googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Failed Predictions of Evolutionary Theories

Monday, May 18, 2015

Failed Predictions of Evolutionary Theories

The strength of any scientific theory is measured by its ability to make predictions. It works sort of like this: I might have a guess about what causes (or caused) some phenomenon. I would then say, “If my theory is true, I would expect to find this other thing.” If that other thing is found, it gives weight to the theory that it might be correct. If that other thing is not found, then it could be evidence that the theory is not correct.

I'll give you a hypothetical example of how this works. Before we ever went to the moon, pretend that I insisted that the moon is made of cheese. If my theory were true, I could predict that any rock brought back from the moon would actually be cheese. Technically, theories are never “proven” to be true. If the rocks brought back from the moon did turn out to be cheese, it still doesn't mean the entire moon is made of cheese – it could have been just those few rocks. Even so, it does make my theory seem more likely. However, if all the rocks brought back turned out to be ordinary rocks and none were cheese, it's very strong evidence against my theory.

Some people claim evolution is a strong theory that has made many successful predictions. What they always fail to discuss is how evolution is so plastic a theory that it's virtually impossible to falsify and even some of the things we might predict if the theory were true are epic fails. I thought I'd take a moment and discuss just a few of evolution's failed predictions.

Radiometric dating: Certain, naturally occurring substances are unstable and so will decay over time until it becomes a stable substance. Uranium, for example, decays over time and eventually becomes lead. The rate at which the decay occurs varies from substance to substance. Some decay at an extremely slow rate while others decay more rapidly (relatively speaking). By measuring the ratio of the parent/daughter elements (uranium/lead, for example), scientists can estimate how long the decay has been occurring. Many scientists consider radiometric dating to be the final word in determining the age of any sample and it is from radiometric dating that many people are convinced that the earth is very old. If radiometric dating actually dates things accurately, we could make a few predictions:

Prediction #1: Newly formed rocks should not have any of the daughter element present and should show an age of “zero.”

Results: Rocks formed at the Mt St Helen's eruption were dated using potassium/argon dating, the samples yielding ages up to 2.8 million years even though the known age of the rocks was 10 years old. FAIL.

Prediction #2: Carbon 14 is an unstable element found in all living things. As living things breath and eat, they accumulate C14. Once the thing dies, the C14 begins to decay and becomes C12. The key difference in this radiometric dating method and those discussed in the previous paragraph is that the decay rate of C14 is much quicker than many other types. It has a half-life of only 5,730 years. Due to its short half-life, we can predict that samples more than 100,000 years old should have no detectable C14 remaining in them.

Result: An 8 year long endeavor by creation scientists known as the RATE project, has found it is impossible to find any old samples without detectable levels of carbon. Even diamonds, the hardest natural substance and virtually impossible to contaminate, consistently yield trace C14 even though they are supposed to be a billion years old. FAIL.

Progression in the Fossil Record: According to secular dating, the rock layers represent the accumulation of sediment being laid down over time. The layers further down are older than the layers above them. Where fossils are found in the layers supposedly represents when those creatures lived. Creatures found in fossils in lower strata lived before the creatures found above them.

Prediction #3: If evolution were true, there should be a clear progression of simple to complex in the fossil record where the older creatures are more primitive than the younger creatures.

Result: Dinosaurs allegedly evolved into birds. However, I recently wrote about feathers identified as 78 myo yet are still described as being “nearly identical to those of modern birds.” I also wrote about the supposed human ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis. This very ape-like creature was found in the same age of rocks as the Laetoli Footprints which are described as “almost indistinguishable from modern human footprints,” matching our feet in both the toe pattern and stride. In both of these cases, and many others I could cite, we see evidence of modern creatures living simultaneously as their supposed ancestors. There is no clear progression in the fossils of simple to complex. FAIL.

Transitional Forms: Evolution is a history of descent with modification. A lobed fin becomes a leg which become wing. A fold in the skin becomes a scale which becomes a feather. The structures found on every creature of every species are simply adaptations of more primitive structures found on the creatures' ancestors.

Prediction #4: If evolution were true, we should expect to find volumes of fossil evidence showing creatures in transition from one species to another. In Darwin's own words, innumerable transitional forms must have existed.... [J]ust in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, be truly enormous.” We should not be able to turn over a shovel of dirt without finding another transitional form.

Result: Darwin himself was surprised that we didn't find, “every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links.” After more than a century and a half of looking, and the trillions of fossils that exist, evolutionists have – at most – a few dozen examples of transitional forms and even most of these are suspect. The “innumerable” amount we would expect to find are simply not there. FAIL.

The Appendix: As we've already discussed, evolution is a history of descent with modification. Over time, some structures have supposedly lost their original function and have either become useless or have been adapted for some completely different function. Such structures are called, “vestigial.” The appendix is perhaps the most touted example of a vestigial structure.

Prediction #5: The appendix appears in many different species of mammals. If descent with modification has occurred, we should be able to trace the appendix along the so called, “tree of life” and find that all the creatures who have an appendix also share a common ancestor.

Result: The appendix appears in some species of primates, rodents, and even marsupials but is absent from the intermediate groups linking these species. It appears on the tree of life in no discernible pattern. FAIL.

Tiktaalik: I bring this up because it is often cited by evolutionists as an example of a successful prediction made by their theory. It was even used by Bill Nye in his debate against Ken Ham. The most commonly accepted understanding of history is that life began in the sea and evolved onto land. If this has occurred, scientists would expect to find fossil evidence of creatures with structures in transition from sea-to-land.

Prediction #6: Based on their understanding of when the supposed transition of sea-to-land occurred, researchers began exploring an area of exposed, Devonian deposits in the Canadian Arctic in hopes of finding fossil evidence of a creature in transition from sea-to-land. They found Tiktaalik. According to one website detailing the prediction, “Not only was it exciting to find a new species, but it was made all the better by the fact that scientists had predicted the existence of a creature like this all along.”

Result: A few years after the discovery of Tiktaalik, a track of fossilized footprints belonging to a tetrapod were uncovered in a quarry in Poland. They were dated according to evolutionary dating methods to be 18 million years older than Tiktaalik. This would mean that fully evolved, ambulatory tetrapods were walking around millions of years before their supposed ancestor, Tiktaalik, ever lived (see failed prediction #3). FAIL.

In summary, I'll just say that I'm not sure of any successful predictions the theory of evolution has made. Many of those that endure are what I call, “predictions after the fact,” like “if evolution were true, I would predict that creatures could reproduce.” These types of “predictions” are worthless. I only know that there are many, many failed predictions. It's generous that we still even call it a “theory.”


Steven J. said...

Regarding radiometric dating:

This is not, strictly speaking, about evolution; you can accept the reliability of radiometric dating and reject common descent (as old-earth creationists do); for that matter, the reverse also appears possible even if no one takes that position.

Regarding prediction 1, you should say "daughter isotopes" rather than "daughter elements" (e.g. different isotopes of uranium decay into different isotopes of lead -- which in turn are distinct from non-radiogenic lead isotopes). So you could have some of the "daughter element" without having any of the "daughter isotopes." Furthermore, you can compare different parent-daughter isotope pairs in the same sample to see if they yield similar ages. This is a check for both the assumption of "daughter isotopes not originally present" and "radioactive decay rates are constant."

Note that in the K-Ar dating problem, though, the extra argon was not in the sample. K-Ar dating requires heating the sample in a vacuum chamber in order to release argon gas from the sample. Note, though, that the vacuum chamber does not contain a perfect vacuum (some residual air is present at the start) and that argon makes up ca. 1% of the atmosphere. So for very young samples, the residual argon in the chamber swamps the argon released from the sample and skews the result, adding a few thousand centuries to the result. This is a rounding error for samples tens or hundreds of millions of years old, but quite significant for younger samples.

Regarding prediction 2, you could make a simpler argument about C-14; given its half-life is under 6000 years, wouldn't that imply that a 4.54 billion-year-old Earth (or, indeed, even the twenty-million year old Earth that Lord Kelvin grudgingly allowed) should have no detectable C-14 left? Of course, cosmic rays produce new C-14 constantly (if not quite an an invariable rate) from nitrogen-14. Nuclear bomb tests also produced new C-14. This implies that terrestrial radiation can produce trace amounts of C-14 from nitrogen in samples, and this surely explains, e.g. tiny amounts of C-14 showing up in diamonds and petroleum.

Steven J. said...

Regarding progression in the fossil record, remember that evolution is a branching process. The same ancestor may give rise to descendants who are very little changed from the common ancestor and others who are much changed (perhaps in very different ways in different species). So you can have giraffes living alongside okapis, or humans living alongside lemurs -- or humans and okapis living alongside lungfish and even amphioxus.

Note also that the theory of evolution, as such, says nothing about fossilization and, as such, does not predict that a fossil record will exist at all. What we do know about taphonomy (the study of what happens to bodies after they die) suggests that fossilization is rare: most living things leave no fossil trace. A fossil that forms might be eroded away with the sediments that hold it, or buried inaccessibly beneath later sediments. Fossils exposed on the surface might escape notice until one of these happens.

So, on the one hand, we would not expect a simple progression, given that sparse and erratic sampling and the branching nature of evolution; primitive descendants of the common ancestor will be found, on occasion, above more derived descendants, and side branches will predominate rather than obvious direct ancestors and descendants.

On the other hand, please note that evolution does not predict monotonic increases in complexity. Losses in complexity, from, e.g. the lost teeth of birds and lost limbs of snakes to the gross reductions in complexity in many parasites are entirely consistent with evolution. Note, of course, that "advanced" means "more different from the common ancestor," and "primitive" means "more like the common ancestor;" while evolution must result in many lineages increasing complexity over time (as, e.g. single-celled prokaryotes give rise to eukaryotes with many complex organs and systems), often a "more advanced" descendant will be simpler in various respects (e.g. loss of teeth and hind limbs in baleen whales; interestingly,the embryos still grow these, then resorb them).

Note also that even "increasing complexity" doesn't mean that all parts of the organism must evolve at the same time and pace. We know that non-bird dinosaurs like Caudipteryx had very modern-looking feathers over relatively primitive theropod skeletons; they are, like many organisms, like ourselves, mixtures of primitive and advanced traits.

Steven J. said...

Regarding transitional forms, as noted, "innumerable transitional forms must have existed" does not imply that "innumerable transitional forms must have been preserved as fossils, preserved to the present day, discovered and described." Darwin, in fact, was quite explicit on this point: "The crust of the earth is a vast museum; but the natural collections have been made only at intervals of time immensely remote."

In Darwin's day, no fossil hominids at all were known; at the start of the 20th century, no australopiths were known, and so forth. Most of what is known of the fossil history of whales has surfaced in the last 30 years; this does not mean that prior to that time no cetacean intermediates existed (nor does it mean that those known today are the only ones that will ever be found).

There is another point. When Darwin discussed the lack of transitional forms as a problem for his theory, he meant, indeed, the lack of transitional forms between species, not genera, families, or orders. He was thinking of formations where, e.g. fossil trilobites were laid down in immense abundance, with one species succeeded by another, very similar, species in the same genus without intermediate forms.

Now, young-earth creationists generally accept that, e.g. lions and tigers (or even lions and house cats) can and have descended from a common ancestor. And speciation has been observed by scientists in the laboratory. So pointing out that the fossil record has few examples of intermediates between species means that it is poorest in precisely the sort of evolution that is [a] actually observed and [b] generally admitted. This has interested implications for the mechanisms of speciation but I don't see how it helps your "change within kinds but no true 'evolution'" position.

Steven J. said...

Now, regarding the appendix, I note that you do not offer the argument that the appearance of wings in pterosaurs, birds, and bats -- but not in, e.g. dinosaurs more closely related to birds than to pterosaurs, or in mammals more closely related to bats than to birds -- is some sort of problem for evolution. You presumably realize that these "wings" are not homologous (note that "homology" -- detailed similarities in structures not required by similarity in function -- was first named by Darwin's foe Richard Owen without positing an evolutionary basis for it), as wings anyway, and are held to represent three separate evolutionary modifications of tetrapod forelimbs (which are regarded as homologous -- so the same structure can be homologous in one respect and analogous in another).

So appendixes in humans and primates are apparently not homologous, as appendixes, albeit are to some extent homologous as modifications of the digestive tract. This is not more of a problem for evolution than, e.g. the evolution of non-homologous wings in bats and birds, or of non-homologous flippers in whales and ichthyosaurs.

Tiktaalik is a weird case, granted, since a succession of intermediate tetrapods each more advanced than the previous one had been found in successively younger layers of rocks, with no earlier hint that tetrapods as advanced as Acanthostega (itself a tetrapod later than Tiktaalik existed before (and presumably also at the same time as) Tiktaalik.

But as noted above, branching descent with modification implies that at times, more advanced and more primitive descendants of a common ancestor will live alongside one another, and in some cases the more advanced one may be found in an older layer of rock than the less advanced one.

Steven J. said...

There is one more point. If fossils exist in fair abundance (not required by evolutionary theory but permitted by it), then we should expect transitional forms (though not every form that might have existed; see Darwin's comments on the imperfections of the fossil record). And there are.

We do in fact see, in, e.g. Tiktaalik and Acanthostega and others, intermediates between purely aquatic lobe-finned fishes and early, "amphibian-grade" tetrapods. We do in fact have fossil synapsids showing every stage of the transition between the multi-boned reptilian lower jaw (with one bone in the middle ear) and the single-boned mammalian lower jaw (with three bones in the middle ear). What are these things doing in existence in a creationist fossil record? Why feathered or downy tyrannosauroids? Sure, God can create whatever He likes, but why should He like only things consistent with evolution, and dislike things (e.g. bats with feathers, or birds with three bones in the middle ear) that are vastly unlikely if evolution is true?

For that matter, as I noted above, Darwin did not know of a single intermediate fossil between humans and nonhuman apes. Homo erectus was the first predicted transitional fossil of the linkage among "kinds" most denied and disliked by creationists, but many others have turned up since (including the erect-walking australopiths, with their "almost indistinguishable from modern human" feet. Creationists all agree that these hominid fossils can be divided without remainder into fully human and fully nonhuman, but disagree among themselves as to whether, e.g. skulls KNM-ER1470 or D4500 falls into the "fully human" or "fully ape" category. That seems about as good a test for "predicted transitional forms" as any could be.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

I'm going to address your points but I won't be including your comments. Therefore, I will seem to jump from point to point. Bear with me.

First, thank you for your correction over my use of the word “element.” I had used that word in my first draft but I went back and thought I had removed it but I see now I had missed 3 occurrences.

I'm sure you recall we had a protracted discussion over the potassium/argon dating of samples taken at Mt St Helen's. You made similar arguments then and I still find them unconvincing. First, it was argued by evolutionists already that samples known to be too young should not have been tested BECAUSE there has not been enough time for the daughter isotope to have accumulated. That was clearly not the case here. But now, even according to you, if the earth were truly only 6,000 years old, potassium/argon dating would be worthless because it's impossible to completely remove excess argon from the test so it will always yield inflated ages. Whatever the excuses, it seems to me that for radiometric dating to have any credibility, rocks known to be a few years old should yield ages of “zero” when tested.

Concerning C14, you also seem to be arguing that the test is ultimately worthless. If no sample anywhere is free of contamination after its initial deposit date, then why should we put any stock in the test at all?

Moving on, it's not entirely accurate that we could expect to find descendent species living along side the parent species. For evolution to progress, beneficial mutations must be spread to the entire population. This requires not only propagation of the new trait but also the elimination of the old, unsuccessful traits. If a creature carrying a beneficial mutation lives and dies in the midst of its population that doesn't evolve, the benefit of its mutation is lost back into the gene pool. There must either be a mechanism that habitually isolates more evolved members from the rest of the population or else the new trait must spread to overtake the entire population.

I understand your point that transitional forms may not have been preserved but it sounds to me to be special pleading. We have fossils of finned creatures; we have fossils of legged creatures. We have virtually no fossils of creatures showing transition from fin to limb. There are trillions of fossils in the earth. Why are fully formed creatures preserved abundantly and the transitional creatures virtually absent?

The appendix is a structure limited to mammals. It's not the same as homologous wings found in reptiles, mammals, and birds. According to evolution, I would expect all birds to have a common ancestor; I would not expect a bird and a winged mammal (bat) to have a common ancestor. Why do all these species have an appendix? Does it offer such a survival benefit that it evolved independently multiple times (like the eye and wing)? Then why is it considered a useless structure in most of the creatures who have one?

But think about what you're saying: if a similar structure is found in more than 50 species of mammal yet is not necessarily evidence that the species are descended from a common ancestor, then why are similarities between humans and chimps evidence that we're closely related?

Thanks for your comments. God bless!!


Steven J. said...

Carbon dating, at least, has been used many times to date archaeological artifacts whose age is known from other methods, and it produces results consistent with these other methods. Why should it be reliable for historical periods, yet grossly unreliable for recent prehistory? Note that contamination or fresh formation of C-14 is not going to change the date radically, though to the extent that it does, it would make things appear younger than they actually are.

K-Ar dating would be useless for a young Earth, but other radiometric dating methods would not be. Since the other methods indicate that the Earth is in fact quite old, there is no reason to suppose that K-Ar dating is useless for older samples. Also, your point that young rocks "should" yield an age of zero seems to be the same one I made (and that you did not disagree with) that in a created, young, world, radiometric dating ought to consistently yield young ages for samples. It does not, and therefore we do not live in such a world even if radiometric dating were to turn out to be worthless. Evolution does not guarantee or imply that dating methods will have no complications or limitations.

Populations spread out and split up; they can become isolated and be geographically prevented from interbreeding. Thus genetic changes can spread through one population without ever reaching another, so that one species splits into two or more. Furthermore, different environments in different places may cause different mutations to be favorable, so that as favorable mutations spread, the separated populations become more different (this also occurs with regard to genetic drift of neutral variants). And as the altered descendants spread out in turn, you end up with, e.g. lions and leopards hunting in different ways in the same area.

Ichthyostega and Tiktaalik are cases showing transitions between lobe fin and leg. They are later descendants of the first species in which such intermediate states appeared, but they are examples of the intermediate structures. In a case of tetrapods returning to the sea, the early whale Rodhocetus shows nostrils intermediate in position between the normal mammalian position at the front of the muzzle (as in Pakicetus), and the behind-and-above-the-eyes position of the modern cetacean blowhole (Rodhocetus, of course, shows several other intermediate features as well. As I noted in another post, hominid fossil skulls that straddle any dividing line you wish to draw between "fully-formed humans" and "fully-formed nonhuman apes" also exist and are well-known. The intermediates do exist.

As I'm sure you know, evolutionary theory implies that a pigeon and and a fruit bat do share a common ancestor, though not a winged or flying one. The usual explanation for the human appendix is that it is a reduced, vestigial remnant of a chamber that evolved in order to better digest leaves. It doesn't seem particularly weird that mammalian guts would have been modified multiple times to produce such a structure. The argument for common ancestry of humans and chimpanzees is the sharing of a great many separate modifications of underlying mammalian structures and genes, from forward-facing eyes (a trait that arose separately in many lineages, though it is presumably primitive -- present in the last common ancestor -- among simiiforme primates) to shared, identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

I appreciate your attempts to explain why we don't find things exactly the way we would expect them if evolution had occurred. It reminds me of the exotic theories I wrote about a while back. Phlogiston didn't exist but scientists believed it did so they had to keep coming up with ad hoc theories to explain why phlogiston didn't behave the way they expected.

I thought my predictions were reasonable expectations of things we'd find if evolution were true. Theories are supposed to have predictive power. Bill Nye made a big deal about this in his debate with Ken Ham. The example he used was tiktaalik which, as I've already said, is a fail. I've written in other posts how evolution is more of a trivial pursuit and not really helpful in science in any way. Perhaps you could elucidate me on some successful predictions actually made by using your theory. Please avoid worthless examples like the ones I've provided – namely things like, “if evolution were true then we should see animals reproducing.”

Please show me how powerful evolution really is a theory. Now is your chance.

God bless!!


Steven J. said...

I thought my predictions were reasonable expectations of things we'd find if evolution were true.

And I have shown why this is not so.

I have also noted a number of intermediate forms in the fossil record, including some (e.g. the Dmanisi skulls) that I would think are [a] striking confirmations of evolutionary explanations and [b] very troubling to creationists. Did you know that humans have degraded, apparently non-functional (at least, they do not code for proteins) versions of the vitellogenin gene, in the same location relative to other genes as the functional vitellogenin genes in, e.g. birds? These genes help make egg yolk, which would be really useful if humans laid eggs (as evolution requires that our early Mesozoic ancestors did), but otherwise seem rather hard to explain. I don't know that this is all that much more remarkable than chickens apparently still having genes for growing teeth (they need stimulus from enzymes birds don't produce), but both features exist. For that matter, while it wasn't strictly a prediction of evolutionary theory that humans should turn out to be more genetically similar to chimpanzees than gorillas are, it was a prediction that we'd turn out to be more similar to apes in general than monkeys are. I don't think this is a prediction implied by creationism, and indeed might be viewed as something predicted not to occur if "there is one flesh of humans, and another of beasts."

And as long as we're discussing phlogiston, I realize that tu quoque arguments are not a defense of one's own position, but you have not really addressed my point that radiometric dating could, in principle, strongly support a ca. 6000-year old Earth (indeed, given an omnipotent Creator, they could do so perfectly), but they don't. This is a spectacularly failed prediction of young-earth creationism, or at least it seems a reasonable expectation of such a prediction (as would, e.g. finding plesiosaurs and cetaceans in the same sediments).

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

When I said I thought my predictions were reasonable, you responded that you had shown me why this is not so. In all candor, I don't believe you've shown any such thing. Need I remind you that the prediction of “innumerable intermediate varieties” being found in every stratum was Darwin's prediction? I again assert that you're merely inventing ad hoc theories to explain why we don't find what we would expect to find if your theories were true. I think it's an amusing brand of science that goes to such great lengths to explain a lack of evidence.

In the past, I've discussed how weak evolution is as a scientific theory. There is essentially no way to falsify it as a theory. Now I'm saying that neither does it make strong predictions. It truly is a trivial pursuit in science so I can see why some people are so militant about not letting students hear any arguments against it.

Your point about humans having genes useful in egg laying is interesting. Are you arguing that's evidence that humans are descended from birds (or some other egg laying creature)? Then what about my point that some primate and marsupial mammals have an appendix (also considered “vestigial”)? Why is a supposedly degraded gene in humans evidence that we had an egg laying ancestor when a supposedly vestigial structure found in several mammals not evidence of their common descent? I'm not a scientist, of course, but I'll make a prediction right now. From the scant information you've given me, I might predict that the gene you consider to be “degraded” could someday be found useful in the embryonic development of humans.

Finally, to your point about radiometric dating as evidence against a young earth, I thought I had addressed this already but I will do so again. At first hearing, radiometric dating sounds reasonable. However, we truly cannot test the results to see if they are accurate. That is, if a sample yields an age of 200,000,000 years, I can't look back in time 200 million years and see if that was when the rock was truly formed. Yet if we test rocks of known age (as in the case of samples taken from Mt St Helens), they yield ages vastly inflated from their known age. I might write another post about radiometric dating because there's more that could be said about it than I can include in a comment. And by the way, ubiquitous C14 is consistent with the theory that the earth is thousands not millions of years old.

Thanks for your comments. God bless!!


Steven J. said...

Darwin's statement was that innumerable intermediate varieties must have existed. His prediction regarding whether they would be found was that fossilization was rare and sporadic, and most intermediates would not be preserved as fossils. The distinction is not, I think, impossibly subtle or absurdly nuanced.

If the fossil record worked the way you think it does, then we would find innumerable transitional varieties between species within kinds (e.g. between the pair of ur-felids Noah brought aboard the Ark and modern lions, tigers, pumas, and lynxes. Transitions between species in a genus would be ubiquitous, yet, as noted, this is precisely where the fossil record is weakest. So the fossil record must not work the way you think it does, and the predictions based on your assumption on how it works are invalid and irrelevant to evolution.

Humans descended from egg-laying mammals, which descended from egg-laying "reptile grade" synapsids, which descended from the same basal amniotes that gave rise to true reptiles and birds.

There are of course guts from which an appendix could be derived, as an extra chamber at the end of the large intestine, used to enhance the digestion of leaves. There's no various obvious reason why some gene would mutate into a copy of the vitellogenin gene (or two copies, actually), and then into a "broken," pseudogene form of it. Then, of course, there is the point that vitellogenin genes and pseudogenes fall into a broad pattern of shared similarities (I mentioned that they are in the same place relative to some other genes as their counterparts in egg-laying tetrapods).

It is possible that the vitellogenin pseudogenes serve some function (I don't see why it would have to be in embryogenesis). As Darwin noted, it is perfectly possible for a structure to lose its most prominent function but remain useful for other functions. The obvious embryological function would be to make egg yolk, but while human embryos produce a yolk sac, they do not actually produce egg yolk. Note that there is, in mammals, at least one vestigial viral gene (and endogenous retrovirus) that plays a role in producing the placenta, which is of course important to embryos. But it's still vestigial in that it does not actually produce copies of the original virus itself. And its resemblance to functional genes that do produce vitellogenin is unexplained by a theory that it was created for some yet-undiscovered function in the body.

I do not think that the fact that evolution is not falsified by the things you want to falsify means that it is unfalsifiable. A geocentrist could doubtless complain that the idea that the sun orbits the Earth is unfalsifiable, since none of his arguments that it is stationary get any respect, but he would be wrong.

You do not address my point about radiometric dating. Young Earth creationism looks, at first glance, like a very risky (that's a good thing), easily falsifiable hypothesis, and creationists invoke miracles nowhere hinted at in the Bible (e.g. changes in decay rates spanning multiple orders of magnitude) in order to explain why we don't see evidence of the miracles that are mentioned in the Bible.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

What is it that kids say? SMH? All you've offered is excuse after excuse why my examples aren't fair predictions and why we don't find the very things we might expect to find if your theory were true. At the same time, you've failed to offer any examples of successful predictions made by your theory. In my humble opinion, it seems that evolution is more like failed scientific theory being propped up by a collection of “just so” stories. It's not falsifiable. It hasn't made successful predictions. It simply endures because secular science has no other explanation besides the supernatural one.

God bless!!