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The Evolutionary Argument from Ignorance

Cornelius Hunter


Yesterday I looked at the enormous problems that the DNA, or genetic, code pose for evolutionary theory. Here, previously noted at Evolution News, is a paper that seems to have come to the same conclusion. The authors argue that the underlying patterns of the genetic code are not likely to be due to “chance coupled with presumable evolutionary pathways” (P-value < 10^-13), and conclude that they are “essentially irreducible to any natural origin.”

A common response from evolutionists, when presented with evidence such as this, is that we still don’t understand biology very well. This argument from ignorance goes all the way back to Darwin. He used it in Chapter 6 of the Origin to discard the problem of evolving the electric organs in fish, such as the electric eel (which isn’t actually an eel). The Sage from Kent agreed that it is “impossible to conceive by what steps these wondrous organs” evolved, but that was OK, because “we do not even know of what use they are.”

Setting aside the fact that Darwin’s argument from ignorance was a non-scientific fallacy; it also was a set up for failure. For now, a century and half later, we do know “what use they are.” And it has just gotten worse for evolution.

It is another demonstration that arguments from ignorance, aside from being terrible arguments, are not good science. The truth is, when evolutionists today claim that the many problems with their chance theory are due to a lack of knowledge, they are throwing up a smoke screen.

Photo: Electric eel, New England Aquarium, by Steven G. Johnson (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Cross-posted at Darwin’s God.