by Bill Nugent
If you haven’t heard of “Evo Devo” you soon will. It’s the newest thing among evolutionists that they use to prop up evolution. “Evo Devo” is the abbreviated form of “Evolutionary Developmental Biology” which is such a sharp departure from Darwinism that it is being called the “third wave” of evolution.
Evo Devo deals with features in the DNA that have long baffled scientists. Evolution has been under withering attack from creationists who often point to the extreme complexity of the DNA molecule and the inability of mutations to add information to the DNA that would form new body parts. As the science of genetics progresses it only uncovers more evidence that undermines the credibility of Darwinian evolution. I can only imagine the beads of sweat forming on the brows of evolutionists reading the current literature on genetics that detail the myriad upon myriad complexity of DNA. Darwinism can’t account for the origin of the complex bio-information present in DNA.
At last we have a group of evolutionists who have faced the genetic evidence head on and have attempted to form a new synthesis that they hope will rescue evolution. This new synthesis is Evo Devo, the third wave of evolution. The first wave was Darwin’s natural selection, the second wave was the neo-darwinian synthesis which was natural selection coupled with genetic mutations as a mechanism. This new third wave claims that relatively few mutations in specialized genes (genetic “switches” which are base pair sequences in the DNA that turn other genes on or off) account for radical changes in organisms.
This third wave of evolution is extensively described in a new book by evolutionist Sean B. Carroll titled ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL: The New Science of Evo Devo, W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 2005. (Reviewed in Ex Nihilo Technical Journal Vol. 19(3), 2005, pages 40-44.) Carroll is director of the Carroll Laboratory at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Wisconsin, USA. The first half of Carroll’s book describes the substance of Evo Devo and the second half is a bizarre defense of the overall concept of atheistic evolution. Evo Devo admits to the fact that DNA, which comprises the genome, is far more complex than anyone dreamed of before 1980. In spite of this Carroll defends evolution and promotes the mathematically impossible idea that DNA could arise by random processes alone. It reminds me of the character played by Frank Sinatra in the film The Manchurian Candidate who showed almost worshipful admiration for the operational assassin.
Evo Devo came about as a result of the stupendous advances in genetics that occurred during the 1980s and 90’s. Geneticists discovered that the genes that code for an eye can be thought of as a “tool kit” that gives the architectural instructions to build the eye. They also discovered specialized base pair sequences which are the “switches” that turn other genes on or off. The switches are very complex and scientists are just beginning to understand how they function. The genetic tool kits that form eyes, legs, wings, lungs, feathers, ears, etc., are also mind bogglingly complex and the switches add more complexity. We now see that we have complexity on top of complexity to an almost unimaginable degree in the DNA of even the “simplest” living thing.
What has amazed scientists the most, and gives neo-Darwinism a crippling blow, is that the tool kit genes for eyes, legs, etc., are very similar across all forms of organisms! They found that the genes for a human eye are very similar to the genetic tool kit of a fruit fly eye! Neo-darwinian evolutionists had maintained that the genes for “simple” organisms such as fruit flies vastly predate humans and the genetic tool kit for a fruit fly eye would be much simpler than the tool kit for a human eye. The Neo-darwinists expected the genetic tool kits to be vastly different in different organisms. The tool kits are similar but the genetic switches are turned on or off in different organisms.
Carroll, in his book, openly admits that all the genetic tool kits existed fully developed in the simplest organisms at the beginning of life on earth which Carroll would say was at the beginning of the Cambrian era. Carroll doesn’t admit it but this falls right in line with the creationist view that all life forms were designed by God at the beginning with fully formed DNA and that the same basic DNA template was used for all living things. All the genetic info was there at the beginning. Nothing was added to the tool kits over millions of years by mutations.
Mutations don’t add info to the DNA to form new organs. Mutations are overwhelmingly destructive errors! In fact millions of years aren’t necessary because the neo-darwinian paradigm of genetic mutations followed by natural selection trial and error is totally unnecessary. The evidence discovered by Evo Devo researchers which points to the fact that all the genetic tool kits were fully formed at the beginning of the existence of living things, can actually be used to support the young earth view of creation which maintains that the earth was created less than 10,000 years ago.
Evo Devo also explains vestiges such as the fact that certain animals have useless organs. The tool kit for the organ is present in animal’s DNA but is mostly switched off by the genetic switches. The fact that the useless organ is present indicates that the switching off process did not occur perfectly and that is exactly what we creationists expect in a world under the curse brought by sin and corruption in rebellion against God. The Bible in Genesis chapter three teaches that sin brought a curse upon all creation. This curse means, among other things, that the functioning of DNA is imperfect and this accounts for the “design flaws” in organisms.
Carroll’s book also tries to explain the Cambrian Explosion. The Cambrian Explosion is the fact that an immense variety of fossils across many animal and plant phyla occur in the Cambrian rock layer below all other fossil bearing rock. Carroll incredibly asserts that the genetic tool kits and genetic switches were all present in the DNA of all the animals but he doesn’t give any explanation as to how these immensely complex genetic tool kits formed! Surely no mathematician would say that all of the DNA, including both tool kits and switches, in all of those varied types of animals could have formed by random unguided processes all at once!
The emergence of Evo Devo means that evolutionism has turned a corner. The fact that Evo Devo showcases the immense complexity of DNA and admits that the fully functioning tool kits and genetic switches were present from the beginning means that we can expect even more conversions from evolution to the creationist view.