Today I found this amazing quote by Richard Dawkins in which he uses the analogy of converting an aeroplane propeller engine into a jet engine, step-by-tiny-step, each of which must not only work but must be superior to the previous steps. But then Dawkins effectively admits that it wouldn't work ("A jet engine so assembled would be a weird contraption indeed") and he concludes that given this Darwinian mechanism and its constraints, "far from expecting animals to be perfect we may wonder that anything about them works at all" (my emphasis)!
I have incorporated this into a new section of my "Problems of Evolution" book outline, PE 9.4.19. "Natural selection. ... Unable to produce the end result":
"PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION"
- 9. MECHANISMS
- 4. Natural selection
- 19. Unable to produce the end result
"The jet engine superseded the propeller engine because, for most purposes it was superior. The designers of the first jet engine started with a clean drawing board. Imagine what they would have produced if they had been constrained to 'evolve' the first jet engine from an existing propeller engine changing one component at a time, nut by nut, screw by screw, rivet by rivet. A jet engine so assembled would be a weird contraption indeed. It is hard to imagine that an aeroplane designed in that evolutionary way should ever get off the ground. Yet in order to complete the biological analogy we have to add yet another constraint. Not only must the end product get off the ground; so must every intermediate along the way, and each intermediate must be superior to its predecessor. When looked at in this light far from expecting animals to be perfect we may wonder that anything about them works at all." (Dawkins R., "The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1983, pp.38-39)
The obvious conclusion is that animals (and by extension all organisms) were not produced by such a Darwinian mechanism!
The British chemist and early intelligent design theorist Robert E.D. Clark (1906-1984), using the analogy of turning "one model of a wireless set into a larger and better one by continuous stages" (let alone a wireless into something fundamentally different, like a TV set!) had pointed out more than 30 years before that it is actually "impossible" for it to be accomplished by "steady upward rises of the kind demanded by materialistic evolutionists" because "Only after passing through the useless stage can it be made more useful than before":
"In order to build up a structure by natural selection, it is essential that each stage in the building process must make an animal better fitted to its environment than the one before it. An eye that is half developed must be more useful to an animal than an eye that is 49 per cent developed, and this in turn, than one, the development of which has proceeded to only 48 per cent, and so on. The graph of usefulness against the extent of structural organization must show a steady upward rise-otherwise progress must inevitably stop, hindered by natural selection itself. If the graph is not a steady upward rise, but has ups and downs, then natural selection (which selects usefulness and adaptation), working from either direction, will force the organism to the nearest maximum. Today, with our much greater knowledge of and familiarity with complex systems, we know that steady upward rises of the kind demanded by materialistic evolutionists are unknown to science. Isolated fundamental changes make a machine less efficient than it was before and may even make it useless, unless, indeed, numerous other adaptations are made at the same time. The radio manufacturer cannot turn one model of a wireless set into a larger and better one by continuous stages-he cannot add a new valve, a condenser, a piece of wire, etc., in a series of operations, and hope each time to obtain a model that is slightly better than the one before. All the changes must be made at once-or not at all! To add an extra valve to a wireless set you must first cut through wires, disconnect the loudspeaker, etc., and at once the set becomes useless as a functioning whole. Only after passing through the useless stage can it be made more useful than before. It is the same with all arrangements of matter organised as functioning units. To ask for a gradual, uniform, improvement is, it seems, to ask for the impossible." (Clark R.E.D., "The Universe: Plan or Accident?: The Religious Implications of Modern Science," , Paternoster: London, Third edition, 1961, pp.123-124)
Cambridge University physics professor Brian Josephson, commenting on Dawkins's book, Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), made a similar point when he observed that "there is no ... logical necessity" that there existed, "a continuous path, leading from the origins of life to man, each step of which is both favored by natural selection, and small enough to have happened by chance" except that "commonly made assumptions in evolution require the existence of such a path":
"Dawkins's bold claims to tell us how Mount Improbable may be scaled offers no fundamental principles of promise regarding how biological information of the scale needed to explain macroevolution might be generated and absolutely no empirical support for his thesis that there is a footpath to the top of Mount Improbable with sufficiently small steps. In a recent letter to the editor of The Independent Brian Josephson, professor of physics at Cambridge University, summarizes Dawkins's approach: `In such books as The Blind Watchmaker, a crucial part of the argument concerns whether there exists a continuous path, leading from the origins of life to man, each step of which is both favored by natural selection, and small enough to have happened by chance. It appears to be presented as a matter of logical necessity that such a path exists, but actually there is no such logical necessity; rather, commonly made assumptions in evolution require the existence of such a path." [Josephson B., Letter to the editor, The Independent, January 12, 1997]." (Bradley W.L., "Designed or Designoid," in Dembski W.A., ed., "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, pp.47-48)
What this means is that the Darwinian mechanism, the natural selection of random micromutations, cannot produce even a reducibly complex system (analogous to a jet engine from a propeller engine), let alone an irreducibly complex system (such as the bacterial flagellum's propeller)!
So when Darwin wrote:
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.170)he cunningly shifted the burden of proof from his own theory, to show that "any complex organ existed which could ... possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications" (my emphasis) onto his opponents to show an impossibility, the proving of a universal negative:
"In Darwin's words, `if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' Darwin argued that all known organs indeed could have evolved in small steps. He took examples of complex adaptations and showed how these examples could have evolved through intermediate stages. In cases such as the eye ..., these intermediates can be illustrated by analogies with living species; in other cases, they can only be imagined. Darwin had to show only that the intermediates could possibly have existed. His critics had the more difficult task: they had to show that the intermediates could not have existed. It is very difficult to prove negative statements." (Ridley M., "Evolution," , Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1996, Third Printing, 1999, p.342)But the fact is, as University of Chicago professor of microbiology James Shapiro concedes, "there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations" (and Shairo could have said "any complex system)"!:
"Behe quotes Darwin himself considering this possibility: `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' Surely, then, contemporary Darwinists have answers to rebut critics like Professor Behe. In fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject -- evolution -- with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity." (Shapiro J.A., "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. Book reviews," National Review, September 16, 1996)Darwin's theory is the modern science equivalent of billionaire Jean Paul Getty's quip that, "If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem." It would be just too embarrassing for modern science to admit that for the last nearly 150 years, the central theory of biology, simply cannot do what it claims to be able to do: convert the biological equivalent of a aeroplane propeller engine into a jet engine, step-by-tiny-step, such that each step would not only be fully functional, but would be superior to the preceding steps!