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Monday, October 21, 2013

Evolution Is Irrelevant to Michael Egnor

The title of this post suggest a story that's about as interesting as the proverbial "Dog Bites Man" story [see Man Bites Dog]. Nevertheless, from time to time it is amusing to see how the creationist mind works.

Michael Egnor is upset about the fact that the American Society for Biochemistry and Moleclar Biology (ASBMB) picked "evolution" as an important concept that should be covered in a biochemistry or molecular biology course. He doesn't like my post: ASBMB Core Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Evolution. He decided that he better convince his fellow creationists than biochemists don't know what they are talking about [Is Darwinian Evolution "Indispensable" to Biology?].

Here are some excerpts for your amusement.
Evolution is irrelevant to biochemistry and molecular biology. Biochemistry and molecular biology are, of course, quite important in developing an understanding of evolutionary history. Our understanding of evolutionary history is dependent (to a large degree) on biochemistry and molecular biology. To assert the reverse dependence is to reason in a circle.


Evolutionary inferences, whether good stories or bad, are irrelevant to research in biochemistry and molecular biology. Much if not most research in biochemistry and molecular biology is conducted in medical schools, which don't teach evolutionary biology and don't have departments of evolutionary biology.


Biochemistry and molecular biology might be used to infer common evolutionary ancestry (common design is also a reasonable inference). Inference to evolutionary ancestry based on biochemistry and molecular biology can't then contribute to research in biochemistry and molecular biology, because, as noted above, that would be to reason in a circle.


Diseases have proximate and evolutionary causes. Biochemists and molecular biologists study proximate causes. Evolutionary biologists make up evolutionary stories based on research on the proximate causes. The contribution is one-directional.


Similarity between humans and other organisms is established by biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, anatomy, etc. Based on similarities, evolutionary inferences are conjured by evolutionary biologists. If biochemists etc. claimed that evolutionary stories were essential to their work, they would be... reasoning in a circle. But of course they don't actually claim that. They just pay homage to evolution, to keep Darwinists off their back.


"Related" is determined by biochemistry and molecular biology. Evolutionary stories about relatedness are derived from biochemical and molecular similarities. Therefore, evolution is informed by, but does not inform, biochemistry and molecular biology.


The absurd circular claims of evolution's indispensability to the biological disciplines -- the very sciences on which evolutionary biology feeds -- is just more evidence that Darwinism's narrative gloss is wearing so thin that evolution needs a telethon every now and then to make it even seem relevant.
I swear I'm not making this up. Go on over to Evolution News & Views (sic) and see for yourself.

At least Dr. Egnor has done us a favor. Since he is a physician, he must have taken a biochemistry course at some point in his life. It is plainly obvious that the course did not include much about evolution. Thus, Dr. Egnor is inadvertently demonstrating that biochemistry should be taught as a concept-driven course and that evolution should be one of the fundamental concepts. Otherwise, we end up with doctors that are as ignorant of evolution as Michael Egnor.


  1. Note that Philip Skell, who lived and died a chemist, has been posthumously retrained as a "molecular biologist" -- a leading one at that!

  2. I guess Dr. Egnor has nothing to indicate whether or not one strain of bacterium is related to another.*

    Sort of tells you everything you need to know about how anti-knowledge IDiocy truly is.

    Glen Davidson

    *And, as if common design has ever mapped as slavishly to ancestor-descendant relationships as life does. But then, as if IDiots have ever cared about details and cause-effect relationships.

  3. Many physicians don't think they use evolution in their day-to-day work. But they know that many of the medications they use are extensively tested in animals before they are tried on humans. They casually accept that those tests are relevant because they know that the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of those animals have similarity to ours. They would be distressed if the tests were on jellyfish -- they are happier if the tests are on mammals.

    So they are using evolution regularly, they just don't think of it that way.

    Egnor tries to get out of this by arguing that it is the biochemical similarity that is being used, and the inferences of relatedness are secondary to that. But the evidence for common descent is that similar inferences of relationship are found when we look at different aspects of biochemistry (or physiology, or anatomy). So inferences that mice are mammals can be made from features of the skull, and then give us reassurance that their kidney physiology will be closer to ours than will the kidney physiology of a fish or a salamander.

    1. Physicians don't think they use evolution because they don't!
      Tests are animals are not evidence of evolution at work because the tests work for human results. why would it be?
      Inferences of relatedness are secondary.
      Its not evidence for common descent if aother options explain it also.
      A creator with common basic designs would also use like Dna for like needs.
      Thats what I would do! What else? Why not a single computer programe.
      God is the original programmer as opposed to a artist flowing with the moment. As in physics so in biology.
      Therefore its only a line of reasoning to extrapolate back present Dna etc facts of biology to draw trees of descent of ancient biology.
      Even if true it would still just be reasoning and not evidenced science.

      Similarity is just evidence of similarity. Its not evidence, genetic, biology, etc, of common descent. Not evidence . Just a hunch. A wrong hunch.
      Where is the molecular evidence that molecular likeness is evidence of descent origins??
      I think Dr Egnor is asking this if less articulate. He's a doctor.

    2. I think Dr Egnor is asking this if less articulate.

      You're right about that, Robert. Your fractured beat poetry is much preferable to Egnor's belligerent pseudointellectual philosobabble.

    3. Why not a single computer program

      Which is why the DNA of all species is exactly identical with no variation beyond that absolutely necessary for structural differences.

      What's that? That's actually not true, that there are many DNA differences besides those creating structural differences? So there actually isn't a "single computer program"? And these differences are time-based, exactly what we would expect to find as a result of random mutation over time?

      Well, that just means God has a helluva sense of humor, making us think everything evolved when he actually designed it! Right, Robert?

  4. Much like his fellow surgeon creationist Dr. Ben Carson.

  5. There's a good reason the term "egnorance" was coined.

  6. Many doctors will be prescribing HAART for HIV/AIDS without realising it is based on evolutionary considerations (the probability of three independent mutations in three mechanistic ally different systems occurring simultaneously) to lower the incidence of resistance, or that the same point underlies the push for dual therapy in malaria, or the rise of chemotherapy resistance in cancer

  7. "Otherwise, we end up with doctors that are as ignorant of evolution as Michael Egnor."

    Like Joseph Kuhn.

  8. Otherwise, we end up with doctors that are as ignorant of evolution as Michael Egnor.

    Thus explaining, in part, the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Perhaps doctors trained in evolutionary theory would have anticipated the effects of over-prescription much earlier and been much more cautious in their use of the drugs.

  9. What Dr Egnor said was well reasoned and right.
    One must pat attention to the logic here. Its a closer math on the anatomy of error in evolutionary thinking.
    There is no contradiction in what he said.

    It all com,es down to that CONCLUSIONS about common descent and so evolutionary process behind that are in NO way demonstrated by molecular studies of today.
    Its all just extrapolation backwards lines of reasoning.
    Its not scientific investigation that comes to the conclusions.
    Truly evolutionism uses lines of reasoning in place of what they say, sincerely, is scientific investigation on genetics or biology etc.
    Dr Egnor made great points here. perhaps just better articulation, my problem too, needs to be worked on.
    However what he says is probably the future doctrine on WHY evolutionism escaped dismissal by the scientific community.

    Biochemistry doesn't need any evolutionary contribution when trying to master the subject. Its just memorizing more un needed material.

  10. Many new insights into human biochemistry and gene function are gleaned by studies in mice and other animals. This is only possible due to shared biochemistry as a result of shared ancestry. The ever-growing library of sequenced genomes is only underscoring this fact. It's so unfortunate to have doctors like Egnor who are so hopelessly ignorant.

    1. He's not ignorant and thats a hard accusation if time proves him right.
      Its not ONLY possible that shared ancestry equals shared biochemistry.
      Thats just the point.
      Ots a another and historic option that like biochemistry comes from a like creator making like design for biological life.
      Why not?
      Thats what I would do if I was God !
      It would be that way also.

      anyways its just a line of reasoning to say what you said.
      its not backed up by scientific evidence.
      its just a hunch.

    2. It's all just a hunch in your eyes, Robert... Nevertheless, MD's aren't well known for their critical thinking skills.