I got in a Facebook tussle with reader Frank Pettit about Larry Moran. This revealed even more fraud in evolution than I had even realized. Brace yourself.
In part one I criticized Larry Moran for evangelizing obsolete Old-School Darwinism. What is that? Moran’s article “Evolution By Accident” describes it perfectly.
Old School Neo-Darwinism (circa 1940) says evolution is entirely undirected, it’s RANDOM DNA copying errors, RANDOM genetic drift, and population genetics. Old-School Darwinism also insists Lamarck (scientist circa 1800) was wrong: learned adaptations are NOT passed on genetically. Natural Selection plays referee and presto, you’ve got evolution.
That’s Neo-Darwinism. Simple. Elegant. Life on earth neatly explained in one paragraph.
It’s popular. And politically correct. You can easily find 1000 biology books and websites that say this.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is, the actual drivers of evolution – Transposition, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Epigenetics, Symbiogenesis, Hybridization and Retroviruses – are ALL finely structured, NON-random processes.
But the Old School Darwinism Evangelists aren’t telling you anything about it.
Excuse me, that’s not right. They’re telling you – but they’re telling you LIES.
Here, let me show you.
I told Frank: “If Larry Moran was doing his job you would already know what Transposition is.”
Frank grew angry. He retorted that Larry DOES talk about Transposition. So I went digging.
Sure enough. 15 seconds later, I found Larry Moran’s article “Transposition Part 1”.
I retract my original statement! Sorry, Frank.
Now… what does Moran say? Moran describes Transposons this way:
“They don’t usually have any function other than replicating themselves and jumping around in the genome.”
“Genomes that contain lots of non-essential DNA (junk) are likely to carry many transposons.”
Larry remains a staunch advocate that 90% of our DNA is useless junk, despite thousands of papers where you can quickly deduce that it’s not.
So let’s get this straight, Dr. Moran. 90% of DNA is junk… evolutionary events are random accidents… transposons don’t really do much except act as local “selfish DNA,” which randomly “JUMPS AROUND”… apparently for no reason at all, other than to act as genetic parasites.
Is that what you’re telling me?
What does the rest of the science community say about Transposons?
I searched Amazon for “transposition biology” and found quite a few books, on the right:
Dr. Moran might peruse a few of those books. You can see from the titles that the authors think transposing DNA elements are vital to evolution.
Or, if Dr. Moran could be bothered to watch Barbara McClintock’s 1983 Nobel Prize speech, he would find out Transposons jump around for very, very particular reasons, stimulated by very particular events.
Her first words are “I have learned that there are dramatic changes that occur when the genome meets something unexpected.” Then she goes on to explain her amazing discoveries in detail.
More about Barbara in a minute. But first let’s take Moran’s article “Accidental Evolution” and make some simple substitutions.
“Chance” and “random” and “accident” are scientific brick walls. Once you invoke them, no further explanation or testing is possible.
So… substitute the words “Random” and “Chance” and “Accident” with “Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job.” Suddenly we can see what Larry Moran is really saying:
|Monod points out that the underlying cause of evolution depends entirely on Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job mutations. This means that evolution is fundamentally Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job.
In the following passage from his book “Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job and Necessity” he begins by describing the various classes of mutation; substitutions, deletions/insertions, and Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job of chromosomes.
He goes on to state clearly what this means for an understanding of evolution. We call these events Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job; we say that they are Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job occurrences.
And since they constitute the only possible source of modifications in the genetic text, itself the sole repository of the organism’s hereditary structures, it necessarily follows that Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere.
Pure Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job, absolutely free but Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job, at the very root of the stupendious edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact.
So there you go. Neo-Darwinism is…
…one big, giant, multi-billion dollar, 3 Martini Lunch!
And everybody gets a free pass! Because any time someone asks you to explain the marvelous systems we find in biology, you just say “Chance and Natural Selection”.
Which really means…
“Vague un-testable assertion that excuses me from doing my science job and Natural Selection.”
Shall we pass the plate for more government grants? Gotta keep the martini mix flowing.
Now, does randomness play a part? Sure it does. The RANDOM part is external events which the cell has absolutely no control of. Comets. Tsunamis. Earthquakes. None of which we could ever predict. (Even those are ultimately not random events either – all obey the laws of cause and effect, do they not?)
However, the cell’s response to those events is anything BUT random. McClintock got her Nobel Prize for figuring out how the cell non-randomly responds to unpredictable external threats. Yet nowhere does Moran mention that Transposition plays a MAJOR role in evolution.
In actual fact, Barbara McClintock in 1944 was the first scientist to observe real-time evolution happening right in front of her eyes, then understand and explain what actually happened genetically.
Others have told McClintock’s story elsewhere, I won’t repeat it here. But don’t miss the significance, because Charles Darwin only proposed the broad outlines of evolution. Ironically, “Origin of Species” offers no functional details about where new species come from.
McClintock conducted the first evolution experiment anyone actually understood. Therefore McClintock made a greater contribution than Darwin. Why? Because she explained one of the MECHANISMS of evolution. McClintock was the first scientist to transform evolution into a testable scientific hypothesis.
So… why isn’t Larry Moran telling you about this?
Why isn’t Jerry Coyne telling you about this?
Why isn’t Richard Dawkins telling you about this?
Why isn’t Bill Nye telling you about this?
Use Amazon “Search Inside” – scour their books for the term “transposition” if you doubt me.
Do they have an agenda?
Is there something these guys don’t want you to know?