diversity *does* mean that the common creo/ID argument (and that used by Geoff Barnard here) namely that “there’s only one way to do this, and it would have to come together all at once, therefore evolution is wrong” is shot to hell.

  18. 18

    I’ve read some of the literature on the origin of eukaryotes and of meiosis. It is by very smart people who have spent decades and decades studying single-celled eukaryotes. Thus I take a dim view of anyone who reaches the dramatic conclusion that evolution is fatally flawed because of meiosis, when they don’t even bother to look up this literature, let alon mention this literature to their naive popular audiences, let alone bother to devise an effective and well-informed rebuttal to it.

  19. NickMatzke:

    But diversity *does* mean that the common creo/ID argument (and that used by Geoff Barnard here) namely that “there’s only one way to do this, and it would have to come together all at once, therefore evolution is wrong” is shot to hell.

    1- ID is not anti-evolution

    2- That isn’t the argument we make.

    The “come together all at once” is required for natural selection. Cumulative selection only woks in a targeted search. Without a functioning system all that is left is sheer dumb luck to put one together. And your position cannot explain the origin of these systems, nevermind the diversity.

  20. Nick matzke:

    I’ve read some of the literature on the origin of eukaryotes and of meiosis.

    And strangely enough no one knows how eukaryotes arose. Sure there is some speculations about endosymbiosis and organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, but it is only speculation.

    The theory of evolution has become the theory of question begging…

  21. 21

    That’s silly. Evidence for change of function is everywhere. And it’s not a wild, random process. Look at the history of functions of the penguin forelimb. Swimming flippers came from wings used for flying and swimming, came from wings used for flying, came from flying limbs with claws, came from feathered dinosaur arms, came from lizard forelimbs, came from amphibian forelimbs, came from fish fins used for walking on the bottom, came from standard fish fins.

  22. 22

    2- That isn’t the argument we make.

    The “come together all at once” is required for natural selection.

    …and you just made the argument you said you didn’t!

  23. NATURAL SELECTION makes that argument, Nick.

  24. That’s silly and disingenuous. Evidence for change of function isn’t evidence for a mechanism. And there isn’t any evidence that accumulations of genetic accidents can take a flying wing and change it into a swimming flipper. Nor is there any evidence a wing is just a changed dino arm.

    However I am familiar with the evidence-free narrative you presented.

  25. In the rodent to bat transition (or whatever land animal that was the ancestor of bats), what advantage would it convey to the animal to grow longer digits with webbing between them?
    Why would this type of mutation continue (into longer digits with larger webs), and wouldn’t it most likely involve different sets of genes? Even if you tinkered with a rodent’s DNA in order to produce webs and longer digits, it still wouldn’t be aerodynamically capable. Of course there are no fossils, either, of this mythical rat/bat creature.

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