Rebuttal to Richard P. Joseph's "EVOLUTION: A new perspective"

Richard P. Joseph has written an article in which he makes many incorrect claims. I will point out the errors below. (The article was also a review at Amazon, August 29, 2002, Richard Joseph from Lapeer, Michigan.)

| Richard P. Joseph
|
| EVOLUTION: A new perspective
|
| I recently read the book Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells.  The
| book discusses several problems with mainstream Darwinian evolution
| as presented by today's neo Darwinists.  According to Wells, there
| are several serious flaws as well as some overt fakes in the
| evolutionist's presentation of their so-called scientific evidence
| for evolution.  I found that I agreed with 99% of Well's
| presentation in the book.  There was one point however that I have a
| disagreement with him on.  At one point, Wells says, "Certainly,
| there are some areas of biology in which Darwinian evolution plays
| an important role."

Yea, I would disagree with that statement too.  Evolution plays THE
CRITICAL role everywhere in biology!  Of course he is going the other
direction ...

| Here he is making the case for certain so called mutations

"So called"?  There is such a thing as DNA sequencing you know!  A
mutation is a change to the sequence and we can demonstrate that it
happens all the time.  Some understanding of biochemistry is calle for
here.

| that occur in such things as bacteria in order to make them
| resistant to certain drugs.

In biology is no "in order to"!  That is a highly biased
misconception!

| I can see where he is coming from, but it is a major mistake to call
| this evolution.

Mutations are not evolution, but are most of the basis for it.

| I do not believe that evolution is even a valid word unless it comes
| with some evidence.

Wrong!  He rejects all modern biology and all biolgy for the last
century!  There are tons of evidence and to ignore it is
irresponsible scholarship.

| I would propose using the word "adaptation" to describe what happens
| in bacteria.

This is a very bad suggestion.  The term "adaption" is already taken
in biology to mean non-genetic adjustments like the chemotactic
response.  An example in bacteria
is adaptation to aspartate.

| You might say, "well that's not news to us" but stick with me and I
| will give you a perspective that you probably never heard before in
| this format anyway.  The word evolution indicates that an organism
| is on the path of change.  Evolution is the process in which an
| organism, by what ever means they happen to think of this week,

Wrong!  There is only one basic mechanism and Darwin nailed it.  The
basic idea is not changing.

| changes from one species to the next in a never ending struggle to
| become something bigger and better,

Wrong.  The "struggle" is only for survival and propagation of the
progeny.  There is no "bigger and better", just adapted or not.

| leaving behind the old and useless; the old yielding to the new.

So how come horseshoe crabs didn't change their form for millions of
years?  Why is there punctuated equilibrium?  How do you explain the
drift observable in the ev program
after Rsequence converges to
Rfrequency?  This is entirely off base.

| Of course as you can see that this constant flux in nature is seen
| nowhere on earth, but they keep preaching it over and over again.

Hello!  Pick up a copy of journals about evolution and you will read
lots of reports every month!

| Everything in nature as I can readily determine is not in a constant
| state of flux but rather quite stable and that is the point I would
| like to develop in this article.

A glass of water is stable from a macroscopic viewpoint, but from the
microscopic viewpoint it is a thermal maelstrom.  Learn some thermo.

| Preservation of the species is much more important than
| the elimination of the species.

To what?  This sentence does not makes sense.

| Evolution requires that a species
| cross the genetic barrier such that it is no longer compatible with
| its predecessor.

Wrong.  Part of a species can change and yet be not separate species.
At some point the changes prevent crosses.

| I have been a Clinical Microbiologist for 15 years
| now and I have never seen anything that the word evolution would
| apply to.

Maybe you didn't look?  Maybe the changes take millions of years?
Maybe bacteria pretty much reached saturation already?  Maybe you are
only one person and you would have to be fantastically lucky to see
speciation happen in only a few generations?

| In fact when I suggested that I report out a result to
| the doctor of an intermediate species, my co-workers laughed and
| said "that is one sure way to get fired!"

Yes, because it would indicate that you didn't understand basic
biology.

| Why, because even though
| they are evolutionists, they know that if you try to use
| evolutionary principles in real life situations, you will become the
| laughing stock of the scientific community.

No, if you DON'T you will be.  You are missing a few facts about how
evolution works.

| So, let's take an
| organism like Enterococcus faecalis.  This organism is usually
| sensitive to the antibiotic vancomycin, but in recent years some
| strains of the organism has shown sporadic resistance to the drug.
| This has prompted evolutionist to proclaim that they can see
| evolution in progress.  They sound the trumpet (really a clanging
| symbol) and say, "See, we now have proof that organisms change due
| to fluctuating environmental conditions."  I have some bad news for
| them, however.  Ever since we first discovered the organism
| Enterococcus (even though it may have been called by different names
| at different times) it never changed into anything else.

See my questions above.  The time scale is too short.
The drug pressure does not constitute a new species because
(presumably, have you checked?) they still can mate.

| It always
| was a gram-positive cocci and it always will be a gram-positive
| cocci.

You can't possibly know that!  You do not know the future!

| My proposition here is to say that it adapted to it's
| changing environment for the soul purpose of not evolving.

1. Wrong, it is not adaptation, it is a genetic change.

2. There is NO PURPOSE in biology.

| Adaptation is a built in mechanism to protect a species from
| becoming extinct; the exact oopposite of what evolution teaches.

oopposite -> opposite

Wrong.  How can you be so confused?  Random changes to the genome
are not 'adaptation' and the standard forms of adaptation that have evolved
allow the species to survive better.

| Our ecosystems would be absolutely obliterated if there were not a
| stabilizing mechanism in affect.

So?  Then they would reach a different semi-stable equilibrium later!

| The best example of evolution that
| I can give you is a cancer cell.

It is true that they get mutations, but they are generally not in the
genetic material, so are not the source of evolution.  This is a
serious misunderstanding by Joseph.

| A cancer cell used to be a normal
| law abiding citizen who communicated well with its neighbors.  But
| one day it said, "I am going to change into something else and do my
| own thing."

Wrong.  It does not say anything.  Often a mutation knocks out a gene
like p53 and this allows the cell to grow uncontrollably.

| It leaves its secure place in the world and heads out
| on a path of death and destruction.

Its's not so simple.  It has many stages often driven by mutation and
selection.

| That is what happens when
| things go against their original purpose

What purpose?

| and become something that
| it was not created to be.

There was no creation with purpose, that's a dead hypothesis.

| So again I say that adaptation is a
| mechanism of stability, not a mechanism of change.

Repeating bad language will not make the argument right.

| It is apparent
| from the fossil records that are available, that new forms of life
| are not arising, but rather they are becoming more extinct over
| time.

That's silly.  Most species that every existed are now extinct
BECAUSE new forms arise!

| No new species of life are forming, but rather there once was
| a vast wealth of life on this earth at one point

That is completely inconsistent with the geological record.
Joseph needs to some geology.

| and due to certain cataclysms

Which ones?

| life has been reduced.  Neither is life moving from lower
| life forms to higher forms.  Can anyone in their right mind say with
| a straight face that a crocodile is a higher form of life than a
| dinosaur?

Nope.

| Is a lizard a higher form than a pterodactyl?  Certainly not.  The
| scope of this article is only to prompt researchers to try
| approaching the issue of origins from a different perspective and
| see what the result would bring.

Mostly that Joseph does not know basic science.

| I am not a researcher

It shows, but you could still teach yourself and correct your errors.

| and I, therefore, will not go into great details of speculation.

Having already made a mess of terminiology and speculated...

| I only challenge scientists to test the theory of environmental
| stabilization instead of the chaotic wild goose chase that they are
| currently on.

Funny, it has been spectacularly successful!  Your ideas fall apart
every sentence or so.

| Following the pattern we see in nature it is clear
| that even the notion of survival of the fittest is one of
| stabilization not of change.  When the strongest wolf earns the
| mating rights of the pack, he is not going to pass week genes on

week -> weak

| that might be overtaken by some disaster.  No, he is going to pass
| strong, solid genes on that will produce offspring that resemble
| him.  In nature, survival of the species is more important than
| survival of the individual.

This is subject to debate.

| This is a stabilizing affect.

affect -> effect

| One that keeps the ecosystems in harmony and in balance.  Always
| striving to keep things constant and stable.

There is no striving.  If a system is unstable IT DISAPPEARS.

  Dr. Thomas D. Schneider
  National Cancer Institute
  Laboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology
  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
  toms@ncifcrf.gov
  permanent email: toms@alum.mit.edu (use only if first address fails)
  http://schneider.ncifcrf.gov/

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origin: 2003 Feb 15
updated: 2003 Feb 15
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