In the first nine parts of this series of articles we looked at Charles Darwin’s externally applied natural selection hypothesis. For most of a century and a half this mechanism was recognized by the majority of evolutionary biologists as an acceptable “model” explanation for animals and plants adapting to their varying environments. This idea was known by many as “Survival of the Fittest.” The stickler has always been that Nature cannot be a selector since it has no ability to select anything—definitely not in the way Darwin thought it could (just like human breeders). Because of his Unitarian presuppositions of a limited and uninterested God, Darwin felt he really needed to find an external mechanism to explain adaptation. He went ahead with publishing his theory in 1859 even though many of his fellow deep-time evolutionists were not in accord with the idea of natural selection, and no scientist at the time had an understanding of the true complexity of life. I believe the fact is that Darwin and his followers have failed in this search for an external mechanism for adaptation. Another fact is that nothing good has ever come from man’s ideas that attempt to reject or replace the Word of God.

If there is no external selector for organisms, could there be instead a built-in internal selection mechanism? That is the possibility I would like to address in this final article on the topic.

I am not formally educated as a biologist. I am formally educated and trained as an engineer. I think this gives me an advantage over many biologists for recognizing design and engineered things around me. Remember that biologists are educated in secular universities to understand design in living things as “only apparent design.” People will believe anything especially if promoted by authority figures. I am not saying that I was immune to this as I too was highly influenced by the secular worldview for years. The point I am making is that because of my education, training and experience as an engineer, I was very intrigued when I was first introduced to the concept of “Continuous Environmental Tracking” (CET) in life forms.

I first wrote about CET in my CEC News email newsletter in December of 2019. You can find that article on my website by clicking here. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has published dozens of articles on the subject since 2017 in their Acts & Facts magazine. The initial article I wrote was an introductory explanation for CET and also has a listing of many of the CET articles published up to that time by ICR.

Since that original article real scientific research by creation scientists has begun. I would like to give the reader an opportunity to get a feel for this research by including some abstract excerpts from just three of the recently published papers. Perhaps as a result of this introduction some younger scientists would be inspired to join in with this exciting research.

ABSTRACT #1: Title: “The Continuous Environmental Tracking hypothesis—application in seed dormancy and germination in forest ecosystems.” By Tom Hennigan and Randy Guliuzza.

Abstract: “God created creatures to multiply and fill the earth and imbued them with design features that enable them to diversify, persist, and occupy new habitats. Focused research using engineering principles with emphasis on biological design of organisms and their responses to natural conditions can be a productive way to better understand how God designed them to do this. The Continuous Environmental Tracking (CET) hypothesis incorporates human engineering analogues and assumes that organisms have been designed with intelligently engineered systems that include sensors, logic mechanisms, and output responses. Data suggest that forest seeds are constantly monitoring and responding to changing environmental conditions. Identified seed sensors can detect conditions such as light, smoke, and temperature. These sensors are connected to biochemical pathways that are logic mechanisms affecting output responses that inform the seed to remain dormant or germinate. These observations, similar to human engineered tracking systems, are consistent with CET predictions. The CET hypothesis provides a research protocol for building a creation model of biology. It guides researchers to focus on how organisms detect environmental conditions, trace biochemical pathways, and discover how these logic mechanisms help the organism address its ever-changing environment, in order to adapt, diversify, restore beauty, and persist.” [Journal of Creation, 33(2) 2019, p. 77-83.]

ABSTRACT #2: Title: “Catching the Vision: Blind Cave Fish (Astyanax mexicanus) as a Model System for Continuous Environmental Tracking and Adaptive Engineering.” By Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Scott Arledge, Randy J. Guliuzza.

Abstract: “A wide variety of fish, amphibians, and arthropods have colonized cave environments deploying complex suites of morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits specifically adaptive to a perpetually dark and resource-scarce environment. Among the many examples of this global phenomenon is the Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus) which has become a leading research model for this rapid and repeatable adaptation which is entirely due to developmental phenotypic plasticity. Not only do blind Astyanax cavefish (compared to surface morphotypes) exhibit a lack of eye development, but they also display complex enhancements for chemo-and mechano-sensors, altered circadian cycles, modified neural and endocrine circuits, metabolic modifications in both rates and metabolism, epigenetic modifications, and behavior changes that rely upon all of these complex physical and physiological modifications. These rapid, repeatable, and complex organism-wide system adaptations make little sense in the context of Darwinian evolution involving mutation and natural selection. However, the data fit perfectly with a model of engineered, organism-driven systems of adaptation built into creatures by the Creator that enable them to continuously track and appropriately adjust to specific environmental changes. [Creation Research Society Quarterly, 2022 58:289-296.]

ABSTRACT #3: Title: “Interface systems and continuous environmental tracking as a design model for symbiotic relationships.” By Tom Hennigan, Randy Guliuzza, and Grace Lansdell.

Abstract: “There is need for a design model of symbiotic relationships in young-age creationism. Symbiotic relationships are crucial for the functioning of healthy biospheric processes and ecosystem stability. Philosophical naturalists posit that these relationships evolved, and co-evolved later as natural selection, initially focused on struggle and competition in simple organisms, led to greater complexity and cooperation through system self-organization. Alternatively, God created complex cooperative systems with astounding complexity from the beginning. He initially created organism archetypes programmed for holistic relational interaction, which is an important element in proposed creation-based species concepts. We also interpret extant species interactions in the light of a planet groaning with dysfunction and death. Therefore, we propose a new design model of symbiotic relationships using human-engineered interface systems as viable analogues for understanding and describing them. A mind is the only known origin of interface systems. If God designed interface systems into creatures, then it is reasonable that their harmonious operation would greatly exceed anything man has devised. A model of interface design has great potential for future understanding of organism interactions, biometrics, systems ecology, Earth stewardship, and most importantly, recognizing God’s invisible attributes in the physical creation.” [Journal of Creation 36(2) 2022, p. 97-105.)

So, I trust that many of the readers of this series of ten articles have come to an acceptance of how extremely weak the popular Darwinian natural selection model really is. More importantly, if these articles would encourage (either directly or indirectly) just a few more young aspiring scientists to join the infant creationist scientific research into biological adaptability, who knows what great things might be accomplished for God’s Kingdom here on earth. Could it possibly be that in a just a few decades all biology classroom instruction would be based on the understanding that all of life is engineered, upheld, and directed by the Creator Engineer? We Biblical Christians can hope and pray that this would be so!

J.D. Mitchell, P.E., MBS

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