One Long Bluff

Jonathan Wells

A news item posted October 7 on EcoWorldly announces:

Scientists Discover Fish in Act of Evolution in Africa’s Greatest Lake.
In a report published in the journal Nature, researchers from Tokyo’s Institute of Technology and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology have observed the cichlid evolve into a new species better adapted in sighting its prey and predator.

The news item is based on the October 2 issue of Nature, the cover of which proclaims in large letters, “Speciation in Colour: A textbook example of evolution in action.” An article in the same issue (subscription required) claims in its abstract to provide “the most complete demonstration so far of speciation”–the origin of a new species–“without geographical separation.”
But the researchers did not observe the origin of a new species. They did what biologists have been doing for a long time: They analyzed differences in existing species to find evidence to support a particular hypothesis of speciation. Anyone who reads the news report carefully finds this:

Researchers looked at two species, conspicuous by their red or blue colours. They determined through lab experiments that certain genetic mutations helped some fish adapt their vision at deeper levels to see the colour red and others in shallower water to recognise shades of blue.

Even this is exaggerated. Although “genetic mutations helped some fish adapt” might sound as though the researchers induced mutations that helped some fish adapt to new conditions, all they really did was compare existing species and find a correlation between differences in their DNA and differences in their vision.
This is just another episode in what I call in my Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design “one long bluff”–to distinguish it from Darwin’s “one long argument,” as he called The Origin of Species. The truth is that no one has ever observed–or at least, has never reported in the scientific literature–the origin of a new species by Darwin’s mechanism of variation and natural selection. The first step in Darwinian evolution, which Darwinists have called “evolution’s smoking gun” and without which nothing else follows, has never been found.
As Phillip E. Johnson wrote in 1999 in The Wall Street Journal, “When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail, you know they are in trouble.”

Jonathan Wells

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Jonathan Wells has received two Ph.D.s, one in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and one in Religious Studies from Yale University. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, he has previously worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and the supervisor of a medical laboratory in Fairfield, California. He also taught biology at California State University in Hayward and continues to lecture on the subject.