To support their high claim that the spontaneous origin of the species is a fact, evolutionists enlist all kinds of scientific evidence. But inevitably their scientific evidence isn’t quite right. One problem that surprised me when I first began studying evolution is the downright misrepresentation of the evidence. Sometimes these misrepresentations are exaggerations that convert otherwise ambiguous evidence into supporting evidence. Other times the misrepresentations are starker. In any case, to marshal evidence for the fact of evolution misrepresentation is required. And so it was not too surprising that in his recent debate against Paul Nelson, evolutionist Joel Velasco continued this unfortunate tradition.
One of Velasco’s themes in the debate was that biological designs fall into a nested hierarchy. The idea is that the common ancestry model predicts and requires such a pattern and that the finding of this hierarchy in biology is an extremely powerful proof text for evolution. But if this were true then evolution would be false by modus tollens, for the actual scientific evidence, as we have discussed many times here, is not so simple. And so we will repeat once again, phylogenetic incongruence is rampant in evolutionary studies. Conflicts exist at all levels of the evolutionary tree and throughout both morphological and molecular traits.
This paper reports on incongruent gene trees in bats. That is one example of many. These incongruences are caused by just about every kind of contradiction possible. Molecular sequences in one or a few species may be out of place amongst similar species. Or sequences in distant species may be strangely similar. As one paper admitted, there is “no known mechanism or function that would account for this level of conservation at the observed evolutionary distances.” Or as another evolutionist admitted, the many examples of nearly identical molecular sequences of totally unrelated animals are “astonishing.”
An even more severe problem is that in many cases no comparison is even possible. The molecular sequence is found in one species but not its neighbors. When this problem first became apparent evolutionists thought it would be resolved as the genomes of more species were decoded. No such luck—the problem just became worse. Not surprisingly evolutionists carefully prefilter their data. As one paper explained, “data are routinely filtered in order to satisfy stringent criteria so as to eliminate the possibility of incongruence.”
Short genes that produce what are known as microRNA also contradict Dawkins’ high claim. In fact one evolutionist, who has studied thousands of microRNA genes, explained that he has not found “a single example that would support the traditional tree.” It is, another evolutionist admitted, “a very serious incongruence.”
Another paper admits that “the more molecular data is analysed, the more difficult it is to interpret straightforwardly the evolutionary histories of those molecules.”
And yet in public presentations of their theory, evolutionists present a very different story. Velasco’s claim is typical. For example, Richard Dawkins explained that gene comparisons “fall in a perfect hierarchy, a perfect family tree.” This statement is so false it isn’t even wrong—it is absurd.