Why I Believe – The Fall of Evolution

Aging Face

This is part of two series:

  1. Testing Evolution
  2. Why I Believe
Summary:
  1. Evolution is the best explanation that atheists have ever had for life, and it’s probably the best they’ll ever have
  2. I figured out a way to test evolution
  3. Its mechanism mainly causes devolution and eventually extinction
  4. Evolutionary biologists have known about this phenomenon for awhile
  5. Their reason why this isn’t the death of evolution doesn’t hold water
  6. Thus, it’s unreasonable to believe that there is no creator god, and it is reasonable to believe that there is a creator god
  7. The only question left is who this god is, and that’s pretty easy to answer

Here’s my evolution simulator.  It’s a web app, but I haven’t yet put it on a regular web server.  To run it, download it as a .zip file, extract it, and open “Muller’s Foundry.html”.  It’ll open in your web browser, like a web page, but the URL will be on your local machine, in the form file:///…/Muller’s Foundry.html

Screenshot of Muller's Foundry

Ask many people today if they believe in God, and they’ll say “no, I believe in Darwin”.  Atheists have claimed for well over a century that evolution is their ace in the hole – an unassailable stronghold that proves beyond all reasonable doubt that God is dead – and rightfully so.  Many Christians cower before the overwhelming power of evolution – the creative natural process that’s able to make the most advanced technology on earth – no intelligent designer needed.

“If”, atheists argue, “such amazing things can appear without any god, why do we need to invoke a god at all?  Odds are that everything else has also appeared by equally natural, non-divine processes.  Why believe in supernatural causes, when natural causes will do?”

However, if evolution fell, it would mean that atheism is quite irrational.  Life – the most advanced technology on planet earth – had to appear somehow, and if the best natural cause ever proposed fell, the only rational possibility would be a supernatural cause – a creator god, or something or someone very much like a creator god.

I figured out a way to test evolution, and I found that evolution is much more limited than evolutionists need it to be.  Furthermore, its mechanism reliably causes the opposite of evolution.  Devolution is the rule, not evolution.  Given enough time and chance, we won’t evolve into super humans, we’ll devolve into skeletons.  Evolutionary biologists have known about this phenomenon for decades, and their explanation for why evolution isn’t dead doesn’t hold water.

How did I do it?  I made the same process happen to self-copying computer programs, that evolutionists say causes evolution in living things.

What do they say causes evolution?

  1. Mutation
  2. Natural Selection

Mutation is the creative part of evolution.  It’s the fancy biological jargon for copying errors – data corruption.  I can make the same thing happen to self-copying programs by having the simulator occasionally make a random change to the program.  Note that I mutate the source code of each creature, regardless of whether the resulting code works.

Natural selection is the non-random part of evolution.  It’s a play on words.  Artificial selection – selective breeding – is where someone only allows creatures to breed if they have traits that he wants.  One example is breeding wheat for a larger yield.  Natural selection is what happens if nobody decides which creatures breed.  It’s literally whatever happens to happen.  Darwin realized that the effect of the environment on creatures is similar to the effect of a selective breeder who’s breeding for the most descendents.

The cool thing about natural selection is that I can make it happen by simply not writing a fitness function.  Most evolutionary algorithms use artificial selection, in which the simulator grades each creature by whatever standard the programmer thinks best, and only allows the top X percent to breed.  Some of the more sophisticated ones will, at random, let a few of the lower-scoring ones breed, to keep evolution from getting stuck.  For what they’re trying to do, this is a good thing.  But nature doesn’t do it.

When I run my simulator, here’s what happens:

  1. At least 1 kind of good mutation appears pretty quickly
  2. After awhile, the “low-hanging fruit” gets used up.  All the good mutations that only take 1 or a few changes happen, and all possible good mutations that are left take so many specific changes at the same time, that they never happen.  The odds are way too small.
    Edit: It’s possible for more good mutations of the same type to happen, such as going from having 1 food to 10 to 103.  But these run into the law of diminishing returns.  The jump from 1 food to 10 is significant, from 10 to 100 is less significant, and from 10000 to 100000 is insignificant.  Once you have enough, more doesn’t help very much.
  3. Neutral mutations and near-neutral mutations, build up in the genome (all the genes in a living thing put together).  The near-neutral mutations are almost always bad, but each individual mutation isn’t bad enough to eliminate itself.  Thus, the creatures slowly devolve.  All parts that aren’t completely critical break, even if they’re helpful.  They turn into mutation sinks that can catch mutations without breaking the whole creature.
  4. Eventually, all the creatures’ code become so brittle that they all depend on the value of a single variable set by a long-dead creature from some previous generation.  Eventually, one of the creatures mutates and sets this variable to something that makes them all sterile.  Once every creature’s food runs out, they die.

EDIT: after running my simulator many, many times, I eventually found a rare, but noteworthy phenomenon: partial resistance to devolution.  It’s caused by pairs of mutations that wrap much of a creature’s source code in something that makes that chunk not run.  For example, some of these mutations turn most of the creature into a string of text that does not run as code.  This greatly slows the creation of new random variables, and thus greatly slows devolution.  However, in all cases when the simulator doesn’t eventually crash, they eventually die out normally.  This doesn’t stop devolution, but I think it’s still worth noting.

Evolutionary biologists named this process of devolution Muller’s Ratchet, after the guy who discovered it in living things.  When every creature in a population dies out from devolution, they call it a mutational meltdown.  Again, this is known to happen in living things.  Here’s an example of viruses devolving, here’s an example of salmonella devolving, and here’s an example of fish that are probably devolving.  It appears to me that this happens reliably and steadily.  If it didn’t, I’m sure evolutionary biologists would say so.

Why don’t evolutionary biologists call this the death of evolution?  They say that it only happens in creatures that don’t shuffle their genes with others – such as in sexual reproduction – and that this is why sex evolved.  While they define Muller’s Ratchet so that it technically only happens in creatures that reproduce asexually, sex doesn’t stop devolution overall.  There are 3 main reason:

  1. Sex doesn’t solve the problem
    • The cause of devolution is that the non-random part of evolution – natural selection – doesn’t work well enough.  Many bad mutations slip through the cracks, and build up in our genomes (all our genes put together).  They cause genetic diseases, and general loss of fitness.
    • If devolution was caused only by very bad mutations mixing with good ones, then sex could get rid of most of them, since it shuffles our genomes.  Sooner or later, you’d get a lucky kid who has the good mutation, but not the bad.  His genes would make him significantly more likely to spread his genes.  Many generations down the line, they’d eventually become the new normal.
    • But no matter how you shuffle your genes, natural selection can’t touch mutations that aren’t bad enough to eliminate themselves.  Sex does not change this.  These mutations are very common – they cause genetic diseases that run in families – so sex cannot stop devolution.  At best, sex might be able to slow it.  The same goes for other kinds of gene shuffling, like horizontal gene transfer.
  2. Even if sex did stop devolution, evolution would’ve never created it.  Thus, life would’ve died of devolution long before it evolved sex
    • Sex and other kinds of gene shuffling requires at least some of the genome (all the genes in a living thing put together) to be modular, so the cell can swap out 1 allele for another, and it “just works” without breaking something else
      (An allele codes for a specific version of a trait – for instance, there is an allele for brown eyes, and another for blue eyes.  Difference between genes and alleles)
    • In a machine that wasn’t designed specifically to be modular from the beginning, if you want to make it modular, you generally have to redesign much or even all of it
    • Before sex and other gene shuffling methods evolved, there would be no incentive for evolution to make genomes modular, and thus…
    • Evolution would not have done so, and…
    • Devolution would’ve continued steadily until every living thing died
  3. Systems don’t evolve to solve a problem, they evolve because they happened to give an advantage at the moment.
    • Evolution doesn’t plan ahead, neither does it try to solve problems.  Thus, it makes no sense to say that sex evolved because of devolution.  This fallacy is common among evolutionists – they often unintentionally treat evolution like an intelligent designer.

If evolution couldn’t have created life even if some first creature appeared naturally, then who or what did?  Without it, the only option left is some form of intelligent design.  Someone created life, and whoever did was obviously extremely smart.

Who was this intelligent designer?  There are 2 main options:

  1. A creator god did it
    Divine Creation, or Creationism
  2. Aliens did it
    Directed Panspermia

Of those 2, Directed Panspermia is harder to prove, and mainly serves as an excuse to avoid believing in a creator god.  After all, if life on earth couldn’t appear by natural processes, then how could the aliens?  If they didn’t appear by natural processes, who created them?  Eventually, Directed Panspermia leads to Divine Creation, it just pushes God back at least 1 step.

Thus, unless someone can show conclusively both that:

  1. There are alien races capable of creating us, and
  2. They are our creators,

Then it’s unreasonable to believe that we were created by aliens.  It’s far more reasonable to believe that we were created by a creator god.  The only question left is who he is.  And that’s pretty easy to answer: there’s only one god who reliably keeps his promises: the god of the Jews and Christians.

This is part of two series:

  1. Testing Evolution
  2. Why I Believe

 

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