Originally Broadcast May 10, 1997 Last Revised Dec. 8, 2001
INFINITY #12: When Evolutionists Doubt.
by Daniel H. Harris, Ph.D.
I. The Questions.
What about evolution challenges the faith of evolutionists? Have laboratory studies shown evolution? Is the evidence for evolution getting better? Is evolution statistically reasonable? This INFINITY will answer these important questions.
II. Evolution Defined.
Today, evolution is seen as the idea that all complex life forms arose by chance variations and natural selection from simpler earlier life forms, and that the first and simplest life form, believed to be a single celled organism, arose from non-living chemicals.
This idea that one species could, over time, evolve into other species, is today commonly called macroevolution, [major species to species change], or just plain evolution. [A species is normally defined as a distinct breeding population of organisms which survives in a natural environment.] But over recorded history, observations of organisms in natural environments have never recorded a species arising out of another species.* Thus macroevolution has never been observed to occur.
[* In some experiments, selective breeding and/or the modification of the genetic material of an organism have produced organisms which appear to be distinctive, which are then labeled a new species [whether they be fruit flys or a new strain of a virus] But in general these are varieties within an existing breeding population. That is, they are fertile with the already existing from. And these new forms have in all cases been less able to survive in a natural environment than the original form. Thus it is highly unlikely that these less viable forms could survive outside the laboratory in a natural environment in competition with the original more fit organisms. Remember, a species is defined as a distinct breeding population of organisms which survives in a natural environment. And so it is not reasonable to call a few laboratory freaks a new species.]
If selective breeding or a changed environment, [with or without genetic mutations] results in a change of coloration, form, chemistry or behavior within a species; then such small changes within a species are called microevolution.
Since changes within a species are dramatically different from, species to species change, where a distinct new species supposedly arises; microevolution within a species, which is commonly seen, should be treated as distinct from macroevolution, which has never been observed.
IV. Darwin and Microevolution.
Darwin speculated that microevolution, small changes within a species, should continue indefinitely. That is, he suggested that small changes would accumulate over time, resulting eventually in macroevolution, including the formation of entirely new organs, new functions of organs and entirely new and distinct species.
Darwin's idea of continuing unlimited change is an extension of known information [about small changes], into the realm where the information may not apply. Supposing that small changes will continue until there is a new species, when such resulting new species have never been seen, is an extension of knowledge beyond its legitimate range of use. The whole idea of continuing change is an assumption.
V. Breeding Experiments Don't Show Macroevolution.
But breeding experiments show that no matter how far we breed dogs, they are still dogs, they are still fertile with each other. By selecting out traits, the original wide ranging genetic information is trimmed, and the resulting breeds with less genetic variation are thus less fit for life in the wild, less fit than the original generic dog. The mongrel is more fit for life in the wild than the pure breed, and will show its superiority in mating competition, away from human intervention. Given the opportunity, within the limitations of size, dogs breed back to a generic dog, returning to their original fitness for the wild.
There is a limit to the amount of change. Breeding doesn't eliminate organs, nor does breeding produce new ones, nor is there ever seen a change in the function of the spine, or the legs or of muscles. Organs and functions of them do not change taking on some other function.
The extension of what has been observed, microevolution; beyond its legitimate range of application within a species; to supposed species to species change, called macroevolution; is therefore, an extrapolation.
VI. Darwin's Idea: Lots of Time.
Darwin's key idea was time, and lots of it, way beyond our imagination. If we compare recorded history, which goes back some four to five thousand years, with the time supposedly needed for just one major step in evolution, some forty million years; then we must extrapolate by a factor of a thousand. That is quite an extrapolation!
VII. A Great Gulf Challenges to the Faith of Evolutionists.
So what challenges the faith of evolutionists.
One difficulty is the great gulf between microevolution, which is commonly seen; and macroevolution, which has never been observed. The modern theory of evolution supposes that changes, called mutations, in the coded information passed on to succeeding generations, can provide the raw material for evolution, and that competition for survival between individuals and species, called survival of the fittest, also called natural selection, leaves only positive changes.
VIII. Macroevolution Never Seen in the Laboratory
The problem is, that scientists have performed numerous laboratory studies over the last seventy years, trying to bridge the great gap between microevolution and macroevolution. They have used radiation and other mutagens to change the genetic code, in attempts to speed up the mutation rate, and so to speed up evolution. But in none of these studies has anyone seen a truly positive mutation. Many mutations are deadly, others are less damaging, but none is truly beneficial. Nearly all mutations result in an organism that is less fit to live in a natural environment. So the numerous laboratory studies offer no evidence for macroevolution.
A major conference on this aspect of evolution was described in the journal "Science," the journal of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, vol. 210, November 21, 1980, p833, Roger Lewin says:
"The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanism underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomenon of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, that answer can be given as a clear, No."
So the Chicago conference reported that there is no bridge of the great gulf between microevolution and macroevolution. Darwin's idea has failed all experimental tests.
Some evolutionists are troubled by the lack of solid science in support of an evolutionary process.
Loren Eisley, Ph.D. noted anthropologist, in his book "The Immense Journey," says:
"...science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past."
Eisley says that macroevolution is a necessary myth. The fact that evolutionists must resort to this myth is a challenge to Darwin's faithful.
IX. Seeking Macroevolution in the Past Ages.
Since macroevolution is not seen in the laboratory, evolutionists have gone looking for evidence of macroevolution in the past ages. If macroevolution occurred in the distant past, there would be numerous intermediate or transitional forms in the ancient rocks. Thus the fossil record should show evolution in action. But ....
David B. Kitts, Ph.D. in zoology, of the School of Geology and Geophysics, Univ. of Oklahoma, in the Journal "Evolution vol. 28", Sept. 1974, p467 says:
"Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of "seeing" evolution, it has presented some nasty problems for evolutionists the most notorious of which is the presence of "gaps" in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them."
The gaps, the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record, have been a major focus of recent researches, as evolutionists try to find convincing evidence that evolution has occurred. But these efforts have become even more frustrating. The evidence supporting evolution is weaker now that it was in Darwin's time. Much of the evidence, which seemed to provide credible support for evolution in Darwin's time, is now considered by expert paleontologist to no longer credible. The evidence has crumbled under careful examination. For example, the supposed history of the horse has evaporated when examined closely.
Dr. David M. Raup, Curator of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, in the museum's Bulletin, Jan. 1979, p25 says:
"Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information."
The fact that the transitional sequences have been discredited has not kept them from appearing in text books, which in many cases still present the horse series, and other discredited evidences for evolution, even though the experts no longer accept them as credible.
X. Improbable Evolution!
Further aggravating those who wish to believe in evolution is the inconvenient fact that evolution, when studied statistically, is wildly improbable.
Pierre-Paul Grassé, of the University of Paris, and Past President of the French Academie of Sciences, in his book Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, says:
"The opportune appearance of mutations permitting animals and plants to meet their needs seems hard to believe. Yet the Darwinian theory is even more demanding: A single plant, a single animal would require thousands and thousands of lucky, appropriate events. Thus, miracles would become the rule."
So the evolution of one species into another is absurdly improbable, and when many species are all together doing the absurdly improbable, the whole idea of macroevolution becomes ridiculous. So evolution has never been seen in the laboratory, and does not show in the fossil record and is ridiculously improbable.
XI. A Shocking Realization.
Considering the problems with it, to believe in evolution takes a lot of faith. So occasionally, an evolutionist will suddenly realize that the facts do not align with evolution.
This happened to Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, London.
Dr. Patterson in the Keynote Address at the Museum of Natural History, New York City, November 5, 1981, said:
"Last year I had a sudden realization, for twenty years I had thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's quite a shock to learn that one can be so mislead so long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory. Naturally, I know there is nothing wrong with me, so for the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people.
"Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff of the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, 'I do know one thing -- it ought not to be taught in High school.' "
In a later interview, on March 4, 1982, Dr. Patterson, told the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC:
"...the stories, ... about change over time. How, the dinosaurs became extinct, how the mammals evolved, where man came from. These seem to me to be little more than story-telling." So Dr. Colin Patterson, of the British Museum of Natural History, has come to realize that evolution is just story telling, not science.
XII. Your Hard Choice.
Evolution is not supported by any credible real world evidence. Evolution has never been seen in the laboratory, is wildly improbable, requiring incalculable numbers of miraculous favorable events for development to occur, and does not show itself in the fossil record. So we can clearly say that evolution is not reality. And the only alternative to evolution is creation.
So you have a hard choice, you can 1) continue in faith in evolution, which is not supported by evidence, and so is not credible science, or you can 2) consider the alternative which involves only a single miracle of creation. When presented in this way it is hard not to see creation as the more rational and reasonable alternative.
So I invite you to reexamine your faith in evolution, and to turn from it, to turn to faith in the creator, the one true God.
When the miraculous character of the Bible, with its many fulfilled prophecies [no other holy book has numerous fulfilled prophecies], is taken as evidence, the miracle of creation and the miracle of the Bible come together. These show that the miracle worker in creation is the same miracle worker who fashioned the Holy Bible and has preserved it unto our age, the miracle worker who revealed His name to us as Jesus.
For as He tells us in Genesis "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth." And that is the truth.
So it is now time for you to make Jesus, the creator, and the author of the Bible, your Lord and Savior. Now is the time! [link to salvation page]