You believe, as most writers on this forum do, that billions of small changes always ad up to big changes. Unfortunately that is not true. When you move a cup of tea on your table a billion times into a different position, it never moves from its 2-dimensional space into a 3-dimensional space and starts to fly.
Root problem in most discussions on evolution is that evolution is not a robust scientific concept. Evolution (= slow change) stands opposite of Revolution (= fast change). But change can happen in different ways! Systems can change in their parameters: (a1, b1) --> (a2, b2) ; this type of change is called ‘variation’ or ‘first order change’. Systems, however, can also change in their dimensions: (a1, b1) --> (a2, b2, c2); this type of change is called ‘innovation’ or ‘second order change’. You can easily see that billions of variations, during billions of years, cannot produce innovation. The fundamental difference between first order and second order change is a key distinction in organization and change theory and in the field of innovation theory.
In every branch of science, scholars are eager to define the fundamental concepts of their theories as accurately as possible. In evolutionary biology, however, this eagerness is missing. After more than one hundred and fifty years, the concept of evolution urgently needs to be defined more accurately by distinguishing first order change + the engine of first order change + the empirical evidence for it, from second order change + the engine of second order change + the empirical evidence for it. The consequence of this distinction will be that, for instance, the change in the form of the beaks of Darwin finches, produced by the mechanism of recombination of gene variants and selection and by gene regulation, can no longer be used as evidence that a bacterium can change into a human. See further: ‘Ten misconceptions about how the DNA changes’
In 2019, naturalists will continue to broadcast that evolution is a robust scientific concept and will keep misusing examples of variation of the DNA by natural processes as proof of innovation of the DNA (= expansion of it into new dimensions) by natural processes. They will also keep policing against any attempt in evolutionary biology to distinguish first order from second order change, as is normal in any branch of science that studies change. But ultimately - maybe this year yet - they will fail to block the progress of empirical science.
Happy new year!
Dr. W.M. DeJong, Evoskepsis Association