“Evolution, the Grand Experiment” Chapter Three: Darwin’s False Mechanism for Evolution: Acquired Characteristics; Antiquity–1889 A.D.

Chapter 1 Review
Chapter 2 Review

Chapter three’s first header says, “Darwin Never Succeeded in Understanding Inheritance of Traits During his Lifetime.”

No disagreement here.

This is the first time Werner goes into some detail about Darwin’s theory. He gives this an entire page full of text. Only two small pictures on this page. One is the painting of young Darwin and the other is a small one illustrating spermatozoa.

Werner explains that Darwin published his book in 1859 and he says the following description:

Darwin proposed that all forms of life evolved from a primordial prototype. The modern theory of evolution suggest that over the course of millions and millions of years, this primordial single-cell organism evolved into a multicellular  invertebrate, which evolved into a vertebrate fish, which evolved into a semi-aquatic amphibian, which evolved into a land-based reptile. Then one type of land-based reptile changed into a bird, while another type of land-based reptile changed into a mammal. The mammal then slowly evolved into humans.

Werner explains that this chapter will show how Darwin’s idea of acquired characteristics was eventually proven wrong. Immediately following this statement, Werner explains that “acquired characteristics” is an idea that was commonly connected to “Lamarck”. A full name is not given here nor in the footnotes. Of course he’s referring to Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de la Marck.

The chapter connects Darwin via a quote to LaMarck, and then we read on to discover how Darwin’s (not LaMarck’s acquired characteristics have been disproven).

Example #1: (on this page is a photo of a man lifting weights and two photos of a baby and a child, ostensibly the man lifting weight’s children. The text reads, “even though this man lifts weights every day and develops large muscles, his baby will not be born with large muscles. Darwin did not understand this.”

Also written on this page: “Darwin incorrectly thought that enlarged muscles from exercise would be passed on to the next generation.” There is no direct footnote citing these claims.

Example #2: “Neck stretching. Scientists incorrectly thought that a horse could eventually become a long-necked animal by stretching its neck to eat food.”

There are photos of a horse grazing and a giraffe.

Then there’s some more text: “Stretching neck muscles has no effect on the DNA in the reproductive cells of the horse. A longer neck cannot be passed on to the next generation.”

No citation is given.

Example #3 and #4 given without citation is that suntanning will not cause your children to be “darker” and disuse and shedding of body parts. It says that an animal will not lose its back legs if it starts to be a swimmer (we know where this is going … whales). There’s also a picture of a person with her arm in a sling. Ostensibly, if this woman reproduced, her baby would be born without a limb or a broken arm.

The chapter ends saying that acquired characteristics was laid to rest by August Weisman’s tail cutting experiment. Basically Weisman cut off the tails of mice, and when they reproduced, their babies’ tales were always in tact. Finally, the laws of “use and disuse disproved”.

I’m not going to critique this chapter in much detail. We have only heard about controversies for evolution. Werner associates Darwin with LaMarck. Yes, Werner included a quote that uses the word “disuse”, but there’s no real connection to Darwin supporting the idea. Werner is lumping Darwin into these ideas of acquired characteristics, but without reference. I need substance! This is why I called Mark Tetzlaff out after I read his FIRST review for having an “insubstantial” critique of Dawkins. Perhaps this is what all creationists do? They make claims without sources and hope their readers are dumb enough to take them for their word.

We have not yet read of any controversies regarding creationism, despite the fact that it’s a much older “theory.” In a book that is supposedly fair and honest, where is the honest fairness?

One thought on ““Evolution, the Grand Experiment” Chapter Three: Darwin’s False Mechanism for Evolution: Acquired Characteristics; Antiquity–1889 A.D.

  1. This guy has no clue about evolution. How in Tartarus can he write a book claiming to present “balanced” criticism when he presents ludicrous false assertions about what evolution states?

    I realize I’m stating the obvious here and criticizing his claims is like shooting fish in a barrel. No, I’m not claiming that the fish will then have offspring with bullet holes in them but give me a break.

    If you want to criticize a valid scientific theory, you really need to bring your “A” game to the match.

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