jump to navigation

Hemoglobin from Dinosaurs is evidence against Macroevolution June 24, 2017

Posted by Daniel Benjamin Smith (dsmith77) in Apologetics, Science.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Macroevolution is a very difficult thing to test in a scientific experiment. Among other difficulties, the time scale upon which this process might happen is simply too large. So, lacking direct evidence, scientists generally point to the experimental results from other evolutionary mechanisms that work on smaller time scales as proof that macroevolution did indeed occur.

But did it? The truth is that evidence for one type of process is only evidence for that one type of process. (For more information see my post, What is Evolution?) So whether macroevolution actually happened remains an unproven hypothesis. Now a series of amazing discoveries over the past decade has shed new light on this debate. What has been unearthed is nothing short of amazing and it is evidence on the scale of millions of years.

Hammond-1

I’m referring to the modern recovery of dinosaur soft tissue. What was once the realm of science fiction and the basis for a very popular series of novels and movies from the 1990s has become science fact. Well, sort of.

In his book, Dr. Fazale “Fuz” Rana goes into detail about this amazing discovery, how no one ever thought it possible and so no one ever actually searched for soft tissue remains from dinosaurs. And to be honest, this discovery is controversial but Dr. Rana makes a strong case — with all the appropriate references to the scientific literature — that we should believe that these scientists were in fact successful in recovering actual dinosaur remains. (For that story I refer you to Dr. Rana’s book, “Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth“.)

Now let us turn our conversation to an implication of this discovery. What the scientists investigating the soft tissue remains of dinosaurs have shown is that dinosaurs most likely had the same biological systems that we use today. Specifically, these scientists believed they recovered hemoglobin from dinosaurs which is the same molecule that all vertebrates use in their blood. Thus dinosaurs were just like us in their biology.

Someone with a shallow understanding of this discovery may misinterpret this as evidence for macroevolution by common descent. However, it is really evidence against macroevolution. The key here is the timescale plus our understanding of how macroevolution is expected to work and our understanding of genetic codons.

First, a little bit about codons. All DNA is composed of four base molecules: Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Cytosine (C), and Guanine (G). Conveniently for our discussion these are referred to as the genetic “letters”. The informational layer above this is the codon level in which combinations of three bases form a “word”. Given any three bases from our set of four results in exactly 64 combinations. Thus there are 64 different codons.

dna-codon-table

It is this “glossary” of words that encodes the information found in DNA. Amazingly, this arrangement of 64 codons shows incredible design. It has been deconstructed by modern computer programmers and was found to be highly efficient at storing information given the complexity of the 3D structure of DNA. What looks like redundancy in the encoding is actually highly efficient error-avoidance functionality.

So here is the million-year-old question: If macroevolution is true and evolution is essentially an undirected random process, how is it that this glossary of codons has remained unchanged over the millions of years that evolution has supposedly operated while evolution is also responsible for evolving dinosaurs into birds over the same time frame?

The discovery of hemoglobin from the preserved soft tissue of dinosaurs begs this question.

What is Evolution? June 24, 2017

Posted by Daniel Benjamin Smith (dsmith77) in Apologetics, Interpretation, Science.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

In this video, biochemist Fazale “Fuz” Rana explains evolution for a non-scientist christian. His approach challenges the idea that evolution is somehow a deathblow to the concept of special creation in Christianity. Dr. Rana does this by defining the five major categories of biological change and then dividing them into two groups, those that are a challenge to Christianity and those that are not.

Knowing what is being referred to when scientists talk about evolution is helpful in making sense again of the evolutionary paradigm, learning how to think about it. But one thing we all have to be careful about as we’re looking at the evidence for evolution is to not allow yourself to be sucked into what I’ll call the ‘shell game of evolution’. – Dr. Rana, “What is Evolution?” <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BMvxTb0I6U&gt; (7:28)

Dr. Rana’s Five Categories of Biological Change (All commonly referred to as evolution)

  • microevolution
  • speciation
  • microbial evolution
  • macroevolution
  • chemical evolution (a.k.a. abiogenesis)

Put simply, Dr. Rana argues that what is evidence for one specific type of biological change is only evidence for that specific type of biological change. Scientists generally have good evidence for the top three on this list (which coincidentally are not strong challenges to the christian faith) but lack strong evidence for the bottom two (which generally are).

This video is the first in a series about evolution. If you’d like to learn more, explore the “Through the Lens” playlist on YouTube.

%d bloggers like this: