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A Tale Of Parallel Evolution In Science

Science magazine carried an article titled “Parallel Evolution Is in the Genes,” by the researchers Hopi E. Hoekstra and Trevor Price, in its 19 March 2004 edition. (1) The authors described how similar plumage coloration and patterning could be observed among bird species assumed to have only very distant evolutionary relationships, and then claimed that this was a result of parallel evolution.

The parallel evolution claim assumes that any given feature (colour pattern, for instance) in species assumed to be descended from a common ancestor evolved from different branches, albeit in parallel, in other words through stages that brought about the same evolutionary feature. This article analyses the findings these researchers offer as evidence for the claim of parallel evolution and reveals that parallel evolution is not an “explanation” at all, but rather an attempt to avoid giving one.

In the article in question Hoekstra and Price state that it is not known by which genes” activity the same plumage and coloration in birds they describe as “distantly related” were produced. In addition, based on another study (2) by Nicholas I. Mundy et al. in the same edition of Science, they maintain that the molecular basis of parallel evolution can be understood.

In their study, Mundy et al. report that a single mutation has been determined in one gene of two species of arctic bird, assumed to be distantly related. The gene in question functions in the mechanism responsible for determining the degree of melanism (dark pigmentation). In summary, the role of this gene in the mechanism is as follows:

1. A receptor is produced by the gene. (receptor: a molecule inside the cell or the cell wall which produces specific physiological affects when attached to a specific substance.)

2. This receptor is found in the melanocyte cell membrane. (melanocyte: the cell responsible for the synthesis of the material that produces melanin, in other words melanism.)

3. A hormone stimulates the melanocyte cells by attaching to a receptor.

4. The cell mechanism that produces melanin is thus set in action.


Furthermore, the scientists state that with the mutation they have revealed they have identified the mutual relationship (correlation) in the colour variety in birds” feathers. Hoekstra and Price interpret this finding as a hopeful development in the light of the parallel evolution scenario. However, the genetic infrastructure of melanism is too complex to be accounted for by a single mutation. Indeed, Hoekstra and Price write that the number of genes controlling melanism in mice is known to be more than 100. Based on studies on mice, melanism, estimated to be controlled by more than 100 genes, without doubt possesses far more complex genetic foundations.

Starting from the mutation in question and attaching any credibility to the belief that such a complex mechanism evolved many more times than once in unrelated bird species is the product of a powerful imagination. One point not to be missed here is that although evolutionists seek to account for this complex genetic mechanism in terms of mutations, just a single gene in the mechanism refutes explanations based on chance. Calculations have shown that it is absolutely impossible for the hundreds of nucleotides that comprise a gene to form in the correct sequence by chance. Frank Salisbury, an evolutionist biologist, performed a calculation and said that the odds against such a thing happening were beyond human comprehension:

“A medium protein might include about 300 amino acids. The DNA gene controlling this would have about 1,000 nucleotides in its chain. Since there are four kinds of nucleotides in a DNA chain, one consisting of 1,000 links could exist in 41,000 forms. Using a little algebra (logarithms) we can see that
41,000 = 10600. Ten multiplied by itself 600 times gives the figure 1 followed by 600 zeros! This number is completely beyond our comprehension.” (3)

As we have seen, there is no scientific basis to starting from the mutation in question and portraying the parallel evolution scenario as a scientific fact. In fact, to think that the so-called evolution of the genetic mechanism controlling colour pattern can be explained by a single emerging mutation is like suggesting that a baby writing letters at random could produce a whole encyclopaedia. (Findings from research into mutations show that the DNA of living things cannot have developed through mutations, as the theory of evolution would have us believe. See, Mutations for more details.)

In addition, the parallel evolution claim, purportedly supported by this finding, is invalid right from the outset. That is because the similarities, purportedly accounted for by this claim, in fact refute evolution.

Parallel Evolution: A Tale of Dogmatic Evolutionists” Flight from the Truth

Parallel evolution, regarding which the article in Science seeks to give the impression that it is backed up with this finding, actually consists of an invented scenario. This scenario is born out of a need to adapt the facts that refute evolutionists” phylogenetic accounts to evolution, itself adopted as a dogma. Dogmatic evolutionists are forced to support this. Since not to do this would suggest a non-evolutionary account of similar features in species far removed from one on the imaginary evolutionary family tree, in other words it would prove creation, it is unacceptable to evolutionists. The scientific dilemma regarding similarities between marsupial and placental mammals is examined below, and it is revealed how the claim of parallel evolution consists of a false façade supported to cover up the quandary that the scientific facts pose for the theory of evolution.

All mammals belong to one of three basic categories: Placentals, marsupials and monotremes. Evolutionists consider this distinction to have come about when mammals first appeared, and that each group lived its own evolutionary history totally independent of the other. But it is interesting that there are “pairs” in placentals and marsupials which are nearly the same. Placental wolves, cats, squirrels, anteaters, moles and mice all have their marsupial counterparts with closely similar morphologies.

In other words, according to the theory of evolution, mutations completely independent of each other must have produced these creatures “by chance” twice! This reality is a question that will give evolutionists problems even worse than dizzy spells.

One of the interesting similarities between placental and marsupial mammals is that between the North American wolf and the Tasmanian wolf. The former belongs to the placental class, the latter to the marsupials. Evolutionary biologists believe that these two different species have completely separate evolutionary histories. (Since the continent of Australia and the islands around it split off from Gondwanaland (the supercontinent that is supposed to be the originator of Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and South America) the link between placental and marsupial mammals is considered to have been broken, and at that time there were no wolves). But the interesting thing is that the skeletal structure of the Tasmanian wolf is nearly identical to that of the North American wolf. Their skulls in particular, as shown on the picture on the left, bear an extraordinary degree of resemblance to each other.

The fact that mammals, assumed to have evolved during completely unconnected evolutionary processes, have such similar structures to one another refutes the claim that similarities are inherited from a common ancestor. That is because although evolutionists maintain that similar structures develop by inheritance from a common ancestor they still have to accept the fact that there is no common ancestor between these mammals. However, since evolutionists support evolution as a dogma, not because it is a scientific thesis that can be amended in the face of the evidence but for purely philosophical reasons, instead of admitting this dilemma they seek to cover it up with invented stories. According to this fantastical tale two mammal species must have developed these structures in parallel on account of so-called evolutionary pressure stemming from such factors as similar environmental influences.

This model, known as parallel (or convergent evolution [*]), is totally fictitious, and no less irrational. To suggest that these similar structures developed on different continents by means of mutations is like claiming that two pairs of dice, each on different continents, thrown millions of times would produce the same totals in the same order.

The parallel evolution defended in Science magazine consists of a story that follows the exact same logic. The fact that colour patterns controlled by more than a hundred genes and complex molecular mechanisms are the same in very different species is proof that these structures cannot have come into being from totally different branches by random mutations. The fact that the exquisite colour patterns in the bird kingdom are based on “information” encoded in the genes points to intelligent design, in the same way that brush strokes on a canvass point to the existence of an artist. God created birds together with all their flawless structures in a single moment. Evolutionists, however, who have adopted evolution as a dogma, prefer a chance explanation over design, no matter how irrational this may be, and continue to portray the myth of parallel evolution, which they have made up with a blind belief, as “Science.” For that reason the parallel evolution claim is not an “explanation at all,” but rather an attempt to avoid giving one.

We advise Science magazine to abandon its blind support for Darwinism and to accept the fact that living things with similarities that cannot be accounted for in terms of inheritance from fictitious evolutionary ancestors were created separately by God.

[*] Some evolutionist sources distinguish between these two, although even if they regard them as different both still depend on the same logic, the claim that similarities observed between distant relatives developed from separate branches.

For further information about similarities that invalidate evolutionists” claims, see:

1 Hopi E. Hoekstra and Trevor Price, “Parallel Evolution Is in the Genes,” Science, vol. 303, Issue 5665, 19 March 2004, pp. 1779-1781.
2 Mundy et al., “Conserved Genetic Basis of a Quantitative Plumage Trait Involved in Mate Choice,” Science Vol. 303, Issue 5665, 19 March 2004, pp. 1870-1873.
3 Frank B. Salisbury, “Doubts about the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution”, American Biology Teacher, September 1971, p. 336.

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