Going Down?

11 04 2010

Despite my frequent study of fecal bacteria, my gut feeling toward them is that I find revolting the very idea that anything would be living inside of me, other than my own body parts.  Nevertheless, I understand, albeit reluctantly, that humans benefit from a stable population of beneficial intestinal bacteria.  The maintenance of that relative stability in population can be compared to the workings of a sewage treatment plant.  The secondary treatment process for sewage involves mixing the influent with recycled sludge.  That sludge is a mass of microorganisms that help to remove organic compounds from the water, which would otherwise reach the outfall and be dumped into nature, overly rich with pollutants.  After a long exposure, drifting slowly through the reactor, these organisms are again collected and pumped as sludge back to the beginning of the cycle to start over again.  The sewage carries its own organisms, but seeding of the process ensures a stable and efficient population.

In the human intestine, a similar principle applies.  Intestinal fortitude depends entirely upon the population residing therein.  The appendix serves the function of seeding the intestine with bacteria collected earlier, promoting not only a stable population but also one that doesn’t wreak havoc on us.

Earlier, students had been told that the appendix was a useless vestigial organ, left over from evolution from some previous organism.  Had this really been the case, what we should really be surprised at is that we aren’t entirely loaded with vestigial organs.  If the process of evolution is really as gradual as they say it is, then we can’t really afford to waste so much time exchanging organs one at a time like that.  Well, the vestigial organ paradigm has more problems to it than just its frequency of occurrence.  According to the Theory, every change that provides even the slightest benefit to an organism should be selected and amplified by natural selection and reproduction.  Their problem lies in the fact that the changes are supposed to be gradual.  If a slight change is not enough to improve survival rates and promote evolution, then that change is lost, and no evolution takes place.  If life had to rely on leaps and bounds in lucky engineering to make a noticeable difference on a species survival rate, then even relatively senseless people would have trouble digesting that one.  Every little positive change must work to improve survival and move evolution forward, or else the whole idea falls flat.

That’s where the vestigial organ complicates the problem.  Supposedly, the organ once had a relevant purpose, but as the organism changed, the organ lost its usefulness.  However, if that vestigial organ still provided even the slightest benefit, then natural selection should still promote it.  The thing should never become vestigial, unless it was absolutely useless.  Marginally or mostly useless doesn’t cut it.  People can’t say that a slight benefit causes it to stay and proliferate, but not enough benefit causes it to be lost.  By that reasoning, it actually takes less usefulness to keep a trait than it does to discard it.

This is where the creationist usually drops the ball, by failing to claim the vestigial organ as evidence for the nature of change.  We can say that in the beginning, God created all things good.  Any change from there is going to leave things in a worse state than the way that they started.  We wouldn’t want to make the mistake of naming things as vestigial simply because we don’t understand their purpose, as the evolutionists do, but a dysfunctional organ is an example of negative evolution, the antithesis of what we’re being fed of atheist dogma.

The evolutionists want to have it both ways.  Slight benefits accumulate, but insufficient benefit is lost.  In fact, there is only one direction of travel in this world, and it is downward.  It is true that blind naked mole rats might have once been furry little gophers with excellent vision.  This is what the creationist should anticipate.  The evolutionist explanation in this case is the same as the creationist’s should be, but while it is integral to the creationist’s view, it is more of an exception to the evolutionist’s view.  But while the evolutionist is quick to claim evidence of both upward and downward movement in evolution, the creationist is often reluctant to accept either.  If both sides accepted the logical implication of their own beliefs, then the many examples of bad useless organs out there would be a devastating blow to the evolutionists and a victory to the creationists.

But there is an aspect to this that goes smaller than the vestigial organ.  There is also the vestigial gene.  In the game of genetics, the dominant genes are almost always the functional ones.  That is to say that genes are like cars: they either run, or they don’t.  The recessive genes, the ones that don’t work quite right anymore, have always been the ones that came later.  Blond hair, blue eyes, hemophilia, diabetes and other such recessives are known to be relatively recent developments.  No amount of selection has gotten rid of them, and despite the claim that random change has been going on for millions of years, these random changes practically happened yesterday (why did they wait so long?).  Looking at the genetic history of humanity from a rational creationist point of view, the original humans were blacks, at least in appearance.  When a black man and a white woman marry, the resulting child looks more like a black than a white.  This is because the genes responsible for physical appearance are generally dominant in blacks and recessive in whites.  If that child runs for president, they don’t call him yet another white president.  Instead, they call him the first black president, even though he’s just as much white as he is black.  If the genes responsible for this are dominant in blacks, it is because they are functional, healthy genes, whereas the compliment from the white is recessive, sitting there and doing nothing while the black’s genes do all of the work (sounds disturbingly familiar).  From the creationist perspective, and from all available evidence, humanity is trending very strongly toward recessives with time.  That means that we’re not evolving from white to black, from diabetic to healthy, from blond to brunette and so on, but we are moving unstoppably in the opposite direction.  Genes are becoming vestigial.  Adam and Eve, then, were black, at least in appearance.

If God made man in his own image, and in so doing he made a black man, one might wonder something about God’s own appearance, but I digress.

Let’s say that some fool plows his field and dredges up a “missing link.”  Let’s ask ourselves what we really have.  Let’s say it’s something less than human.  The evolutionist sees it and unquestioningly determines it to be an early hominid.  The assumption is that the lesser human was on his way up.  We’re on the third floor, looking at someone in an elevator at the second floor, and we assume that he’s going up.  He could just as easily be going down.  In fact, the evidence would overwhelmingly suggest that he must be going down.  Yet, the evolutionist never questions the man’s direction.  He is going up, and the discussion is over.  Because the skull is older, it therefore indicates that we have improved since then.  The implication, then, is that there has never been a single malformed individual in all of history.  If a man is born deformed today, will future generations find his skull and conclude that humanity has improved since this man’s time?  This says much about how far our popular science has wandered from objectivity.

When two things correlate, one of the most common mistakes people make is to assume that one led to the other.  If A and B look very similar, then people jump to the conclusion that A causes B.  In truth, there are always three possible explanations:

1) A caused B.
2) B caused A.
3) A and B were both caused by C.

In our case, they see that monkeys and humans have something in common.  Therefore, they concluded that monkeys evolved into humans.  When people pointed out that monkeys are physically superior to us, the evolutionists backtracked to say that monkeys and humans both evolved from some unknown subhuman sub-ape ancestor.  What if monkeys evolved from humans?  What if their similarities were only due to the fact that they were both created by the same God, who tended to follow the same functional patterns for both?  Okay, so we’ll admit that we’re not too keen on accepting that monkeys evolved from humans, but are we evolving into something subhuman and sub-ape?  A “missing link,” could always be either post-human, pre-human or non-human (similar only because it was created by the same God, with the same functionality).  The evolutionist only considers one of these three options, because the other two point to a creator.  In fact, if a missing link resulted from negative evolution, or if it resulted from similar engineering, then it evidences creationism.  It all depends on which way the world is really moving.  Evidence suggests that we are moving toward recessives.  We are losing functions and moving downward.  The missing link is not an example of what we came from, but where we are going.  It just happens that one of us got there sooner, and managed to remove himself from the gene pool in the process.

I don’t know if it is possible that “vestigial” organs were created that way.  My first car, a ’72 Mazda, was a rolling piece of junk, missing everything but the barest requirements for running.  Every wire in it had been gnawed in half by a rat.  No dashboard function worked.  Consequently, I found myself scavenging from junk yards for the missing parts.  In this futile exercise, I learned that the engine appeared to be built for parts that it was never equipped with.  Other makes and models had a very similar engine block, but where theirs was connected to various parts in certain places, mine only had the places, still shaped as though they were meant to connect to something, but closed off abruptly.  The engineers used a modified plan from some other design to make this vehicle.  This sounds like an act of laziness, and not something that God would do, but I do recall that while God made all other life ex nihlo (out of nothing), he made man from the dust of the Earth.  I’ve always wondered why he would borrow the substance of something else when he could just as easily make it from nothing.  Why did Jesus need dirt and spittle to make a blind man see?  The point in all of this is that God’s style of work might be slightly more in a way of adapting designs, materials and whatnot, than a creationist would be comfortable with.  This is not to say that things evolved.  This is to say that he does not mind borrowing ideas and materials from his earlier works in spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that a god-hating evolutionist might use it to demonstrate a falsehood in order to believe what he wishes to believe.

You are in an elevator going down.  You wish to believe that you are going up.  You insist that you are going up.  You ridicule those who suggest otherwise.  You look for evidence to prove your point.  Even when the evidence suggests that you’re going down, you still claim that it proves your point, because going down is still movement, and the net movement must be up.  We must be going up, because it’s the only desirable explanation for how we got this high in the first place.  At least the elevator doesn’t have windows.

Going down?




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