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The descent of evolution

Observable scientific data does not support Darwin’s theory of macroevolution


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The descent of evolution

Last year, Christine Crowner’s husband died. In December she emailed me: “My husband was an engineer for many years. He was always very concerned that American schools teach kids what to think, not how to think. … Many kids raised in Christian homes [have been] lured away and made to question the creation story at either public high school or college.” Christine attached to her email a paper her husband had written that “will help many of your readers fight this problem in their local public schools.” She asked me to publish it.

Later, I emailed her back and confessed, “I dreaded opening up the “The descent of evolution” article you sent, because we turn down 100 columns or essays for every one good enough to use, and I figured I’d have to disappoint you—but then I read your husband’s piece, and it’s a terrific summary of some main Darwinism problems.” So here, on the Saturday before the anniversary of Darwin’s birthdate (which he shares with Abraham Lincoln: Feb. 12, 1809), is Bob Crowner’s last paper. —Marvin Olasky

Charles Darwin in his book The Origin of the Species,published in 1859, proposed a theory of evolution (macro) that all life had evolved by natural selection from a common beginning. This materialist viewpoint was based upon his observations of microevolution on his five-year trip as an unpaid naturalist aboard the scientific vessel H.M.S. Beagle to the east and west coasts of South America. His theory is in decline as recognized by scientists who know facts and knowledge not available to Darwin.

Evolution, defined in dictionaries as “the development of a race, species or other group,” must be divided into two separate categories:

Microevolution is the change over time in a given species. This kind of evolution or adaptation is readily observable in living things such as dogs, etc., and in humans who have grown taller within our lifetime. Macroevolution proposes that all life has evolved from a common beginning. For this theory to be valid, evidence of intermediary species—e.g., half-bird and half-fish—is essential. There is no observable factual evidence for this proposition. When Darwin wrote his book in 1859, he recognized this and presumed evidence would be uncovered in the future.

Since Darwin’s book was published, his theory has been widely accepted until recently, even though evidence for macroevolution has never been discovered. In fact, within the last 15 years, with the benefit of improved electron microscopy and new discoveries such as DNA, it has become evident that Darwin’s theory is a failed theory not supported by factual scientific evidence.

Is there an alternative theory that would explain the origin of life that is supported by scientific facts? Intelligent design is such a proposal. It reasons that, based upon observable data in many scientific fields, there is evidence of design in living things that cannot be explained by natural selection from a common ancestor. Let us explore a few of these fields.

Mathematical chance

If you were to see some words written in wet concrete, would you think it was reasonable that those words happened to be there by random chance? Of course not. Rather, you would assume that some intelligent person had composed them and written them in the wet concrete. Mathematically it is impossible for life to begin from non-living matter. Stephen C. Meyer, who holds a Ph.D. in biology from Cambridge, points out that the odds of forming one protein molecule (there are 300 to 500 protein molecules in a minimally complex cell) at random are one chance in 10 to the 125th power (10 followed by 125 zeros) or impossible.[1] Similarly, Michael Denton, an Australian doctor and scientist, states that to get a cell by chance would require at least 100 functional proteins to appear simultaneously in one place, which would give a probability of 10 to the negative 2,000th power.[2]

Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered DNA, the double helix of deoxyribonucleic acid that is known as the “language of life,” in 1953. Six feet of DNA are tightly coiled inside every one of the 100 trillion cells in the body.[3] The possibility of this complex information system occurring by random selection is now recognized as impossible by many scientists.

Irreducible complexity

Michael J. Behe, who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, has explored a very important concept of intelligent design: irreducible complexity. He defines it as “a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”[4] He uses the simple five-part mousetrap as a commonplace illustration of a system that is irreducibly complex—the removal of any single part will make it non-functional.

This concept of irreducible complexity is very significant in the discussion of evolution and intelligent design because Darwin himself wrote, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”[5] Behe goes on to discuss the cilium, a structure that makes it possible for cells to swim, which is irreducibly complex. Still another example of such a structure is a flagellum that is a swimming device present in some bacteria. It must have at least three parts in order to function. Behe argues it would be impossible for an irreducibly complex structure to evolve without all of its parts being originally available.

Fossil record

Another important issue is what the fossil record exhibits regarding evolution. Darwin, while not having the benefit of cellular technology that is available to scientists today, did recognize that the fossil record posed a problem. He wrote, “Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be raised against my theory.”[6] Unfortunately for Darwinists, the fossil record still does not support evolution, but it does fit with intelligent design.

Jonathan Wells, a biologist who holds a Ph.D. from both Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley, has written a book, Icons of Evolution, which demonstrates that much of what is taught about evolution is wrong or even fraudulent. Wells notes, “Although the abrupt appearance of animal fossils in the Cambrian [period] was known to Darwin, the full extent of the phenomenon wasn’t appreciated until the 1980s.”[7] He further notes, “The fossil evidence is so strong, and the event so dramatic, that it has become known as the ‘Cambrian explosion,’ or ‘biology’s big bang.’”[8] Thus, the fossil record does not support the theory that living things developed gradually over long periods of time, but instead appeared rather abruptly in their present form. Henry Gee, chief science writer for Nature is quoted by Wells as saying, “To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”[9] Michael Denton makes an important point when he notes that “ninety-nine percent of the biology of any organism resides in its soft anatomy, which is inaccessible in a fossil.”[10]

Physiology

Geoffrey Simmons, M.D. in his book What Darwin Didn’t Know points out the incredible complexity of the human body and the interdependence of its parts. He points out many examples in the body that illustrate irreducible complexity:

“Every significant change in the male’s reproductive system had to have been met with a reciprocal change in the female’s (or vice versa).”[11] “The egg knows when it’s time to ovulate, how to pop out, how to travel through the fallopian tubes, how to receive a single sperm and close out other sperm, and how to eventually implant in the uterus.”[12] “A cell resembles a miniature industrial complex that is much more complex than a General Motors or Boeing plant.”[13] “The brain can store between 100 trillion and 280 quintillion bits of information in a mere three pounds of matter.”[14] “Eyes are like antennae for the brain. Millions of cells lining the interior of each eye function as photochemical receivers, converting light waves into a myriad of electrical impulses that are forwarded at a speed of about 200 miles per hour to the brain. There the impulses are sorted, organized and analyzed in holograph ways. All of this is accomplished in milliseconds.”[15] “Many hormones work in parallel or tandem, some compete, and some have double and triple functions.”[16] “Every action involves a complex array of interacting nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones. Millions to billions of cells work in unison.”[17]

In his chapter “Purposeful Design,” Simmons lists 81 facts that he believes point to design rather than chance as postulated in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Simmons points out that Darwin had little knowledge of genetics, physiology, and conception. So how could his theory still be accepted as valid? Remember, the prevailing theory for years was that the Earth was flat. It is not! Likewise, another theory was that the sun revolved around the Earth. It does not! New knowledge can prove previous theories wrong.

Other scientific fields

There are other fields of science beyond the scope of this paper that offer scientific evidence for intelligent design: Cosmology offers the “Big Bang” theory, astronomy offers the delicate balance of the Earth for supporting life, and consciousness in the mind or the psychological aspect of human beings all defy that such complexity could ever have evolved from nothing.

Conclusions

In order to believe in Darwin’s theory of macroevolution, a scientist must believe that nothing can produce everything, non-life can produce life, and chaos can produce order. Actually, the Second Law of Thermodynamics concludes that order is moving toward disorder.

This paper has demonstrated the presence of intelligent design in many scientific fields. Mathematics demonstrates that it is impossible that life could have evolved by natural, random, spontaneous selection. This is buttressed by the knowledge of the complex structure of DNA and the functions it performs in the human body and mind. The observable fact of irreducible complexity confirms that intelligent design was required.

Finally, the complexity and interrelated systems observable in the human body and brain, which are now possible with improved scientific instruments and methods, further confirm that Darwin’s theory was based upon guesses and assumptions and hoped-for future findings of factual evidence in the fossil record. Francis Crick, a philosophical materialist, said, “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”[18]

An argument used by Darwinists to “prove” macroevolution is the “common” characteristics that appear to be evident in various species such as joints, eyes, mouth, etc. These characteristics in the extreme are said to indicate a common ancestry. An even more reasonable assumption would be that the same intelligent designer, using workable and efficient factors from previous designs, designed the species. Would you conclude that because most internal combustion engines have similar parts such as pistons, rings, and seals that each iteration of the design had spontaneously evolved by random chance? Would you think that the Boeing 747 had randomly evolved from the Boeing 727 as it sat in the hanger, or would you believe they had a common designer? The answers to these questions obviously illustrate intelligent design.

One of the most common arguments used by Darwinists is that intelligent design is not science but rather religion. This is a spurious claim as can readily be seen from the data presented in this paper. Many scientists who argue for intelligent design do not believe in a specific religion and may even be atheists. The issue is not between religion and science, but rather between “good” science and “bad” science. Questions about the identity and nature of the “Designer” should be left to other competent individuals in other fields.

Darwin’s theory of evolution is a failed theory that was never substantiated by hard facts or good science. The obvious question is, why do so many public and private schools and public and private universities persist in teaching only Darwin’s outdated theory? Many of the scientists who now embrace intelligent design state that in high school or college they accepted the theory of evolution without question since they were not exposed to any other theories. However, once they studied this theory, accepted in their youth and in their own disciplines at the graduate level, many of these scientists forced themselves to reconsider their blind acceptance of macroevolution. In fact, they set out to prove that the material they had been taught did not agree with the facts in light of the technical advances not available to earlier generations. Now, it not only makes sense to teach both theories, but truth and fairness demand that students be exposed to all scientific data.

ENDNOTES

[1] Meyer, Stephen C. in The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel, (2004) Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 229.

[2] Denton, Michael, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, (1986) Adler & Adler, Bethesda, MD, p. 323.

[3] Strobel, Lee, The Case for a Creator, (2004) Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 219.

[4] Behe, Michael J., Darwin’s Black Box, (1996) The Free Press, New York, NY, p. 39

[5] Darwin, Charles, The Origin of the Species, 6th ed. (1988) New York University Press, New York, NY, p. 154

[6] Darwin, Charles, The Origin of the Species, (1958) Penguin, New York, NY, p. 280

[7] Wells, Jonathan, Icons of Evolution (2000) Regnery Publishing, Washington, DC, p.38

[8] Ibid., p.37

[9] Ibid., p. 221

[10] Denton op. cit. p. 177

[11] Simmons, Geoffrey, What Darwin Didn’t Know, (2004) Harvest House, Eugene, OR, p. 67

[12] Ibid., p.67

[13] Ibid., p. 75

[14] Ibid., p. 102

[15] Ibid., p. 116

[16] Ibid., p. 176

[17] Ibid., p. 230

[18] Crick, Francis, Life Itself, (1981) Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, p. 88

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