If you were studying computers today…
Would you start with the 1984 “Apple II Plus Troubleshooting and Repair Manual”?
Then… why would you learn evolution by reading Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye?
Dawkins’ books on evolution – like those of his pals Bill Nye, Jerry Coyne and others – are every bit as outdated as this computer book.
You may be tempted to doubt me. But don’t take my word for it. In a minute I’m going to show you how to prove this to yourself.
Old-school Neo-Darwinism has been replaced by a new, Post Modern Synthesis. Practicing biologists know this. Only now is the public beginning to hear the truth.
Most folks in 2016 won’t be quite sure what I’m talking about. But everyone will know by 2020.
Message to the current kingpins of popular evolution: The 1980’s version of evolution you evangelize in your books is dead. It’s time to start teaching modern science.
Let’s start with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
|“The remarkable thing about the evolutionary process that produces new species is that it’s brought on by small, random changes in genes.” (Bill Nye, Undeniable)||
Dr. Lynn Margulis (former wife of Carl Sagan) exposes the truth in her book Acquiring Genomes:
“Many ways to induce mutations are known but none lead to new organisms. Mutation accumulation does not lead to new species or even to new organs or new tissues . . . Even professional evolutionary biologists are hard put to find mutations, experimentally induced or spontaneous, that lead in a positive way to evolutionary change” (Lynn Margulis, Acquiring Genomes)
Margulis showed symbiotic mergers – not accidental mutations – were a major source of new species. This wasn’t theory or conjecture. Symbiogenesis is observable experimental fact.
|“The main defense a bacterium has against a phage attack is to somehow modify or reconfigure the protein pattern on its outer membrane. Now, individuals cannot change themselves, as such. Instead, their descendants, their offspring, can have modifications as their DNA is replicated. Random changes may or may not help them resist a phage.” (Bill Nye, Undeniable)||No biologist who knows the current literature would agree with Bill Nye. A bacterium under stress does literally change itself. It re-arranges its own DNA in real time and seeks DNA from other organisms (horizontal gene transfer). By changing its own genome, a bacterium can generate resistance in as little as 30 minutes.|
|“Mutations are the random changes in genes that constitute the raw material for evolution by non-random selection.” (Richard Dawkins, Greatest Show on Earth)||
Cells militantly guard against random changes in genes! Their first line of defense is the “SOS” response. In SOS mode, cells rush to repair damage from radiation and copying errors.
So… where does the raw material for evolution come from, if not from random mutations?
Answer: Genes switch on & switch off (epigenetics); rearrange and exchange (transposition and hybridization). Hybrids double (genome duplication); viruses hijack; cells merge (symbiogenesis); and winners emerge (natural selection). Natural selection has no creative juice; it’s only the final eliminating step.
|“These mutations occur willy-nilly, regardless of whether they are good or bad for the individual. But it is the filtering of that variation by natural selection that produces adaptations, and natural selection is manifestly not random. It is a powerful molding force, accumulating genes that have a greater chance of being passed on than others…” (Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution Is True)||
Barbara McClintock induced mutations in her corn plants. Yes, those mutations were “willy-nilly” from radiation. But the plants surprised Barabara by repairing their DNA. They moved missing code from elsewhere and built new code. The adaptations were anything but willy-nilly.
Her colleagues thought she was crazy. But she won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for discovering DNA transposition. (James Shapiro, Evolution: A View from the 21st Century)
|“Living things in nature cannot alter their genes. All organisms – sea anemones, fireflies, giant squid, miniature poodles, and humans – have to play the genetic hand they’re dealt.” (Bill Nye, Undeniable)||Cells cut, splice, and re-arrange their own DNA. Horizontal Gene Transfer (cells exchanging DNA) is so universal, there are no hard limits to where genetic material can come from. Cells re-purpose new genetic material from viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other animals – in hours. (Shapiro, Evolution: A View from the 21st Century)|
“Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity” -PZ Myers, from his Pharyngula blog
|“The stimulus associated with placement of the insect egg into the leaf will initiate reprogramming of the plant’s genome, forcing it to make a unique structure adapted to the needs of the developing insect.” -Barbara McClintock, from her Nobel lecture|
None of their books even pass a basic FACT CHECK from a first-year grad student!
The evolution story fed to the public by Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Bill Nye and PZ Myers pretends the last 30 years of molecular biology never happened.
By the way, most of this is not new. Practicing biologists have been using these tools for decades.
In most topics, errors this large would force a recall by book publishers. Evolutionary biology seems to have lower standards than other fields.
Books like Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker and Selfish Gene and Greatest Show on Earth; Nye’s Undeniable and Coyne’s Why Evolution is True sport a somewhat fictitious and wildly out-of-date version of evolution.
They completely omit the cell’s repair machinery and ability to re-engineer itself. Their explanations are less than 50% accurate (for facts they do present) and leave out the really interesting, useful stuff.
Sort of like a computer book that never mentions the mouse, video or the internet.
Check for yourself. Search Google Books for “hybridization” and “transposition” and “symbiogenesis” and “horizontal gene transfer” in Dawkins’ and Nye’s and Coyne’s books.
Experimental biologists who make antibiotics and develop gene therapies harness these systems all the time. They don’t simply rely on “random mutation and natural selection.” They harness the cell’s built-in systems as much as possible.
The red-hot new CRISPR gene-editing technology is actually humans co-opting the bacterial immune system. The reason we are able to edit genes with such precision now is because we’re hitching a ride with the tools of the Post-Modern Synthesis.
The geocentric view of the universe was once embraced by everyone.
Today it’s an embarrassment.
IBM once reigned as the supreme computer supplier.
How many of your friends today own an IBM?
The taxi industry once dominated in every major city.
Now Uber and Lyft are ripping them to shreds.
Yahoo! was once king of online advertising.
Verizon bought them out for for 1% of the current value of Google.
Memo to Dawkins, Nye, Coyne and Myers:
You’ve missed the biggest story in science. You guys are running on fumes.
Recess is over. If you persist in your 1980s version of evolution – if you do not update your books, your websites and doctrines – you too will be obsolete. And a younger generation of scientists will be all too happy to take your place.
Why aren’t these guys telling you the whole story???
What do you think? Post your comments below.