[Another Sabbath meditation was planned here. It will be postponed.]


    A significant new summary of evolution appears on the last page (p. 76) of the March 2016 Scientific American.


   After a 3-year study, there’s a new way to show the “trees” of evolution, starting with the first single-celled organism.


Instead of “vertical trees,” everything’s put into a circle with a 5-inch diameter.


[For more use the DOOR.]




   First, reproducing this drawing with all 2.3 million identified species “plugged in” just can’t be done here in a way that makes sense.  every species of every living organism now has a “place” on the circumference of the circle with a 5-inch diameter.  At the center of this circle is the first single-celled organism.

   Every single living thing then has a series of “steps” from the center of the circle to the circumference. And the circumference is “here and now.”

   Let me oversimplify. [We will highlight certain parts with boldface and color.]

   Imagine an enormous flat desert with the simplest motor you can think of right in the center of it. Out from, and surrounding this motor are more complex “motors” that can us fuel of some kind, or arm and leg power, to turn wheels and do things.

   Close to the center are bicycles and tricycles of several kinds. Beyond that is the first automobile and then trucks and engines that do all kinds of work. Hundreds of automobiles fan out side by side, the farther away the more complex they become.  Simple boats and ships and airplanes lie nearly the same distance outreaching out, and farther still are several rockets and space ships.

   At the circumference of a great circle of every motorized contraption in use today is represented. And with every object we can “walk back” in “steps” to the first “motor” in the center.

   Set aside the absurdity of this picture…please.

   But the Circle of Life is something like this.

   There was the first cell…and it divided and divided again many times. Some of these first cells may still exist.

   But most of these cells went in different directions, some making multicellular organisms…and some of these may still exist.

   All objects have “connecting lines” drawn between the older, simpler organism (or organisms) to show the changes that took place.

   Others of these multi-celled organisms changed into more complex organisms, and then more complex creatures with “tissues,” “organs,” and “organ systems” working together in even more complex organisms that we call “plants,” “animals,” and “people.”

   The time available from the first cell until now:  3,500,000,000 years.

   To understand the history of any organism is to “walk back”


Now to quote from the article itself:


“Lineages of all known species [2.3 billion] on earth are finally pieced together   

   “Since Charles Darwin’s day, biologists have depicted how new organisms evolve from old ones by adding branches to numerous trees that represent portions of the animal, plant and microbial kingdoms. Researchers from a dozen institutions recently completed a three-year effort to combine tens of thousands of trees into one diagram, readable as a circle (below, but not shown here). The lines inside the circle represent all 2.3 million species that have been named. Biologists have genetic sequences for only about 5 percent of them, however; as more are finished, the relationships within and across groups of species may change. Experts estimate that up to 8.7 million species may inhabit the planet (about 15,000 are discovered every year). ‘We expect the circle to broaden,’ says Karen Cranston, a computational evolutionary biologist at Duke University.

   “Anyone can propose updates to the database (OpenTreeOfLife.org). Greater detail could improve understanding of evolution and help scientists invent drugs, make crops more productive and better control infectious diseases.”   –Mark Fishetti

   This is a fascinating and marvelous “chart” that shows how various organisms have similar Lego pieces in their make-up. However, the “Conspiracy Theory of Naturalism” is as busy as ever. Yes, there has been serious work in gene research and DNA and genome sequencing that was once thought impossible. Common patterns of molecular arrangement are abundant in all life, as there have been common patterns, with some “mutations” in automobile design. We do not know however, two things:

(1)  How new organisms evolve (see red above) retaining their good changes through thick and thin, and

(2)  How the incredibly complicated first cell got assembled.

   Naturalists have great faith that accidents + time + the “intriguing, eye-popping [Lincoln/Kennedy-like, see last post] consequence of dozens, thousands really, of “accidents” pieced together the necessary connections of atoms and molecules dancing together long enough without outside interference to end up with a person typing these words.

   Yes, Christians have great faith, too, that’s based on looking at facts another way.