Darwin’s Finches Fail Genetic Testing

Geospiza strenua

Darwin’s Finches Fail Genetic Testing

The Galapagos Islands finches are an iconic symbol of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Yet, the actual scientific evidence validating Darwin’s theory that “one [of these] species had been taken and modified for different ends” has long been questioned.

In the most comprehensive genetic investigation to-date, a team of scientists led by Sangeet Lamichhaney of Uppsala University in Sweden just published “Evolution of Darwin’s finches and their beaks revealed by genome sequencing” in the prestigious journal Nature. The genetic evidence, once again, fails to demonstrate how “one species had been taken and modified.”

Genetic Evidence

By focusing on the gene associated with controlling the development of the bird’s beak shape, the ALX1 gene, the team discovered “important discrepancies with the phenotype-based taxonomy.Not exactly good news for the evolution industry. The genetic differences between the finches failed to align with the phenotype – a term referring the physical and morphological characteristics.

Genetic evidence for the research was extracted from blood samples of 120 finches captured in mist nets and then released were collected from the Galápagos and Cocos Islands, and two closely related tanagers from Barbados. Genetic analysis performed by the Genome Analysis Toolkit.

The ALX1 gene not only failed to consistently correspond to the size or shape of beaks, more importantly, the team found no transitional relationships between the finches with no evidence to identify a common ancestor–the root of Darwin’s tree.

Rather than finding evidence for Darwin’s “slight, successive [genetic] changes” between the finches, the team discovered gene sharing – not sequential genetic evolutionary changes.

“Extensive sharing of genetic variation among populations was evident, particularly among ground and tree finches, with almost no fixed differences between species in each group.”

Finch Tree IIICollapse of Darwin’s Tree

The team could not re-construct a genetic-based tree with transitional species from the root to the top branches for any of the finch populations. Not even the transitional links at the tree’s branching nodes were identified.

Compounding the evolution dilemma further, the team “found a considerable amount of genetic diversity within each population” noting that “the exact branching order of the… ground and tree finches should be interpreted with caution.” Not exactly evolution industry victory lap evidence.

The genetic picture emerging between these Galapagos and Cocos island finch populations are as complicated as a Tolstoy novel. Geoffry Mohan writing for the Los Angeles Times even noticed that the “species that were genetically similar on one island were not as closely related on others… [that] can be interpreted as evidence of interbreeding.” Genetic evidence for a definite distinction between populations was missing.

Since continued successful interbreeding in nature only occurs within a species, the evidence points to a single finch species–not in accord with Darwin’s theory that “one species [was]… taken and modified.”

Not Alone

Lamichhaney is not alone. Stephen O’Brien, Genome 10K Project co-founder, had earlier anticipated in 2012 that “the genome sequence empowerment of Darwin’s finches will initiate the solving of evolutionary riddles that have puzzled biologists for a century.”

Even though the Genome 10K Project had announced that the “scientists have sequenced the genome of one of the iconic Galapagos finches first described by Darwin,” the Genome 10K-Project has still not published any evidence to solve the “evolutionary riddles” of Darwin’s theoretical finch tree.

Akie Sato of the Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie, Germany, a decade earlier in the paper entitled “Phylogeny of Darwin’s finches as revealed by mtDNA sequences” failed to separate the finch populations into distinct sequential species, either:

“The traditional classification of ground finches into six species and tree finches into five species is not reflected in the molecular data.”

Peter and Rosemary Grant, the infamous husband and wife team who had dedicated their professional careers to the study of Darwin’s finches, confirmed Sato’s observation. In the paper “Comparative landscape genetics and the adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches” published in the September 2005 issue of the Molecular Ecology journal, they simply stated that the evidence points to a “decoupling of morphological and molecular evolution”– scientific evidence devastating Darwin’s naïve theory.

Finch Radiation - NAtureGenomic Revolution Overturning Evolution

“The genomic revolution [has]… effectively overturned the central metaphor of evolutionary biology, the Tree of Life,“ argues Eugene V. Koonin of the National Center for Biotechnology Information in his book The Logic of Chance.

Darwin’s tree scheme has now been replaced by many with a radiation scheme. This revised scheme (pictured) was published in the journal Nature by Nipam H. Patel entitled “Evolutionary biology: How to build a longer beak.” However, the revision has the same problems as Darwin’s tree – no original ancestor and no transitional links.

John Archibald of Dalhousie University in his book One Plus One Equals One (2014) finding common ground with Koonin notes, the tree of life has come upon hard times… [with] the “overall picture emerging is one of mosaicism” – not one of evolutionary changes of “one species… taken and modified” into a new species.

Amazingly, David Baum and Stacey Smith in the book Tree Thinking, an Introduction to Phylogenetic Biology (2013) pushes the envelope further arguing that “Our knowledge of molecular process is not good enough to definitively rule out independent origins.”

Genomics Corroborates Genesis

Darwin’s finches fail genetic testing. While the genomic revolution continues to undermine the concept of biological evolution, a mosaic pattern of nature is unfolding to reveal scientific evidence that is compatible with the Genesis account of creation.

Darwin’s finches are emerging as the new evolution industry’s twenty-first century version of the Piltdown man.

Evolution was once a theory in crisis, now evolution is in crisis without even a cohesive theory.

Biological evolution exists only as a philosophical fact, not as a scientific fact.


3 Responses to “Darwin’s Finches Fail Genetic Testing”

  • Pick:

    Did you even read the initial article you quoted from Nature? I’m not going to go through ever point you brought up since the earlier post links to a very enlightening article however I’d like to point out what the article you quoted actually says since you seemed to have been unable to even read the abstract which states :

    “Darwin’s finches, inhabiting the Galápagos archipelago and Cocos Island, constitute an iconic model for studies of speciation and adaptive evolution. Here we report the results of whole-genome re-sequencing of 120 individuals representing all of the Darwin’s finch species and two close relatives. Phylogenetic analysis reveals important discrepancies with the phenotype-based taxonomy. We find extensive evidence for interspecific gene flow throughout the radiation. Hybridization has given rise to species of mixed ancestry. A 240 kilobase haplotype encompassing the ALX1 gene that encodes a transcription factor affecting craniofacial development is strongly associated with beak shape diversity across Darwin’s finch species as well as within the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis), a species that has undergone rapid evolution of beak shape in response to environmental changes. The ALX1 haplotype has contributed to diversification of beak shapes among the Darwin’s finches and, thereby, to an expanded utilization of food resources.”

    To which you seem to think points away from the ALX1 gene having anything to do with beak shape as you state here “The ALX1 gene not only failed to consistently correspond to the size or shape of beaks” despite the fact that the article clearly states “the ALX1 gene that encodes a transcription factor affecting craniofacial development is strongly associated with beak shape diversity across Darwin’s finch species”

    You then stated “Rather than finding evidence for Darwin’s “slight, successive [genetic] changes” between the finches, the team discovered gene sharing – not sequential genetic evolutionary changes.” Which is a complete misrepresentation of what is being said, I think what you mean to say is Gene Flow and not Gene sharing and Gene Flow is a well known mechanism in evolution defined as “The transfer of alleles or genes from one population to another” Which will lead to slight, successive changes in connection with the other mechanisms involved.

  • While the ALX1 gene does correspond to beak sizes, due to the observed variance in the study – the correspondence is not consistent as expected from the theory of “slight successive changes.”

    Regarding gene sharing, the authors report “Extensive sharing of genetic variation among populations was evident, particularly among ground and tree finches, with almost no fixed differences between species in each group.” This also is not a consistent finding as expected from Darwin’s theory of “slight successive changes.”

    Since the “Phylogenetic analysis reveals important discrepancies with the phenotype-based taxonomy” and the genetic evidence failed to identify any last common ancestor or any transitional link between any of the finches, Darwin’s finches fail genetic testing.

    Evolution believers should examine all the scientific evidence and look beyond the evolution rhetoric before embracing evolution carte blanche.

    To answer your original question – I have the entire paper published in Nature.

  • ruben:

    Let me say this again for those who have not learned the wisdom of Truth. Don’t just study the finches but in general; Look at the birds in the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns for the Heavenly Father feeds them. That’s from a book more than 2000 years ago. When one understand the Theo, who cares about the Theo-ry?

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