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Mutt & Jeff: Who started it?

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For over two months, I have been silently agitated by a previous column in The Sopris Sun.

I agreed with many of the thoughts by the writer concerning the lack of understanding of the issues by American voters. Quoting the writer: “…millions of Americans are deeply uninformed:  34 percent of Americans reject evolution.”

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Other remarks about “diminished capacity” brought a bit of American history to mind. I wonder if the men who authored and signed the US Constitution in 1787 were “ deeply uninformed” and suffered from “diminished capacity”. Could it be that we are the beneficiaries of a lucky set of fortuitous and random circumstances similar to evolution that brought these men together to agree on a previously unknown principle of self-governance? Darwin’s theory was unknown to these men as it was published some 72 years later.  Even more strangely, at least 50 of these 55 signers were orthodox members of one of the established Christian communions.

I was once a disciple of Darwin, having a degree in education with a biology major.  I was fed a steady diet of evolutionary dogma. Fortunately, I was gradually alerted to the fact that evolution stands on extremely shaky ground. If this is true, why doesn’t someone stand up and declare it to the world? Well, because even science, the paradigm of objectivity, is conducted by fallible humans who often have priorities that override truth. A book by a European bioscientist, Matti Leisola, makes the case that for those scientists who see the overwhelming flaws in  the evolutionary theories of life, many fear being called Darwin deniers and therefore, the loss of their jobs.

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But, back to basics. The following is reported by Ann Gauger, a scientist who received her BS degree from MIT, a postdoctorate from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from the U. of Washington’s department of zoology.  Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Nature, among others. She has reported on mathematicians from Cornell (math being the “purest” of the sciences) who ask the question how hard it is to get a bonding site in DNA. This is a site at which chemical substances can combine and create only one mutation.

Their answer: It takes 60 thousand years for a mutation to arise and 6 million years for it to become general in the population. At this point we hit the real roadblock. If you need two coordinated mutations, it takes 210 million years.  For evolution to occur these mutations must be coordinated and appear simultaneously in the same individual in order to be passed on to the next generation. If you don’t have enough time to get one or two complementary mutations, how is it possible get enough to change from an ape to a human?  

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Stephen C. Meyer, a Cambridge University trained philosopher of science asks a different   question than evolutionary scientists: “They assume that the degree of difference in the sequence of similar genes from different organisms indicates how long ago they diverged from  a common ancestor.”

Instead, his question is on the origin of the information, i.e. the DNA coding necessary to produce the first life. He compares it to the operating system of a computer which regulates the timing and expression of information stored in the data files. As you read this, you may remember that with the discovery of the human and other genomes, humans and chimps (supposedly) have a 98 percent similarity in their genomes, and therefore, a common ancestor.  However, it turns out that those studies were done on an analysis of only the 2-3 percent of the genome that encodes for proteins, that is- for information, based on the assumption that the rest of the genome was nonfunctional “junk”. Since then it has been discovered that the remaining 97-98 percent of the genome is not just “junk” but does, indeed, function analogously to the operating systems in a computer utilizing the information in the 2 or 3 percent and is therefore indispensable.

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“So what?” you ask. Answer: The 97-98 percent of the previously ignored DNA in chimps and humans has been found to be strikingly different. So what? If alleged genetic similarity suggests that chimps and humans came from common ancestors, doesn’t evidence of genetic disparity suggest independent and separate origins; that apes have always been apes and humans have always been humans?

I was recently discussing this subject with two friends. One stated “If you ask an evolutionist if he believes in “spontaneous generation” he will unequivocally deny that he does. Friend number two immediately added “but if you ask if he believes spontaneous generation plus a billion years he readily accepts it.”  To which number one replied “Oh yeah, it’s like claiming that zero times zero equals something.” So where does this lead us? Perhaps to the original information provider.

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Meredith alternates this monthly column with fellow conservative Stan Badgett.