Darwin’s Dilemma

DarwinsDillemaSuggested by Brad Nelson • Darwin’s Dilemma examines what many consider to be the most powerful refutation of Darwinian evolution – the Cambrian fossil record. This remarkable explosion of life is best explained by the existence of intelligence.
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4 Responses to Darwin’s Dilemma

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Although I found the related video, Unlocking the Mystery of Life, to be enjoyable, “Darwin’s Dilemma” is much more intensely interesting. It takes the time to look in detail at one crucial issue that runs highly contrary to neo-Darwinian theory: the Cambrian explosion.

    Darwin himself stated that if large change could be shown to happen relatively overnight, this would imperil his theory. Even Richard Dawkins is quoted as saying that unless gradualism is upheld then the only other explanation is a miracle.

    Those are the cultural stakes, for this issue has, for better or for worse, ranged far beyond mere dispassionate scientific exploration and entered the realm of competing religions.

    That is not to say that intelligent design is a religion or (as Darwinists disingenuously charge) that any critique of Darwinism is spawned by a religious impulse. The holes in Darwinism are large enough now to drive a truck through. But for Darwinists in particular, this is an identity issue. They are the priests who wish to impose their views on the culture regardless of what the facts and evidence are.

    In this video you will see the equivalent of an apple falling upward (which, if that happened, would be enough strike down Newton’s law of gravity). The Cambrian explosion is the near-instantaneous appearance of over 20 phylum (the most basic category that describes a body type). Nearly all the basic body-types that we know today were generated then (with a very few other leaking in over the next 500 million years).

    Before that there was only blue-green algae (the fancy name is “cyanobacteria”) which appeared 3.5 billion years ago (which is quite old considering that the oldest rocks are about 3.8 billion years old). It was the only life on earth (as far as we know) for several billion years, existing apparently unchanged for that time (a remarkable refutation of neo-Darwinism, one would think, but not entered into in the video). And the very end of this era (the Pre-Cambrian) there were a few very simple life forms (scientists still aren’t sure if some of them were plants or animals) and simple sponges (basically nothing but one-celled organism and colonies of cells).

    Then — boom — you get not just over 20 new phylum but they consist of complete animals (not just colonies of cells) and are extremely complex. And the fossil record is now complete enough to know with confidence that there were no precursors to these forms. There is no gradualism to be seen of the simple to the complex. We get only the complex. It’s as if God (or someone) created them out of thin air. This is complete contrary to the neo-Darwinian dictate that all change must be gradual. There can be no leaps.

    So we’re left with a mystery. And the appearance of these phyla completely overturn the highly conjectural (if not somewhat fraudulent at times) “tree of life” that has been made popular as an icon of evolution (another video I will get to). Classic neo-Darwinian theory states that the reason a duck and a slime mold are different is because of gradual changes that have been produced over millions of years. It’s a process of life branching off from life. Simple forms accumulate enough changes over the years that new and more complex species are created as various forms of life diverge from each other, leaving a naturally-branching tree of relatedness.

    But the actual fossil evidence of the Cambrian explosion blows this theory up and turns it on its head. Instead, the fossil evidence suggests the exact opposite. Complex basic body plans (phylum) were created at one time, and then changes occurred within the phylum. There was no branch over or touching of other phylum. Instead of a tree of life, we arguably should now draw several, maybe a couple dozen. The idea of common descent, a pillar of Darwinian thought, is rejected by the evidence of the Cambrian explosion.

    Darwinian orthodoxy left in tatters, the video then goes on to present the idea of intelligent design. But most of the video gives the details of the Cambrian explosion rather than presenting any kind of air-tight case for intelligent design. But you can see the writing on the wall. Unless someone can find those supposedly “transitional” fossils, Darwinism is completely dead as an explanation for anything other than relatively minor change at the micro-evolutionary level. Whether intelligent design can fill the gap left by neo-Darwinism remains to be seen, but it is making a good case for itself.

    This is another video associated with the Discovery Institute, so you’ll see the usual suspects, so to speak, including Stephen Meyer, Jonathan Wells, Douglas Axe, and Paul Nelson.

    • David Ray says:

      Lord Nelson:
      “But for Darwinists in particular, this is an identity issue. They are the priests who wish to impose their views on the culture regardless of what the facts and evidence are.”

      I agree.
      In Ann Coulter’s book “Godless” she gives an example of a school teacher getting sued for simple addressing the Cambrian Explosion. (Yet it’s liberals who hallucinate about the prosecution of John Scopes.)

  2. GHG says:

    With so much damning evidence for the repudiation of Darwinian theory coming into the public square, I wonder how long it will take for the culture and academia to, if not embrace, than at least accept the paradigm change. It took 2 or 3 generations for evolutionary theory to be accepted, but that was before the impact of the information age.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I think one of the impediments to change will be that it will be difficult even for honest scientists to conclude that there is no natural answer to the creation of the complex systems of life. I would expect, per Behe, that “the edge of evolution” can be more exactly drawn as we learn more — that edge being the demarcation between micro-evolution (where natural selection has an effect) and macro-evolution (where natural selection has no or only a subsidiary effect).

      But it will be a difficult leap to intelligent design, if only because that would appear to leave scientists without a heck of a lot to do. They are turned from discoverers of basic laws to being mere reverse engineers of someone else’s technology (although that could certainly still be exciting and interesting work). Perhaps other surprising information and theories will arise that gives them a materialist “out.”

      But my confidence in this culture to correct things is not high. While flipping through the Amazon channel in order to rent this, I also took a gander at some of the other channels available via my Sony Blu Ray player. Suffice it to say, my respect for humanity was not increased. If you could take “inane and juvenile” and bottle it, that describes much of pop culture. And that culture arguably exerts the strongest influence over what people believe and their approach to anything. It’s hard to see many people being insulted by being fed lies. (After all, this is how we got Obama and why we will likely elect another one soon.)

      And it’s also hard to believe that the Marxists among us (call them “Progressives” if you must) will ever let go of their central religion of purposeless materialism (which, with no God to even posit, leaves them completely in charge of how to shape society…there is no power but the human will in the Marxian view).

      Maybe Ebola is a virus that only will infect Marxists. That would provide a dark hope of sorts. But it’s also possible that people such as Meyer, Behe, Lennox, and others will keep chipping away at the ingrained orthodoxy of Darwinism to the point that they produce a significant result in general assumptions. But we also need to recognize (as I tell my often naive conservative or Republican friends in regards to trying to “reach across the aisle”) that we are dealing with a secular religion in Leftism in which Darwin plays the equivalent of one of their founding saints. There is much more to this issue than science. And who gives up their religion willingly?

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