Genealogy: Darwin Style

To qualify as science, “explanations of large classes of phenomena
must make testable predictions and be falsifiable…there must be a way
to make an observation that could disprove the explanation.”
Sharon Begley

Although Darwin made it clear that humans should not “feel ashamed” at finding shared ancestry with Old World monkeys, he might have balked at the suggestion our ultimate ancestor was a “biochemical moron.” It took some imaginative, twenty-first century theorists to hint at the possibility.

Darwin Family Photo

Despite Darwin’s assurances, human families don’t rush
to honor “Old World monkeys” with a prominent place on the family tree.

One startling report takes aim at explaining original life on earth!

“…Many scientists believe that viruses evolved very early on, possibly even earlier than everything else. If so, they are not merely some ornamentation on the tree of life but rather may compose its very roots.” 2

We humans…are nobody’s great idea; we are the fortunate mistakes of countless biochemical morons. That’s evolution. It is humbling but somehow comforting.” 2

Comforting? Finding some great-grand-pappy virus smirking smugly at humans from the pages of the family’s ancestry album?

Taking a swipe at Intelligent Design, the report asserts, “…the viruses appear to present a creation story of their own: a stirring, topsy-turvy, and decidedly unintelligent design where life arose more by reckless accident than original intent, through an accumulation of genetic accounting errors committed by hordes of mindless microscopic replication machines.” 2

Unintelligent” may be the classic understatement.

Throw in “reckless accident…mindless…genetic accounting errors… mistakes…” and, of course, those “countless biochemical morons” and the imagined trip to antiquity begins to resemble a journey to la-la land.

While the verbiage may inspire a field day of punditry, the idea carries a serious side. Recognizing viruses to be older and more complex than once believed and that possibly they may compose the “very roots” of the “tree of life” is an idea that represents eye-rolling poppycock.

Where’s the substantiating evidence? And where’s any verifiable explanation as to the source of genetic information for the virus?

Formulation of a living cell, capable of reproducing itself, has never been created in the laboratory much less generated spontaneously in nature. Not even a parasite virus is capable of independent living; it has to latch onto an already living host.


Born to a cocoon of wealth and high social status in a nineteenth-century British society with fiercely defined classes, Charles “D” reflected a jaundiced view of life outside his circle of privilege. He wrapped his tunnel-vision doctrine around a prevailing bias of a narrow, social perspective. He pictured himself and his male compatriots as mankind’s fittest, surveying life from the peak of the heap, superior beneficiaries of the monkey-to-man scenario, leading the human race ever farther away from their alleged “arboreal” 3 roots.

Charles Robert Darwin lacked authentic scientific evidence explaining the origin of earth’s first life. Still, he didn’t hesitate launching a series of dubious explanations built on the assumptive origin of that first living cell creating itself spontaneously from inorganic chemicals leading incrementally to the appearance of humans via short steps, over deep time.

Darwin never heard of DNA or a cell’s nucleus. So he waved his wand imagining that the magic of self-creation might have occurred in some mythical, “warm little pond,” 4 a scenario less likely than finding an iceberg floating in a desert mirage.

Cross-sections of Darwin’s unvarnished pronouncements raise twenty-first century eyebrows. Condescending prejudices infect his declarations. His pen delivered a compendium of long discredited, politically incoherent ideas.

With his personal insights partially warped by 19th century superstitions, Darwin’s survival of the fittest theme inspired his taking an ill-conceived shot at life-saving vaccination. He fretted vaccination “preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox…the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind…this must be highly injurious to the race of man…a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race.” 5

Could this outspoken stance have been a left-handed slap at the discoveries of Louis Pasteur, a pioneering advocate of vaccination? Or was Darwin oblivious to the Frenchman’s prestigious discoveries?

This is an excerpt from a chapter of the 2016 Edition
of “Three Days Before the Sun”, now available
from leading online retailers.



Copyright © 2012 Warren L. Johns.  All Rights Reserved.  Contact: