Howard Glicksman, M.D.
Howard Glicksman, M.D.
Medical Doctor, General Practitioner, Internal Medicine
University Of Toronto Faculty Of Medicine (1978)
Dr. Glicksman is a practicing physician whose insights have been preserved on this website.
Chasms of Discontinuity
Question: Why do you find it impossible to believe in evolution since you as a physician are knowledgeable about how human life works and the numerous similarities that exist anatomically, physiologically and genetically, between humans and other more primitive life forms?
Answer: On the contrary, I have no difficulty in believing that each life form possesses the inherent power to change and to adapt via natural selection. The problem I have is with evolution as generally understood and usually taught as neo-Darwinism: the claim that life developed solely through the laws of nature acting on chance events with no actual design having been necessary. Once you have a life form in place that is capable of reproduction, then change by intra-genomic adaptation is certainly possible.
The question then becomes: “How did that life form come into being from mere random chemicals?” Just because organisms have similarities does not automatically mean that they have come about without design. But beyond this point, when one understands how easy it is for us to die, and in doing so, lose the battle for the “survival of the fittest”, it then becomes impossible to believe in the picture of evolution that has been painted for us by modern Darwinists. All human experience demonstrates that the “apparent” design we see in nature is not an illusion as neo-Darwinists would have us believe, but is real, and combined with natural selection acting on genetic variation, represents a more plausible explanation for how life came into being.
The parameters for life; vital functions such as; blood pressure, temperature, respiratory and heart rate; blood chemical levels, such as; oxygen, carbon dioxide, sugar, sodium, potassium, and calcium; blood components, such as; red and white blood cells, platelets, and serum proteins, ; and messenger hormones, such as; insulin, thyroid and parathyroid hormone, cortisol, and the pituitary and hypothalamic hormones; must stay within very narrow ranges for our survival.
We know that most of these parameters are monitored and controlled directly, or indirectly, by sensors connected to specific cells, which then send specific messages to specific target organs that receive the message by way of specific receptors resulting in a necessary change in that parameter being made to allow for our survival. Medical science knows that if any one component of any of one of these systems is absent or dysfunctional, the result is the loss of control of that parameter and usually death. This is one of the basic tenets of modern medicine.
- Blood pressure or temperature or respiratory or heart rate: too high or too low: DEATH.
- Blood sugar, or sodium, or potassium, or calcium level: too high or too low: DEATH.
- Red or white blood cells, or platelets or proteins: too high or too low: DEATH.
- Insulin, cortisol, or thyroid or parathyroid hormone levels: too high or too low: DEATH.
I think you get the picture: it’s not very pretty.
The information to produce each of the three components of any one of these systems ie. the specific sensor, the capacity for the cell to send a specific message, and the ability for the target organ to receive that message by way of a specific receptor, is encoded in our DNA. Theorizing on how our DNA obtained the ability to produce a given biomolecule, such as hemoglobin or insulin, does not take into account the need for the presence of the other components (the sensor and receptor) to make the system work, and the inherent ability for each system to control a particular parameter resulting in survival capacity, and therefore, in itself is not sufficient to explain the development of life. For the mere existence of parts should not assume a system of function, and the mere existence of a functioning system should not assume adequate capacity for survival.
So given what we know about life, and more importantly, what we know about death, how can neo-Darwinism be considered sufficient to explain the emergence of what we know to be such biological complexity and diversity? It certainly cannot have come about “one step at a time” as Charles Darwin had surmised, because we know that absent any one component of any of these vital metabolic processes, death is the result, which would preclude reproduction and the passing on of that life form’s genetic material.
Some evolutionary biologists seem to still be stuck in the glory days of Darwinism, when the biomolecular understanding of life was unknown and all they had to go on was the gross anatomy, and what light microscopy afforded, of skeletons, fossils, and embryos.
But modern Darwinists now seem to have latched on to the idea of “indirect Darwinian pathways”; presuming that each of the above-mentioned necessary components pre-existed in a primordial life form which provided; either the same function but accomplished differently, a different function, or no function at all. It is then supposed that all of these disparate, but necessary parts for each of these vital systems, came together serendipitously over hundreds of millions of years eventually resulting in the irreducibly complex biomolecular machinery that we know is necessary to keep us alive.
Some call this modern evolutionary biology. I call it science fiction. The “just so” story to end all “just so” stories. Talk about faith!! For even if each of the above-mentioned biomolecular systems somehow came into existence in this highly improbable way, one is still obligated to explain how each system has the capacity for survival by inherently being able to maintain these vital signs and blood levels in the proper ranges.
The public has given evolutionary biologists a large promissory note to the amount that is unprecedented in the history of science. I’m not talking about $$$ here. I’m talking about a debt to humanity that runs soul deep: the responsibility of all scientists, from all disciplines, to point out to the citizens of the world the unanswered questions that remain and that may weaken a given scientific theory. I have provided here what represents to me some serious flaws in neo-Darwinism. When I’ve received adequate answers to my questions, then we’ll start on the neuromuscular system.