Sunday, August 30, 2015

#90 Copying Degradation

Most of you who have ever worked in an office are probably aware that when you make a photocopy, it is not an exact copy of the original. If you then make a photocopy of the photocopy, and you continue to repeat this process always making a copy of the last copy, then pretty soon you will be able to really notice the difference between the very original sheet and the latest copy. The discrepancies become really obvious after a while.


There is always a slight degradation with each new generation of copying. This is what I mean by “Copying Degradation.”

In my office we have a tremendous copy machine that does color copies, double-sided, folded, stapled, and even hole-punched copies. It cost over $20,000. But it cannot make a perfect copy and is subject to the same rule as above. Every once in a while, we have to call the technician to repair it and re-calibrate it.

If you talk to computer hardware people, you will also learn that the same is true for digital copying inside a computer. The computer is based on the binary system, meaning all information is stored as “0’s” and “1’s”. Computers are, of course, vastly more accurate at copying, but sooner or later there is a mistake. You know this because sometimes your computer locks up for no reason and you have to restart it to make it work. Every modem and Wi-Fi system has a built in error correction system or “protocol” that checks constantly to be sure the data being transmitted and received is identical.


So if Copying Degradation is a universal truth in the real world, what is the result that it yields? Do we ever end up with something that is better than the original? We know we never end up with a photocopy that is better than the original, especially after many generations. For data copying in computer programs, an error in copying data, or worse yet the program software, is most likely to cause a malfunction and very, very, very unlikely to result in a better program.

Let’s think about DNA. Rather than a binary system like computers, it is based on four possible “base pairs” and two are used on any given rung of the ladder. What do you think keeps happening as the DNA gets copied over and over? This is a question that scientists can now investigate.


The Theory of Evolution predicts that given time and many small incremental and accidental changes to the DNA coding, along with some natural selection, the end result is a totally new species that is fully functioning. Evolution predicts that DNA copying has made copying mistakes millions upon millions of times and that has successfully increased functioning complexity. Starting out with something akin to an amoeba, we have advanced all the way to the millions of varied species and to the human body and brain.

According to my Google search, the latest scientific estimate is that there are approximately 8,700,000 different species on the earth. The Theory of Evolution says that all 8.7 million species started out from a single cell with DNA. By repeatedly copying that DNA over and over, mutations occurred so that the 8.7 million new species eventually arose.

That’s a phenomenally huge statement of faith if you ask me.

Those who believe in God have many varied ideas of how God did it, but it’s still a very big mystery. They do however admit that their beliefs are based on faith.

However, there is some agreement among the believers who are also scientists that God created according to “kinds”. This means that God created an original model or body plan of a species and then there was tremendous variation from that original. Take for example the “dog kind”. God somehow created the original male and female dog and then all the different breeds eventually could emerge by natural selection or mankind’s active intervening in the process.



Dogs actually have 78 chromosomes in their genome which allows for tremendous variations. By comparison, chimpanzees have 48 chromosomes and humans have only 46 chromosomes.

These facts seem to show the opposite from the Theory of Evolution model. More complicated life has less chromosomes. Evolution starts with a very simple set of DNA that branches into more and more complicated forms of life. Creation theories start with a very complicated original “kind” and predict that over time DNA changes lead to loss (not gain) of DNA complexity and the differences and variations within a species are the result of the loss of information in the DNA code.

So here we have two profoundly opposite predictions and we should be able to do scientific experiments to observe which of these two processes is taking place in nature.

If evolution is true, then we should see the DNA of species getting more and more complicated and gradual improvements in the code which eventually can lead to a new species. After all, that’s how they believe we got the 8.7 million species.

But if the DNA copying from one generation to the next shows that there is copying degradation, then our scientific conclusion will have to be that evolution is false. That will only leave us with one of the alternative theories that involves a Creator being.

Well, folks, the scientific research has been done. The results are in. There is in fact copying degradation at the DNA level which is taking place. DNA degrades over time. It does not get more complex. Is this surprising, not really? It’s the same in life everywhere you look.

“My own work with 35 protein families suggests that the rate of destruction is, at minimum, 8 times the rate of neutral or beneficial mutations...Simply put, the digital information of life is being destroyed much faster than it can be repaired or improved. New functions may evolve, but the overall loss of functional information in other areas of the genome will, on average, be significantly greater. The net result is that the digital information of life is running down.” [1]

It is statistically impossible for evolution to be taking place because it could not overcome the disadvantage of 8 harmful errors to every one possibly beneficial or neutral error.

Durston, author of the above quote, goes much further, even saying the human genome is running down.

“First, the digital information for the bacterial world is slowly eroding away due to a net deletional bias [2] in mutations involving insertions and deletions. A second example is the fruit fly, one of the most studied life forms in evolutionary biology. It, too, shows an ongoing, genome-wide loss of DNA [3] across the entire genus.

“Finally, humans are not exempt. As biologist Michael Lynch points out in a paper in PNAS, "Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation" [4]:

“ ‘[A] consideration of the long-term consequences of current human behaviour for deleterious-mutation accumulation leads to the conclusion that a substantial reduction in human fitness can be expected over the next few centuries in industrialized societies unless novel means of genetic intervention are developed.’

“We continue to discover more examples of DNA loss [5], suggesting that the biological world is slowly running down. Microevolution is good at fine-tuning existing forms within their information limits and occasionally getting something right, but the steady accumulation of deleterious mutations on the larger scale suggests that mutation-driven evolution is actually destroying biological life, not creating it.” [6]

Another important fact, scientists have discovered that there are as many as three processes within a cell that actually repair DNA when there is a mutation. [7] Cells do not like copying mistakes. Another name for mutation in cells is cancer.

"Replication also contains built-in error checking. The frequency of errors is about 1 per 100 million bonds (1 x 10-8). Over the entire human genome, that works out to roughly 30 errors every single time the genome replicates. BUT! There are really only around three errors per replication because of DNA repair. If a repair enzyme finds a mistake, it can fix it, and it can tell which strand is wrong because it can tell which strand is the newly synthesized strand by the extent of cytosine methylation.” [8]

“As a major defense against environmental damage to cells, DNA repair is present in all organisms examined including bacteria, yeast, drosophila, fish, amphibians, rodents and humans. DNA repair is involved in processes that minimize cell killing, mutations, replication errors, persistence of DNA damage and genomic instability. Abnormalities in these processes have been implicated in cancer and aging. [9]


As far back as scientists have known about DNA, there is no known example of a new species arising out of another species. Believe me, they have been trying to find one. As mentioned above and in my Proof for God # 27 The Truth About Mutation [10], scientists have tried unsuccessfully to mutate fruit flies for 40 years and could never produce a new species.

If you have a theory and you derive logical predictions from that theory, but those predictions are totally false, then the only conclusion is that the theory is false and worthless for further study. That’s where we stand today if we accept the scientific evidence.

The Theory of Evolution is scientifically falsifiable.

As we have seen throughout history, faiths and beliefs die slowly even after they are proven false. But rest assured, the Theory of Evolution is dying. Many don’t know it yet, but scientific evidence will put the nail in its coffin.

Therefore, there must be God.
______________________________

[1] Kirk Durston, "An Essential Prediction of Darwinian Theory Is Falsified by Information Degradation", http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/07/an_essential_pr097521.html

[2] Alex Mira, Howard Ochmanemail, Nancy A. Moran, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, "Deletional bias and the evolution of bacterial genomes", http://www.cell.com/trends/genetics/abstract/S0168-9525(01)02447-7?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0168952501024477%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

[3] Dmitri A. Petrov1 and Daniel L. Hartl, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, "High Rate of DNA Loss in the Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila virilis Species Groups", http://petrov.stanford.edu/pdfs/11.pdf

[4] Michael Lynch, Department of Biology, Indiana University, "Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation",  http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/961.full.pdf+html

[5] Sun, López Arriaza, and Mueller, National Institutes of Health, "Slow DNA loss in the gigantic genomes of salamanders",

[6] Kirk Durston, "An Essential Prediction of Darwinian Theory Is Falsified by Information Degradation", http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/07/an_essential_pr097521.html

[7] Beth A. Montelone, Kansas State University, "Mutation, Mutagens, and DNA Repair" http://www-personal.k-state.edu/~bethmont/mutdes.html

[8] Leigh Eisenman and Kevan Higgins, Edited Notes, "Chromosomes, Chromatin, DNA Replication and Repair" http://www.dartmouth.edu/~cbbc/courses/bio4/bio4-1997/03-DNA&Chromosomes.html

[9] National Institutes of Health, "What is DNA Repair?" http://www.nih.gov/sigs/dna-rep/whatis.html

[10] Stephens, Jim, “Proof for God #27, The Truth About Mutation”, http://101proofsforgod.blogspot.com/2013/02/27-truth-about-mutation.html



Sunday, August 16, 2015

#89 Earthworms

Did you ever stop to think that we might not be around if not for worms? At least we would not be as healthy as we are.


“In 1881 Charles Darwin wrote: ‘It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.’” [1]


“They are the main contributors to enriching and improving soil for plants, animals and even humans. Earthworms create tunnels in the soil by burrowing, which aerates the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to reach deep within the soil. Earthworms eat the soil which has organic matter such as decaying vegetation or leaves. Plants cannot use this organic matter directly.  After organic matter is digested, the earthworm releases waste from their bodies called castings. Castings contain many nutrients that the plant can use. Some people even use earthworm castings as garden fertilizer.” [2]

I’m sure you have at least a passing encounter with worms. Maybe you dissected one in middle school biology class or you went catching nightcrawlers for fishing.


Earthworms range in size from one millimeter to over six feet long in Australia. [3] The world record is 22 feet long from South Africa. Most worms live in the upper one meter of the earth, but have been known to exist as deep as five meters (16.5 feet). [4]


It is estimated that there are between 250,000 and 1,750,000 worms per acre (i.e. between 62 to 432 per square meter). The mass of all the worms actually outweighs the animal life on the surface. [5]

This amazing creature makes it very hard to believe in Evolution. Clearly they benefit insects, birds, amphibians, plants, and humans, but what good are they for their own benefit? What explains why Natural Selection or survival of the fittest would choose worms to prosper and not die out?

If a bird eats a worm, the bird survives, but not the worm. Clearly the bird is the fittest to survive. If the worm eats dirt and dead leaves and poops a nice nitrogen fertilizer for plants, that’s good for the plants, but what does the worm get out of it?

Wikipedia states "earthworm casts are five times richer in available nitrogen, seven times richer in available phosphates, and 11 times richer in available potassium than the surrounding upper 6 inches (150 mm) of soil. In conditions where humus is plentiful, the weight of casts produced may be greater than 4.5 kg (10 lb) per worm per year." [6] Wow!


Worms also use chemicals for digestion called drilodefensins.

“Without the drilodefensins, the fallen leaves would stay on the ground for a long period, building up and becoming a thick layer, which would make the countryside unrecognizable and disrupt the entire carbon cycling system, said researchers.” [7]


There are 6,000 to 7,000 different species of worms. Remember now that the definition of a species is that members of the species can successfully inter-breed. So if two worms are from a different species of worms, they cannot inter-breed. Unless there is breeding, there is no Evolution. So each worm has to find another one of its own species before it can breed. It would seem pretty hard to find a mate if you are living and burrowing underground most of the time.

Worms have no eyes, another problem in finding themselves a mate. But they don’t need eyes if they are in a dark hole anyway. Luckily for worms, they are hermaphrodites. This means they have both male and female genitals. But they can’t fertilize themselves, so they must encounter another worm of the same species.


“Special ventral setae are used to anchor mating earthworms by their penetration into the bodies of their mates.” [8]

When two worms meet and copulate, both worms get "pregnant" and each produces an egg cocoon which will contain between one and 20 eggs. [9] The babies when they hatch look just like the parents but very tiny and will grow to full size in about 12 months.

Let’s think for a minute about the problem that Evolution would have trying to explain hermaphrodites. What came just before the first worm? Was there an original worm with both genders within itself? Then we would have to explain how the male and female parts differentiated into separate organs in separate locations on the worm. Did it suddenly mutate both male and female parts in the same generation? That’s extremely unlikely. Remember that Evolution is slow and gradual. But if the female part develops first without the male part, no fertilization or reproduction can take place.

Even if you suddenly had one worm that mutated with both male and female genitals, you’d still need a second one to fertilize it. Maybe we could imagine that two worms from the same cocoon both had the mutation. But they have to grow up for months before they can mate and then they have to find each other to do it. But instant genitals which are male and female couldn't be called evolution, slow and gradual.

Worms are all over the world. They are mostly all the same, so they had to have originated with one “Adam/Eve worm” whose descendants have spread all over the world. Where are all the precursors of this first ancestor worm if it really did evolve? (See my Proof for God #64 Missing Links) They must have all died out because there is no evidence of them. If any intermediary worm type beings before the first ancestor worm existed and they had descendants, then all those descendants died out without a trace.

If we theorize that in the beginning there were male worms and female worms, we need to inquire how they originated by mutation and evolved separately. Did the male worm evolve one day from an egg of some non-worm animal? That doesn’t work if there is no female nearby. He would die without reproducing. Male and female would have had to evolve simultaneously and within the same dirt pile, within a few feet from each other.


Hermaphrodite reproduction by worms is very, very interesting and complicated. Slow and gradual evolution is impossible to explain it. After mating, a worm makes a slime tube and fills it with fluid. It then crawls out of the slime tube depositing eggs and sperm into the tube as it passes by. The tube then becomes an egg cocoon. Baby worms emerge in two to four weeks.

“The earthworm will move forward out of the slime tube. As the earthworm passes through the slime tube, the tube will pass over the female pore picking up eggs. The tube will continue to move down the earthworm and pass over the male pore called the spermatheca which has the stored sperm called the spermatozoa. The eggs will fertilize and the slime tube will close off as the worm moves completely out of the tube. The slime tube will form an “egg cocoon” and be put into the soil.” [10]


Let’s turn to other thoughts about the “first worm”. Could it have evolved under the ground where they live now? That’s not likely. It must have developed from an above ground animal.

If the “first worm” mutated into existence above ground, what would lead it to start eating dirt? The whole system front to back has to be in place before it can eat dirt. The mouth has to be there along with the stomach, the circulatory system, even the excretory system.

Also, the earthworm has special adaptations so that it can live underground. It either slithers through soft dirt and dead leaves, pushing with a force ten times its body weight, or else it eats its way through hard ground. But how did it evolve the ability to move its various segments in order to slither. That takes major coordination so a brain and nerves are necessary. A worm also has tiny hairs sticking out of its sides that help hold one part in place while another part creeps forward. How does mutation explain the existence of tiny hairs all over a worm’s body?

“The earthworm is made of about 100-150 segments. The segmented body parts provide important structural functions. Segmentation can help the earthworm move. Each segment or section has muscles and bristles called setae. The bristles or setae help anchor and control the worm when moving through soil. The bristles hold a section of the worm firmly into the ground while the other part of the body protrudes forward. The earthworm uses segments to either contract or relax independently to cause the body to lengthen in one area or contract in other areas. Segmentation helps the worm to be flexible and strong in its movement.” [11]

Circumferential and longitudinal muscles on the periphery of each segment enable the worm to move. Similar sets of muscles line the gut, and their actions move the digesting food toward the worm's anus. [12]


It’s a fact that the excrement from worms is a fertilizer for plants. How could that be a random mutation that gets selected by survival of the fittest? The worm has a highly developed digestive system that creates usable nitrogen and other elements for the plants. It even uses tiny grains of sand to help grind up the dirt. That would take hundreds, if not thousands, of mutations of a worm’s DNA to produce.

“Food enters the mouth. The pharynx acts as a suction pump; its muscular walls draw in food. In the pharynx, the pharyngeal glands secrete mucus. Food moves into the esophagus, where calcium (from the blood and ingested from previous meals) is pumped in to maintain proper blood calcium levels in the blood and food pH. From there the food passes into the crop and gizzard. In the gizzard, strong muscular contractions grind the food with the help of mineral particles ingested along with the food. Once through the gizzard, food continues through the intestine for digestion. The intestine secretes pepsin to digest proteins, amylase to digest polysaccharides, cellulase to digest cellulose, and lipase to digest fats. Instead of being coiled like a mammalian intestine, an earthworm's intestine increases surface area to increase nutrient absorption by having many folds running along its length. The intestine has its own pair of muscle layers like the body, but in reverse order—an inner circular layer within an outer longitudinal layer.” [13]

Scientists believe that worms have a sense of touch and taste. That takes an amazing nervous system.

Worms have blood and a circulatory system. How could that evolve and what keeps the blood moving?

“The aortic arches function like a human heart. There are five pairs of aortic arches, which have the responsibility of pumping blood into the dorsal and ventral blood vessels. The dorsal blood vessels are responsible for carrying blood to the front of the earthworm’s body. The ventral blood vessels are responsible for carrying blood to the back of the earthworm’s body.” [14]


Earthworms are very unique creatures. They are amazingly adapted to do what they do, burrowing through dirt and leaving fertilizer, air and water passages for plant growth behind them. They have a brain, digestive and excretory system, nervous system, movement ability, reproductive system, touch and light sensitivity. All this is proof of design and purpose.

There must be God.  

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[1] Wikipedia, “Earthworm”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm

[2] University of Pennsylvania, “Earthworms”, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~rlenet/Earthworms.html

[3] University of Michigan, BioKids, "Oligochaeta",  http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Oligochaeta/

[4] University of Michigan, BioKids, "Oligochaeta",  http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Oligochaeta/

[5] Wikipedia, “Earthworm”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm

[6] Wikipedia, “Earthworm”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm

[7] Anicettion, David, "Secret of Earthworms Eating Leaves Discovered", TimesGazette, Aug. 5, 2015, http://www.thetimesgazette.com/secret-of-earthwormss-eating-leaves-discovered/5986/

[8] Wikipedia, “Earthworm”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm

[9] Biology Junction, "We Love Worms", http://www.biologyjunction.com/earthworm%20facts.htm#hatch

[10] University of Pennsylvania, “Earthworms”, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~rlenet/Earthworms.html

[11] University of Pennsylvania, “Earthworms”, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~rlenet/Earthworms.html

[12] Wikipedia, “Earthworm”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm

[13] Wikipedia, “Earthworm”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm

[14] University of Pennsylvania, “Earthworms”, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~rlenet/Earthworms.html