# Intelligent Design vs statistical probability.

Oh, I took statistics in college and no I did not distinguish myself. Nonetheless, I did get the concepts, I may not really understand how to construct a “bell curve” or know how to figure out how many sigmas I need to go to the left or right of the top of the “bell curve”. I do understand that when all factors are calculated and the outcome is the actual statistical probability of an event happening or not happening (called “standard deviation”, ohhhh I remembered that!) . I know how to drive a 41′ boat. I don’t necessarily need to know all the intricacies of putting that boat together.

For too many people who have never had to take any statistical analysis, didn’t even go to college, they will still look you in the eye and insist it’s all about evolution. OK, here’s the cut to the chase; it just can’t be, it’s scientifically impossible. More so, the way our environment from the smallest cell to the hugest galaxy show every sign of being designed it could not have been an accident! Which means it didn’t happen by accident, it had to have been made that way. Any who tries to tell you, from your average high school science teacher, to the neighbor who has a degree in English literature to the guy who barely graduated high school tells you it’s all about evolution, they don’t know what they’re talking about and if they had any knowledge of statistical probability they would know it’s impossible.

I do realize there are a lot of people with a whole lot of letters beside their name who insist on evolution. Why people who claim to be scientists and yet reject scientific reality? These are people who are “scientism fundamentalists”, they can’t allow for a “creator”, everything had to have come together accidentally, some type of “natural selection/interaction”. Despite the fact that what they postulate couldn’t happen statistically, biologically, chemically, just couldn’t and yet these fundamentalists who pose as scientists in our high schools, colleges, industry & research, continue to proselytize in favor of fundamentalism. I can’t remember who said it, but I just don’t have the faith to be an atheist. Atheists, scienticismists, all believe that things came together accidentally and in a way that promotes very sophisticated eco-systems and very sophisticated life, you and me. Many, maybe most scientists today are not locked in this narrow-minded faith system and do look at the facts and concede that the universe is too perfectly designed to happen by accident. The president of our synod, Rev Dr Matthew Harrison, wrote this: “..The most shocking thing is the repeated discovery of order – ordered genetic information in biology and complex order in the universe. It was famously asserted that the probability of life coming about randomly would be about the same odds as a tornado sweeping through a junkyard and assembling a 747, fully fueled and read for takeoff. Atheism requires too much faith for me.” (Lutheran Witness March 2017 p 1) Really a 747 would be a tinker-toy compared to the vast complexity of our universe. Yet those in scientism insist on living in their world of denial: “There can’t be a god, because we wouldn’t be in command, a greater power would hold us responsible for what we do, we can’t have that. We’re god and that’s the way it should be.” Yea, I’ve met these people living in a world of fantasy and denial, just so they can have their way and don’t have to be responsible for a higher problem. Worse yet they insist on dragging others down with them in their fundamentalist zeal.

# Scientism, Values, and the Public Interest Sarah Chaffee July 29, 2016 10:44 AM | Permalink

Over at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher comments on a recent post by John Michael Greer, who writes The Archdruid Report. Despite their vastly differing worldviews (conservative Christian vs. druid!), Greer and Dreher agree on this: There are many questions that science can’t answer, not least about politics. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a case in point. Dreher’s headline says it all: “Scientists Make Terrible Politicians.”

Why should this be?

First, scientific and political reasoning are very different. Democracy is based on compromise between competing interests and values. One cannot use scientific reasoning to arrive at values. What science does is continually try to disprove hypotheses. It’s not about finding a workable compromise. Greer:

If you’re Lavoisier and you’re trying to figure out how combustion works, you don’t say, hey, here’s the oxygenation theory and there’s the phlogiston theory, let’s agree that half of combustion happens one way and the other half the other; you work out an experiment that will disprove one of them, and accept its verdict. What’s inadmissible in science, though, is the heart of competent politics.

One of the great intellectual crises of the ancient world, in turn, was the discovery that logic was not the solution to every human problem. A similar crisis hangs over the modern world, as claims that science can solve all human problems prove increasingly hard to defend, and the shrill insistence by figures such as Tyson that it just ain’t so should be read as evidence for the imminence of real trouble.

In other words, he’s talking about scientism, which is something we’vecommented on extensively in the past. Dreher also cites science writer Thomas Burnett:

Scientism today is alive and well, as evidenced by the statements of our celebrity scientists:

“The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” — Carl Sagan, Cosmos

“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” — Stephen Weinberg, The First Three Minutes

“We can be proud as a species because, having discovered that we are alone, we owe the gods very little.” — E.O. Wilson, Consilience

While these men are certainly entitled to their personal opinions and the freedom to express them, the fact that they make such bold claims in their popular science literature blurs the line between solid, evidence-based science, and rampant philosophical speculation. Whether one agrees with the sentiments of these scientists or not, the result of these public pronouncements has served to alienate a large segment of American society.

Maybe this is a good reason to think twice about controversial scientific issues. Scientism, which Dreher calls “the ideologically charged fallacious belief that science is the only legitimate way of knowledge,” animates those large scientific bodies that marginalize scientists with dissenting views on certain controversial questions. Discriminating against these minority scientists helps alienate that “large segment of American society” that Burnett worries about.

A 2016 survey probing attitudes about academic freedom suggests as much. Of respondents, 84 percent said that “attempts to censor or punish scientists for holding dissenting views on issues such as evolution or climate change are not appropriate in a free society.” Similarly, 86 percent affirmed that “disagreeing with the current majority view in science can be an important step in the development of new insights and discoveries in science.” And 88 percent said that “scientists who raise scientific criticisms of evolution should have the freedom to make their arguments without being subjected to censorship or discrimination.”

Scientism, it seems, is more problematic, in more ways, than some observers have realized.

Photo: Neil deGrasse Tyson, by NASA Ames Research Center [Public domain],via Wikimedia Commons.

# Cave Dwellers—Are They Ancient?

on February 11, 2008; last featured October 24, 2010

Though people who live in caves are usually considered prehistoric, there is no such thing as Neo-, Meso-, or Paleolithic man! In spite of all that archaeologists and anthropologists contend about these early Stone Age cultures and their supposed long ages, it simply cannot be true.

Why? Because the Bible speaks of the very earliest cultures as being highly civilized, with musical instruments, woven tents and clothes, metal working, animal husbandry, etc. (Genesis 4:3–4, 17–22). The fact that we find people in the very earliest times living in caves simply means that they lived in caves instead of houses. We find people around the world doing this very thing today. For instance, some families living along a 40 mile stretch of the Rhone River in France dwell in the caves that are situated there.

IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY, ALMOST EVERY FAMILY LIVING THERE HAS CARVED OUT A CAVE HOME FROM THE STRANGE FORMATIONS.

In Cappadocia, Turkey, almost every family living there has carved out a cave home from the strange formations. And there appear to have been cave dwellers in every generation since the beginning of time. Even Jesus was born in, lived in (His traditional home in Nazareth was partly a cave), was buried in, and was resurrected from a cave. As reported in an issue of National Geographic, “stone age” cave dwellers in the Philippines appeared so authentic to a research team that they published an entire book about them, The Gentle Tasadays. It was only later that the team discovered that the government paid the people to live like that as a tourist attraction. I do not mean to infer that such misreading of the data is common. However, it does illustrate that we must always be careful not to quickly conclude that our discoveries are the “last word” in our field of expertise.The Bible has incidents of cave dwelling also. Refugees lived in caves (Genesis 19:30; Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6).

And we wonder why other reasons have not been considered for cave dwelling.

## Pre-dynastic People in the Ancient Near East Were Few in Number

After the Flood of Noah’s day, it took some time for enough people to gather together and build cities. But it did not take thousands of years!

As researchers write about this situation, they grossly overestimate the time from early man to modern man. For instance, highly respected anthropologist Robert Braidwood said,

“Prehistory means the time before written history began. Actually, more than 99 per cent of man’s story is prehistory. Man is probably well over a million years old, but he did not begin to write history (or to write anything) until about 5,000 years ago.”1

We should be shocked at such a statement. To see why, look at the diagram below. It is true that there was no writing before 5,000 years ago. That is because the Great Flood occurred ca. 2450 BC and everything before that time was destroyed. Thus, all pre-Flood humans were wiped out. A time line shows the fallacy in Braidwood’s statement:

 HISTORIC MAN PREHISTORIC MAN 5,000 years 995,000 years! I_I_____________________________________________________________________ 1/4 inch Line extends 6 more feet!

It seems ridiculous that we should be expected to believe man could not read or write for all that time, then suddenly within a very short time, perhaps not even a hundred years, he was writing all over the Middle East in a number of languages!

## Radioactive Isotopes Do Not Help

The use of Carbon-14 does not help in this situation. Carbon-14 and other isotopic elements should not be used to determine the absolute age of a specimen, according to Willard Libby, founder of the method. Only measured are the amounts of the remaining 14C against stable 12C.2

Consider the following quotes from “Rolling Back the Years”:

“With radiocarbon, it’s not possible to obtain absolute dates—there’s always a bit of the unknown.”3

Some archaeologists use it because they feel it gives absolute dates. During 25 years of excavations in Israel we have never used 14C dating because it is too inconclusive. Even though there have been some noteworthy improvements in the radioisotope methods, the same problems still persist. And this goes for all radioisotopes used in dating.3

“[Carbon-14 is g]arbage in garbage out. . . . One of the biggest issues . . . is contamination . . . . It soaks up anything in the ground . . . even very small amounts of modern contamination can be fatal for old samples.”3 [emphasis added]

“What scientists are really holding out for is tree ring data that can calibrate absolute radiocarbon dates back to 60,000 years. . . . This hinges, of course, on whether they can find sufficiently old trees and samples that represent a continuum of ages throughout the past.”3

However, these secular researchers know, and so do we who accept the biblical timeframe, that they will never find successive tree rings with which to date 60,000 or 30,000, or even 10,000, years ago.

“At the moment we have a floating chronology. . . . It is not connected.”3

That is, the researchers have calibrated back around 5,000 years, but tree rings can take them no further.

What he is saying is that they can only go back 5,000 years using hard tree ring evidence. What they are hoping for is to go back 60,000 years, but there is no way to calibrate the time in between. Isn’t it interesting that 5,000 years ago was roughly the time Noah and his family members were saved by the Ark!

Three problems that 14C faces are true for all isotopic methods. They are:

1. We cannot know what the ratio of daughter element to parent element was in the formation of the specimen.
2. We cannot know whether there has been leaching in or out of the elements.
3. We cannot know whether the decay rates have changed through time, perhaps due to what one archaeologist suggested while trying to determine some dates from ruins in Mesopotamia. The prominent British archaeologist, M.E.L. Mallowan once said, “ . . . at this end of the third millennium (BC) there was some physical disturbance in the solar magnetic field, which may have affected the level of the carbon-14 activity in the carbon exchange reservoir. . . . Published dates are more than 500 years too low.”4

Some evangelicals find it difficult to reconcile biblical dates with “scientific” dates. But maybe biblical dates are correct and the secular scientists are wrong! The Bible is God’s inerrant Word. Is it possible that some evangelical scholars are afraid of what their contemporaries will think of them if they oppose the “scientists” of today? Biblical archeologists are not against actual science and hard evidence. But we are against arbitrary estimates and interpretations that contradict the clear revelation of history given by God in His Word.

It may seem rather drastic to consider that early post-Flood man lived only around 4,500 years ago. We have heard so much from the opposite camp. I wonder whether they have carefully examined the slipshod way high dates were arrived at before 14C was discovered.

The Development of Language and the Inerrancy of Scripture

A major difficulty is to take data from secular archaeologists and make it fit with an inerrant Bible. For instance, the Hebrew Bible says in Genesis 5:1 that the history of Adam was written! The word for “book” used here, sefer, always means the account is written. Also, Adam and God spoke to each other in some language.

Later, in Genesis 26:5, the writer tells us that Abraham kept four kinds of God’s commands. They were all written commands. The Hebrew is very clear on this. One command, chukot, means an inscribed writing. What this (and other material) means is that the men of God mentioned in the early chapters of Genesis apparently used an ancient form of alphabetic Hebrew that could be written down.

Alphabets of thirty signs, more or less, are easy to learn compared with cuneiform characters, which frequently have several possible syllables for just one sign. In contrast, anyone could use the primitive Hebrew alphabet, including children.

Thus, it is more probable that the Northwest Semitic languages came out of Hebrew and not vice versa, as most scholars think. Those that claim Hebrew came out of some other already existing language(s) follow each others’ ideas instead of starting with the Bible and checking it out with other literature.

Finally, Genesis 5:1 is not an anachronistic (or later) insertion into the text by later scribes! We cannot absolutely prove that it isn’t, but we think every reason is there to adopt it as written. Conversely, no one can prove Hebrew derived from Northwest Semitic, either.

Admittedly, there are some tough problems to explain in correlating ancient history with the Bible. And we cannot be dogmatic about these things, but our modern youth are hearing so much bad thinking. Neither are they given enough information and guidance to think things through biblically. They—and every one of us—need to learn how to question what they are hearing from their teachers and the media, while constructing alternative interpretations that honor the Bible and the best methods of archaeology

# More devolved or further away from God?

Someone responded to a post of mine, which was critical of evolution. I grew up mindlessly accepting the secular gospel, that evolution is just a given, a scientific fact and did not give it another thought. The writer/respondent wondered if instead of “evolving”, we were really “devolving”. In some ways man has, in some sense, become better. But in so many ways, the things that are truly important, we have become more depraved, more alienated, more fixated on the true object of our affection, that being “me, myself and I”.

Obviously evolution is a rather pitiful attempt to deny God and to create some kind of phoney paradigm where, given enough time over “millions and millions of years”, that somehow, completely by chance, an incredibly sophisticated environment, would create incredibly sophisticated beings, all by complete chance. (Unless of course you believe the outside of the evolution fringe which tries to convince us aliens came here and started the human race, if not the entire ecosphere. That of course begs the question how aliens came about, but the evolution fringe element really doesn’t go that far, and frankly doesn’t seem to think that deeply.) Most real scientists today are rejecting Darwinian evolution and are growing in their perception of a design of the universe that is more and more incredibly complicated. The idea that says that this happened all by accident is becoming more and more discredited.

I am certainly not anti-intellectual, but those who pose as “intellectuals”, seem to more and more be anti-intellectual. There seems to be this element that thinks that education is more of an indoctrination, a learning of essential facts in order to continue to maintain the status quo, instead of what true science is, which is to continue to question, There is not supposed to be a science orthodoxy, a faith system that dictates that these are “facts” and not to be disputed. But there certainly is a scientism faith system. At least a deistic system (like Christianity)provides for some kind of tangible reality of creation. But the evolution, fringe element, moves even more to the fantastic, when it’s high priest, if not Pope, Stephen Hawking decides ex cathedra, that obviously there has always been gravity and that is what continues to pull the universe together and kicks off the whole “Big Bang”. I’m not opposed to the “Big Bang”, if God chose to use that as His method of kicking off the universe great! What better way than in an incredible flash of light that rocketed out from a tiny bit of mass. But to say that it was somehow always present and self- perpetuating is a faith system that demands a great deal more faith than God the Father of our Lord Jesus, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

God created us to be perfect, we, represented by Adam, decided, that what He did wasn’t good enough, we wanted more and basically Adam waved God off and said, no it’s all about me and what I want. That is the break in our relationship with God. From there sin did and continues to break us down, drive us further from Him, because more and more it’s all about us. So yes, we are “devolvoing” in the sense that we are moving farther away from God and making ourselves an idol. The farther we are from the Father, the more it’s about us, the more debased we become and yes, more like a “survival of the fittest” versus the love for the Father being projected on all those around us and from us to everyone else. The whole evolution argument is about us justifying that it’s about us and that God doesn’t matter. We find out who does, because the farther we are away from Him, the more debased, sinful we become the less human and compassionate and more about me. We can either realize how far we’ve fallen and strive for reality of Jesus. Or we can keep tanking and wonder why things have become more evil.

Our God is very much a living God, to quote the Newsboys “God’s not dead He’s surely alive, He’s living on the inside, roaring like a lion”. He roars to give us the integrity, courage, strength to live a life that truly worships and strives to serve a completely holy, perfect, sanctified God. He made all creation so that we could live as very complicated beings in an environment that supports us. We continue the intellectual challenge of understanding His creation and also Him, in order that we might grow to be more like Him, and not to be about what it is that I want, what I decide is important. When we grow towards God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we don’t “evolve”, but we become more like Christ. That’s our true goal, we’re not going to evolve that way, it’s going to be about having the faith that God gives us to trust what the Holy Spirit is doing in us and to proceed out into the world in God’s will, not ours.

# Evolution vs Creation, you might want to read what Darwin wrote a little more closely, not as edifying as you might think

The following is a chapter from a new book from “Answers in Genesis”. Evolution keeps popping up in the church and other parts of society, despite its implausibility, frankly that’s putting it nicely, really its impossibility. Check out this article and you might want to look a little deeper and use some of the links to “Answers in Genesis”.

# Do Evolutionists Believe Darwin’s Ideas about Evolution?

by Dr. Terry Mortenson and Roger Patterson on January 26, 2015

Few people have actually read the works of Darwin, and if they did they might be shocked to read some of Darwin’s ideas.

This controversy can’t be solved by merely listing both views of the facts. Extremely intelligent and knowledgeable scientists in both camps show that it can’t just be about facts. Discover what makes the difference!

Charles Darwin first published his ideas on evolution over 150 years ago. In those 150 years we have come to understand the complexity of life, and many new scientific fields have shed light on the question of the validity of Darwin’s evolutionary hypothesis. Few people have actually read the works of Darwin, and if they did they might be shocked to read some of Darwin’s ideas. In this chapter we will take a look at what Darwin and other early evolutionists believed and how those ideas have changed over time.

Darwin was wrong on many points, and there would be few who would disagree with this claim. But if Darwin was wrong on some points, does that mean that the entire hypothesis of evolution is proven wrong?

## What Is Evolution?

Like many words, evolution has many different uses depending on its context. The general concept of the word is “change over time.” In that sense, one might say that a butterfly evolves from an egg to a caterpillar to a winged butterfly and a child evolves into an adult. There is no disputing that individual organisms change over time. However, using the word in this way is quite misleading for the origins debate. Darwin’s hypothesis involves a very different concept.

As evolution is used in this chapter and in all science textbooks, natural history museums, and science programs on television, it refers to the biological idea that all life on Earth has descended from a single common ancestor. There are many different variations on this theme as well as several explanations of how the first organism came into existence from non-living matter. Examining some of the historical evolutionary positions and comparing them to the ideas that are popular in scientific circles today shows how much those concepts have changed. In general, evolution will be used to refer to the concept of molecules turning into men over time. This concept of evolution is in direct opposition to the biblical account of creation presented in the book of Genesis.1

## Evolution—An Ancient Idea

The concept of molecules-to-man evolution is certainly not a new idea. Several Greek philosophers before the time of Christ wrote on the topic. For example, Lucretius and Empedocles promoted a form of natural selection that did not rely on any type of purpose. In De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) Lucretius writes:

And many species of animals must have perished at that time, unable by procreation to forge out the chain of posterity: for whatever you see feeding on the breath of life, either cunning or courage or at least quickness must have guarded and kept that kind from its earliest existence. . . . But those to which nature gave no such qualities, so that they could neither live by themselves at their own will, nor give us some usefulness for which we might suffer to feed them under our protection and be safe, these certainly lay at the mercy of others for prey and profit, being all hampered by their own fateful chains, until nature brought that race to destruction.2

This stands in opposition to the thinking of Aristotle, who promoted the idea of purpose in nature. Aristotle also imagined forms of life advancing through history, but he believed nature had the aim of producing beauty.3 This idea of purpose in nature, or teleology, is later seen in the works of Thomas Aquinas and other Christian philosophers.

THE CONCEPT OF EVOLUTION WAS NOT LOST FROM WESTERN THINKING UNTIL DARWIN REDISCOVERED IT.

The concept of evolution was not lost from Western thinking until Darwin rediscovered it—it was always present in various forms. Because much of the thinking was dominated by Aristotelian ideas, the idea of a purposeless evolutionary process was not popular. Most saw a purpose in nature and the interactions between living things. The dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe (where modern science was born) and its adherence to Aristotelian philosophies also played a role in limiting the promotion of evolution and other contrary ideas as these would have been seen as heresy. As the Enlightenment took hold in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, explanations that looked beyond a directed cause became more popular.

## Erasmus Darwin

Coming to the mid-to-late 18th century, Kant, Liebnitz, Buffon, and others began to talk openly of a natural force that has driven the change of organisms from simple to complex over time. The idea of evolution was well established in the literature, but there seemed to be no legitimate mechanism to adequately explain this idea in scientific terms. Following the spirit of the Greek poets Lucretius and Empedocles, Erasmus Darwin, the atheist grandfather of Charles, wrote some of his ideas in poetic verse. Brushing up against the idea of survival of the fittest, Erasmus spoke of the struggle for existence between different animals and even plants. This struggle is a part of the evolutionary process he outlines in his Temple of Nature (1803) in the section titled “Production of Life”:

Hence without parent by spontaneous birth
Rise the first specks of animated Earth;
From Nature’s womb the plant or insect swims,
And buds or breathes, with microscopic limbs.4

And he continues:

Organic Life beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nursed in Ocean’s pearly caves;
First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.5

Starting with spontaneous generation from inanimate matter, Erasmus imagined life evolving into more complex forms over time. He did not identify any mechanisms that may have caused the change, other than general references to nature and a vague driving force.

In the introduction to this work, Erasmus Darwin states that it is not intended to instruct but rather to amuse, and he then includes many notes describing his ideas. Despite his claimed-to-be-innocent intentions, this poem lays out the gradual, simple-to-complex progression of matter to living creature—a view very consciously different from the biblical account of creation which the vast majority of his contemporaries knew and believed. He traces the development of life in the seas to life on land with the four-footed creatures eventually culminating in humans and the creation of society. There is no doubt that when Charles began his studies, the idea of evolution apart from the supernatural was present in Western thought (even in his own extended family). The arguments in support of special creation were certainly prominent, but evolutionary ideas were being pressed into mainstream thinking in the era of modernism.6

To underscore the early acceptance of evolution, the following passage from Zoonomia (3 vol., 1794–1796) illustrates Erasmus Darwin’s belief that all life had come from a common “filament” of life.

From thus meditating on the great similarity of the structure of the warm-blooded animals . . . would it be too bold to imagine that, in the great length of time since the Earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament?7

## Lamarckian Evolution or Use and Disuse

In France, and at the same time as Erasmus, Jean Baptiste Lamarck developed his theories of the origin and evolution of life. Initially, he had argued for the immutability of species, but in his later works he laid out a clear alternative to the special creation of plants and animals. Lamarck believed that the geology of the Earth was the result of gradual processes acting over vast periods of time—a view later to be known as uniformitarianism. Lamarck developed four laws of evolution and put them forward in his Philosophie Zoologique published in 1809. Lamarck proposed that an internal force and the need for new organs caused creatures to develop new characteristics. Once developed, the use or disuse of the organs would determine how they would be passed on to a creature’s offspring. This idea of the transmission or inheritance of acquired characteristics is the hallmark of this model of evolution.

In Lamarckian evolution, animals change due to environmental factors and the use or disuse of a feature. For example, a giraffe’s neck will get longer over time as it continually stretches it to reach higher leaves on trees.

Lamarck’s mechanism of use and disuse of characters was widely rejected in his lifetime, especially by the prominent French naturalist Georges Cuvier, and was never supported by observations. Lamarck did attempt to explain how the characteristics were inherited, but there was still no clear biological mechanism of inheritance that would support his claims. Lamarck also proposed a tree of life with various branching structures that showed how life evolved from simple to complex forms. Much of what Lamarck proposed seems unreasonable to us today with a modern understanding of genetics. A husband and wife who are both bodybuilders will not have an extraordinarily muscular child—that acquired trait does not have any affect on the genetic information in the germ cells of the parents’ bodies. However, recent research has revealed instances of bacterial inheritance that appear to be very Lamarckian in nature. Future research in this area may reveal that Lamarck was correct to some degree. But there are many good reasons to expect that this would provide no support for the idea of molecules-to-man evolution.8

## Darwinian Evolution

Charles Darwin was at least familiar with all of these different views, and their influence can be found throughout his writings. Darwin often referred to the effects of natural selection along with the use or disuse of the parts. The legs and wings of the ostrich, the absence of feet and wings in beetles, and the absence of eyes in moles and cave-dwelling animals are all mentioned by Darwin as a result of use or disuse alongside natural selection.9 Exactly how this process happened was a mystery to Darwin. He proposed the idea of “pangenesis” as the mechanism of passing traits from parent to offspring. This idea is not significantly different from Lamarck’s, for it relies on the use and disuse of organs and structures that are passed on to offspring through pangenes over vast ages.

Darwin originally proposed that natural selection would be the primary mechanism acting to change organisms over millions of years. He was not aware of the role of mutations in heredity.

In his work The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Darwin suggested that gemmules are shed by body cells, and that the combination of these gemmules would determine the appearance and constitution of the offspring. If the parent had a long neck, then more gemmules for a long neck would be passed to the offspring. In Darwin’s defense, he was not aware of the work of his contemporary, Gregor Mendel. In his garden in the Czech lands, Mendel was studying the heredity of pea plants. Neither man knew of the existence of genes, or the DNA genes are composed of, but both of them understood there was a factor involved in transmitting characteristics from one generation to the next. Despite evidence from experiments conducted by his cousin Francis Galton, Darwin clung to his pangenesis hypothesis and defended it in his later work Descent of Man.

Darwin believed that all organisms had evolved by natural processes over vast expanses of time. In the introduction to Origin of Species he wrote the following:

As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.10

Darwin’s belief that slight modifications were selected to produce big changes in organisms over the course of millions of years was the foundation of his model for the evolution of life on Earth. We know today that Darwin’s notion of gemmules and pangenes leading to new features or the development of enhanced characteristics is a false notion. However, that does not mean, by itself, that Darwin’s conclusion is wrong—just that his reasoning was faulty.

## Neo-Darwinian Evolution and the Modern Synthesis

The discovery of DNA and the rediscovery of Mendel’s work on heredity in pea plants have shown that Darwin’s hereditary mechanism does not work. But his conclusion of molecules-to-man transformation over millions of years is still held as true by proponents of evolution. In the early 20th century, Mendelian genetics was rediscovered and it came to be understood that DNA was responsible for the transmission and storage of hereditary information. The scientific majority was still fixed on a naturalistic explanation for the evolution of organisms. That evolution happened was never a question—finding the mechanism was the goal of these naturalistic scientists.

Mutation of genetic information came to be viewed as the likely mechanism for providing the raw material for natural selection to act on. Combining genetic studies of creatures in the lab and in the wild, models of speciation and change over time were developed and used to explain what was seen in the present. These small changes that resulted from mutations were believed to provide the genetic diversity that would lead to new forms over eons of time. This small change was referred to as “microevolution” since it involved small changes over a short amount of time. The evolutionists claim that the small changes add up to big changes over millions of years, leading to new kinds of life. Thus, microevolution leads to “macroevolution” in the evolutionary view. However, the acceptance of these terms just leads to confusion, and they should be avoided.

After the discovery of DNA and its role in inheritance, evolutionists pointed to mutations in the DNA as the source for new traits. These accidental mutations provide differences in the offspring that can be selected for. This selection is believed to lead to new kinds of life.

This is not fundamentally different from what Charles Darwin taught; it simply uses a different mechanism to explain the process. The problem is that the change in speciation and adaptation is heading in the opposite direction needed for macroevolution. The small changes seen in species as they adapt to their environments and form new species through mutation are the result of losses of information. Darwinian evolution requires the addition of traits (such as forelimbs changing into wings, and scales turning into feathers in dinosaur-to-bird evolution), which requires the addition of new information. Selecting from information that is already present in the genome and that was damaged through copying mistakes in the genes cannot be the process that adds new information to the genome.

IT HAS BECOME SO PLASTIC THAT IT CAN BE MOLDED TO EXPLAIN ANY EVIDENCE, NO MATTER HOW INCONSISTENT THE EXPLANATIONS MAY BECOME.

Today, evolution has been combined with the study of embryology, genetics, the fossil record, molecular structures, plate tectonics, radiometric dating, anthropology, forensics, population studies, psychology, brain chemistry, etc. This leads to the intertwining of so many different ideas that the modern view of evolution can explain anything. It has become so plastic that it can be molded to explain any evidence, no matter how inconsistent the explanations may become. Even Darwin was willing to admit that there may be evidence that would invalidate his hypothesis. That is no longer the view held by the vast majority of evolutionists today—evolution has become a fact, even a scientific law (on par with the law of gravity), in the minds of many.

To help us see this more clearly, let us take a look at the idea of different races. Darwin published his views on the different races in Descent of Man. Though Darwin spoke against slavery, he clearly believed that the different people groups around the world were the result of various levels of evolutionary development. Darwin wrote the following:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes . . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian [Aborigine] and the gorilla.11

This is the conclusion Darwin came to—that different rates of evolution would lead to different classes of humans. He often refers to the distinction between the civilized Europeans and the savages of various areas of the world. He concludes that some of these savages are so closely related to apes that there is no clear dividing line in human history “where the term ‘man’ ought to be used.”12 Consistent with his naturalistic view of the world, Darwin saw various groups of humans, whether they are distinct species or not, as less advanced than others. This naturally leads to racist attitudes and, as Dr. Stephen J. Gould noted, biological arguments for racism “increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory,”13 though this was likely only an excuse to act on underlying social prejudices.

Dr. James Watson (co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule and a leading atheistic evolutionist) was caught in a storm of evolutionary racism in 2007. The Times of London reported the following in an interview:

He says that he is “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really,” and I know that this “hot potato” is going to be difficult to address. His hope is that everyone is equal, but he counters that “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.” He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because “there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don’t promote them when they haven’t succeeded at the lower level.” He writes, “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”14

Though he later stated that he did not intend to imply that black Africans are genetically inferior, he is being consistent with his evolutionary beliefs. His remarks were considered offensive, even by those who endorse evolution.

THOSE WHO WOULD SUGGEST THAT EVOLUTION CAN EXPLAIN WHY ALL HUMANS HAVE VALUE MUST BATTLE AGAINST THOSE EVOLUTIONISTS WHO WOULD DISAGREE.

This exposes an inconsistency in the thinking of many evolutionists today—if we evolved by random chance, we are nothing special. If humans evolved, it is only reasonable to conclude that different groups have evolved at different rates and with different abilities, and mental ability could be higher in one group than another. If the data supported this claim, in the evolutionary framework, then it should be embraced. Those who would suggest that evolution can explain why all humans have value must battle against those evolutionists who would disagree. This exposes the inconsistent and plastic nature of evolution as an overarching framework—who gets to decide what evolution should mean? Darwin and Watson are applying the concepts in a consistent way and setting emotion and political correctness aside, when it is deemed necessary. Darwin noted that “it is only our natural prejudice and . . . arrogance” that lead us to believe we are special in the animal world.15

Without an objective standard, such as that provided by the Bible, the value and dignity of human beings are left up to the opinions of people and their biased interpretations of the world around us. God tells us through His Word that each human has dignity and is a special part of the creation because each one is made in the image of God. We are all of “one blood” in a line descended from Adam, the first man, who was made distinct from all animals and was not made by modifying any previously existing animal (Genesis 2:7).

## Saltation and Punctuated Equilibrium

Contrasted with Darwin’s view of a gradual process of change acting over vast ages of time, others have seen the history of life on Earth as one of giant leaps of rapid evolutionary change sprinkled through the millions of years. Darwin noted that the fossil record seemed to be missing the transitions from one kind of organism to the next that would confirm his gradualistic notion of evolution. Shortly after Darwin, there were proponents of evolutionary saltation—the notion that evolution happens in great leaps. The almost complete absence of transitional forms in the fossil record seemed to support this saltation concept and this was later coupled with genetics to provide a mechanism where “hopeful monsters” would appear and almost instantaneously produce a new kind of creature (e.g., changing a reptile into a bird). These “monsters” would be the foundation for new kinds of animals.

Saltation fell out of favor, but the inconsistency between the fossil record and the gradualism promoted by Darwin and others was still a problem. The work of Ernst Mayr, Stephen J. Gould, and Niles Eldredge was the foundation for the model of “punctuated equilibrium.” This model explained great periods of stasis in the fossil record punctuated with occasional periods of rapid change in small populations of a certain kind of creature. This rapid change is relative to the geologic time scale—acting over tens of thousands of years rather than millions. This idea is not inconsistent with Darwin’s grand evolutionary scheme. However, it seems that Darwin did not anticipate such a mechanism, though he commented that different organisms would have evolved at different rates. Whether evolution has occurred by gradual steps or rapid leaps (or some combination) is still a topic of debate among those who hold to the neo-Darwinian synthesis of mutations and natural selection as the driving forces of evolutionary change.

Contrary to Neo-Darwinism, punctuated equilibrium tries to account for the lack of fossil intermediates by appealing to rapid bursts of change interspersed in the millions of years. They still rely on mutations and natural selection, but at a much faster rate.

## Conclusion

Sir Isaac Newton provided us with a general theory of gravity (and described laws in support of that theory) based on observational science. Even in light of modern understandings, those laws still apply today. Einstein did expand the concepts, but the functionality of Newtonian physics still applies today as much as ever.

WHAT IS CALLED DARWINISM TODAY BEARS LITTLE RESEMBLANCE TO WHAT DARWIN ACTUALLY WROTE.

The same cannot be said for Darwin’s ideas. Darwin’s hypothesized mechanism of natural selection (even with the added understanding of mutations) has failed to provide an explanation for the origin and diversity of life we see on Earth today. His confident expectation that the fossil record would confirm his hypothesis has utterly failed, and the mind-boggling irreducible complexity seen in biological systems today defies the explanations of Darwin or his disciples. To say that evolutionary thinking today is Darwinian in nature can only mean that evolutionists believe that life has evolved from simpler to complex over time. Beyond that, what is called Darwinism today bears little resemblance to what Darwin actually wrote.

All of these ideas of the evolution of organisms from simple to complex are contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture that God made separate kinds of plants and animals and one kind of man, each to reproduce after its own kind. As such, these evolutionary ideas are bound to fail when attempting to describe the history of life and to predict the future changes to kinds of life in this universe where we live. When we start our thinking with the Bible, we can know we are starting on solid ground. Both the fossil record and the study of how plants, animals, and people change in the present fit perfectly with what the Bible says about Creation, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel in Genesis 1–11. The Bible makes sense of the world around us.

## The New Answers Book 3

Do you have answers to the big questions about the Christian faith, evolution, creation, and the biblical worldview? Now you get the important information you need regarding the existence of God, global warming and climate change, cloning and stem cells, human and chimp DNA, the importance of Mount St. Helens, and more.

## Footnotes

1. For an explanation of some of the contradictions between the biblical creation account and the widely held evolution story, see the article “Evolution vs. Creation: The Order of Events Matters!” atwww.answersingenesis.org/articles/2006/04/04/order-of-events-matters.
2. Sharon Kaye, “Was There No Evolutionary Thought in the Middle Ages? The Case of William of Ockham,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 no. 2 (2006): 225–244.
3. Henry Fairfield Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin (London: Macmillan, 1913), p. 43–56.
4. Erasmus Darwin, The Temple of Nature (London: Jones & Company, 1825), p. 13.
5. Ibid., p. 14–15.
6. Modernism was the dominant philosophy in Western culture from the late 18th to the late 20th centuries. This philosophy placed science as the supreme authority for determining truth. Science was viewed as the “savior” of mankind—eventually finding cures for all diseases, ending war, famine, etc. Though it has been largely replaced by post-modernism, this modernist thinking is still very prominent among scientists and many others in our culture. Post-modernism, on the other hand, is a radical skepticism about anyone’s ability to know truth. Post-modernists argue that truth and morality are relative—there are no absolutes. It also reflects disenchantment with the promises made by modernist philosophers and scientists. Both philosophies reject Scripture as authoritative truth and are based on evolutionary thinking.
7. Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, volume 1 (Philadelphia, PA: Edward Earle, 1818), p. 397.
8. Even if Lamarckian mechanisms are uncovered, the fossil record would not support the evolution story. See Duane Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No, (Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1996); Carl Werner,Evolution: The Grand Experiment, vol. 1 (Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2007); and Living Fossils, vol. 2 (Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2008). Natural selection can only “select” from existing genetic information (it cannot create new information), and mutations cause a loss or reshuffling of existing genetic information. See Terry Mortenson’s DVD Origin of the Species: Was Darwin Right? (Answers in Genesis, 2007) and John Sanford,Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome (Lima NY: Elim Publishing, 2005). Also, what bacteria can do should not be directly applied to other forms of life because bacteria are categorically and significantly different. This is explained in Georgia Purdom’s DVD All Creatures Great and Small: Microbes and Creation (Petersburg, KY: Answers in Genesis, 2009).
9. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (New York, NY: The Modern Library, 1993), p. 175–181.
10. Ibid., p. 21.
11. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man (New York, NY: The Modern Library, 1936), p. 521.
12. Ibid., p. 541.
13. Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977), p. 127.
14. Charlotte Hunt-Grubbe, “The Elementary DNA of Dr Watson,” Times Online [London], October 14, 2007, http://www.entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article2630748.ece.
15. Darwin, The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, p. 411–412.