Justification + outline
There is biological alteration! That is clear. Dachshunds and St. Bernards are around now but were not here in the beginning: they came into being. In the fossil records, we encounter animals which no longer exist and there are animals which exist now that do not appear in the fossil records. Therefore, there apparently is biological alteration as well as new variation. But where is the line drawn? Darwin proposed that there should be no absolute division and that all life should be seen as having one common ancestor and therefore at the most basic level as all having been descended from unicellular organisms. Without a doubt, this idea means that over billions of years biological alteration has resulted in an increase in the complexity of life forms, which is called macro-evolution. But this is not necessarily true! It is also possible that the biological alteration which exists is only lateral, horizontal, which is called micro-evolution or “variation on a theme”. It is also possible that the biological alteration we perceive is a genetic impoverishment, or even a form of degeneration, which could be vertical, but never goes upwards. If this is true, Darwin’s story becomes inconsequential, at best. This would mean a revolution in our way of thinking. That is the subject of this book: macro-evolution is a genetic impossibility, and the alternative, inevitably, is the degeneration theory...
This book, which thus becomes the counterpart to Darwin’s Origin of species by means of natural selection, began as a chapter in another book. For various reasons, it grew beyond its scope so quickly that it developed into an independent book. Given that the theory of evolution cannot be completely disproven in a pamphlet or even in a single chapter, and that the solution was more complex than I thought in the beginning, my own interest in the subject contributed to this process. I began studying and consulting others intensively, and there were moments when I honestly doubted my own ideas. The notes, texts, and examples grew so extensive that it became clear fairly quickly that I needed to make this into a completely separate project.
Nevertheless, I deliberately place limits on myself: I will grasp the bull by the horns. Darwin’s bull. The holy cow. The heart of the evolution theory: mutations and natural selection. This question then becomes central: could natural selection have worked beyond the borders of species or types and caused an increase in complexity? Could it then be responsible for the origin of the unrelated species from common ancestors? The evolutionary theory stands or falls with this biological aspect, and not the geological or astronomical aspects. This is the reason I have chosen not to discuss those other aspects and a great number of questions which arise from the treatment of the biological side of the matter.
The present knowledge of DNA, genes, and the proteins created by the genes casts Darwin’s idea of the single origin of life in a very different light. It no longer has to be a philosophy or a theory; the probabilities, the possibilities, and the impossibilities can literally be calculated! The mechanisms which cause variation are so familiar now, in contrast to Darwin’s time, when only speculation was possible, that the idea of evolution can definitively be either proven or disproven.
And what is the result? That no new complex, specialized genes can originate by pure chance. That Darwin’s principle of natural selection could not have been involved at all in the origin of the majority of genes! That genes do not spontaneously form new interactive groups, for instance to make a cell sensitive to light as in Darwin’s ‘most primitive eye’. And that means the end of the theory of evolution!
This book consists of two parts. In the first part, I will ask myself briefly why Darwin’s idea caught on as it did and why the evolution theory is still so popular. After that, I will describe the evolution of the evolution theory up to the present day. In this section, I will also give a concise and step-by-step explanation of the insights which have been discovered since Darwin. Someone already familiar with this material could skip this part. In chapter 5, I will give a few proponents of the evolution theory an extensive opportunity to elaborate and the contours of a biocosmic drama begin to appear. The destructive climax takes place in chapter 6, when we address the question of whether gene growth exists and/or adoption occurs - that is, the assumption of new functions by the genes necessary for, for example, new organs. Naturally, I will consult the mechanisms suggested by the proponents of the evolution theory, but they offer no assistance.
Ever since the time of Darwin, there have been objections raised against the evolution theory. Will this suddenly change because of my writings? It is possible: one important argument supplied by evolutionists is that there is no alternative. So even if there are problems, we should take the good with the bad.
The second part of my book contains that alternative in the form of the degeneration theory. The degeneration theory is meant to be tested: to be rejected, refined, or accepted, wherever it can be or is necessary, and is in that sense a true scientific model, which can also make predictions. It is not meant as dogma to be superimposed on our thinking, but as a framework for further discussion and/or development. It is a reasonable alternative, in that I have tried to base it on scientific facts and observations. All data on the living, biological nature, upon which the degeneration theory is based, are themselves based on, and almost always quoted from, books upon which the evolutionary idea depends! In principle, there is nothing wrong with the observation of facts. There could be something wrong with the way in which the facts are explained in a larger context. The degeneration theory gives a new, fresh look at that greater context.
The difficulty in writing a book like this one is the possible difference in knowledge between the author and the reader. A biologist shouldn’t grit his teeth at the shortsightedness of it, a biochemist shouldn’t burst out laughing because of the simplification, and an interested layperson should still be able to understand it. This forces me to explain certain basic principles, which are common knowledge to the initiated. However, this has its advantage: this book, which began as a chapter for a public not specifically well-grounded in biology, expanded to a book which very specifically discusses biology. The interested layperson simply begins at the beginning and is gradually initiated into the material (I hope). Those who are better informed could start reading at chapter 5, which could be briefly scanned so as to dive quickly into chapter 6, the heart and essence of part 1, and continue from there.
A point-by-point explanation of the conclusions and/or a summary can be found at the end of almost every chapter. If a chapter seems unappealing to the reader, the conclusions or summary could be sufficient, and possibly invite the reader to return to certain sections after all.
The footnotes are often used to discuss specific details. Reading or understanding them is not necessary for generaly understanding the theory, and they can be skipped.
In the more difficult chapters, I have included a heading to the right above many paragraphs, in which I try to explain in one sentence what I subsequently want to make clear.
Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ's) have been addedI have attempted to discuss possible questions in this section which might not be interesting for everyone, therefore freeing the main text of them. One FAQ is placed as a chapter after part I, and subsequently after each chapter of part II. The FAQ’s are not essential to understanding the material and may be skipped.
Sometimes a more in-depth discussion which is not necessary for the essence of the text needs to be included at a certain point in the text, but is too extensive for a footnote. In that case, it is shown inside a box.
A summary of the most important arguments I have used is given in chapter 18, with references to the respective chapters or paragraphs in which they are discussed. This can be used as a tour guide, a manual, or a summary, and I strongly recommend it to everyone.
With these precautionary measures, this book is a child of its time: it is to some extent interactive. The reader can make his own choices and piece together the reading material according to his own knowledge, need, and interest. I hope you will find much food for thought...
My extreme thanks goes out to the following people:
Drs. Folkert de Jong, chemist. For his intense involvement, from the very first moment, in detail, for the many corrections and consultations, and helping me to think, which almost makes this a co-authorship.
Huub Bogaers, sociologist. For pinpointing problems where there are solutions… (which forced me to think matters through), for the involvement, for the hints on a lot of current information, for helping me think along the lines of ‘the formation of science’, and for giving tips and recommendations.
ir. Cees Geerse, biologist. For wrestling through a text which was not yet finished or particularly well-structured at that point in time, for the many evenings this took and for the valuable feedback I received.
Dr. ir. Kees Bos, geneticist. For the same wrestling with a somewhat more polished text, for the extensive critical commentary, the E-mail correspondence and the consultation that without a doubt have given the book a higher quality and reliability.
Charles Darwin, biologist. For his love of living nature, his insight, and for turning the world upside down.
The Creator® of heaven and earth. For the incredible wonder of life, for the encouragement and inspiration.
Sjoerdje, Eline, Ian en Talitha. For the love, trust, companionship, and the loyalty to give me the opportunity and to make it possible for me to do this. And Ian, for the cozy hours we spent together watching nature documentaries, and the love we share for living nature.
All the others who provided me with comments, both before and after the forum-discussion, via the website, through E-mail, during conversations, or by reading the manuscript, like Henk and Ria Dokter, Jan Hidders, Hans Roskam (for listening to so much foolishness), my family and others.
This book is dedicated to:
The personification of traditional evolutionary thinking in the world.