Letter: A Tree of Life Does Not Exist

Original Article (PDF) (German)

Re: Did Humans Descend from Apes?, Article of May 5.

Although the majority of scientists believe in a naturalist origin of life and its higher development, only a small minority are actually in a position to defend this trust with technical reasoning.

In the Mannheim area hundreds of PhD scientists who do not believe this theory is firmly established will read Mr. Günther’s contribution. And it would be a serious mistake to suspect religious reasons as its cause. Has the theory of evolution “long since been proven” as Mr. Günther thought? Are there scientific and not just religious reasons to doubt, that naturalist processes could explain everything? Oh yes!

There are no geological indications for a primorial soup. The necessary amino acid and sugar chains would not arise in water anyway. And if, for example, some amino acid bonds did temporarily arise, then an “intra-molecular reaction” instead of linear, as necessary for proteins, would result.

Before one can talk about actual life, an organism needs a functional genetic code. Where are the correct DNA sequences supposed to have come from? And for genes to encode protein sequences, the necessary decoding machines must be present (polymerases, ribosomes, t-RNA, etc.). But these themselves consist of dozens of proteins and RNAs, whole origin demands the genetic code. Such a system cannot simply initiate and then improve itself little by little. The code consists of 64 “symbols”, and all must be decodable from the very beginning or the system does not work.

The simplest free-living single celled micro-organisms typically possess thousands of “gene families”, meaning genes whole sequences are so different, that one cannot suspect that one evolved from another via mutations. The resulting proteins create thousands of biochemical processes, which are in parallel and perfectly regulated. But where did all these new genes come from?

Superfluous DNA (for example from gene duplication) is disadvantageous for micro-organisms due to waste of energy and material. The longer chromosomes would take longer to replicate. Computer models show that these lineages, with extra DNA, would go extinct thanks to natural selection, before enough mutation could arise to create truly new genes.

Can the theory of evolution explain increasing biological complexity? From yeast to ape to human demands many innovations. When the distribution of types of genes is analyzed throughout nature, the claimed phylogenetic hierarchical structure is lacking entirely. A tree of life does not exist. Therefore, one now speaks in the literature about “wild gene transfer” which has erased the evidence for common descent. Claiming the theory of evolution has been proven is unreasonable. Why should we scientists be forbidden to interpret the facts in a different manner? In my opinion most gene variants seem optimal, distributed according to environmental niche and need. To me an Intelligence seems to be present behind it all.

It is a serious error to believe that the theory of evolution has proven how a central nervous system, brain, sex and so on have arise by such processes. Like professor Crocker, I am mainly interested in the scientific aspects of this debate and disagree that those who question the dictates of the Darwinian Party can be fired from their jobs.

Dr. Royal Truman, Mannheim

(Caption: Against “dictates” by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution)