“Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life,” Gelernter writes. “Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated. They could not have all blown out suddenly, like a bunch of geysers. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors.”
Some argue that the Precambrian precursor fossils are missing because they were soft-bodied organisms that didn’t survive as fossils. But some Precambrian soft-bodied fossils did survive — they just weren’t the predecessors to the Cambrian fossils.
Gelernter says the incremental development of new species is largely not there. “Most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” Darwinism can’t explain that.
Perhaps the biggest flaw with Darwinism, he writes, is how hard it would be to randomly make new functional proteins. Darwinian evolution depends a huge number of them. Our understanding of molecular biology developed after Darwin. His theory doesn’t fit well with this new understanding.
Gelernter carefully reviews the evidence, and his article provides a very helpful short guide to the problem. He cites Douglas Axe, a distinguished scientist, who has calculated the chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore be preserved by natural selection, are only 1 in 1077. That’s just one of the many, many proteins needed for any organism.
Gelernter summarizes the evidence. “Immense is so big, and tiny is so small, that neo-Darwinian evolution is — so far — a dead loss. Try to mutate your way from 150 links of gibberish to a working, useful protein and you are guaranteed to fail. Try it with ten mutations, a thousand, a million — you fail. The odds bury you. It can’t be done.”
He has plenty of other problems with Darwinism. The last one he brings up is the (neo-)Darwinian belief that “gene mutations driv[e] macro-evolution.” These can explain changes in existing forms, but not the development of new forms. The mutations are fatal, and the organism dies before it can reproduce. There are no examples of mutations that are not fatal. This Georgia Tech geneticist John F. McDonald calls “the great Darwinian paradox.”