...and please make a note of the address change. -- Thanks!
Rewards for Evolution Evidence
$1,000,000 prize is being offered by:
"The Origin-of-Life Prize" web site for proposing a highly plausible mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life (abiogenesis).
(NOTE: Although the "Origin-of-Life Prize" is in no way connected to or responsible for the positions taken on this "WorldView Test Site," the "Origin-of-Life Foundation," (which offers this "Origin-of-Life Prize") may be trying to coordinate an effort to substantiate that abiogenesis (a purely naturalistic materialist origin to life) is within reasonably reachable probabilities.
---However, the overwhelming body of empirical evidence and statistical analysis would seem to clearly indicate that any such attempt to demonstrate a mechanism for abiogenesis will fail... as this site's article on abiogenesis explains.)
Rewards from R. Totten:
A $2,000 Reward: ...to the first person delineating experimentally confirmed biochemical mechanism(s) which demonstrates that it is within reasonable statistical probability for biological information and life in the cosmos to have originated from non-living chemicals (abiogenesis) by purely natural processes, totally apart from the agency of any intelligent designer (a chemist). This mechanism must agree with empirical biochemical and thermodynamic reality. --This abiogenesis-reward is contingent upon and will be given only to the person(s) who wins the "Origin of Life Prize" described (& linked to) above.
a $2,000 Reward ...to the first person(s) who can provide clear empirical evidence (published in a good peer-reviewed journal) demonstrating that there has ever occurred: a series of 5 (or more) descendantly-related intermediary species which make a transitional bridge between any two phyla, classes or orders of animals. -- The transitional species must be fairly equally placed along the transitional bridge, with 5 of the intermediaries being spaced on either side of the middle between the two phyla, classes or orders (near the 30% and 40% and 50% and 60% and 70% development points).
For example: A series of species descendantly relating some ancestral order of land-based animals to the turtles, should show the progressive 30% and 40% and 50% and 60% and 70% development (macro-evolution) of the characteristic turtle-shell toward its final (modern) status. --And at the same time, the same sort of step-wise change of the characteristic skeleton and limbs of turtles must be demonstrated in the fossils.
--- Such changes shouldnot be very hard to find, since turtle fossils were very easily formed (since many turtles spend part of every year buried in the mud), and are quite numerous and found world-wide. - - Still, we have virtually no examples of intermediate fossil forms evolving up to the turtle.
OR, For example: A series of species descendantly relating some ancestral class of fish to the amphibian class. This series should show something close to the 30% and 40%, as well as the 50%, the 60% and the 70% development of the pelvis of an amphibian... and at the same time, a very similar step-wise development of the bones in the limbs, as well as gill-disappearance and a couple other necessary adaptations. - - - This should be quite easy to find, since fish are abundantly fossilized all around the world. Five or six good fossils would amazingly demonstrate this particular macro-evolutionary transition. But if such changes are not demonstrated, we do not have adequate fossil evidence to assert that this happened. - - - And so far, the fossils don't show this.
Note: The Coelecanth was put forward for decades as an example of one of the transitionals between fish and amphibians (because some people wanted to see it that way), however, live specimens were caught, and now it is known that the Coelecanth is very much a fish, and is not nearly a transitional.
OR, For example: A series of species descendantly relating some ancestral order of land-based mammals (some say a shrew-like mammal) to the whales (the cetaceans), should show the progressive 30% and 40% and 50% and 60% and 70% "movement" of the blow-hole in the evolving whale-skull toward its final (modern) location. And at the same time, the change of the limbs of whales must demonstrated in the fossils, along with the gradual development of the horizontal tail-flukes (which move up-and-down), as well as the progressing size of the animals.
-- Such fossil evidence shouldn't be too hard to find, since buried whale skeletons are found abundantly by the tons all around the world.
-- However, such step-wise changes have not even nearly been produced, leaving us with inadequate examples of intermediate fossil forms leading to the whale.
In 1982, a British evolutionist, F. Hitching, said:
"The problem for Darwinians is in trying to find an explanation for the immense number of adaptations and mutations needed to change a small and primitive earthbound mammal, living alongside and dominated by dinosaurs, into a huge animal with a body uniquely shaped so as to be able to swim deep in the oceans, a vast environment previously unknown to mammals . . . all this had to evolve in at most five to ten million years—about the same time as the relatively trivial evolution of the first upright walking apes into ourselves." (Ref: F. Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (Ticknor & Fields, New Haven & New York, 1982, p. 90.).
--- Yes, I am aware of K. Hunt's article about transitional fossils, at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html ...however, Hunt only offers examples which are close to existant families of animals --but does not provide evidence that families are descendantly related to each other through a series of intermediary species (with some examples right in and near the middle between the families). --- (And Hunt's examples certainly do not provide a good intermediary series with examples that fall near the mid-point between two phyla, classes or orders. ---This is what is needed for the fossil record to substantiate macro-evolution.)
a $2,000 Reward ...to the first person(s) who can provide clear empirical evidence (published in a good peer-reviewed journal) that even one new complex bio-mechanism (eg, a flagellum, a cilium, or a light-sensitive spot) --comprised of at least four different new types of functional proteins which assemble together to function as well-matched and coordinated interacting mechanical parts-- has ever evolved in any species in nature. The new bio-mechanism must be totally as a result of the origination of at least 4 new protein-types (coded by new genetic material (DNA) in the genome) not previously existing in the original ancestor(s). The new proteins and the new mechanism must be beneficial to the organism's survival, and not deleterious or destructive to any of its other bio-mechanisms or life-functions;
(Mere Polyploidy, Gene-Doubling, splicing, and Recombination alone do not satisfy the above requirements, because they do not constitute the origination of totally new genetic information which produces new types of proteins, but only the multiplication, re-combining and additions of old information coding for previously existing types of proteins).
The above requirements for new, functional DNA information in larger genomes are reasonable, because today's general theory of neo-Darwinian evolution starts with non-living chemicals, going through abiogenesis, developing into proto-bacteria (with the smallest possible genome of life), to bacteria, & finally to the most advanced life-forms. All of this starts from no DNA, progressing to a minimal genome, and evolving up to the largest and most complex genomes. Such biological development would involve many steps of MACRO-evolutionary speciation, adding on many thousands of new protein types along the way. This is the overall scheme of Darwin's "general" theory of evolution, and this lengthy progression is what naturalistic Neo-darwinian evolutionists teach regarding the origin and development of the life-forms on earth (eg, see an evolutionary "tree of life")...
If not, an intelligent designer is most probably the best explanation for the origin of biological information. Also, intelligent design should be taught in schools on an equal footing along with ideas of evolutionary origins.