Evolutionists Embrace Time Travel and Alternate Histories

As the old saying goes, “ABC” or Anything But Creation. In the case of a recent report, evolutionists look to chance and “molecular time travel” (as the article calls it) rather than the Creator as the explanation for their theory.

Recently, secular scientists revealed their speculation of alternate evolutionary histories by studying a protein they supposed existed half a billion years ago. Using a large “set of genetic variants” from “a resurrected version of an ancient protein” they theoretically discovered “a myriad of other ways that evolution could have” occurred. Are they on to something valid or is this another unsupported speculation?

A University of Chicago graduate student and his advisor started with a “resurrected version of an ancient protein that evolved a new function some 500 million years ago.”1 They said that evolution “apparently wander[ed] around the space of possible mutations until it arrived at the version of the protein in our bodies today.”1 This is neither a scientific statement nor a scientific procedure since no one observed the ancient protein let alone saw it evolve a new function. Furthermore, Darwinists must assume the chance evolution of DNA and therefore genes in all their complexity.2 Meanwhile, amino acids are worthless without becoming attached in a specific sequence (via the genetic code) that would produce the alleged ancestral hormone receptor addressed by the article. Such a series of weighty suppositions removes this from being a true scientific investigation. It is rather an exceedingly flimsy, unconvincing story of a major evolutionary extrapolation via ‘“molecular time travel” using ancestral protein reconstruction.1

This is neither a scientific statement nor a scientific procedure. Tweet: This is neither a scientific statement nor a scientific procedure. http://www.icr.org/article/10244/ @icrscience

Put another way, the team of evolutionists set the stage for the extremely long evolutionary history of ancestral proteins by inferring “the genetic sequences of ancient receptor proteins” (emphasis added) and then airily announcing it was an ancestor. Please note they could not go back in deep time to actually collect or observe these proteins, or anything else. To make matters worse, they relied upon the infamous and corrupt tree of life, “They synthesized genes corresponding to these ancient proteins [sic], expressed them in the lab, and measured their functions.”1 The problem is, “Even with the appropriate genes, the molecular tree of life is difficult to interpret.”3

More recently, a molecular paleobiologist at Dartmouth College has been “uncovering problems, from the base of the animal tree [of life] all the way up to its crown.”4

In an unbelievable bit of biochemical detective work, “The researchers found that three key mutations before the emergence of vertebrate animals caused the ancestral receptor to evolve its ability to bind to the new target sequences.” Three mutations discovered before vertebrates supposedly evolved? That’s half a billion years ago.

There is not a single empirical fact that is known regarding true vertical evolution. Tweet: There is not a single empirical fact that is known regarding true vertical evolution. http://www.icr.org/article/10244/ @icrscience

Furthermore, the article speaks of the “central role for chance in evolutionary history” and “a serial chain of chance events”1 that evolution somehow took. The authors also repeatedly personified evolution as if it had a will and the ability to plan—for example, stating that evolution was idiosyncratic (i.e., eccentric or quirky).

Finally, it is recognized by creationists and evolutionists alike that there is not a single empirical (i.e., observable and verifiable) fact that is known regarding true vertical evolution, also known as macroevolution. If this is true, then we can seriously question how secular biologists know, as this article boldly states, “precisely how evolution played out in the past.”1


  1. Scientists create alternate evolutionary histories in a test tube. PhysOrg. Posted on physorg.com September 13, 2017, accessed September 14, 2017; Starr, T. N. et al. 2017. Alternative evolutionary histories in the sequence space of an ancient protein. Nature. 549 (7672): 409-413. doi:10.1038/nature23902
  2. Tomkins, J. 2014. Gene Complexity Eludes a Simple DefinitionActs & Facts. 43 (6): 9; See also Meyer, S. 2013. Darwin’s Doubt. New York, NY: HarperOne, Chapter 11.
  3. Erwin, D. et al. 1997. The origin of animal body plans. American Scientist. 85 (2): 126-127.
  4. Dolgin, E. 2012. Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution. Nature. Posted on nature.com June 27, 2012, accessed September 29, 2017; See also Thomas, B. 2011. Shared Genes Undercut Evolutionary Tree. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org February 25, 2011, accessed September 20, 2017.

*Frank Sherwin is Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Image: Tyler Starr, University of Chicago graduate student, holds a vial of yeast cells. Credit: Copyright © 2017. M. Wood. Used in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holder.

Article posted on October 2, 2017.