- Published on Thursday, 02 July 2009 00:00
- Written by Super User
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The Big Bang
Challenges to Evolution[i]
- After more than one hundred years of experimental breeding of various kinds of animals and plants, the amount of variation that can be produced (even with intentional, not random, breeding) is extremely limited, due to the limited, due to the limited range of genetic variation in each type of living thing: dogs who are selectively bred for generations are still dogs, fruit flies are still fruit flies, etc. And when allowed to return to the wild state, the most highly specialized breeds quickly perish and the survivors revert to the original wild type. “Natural selection”, claimed by Darwinists to account for the survival of new organisms, is really a conservative force that works to preserve the genetic fitness of a population, not to change it’s characteristics.
- The vast and complex mutations required to produce complex organs such as an eye or a bird’s wing (or hundreds of other organs) could not have occurred in tiny mutations accumulating over thousands of generations, because the individual parts of the organ are useless (and give no “advantage”) unless the entire organ is functioning. But the mathematical probability of such random mutations happening together in one generation is effectively zero. Darwinists are left saying that it must have happened because it happened.
- The fossil record was Darwin’s greatest problem in 1859, and it has simply become a greater problem since then. Many ancient fossils exactly resembled present-day animals – showing that (according to the chronological assumptions of Darwin’s view) numerous animals have persisted for millions of years essentially unchanged. Darwin realized that the absence of “transitional types” in the fossil record weakened his theory. Even after 130 years of intensive archaeological activity has still failed to produce on convincing example of a needed transitional type.
- Probably the greatest difficulty of all for evolutionary theory is explaining how any life could have begun in the first place. The spontaneous generation of even the simplest living organism capable of independent life (the prokaryote bacterial cell) from inorganic material on the earth could not happen by random mixing of chemicals: its requires intelligent design and craftsmanship so complex that no advanced scientific laboratory in the world has been able to do it. Fred Hoyle states it clearly, “That a living organism emerged by chance from a pre-biotic soup is about as likely as that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.” Kofahl and Segraves report a study by an evolutionary scientist who formulates a model to calculate the probability for the formation, not just of one enzyme molecule but the smallest likely living organism by random processes. He comes up with a probability of one chance in 10 to the 340, 000,000 power. That is, one chance in 10 with 340 million zeros after it![ii]
Lets look at science:
The Miller Experiment, Darwin’s Tree of Life, Haeckel’s Embryos, the archaeopteryx missing link. If you ask almost any scientist to describe the evidence for Darwinism, time after time they give these icons of evolution as examples. They’re in our textbooks. They’re what we teach our students. For many scientists, they are the evidence for evolution.
Jonathan Wells, PHD, PHD. The case for a creator. 2004
THE MILLER EXPIRIMENT
Argument: Stanley Miller’s 1953 experiment in which he shot electricity through an atmosphere like the one on the primitive earth, creating amino acids – the building blocks of life.
The significance of Miller’s experiment hinges on whether he used an atmosphere that accurately simulated the environment of the early earth. Millers chose a hydrogen-rich mixture of methane, ammonia, and water vapor. Scientists don’t believe this was the atmosphere of the early earth. As a geophysicist with the Carnegie Institution said in the 1960’s, “What is the evidence for a primitive methane-ammonia atmosphere on earth? The answer is that there is no evidence for it, but much against it.”
What happens if you replay the experiment using an accurate atmosphere? You do not get amino acids. Some textbooks fudge by saying, well, even if you use a realistic atmosphere, you still get organic molecules, as if that solves the problem. The organic molecules you get are Formaldehyde and Cyanide. They may be organic molecules but they are so toxic that if you open a bottle it fries proteins all over the place, just from the fumes. It kills embryos.
Let’s say that a scientist someday actually manages to produce amino acids from a realistic atmosphere of the early earth, how far would that be from creating a living cell? Let me describe it this way. Put a sterile, balanced salt solution in a test tube. Then put in a single living cell and poke a hole in it so that its contents leak into the solution. Now the test tube has all the molecules you would need to create a living cell. The problem is you can’t make a living cell. There is not even any point in trying. No biologist in his right mind would thing you can take a test tube with those molecules and turn them into a living cell. Even if you could accomplish the thousands of steps between the amino acids in the Miller tar and the components you need for a living cell – all the enzymes, the DNA, and so forth – you’re still immeasurably far from life.
Millers experiment has virtually no scientific significance.
DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE
Argument: The icon Darwin sketched for The Origin of Species to illustrate his theory that all living creatures had a common ancestor and that natural selection drove the eventual development of the countless organisms we see in the modern world.
We now have more that a century of fossil discoveries since Darwin drew his picture and as an illustration of the fossil record, the Tree of Life is a dismal failure. The Tree of Life illustrates Darwin’s ideas but his theory is not supported by the physical evidence scientists have found in fossils.
Darwin knew the fossil record failed to support his tree. He acknowledged that major group of animals – he calls them divisions, now they’re called phyla – appear suddenly in the fossil record. That’s not what his theory predicts. His theory predicts a long history of gradual divergence from a common ancestor, with the differences slowly becoming bigger and bigger until you get the major differences we have now. The fossil evidence, even in his day, showed the opposite: the rapid appearance of phylum-level differences in what’s called the “Cambrian explosion.” Darwin believed that future fossil discoveries would vindicate his theory – but that hasn’t happened. Actually, fossil discoveries over the last hundred and fifty years have turned his tree upside down by showing the Cambrian explosion was even more abrupt and extensive than scientists once thought.
The Cambrian explosion has been called the “Biological Big Bang” because it gave rise to the sudden appearance of most of the major animal phyla that are still alive today, as well as some that are now extinct.
This is absolutely contrary to Darwin’s Tree of Life. These animals, which are so fundamentally different in their body plans, appear fully developed, all of a sudden, in what paleontologists have called the single most spectacular phenomenon of the fossil record.
The Cambrian explosion has uprooted Darwin’s tree.
Argument: Haeckel’s most renowned images depict the embryos of a fish, salamander, tortoise, chicken, hog, calf, rabbit, and human side-by-side at three different stages of development. The illustrations support Darwin’s assertion that the striking similarities between early embryos is by far the strongest single class of facts in favor of his theory that all organisms share a universal ancestor.
The problem with these drawings is that the similarities in the early stages were faked. In some cases Haeckel actually used the same woodcut to print embryos from different classes because he was so confident of his theory that he figured he didn’t have to draw them separately. Haeckel’s misrepresentative drawings were exposed in the late 1860’s, when his colleagues accused him of fraud.
The minor problem is that Haeckel cherry-picked his examples. He only shows a few of the seven vertebrate classes. He used a salamander to represent amphibians instead of a frog, which looks very different. So he stacked the deck by picking representatives that came closest to fitting his idea – and then he went further by faking the similarities.
What Haeckel claimed is the early stage of development is nothing of the sort. It’s actually the midpoint of development. If you go back to the earlier stages, the embryos look far more different from each other. But he deliberately omits the earlier stages altogether. Vertebrate embryos start out looking very different in the early cell division stages. Then at the midpoint – which is what Haeckel claimed in his drawings was the early stage – the embryos become more similar, though nowhere near as much as Haeckel claimed.
The Truth about Gills
Argument: All human embryos, so my teachers said, go through a stage in which they actually develop gill-like structures on their necks.
If you look at an embryo, it’s doubled over. It has ridges in the neck. I’m not saying they’re only skin folds; they’re more complicated than that. They’re not gills. Even fish don’t have gills at that stage. In humans, the ridges become one thing; in fish, they become gills. They’re not even gill slits. They’re never gill-like except in the superficial sense that they’re lines in the neck area.
This theory has been widely dismissed for many decades, because it’s empirically false.
Wing, flipper, leg, hand
Argument: Drawings depicting the similar bone structures in a bat’s wing, a porpoise’s flipper, a horse’s leg, and a human’s hand. Even though these limbs have been adapted for different uses, their underlying similarity – or “homology” – is proof that they all share a common ancestor.
Richard Owen, who was the most famous anatomist of Darwin’s time, said they pointed toward a common archetype or design, not toward descent with modification.
Eyes as an example: There is a gene that’s similar in mice, octopuses, and fruit flies. If you look at a mouse eye and an octopus eye, there’s a superficial similarity, which is odd because nobody thinks their common ancestor had an eye like that. What is more striking is if you look at a fruit fly’s eye – a compound eye with multiple facets – it’s totally different. Yet all three eyes depend on the same or very similar gene.
If fact, it’s so similar that you can put the mouse gene into a fruit fly that’s missing that gene and you can get the fruit fly to develop its eyes at it normally would. The genes are that similar. So neither the developmental pathway explanation nor the similar gene explanation really accounts for homology.
The answer is that it remains a mystery. If you read the literature on homology, the experts know it’s a mystery.
Human genes, ape genes
Argument: Recent genetic studies show humans and apes share ninety-eight or ninety-nine percent of their genes. They must share a common ancestor.
If you assume, as neo-Darwinism does, that we are products of our genes, then you’re saying that the dramatic differences between us and chimpanzees are due to the two percent of our genes. The problem is that the so-called body building genes are in the ninety-eight percent. The two percent of genes that are different are really rather trivial genes that have little to do with anatomy. So the supposed similarity of human and chimpanzee DNA is a problem for neo-Darwinism right there.
Secondly, it’s not surprising that when you look at two organisms that are similar anatomically, you often find they’re similar genetically. Not always; there’s a striking discordance with some organisms. But does this prove common ancestry? No, it’s just as compatible with common design as it is with common ancestry. A designer might very well decide to use common building materials to create different organisms, just as builders use the same materials to build different things.
The important point is that similarity by itself doesn’t distinguish between design and Darwinism.
THE ARCHAEOPTERYX MISSING LINK
Argument: Scientists unearthed the archaeopteryx in a German quarry (2 years after Darwin’s The Origin of Species said, “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory” was that the fossil record failed to back up his evolutionary hypothesis). The archaeopteryx is the missing link between reptiles and modern birds.
Since Darwin’s time the fossil record has utterly let Darwin down. Michael Denton, in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, summarized the bleak situation this way:
While the rocks have continually yielded new and exciting and even bizarre forms of life…what they have never yielded is any of Darwin’s myriads of transitional forms. The intermediates have remained as elusive as ever and their absence remains one of the most striking characteristics of the fossil record.
Doesn’t archaeopteryx fill the gap between reptiles and modern birds? The question is, do you get from a reptile to a bird – which is a huge step – by some totally natural process or does this require the intervention of a designer? An archaeopteryx, as beautiful as it is, doesn’t show us one way or the other. Besides, we see strange animals around today, like the duck-billed platypus, which nobody considers transitional.
Is the archaeopteryx a half-bird, half-reptile? Not even close. It is a bird with modern feathers, and birds are very different from reptiles in many important ways – their breeding system, their bone structure, lungs, their distribution of weight and muscles. It’s a bird, that’s clear – not part bird and part reptile.
The missing link is still missing.
Is the archaeopteryx an ancestor of modern birds? Not at all. Paleontologists pretty much agree on that. Larry Martin, a paleontologist from the University of Kansas, said clearly in 1985 that the archaeopteryx is not an ancestor of any modern birds; instead, it’s a member of a totally extinct group of birds.
Yet even if archaeopteryx had turned out to be a transitional creature, it would have been but a whisper of protest to the fossil record’s deafening roar against classical Darwinism. Darwin himself said for his theory to be true there should be millions of transitional forms in the fossil record.[iii]
What about the transitional species found in
the fossil record?
National Geographic Society announced that a fossil called archaeoraptor they found is the missing link between terrestrial dinosaurs and birds that could actually fly. The problem was that it was a fake. A Chinese paleontologist proved that someone had glued a dinosaur tail to a primitive bird.
Another fossil called bambiraptor, a chicken-sized dinosaur with supposedly bird-like characteristics. The problem was that no feathers were ever found with the fossil. But because scientists said they should be there, they were added.
Java man: What is not so well known is that Java man consists of nothing more than a skullcap, a femur, three teeth, and a great deal of imagination. In other words, the lifelike depiction of Java man was little more than speculation fueled by evolutionary expectations of what he should have looked like if Darwinism were true. Dubois’ shoddy excavation would have disqualified the fossil from consideration by today’s standards. Or that the femur apparently didn’t really belong with the skull cap. Or that the skull cap, according to prominent Cambridge University anatomist Sir Arthur Keith, was distinctly human and reflected a brain capacity well within the range of humans living today. Or that a 342-page scientific report from a fact-finding expedition of nineteen evolutionists demolished Dubois’ claims and concluded that Java man played no part in human evolution. Java man was not an ape-man but he was a true member of the human family.
Charles Dawson announced in 1912 his discovery of pieces of a human skull and an apelike jaw in a gravel pit near the town of Piltdown, England. Experts instantly declared Piltdown Man the evolutionary find of the century. Darwin’s missing link had been identified. Or it seemed for the next 40 years or so. Then, in the early fifties scientists began to suspect misattribution. In 1953, that suspicion gave way to a full-blown scandal: Piltdown Man was a hoax…tests proved that its skull belonged to a 600-year old woman, and its jaw to a 500-year old orangutan from the East Indies. (Our Times – the Illustrated History of the 20th Century, Turner Publishing, 1995, page 94)
Built from one tooth, which was later found to be the tooth of an extinct pig.
Came from a jawbone, a large chin section and a few teeth. Most scientists reject the jawbone because it’s similar to that of modern man.
Recent DNA research indicates the chromosomes do not match those of humans. They do match those of bipedal primates (apes).
What does Science say?
“There is no encompassing theory of human evolution, alas, there never really has been.”
F. Clark Howell, Berkeley evolutionary biologist
“Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.”
Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of Research, National Center of Scientific Research
“Evolution is unproved and unprovable.”
Sir Arthur Keith – he wrote the foreword to the 100th edition of, Origin of the Species
“Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of like are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever.”
Dr. T. N. Tahmisian, Atomic Energy Commission, USA
Questions for the Evolutionist
- Where did the space for the universe come from?
- Where did matter come from? Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
- How did matter get so perfectly organized?
- Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
- When, where, why, and how did life come from dead matter?
- When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
- With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
- Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)
- How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)
- Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?
- Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?
- When, where, why, and how did: a) Single-celled plants become multicelled? (Where are the two- and three celled intermediates?) b) Single-celled animals evolve? c) Fish change to amphibians? d) Amphibians change to reptiles? e) Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!) How did the intermediate forms live?
- When, where, why, how, and from what did: a) Whales evolve? b) Sea horses evolve? c) Bats evolve? d) Eyes evolve? e) Ears evolve? f) Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?
- Which evolved first (how, and how long, did it work without the others)? a) The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)? b) The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce? c) The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs? d) DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts? e) The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose? f) The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants? g) The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones? h) The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system? i) The immune system or the need for it?
Wayne Grudem points out the destructive influence of Evolutionary Theory in Modern Thought: If evolution is true then there is no supreme Judge to hold us morally accountable. Therefore there are no moral absolutes in human life, and people’s moral ideas are only subjective preferences, good for them perhaps but not to be imposed on others. If the inevitable processes of natural selection continue to bring about improvement in life forms on earth through the survival of the fittest, then why should we hinder this process by caring for those who are weak or less able to defend themselves? Should we not rather allow for those who are weak or less able to defend themselves? Should we not rather allow them to die without reproducing so that we might move toward a new, higher form of humanity, even a “master race”?[iv]
If evolution is true then you have no hope of knowing truth, seeing justice, having purpose in your life. You are just a product of matter plus time plus chance. You only have this short time on earth to live in misery, and no one knows how long, trying to get all the things that satisfy your physical needs. After so many disappointments in life, you have no hope of a better place, but a dirt grave where the worms will eat your body.
It seems ironic that brilliant scientists could advocate so fantastic a theory without on shred of evidence in its favor, all the while rejecting the straightforward explanation given by the one book in the history of the world, the Bible, that has never been proven wrong, that has changed the lives of millions of people, that has been believed completely by many of the most intelligent scholars of every generation, and that has been a greater force for good than any other book in the history of the world.[v]
[i] From Philip E Johnson book, Darwin on Trial.
[ii] From Kofahl and Segraves, The Creation Explanation, pp. 99-100.
[iii] From Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for a Creator.
[iv] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 286
[v] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 286