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PREFACE


In the book "Why Evolution Is True" the author states: --- it really consists of six components: evolution, gradualism, speciation, common ancestry, natural selection, and nonselective mechanisms of evolutionary change. (p-3)[emphasis supplied].

Darwin's theory that all of life was the product of evolution, and that the evolutionary process was driven largely by natural selection, has been called the greatest idea that anyone ever had. (p-ivi).

"— this volume gives a succinct summary of why modern science recognizes evolution as true." (p-xiv)

These viewpoints are addressed below in terms of their "materialistic" implications

The book's Figure 1 (below left) is a graphic depictions of Darwin's hypothesis of Descent From A Common Ancestor, and is typical of the science's universal expression of the progressive development of animal forms from the proposed common ancestor --- the divergent animal forms depending on "species splitting" at, for example, a common ancestor designated as node X, a single ancestral species, that split into two descendant species.

The right-hand figure is the book's Figure 1 that has been edited to illustrate (sequences of blurred images) where, following the split, each species underwent development.

In this blog, the X points are considered "starting points" representing the first documented appearance of a body plan sufficient to be recognized as exhibiting traits recognized as "novelties".

This blog focuses on one fundamental question: What is implied when the traits of a described body plan are perceived as having "evolved" from body-plan characteristics that presumably existed in a "most-recent-common ancestor" or in "the last universal common ancestor?"

This ideology is fundamentally based on "materialism" which maintains that the origin and development of organism characteristics was/is due to natural physical/chemical processes.

This blog's purpose is to argue that the field's common ancestor concept involves recourse to organism origins whose materialstic processes cannot be rationally described and are essentially unknown.

If so, then non-materialistic origins and processes cannot be objectively ruled out.

The following text sections contain summaries of modules that address various biological evolution concepts that are directly or indirectly related to the materialistic view of the common ancestor hypothesis as implied in the foregoing figures.

BODY PLAN MECHANISM: PLAUSIBILITY
(updated 07Nov14)

Body plan morphology and phylogeny imply the action of a guidance mechanism.

Dynamic Patterning Modules are perceived as the mechanism.

Dynamic Patterning Modules:

---are a subset of genes in the developmental-genetic toolkit;

---are perceived as a pattern language;

---control the development of all metazoan body plans;

---considered to be the distinguishing properties of multicellular life;

---are regulatory networks that function as self-ordered properties;

---constitute body plan self-organization;

---first appeared during the Proterozoic Eon (2500 Ma to 542.0±1.0 Ma (million years ago), before the appearance of bilaterian animals;

---control clustering capabilities that emerged in pre-existing cell surface molecules;

---pre-existed multicellularity;

---are/were physically inevitable;

---are an example of Orthogenesis that assume a limited set of characteristic forms;

---are perceived on a range of observed conditions of body-plan development, organization, and controls that the reality of the concept can be objectively argued as a plausible mechanism.
Link To Module

BODY PLAN MECHANISM: ORIGIN
(updated 18Nov14)

The nature of unknowns concerning the origin and assembly of phylum-level organism body-plans including:

---lack of a definitive organism origin in which the first body plan was assembled;

---conflicting hypotheses involving phylogenetic path of body-plan development;

---the completeness of body plans at their first appearance;

---the seeming tendency of body plans to follow an ordered developmental sequence;

---the apparent trend toward limited final body-plan configuration;

the unidentified causative agent in the appearance of novel phylum-level traits;

---has resulted in the implication that the origin, assembly, and form of phylum-level body-plans operate under the control of a pre-existing guiding mechanism.
Link To Module

CONVERGENCE
(updated 06Nov14)

Similarities in two or more body-plan traits in different species are presumed to represent homologous conditions that establish ancestor-descendant relationships.

A descendant trait that is homologous to an ancestor trait is the basis for establishing a lineage that is intended to represent a species-to-species relationship.

Ancestor/descendant homologous traits establish species-to-species linkages.

Species-to-species linkages form the lineages represented in phylogenetic trees.

Similar traits that have resulted from homoplasy reflect convergent evolution.

Traits with common characteristics that are the consequence of convergent evolution do not suggest a common ancestor for the traits.

The phylogenetic consequences of convergent evolution cannot be objectively distinguished from the phylogenetic consequences of parallel evolution without a phylogenetic tree that accurately reflects homology and homoplasy.

Phylogenetic trees that do not account for the potential confounding effects of homoplasy on homology cannot be plausibly argued to represent species-to-species common ancestry lineages.
Link To Module

HORIZONTAL GENE TRANSFER
(updated 08Nov14)

Irrespective of where in a descendant organism's phylogenetic development a Horizontal Gene Transfer from other organisms occurred, and irrespective of the magnitude of the transfer, the descendant organism's genetic complement includes the ancestor's Horizontal Gene Transfer complement and thus the two organisms do not represent a common ancestor sequence but, in combination of lineage branching, represent a web of Horizontal Gene Transfers and thus there is no organismal tree and no most recent "body-Plan" common ancestor nor Last Universal Common Ancestor in terms of species-to-species lineage.
Link To Module

HOX GENES
(updated 11Nov14)

Since:

---pre-sponge organisms contained ProtoHox genes;

---sponges do not exhibit Hox and/or ParaHox genes;

---post-sponge organisms exhibit(ed) Hox and/or ParaHox genes;

---Hox Genes that control body-plan structure/assembly were present in organisms that preceded sponges, but were absent in sponges**, and then were present in organisms that followed sponges, body-plan structure/assembly in post-sponge organisms was not a consequence of the standard Darwinian common ancestor concept of lineage sequences due to the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and thus not influenced by sponge body-plan structure/assembly.

(**thus their body-plan structure/assembly developed without the benefit of the required body-plan controlling mechanism (addressed in the BODY PLAN MECHANISM: PROCESS module.))
Link To Module

GENETIC TOOLKIT

Under Revision

NEW VARIANTS

The origin of body-plan novelties that result in the development of body-plan sequences is independent of trait-to-trait changes associated with natural selection and thus reduces natural selection to a concept that has no relevance to the body-plan development sequence from a hypothetical Last Universal Common Ancestor.
Link To Module

DEVONIAN-CARBONIFEROUS TO PERMIAN SYNAPSID-THERAPSID TRAITS

The reality that the postcranial body-plan traits for the earliest-appearing species was cladistically and taxonomically identical with the body-plan traits for the latest-appearing species, spread across thirty seven species among six families, precludes a trait-to-trait ancestor/descendant sequence of any two pelycosaaur/synapsid species and thus refutes Darwinism's common ancestor idea during the Carboniferous/Permian period.
Link To Module

OPHIACODONTIDAE/ARCHAEOTHYRIS DEVONIAN/CARBONIFEROUS/PERMIAN TRAIT GAP

Since the field must rely solely on cladograms to establish species-to-species lineages, and since the node sequences on cladograms cannot be plausibly interpreted as appearances times of those species, the field has no decisive means to support a common ancestor bridge between Devonian/Carboniferous fauna and Permian fauna.
Link To Module

CONTINENTAL PLATES PRECLUDE DEVONIAN/CARBONIFEROUS FAUNA COMMON ANCESTRY

The fossil record of tetrapods has led the field to recognize the plausible scenario that tetrapod origin could be due to multiple occurrences, some without palaeographic immediate "ancestors", which dissociates the Devonian/Carboniferous Period fauna and later tetrapod phylogeny from a Darwinian common ancestor relationship.
Link To Module

DIPHYLETIC ORIGINS: CONTINENTAL PLATES PRECLUDE PERMIAN FAUNA COMMON ANCESTRY

Thus, the Permian fauna assemblages, as represented in the North Africa, Siberia, China and North America fossil deposits, developed taxonomically identical family-level traits (as documented in Figure 1) and genus-level traits (as documented in Figure 2), whose continental plate isolation preclude their development from a common ancestor.
Link To Module

PELYCOSAUR/THERAPSIDA CONTINENTAL PLATE TRAITS

Continental plate isolation of the developing therapsid lineages from hypothesized pelycosaur ancestors, who developed on a different plate, precludes the hypothesis that therapsid characteristics/traits developed from a pelycosaur ancestor and thus eliminates therapsids as a link to a pre-therapsid mammal common ancestor.
Link To Module

PELYCOSAUR/THERAPSIDA TRAITS

The unique subtaxa-specific trait characters of the major therapsida subtaxa precludes cladistic determination of the subtaxa lineage relationships, as indicated by the four cladograms in Figure 1,and thus the current phylogenetic hypothesis, cannot serve as evidence of a lineage of traits that connect the polycosaur-therapsids sister group hypothetical ancestor to Therapsids and thus to a common ancestor of mammals.
Link To Module

EUKARYOTE/CAMBRIAN TRAITS

The absence of documented evidence concerning lineages that descended from the pre-Cambrian Eukaryotic fauna and similar lack of documented evidence concerning precursor lineages that developed into the Cambrian fauna represent a lineage gap that decisively argues against the plausibility of Darwinism's universal common ancestor theory.
Link To Module

LAST UNIVERSAL COMMON ANCESTOR

The absence of a morphologically-based phylogenetic tree structure among organisms that existed prior to the establishment of the Archaea, Eukaryota and Bacteria Domains, renders descent from a common ancestor a hypothesis that cannot be verified with evidence that connects post-Darwinian lineage-era phylogenetic trees to a genetically-defined ancestor.
Link To Module

NOVELTY TRAITS

The reality of novelty traits, i.e. traits that did not "arise" from precursor traits, from which the Cambrian Period phyla and class level body plans developed, effectively isolates those body plans from association with precursor body plans and as such represents a "lineage gap" that refutes the Darwinism common ancestry concept.
Link To Module

PHYLA-LEVEL TRAIT ORIGINS

Current hypotheses concerning the ancestor-descendent relationship between the Cambrian Period higher-phyla body plans and earlier organisms recognize a definitive lineage isolation between the two and thus beyond argument illustrate the absence of definitive evidence that the later group, and their descendents, connect to a common ancestor.
Link To Module

NATURAL SELECTION

The natural selection/adaptation sequence of precursor-trait to new-trait development limits natural selection's role to the formation of homologous bodyplan lineages, and thus as argued in other sections, effectively disassociates natural selection from providing any support to the common ancestry concept.
Link To Module

POST GEOGRAPHIC-ISOLATION TRAITS

Trait development in two geographically isolated populations with identical initial trait complements, is constrained by new-trait-from-old-trait development, which dictates that the two populations must develop animals ,i.e., species, with identical trait complements, thus one species that may occupy two different geological areas --- there is no "species splitting" into separate (unique) body plans."
Link To Module

GEOGRAPHIC ISOLATION

Phylogenetic "trees" utilize trait characters as do cladograms, thus as in cladograms, cannot clearly link their "nodes" and "twigs" to common ancestor "nodes". The assumed involvement of geographic isolation in the development of these "nodes" and "twigs" effectively negates the geographic isolation concept in its role of divergence of lineages from Darwin's presumed common ancestor.
Link To Module

COMMON ANCESTRY/HOMOLOGY

The failure of cladogenetic methods employed to establish major body-plan sequences implies a body-plan level lineage discontinuity that precludes the designation of a Last Universal Common Ancestor that is central to the Darwin theory of "Descent From A Common Ancestor."
Link To Module