On-Line Debate


Round 3B



An online debate between
Walter ReMine (creationist/Intelligent Design theorist)
and Dave Thomas (evolutionist).

"Comparisons of molecules (proteins, DNA) of various species
provide independent and compelling support
for the hypothesis of biological macro-evolution"

Arguing for the Negative, Walter ReMine

Round 3, Posted April 12th, 2003

My opponent, Thomas, claims biomolecules provide "real information about ancestors - the order in which they appeared, what their actual genetic sequences were". That's false. Biomolecules have substantial hierarchical pattern (albeit frequently incongruent), but these hierarchies (classifications, cladograms, phenograms) don't identify real ancestors; instead evolutionists use hierarchies to artificially construct "hypothetical" ancestors, which cannot be held in your hands. Their methods create hypothetical "ancestors" without fail. Almost always such so-called "ancestors" don't actually exist!

It's like requesting an ancestor for rats and rabbits, and someone answers, "vertebrate." "Vertebrate" isn't a species (so cannot possibly be an ancestor) - so doesn't actually exist within the dataset (rat and rabbit), instead it's a construct created by classification. The biomolecular methods operate similarly.

Real ancestors and lineages are systematically absent over large-scales, and biomolecular methods never identify them. They exist only in the evolutionist's mind - not in reality. This is the rotten core of evolutionary theory.


Evolution is purveyed with keywords:

  • Ancestor
  • Ancestral
  • Primitive
  • Advanced
  • Derived
  • Intermediate
  • Transitional
  • Convergent
  • Sibling species
  • Kinship
  • Lineage
  • Phylogeny

The public receives those as indicating that real ancestors are clear and identified. But evolutionists use those keywords without ever identifying clear-cut ancestors that exist! That creates illusion in the public mind. These keywords are now virtually worthless until non-illusion-making definitions are given.[1] Thomas repeatedly used several of those keywords - without definition, and without identifying real ancestors. He ignored how one gets from hierarchy to "phylogeny."


Thomas claimed biomolecules give the age and order of appearance of ancestors. His argument - called the Molecular Clock - is false:

1. There's no inherent reason macroevolution should produce clock-like results, and many reasons it's unexpected.

2. Evolutionists use fossil-ages to "calibrate" the molecular clock - thereby guaranteeing a "match" between the two.

3. Even so, the pattern isn't so simple, and doesn't square with uniform molecular-clock-rates (for all genes jointly, nor even for most genes singly). So evolutionists ignore some genes and include others - to increase the match. Evolutionists also allow fluctuating molecular-clock-rates (between separate genes, and for a given gene) - which are "calibrated" with multiple references to fossil-ages - again increasing the match. This method allows evolutionists to further eliminate (ignore or "calibrate"-away) discrepancies between molecular and fossil data.

4. Evolutionists easily explain-away further discrepancies between 'molecular-age' and fossil-age. Large radiometric/sedimentary dating inaccuracies; over-thrusts, re-mixing, and "incompleteness," all allegedly alter the 'apparent' fossil-sequence. Most importantly; hierarchies - whether based on molecules or fossil-morphology - don't identify real ancestors, therefore virtually any fossil-sequence is compatible with evolution and molecular data. The evolutionist method artificially constructs unreal ancestors (from molecules, and from fossil-morphologies), and then claims a correspondence between the 'ages' of these unreal entities! These unreal organisms don't exist, so their 'age' and 'order of appearance' are a farce!

5. The molecular clock isn't fundamentally about age! In effect, it claims the correspondence between two types of hierarchy - (based on molecules, and fossil-morphology) - is evidence for macroevolution. It's the classic 'hierarchy' argument in different guise.

6. Many evolutionists vigorously reject the molecular clock:

"Considering the strong demands usually applied in experimental biology, it is hard to understand why the [molecular clock] concept survived such a long period at all. It can neither be used as a tool for dating phylogenetic splits nor as reliable supportive evidence for any particular phylogenetic hypothesis. ... . A reliable molecular clock with respect to protein sequences seems not to exist. ... . It is concluded that the protein molecular clock hypothesis should be rejected."[2]


Thomas cites "how simple genetic mutations ... can also produce radically new body plans." But that runs into Haldane's Dilemma - a classic evolutionary problem a leading evolutionist acknowledges, "was never solved".[3] Haldane showed that species with low reproduction (higher vertebrates) could substitute beneficial mutations no faster than one per 300 generations, on average.[4, 5] Evolutionary theory views these as almost always a point mutation - a nucleotide. Therefore, an ape-human-like species, given ten million years, could substitute no more than 1,667 mutations - nominally about 1,667 nucleotides! (That's about one three-hundredths of one one-hundredth of one-percent of the human genome.) Is this tiny number of 'improvements' enough to create man's unique adaptations from ape-like ancestors ten million years ago? When put this directly, (which evolutionists traditionally haven't done), the public readily understands Haldane's Dilemma.

Evolutionists cannot assign the 1,667 mutations any way they please, say, as "regulatory genes" or as "mutations with large effect." Nature doesn't let evolutionists choose. Rather, beneficial mutations will nearly always be ordinary, with small effect. The "how" of macroevolution remains problematic - even for humans. My book shows evolutionists never solved Haldane's Dilemma, instead it was garbled and brushed aside.[1]


DNA identifies ancestry within human populations because:

1. The methods use numerous unique genetic markers transmitted (essentially) identical, without error.

2. All relevant processes are known and accurately modeled.

3. Methods are experimentally verified.

They don't apply to macroevolution because:

1. Relevant macro-evolutionary processes aren't known or accurately modeled. (See my Essay-1:Table-1)

2. The many errors accumulate over long periods and can't be undone.

3. There's no experimental verification.

Thomas cited laboratory virus experiments, which fail for those same reasons. Evolutionary theory provides no structure for extrapolating microevolution into macroevolution - and therefore no means to extrapolate experimental demonstrations into macroevolution (as attempted by Thomas). Gould's "punctuated equilibrium" is one version (of many versions) of macro-evolutionary theory - it employs dramatically different blends of processes than Classical Darwinism (with heated disagreement between evolutionists) - and those weren't modeled in experiments Thomas attempted to extrapolate. There's no justification for Thomas's extrapolations.


Thomas (like all evolutionists) embraces Transposition, (he even cites it in higher animals!) - therefore it's within evolutionary theory (not "in addition to" or 'separate from' evolution.)

But it contradicts Thomas's claim that evolution predicts hierarchical patterns. So he de-emphasizes Transposition on grounds that it lacks "common" experimental demonstration. However, Transposition is the only evolutionary mechanism demonstrated over large-scales, so his reasoning would invalidate all evolutionary theory. Moreover, Transposition needn't be 'experimentally common' to be effective. 'One such event per million years, might have profound evolutionary impact' - at least that's the logic evolutionists use elsewhere! Thus, Thomas gave invalid reasons for de-emphasizing Transposition.

An entirely different reason is in play.

Thomas agrees Transposition could "perturb evolutionary patterns" and "these perturbations are largely absent from higher creatures" - therefore Transposition must be largely absent from higher creatures. Pattern is the compelling evidence!

Some evolutionists (such as Thomas) de-emphasize Transposition (correctly) because life systematically lacks this key pattern. Other evolutionists (such as Syvanen[6,7,8]) emphasize Transposition because they (correctly) see it would explain-away profound evolutionary difficulties:

1. Absence of gradualism

2. Absence of clear-cut ancestors

3. Abundance of "convergence"

Both evolutionist groups are correct! Transposition - not common descent - is the greater threat to creationists' views (and Message Theory especially). Transposition is (potentially) the most potent macro-evolutionary explanation. Designing life to resist it requires substantial absence of Transposition patterns - it's compelled by evolutionists' own logic!


Thomas claims evolution predicts hierarchy. He and most evolutionists arrive at that falsity because pattern drives evolutionary theory. They observe life's substantial hierarchy pattern, so they then ignore, de-emphasize, or set-aside mechanisms that prevent hierarchy - such as Transposition, Atavism, Convergence, Multiple-origins, Exobiology, and most other mechanisms identified in my essay-1:Table-1. That's what Thomas did. He largely ignored these issues. Macro-evolutionary theory doesn't predict hierarchy - it's a structureless smorgasbord, not science.


After extensively surveying the available data, evolutionist Patterson contradicts Thomas's notion of general congruence:

"Partly because of morphology's long history, congruence between morphological phylogenies is the exception rather than the rule. With molecular phylogenies, all generated within the last couple of decades, the situation is little better"[9]

Thomas's treatments of quotations - (from Patterson, Crick, Cairns-Smith, Gould, and my book) - exceedingly leads readers in false or irrelevant directions.[9,10,11,12,1]


Continuity between ancestor-descendant (or "commonality," as Thomas put it) doesn't predict system-wide biomolecular unity. Moreover, Thomas (like most evolutionists) tries to separate life's origin from its subsequent evolution. That move obscures the fact that life's "subsequent evolution" must've included countless earthly lifeforms lacking our known biomolecular unity (according to origin-of-life theorists!). Also, some evolutionists claim multiple origins-of-life - and life from Space. So if anything, evolution predicts biomolecular dis-unity - contrary to observation, and to Message Theory. (See my Essay-2)



Thomas failed to establish his thesis:

1. Biomolecules aren't "independent" evidence for macroevolution - they cannot stand-alone - they aren't "fingerprints." Rather their very meaning must be interpreted beside other evidences - even Thomas did this.

2. Biomolecules don't "compel" us to macroevolution. Haldane's Dilemma remains unsolved. Evolution doesn't predict hierarchy, biochemical unity, abundant convergence, concerted evolution, or relative-rarity of enzymes for digesting the world's most abundant food compound - cellulose. If evolution predicts anything on these matters, it predicts contrary to what we observe. And that's just some biomolecular evidences.

3. Message Theory scientifically explains these patterns and more. Thomas's arguments against Message Theory all misrepresented it. He now responds that he personally finds the theory "illogical and unconvincing" - for reasons he chose not to reveal! Thus, he failed to explicitly address - much less dislodge - Message Theory.




[1] ReMine, Walter J., 1993, The Biotic Message: Evolution versus Message Theory, St. Paul Science/publishers, P.O. Box 28006, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55128, ISBN 0-9637999-0-8, http://www1.minn.net/~science

[2] Scherer, S. "The Protein Molecular Clock: Time for a Reevaluation," in Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 24, Hecht et al (eds.), p 102-103.

[3] Williams, G. C. (1992) In Natural Selection: Domains, Levels, and Challenges. New York: Oxford University Press

[4] Haldane, J. B. S. (1957) The Cost of Natural Selection. J. Genet. 55:511-524.

[5] Merrell, D. J. (1981) In Ecological Genetics. University of Minnesota Press, p 187-193.

[6] Syvanen and Kado/editors, 2002, Horizontal Gene Transfer, 2nd-Edition

[7] Syvanen, M., 1986, "Cross-species gene transfer: a major factor in evolution?" Trends in Genetics, March, p63-66.

[8] Syvanen, M., 1987, "Molecular Clocks and Evolutionary Relationships: Possible Distortions Due to Horizontal Gene Flow," Journal Molecular Evolution, 26:16-23

[9] Patterson, C., et al, "Homology in Classical and Molecular Biology," Molecular Biology and Evolution 5(1988), pp.603-625

[10] Crick, F., 1981, Life Itself, p47

[11] Cairns-Smith, A.G., 1985, Seven Clues to the Origin of Life, p91, 100, 107

[12] Gould, S.J., 2002, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.


This document was last modified on 9/26/2003


Hits from Inception thru August 1st, 2003: 312

NMSR Debate Home


TCCSA  Debate Home


NMSR  Home