Response to DonExodus

This is a video in 3 parts that purports to be able to “prove” evolution.  DonExodus is a surgeon of some kind and has put several videos up on YouTube.  These are two of them that I watched and formulated a response to.  The third was flagged by YouTube so I couldn’t watch since I don’t have a YouTube account and have no desire to get one.  Please, watch the videos, my arguments will make more sense.  Also, these are really good arguments from an intelligent evolutionist in the field of medicine.

Part 1

Part 2

Introduction

He assumes that evolution CAN be proven without a doubt.  Molecules-to-man evolution is an explanation of the unobservable past, about the origin of all things.  Since either God or nothing was there at the time, any theory of the past cannot be “proven”.  Science attempts to infer about the past using present evidence, that’s all it can do.  To give science an ability of proof above this is a statement of faith. 

Neanderthal DNA

He uses circular reasoning by assuming that Neanderthals died out 40,000 years ago, and uses this assumption to show “proof” of evolution.  This assumption is built upon the assumptions of radiometric dating.  If Neanderthals really didn’t live 40,000 years ago, this evidence goes out the window. 

DonExodus claims 1.  that contamination is not an issue because independent labs have found the same results and 2.  because even IF the DNA was contaminated it would make the DNA look MORE human.  Problems:  1. Perhaps the DNA was contaminated BEFORE it was removed from the Neanderthals.  How can we be sure it wasn’t?  Independent labs would recieve the exact same contamination.  DonExodus doesn’t address this.  2.  Only if the contamination came from human sources.  Also, perhaps the contamination DID make the DNA look more human than it is. 

Where did the DNA of the Neanderthals come from?  Is the archaeological community unanimous in their conclusion that the samples were taken from neanderthals?  Was it taken from an entire skull?  A fragment of skull?  A fragment of a femur?  Is it possible that it was actually ape DNA that got contaminated to look MORE human?  These are questions I don’t know the answer to because DonExodus doesn’t address them and then calls this evidence “conclusive”.  That claim is quite unfounded.

The chart:  5% difference are you serious?  He shows a 5% difference from human-to-human variation and says that it was “blown out of the water” and says that the Neanderthal DNA “wasn’t even close” to human.  Come again?  Also, the chart shows that the difference between human-neanderthal to be 5% greater than human-chimp!  Aren’t neanderthals further along the chain of evolution to humans?  Shouldn’t they have LESS genetic variation than human-chimp?

DonExodus also says the Dr. (who’s name I couldn’t catch) had no response to his arguments when he just listed 4 rebuttals to his arguments the Dr. gave.  What DonExodus really means is that the Dr. had no arguments that he accepted as true rebuttals, as if that was possible since Don believes “evolution has been proven without a doubt”.

Chromosomal Fusion

Ken Miller sets up an ad hoc thesis, an argument of his own construction, and then answers it.  Once you realize he’s doing this it’s quite fun to watch.  He says that, “If we don’t find the fused chromosomes then evolution is wrong.”  But that doesn’t exclude evolution from being wrong ANYWAY.  Then he assumes that it’s the fusion of “2 ape chromosomes” (they are only “ape chromosomes” if we actually evolved from them, they’re human chromosomes if we didn’t) to provide evidence that we evolved from apes.  That’s circular reasoning.  

So apes have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46 with two that were apparently fused.  Ok, so can we observe them fusing?  No, so we must speculate that they did.  Even if they did fuse, what caused this fusion?  We don’t know.  That event happened in the unobservable past so we cannot test it.  So what we REALLY see is our genetic similarity to apes and our fused chromosomes.  One explanation based on the evidence is that Natural Selection fused them, the other is that God made us similar to apes but one of the differences is the fused chromosomes. 

Ken Miller makes a big point of this saying that Creationist must believe that it was “designed” with “no rhyme or reason” to look “as if it was fused from a common ancestor”, and that these statements are unscientific.  He’s right.  Firstly, however, the chromosomes only look “as if it was fused from a common ancestor” if you assume evolution happened.  Secondly, the problem is that his statement, “Natural Selection fused them” is just as unscientific.   Both statements (“Natural Selection did it” and “God did it”) are statements of faith.

DonExodus says that since we have the exact place of the fusion, this negates the “so what if we have a fusion?” rebuttal.  Saying something doesn’t make it so.  Knowing the exact place of fusion has nothing to do with the fact that it’s STILL JUST A FUSION.  An unobservable, untestable fusion that can be inferred either that Natural Selection did it over millions of years, or God did it at creation.  Neither can be proven.

Endogenous RetroViruses

What Don refrains from acknowledging is that several ERV gene sequences have been found to be essential to reproduction.  These aren’t “inactivated” as he suggests all ERV’s are.  Syncytins, products of the env gene of HERV-W and HERV-FRD, contribute to human placenta development and the sheep ERV genes have been shown to be essential for sheep reproduction.  Also, some ERV’s have a beneficial role in bacteria.  The main beneficial role of viruses known to date is the ecological role of horizontal gene transfer (DNA transduction) by bacteriophages.  These viruses enable bacteria to share traits such as antibiotic resistance that would give an advantage to the bacteria.

Admittedly, I do not know that much about ERV’s.  However, it seems that if some ERV’s are essential to reproduction, and therefore essential to life, then how did they evolve into the human or sheep genome?  They must have had to be there from the beginning.  Now, DonExodus will probably say that they BECAME essential later on in evolution but again, that’s a statement of faith since there can be no evidence for that.

However, here is the real question.  It took me about an hour to learn the above information.  Why didn’t DonExodus, the medical doctor, include this information?  Especially since I’m sure he has an answer to it.  If DonExodus is attempting to “prove” evolution by excluding contradictory information then I wouldn’t consider that very honest.

Summation

At the beginning of the Part 2, DonExodus defends his use of the word “proof” in the title of the videos because “it serves his purpose”.  What he is really saying is that only those who are smart enough to know that “proof” is only used in math and can’t really be used for biology, already believe in evolution; ie:  Only nincompoops don’t believe evolution has been proven.  “His purpose” also refers to attempting to be as inflammatory as possible.

DonExodus here takes all the procedural and observable forms of evolution, shows how useful they are (a fact that I am completely on board with) and then says that is proof of the unobservable origins of things.  It’s that famous “bait and switch” again.  He also assumes that the value of a theory makes it more true.  If DonExodus followed that value line of logic to it’s conclusion, he’d be forced to become a Christian.

Comparative anatomy:  The evolutionist must make the logical leap that similarity = common ancestry.  The creationist will say that similarity = similarity and stop there, why the extra assumption?

Embryology:  Trying, again, to pass off evidence of similarity for evidence of evolution.  He shows Haeckel’s Embryos (the black and white drawn one) that long ago was shown to be almost a complete fraud.  If one studies Haeckel’s photographs from which the chart was drawn, you will see that he LITERALLY faked the similarity of the early stages!  This is not controversial, even evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould called the continued use of Haeckel’s Embryos, “the academic equivalent of murder”.  I’m sure that DonExodus knows this too, but apparently as long as it supports his theory, it’s worthy of Don using it.  There are two more major problems with Haeckel’s Embryos that are too lengthy to get into here.

Gene predictions:  If the biologists were only using this to compare similarities with all living things then I would would not have a problem with that, in fact, I would be fascinated to see what I have genetically in common with a sea slug.  Unfortunately, they are trying to insult my intelligence by telling me that since I am similar to another animal, I therefore must share an ancestor with that animal.  It just doesn’t necessarily follow.

Useful applications:  Absolutely, showing the genetic sequencing of every animal and bacteria is essential to modern medicine and many many other disciplines.

Phylogenic trees: If one studies the phylogenic trees, evolution is not necessarily a conclusion one comes to based on the phylogenic tree itself.  Let me attempt to briefly explain.  The simplist of animals, lacking even true tissues, is the sponge (Phylum Porifera).  The next animal up the phylogenic tree is the jelly (Phylum Cnideria).  If you study WHY they are classified the way they are, it’s because of their characteristics/traits.  Every single phylum up the phylogenic tree offers at least one wholly new characteristic/trait.  Sponges are the most primitive animals while jellies are the most primitive that have a stomach cavity.  This is extremely brief of course, but this IS the basics.  Similar and more advanced characteristis does not evolution make.

Conclusion

Creationists and evolutionists are looking at the same evidence.  Every piece of evidence that DonExodus put forth CAN be explained by evolution, but you must make several assumptions to do so.  DonExodus assumes that molecules-to-man evolution has the ability to be proven, that similarity is evidence for evolution, that chromosomal “fusion” is evidence for evolution; he also uses apparent misinformation and exclusion of information to make his evidence more solid.  In fact, one can clearly see that DonExodus is already convinced “without a shadow of a doubt” that evolution took place and this conclusion is used in every single one of his evidences.  That’s more dogmatic than it is scientific.  

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