Puzzles and Answers

"The man with a new idea is a crank – until the idea succeeds."

Mark Twain

  • The model provides sound explanation to many mysteries in biology, which is not available to other evolutionary theories.
A. Chickens first
  • The chicken or egg paradox has persisted for many centuries. Current popular evolutionary theories do not provide any plausible explanation for it and often do not mention it at all. By the model, the initial members of chickens or “hopeful monsters” evolved from a pre-chicken ancestor through gross mutations at the zygote stage. The modified zygotes were the beginning of the first chicken at the one-cell stage. The cells (two zygotes) self-replicated, proliferated, and eventually became male and female chickens. Their somatic cells had the characteristics of chickens, while the gonads in adult chickens would produce chicken gametes. Therefore, chickens or “hopeful monster”, or a group of chickens or “hopeful monster”, must have come first, which are derived from zygotes, not from eggs.

Evolutionary biologists have poor explanation of "chicken or egg" puzzle.

B. Lack of transitional links
  • Numerous problems arise from assuming natural selection the mechanism for speciation. The most troubling aspect was the lack of a transitional species in the fossil records (Gould, Stephen J. and Eldredge, Niles 1977). By the GMCMI model there should be no or few intermediate fossils. Multifactorial explanations can be applied. The novelties generated by the gross mutation could produce huge genotypic and phenotypic changes. Second, if speciation were the result of the gross mutations at the individual level, the speed of evolution would be faster than one under natural selection and the quantity of intermediates would be too small to be detected in fossils. Third, speciation occurs at very narrow geographical locations and is compatible with the absence of intermediate fossils. Fourth, the newcomers must recognize each other for mating. Non-continuous or distinct characters might be necessary for recognition. The model predicts distinct feature exist between species in evolution process, not otherwise.

C. Cambrian exploration
  • The fossils records show that primitive life on Earth began about 4 billion years ago. At the beginning of the Cambrian period 545 million years ago, all the major anatomical structures seem today evolved in a span of only 5 to 10 million years in an event known as the Cambrian explosion (Gould 1989).
  • The model does not offer any clues of the “seeds” regarding how they were generated, as this is not relevant to any theory of speciation. The model is the mechanism of speciation with assumption that ‘seeds’ or spores of organism pre-existed. The pattern of the growth predicted by the model is consistent with what we observed in the Cambrian explosion. Under proper conditions, the original seeds became primitive organisms, which multiplied, become a viable species, and reproduced the next new species. The circle would continue in an explosive pattern as shown in the initial phase of the Cambrian explosion. Nevertheless, the trend could not last forever as ecological niches decreased and food supplies were depleted. All of these might be contributed to the decreased exploration as phyla were lost and not replaced.

Only primitive organisms existed in the pre-Cambrian period. 

D. Organs and environments
  • Fish living in underwater caves are blind and have apparent scars where their eyes should be. The eyes of the Mexican tetra have a lens, sclera with a degenerate retina, and optic nerve. Although the tetra cannot see, but have eyes with retinas and lenses, and the eyelids grow over the eyes to seal them from outside light. Other than the lack of sight, these cave dwelling fishes are identical to fish living at the water’s surface that are sighted (Durand and others 1993; Jeffery 2001). It is thought that a group of fish with normal eyes was trapped while swimming in an underground cave. Without light stimulation, their eyes atrophied and, over the generations, they become blind. However, even in the darkness, the genetic codes in trapped fish would have retained its programming to develop eyes. The genes would be unaware that eyes were no longer required.
  • The model provides a more plausible explanation. Gross mutations occurred in the ancestral fish with production of eyeless fish. Some fish went to the surface and did not survive, because they could neither find food nor escape predators. Some of them swam into lightless caves where not having eyes was not a disadvantage. Fish with normal eyes were at a disadvantage as their eyes would be subject to injury from hitting the rocks and cave walls in the darkness. Only eyeless fish that remained in the caves flourished.

Gross mutation caused generation of eyeless fishes that swam

to dark caves.

E. Drug resistant bacteria
  • A drug resistant bacterium has been a widely cited as the evidence to support of Darwin’s idea of evolution. Ernst May wrote:

“When penicillin was first introduced in the 1940s, it was amazingly effective against many types of bacteria. Any infection, let us say by streptococci or spirochetes, was almost immediately cured. However, bacteria are genetically variable and the most susceptible ones succumbed most rapidly. A few that had acquired by mutation genes that had made them more resistant survived longer and a few still had survived when the treatment stopped. In this manner, the frequency of somewhat resistant strains gradually increased in human populations. …Thus by gradual evolution an almost com­pletely susceptible species of bacteria had evolved into a totally resis­tant one (Mayr 1991)”.

Antibiotics does not lead to generation of any new bacteria,

only selects pre-existed bacteria.

The picture above is shown inwikipedia website , which has been utilized by evolutionary biologists to support the validity of the theory.

  • There are at least two issues with his position. First, bacteria cannot be categorized as a biological species, because they reproduce asexually. Bacteria with different characteristics are often considered a ‘strain’ in microbiology, rather than a species. Many subgroups or strains are generated by random genetic mutations, and are found within any type of bacteria. One strain happens to be penicillin-resistant and confers the strain a growth advantage over penicillin-sensitive bacteria under the drug. Second, the drug-resistant organism (red dots above) might have existed long time before the advent of antibiotics through random mutations or plasmid transduction (Ochman and Lawrence, Jeffrey M. & Grolsman, Eduardo A. 2000). The application of antibiotics would kill other bacteria while the drug-resistant strain easily proliferated and they are singled out.

F. Atavisms

  • Anatomical atavism is a structure that was once found in a remote ancestor but now lost in a recent lineage. For example, if horse occasionally displayed gills, then this would be a potential atavism, because gills are pathogneumonic of taxa (e.g. fish), to which horses do not belong. For developmental reasons, the occasional occurrence of atavisms is expected under common descent, if the structures or functions were lost between ancestor and descendant lineages (Hall 1995).
  • Atavisms also occur at molecular levels. Humans do not have the capability to synthesize vitamin C, which, if deficient in the diet, will lead to scurvy. The predicted ancestors of humans could synthesize vitamin C as do most other animals, except primates and guinea pigs. The L-gulano-g-lactone oxidase gene, the gene required for vitamin C synthesis was found in humans and guinea pigs as a pseudogene and other primates (Ohta and Nishikimi 1999).
  • Mainstream evolutionary theories rarely provide any plausible explanation for how atavisms occur should new species was the outcome of RMNS or GI. Under the proposed model, gross mutations might affect both structural and regulatory genes responsible for certain organs or chemical products. If only regulatory genes that controlled growth were affected, the organs would not develop in the new animals and the structural genes of these organs might be still intact. The regulatory genes could be reactivated in the descendant lineages; thus, the lost organs would reappear. It is conceivable that the structural genes for other vitamins still exist in humans as pseudogenes.

"Ape boy" is an example of atavisms

References 

Durand J, Keller N, Renard G, Thorn R, Pouliquen Y. 1993. Residual cornea and the degenerate eye of the cryptophthalmic typhlotriton spelaeus. Cornea 12:437-47.

Gould, Stephen J. and Eldredge, Niles. 1977. Punctuated equilibria:  The tempo and mode of evolution reconsidered. Paleobiology 3:115-51. 

Gould SJ. 1989. Wonderful life : The burgess shale and the nature of history. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton. 

Jeffery WR. 2001. Cavefish as a model system in evolutionary developmental biology. Dev Biol 231:1-12. 

Mayr E. 1991. One long argument: Charles Darwin and the genesis of modern evolutionary thought. Harvard Press. 

Ochman H and Lawrence, Jeffrey M. & Grolsman, Eduardo A. 2000. Lateral gene transfer and the nature of bacterial innovation. Nature 405:299-304. 

Ohta Y and Nishikimi M. 1999. Random nucleotide substitutions in primate nonfunctional gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, the missing enzyme in L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis. Biochim Biophys Acta 1472(1):408-11.

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