Monday, September 11, 2006

This Just In: Evolution Proven!

One of the mainstay arguments against naturalistic evolution has been the apparently formidable objection that the number of changes required -- with whale ancestors as primary evidence for both sides of the argument -- were far too great for the time available. Dr. Berlinski, a Daily Duck target (who knew ducks shoot back?), has insisted there are 50,000 morphological changes required to get from the common ancestor of the cow and whale to the whale. (In the pursuit of brevity, I shall ignore that the number came from a contemporary cow and a contemporary whale. Further pursuing brevity, I shall also omit discussing whether he arrived at 50,000 through enumeration, or via a WAG.)

This particular argument is known as "God of the gaps," which stipulates an unidentified enigma wrapped in a mystery as the answer, rather than simply saying "dunno." Such gaps, though, have a pronounced tendency towards shrinkage.

Such is the case here. Creationists once asserted that the genetic differences between chimps and humans swamped the time available since some putative ancestor. Genome sequencing, though, has conclusively sunk that argument like a greased safe.

Scientists have identified perhaps the most crucial genetic region that makes us human. By comparing human DNA with that of chimpanzees and other animals they have found the region of the genome subjected to the strongest natural selection since we shared a common ancestor with chimps. … This region differs by just two changes between chimps and chickens, which shared a common ancestor around 310 million years ago. But since humans and chimps split 5 million years ago there have been 18 changes.

But wait, there's more. That sequencing has also pinpointed the precise changes differentiating us from our zoobound cousins.

Game. Set. Match.


Blogger Brit said...

Very good :)

September 12, 2006 1:56 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Where's the "kill the infidels" gene?

September 12, 2006 4:38 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

Good one, Skipper.

September 12, 2006 6:10 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Berlinski likens the cow to whale evolution to the engineering task of converting a car to a submarine.

You mean like this?

September 12, 2006 2:47 PM  

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