Genealogy Darwin style
by Warren L John, J.D.
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 into 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? Regardless, in the lofty tradition of English gentlemen, he pledged to “bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.” 6
Given the flourishing slave trade sanctioned by British society, racism tainted his public pronouncements. He awarded pinnacle status to his own social environment while exposing his ignorance of human anatomy.
“Various races differ much from each other…the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull…in their intellectual, faculties.” 7
He made no attempt to conceal his overwhelming bias favoring his Caucasian identity. “The western nations of Europe… immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors and stand at the summit of civilization…” 8
He predicted, thanks to “progress toward perfection,” the time would come “…not very far distant, as measured by centuries, the civilised [sic] races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” 9
Darwin’s demeaning of what he termed “savage races” provided political cover for financial exploitation of the barbaric slave trade. The industry’s voracious tentacles spanned the Atlantic, unloading manacled human cargoes in New World sanctuaries. The brutal social virus carried a bitter price, above and beyond the ruthless disposal of human lives on public auction blocks.
Darwin didn’t start the American Civil War. But the fall-out from his disingenuous perceptions, contaminated core moral values and disgraced history! The excesses of the slavery curse lingered to eventually rip the heart from the fledgling American republic.
As a partial consequence of slavery’s illicit traffic, 620,000 Americans of all colors lost their lives in the searing anguish of a Civil War blood bath (compare the devastating loss of life to the equivalent of seven, fan-filled football stadiums). During Reconstruction, an influential cadre of white political figures, still smarting from the suppression of the rebellion, showed a simmering resentment in pointed terms that might have made Darwin blush.
Hate monger’s words presaged a fiery campaign of intimidation, terror and surreptitious murders. “A superior race is put under the rule of an inferior race…The white people of our State will never quietly submit to negro rule. This is a duty we owe to the proud Caucasian race, whose sovereignty on earth God has ordained.” 10
Darwin showed little sympathy for the calluses on the hands of men who survived by the sweat of their brow. With a fresh memory of his student days walking the Oxford campus, he reserved praise for the “well-instructed.” 11
After showing his disdain for some races as well as those who “labor for their daily bread,” he took on the feminine gender. England’s Queen Victoria, a Darwin contemporary, occupied the British throne for 63 years, beginning in 1837. Without a tip of the hat to the reigning monarch, the evolutionist revealed a startling gender bias, asserting, after ascending the taxonomic ladder, “Man has ultimately become superior to woman.” 12
To the Queen’s credit, Darwin wasn’t banished to the Tower of London for promoting male chauvinism. Undeterred and blissfully insensitive, the naturalist tossed out an array of outrageous, unverified assertions!
“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn [sic] by man attaining to a higher eminence in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.” 13
Without pause or apology, evolution’s guru continued in blissful bias.
“If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music, comprising composition and performance, history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer…that if men are capable of decided eminence over women in many subjects, the average standard of mental power in man must be above that of a woman.” 13
Nearly two centuries after Darwin went public with these gender-bashing conjectures, the question of how the first living cell managed to emerge accidentally from non-living matter continues to confound. This leaves his irrational, faith-based conjecture that a mother cell from nowhere somehow provided the starting point for evolution, followed by a fanciful series of incremental changes, over large chunks of deep time. 14
This conjectured chain of do-it-yourself “biological transit stops” supposedly produced every known plant and animal species on earth, eventually replacing all prior life forms with radically new body plans.
In a culture proud of its ancestry, celebrated with its revered heraldry, evolution’s champion diminished his own family’s roots by claiming linkage to a long organic chain of life beginning with that accidental appearance of an un-designed first living cell derived from non-living matter.
The chance hypothesis mocks the possibility of a Supreme, intelligent designer by alleging Homo sapiens represent nothing more than mutated descendants from an ancient fish, eventually sharing ancestry with “Old world division” monkeys. This hypothetical linkage, incorporating fish story fantasy, doesn’t disturb the fish population but does arouse the suspicion of humans hoping for something at least more noble, if not unscientific.
Supposedly lurking in the dark shadows of that mythical genetic chain is some vaguely identified “fish-like animal.” Unabashedly, and without apology, Darwin pronounced “all the members of the vertebrate kingdom are derived from some fish-like animal.” 15
“All the higher mammals are probably derived from an ancient marsupial, …through a long line of diversified forms, either from some reptile-like or some amphibian-like creature, and this again from some fish-like animal.” 16
Darwin’s grand design of human genealogy took root in his evolutionary ideas referencing the ascendency of that “vertebrate kingdom.” This imagined genealogy is reminiscent of fiction that could have been crafted by Charles Dickens, another 19th century English author.
He assumed “The progenitors of man must have been aquatic in their habits; for morphology plainly tells us that our lungs consist of a modified swim-bladder…the heart existed as a simple pulsating vessel.” 17
Intelligent human minds design robots. God, the Master Designer, created humans in His image, complete with DNA codes enabling reproduction.
With imagination unchecked, evolution’s patron saint plunged ahead on a genealogical roll, saddling his own and mankind’s family tree with yet another eye-popping “ancestor,” he envisioned as neither male nor female.
“The early progenitor of all the Vertebrata must have been an aquatic animal, provided with branchiae, with the two sexes united in the same individual, and with the most important organs of the body (such as the brain and heart) imperfectly developed.” 18
“Some extremely remote progenitor of the whole vertebrate kingdom appears to have been hermaphrodite or androgynous.” 19
From the secure comfort of his English manor home, Darwin poured out a litany of eyebrow-raising ideas. He seems to have convinced himself that “Man is the co-descendant with other mammals of a common progenitor” 20 and that “Man is descended from some less highly organized form.” 21
Evolution’s guru got downright personal for a society devoted to a calcified caste system. “Man is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in its habits…” 22 and that “early progenitors of man were no doubt once covered with hair, both sexes having beards; their ears were pointed and capable of movement; and their bodies were provided with a tail…” 23
Darwin’s “arboreal” assertion set the stage for the conjectured family tree ascending from some grand pappy, monkey-type critter. Without a hint of equivocation, he attempted to pin-the-tale on the unsuspecting monkey on behalf of the entire human family.
Now comes the part in the pre-history drama where the “Old World” monkey swings up the taxonomic ladder to find a spot on a higher branch of Darwin’s “tree of life.” It was not enough that the monkey supposedly descended genetically from some “fish-like animal,” but according to the Darwinian scenario, he shared common ancestry with the trees he climbed.
Darwin alleged humans traced their ancestry to “Old World” monkeys. 24 “Man appears to have diverged from the Old World division of the Simiadae, after these had diverged from the New World division.” 25
“The Simiadae…branched off into two great stems; the New World and Old World monkeys; and from the latter, at a remote period, Man, the wonder of the universe proceeded…” 26
His tale of the tail made it into his writings but is missing from his family’s genealogy. Perhaps Charles wasn’t ashamed of the monkey swinging from the Darwin family’s woodwork, but his pointed portrayal of this presumed predecessor posing as some “arboreal” ancestor might not so easily have passed scrutiny when viewed through the discriminating lens of other Victorian families who took pride in the traditions of titles and heraldry.
To minimize the shock from the news impacting the psyche of his peers, he admonished followers to hold their heads high, assuring, “…we may, with our present knowledge, approximately recognize our heritage; nor need we feel ashamed of it…” 27
Even the most devout evolutionist isn’t likely to boast of a scaly coated, Pisces ancestor, spawned in the briny deep or a hairy, ape-type ancestor noted for tree-swinging acrobatics! This sorry fiction doesn’t make the cut.
Fact is, neither monkeys nor fish have anything to do with any human family tree, including Darwin’s. Without substantiating data, its fair to conclude this colorful chain of alleged transitional life forms existed exclusively in the mind of the nineteenth-century naturalist. Certainly a whole-cloth, blockbuster of an idea when floated in a nineteenth-century culture characterized by birth-inherited privilege.
Darwin, the free-thinking idea man, left it to future followers to come up with fossil evidence supporting his ideas.
Its been a stretch, but evolutionary paleontologists have done their best with bits and piece of bone scraps, mostly from Africa, where monkeys and apes historically thrive. Fabricated, piecemeal genealogy is built on fossil fragments of a variety of primates in attempts to design an evolutionary sequence of descendant species with shared common ancestry.
Australopithecus ramidus, 5 million years BP; A. anamnesis, 4 million years BP; A. afaremsos, represented by the infamous Lucy; 3-4 million years BP, the Australopithecines allegedly diverged from humans; next came the Leakey’s discovery of Homo habilis, believed to have lived 2 million years BP; then H. erectus, alleged to have walked the earth 1.5 million to 600,000 years BP; topped with an alleged human and Neanderthal ancestor, H. heidelbergensis, a relatively more recent 500,000 to 300,000 years ago.
Miniscule scraps of fossil bones, connected only by subjective lines drawn on graph paper, lack verifiable genetic continuity. DNA dictates design. Lack of DNA at the core of the genealogical equation throws a “monkey” wrench into any contrived genetic relationship between chimps and Homo sapiens.
“If Darwinian style evolution happens or doesn’t happen, it happens or doesn’t happen genetically.” 27
The January 28, 2010 issue of Nature quoted a scientist comparing chimp and human DNA, who found “The chimp Y chromosome has only two-thirds as many distinct genes or gene families as the human Y chromosome and only 47% as many protein-coding elements as humans…More than 30% of the chimp Y chromosome lacks an alignable counterpart on the human Y chromosome, and vice versa…
“The Nature paper itself stated that the Y chromosomes in humans and chimps ‘differ radically in sequence structure and gene content,’ showing ‘extraordinary divergence’ where ‘wholesale renovation is the paramount theme.’ ””28
Ten thousand years is a hefty chunk of antiquity but not long enough for evolution to provide clues confirming the human genome is transiting to some new and different life form!
Peat bogs have preserved the remains of humans who looked like us and carried our DNA as long ago as 8,000 years BC. The Koelbjerg Woman, estimated to have been approximately 25-years of age and slightly more than five feet tall, is presumed to have drowned in what is now a Denmark bog.
A 1997 edition of Archaeology Magazine carries a picture of her skull, remarkably preserved thanks to the chemical composition of the bog. Were she alive today, she would have celebrated her 10,000th year-birthday.
Haunting human facial features of Tollund Man, another Denmark bog discovery, have survived since the 4th century BC. If the long gone Danish couple were seen walking today’s streets, both Koelbjerg and Tollund would hardly attract attention given their striking resemblance to 21st century Homo sapiens other than their out-of-fashion clothing.
The remains of Arlington Man, discovered on Santa Rosa Island just off California’s Pacific Coast, is believed to have lived near the end of the ice age. As with Tolland Man and Koelbjerg Woman, Arlington Man matches the characteristics of twenty first century’s Homo sapiens.
Courtesy of Archaeology Magazine
A ten thousand year time span is not ten million years but it’s a major chunk of deep time—seems like enough time for the chance hypothesis to have demonstrated some incremental indication of its transitional “magic” and to have emerged from behind its “Wizard of Oz” deep time alibi.
Darwin assured devotees, “We may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity.” 29 The most recent 10,000 years appear to be a neutral phase without visible transition!
So where are the scientific clues confirming Homo sapiens evolved from some ancient “fish-like animal?” More than a century of search for a chain of transitionals have left Darwin’s theory hung out to dry in the heat of scrutiny.
Signs of evolutionary change in humans in the 10,000-year time frame since Koelbjerg Woman and Tollund Man are playing hide-and-seek—if they even exist. Since Darwin’s proposed trail of biological transit stops requires multi-trillions of radical genetic shifts for millions of species, even thousands of those 10,000-year deep time chunks would be inadequate to evolve a single, complex cell, much less achieve evolution’s grand scheme of elaborate hocus-pocus.
Whether natural selection by a chance event in nature, or artificial selection in laboratories devised by human minds, evolution continues to be a no show.
Something’s amiss—scientific evidence of the human genome moving in the direction of some “unaltered likeness” after 10,000 years continues missing in action! Contrary to Darwin’s predictions, 21st century humans share an “unaltered likeness” with those European human beings just as today’s human blood types match those of ancient Egyptian era mummies.
Just how can off-the-charts odds against billions of beneficial mutations successfully power evolution’s molecule-to-man scenario? Once all hype, bells, and whistles are taken off the table, smoke and mirrors can’t create substantive fact. Nor do slick diagrams, catchy slogans and colorful imaginations deliver scientific respectability.
“Mutations are rare events. Any particular new DNA mutation will occur only once in about 100 million gametes,” 30 and when they occur, they don’t add new genetic information but typically corrupt what exists already.
And without new genetic information, where’s the evolution?
“It’s a matter of chance that a mutant survives. It might spread through the population and take it over, but more likely it will just vanish…even good mutations are likely to disappear from the population.
“The chance of 500 of these steps succeeding is 1/300,000 multiplied by itself 500 times. The odds against that happening are about 3.6 x 102,738 to one…It’s more than 2,000 orders of magnitude smaller than…impossible.” 31
Impossible trumps improbable!
As to mutations identified in humans, the overwhelming majority inflict debilitating abnormalities. Abnormalities in the genetic code have not led the way toward some new, different and upgraded life kind in the past 10,000 years! Generations of human descendants continue to be as clearly human as the Koelbjerg Woman and the Tollund Man!
Nothing on the mutation menu points to evolution’s promised land!
Against impossible odds, evolution entices minds to swallow the dark obscenity that some ancient, ancestral, grand-pappy fish spawned descendant humans using mutations harnessed to natural selection in a multi-million year time span.
These kids would think you were kidding if told they shared a common ancestor with a monkey.
The same guy who saw no need to hang heads in embarrassment as to common bloodlines with ape-like ancestry, betrayed personal blindness to racism, going out of his way to look down his nose figuratively on human races he labeled “savage.” After leading readers all the way from primordial slime to the arboreal swing set, Darwin found a place for man parading from the “barbarian” or “savage state” onward to “lower races” and eventually upward to “men of a superior class,” 32 a coveted position reserved to his perceived socially elite peers dominating Europe’s nineteenth-century.
Darwin floats this breath-taking rhetoric, despite the reality that this genealogical zoo of organic life forms–leading to and linking “Old World division” monkeys with humans–doesn’t exist. Questions linger as to just how this tortured, man-made paper trail of transitional forms managed to leap up the taxonomic chart to this prestigious pinnacle.
Facts have a way of fading in the hands of artful spinmeisters capable of whitewashing assumptions, affixing catchy labels, and wrapping conjecture in mantles of pseudo-authenticity. Mislabeling a sow’s ear doesn’t make it a silk purse. Science is not served by verbal gymnastics or conceptual contortions. Hyping evolution’s abstract assumptions doesn’t elevate unproven imaginings to the ranks of verifiable science.
Concocted drawing-board genealogy carries a caveat.
“To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.” 33
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.” 34
“Falsification” is a component missing from the Darwinian lexicon.
The chance hypothesis exemplifies implausible myth. Human genealogy, via Darwin-style evolution, never happened. Starting in cosmic blackness and ending in eternal death, evolution’s flawed imaginings propagate faux science and dark philosophy. Evolution fallacy is consistent only in its incoherent irrationality.
Mankind deserves better!
- Sharon Begley, “How to Think Like a Scientist,” Newsweek, July 9, 2007.
- Charles Siebert, “Unintelligent Design,” Discover (Vol. 27, No. 3, March, 2006) 31, 34.
- Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 389.
- Charles Darwin, Letter to J.D. Hooker [1 February] 1871, in Darwin, F., ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, , (New York: Basic Books, Vol. II, 1959, reprint, 202-203.
- Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 168.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 169.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. 1, 216.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. 1, 178.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. 1, 201.
- Stephen Budiansky, “Terror in the South,” Secrets of the Civil War (U.S. News and World Report, 2008) 80.
- Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 169.
- __________, Descent of Man,, Vol. II, 328.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 327, 328.
- __________, Origin of Species, 637.
- __________, Descent,of Man, Vol. I, 203.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 389.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 207.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 389, 390.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 207.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 386.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 385.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. II, 389.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. 1, 206.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. 1, 213.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 201.
- __________, Descent of Man, Vol. 1, 213.
- Sean Pitman, Response to Erv Taylor, www.DetectingDesign.com, retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Access Research Network, www.arn.org/top10, “Recent Genetic Research Shows Chimps More Distant from Humans,” citing Nature, January 28, 2010.
- Charles Robert Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (First Edition facsimile, Cambridge: Harvard University Press., 1859) 647.
- Richard Lewontin, The Triple Helix (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 2000) 91.
- Lee M. Spetner, Not by Chance (Brooklyn, NY: The Judaica Press, Inc., 1997) 97-103.
- Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, Vol. I, 173.
- Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time ((New York: The Free Press, 1999) 116, 117.
- Sharon Begley, “How to Think Like a Scientist,” Newsweek, July 9, 2007.