Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Gregor Mendel!

Gregor Mendel was born on July 20, 1822. His pioneering work on genetics using pea plants are commonly taught to students as somehow supporting the theories of Darwinian evolution, although they actually refute Darwinian evolution. Today, his theories on genetics, which are correct, are used as a crutch to support Darwinian assertions, which are incorrect.

Mendel's theories were originally viewed as being contradictory to Darwinian evolution by prominent evolutionary thinkers, such as Alfred Russell Wallace (1823 - 1913), who was really the co-progenitor of the theory of evolution called Darwinian evolution today (and who in fact sketched out the theory before Darwin did), and who recognized that the results of Mendel's work indicated the fact that successive generations (in Mendel's case, successive generations of pea plants) only manifested traits which were already present in the genes of the parents. In other words, when a specific trait (such as light or dark color in a pepper moth, or the color of a pea's flower, the color of its pod, the shape of its pod, or the shape of its seeds) manifests itself, Mendel's laws explain that that trait was passed on from the alleles (gene variants) already present in the parents.

Wallace was so clear on the power of Mendel's experiments to counter the proposed mechanism of Darwinian evolution (which relies upon mutations producing new traits which are then passed on through natural selection) that he declared:
on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution, I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions. Letters and Reminiscences (1916), 340.
Hydroplate theory founder and author Dr. Walt Brown points out this quotation in a footnote on page 50 of the 8th edition his book on the hydroplate theory, and the interested reader can find the entire Wallace quotation for himself in the original 1916 publication of Alfred Russell Wallace's letters, which is available as an online book here.

Mendel's laws were later co-opted by the intellectual descendents of Darwin, who argued that over time, "genetic drift" will introduce changes to the number of alleles in a population, which -- along with mutation -- enable the origin of new traits over time. However, as all breeders know who set about to deliberately select certain traits in domesticated animals (cows, horses, or dogs, for example), the variations available are bounded by certain limits. It is possible to breed taller or shorter horses or dogs (because alleles for those traits are already present, and can be selected in order to produce descendents which exhibit such traits), but it is not possible to breed a dog or a horse with wings or with gills (in fact, breeders realize that the hybrids which are possible hit a boundary long before anything as outlandish as that).

This fact is important when considering one of the principle conflicts between the hydroplate theory and the Darwinian theory. The Darwinian theory relies upon a mechanism of mutations plus natural selection, plus extremely vast amounts of time. Setting aside the fact that mutations are almost always detrimental (and produce offspring that cannot or do not reproduce), the hydroplate theory undermines the crucial ingredient of vast amounts of time.

Uniformitarian theories argue that processes going on today could, given enough time, create all or most of the features we find on the earth today, even features such as the Grand Canyon. The hydroplate theory, which argues that the evidence appears to demonstrate that the features on the earth were formed by the events surrounding a catastrophic flood event in a short period of time, undermines the vast amounts of time supplied by uniformitarian theories. If the Grand Canyon could have been carved in days, weeks or months (rather than tens or hundreds of millions of years), then it could have been formed within the past ten or twenty thousand years, which completely undercuts the long ages Darwinian theory requires for its proposed mechanism of mutation plus natural selection.

On the other hand, Mendel's theories would explain how survivors of a relatively recent flood, from many species including mankind, can now exhibit very different traits and characteristics. Some branches of the human family have a much higher percentage of individuals with red hair, for instance, while other people groups are characterized by being taller, shorter, having more or less facial hair among males, and so forth. These characteristics are not the result of mutations, but of the selection of genetic traits which were already present as possibilities within the human genomes of the parents. This fact of Mendelian genetics is the point which Alfred Russell Wallace recognized as being extremely damaging to his and Darwin's theory.

Wallace also recognized the absolute co-dependence of the Darwinian theory of evolution and the uniformitarian geological theories of their friend and colleague Charles Lyell (1797 - 1875). In this collection of Wallace's letters, he declares on page 78 that:
The evidence for the production of the organic world [in other words, biological species] by the simple laws of inheritance is exactly of the same nature as that for the production of the present surface of the earth -- hills and valleys, plains, rocks, strata, volcanoes, and all their fossil remains -- by the slow and natural action of natural causes now in operation [i.e. non-catastrophic causes]. The mind that will ultimately reject Darwin must (to be consistent) reject Lyell also.
This is a profound insight and one with which we can still agree. It explains the vehement opposition of academia and the scientific community to the overwhelming evidence that the earth's geology was shaped by catastrophic forces and not by uniformitarian processes ("natural causes now in operation," plus enormous amounts of time). Darwinists cannot consider this evidence, because they know that the mind that will reject Lyell is ripe for rejecting Darwin as well. For a catalog of some of this overwhelming geological evidence, see the links in this post, as well as some of the posts published since then, including this one and this one.

In short, it is quite clear that Mendel's work, celebrated by Darwinists as supportive of their theories, in fact undermines Darwinism quite powerfully, as Alfred Russell Wallace himself perceived. On the other hand, Mendel's findings are perfectly compatible with the positions put forward by the hydroplate theory of Walt Brown, and in fact explain the numerous variations that we find within the human family and within other species, which have taken place since the flood. Dr. Brown discusses Mendel's work further on his website, here and here.

Google has chosen to honor Mendel's birthdate all day with a special "Doodle" featuring pea pods (see below). Based on the fact that the company also created a special world-wide Doodle for Darwin's birthday which it ran on February 12, 2009, it may be that the company believes the conventional wisdom that Mendel's work supports the quasi-religious doctrines of Darwinism. However, as the insights of pioneering Darwinist Alfred Russell Wallace make clear, Mendel's work actually refutes Darwinism, as do theories such as the hydroplate theory which expose the fallacy of Lyell's principles of uniformitarian geology.