Home » Human evolution, Intelligent Design, News » More from Ann Gauger on why humans didn’t happen the way Darwin said

More from Ann Gauger on why humans didn’t happen the way Darwin said

Science and Human OriginsIn Science and Human Origins, Ann Gauger asks some key questions about how human beings got to be the way we are:

So Much to Do, So Little Time

For the purposes of my argument, I don’t intend to argue that H. erectus was or was not the first human being, or is directly part of our lineage. Instead, I want to focus on the anatomical changes that must be accomplished to go from A. afarensis to H. erectus. Regardless of whether or not other transitional hominins are found, these are the kinds of anatomical changes that must have occurred.

For a “radical transformation” of this kind to have happened by strictly neo-Darwinian means, as Hawks et al. imply, then some combination of mutation, genetic drift, and natural selection must be capable of producing the change. But “shifting the adaptive complex” to the new H. erectus anatomy would require reorganizing multiple anatomical structures, the kind of thing likely to require multiple specific mutations.

Two questions then arise: (1) How many mutations would it take to turn an australopithecine species into a Homo erectus? And (2) If there are only one and a half million years between A. afarensis and H. erectus, can neo-Darwinism produce the necessary changes in the time allotted? How many mutations would it take?

Bramble and Lieberman13 count sixteen features of the human body that first appear in H. erectus or H. sapiens. These features are necessary to stabilize the head, permit counter-rotation of the torso with the head and hips, stabilize the trunk, absorb shock and transfer energy during running. Many of these changes must occur together to be of any benefit.

Is there enough time to get sixteen anatomical changes by a neo- Darwinian process? Each of these new features probably required multiple mutations. Getting a feature that requires six neutral mutations is the limit of what bacteria can produce. For primates (e.g., monkeys, apes and humans) the limit is much more severe. Because of much smaller effective population sizes (an estimated ten thousand for humans instead of a billion for bacteria) and longer generation times (fifteen to twenty years per generation for humans vs. a thousand generations per year for bacteria), it would take a very long time for even a single beneficial mutation to appear and become fixed in a human population.

You don’t have to take my word for it. In 2007, Durrett and Schmidt estimated in the journal Genetics that for a single mutation to occur in a nucleotide-binding site and be fixed in a primate lineage would require a waiting time of six million years. The same authors later estimated it would take 216 million years for the binding site to acquire two mutations, if the first mutation was neutral in its effect.

Facing Facts

But six million years is the entire time allotted for the transition from our last common ancestor with chimps to us according to the standard evolutionary timescale. Two hundred and sixteen million years takes us back to the Triassic, when the very first mammals appeared. One or two mutations simply aren’t sufficient to produce the necessary changes— sixteen anatomical features—in the time available. At most, a new binding site might affect the regulation of one or two genes. Durrett and Schmidt acknowledge the problem, and suggest that it can be overcome because there are an estimated 20,000 genes evolving independently, many of which might benefit from mutation(s) in their regulatory regions.

This is unreasonable.  … (pp. 23-25)

(Yuh. People have said it about Darwinism before:  This is unreasonable.)

See also:

Science and Human Origins conclusion: It IS possible we came from just two parents

Adam and Eve could be real?: Genes’ introns and exons tell different stories here. Who to believe?

Adam and Eve possible?: Ayala’s contrary claim built in favourable assumptions

Breaking: Adam and Eve are scientifically possible

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7 Responses to More from Ann Gauger on why humans didn’t happen the way Darwin said

  1. Just finished reading the book yesterday. Overall, it was good. I’d liek to have seen more on the experiemnt details done by Axe and Gauger.

    Anyway, the book was simple yet compelling. The two main issues addressed agaisnt Darwinism are potent refutations of Darwinism.
    1. The failure of the fossil record to support Darwin. And the effectual confessions of the broad market of paleontologists to the same.
    2. The straight forward mathematical & empirical observations that clearly demonstrate that Darwinian processes can not make even a simple transition between two VERY very similar proteins. If it can not do this in the time alloted for the universe to exist, then the above problem becomes a complete devastation for Darwinist dogma.

    JGuy.

  2. 2

    The fossil record failing could only be.
    Yet is the fossil in any way relevant to biological evidence for or against evolution.
    All the fossils are ARE snapshots of biology data at a moment.
    drawing/failing to draw connections is all about other snapshots.!
    yet these connections are not draw from biological investigation .
    They are biological conclusions from biological data with presumed connections due to geological assertions.
    Fossils are geological in their essence for claims of connections.
    Without the sequence of strata there is no claim foer biological change or evolution/lack of it.

    Its a flaw of reasoning to invoke fossils as biological evidence for process.
    Data points but not process.

    You really can’t do biology on rocks.

  3. I haven’t read the book yet, but I sure intend to.

    The argument in the above review of the book — that the chances of obtaining enough beneficial mutations in the time indicated by the fossil evidence are essentially zero — seems similar to an argument made by physicist Lee Spetner in his popular book “Not By Chance!” (1996).

    In his hypothetical, Spetner shows the extreme implausibility of obtaining enough beneficial mutations within the “allotted” time for evolving the modern horse (“equus”) from its putative original ancestor (“hyracotherium”) in the 65 million years and 1.5 trillion births assumed by G. G. Simpson.

  4. Ann writes:

    “But “shifting the adaptive complex” to the new H. erectus anatomy would require reorganizing multiple anatomical structures, the kind of thing likely to require multiple specific mutations

    Bramble and Lieberman count sixteen features of the human body that first appear in H. erectus or H. sapiens. These features are necessary to stabilize the head, permit counter-rotation of the torso with the head and hips, stabilize the trunk, absorb shock and transfer energy during running. Many of these changes must occur together to be of any benefit.

    Is there enough time to get sixteen anatomical changes by a neo- Darwinian process? Each of these new features probably required multiple mutations.

    I am curious – what evidence exists that indicates that such features would “probably” require multiple mutations, and multiple “specific” mutations? And which of these “Many …changes must occur together to be of any benefit”, and how is this known?

    Thanks.

  5. JGuy writes:

    The straight forward mathematical & empirical observations that clearly demonstrate that Darwinian processes can not make even a simple transition between two VERY very similar proteins. If it can not do this in the time alloted for the universe to exist, then the above problem becomes a complete devastation for Darwinist dogma.

    First, the fact that you seem compelled – as most of your brethren here do – to write things like “Darwinist dogma” tells me that there is more afoot here than simply looking at the science.

    Second, why do you find the above compelling, other than the fact that you like the results? How is that experiment applicable to evolution? Can you name some examples of claims of one protein evolving into a very similar protein via some prescribed set of specific mutations?

    Thanks

  6. 6

    Well, I never heard any convincing arguments that the transition from A. afarensis to H. erectus was impossible. The chapter in Icons of Evolution about it was (I think) worse than useless. But this book might be onto something. But WHY do they have to bring up Adam and Eve??

  7. Curious that there are no follow ups.

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