I was struck, but not surprised, by a statement made a few days ago by Neil Turok, Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics here in Waterloo, Ontario. Speaking of the apparent collapse of evidence for a critical component of the Big Bang theory, he responded, ‘even though hundreds or thousands of people are working on an idea, it may still be wrong.’
His statement is a harbinger of a much greater collapse looming on the scientific horizon, also involving thousands of scientists. There is mounting evidence that most, if not all the key predictions of the neo-Darwinian theory of macroevolution are being consistently falsified by advances in science, several of which I will discuss in later posts. Here, we look at a fundamental prediction Darwinism makes regarding the increase of genetic information.
Computer information is digitally encoded using just two symbols (‘1’ and ‘0’). We now know that the instructions for the full diversity of life, are digitally encoded in the DNA of all living things using a four-symbol alphabet. In more technical terms, this is referred to as functional information. (See here for two mistakes people make when talking about functional information.)
In the neo-Darwinian scenario for the origin and diversity of life, the digital functional information for life would have had to begin at zero, increase over time to eventually encode the first simple life form, and continue to increase via natural processes to encode the digital information for the full diversity of life.
An essential, falsifiable prediction of Darwinian theory, therefore, is that functional information must, on average, increase over time.
Interestingly enough, a prediction of intelligent design science is quite the opposite. Since information always degrades over time for any storage media and replication system, intelligent design science postulates that the digital information of life was initially downloaded into the genomes of life. It predicts that, on average, genetic information is steadily being corrupted by natural processes. The beauty of these two mutually incompatible predictions in science is that the falsification of one entails verification of the other. So, which prediction does science falsify, and which one does science verify?
Ask any computer programmer what effect ongoing random changes in the code would do for the integrity of a program, and they will universally agree that it degrades the software. This is precisely the first problem for neo-Darwinian theory. Mutations produce random changes in the digital information of life. It is generally agreed that the rate of deleterious mutations is much greater than the rate of beneficial mutations. My own work with 35 protein families suggests that the rate of destruction is, at minimum, 8 times the rate of neutral or beneficial mutations. Simply put, the digital information of life is being destroyed much faster than it can be repaired or improved. New functions may evolve, but the overall loss of functional information in other areas of the genome will, on average, be significantly greater. The net result is that the digital information of life is running down.
The second series of falsifying observations is indicated by actual organisms we have studied most closely. First, the digital information for the bacterial world is slowly eroding away due to a net deletional bias in mutations involving insertions and deletions. A second example is the fruit fly, one of the most studied life forms in evolutionary biology. It, too, is showing an ongoing, genome-wide loss of DNA across the entire genus. Finally, humans are not exempt. As pointed out in this PNAS paper, “a consideration of the long-term consequences of current human behaviour for deleterious-mutation accumulation leads to the conclusion that a substantial reduction in human fitness can be expected over the next few centuries in industrialized societies unless novel means of genetic intervention are developed“.
We continue to discover more examples of DNA loss, suggesting that the biological world is slowly running down. Microevolution is good at fine-tuning existing forms within their information limits and occasionally getting something right, but the steady accumulation of deleterious mutations on the larger scale suggests that mutation-driven evolution is actually destroying biological life, not creating it.
In conclusion, the digital information of life appears to be steadily degrading rather than increasing, falsifying an essential prediction of neo-Darwinian theory, and verifying a prediction of intelligent design science. This is hardly a surprise, as every other area of science, except for evolutionary biology, grants that natural processes degrade information, regardless of the storage media and copying process. For neo-Darwinian macroevolution to work, it requires something that is in flat-out contradiction to the real world.
(Edited for clarity, 11:46 EDT, June 26, 2015)