Creationist Arguments Debunked Part 1 of 4; The Difference Between Micro and Macro Evolution Clarified

What is The Difference? 

What is evolution?

Evolution in simplest terms with regards to biology means a change in the frequency of alleles over time.  The process by which this occurs is known as natural selection, where in which the organism best adapted to its environment will be the one most likely to reproduce.  For example take the Nightjar

As you can see it is very well camouflaged against the background, but in another picture you can see they can be far more difficult to see than this.

Now how did this animal acquire the capability to be camouflaged so well against the background.  Well, this can be explained in light of evolution.  It would have originally started off looking like most other birds and some individuals would have had traits that would make them better camouflaged against the forest litter.  Now you might ask, OK, how did that happen? Surely if it originally looked like any other bird, and one bird had a slightly mottled color as opposed to a solid color, it would be just as easy to spot amongst the  leaf litter as the solid colored one.  However that’s only if you’re looking at it in a standard picture view.  If the predator only got a fleeting view of the creature or under conditions of low light, the slight mottling could make a difference and thus that color will become more and more common.  And from that basic change in color pattern will develop into something like a night-jar that is almost impossible to see amongst the leaf litter.  And this is not only theoretical as we can see the processes that shape life still at work today.  One of the most famous examples of the peppered moths, who preceding the industrial revolution in Britain were light colored to match the color of the lichens on trees.  This is because the dark colors stood out on the trees and were easy prey for birds.  However, during the industrial revolution the soot killed the lichens, exposing the dark bark on the tree.  Now the light colored moths stood out and were easy prey for the birds while the dark colored ones blended in.  Because they weren’t getting eaten, the dark moths reproduced more prolifically than the white ones and became the most common color among the moths.  According to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, it’s by this process that all life on Earth came into being.

The micro vs macro evolution dichotomy

In spite of the many observed examples of evolution, many creationists say that they don’t prove Darwins’ Theory that all life on Earth shares at some point a common ancestor.  What they say instead is that all the above examples are just “micro evolution” and Darwins Theory refers to the unproven idea of “macro evolution”.  They say things like moths changing colors is simply an example of micro evolution but “humans evolving from apes” or “birds evolving from dinosaurs” is “macro evolution”.  Well what is the difference between micro and macro evolution.  Well, in simplest terms micro evolution is variation within the species level.  For example, A species of Darwins’ finches has been known to have varying beak sizes with different weather conditions.  During wet years, the seed shells are thinner and the birds have smaller beaks.  During dry spells however, the seed shells are thicker and the birds with thicker beaks fair better and thus survive making the larger beaks more abundant.  Creationists would argue that this is just an example of micro evolution.  It may explain the changes in the size of the beaks of finches but it doesn’t explain the origin of beaks or finches.  Or if one population of organisms got disconnected from the rest and became genetically distinct, they would argue that that doesn’t count because they’re the same kind of organism.  But to understand the what the distinction between micro and macro evolution really is we have to look at what a species actually is.

Biological species concept

What is the critical difference between micro and macro evolution. Well, the simplest definition is that micro evolution describes evolution within a species and macro evolution is defined as two or more species arriving from a single species. When we use scientific nomenclature for organisms, their scientific name has the name of what genus they belong to with the species name afterward.  For example, the species that wolves belong to is Canis lupus.  Furthermore, if there is a subspecies that can be identified, there will be a third word denoting the subspecies name such as Canis lupus familiaris (the domestic dog). So exactly what is a species?  Well according to the biological species concept, a species refers to organisms that can mate and produce fertile offspring. As long as two species can do this, they’re in the same species. If two populations of a preexisting species became isolated from each other so there was no gene flow between them and after a duration of time and later the two populations came into contact with each other and could no longer interbreed, they would have speciated.  The inability to interbreed would be the result of enough small changes that eventually it would become more and more difficult to interbreed until it was no longer possible.  In short, macro evolution is simply an accumulation of micro evolutionary changes.  Now that we know what a species is, we can then ask what is the functional definition of a genus or subspecies.  Well these are in a more “grey area”, but I would argue that they do have functional definitions.  Just as a species can reproduce and produce fertile offspring, two organisms that are members of the same genus but different species can mate and produce and offspring, but that offspring will be sterile preventing any gene flow between them.  As for subspecies, one way to assign a functional definition is as follows.  If you pick out two individuals in a population of a species and a third individual from a different population, it will be more likely that the two individuals picked from the first population will be more likely to be more related to each other than either will be to the member of the second population.  However, it right after the populations diverged the likely hood that the two members of the first population will be more closely related to each other than a member of the other population will be only around 50%.  However, as the two populations genetically diverge, eventually all the members of one population will always be more closely related to each other than members of the other population.  If this happens but the two populations are still chemically inter-fertile, they would be different subspecies.

Known examples of speciation (macro-evolution)

Has this ever been observed? The answer is a big fat YES. One (but not by any means the only) example is the “Madeira mice”. 600 years ago, the Portuguese colonized the island of Madeira and brought with them the house mouse (Mus musculus) and now there are six distinct “kinds” of mice on the island and they cannot interbreed with each other or the mice back on the mainland. In other words, they have speciated (i.e. macro evolved).  That and more examples of speciation can be seen and explained in this video.

The creationist concept of macro-evolution and “kind”

But when faced with instances like this, creationists will usually attempt to redefine the term “macro evolution”. Instead of it meaning speciation, they will define it as meaning “one animal becoming a different kind of animal”. Well, right off the back we can see two problems with this definition. First is the use of the word “animal” because evolution explains the diversity of all life, not just animals. Second, what do they mean by the term “kind”? A common example they give is what I call the “cat-dog” explanation. Saying that we have many kinds of dogs, but they’re still dogs and their are many kinds of cats but they’re all still cats. But we never see is dogs evolving into cats. This can of course mean one of two things: the many dog breeds within the dog species (Canis lupus familiaris) are still of the same species and the many breeds of the domestic cat (felis silvestris) are also still of the same species. And yes before you ask the fancy scientific name of the domestic cat came from this cartoon character.

But those who are aware that observed instances of speciation are well documented will usually again try to move the goal post. Instead of just reffering to the breeds of domestic dogs and cats, they extend it to the entire dog (canidae) and cat (felidae) families. Many creationists are willing to accept that all liviing species of dogs such as foxes, bush dogs, wolves, jackals and coyotes share a common ancestor and that all living species of cats such as the domestic cat, bobcat, cheetah, lion, jaguar and clouded leopard share a common ancestor. But in either case all of the descendants of the first cat are still cats and all the descendants of the first dog are still dogs.

The Difference Between Micro and Macro Evolution Clarified (With Cute and Fuzzy Animal Pics)

 

For example, if something like a jackal (Canis mesomelas) evolved into another dog species such as the grey wolf (Canis familiaris) they would say that it’s not macro evolution because the wolf is still the same kind of animal (i.e. it’s a dog).  In fact, a fossil canid known as Canis ferox has been identified as the common ancestor of all members of the genus Canis and it would have looked like a Jackal.

Similarly, if an animal resembling the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) evolved into the jaguar (Panthera onca) creationists would say that it doesn’t count as macro evolution because it’s still a cat.

But evolution just doesn’t apply to cats and dogs, we have to look at other groups as well. The animal depicted in the picture below is the ring-tailed cat (Bassariscus astutus) which actually is not a cat at all.

 

And the animal in the picture below is the common genet (Genetta genetta). Obviously, the ring-tail and the genet have many similarities and morphologically speaking are about as similar to one another as the jackal is to the wolf or the clouded leopard is to the jaguar. So if an animal resembling the ring-tailed cat evolved into the genet or vice versa, would you consider that to be a macro-evolutionary event? Because if you do but reject the notion that dogs and cats have a common ancestor, then we have a problem.

Because the ring tialed cat is as closely related to the genet as the wolf is to the jaguar but in order to undersand this, it’s important to understand a few things about mammal taxonomy and how evolution actually works.

Basic Laws of Evolution.

The ladder vs the tree

Lets get a few things straight

1. There’s no such thing as a “more and less evolved” organism. All organisms alive today are eequally evolved because they’ve been evolving for the past 4 billion years. The only way an organism could be more evovled than another is if it lived at a later time.

2. There is no such thing as a “higher” or “lower” organism. The only way one organism could be “higher” than another is if it lived at a higher altitude than another.

3. There is no such thing as a more “advanced” or “primitive” organism. “Advanced” would imply and advancement towards an ultimate goal when evolution only has a temporal goal of making a species most fit for its enviornment.

There ARE more conserved and derived organisms with the more conserved organism sharing more features (whether they’d be morphological, physiological or biomolecular) in common with the common ancestor of the two organisms and the more derived one has less in common. However, one or another won’t necessarily convey a survival advantage.

The law of monophyly 

Also, the argument that creationists use to claim that “evolution” means one “animal” becoming another animal (like cats evolving into dogs or vice versa) shows a blatant misunderstanding an evolutionary principal known as the law of monophyly.  This states that when a species of organism gives rise to two new ones, the daughter species will together form a clade and at no point will they evolve into another independently derived “clade”.  Lets say you have species A which evolves into species B and C which together form the clade A’.  Then B and C both give rise to daughter species; B gives rise to D and E and C gives rise to F and G.  D and E will form the clade B” and F and G will give form the clade C” and both the clades B” and C” will be part of the lager clade A’.  At no point will the any of the descendants of F and G evolve into a member of the clade B”.  A great parallel to look at is the evolution languages.  The romantic languages like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French and Romanian are classified together because they are descended from Latin.  The Nordic languages like Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish are classified together because they all came from Old Norse, the language that the vikings spoke.  At no point would a Nordic language evolve into a Romantic one.  So creationists who say that “because dogs don’t evolve into cats, evolution doesn’t happen” makes as much sense as saying that because a Nordic language doesn’t become a Romantic one, languages don’t evolve (even though they do).

Conserved traits and paraphyletic groupings

In order to understand taxonomy, it is important to understand the difference between primitive and derrived traits.  primitive traits (and notice I said primitive TRAITS, not primitive ORGANISMS) are all the traits that the common ancestor of any one clade of organism possessed.  Any member of this clade that retains these characteristics is said to share this conserved traits.  Any different traits that emerge further down the line to charecterize daughter clades within this parent clade are said to be derived traits.  When classifying organisms correctly  it is important to make the disticntion between primitive and derrived traits, because if you include a bunch of clades together because they share primitive character states and exclude only those with derived ones,  you can end up with paraphyletic groupings, which include some but not all of the descendants of a common ancestor.  Take the image above.  A, B, C and D may have been placed in a group excluding E and F because E and F may have developed more derived traits than any other members of this clade.  However, they would still have the defining original charecter state that defined the parent clade.  Furthermore, they also would have quasi primitive character traits shared with D that weren’t shared with A, B, or C.  Hence it would be impossible to lump A, B, C and D together and exclude E and F.

Convergent evolution and polyphyletic groupings

Another problem that can confuse taxonomists is convergent evolution.  This is where two different and unrelated species occupy a similar niche and evolve a similar shape.  A classic example of this is the Tasmanian wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus), which as its name implies lived on Tasmania.  Unfortunatley, it was hunted to extinction with the last one dying in 1936, but because it occupied a similar lifestyle to canids, selective pressure caused it to develop similar dimensions.  One might think that it was closely related to dogs but it’s not.  In fact, it’s a marsupial being more closely related to Kangaroos.  Even though it has similar portions to dogs, it has none of the characteristic traits of canids.

While a paraphyletic taxon will include some but not all descendants of a common ancestor, if two organisms are grouped into a polyphyletic taxon, they will ultimatley at some point share a common ancestor but both clades that form the taxon will also have sister clades that will not be included in the taxon.  Apparent similarities brought about by convergent evolution can cause polyphyletic groupings to occur.  However, if one lineage had a derived trait of another, that wasn’t shared by the common ancestor of the two, it would make it a chimera which, contrary to what Kirk Cameron claimed, would violate evolutionary law.

The further you look back the more resemblance you will see.

In accordance with evolutionary principal, the further you look back in time two different lineages, the more the members of each lineage will resemble each other.  This is because as the lineages diverge and time passes, they develop more and more derived traits that makes them seem more and more dictinct.  So as you look back further in time, or the more conserved the members of a lineage are, the more of the original character traits the common ancestor of both lineages had will be present in those lineages and hence the more they will resemble each other.  To look at this principal we can again look at languages.  For example, English and Swedish are both Germanic languages that are descended from the proto Germanic languag.  They may not sound very similar now but 1000 years ago this wasn’t the case.  Old English and Old Norse actually sounded quite similar.  Here is the story of Beowulf spoken in Old English.

The only part of that I could make out is “That was good king”.  However, of all the Nordic languages, the one most similar to Old Norse is Icelandic (they are mutually intelligible) and a speaker of Icelandic can actually read Old English.

http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3637&context=etd

Carnivorans as an Example of Evolutionary Principals.  

The diversity of cats and dogs

Now lets go back to the creationists’ favorite example of cats and dogs and look at the diversity of the two families.  Depicted below are fours species of cats: the tiger (Panthera tigris), the Cheetah, the cougar (Puma oncolor) and the house cat (Felis silvestris).  There are many different species and creationists may very well be willing to accept that all living felids share a common ancestor.  But they’re all still cats.  But lets explore felid diversity a bit more.

felidae

Depicted below is a family tree of the family felidae.  It devides into two main sub families, felinae and pantherinae which we can call “felines” and “panthers”.  Two genus live in this subfamily, Neofelis and Panthera.  Neofelis is the clouded leopard and Panthera is all other big cats such as lions, tigers, leopards and the jaguar.  The other branch is “felinae” which is also known as the small cats.  Although the lowest ancestor of the panthers was considerably derived from the oldest fossil cats, the common ancestor of felinae would have closely resembled the oldest cats as many felines continue to do.  So the felid clade is basically divided into one more derived group (the panthers) and one more conserved group (the felines).  However some felines like cougars are highly derived but unlike panthers they are unable to roar and meow like other “small cats”.   However, the smallest of the panthers, the clouded leopard has some traits characteristic of both large and small cats.  This is because it has more in common with the common ancestor of panthers which itself had more in common with the common ancestor of all cats.  The apparent similarities it has in common with the felines are primitive traits that the common ancestor of all cats had that wasn’t present in the common ancestor of Panthera.  This is an example of how the further you look back, the more members of two lineages will resemble each other.

Below is a side by side pictures of the major groups of canids including the grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the culpeo, (Lycalopex culpaeus).and the coyote (Canis latrans).

canidae

The while the divisions in the feline family are relatively straightforward, the same is not true for the Canids.  At the base of the canid family tree, you have a division between the grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and all other canids.  The tree divides again between the true foxes (Vulpini) and again all other canids.  This branch divides again between the South American Canids and the “Canines” the most derrived group of canids that includes the wolf and domestic dog.

Now we can start to see some of the evolutionary principals we discussed in action.  For example if we were to lump the grey fox in with the true foxes, we would form a paraphyletic group.  The reason that they seem similar is that the oldest canid Hesperocyon would have closely resembled  a fox when alive.

 

The common ancestor of the canines and true foxes would have changed very little from the ancestor that it shared with the grey fox and the lineage that gave rise to the true foxes didn’t evolve as many derived traits as the canines, hence they seem to share more in common with the grey fox than they do with the canines.  But this similarity is deceptive because true foxes are more closely related to canines than they are to Urocyon.  The principal of “seeing more resemblances the further you look back” can be seen in canids as well as cats.  Just as the clouded leopard shares traits with both felines and other panthers, the black backed jackal is the most conserved canine, most closely resembling C. ferox which itself would have had more in common with the common ancestor of true foxes and canines.  Hence it’s apparent similarity with both foxes and other canines.  But wait you may ask, why am I going on about the diversity of cats and dogs.  All cats are the same “kind” of animal just like all dogs are the same “kind” of animal so aren’t these diversifications merely examples of (what creationists consider to be) micro-evolution?  Well, there’s actually allot more to it than that.

When we take a good look at foxes like the red fox, we start to notice something.  While they have obvious traits in common with dogs, they also seem to have some traits in common with cats such as the basic shape, eye shape with the vertical slit and even similar behaviors.  For example, like dogs foxes whine, but their wine sounds vaguley like a “meow”.  When dogs feel threatened, they bare their teeth, growl and put their tail between their legs.  When foxes feel threatened, they arch up their back, open their mouth and hiss, just like a cat.

A common misconception is that the similarities (notice I said similarities and not “apparent similarities”) is because of convergent evolution.  However similarities in things like specific threat gestures are hard to explain by convergent evolution.  So what’s going on here?  Why are distinctly feline traits popping up in a canid lineage?  Does this mean that the law of monophyly has been violated?  Well no.  As to why, the answer is simple: the traits that foxes share in common with cats are not distinctly feline traits.

Cat is NOT the opposite of dog

While we can see some similarities between the red fox and the common house cat, the similarities become even more discernible in the most conserved canid, the grey fox.  Not only do they look more like cats but if you observe their movement, it is even more “cat like” than other foxes (they even climb trees).  But why do they have these features in common with cats.

While you may have to look deep to see similarities with a wolf and a jaguar, the grey fox bears many cat like characteristics.

The answer is this: because as opposed to being “feline” traits, these are the primitive charecter traits of the order carnivora.  A clade of mammals that includes most of the major land mammal predators.  This clade divides into two main branches the caniform (dog) branch that includes as well as dogs, bears, skunks, weasels, red pandas, raccoons and pinnepeds.  The feliform (cat) branch includes cats, civets, genets, hyenas and mongooses.  And this is what is quite ironic about the use of cats and dogs as an example by creationists.  When we teach children what “opposites” are we often give the example of cats and dogs.  But cats and dogs are not opposite nor are they distantly related.  Below is a family tree of the order carnivora to which both belong.

Just as within both the cat and dog families we can see the principal of “the further you look back, the more resemblance you will see, when comparing the two families we can see this principal in action.  In the more derived lineages of the two families like panthers and canines, there isn’t too much resemblance (although there is still some) but in the more conserved members (like the felines and foxes) there are abundant similarities which are all shared primitive traits.  In fact many people say that foxes look like a dog mixed with a cat.  Also, many of the features we think of as being feline that are shared with foxes aren’t shared with panthers.  If instead of domesticating the more derived canids and more conserved felids, we domesticated foxes and panthers, er probably would have thought of those traits as being canine.  The traits that felines and foxes share in common are ones that they both share with their common ancestor that were lost in the more derived members of their respective families.  That ancestor was a curios little creature called Miacis which lived  around 50 million years ago.

And of all the living carnivorans, some still have changed very little since the days of Miacis.  One example is the Genet.  And interestingly enough if you look at it in profile, it looks very much like the grey fox with some cat like characteristics.

genetfox

Yet if you look at it head on, it looks mostly like a cat with some fox traits.  Also, it’s body looks like a cross between that of a cat and a weasel.  Genets also make hreat displays and meow like vocalizations that are similar to those of cats and foxes.

Untitled (1)

The Genet is on the cat branch of the order carnivora.  However, in the dog branch there is another species that closely resembles miacis; the ring tailed cat (which is actually a raccoon).  Which again seems to have features of both cats and foxes (albeit only the very cutest ones like the fenec fox, Vulpes zerda).

cuteevolution

And if you again look at the image at the top of the page and compare the ring tail and the genet you can see even more similarities between them than either house cats share with tigers or foxes share with wolves.  It’s hard to make sense of this in the light of special creation of certain “kinds” but it can be easily made sense of from an evolutionary perspective because the similarities between the genet and ring tail are the primitive charterer traits of Miacis, many of which were subsequently lost in both the cat ad dog lineages. And it’s this very dis-conjunction between similarities and degree of relatedness that calls into question any legitimacy to the notion of created “kinds” or organisms.

Carnivoran diversity further explored

Many creationists view the different families of the order Carnivora as separate kinds of animals and if you look at the more derived species and lineages, they don’t seem to have that much in common.

Untitled.png Each of these comes from a different family and creationists would argue that they are different “kinds” of animals.  However, if you look at the more conserved species in the order, things are a bit different.  All of the animals depicted below are in the order carnivora but are in each different families like the ones above.  Some of the ones in the image below are in the same family of some of the ones depicted above (the dhole, Cuon alpinus and the grey fox, the wolverine, Gulo gulo and the maten, Martes americana the marbled cat, Pardofelis marmorata and the snow leopard, and the meerkat, Suricata suricatta and the ring-tailed mongoose, Galidia elegans).  Apart from having a similar shape, many of them have a characteristic face mask and a ring tail.

carnivoran diversity

The ones depicted below are so similar that if this was 30 million years ago and represented the total carnivoran morphological diversity at the time and they didn’t have the diversity of living dogs, cats, mustelids and mongooses to compare them to, creationists probably would have accepted that they share a common ancestor but would have said that “it doesn’t count, it’s just micro evolution because they’re still carnivorans” even though this initial diversification was the basis for the diversification of the various families within the carnivoran collective, each of which creationists would consider to be just “micro evolution” (even though it’s not).  However, the morphological diversity seen here is on par with the morphological diversity seen in the canid and felid families.  From their initial template, it’s easy to see how carnivorans diversified into the variety of species that exist today.  For example, if an animal like Miacis was to start living on the ground, it would elongate its legs, make its body more rectangular and look like a fox.  If it started to live a more subterranean existence, it would evolve shorter ears and a tail with a more elongate body it would look like a weasel.  If it started swimming, it would evolve smaller ears, webbed feat and a powerful semi flattened tail like an otter.

However, the animal depicted above is not an otter, it’s Puijila darwini and at 25 million years old, it’s the first ever pinniped.  

And while the more derived members of the carnivorans may not share as much in common with each other as the more conserved species, similarities between them can still be seen, more so when you not only see what the animals look like but how they move. And if you ever seen images like this,

If you indeed “Think about it” you’ll understand why.

So if creationists saw Miacis evolve into the first caniform Procynodictis, they would say “that doesn’t count, that’s just micro evolution because it’s still a carnivoran” and if they saw that animal evolve into Hesperocyon, the first canid, they would say “that doesn’t count, that’s just micro evolution because it’s still a caniform” and if they saw that animal evolve into Canis ferox they would say that “that doesn’t count, that’s just micro evolution because it’s still a canid” and if that animal evolved into a wolf they would say “that doesn’t count because it’s still in the genus Canis“. Yet via these small incremental steps that they would claim “is just micro evolution” we went from the arboreal miacis to the grey wolf which just about everyone would consider to be macro evolution.  So what exactly do creationists mean when they say”kind”?  Dogs and jackals are both the same “kind” in the sense that they are both in the genus Canis, dogs and foxes are the same kind in the sense that they are both canids, dogs and bears are the same kind in the sense that they are both caniforms and dogs and cats are the same “kind” in the sense that they are both carnivores.  Latley I’ve been talking a bit too much about carnivora so lets go further.  Dogs and kangaroos are the same “kind” in that they are both mammals, dogs and trout are the same kind in that they are both vertebrates, dogs and jellyfish are the same “kind” in that they’re both animals, and dogs and ameoba are the same kind in the sense that they are both eukaryotes.

Taxonomy and Evolution

The Linnaen construct

Many of us are familiar with the linnaen (named after Carlos Linnaeus) system by which organisms are classified (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Genus Species). Creationists who are aware that organisms are known to speciate will say that they can only be altered only within limits.  The website creation.com states “In fact, rapid speciation is an important part of the creation model. But this speciation is within the ‘kind’,” In the case of the cats and dogs, their specific kind refers to what family that they belong to.  But the problem with this is that apart from maybe genus and subspeices, species is the only level of taxonomy that has a functional definition. beyond the actual sequence, pretty much all levels of classification are arbitrarily assigned.  For example, felidae and canidae are families within the larger clade carnivora which is a higher level of classification than family.  But there’s no reason that caniforms and feliforms couldn’t be separate orders within a carnivoran superorder.  Furthermore, we’ve found so many clades amongst existing organisms that we’ve had to make levels like superfamilies magnaorders, parvfamilies, infraclasses ect to account for all the levels in between the original levels of classification.  So much information has actually emerged that the original construct can no longer bear the load and now newly discovered clades are becoming unranked.

Ring species

Even though species has a functional definition, it can get complicated.  For one, many microorganisms reproduce asexually so it’s harder to discern what a species is amongst them.  Also, there is what’s known as “Ring species”.  One of these is the greenish warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides).

The greenish warbler originally came from the foot hills of the Himalayan mountains where the original subspecies P. t. trochiloides still resides.  One population migrated to the northwest into central Asia and became P. t. ludlowi and another migrate northeast into china and became P. t. obscuratus.  However, both subspecies can interbreed with the original where there ranges overlap.  Populations of both subspecies then migrated north and from central Asia into Western Siberia P. t. ludlowi gave rise to P. t. viridanus and those two subspecies can interbreed and from China into Eastern Siberia P. t. obscuratus gave rise to P. t. plumbeitarsus in eastern Siberia and again those two subspecies can interbreed.  The west Siberian subspecies can interbreed with the central Asian one and produce fertile offspring, the central Asian one can interbreed with the Himalayan warblers, the Himalayan warblers can interbreed with the Chinese ones and the Chinese ones can interbreed with the east Siberian ones.  All of these offspring will be fertile, so all of them should be considered to be part of the same species in accordance with the biological species concept.  However, in central Siberia, the ranges of the eastern and western Siberian subspecies can overlap but they cannot interbreed and produce any offspring, let alone fertile ones.  So in that sense they should be considered to be in separate genuses.

The creationist concept of “kind”

When face with examples of speciation, creationists will often say that those are still micro evolution because it’s the same kind of organism whether it’d be a mouse, fly or plant.  But the only scientific way to say two organismisms are part of the same “kind” is that they are in the same clade.  And if you remember that in  accordance with the law of monophyly, all organisms and all of their descendants will always be part of their parent clade and each new diversification will make daughter clades within the parent clade.  So no new species will be a different kind of organism than the one it came from; it will always be a modified version of what it’s parent species was.  So if they say “it’s still a fly, mouse or plant”, well of course it is, evolution wouldn’t permit it to be anything else.  and even the most profound changes in evolution; from sea to land, from land to air and even from single celled to multicellular organisms were the sum of these small incremental steps.  Yet creationists still allege that natural selection can generate changes “only within limits” but the overarching question is, what are these limits?

The phlyogeny challenge

If the creationist model is true, there should be three kinds of clades: artificial, original and derived (the original clade being synonymous with “kind”).  With the original clades being all of the descendants of the first organisms put on the Earth at the time of creation, the derived clades being the clades within the clades that came into existence via the evolutionary process, and the artificial ones being the clades that are made up of created clades that were put together by human taxonomists.  However, amongst all of the known clades of organisms, they seldom identify which of these are the created kinds (cats and dogs represent only a minute fraction of all the species on Earth) and more poignantly, they are never able to identify how they could be recognized.  If you are a creationist reading this: here’s my challenge, show me which of the following clades are created with all of the clades within it being derived ones and all of the ones including it being artificial.

Is the North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) related to the marine, neotropical and southern river otters and all members of the genus Lontra?  Is the Genus Lontra related to all other otters (Lutrinae)?  Are otters related to badgers, weasels, wolverines, martens and all other mustelids?  Are mustelids related to raccoons, seals, red pandas, bears, skunks and all other arctoideans?  Are arctoideans related to dogs and all other caniforms? Are Caniforms related to cats, civets, genets, mongooses, hyenas and all other carnivorans?  Are carnivorans related to pangolins, whales, bats, insectivores, hoofed mammals and all other laurasiatherians?  Are laurasiatherians related to rabbits, rodents, tree shrews, primates, colugos and all other boreoeutherians? are boreoeutherians related to elephants, aardvarks, hyraxes, elephant shrews, hyraxes, sea cows, anteaters, sloths, armadillos and all other placenta mammals.  Are placenta mammals related to marsupials and all other therian mammals.  Are therian mammals related to the platypus, echidna, and all other mammals?  Are mammals related to birds, lizards, tuataras, crocodiles, turtles and all other amniotes?  Are amniotes related to amphibians and all other tetrapods?  Are tetrapods related to ray-finned fishes, coelacanths, lungfish and all other teleostomes (bony vertebrates)?  Are teleostomes related to sharks, scates, rays, chimeras and all other gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates)?  Are gnathostomes related to hagfish, lampreys and all other craniates?  Are craniates related to lancelets, sea squirts and all other chordates? are chordates related to starfish, sea urchins, acorn worms, sand dollars, sea cucumbers and all other Deuterostomes?  Are Dueterostomes related to mollusks, arthropods, annelid worms, flat worms, round worms and all other bilaterians?  Are bilaterians related to jellyfish, anemones, corals and all other eumetazoans?  Are eumetazoans related to sponges and all other animals?  Are animals related to choanoflagellates, filasterians and all other filozoans?  Are filozoans related to ichthyosporidans, dermocystidans and all other holozoans?  Are holozoans related to fungi, rozellids, fonticulid slime molds, nucleariidans and all other opisthokonts?  Are opisthokonts related to ameobas, breviata, and all other Unikonts?  Are unikonts related to plants, red alges, dinoflagellates, diatoms, paramecium, giardians and all other eukaryotes?  Are eukaryotes related to bacteria, archea and all other life forms?

Squid colors 2.jpg

Is the Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) related to the bigfin, southern and all other reef squids?  Are reef squids related to the Siboga, Bartsch’s, swordtip, grass, brief, dart, beka, veined, spear, inshore, longfin, thumbstall squids and all other pencil squids (Loliginidae).  Are pencil squids related to Australiteuthis and all other myopsinans?  Are myopsinians related to all other “true squids” (Tuethida)?  Are true squids related to cuttlefish, bobtail squids, rams’ horn squid and all other decapodiformes? Are decapodiformes related to the ooctopus, vampire squid and all other Coleodeans?  Are Coleodeans related to the nautilus, ammonites and all other cephalopods?  Are cephalopods related to scaphopods, bivalves, gastropods and all other conchiferans?  Are conchiferans related to monoplacophorans, aplacophorans, polyplacophorans and all other mollusks?  Are mollusks related to segmented worms, ribbon worms, flatworms, spiny headed worms, bryozoans, rotifers, hairybacks and all other lophotrochozoans?  Are lophotrochozoans related to arthropods, tardigrades, velvet worls, pripulanids, roundworms and all other protostomes?  Are protostomes related to all other bilaterians?

Is corn (Zea mays) related to Z nicaraguensis, luxurians, mexicana and all other members of the genus Zea?  Is the genus Zea  related gamagrass and all other tripsacinae?  Are tripsacinae related to sorghum, crinklelawn grass, browntops, beard grass, tangleheads, saehim and all other Andropogoneae?  Is Andropogoneae related to barnyard grass, rosette grasses, crabgrass, cupscale grass, mulga grass, switchgrass, canegrass and all other Panicoideae?  Are Panicoideae related to purple three-awn, finger millet and all other members of the PACMAD clade?  Are all members of the PACMAD clade related to every other species of grass (Poaceae)?  Are grasses related to Joinvillea, Georgeantha and all other graminids?  Are graminids related to bromeliads, sedges and all other poales? Are poales related to bananas, spiderworts, palms, and all other commelinids?  Are commonelids related to lilys, yams, sweet flags and all other monocots?  Are monocots related to dicots and all other flowering plants (angiosperms)?  Are angiosperms related to ginkgos, cycads, conifers and all other seed plants (spermatophytes)?  Are seed plants related to true ferns, horsetails, whisk ferns and all other euphyllophytes?  Are euphyllophytes related to clubmoss and all other tracheophytes (vascular plants)?  Are vascular plants related to liverwworts, mosses, hornworts and all other land plants (embryophytes).  Are land plants related to charophytes and all other plants?  Are plants related to green algae and all other Viridiplantae?  Is Viridiplantae related to glaucophytes, red algae and all other Archaeplastids?  Are Archaeplastids related to haptophytes, rhizarians, cryptomonads, brown algae and all other bikonts?  Are bikonts related to all other eukaryotes?

Which of these clades were created, which are derived, which are artificial and more importantly, how could we tell?  As long as creationists cannot answer these questions, there concept of “kind” has no basis and their distinction between micro and macro evolution holds absolutely no merit whatsoever.

 

The ontological argument for God Refuted

I saw a blog post by a theist with the username “DarkZealotOfPeace” claiming to have proof for the origin of god and in this blog post I’m going to debunk what he says.

 

The atheistic universe of blind-force can NEVER cause any sort of ordering.Naturally ,order decreases with time but according to evolution ,it’s the opposite.That’s the easiest way to refute atheism in just a few lines !Even by using one’s wisdom one must realize that everything had to come from something that had always existed i.e is causeless.This is the only way how our reality of cause-and-effect can operate.If every effect had a cause which is also an effect of another cause and so on ,the universe could not exist -reality as we know it would not and will not exist !One might even ask .Where did the universe and all the matter and energy it contains come from? Where did the old,unexploded universe come from?Where did it originate from? Where did it’s origin originate from etc. etc.It’s like asking the foolish set of question that some people dwell on which is —> “who created us ?Then Who created God?Then Who created that God and so on….” therefore we must accept the possibility of a cause which is not an effect (perhaps outside the realm of time itself).Since we clearly DO exist ,there must a source ,an origin from which all things came which itself is not caused by something else.Now one might think okay ,I agree that everything had to come from something uncreated but does it have to be a God ?!

First off, order can arise without design.  Take crystals, they are some of the most ordered structures in the world, yet we don’t automatically say that a crystal making god made them.  It’s just that we can explain why crystal form the way that they do in the light of our knowledge of molecular geometry.  And contrary to what he said, each individual unit won’t automatically move from order to disorder.  Take a protein alpha helix folding, the helix folding spontaneously went from disorder to order.  It all comes down to what configuration is most thermodynamically favorable.  It only seems like things go from order to disorder because the number of possible states that we would recognize as “ordered” are far outnumbered by the states we recognize as being “disordered” but there is no magic force moving everything from order to disorder as he would lead us to believe.

Well the answer to finding proof on the existence of a God is simple .Some might think all things came from the Monad i.e the primeval blob of energy and mass that erupted to cause the big bang.However ,from observation we see that the amount of energy and mass in the universe is finite so it does not seem rational how something eternal and infinite could be having a set value when nothing was there to set such a value.It’s just like trying to add,subtract or multiply the number infinity.This means that the one thing from which the primordial universe and therefore all things came from must be infinite .And since the universe we observe is not infinite by itself we can conclude that the limited universe which we live in is originated (caused) by something infinite which is distinct and separate from the universe itself.

OK, now he’s showing a complete lack of understanding of general relativity and quantum mechanics.  He’s looking at time as something that is entirely different from space when time is another dimension of the space time continuum.  Also, time can run at different rates in the universe.  For example, when one is to go fast, time slows down in their reference frame in accordance with the famous Lorenz transformation where T’=T(1-(v/c)^2)^.5.  Also, time will slow down when subject to gravitational fields and at a singularity, time will stand still.  Contrary to what he claimed, the universe didn’t start with a blob, it started with a singularity and given that gravitational attraction is a function of the mass multiplied by the gravitational constant over the radius squared, a singularity (like in a black hole) has infinitley strong gravity and at a singularity, time stands still.  So the universe always existed, but always has to be defined within the limits of time itself.  It’s not that there was nothing before the big bang, there was just no before the big bang.  And at the quantum level (thee very small) from which our universe started out, things like particle antiparticle pair formation are observed to occur spontaneously.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ph/9402256.pdf

Now let us look at the proof that the creator of the universe is intelligent for there is no other explanation for the world we see around us.WE ourselves are the proof of a single genderless deity who is all-powerful.All things finite are in pairs but infinity cannot have a pair (Yin and yang ,light and darkness ,positive and negative etc.)We need no miracles for proof ,only understanding ,knowledge and wisdom..Not all atheists are morons ,but some are.They keep yapping about “Probability ! ,Probability !” yet they fail to realize that in all “probability” the likelihood of all this coming by chance is so insignificant that the likelihood of a God is more ‘probable’.
Here are some facts that evolution cannot explain
1)There is not a single specimen of a transitional animal and too many “missing links” including for humans when it comes to tracing the evolutionary history of many creatures.

Actually, there are a wide variety of “transitional” forms of animals like Cynagnathus, Westlothania, Tiktaalik, Ambulocetus and Archaeopteryx to name but a few.

sea-lion-big-wallpaper

2)The bodies of plants and animals seem to have the ability to ‘learn’ from the surrounding and pass off that information to descendants in the form of resistance and other mutations.Although a large part of evolution is based on this ,no one can explain how this mechanism came into being.The discovery of nylon-eating bacteria has been used by critics and proponents of creationism and intelligent design, in both print articles and on websites, to challenge creationist or Darwinist claims. These bacteria can produce novel enzymes that allow them to feed on by-products of nylon manufacture which did not exist prior to the invention of nylon in the 1930s.The daily decisions we make about lifestyle, diet, exercise, thought patterns and environment can directly affect the physical sequence of our DNA. Stressful events and factors in our lives can link various methyl groups to our genetics, or change the histones that make up our DNA. Think these changes are too insignificant to notice? Think again. These subtle shifts in the well-being of our nuclei can go so far as to impact the genetics of our children, making them more or less susceptible to hereditary factors such as high blood pressure or life expectancy.Evolution does happen but only for pre-existing creatures with the bodies that have the code for self transformation.

Actually, our DNA cannot  “learn” and we don’t pass on those traits to our offspring.  The only thing that we pass on to our offspring is changes in the DNA sequence in our germ cells.  Things like DNA methylation and Histone modulation only impact the levels of gene expression in that particular cell but they don’t alter the actually DNA sequence, much less in a matter that we could pass on to our offspring.  As for the nylon-eating bacteria, here’s an article about how they EVOLVED.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC167468/pdf/612020.pdf

3)Some intrepid biologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survives on nothing but electricity — rather than food, they eat and excrete pure electrons. These bacteria yet again prove the almost miraculous tenacity of life — but, from a technology standpoint, they might also prove to be useful in enabling the creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that clean up pollution. Some of these bacteria also have the curious ability to form into ‘biocables,’ microbial nanowires that are centimeters long and conduct electricity as well as copper wires — a capability that might one day be tapped to build long, self-assembling subsurface networks for human use.As you may recall from high school biology, almost every living organism consumes sugar to survive. When it gets right down to it, everything you eat is ultimately converted or digested into single molecules of glucose. Without going into the complexities of respiration and metabolism (ATP!), these sugars have excess electrons — and the oxygen you breathe in really wants those electrons. By ferrying electrons from sugar to oxygen, a flow of electrons — i.e. energy — is created, which is then used to carry out various vital tasks around your body (triggering electrons, beating your heart, etc.)

This is just another example of why evolution is true.  The Bacteria merely evolved to utilize the electrical gradient in their electron transport chains.  The Bacteria that use them have a different sequence then their ancestors.  But it’s just an example of how organisms can adapt using preexisting structures.

4)Some say that Humans and Apes share 98% of their DNA but this is untrue.A new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the common value of >98% similarity of DNA between chimp and humans is incorrect.Roy Britten, author of the study, puts the figure at about 95% when insertions and deletions are included. Importantly, there is much more to these studies than people realize.As far as we know ,it is near impossible to mate with another species.If you try to have a baby between a woman and her pet monkey ,the chances are that no offspring will result.This is another problem when it comes to the evolution of sexual beings.If an ape gave birth to an evolved ape ,that evolved ape is in all probability unable to reproduce without a mate sharing the same DNA.

First of all, humans are apes, just like we’re mammals and just like we’re vertebrates we are apes.  A chimpanzee is more closely related to a human than it is to a gorilla and a gorilla is more closely related to a human than it is to an orangutan and an orangutan is more closely related to a human than it is to a gibbon and this has been confirmed genetically time after time.  Also he is showing a complete lack of understanding of how evolution works.  There is no such thing as a more and less evolved organism, there are more basal organisms and there are more derived ones, i.e. ones that have more in common with the common ancestor of both and those that have less.  But just as there is no discrete point where you can say you lost all of your childhood traits there is no discrete point where the last Australopithecus afarensis (lucy) became the first Homo habilis (hand man).  It’s just that one group of A. Afarensis ultimately gave rise to H. habilis while the other gave rise to A. Africanus and gradually, as the two lines genetically diverged, they would become less and less interfertile until they couldn’t interbreed at all.

5)One would expect that, at the very bottom of the fossil record, the remains of living creatures would be extremely sparse. Contrariwise, the earliest fossil stratum reflects an “explosion of life” that is so profuse it baffles Darwinists. They portray it as one of the “major” mysteries of the history of life.Similar explosions have occurred in history at certain instances and nobody knows why.Some claim that such lifeforms may have been introduced by meteors from other planets but this is a baseless thing cooked up by evolutionist to avoid having to accept creationism .An individual once said “Evolutionists claim that only they do not follow blindly but many of them have toyed with the idea of infections from alien organism .This is fallacious because it presume DNA accidentally occurred elsewhere as well” Another thing to point out is that the idea of Panspermia (that life originated from outside sources) implies that an organism had not only evolved extremely fast since the beginning of time but it also supposes that it’s evolution was so fast that it formed so long ago so as to have then traveled millions of kilometers for thousands of years to reach earth.It also supposes that such life could support itself on such a journey.

Actually, we have a much better understanding of why the Cambrian explosion happened then we do before.  1st, contrary to popular belief, multicellular life is well known to exist before the Cambrian explosion.  1st, some (pre)historical context.  Over the course of the proterozoic eon, there were two “snowball earth” events where the world froze over.  Each time that it melted and, the melt water brought in vast quantities of nutrients that induced vast algal blooms which pumped out vast quantities of oxygen.  When oxygen concentrations increase in the water, multicellular life becomes a highly evolutionary favorable proposition.  After the first one.  After the first one 2200MYA oxygen first became very prevalent in the atmosphere.  Between 2000-750MYA we see a number of organisms such as horodyskia (1500MYA).  The second snowball Earth occurred 750-650MYA and another increase in oxygen concentrations followed.  We then see a wide range of animals known as the Ediacaran fauna from which the organisms involved in the “Cambrian Explosion” came from.  Also, as for the the origin of life, there is a great series of videos made by Jack Szostak on how life arose (see the bottom).

6)The earliest forms of life should be characterized by a lesser complexity than that which supposedly evolved much later. But such is not the case. The so-called “simple” forms of life are “incredibly complex” (Simpson, 15). The alleged upward swing of the evolutionary chain presents many a problem. A fern, for instance, has 500 chromosomes in the nucleus of each of its cells, a crayfish has 200, while humans have only 46. This is an anomaly.Some pose the fallacious “Scaffolding” argument that life was complex and then devolved .But this implies either an overly abnormal ultra-fast evolution into a complex organism before it devolved or it implies the illogical ,that life emerged as more complex forms.

1st of all, his basic assumption that ferns and crayfish are more complex than humans is entirely unfounded.  They, like us are multicellular organisms with a high degree of tissue variation.  2nd, because an organism has more chromosomes doesn’t mean that it has more genetic material simply because there isn’t a set amount of DNA per chromosome. Also, there is no such thing as life “devolving” although, depending on what’s most favorable, an species can become more or less complex (google placozoa).   3rd, even if an organism is multicellular doesn’t mean that it will always have more genetic material.  80% of all the genes in a multicellular organisms are expressed in all the cells and these are housekeeping genes that are required for the cell to function.  It’s only the remaining 20% that are used to differentiate the tissues.

7)Advanced organisms have two sexes. Gradual evolution could not have produced sexuality. To say that it could have done so is to assume that both sexes evolved from the same ancestor at the same time with fully functioning and compatible sexual organs as non-developed sexual organs will cause no offspring to result. Even if one sex of a species evolved, it would have died without a mate. As put by Parker, “…we can’t even imagine that males evolved from females, or vice versa.. ” If sex emerged by accident both sexes needed to have formed from the same parent at the same time ,with compatible sexual organs and also the desire to mate AND the ability to conceive since reproduction of any kind is a complex process.

First of all two sexes could evolve from a common ancestor that wouldn’t have had two sexes.  Here’s how.  The precursor organism could have reproduced hermaphodically but one of the offspring was born with a mutation that had non-functional “female” parts but functional male parts.  It could still mate with another hermaphrodidic organism and thus pass on its genes and some of its descendants would have nonfunctional female parts but functional male ones.  These would become the males and over time they would lose the female part entirely.  Conversely, some of the females hermaphrodites would lose the functionality of their male parts and these would become females and thus the sexes were born.

8)Evolution demands long, uninterrupted spans of time. Yet the geologic record is one of catastrophes that interrupted life on earth. Gould admits that these “great dyings” are a problem because “our strong biases for gradual and continuous change force us to view mass extinctions as anomalous and threatening.For example when the great Ice age occurred ,millions of plant and animals perished yet life reemerged when the ice age receded and such organisms were already adapted to the new surrounding.This also applies to the mass extinction at the end of the age of dinosaurs.

Actually evolution doesn’t “demand” long uninterrupted time to evolve and rate of change in a population can occur at varying rates depending on their rates of reproduction and environmental variation.  The catastrophes wipe out most of the species alive leaving many ecological niches open and when the extinction event is over the survivors evolve to fill those niches in what’s known as an “adaptive radiation”.

9] Now just think,suppose a evolution did happen and a micro organism ‘did’ form by accident.At the immediate second it became alive it had to have the ability to reproduce ,eat,breath,excrete etc.(Characteristics of living things) at the very instant it was born.So how did everything come exactly as life would require it?And that too in a single instant the ‘mistake’ happened?Let us now consider single aspects at a time- So suppose if the organism was born it would have to have evolved the ability to reproduce (Any reproduction is a complex and surgical process and the reproductive capacity of the organism must have been near-perfect RIGHT FROM THE START )But it had no ancestors to evolve the ability from.So it could not multiply (without considering it would die due inability to breath,inability to eat,missing digestive system for specific food it eats etc.) and therefore no offspring.Therefore no life would be there today.The same applies to the other requirements for life.So you see,too many parts of living beings required a sudden leap to have formed and these leaps have had to come about in a controlled and/or meaningful manner.Scientist have created proteins in situations similar to those of a young earth.Guess what.Like DNA,protein does not mean life.It requires an already fully functioning body to be of any use in life processes. Furthermore DNA just floating around does not do anything .You might also see ,that the first DNA organism ‘also’ had to have a DNA containing all the information of the body structure (even though the body structure was by accident-so how did it know?How did it ‘generate’ the information into encoded DNA?) and also a system capable of containing the information and processing it.

Actually, the first organism was far more simple than the most simple bacteria are today and it’s “eating” would have just been diffusion of biomolecules through its membrane.  But while it is true that DNA floating around does not do anything, the same is not true for RNA.  There are RNA sequences that have enzymatic function known as ribozymes and some of these are capable of self-replicating.  So the first organisms didn’t use DNA as its genetic material, it would have used RNA instead.   It would have later evolved the use of proteins and DNA because proteins are better at carrying out enzymatic activity and DNA is better at information storage than RNA, but RNA is still capable of both.  Also, as a side note, no atheists are saying that these things happened by “accident” or “mistake” because for there to be either of those there would have to be an intent behind it.

10) How on earth can a cellular organism form?! Since the cell wall and the organs need to have been accidentally created at the same moment and the cell organs have to be formed ‘inside’ the cell .The cell needs to be able to transport resources (food) in and excrete wastes to prevent dangerous buildup.To do this the cell wall needs to be fine tuned to only allow specific materials in and specific materials out while at the same time any mechanism within the cell must be accidentally ,one that perfectly needs only those resources which are allowed in and specifically produces those chemical products capable of being ejected form the body.This is the argument for intelligent design.
There are many but it’s too long and also difficult to find because most things like this are simply classified as ‘weird’ and then ignored

Well, a more appropriately phrased question would be how did a multi cellular organism form.  And as a side note not all organisms have sell walls.  But not all the organs would have had to have been “created” at the same time and the ancestor of the multicellular organisms would have already been able to carry out cellular functions such as excretion.  It would have started off with a single celled organism reproducing and having the cells remained joined together (which is well documented).  Gradually, some of the cells would alter levels of gene expression to carry out more and more specific functions for the organism.  Initially, these cells would have had the capability to carry out any function that the other cells could for the organism but would better at one function than the other.  Gradually, however, they would become so specialized that they could only carry out one specific set of function and these vecame the first tissues which in turn would have become the first organs.  To show how wrong his presuposition is take our cardiovascular system: we need a heart to pump blood through our system to deliver enough oxygen to our organs so one might argue that we needed a heart from the sart.  Howver, there are a wide variety of animals that can function properly without a heart and this is because their metabolic rates are much lower than our own.  So our “heartless” ancestor may have just had a water vascular system to transport oxygen throughout its system.  But say an alteration in the environment occurred that made a higher metabolic rate more favorable.  If one began to evolve a region of the water vascular system that became specialized in moving the water through the system to increase the flow of oxygen, it would be selected for but at first, while it would have been beneficial for the organism it wouldn’t be necessary for its survival.  But as the metabolic rate of the organism increased with subsequent generations, you would eventually meet a point where the minimum oxygen requirements for the cell could only be met if there was a heart pumping the water through the system.  And if you might ask what about before the water vascular system? well then it would have used diffusion and had an even slower metabolic rate.  But again a system that ultimately gave rise to the water vascular system may have been beneficial at first but not 100% necessary.  But as the organism evolved and its oxygen requirements increased the water vascular system went from being beneficial to necessary for survival.  So, no the organisms don’t need all the organs in place from the start to survive.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC167468/pdf/612020.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC167468/pdf/612020.pdf