Author: Paul S. Taylor of Christian Answers / Films for Christ
Evolutionism represents life's ancestry with a single tree. Creationists say there were many trees each basic kind of animal separately created with inherent genetics resulting in growing diversity within each. Are Evolutionists correct, is there clear biological proof that a single-celled animal could eventually evolve into man, given enough time? What light does science and everyday experience shed on this question?
species: an official category in the biological classification system; sometimes defined as an interbreeding pool of genes or as a plant or animal population consisting of individuals which breed with one another and produce fertile offspring. The term species is actually somewhat indefinite. As one expert has said, “A species is what a competent systematist considers to be a species.”
Creationists believe a creator designed various basic kinds of animals (e.g., the dog, the giraffe, the horse, etc.) out of the basic chemical elements. They conclude a unique set of complex coded information was incorporated within each type of creature, enabling the reproduction of more creatures of like kind. Unique codes would prevent the possibility of later production of new and completely different kinds of creatures. That is, fish would never be able to produce frogs. Lizards would never give birth to birds.
Creationists believe these genetic codes were designed to allow interesting and useful diversity within each kind (within limits). Thus, different varieties of cows, parrots, cats, and the like have developed through centuries of selective breeding and natural selection. Thus, basic kinds have been able to survive, despite changing climates and food sources.
Creationists conclude, for example, that all of today's great variety of dogs would not have existed at the time of the original Creation. Poodles, for instance, are a relatively recent development. They were selectively bred for certain features. Breeding enthusiasts ultimately limited the genes for coat type to those for very curly hair that does not shed.
All characteristics of today's poodle were resident within the DNA code of the original dogs which had genes for a great variety of coat types. By eliminating certain characteristics in favor of others, Creationists assume it was thus possible to obtain a vast variety of dog types, including Saint Bernards, Shelties, Chihuahuas, and probably even wolves.
Evolutionism maintains that the history of life should be thought of as a great Evolutionary tree with many branches, all ultimately connected to a base representing the first living creature(s) the common ancestor(s) of all life.
In contrast, Creationists believe life's history can better be represented diagrammatically by a forest of trees. Each tree is representative of a different baramin. On each tree there may be numerous branches, representing the genetic variety possible within each kind. (See sample list in endnote .)
baramin: from the Hebrew roots bara (created) and min (kind); all organisms that are descended from a single created population. The word baramins has been suggested by Creationists as a modern name for the basic created types of living things. Creationists believe that a definite boundary was established between the various baramins, and that this boundary has made possible the classification of living things into distinct groups. They maintain that new species can arise, but new baramin cannot.
Man has long known it is impossible to breed substantially different kinds of animals. If a cat is mated with a dog, one doesn't get a creature that is half-cat and half-dog; one gets nothing. Modern science has established that the coded information involved in the DNA molecules does not allow reproduction to take place in such cases.
Many Creationists suggest that Genesis explains this when it says the creator made separate original kinds. It is assumed that the creator designed each kind to remain separate throughout time, rather than to have all eventually blend. Abundant variations would be possible within each kind, but none between kinds.
Charles Darwin, a former theology student turned materialist, was a catalyst for the popularization of Evolutionism. The first edition of his book The Origin of Species was published in 1859. It was a sellout on the first day.
What did it say that created such a stir? Basically, Darwin suggested scientifically-explainable means for modern animals to have come into existence through natural processes without the aid of a creator. Darwin and his followers preached a belief in progress, development to ever higher stages, with perfection the ultimate goal.
On the Galapagos Islands, Darwin observed finches of various types. He assumed that a single population of finches had originally come to the island and later diversified into new species. He further assumed these variations supported his contention that whole new kinds of animals could eventually be produced by such a process. He promoted belief in the idea that life could use small changes to develop upwards, ultimately all the way to man.. (Many Creationists believe the Galapagos finches are all in the same baramin.)[168 & 169]
Based on the ideas of Darwin and on the refinements of latter-day Evolutionists, many teach that energy and matter will always form life, eventually (given suitable conditions). Once life has been formed, they say, nature will automatically cause it to evolve into the highest form possible in the given environment. As has already been shown, there are enormous problems with this belief.
(Also see: “The Origin of the Universe” and “The Origin of Life”)
Books promoting Evolutionism frequently claim that animals adapt to changing environments. The examples given usually include color differences in a type of moth, beak shapes among Galapagos finches, bacteria that adapt to antibiotics, and insects that adapt to exterminators' poisons. Greater understanding of the DNA code has cast grave doubt on whether any adaption is occurring. In most (if not all) cases, artificial or natural selection is simply allowing the multiplication of genes that already exist within the population. A genetic characteristic which allows some individuals to survive an attack flourishes as survivors pass it on through reproduction. A predominance of surviving offspring with the same helpful gene is thus produced. The gene is not new; it already existed. It becomes predominant in the population due to the death of the majority of individuals who do not possess it. This is neither adaptation nor Evolution.
Darwin's book set out to prove that life undergoes small variations which are connected with or caused by the environment. By the 6th edition of his book, Darwin, like Lamarck (the 18th century French naturalist), came to the conclusion that such small changes must be inheritable.
In a crude sense, the theory was: If giraffes experienced too much competition for food, so that they had to stretch their necks ever higher to reach the topmost leaves of trees, then, ultimately if all generations stretched their necks the necks of descendents would get longer and longer.
This concept is sometimes called Lamarckianism and has been amply disproved through practical experience. Parents who exercise with weights every day do not automatically pass the development of large muscles on to their children. Having a leg amputated does not cause a man to father legless children, even if every father in every generation was so unfortunate as to have his leg amputated. The parents' DNA sex cells are not affected by any such things. Unfortunately, Darwin knew nothing of the tremendously important DNA/RNA system within each living thing.
This section reveals a related discovery made at the time of Darwin which destroyed Darwin's theories of Evolutionary heredity. Unfortunately, it received no public attention for 35 years.
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was the careful researcher and Creationist who developed the science of heredity on a sound mathematical basis. In Czechoslovakia, he spent many years conducting careful experiments and maintaining detailed records.
science of heredity: studies the transmission of physical characteristics from parent to child; synonymous with the science of genetics.
Mendel used pea plants to discover why, for example, 2 plants with red flowers can yield a yellow-flowered offspring. He proved that both parent plants carry a hidden (recessive) gene for yellow. Thus, the production of the yellow flower does not mean there was a change in the plants themselves. The code for a yellow flower was not new. It was there all the time, stored in the flowers' DNA. The two red-flowered plants did not somehow produce a yellow flower out of nowhere. The physical characteristics of any creature correspond to well-defined mathematical laws.
On the basis of these laws, one can accurately predict how different qualities will be inherited by later generations. The particular traits of any individual plant or animal are the result of the latent code in its DNA. Traits can be lost or modified, but the appearance of totally new structures is not possible.
Creationary geneticists say these laws firmly establish why baramins can never change into radically different kinds of creatures. The DNA codes are repeatedly duplicated with extreme accuracy. Creationists believe this precision and the laws of genetics have strongly proved that animals and plants cannot evolve. Truly new structures cannot form.
Mendel's genetic laws disproved Darwin's Evolutionary model of heredity. Later, Evolutionists (neo-Darwinists) turned to mutations as a possible mechanism for significant change.
mutation: in nature, a very rare, sudden, random alteration in the DNA code; mutations are mistakes accidental, random rearrangements of the programmed code.
Mutations became the new supposed magic wand to overcome the barriers between the different types of plants and animals. To put it simply, Evolutionists commonly thought that: Amoeba + MUTATIONS + Time + Energy + Chance can equal man. This formula reminds some scientists of the fairy tale in which a frog turns into a prince. Evolution says, in effect, the same thing but the process takes longer.
macro-mutation: a theoretical and extremely large mutational change; the sudden appearance of a major new type of structure. No such mutation has been scientifically observed or been proven to have ever occurred.
Why do mutations occur? One cause is radiation. The effects of atomic bombs and nuclear generator accidents have made people justifiably wary of radiation. Radiation can produce bizarre, malforming mutations. Even without such weapons and accidents, Earth's inhabitants are presently exposed to radiation from the sun and the stars, plus radiation from various Earth minerals.
Scientists have used x-ray radiation to deliberately cause mutations in African violets and fruit flies so that they could study the effects. Fruit flies reproduce very quickly. Therefore, a single scientist can observe the effects over a host of generations.
What have scientists found? Do mutations improve living things? Millions of dollars in research have proved beneficial mutations are extremely rare. Most mutated creatures would easily die in nature because mutations are almost invariably damaging in one way or another.
Random rearrangements of information always result in loss of information. Therefore, when mutations produce random rearrangements in the complex information stored in DNA, the result is almost always loss, not improvement.
Professor Phillip Johnson, University of California, Berkeley:
Suppose that, following a massive research program, scientists succeeded in altering the genetic program of a fish embryo so that it develops as an amphibian. Would this hypothetical triumph of genetic engineering confirm that amphibians actually evolved, or at least could have evolved, in similar fashion? No, it wouldn't, because Gould and the others who postulate developmental macromutations are talking about random changes, not changes elaborately planned by human (or divine) intelligence. A random change in the program governing my word processor could easily transform this chapter into unintelligible gibberish, but it would not translate the chapter into a foreign language, or produce a coherent chapter about something else.
Darwin elevated the concept of survival of the fittest to the place of Creator. Natural selection was supposed to produce ever higher forms of animals. In a sense, Darwinists believed: Amoeba + Time + Energy + Chance + NATURAL SELECTION = Man.
Later research established that natural selection is not capable of creating anything truly new. Natural selection is actually a conservation process in nature. Each living thing is faced with a struggle to survive. This struggle generally weeds out the weak or ill-suited individuals. Those stronger or better suited will survive and produce offspring. Thus, it is only the genes of the survivors that will be passed on. In time, their characteristics will be in the majority of the population.
This pervading effect has nothing to do with the arrival of new basic types; it has to do with types already in existence. Natural selection works to prevent a species or baramin from deteriorating and from retaining disadvantageous characteristics.
Within a species or baramin, natural selection prevents degeneration due to harmful changes in the DNA of individuals (mutations). Mutations are almost always lethal. If not immediately, they at least reduce the survival capacity of the type of creature so that it eventually becomes extinct. Survival of the fittest weeds out the mistakes. Many Evolutionists agree that Evolution by means of mutations is simply not plausible.
What happens when there is a mutation that benefits a creature in a particular enivornment? Does natural selection cause Evolution by maintaining this mutation in the population and additionally preserving other good mutations, eventually resulting in a new type of animal? The answer appears to be an emphatic no.
There is no scientific proof that natural selection can cause a species to drift upwards; its sole function appears to be to prevent a drift downwards. For instance, natural selection does make sure that good earthworms are produced, but not earthworms that are half something else half-snake or half-amphibian or anything else because that would have a disadvantage according to Darwin's own theory. Dr. Wilder-Smith explains:
The whole theory is dependent upon the idea that you won't get, by chance, a complete new organ produced at once but you will get small changes. But, those small changes up to something better will be a disadvantage to the species until they are complete. And, as they never are complete, natural selection prevents the drift upwards just as effectively as it prevents the drift downwards. That being the case, we can account for the fact that basic kinds of animals have remained constant through all these years by this feedback mechanism.
It is even more difficult to imagine that such highly complex structures as eyes and brains could evolve. Darwin himself admitted this:
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.
I remember well the time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of the complaint, and now trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!
Not only is there no known process to fuel such Evolution, but an eye that is only partially evolved and does not work could easily be a detriment to the creature. Natural selection (ultimately death) would remove the creature from the gene pool of good earthworms.
Darwin thought natural selection, the struggle for life, and survival of the fittest would cause a slow, irresistible Evolution upward from one species to another, all the way to apes and man. However, Darwin was wrong. Natural selection itself prevents this.
Creationists seem quite justified in their belief that the genetic laws stabilize basic kinds of animals within boundaries. Never has anyone documented the development of a species that is truly more complex. Evolutionists have been unable to prove that any Evolution (macroevolution) is going on today. Creationists believe that the laws and discoveries of genetics provide considerably stronger scientific support for the theories of Creationism than they do for Evolutionism.
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