Friday, January 18, 2013

Chromosome 2: The Smoking Gun?

As I have shared in numerous posts, in my long career in biology I have found no evidential support for the theory of biological evolution. Anything but a superficial examination of the fossil record finds it completely at odds with what evolutionary theory requires. Living and extinct life forms remain in hierarchical groups separated by vast gaps missing from the record of life on Earth. What's more, the 'inconceivably vast' (Darwin's words) number of the species to which evolutionists appeal for bridging those gaps remain not only undiscovered and hypothetical but also non-sensical and absurd.

Evolutionary change is not found in the fossil record, but neither is it found in real life. Every generation of living things produces in the next generation the same species, and that's the way it is. Even those still committed today to some form of naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life--and to some form of common ancestry--are abandoning the neo-Darwinian view (natural selection wotking on genetic mutation to produce gradual change) as outdated, naive, and irrelevant to whatever the real story turns out to be.

The revolution in biochemistry has offered evidence of great similarities among all living things--in elemental make-up, in protein composition, in anatomical and morphological themes, and in genetic profiles. But again, a closer look at each of these levels yields the conclusion of unbridged hierarchies between the many different types of living things.

In the rapidly dwindling set of evidences appealed to by the person who would--in the face of so much contrary evidence--continue to argue for macroevolution and common descent, the last remaining bastion is the argument that specific similarities in the genetic make-up of humans and other primates necessitate an evolutionary explanation.

I have recently been asked by two different folks to address one such argument, one that has been called the 'smoking gun' (the proof) of human evolution. This argument involves the similarity between the chromosomes of humans and those of chimps (and bonobos) and specifically focuses on the human chromome 2. Let me lay out the evolutionist's case.

The chromosomes of humans and those of chimps are very similar. They can be matched up in a nearly one-to-one correspondence right across the board, except that where humans have 23 pairs of chromosome, chimps have 24. But wait! Human chromosome 2 has very similar counterparts in two much shorter chimp chromosomes, dubbed 2a and 2b. What's more, rather than the single centromere common to most other chromosomes, human chromosome 2 has two centromeres (one of which doesn't function as a normal centromere) and an internal telomere sequence (between the centromeres) that closely corresponds to the expected sequences from the chimp genetic material.

Volia! What need have we of further witnesses? Isn't this evidence as good as a smoking gun? Surely this fusion in the human line of two chromosomes observed in chimps proves that the two species shared a common ancestor (who exhibited the condition of today's chimp rather than that of humans).

In the next post, I'll offer a response.

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