Darwinism in Distress
Most people are familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s classic children’s story The Emperor’s New Clothes, which is a tale about authorities and their beliefs – how the public can be coerced into believing what the authorities wish them to believe, what happens when the beliefs are shown to be false, and how even the most intelligent people often remain in denial and persist in holding on to untruths even after they are exposed.
This story could very have been written with Darwinism in mind, because the latter is a perfect example of this phenomenon in action. Darwinism is a scientific theory which was seriously questioned from the time it was first proposed in 1859, and despite its seeming hegemony, it is now slowly being discarded as both doubtful and unscientific. Here is a summary of how an increasing number of scientists currently view it:
It is now approximately half a century since the neo-Darwinian synthesis was formulated. A great deal of research has been carried on within the paradigm it defines. Yet the successes of the theory are limited to the minutiae of evolution, such as the adaptive change in the coloration of moths, while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which interest most, such as how there came to be moths in the first place.
Nevertheless, like the emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, secular authorities in science, academia, and government continue to promote Darwinism, and to attack those who have pointed out its many fallacies and failings. They have done so very successfully, so questioning this theory may seem like committing scientific heresy. Many scientists and non-scientists have entertained and expressed serious doubts, but if the authorities say it’s true, then it must be so; or is it? If the authorities say that Darwinism is a fact, then surely someone, somewhere, must have fully verified it; or have they?
One of the main reasons for the acceptance of Darwinism is that it is often conflated with and thought to be the same thing as evolution. Since evolution is a well-established biological concept, the public has been trained to think that opponents of Darwinism are religious Luddites who ignore facts in order to blindly hold onto their faith. It is therefore important to understand that the words “Darwinism” and “evolution” have different meanings. The word “evolution” denotes changes and mutations in populations of organisms, so that, for example, moths of the same species in different environments have different colorations. Such small, incremental changes are often referred to as “micro-evolution,” and are brought about by the following factors: environmental changes, mutation, time, chance, and natural selection (which is the notion that any change in an organism that makes the organism more viable will be reflected in its offspring, and therefore in the organism’s gene pool). Micro-evolution therefore includes the concept of “limited common descent,” which is the idea that particular groups of organisms may have descended from a common ancestor. Darwinism, in contrast, is the belief that all life forms on our planet evolved from non-life, and higher life forms evolved from lower ones (i.e., “universal common descent”), strictly on the basis of the factors mentioned above. It seeks to address the much larger question of how and why moths and all other organisms came to exist in the first place, and therefore it is also referred to as “macro-evolution.”
Micro-evolution is an easily observable phenomenon, and virtually all scientists accept it as true. Like Newton’s discovery of gravity, it is an obvious characteristic of biological systems once you consider them. But that is not the case with macro-evolution (Darwinism). The latter is non-intuitive (i.e., it doesn’t make sense that something could spontaneously come from nothing), and aside from microbes, scientists have never observed or had any clear evidence of one species evolving into another.
Darwin himself was concerned about the tenuousness of his own theory, and provided a criterion which, if true, would demonstrate that it was a sham:
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.
The scientific and logical evidence against Darwinism is overwhelming, and that is the evidence we shall consider below to see how Darwin’s criteria for the failure of his own theory has been fully met and exceeded.
Problem #1 – Irreducible Complexity
In earlier times organisms were thought to be simple blobs of organic matter. For example, the eminent biologist, naturalist, professor, and physician Ernst Haeckel, who was a contemporary of Darwin, called the cell a “simple little lump of albuminous combination of carbon.” But as biochemists have gradually unraveled the actual mechanisms employed by cells to perform all of their functions (nutrition, waste elimination, defense, repair, reproduction, movement, etc.), an astonishing and mind-boggling complexity has been revealed (the above quote demonstrates how spectacularly and incredibly wrong scientists can be). At the cellular level there are many intricate pieces of “machinery” that all need to be operational before the cell can survive, and even before it can exist in the first place. In many cases this complex machinery involves a large number of “parts” and “sub-assemblies,” all of which are necessary for the cell to function; so how could these mechanisms which need to properly connect and operate with each other have come about purely by time and chance? On your garage floor you may find a few bolts lying around, and pieces of a carburetor, but not only must the carburetor work, you also must have valves, pistons, cam shafts, and so on, and each of these sub-assemblies must be properly attached to each other and tuned in order to make an engine that will actually run.
I recall pondering this issue many years ago in my collegiate biology classes, but it remained for Michael J. Behe to comprehensively state it in his book Darwin’s Black Box – The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution and to demonstrate the nonsensicality of Darwinism.
By irreducibly complex I mean 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. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced by slight, successive modifications to a precursor system, because any precursor that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional.
However, even if a system is irreducibly complex, one cannot definitely rule out the possibility of an indirect, circuitous route. But as the complexity of an interacting system increases, the likelihood of such an indirect route drops precipitously. And as the number of unexplained irreducibly complex biological systems increases, our confidence that Darwin’s criteria for failure has been met skyrockets to the maximum that science allows.
Behe begins by considering a simple machine – a mouse trap – and points out that it consists of several subsystems, all of which must be assembled and functional before the trap will work (wooden base plate, bait holder, spring, hammer arm, and holding bar).
Even though a mouse trap seems to be very simple, it actually involves a fair amount of thought and engineering:
- The spring must have enough tension in it to kill the mouse, but not so much that it pulls off the base plate.
- The other elements must be securely attached to the base plate, which in turn must be substantial enough to hold them in place.
- The trip arm must be of sufficient gauge not to bend or break under the tension of the spring, but loose enough so that it will let go when the mouse takes the bait.
Cellular mechanisms are millions upon millions of times more complex than a mouse trap, and likewise have many interacting parts and sub-assemblies. Therefore, they are also irreducibly complex.
In the above-mentioned book, Behe discusses four examples of the many that could be cited: the cilia (a hair-like structure that beats and allows a cell to move or to move the air); the clotting ability of blood; the internal structure and transport capabilities of cells; and the cell’s disease fighting capabilities. It is beyond the scope of this paper to go into a lot of biochemical detail (read the book), but here is one example from Behe:
Just like a house has a kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom, a cell has specialized areas partitioned off for discrete tasks. These areas include the nucleus (where the DNA resides), the mitochondria (which produce the cell’s energy), the endoplasmic reticulum (which processes protein), the Golgi apparatus (a way station for proteins being transported elsewhere), the lysosome (the cell’s garbage disposal unit), secretory vesicles (cargo storage areas), and the peroxisome (which helps metabolize fats). Each compartment is sealed off from the rest of the cell by its own membrane… Counting membranes and interior spaces there are more than twenty different sections in a cell.
The cell is a dynamic system; it continually manufactures new structures and gets rid of old material. Since the compartments of a cell are closed off, each area faces the problem of obtaining new materials… Although some compartments make some materials for themselves, the great majority of proteins are centrally made and shipped to other compartments. The shipping of manufactured proteins between compartments is a fascinating and intricate process.
[Proteins are the building blocks of the cell, and there are approximately two million different ones in the human body (it is thought that there are more than ten million in all of nature). Proteins consist of amino acid molecules that are stitched together into long, tinker-toy-like chains of between 100 and 35,000 elements.]
Let’s consider how one of the many proteins in the cell are made, in this case a protein that is used in cell’s garbage disposal – the lysosome. We’ll call this protein “garbagease.” The first step is to make a copy of the section of the DNA that codes for garbagease. This copy, called messenger RNA or just mRNA, is made in the nucleus, and then floats over to a nuclear pore. Proteins in the pore recognize a signal on the mRNA, the pore opens, and the mRNA floats out into the cytoplasm. In the cytoplasm the cell’s “master machines” – ribosomes – begin making garbagease using the information in the mRNA, assembling amino acids into a long chain. The first part of the growing protein chain contains a signal sequence. As soon as the signal sequence forms, a signal recognition particle (SRP) grabs onto the signal and causes the ribosome to pause. The SRP and associated molecules then float over to an SRP receptor in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and stick there. This simultaneously causes the ribosome to resume synthesis and a protein channel to open in the membrane. As the protein passes through the channel into the ER, an enzyme clips off the signal sequence. Once in the ER, garbagease has a large, complex carbohydrate placed on it. Coatomer proteins cause a drop of the ER containing the garbagease and other proteins to pinch off, cross over to the Golgi apparatus, and fuse with it… Within the Golgi an enzyme recognizes the garbagease protein and it undergoes several transforms as it moves through various stages. In the final compartment of the Golgi, clathrin proteins gather together in a patch to create a vesicle. Within the clathrin vesicle is a receptor protein that binds to the garbagease and pulls it in before the vesicle buds off and leaves the Golgi. On the outside of the vesicle is a v-SNARE protein configured for garbagease that matches a t-SNARE on the lysosome. Once docked, other proteins fuse the vesicle to the lysosome, and the garbagease has now arrived and can be put to use… Every second of every day this process happens uncounted billion times in your body… and because the cellular transport system requires at a minimum three separate components to function, it is irreducibly complex.
Note a few of the many questions that the above description does not cover, which require even more complex cellular machinery and communication systems: How does the lysosome know that it needs more garbagease? How does it signal the nucleus that more of the specific protein garbagease is needed and start the DNA to mRNA replication process? How does the lysosome dispose of the old garbagease and correctly position the newly delivered stuff? How does the cell keep a supply of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, always available for the ribosomes to use in constructing new proteins? The irreducible complexity of cellular systems is so high that the notion of these mechanisms coming into being through small gradual steps is absurd.
Dr. Behe also did a comprehensive search of all of the articles on Darwinism published in major scientific journals, as well as textbooks on the subject since 1984. Although thousands of pieces have been written and published, he did not find even a single article that seriously examined and/or proposed how the biochemical machinery of a cell could have evolved in gradual increments.
The search can be extended but the results are the same. There has never been a meeting, or a book, or a paper on details of the evolution of complex biological systems.
Articles and books on macro-evolution speak of it as simply being an inevitable characteristic of living organisms, but no one in the 100+ years since Darwin’s time has ever been able to explain how it actually could have happened in detail, at the biochemical level.
There is something seriously wrong with this picture. Imagine that you are an engineering student seeking to learn how to build a bridge. Upon opening your textbook you read, “Bridges have appeared in many places because of the evolutionary advantages to human organisms gained by having bridges over rivers and canyons.” But when you look for details such as “How do I actually go about building a bridge?” the textbook has nothing to say. The fact that no one has been able to propose an evolutionary explanation for how a cell could have actually come into being is not surprising given the incredible and irreducible complexity of the cell’s machinery, but nevertheless it is a damning indictment of Darwinism.
Problem #2 – Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of Life
In 1952 a young graduate student at the University of Chicago named Stanley Miller carried out what became one of the most famous evolutionary experiments of all time. He created a laboratory environment of flasks containing water vapor, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen, all of which were presumably present at the time that the earth was being formed. He then subjected these components to “lightning” in the form of sparking electrodes. After a week Miller saw that a tar had built up on the side of flask, and when he analyzed the tar, he found traces of amino acids, the building blocks for proteins.
Darwinists immediately trumpeted these finding to indicate that it is therefore possible to create life from non-life, and a number of researchers subsequently spent their careers in an attempt to flesh out Miller’s experiment and take them to the next level. They had some initial successes, such as discovering that almost all of the twenty different naturally occurring amino acids used in protein construction could be “spontaneously generated.” But they ran into what were eventually acknowledged as insurmountable obstacles, such as the fact that amino acids do not simultaneously link themselves into protein chains, because the presence of water inhibits the linking process. In other words, an insoluble catch-22 was encountered – a cellular environment is required before the cell can exist. Reflecting on the decades of struggle, Klaus Dose, an origin-of-life researcher, made this bitter and pessimistic statement:
More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth, rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.
Thus there is a huge and seemingly uncrossable chasm between protein precursors and a functioning cell, and researchers have spent many fruitless years trying to figure out how even one protein chain could be spontaneously generated, let alone the complex cellular mechanisms described above. Stanley Miller’s experiment therefore succeeded in demonstrating micro-evolution, but decades of subsequent research have failed to show any evidence for macro-evolution. Essentially, this experiment demonstrated that if you throw scrabble letters into a tornado, you may find that a few stray words were accidentally formed, but that is an exceedingly far cry from having a book such as Darwin’s On the Origin of Species created by accident.
Problem #3 – Mutations
Mutations are genetic changes in populations of organisms, which are caused by a variety of environmental, or in some cases, intentional human factors. The Marvel comic book and movie series X-Men is based on the notion of human mutation, with mutants supposedly having super-human powers.
While this may make for interesting entertainment, it is purely fictional. Almost all mutations are negative, and result in the weakening of the organism, such as sickle-cell anemia in humans. The cases in which mutations have been beneficial are typically where the genetic changes are controlled (e.g., the development of hardier and more disease-resistant crops), and would therefore be considered to be “genetic engineering” rather than “mutation.”
Sickle-cell anemia is an interesting case study in Darwinism, as it has been extensively investigated and is one of main examples used to teach biology students about evolution. It is a genetic condition caused by a gene mutation. The altered gene is the one used as the template for creating the protein hemoglobin (the component of red blood cells used to transport oxygen throughout the body), and it results in a corrupted hemoglobin molecule. The altered hemoglobin in turn causes red blood cells to be misshapen and ineffective in transporting oxygen, resulting in anemia – a lack of oxygen throughout the body. Sickle-cell anemia mainly affects black people, but is much more prevalent among blacks in the tropical regions of Africa than in other parts of the world. This is due to the prevalence of malaria in those same areas, a disease that attacks and destroys red blood cells, which also results in anemia. Malaria is caused by a microbial parasite and is spread by bites from the anopheles mosquito. The mosquito becomes infected with the malaria parasite by biting a person with the disease and ingesting the tainted blood, and then passes the parasite on when it bites the next person, causing a perpetual cycle of infection.
Malaria is often fatal in children, but individuals with sickle-cell anemia are less affected because the malaria parasite cannot properly connect with the misshapen hemoglobin, and is then more easily destroyed by the body’s defense systems. This is a clear example of evolution and survival of the fittest at work – individuals with the sickle-cell condition are more likely to survive and therefore pass the condition on to their progeny; thus the prevalence of sickle-cell anemia among African blacks. However, this is another instance of micro- rather than macro-evolution; it is simply a change in the human organism in response to environmental conditions, and not the emergence of any new species.
Once the nature and behavior of the malaria parasite became known, scientists began to develop drugs to combat the disease. The drugs were initially successful, but they eventually became ineffective. Was that because the malaria parasite somehow grew smarter over time? No – rather it was because a few of the parasites had small genetic differences that rendered them immune to the drugs. With virtually all of the other parasite cells being killed off, the mutated ones continued to survive and reproduce, conveying their genetic drug immunity to their offspring in yet another example of micro-evolution in action.
But even though some anti-malaria drugs have quickly become ineffective, the sickle-cell condition continues to provide protection as it has done for thousands of years. Why? It is because the malaria parasite can become drug resistant with only one difference in its cellular structure (there are upwards of a trillion malaria parasites in a diseased person, making the likelihood of a few of them having a difference relatively good). But for the malaria parasite to overcome resistance to the sickle-cell condition would require two to three simultaneous changes in specific places on the malaria organism in order to attach to the corrupted hemoglobin molecules, and despite the uncounted gazillions of malaria cells in the history of humanity, such an evolutionary change has apparently never happened. In other words, the malaria parasite has not been able to evolve its way over the sickle-cell barrier.
Sickle-cell anemia and the malaria parasite thus demonstrate the severe limits of mutation: if the malaria parasite has been unable to simultaneously effect two or more genomic changes which would enable it to successfully survive in humans with sickle-cell condition, and it has had the entire of human history to do so, then how could mutation possibly account for the development of new and more sophisticated organisms? To cite a railroad example, if mutation is struggling to make a few switches in the track layout and even the changes it does make are mostly destructive, how could it possibly account for the construction of the railroad stations and the track itself?
These conditions also demonstrate the blindness of evolution. Darwinism is random and therefore there is no such thing as “evolutionary progress” or “upward movement.” Evolution knows nothing of goals or striving for them. All of these elements of the human spirit have been anthropomorphically attributed to Darwinism, but that is a fallacy – we are not automatically growing better due to evolutionary mechanisms, and given the fact the mutations are mostly negative, we may actually be getting worse. In contrast to the hype about Darwinism being progressive and leading us “onward and upward,” the sickle-cell mutation is devolution – a genetic corruption that creates anemia, a bad condition, but which is kept in play because of the prevalence of the malaria parasite, which is worse (i.e., from the perspective of the blood defensive systems, it’s better that a bridge is burned down to stop the enemy, rather than the city being attacked and sacked).
How often does random mutation produce a “beneficial” change like sickle-trait? By studying the DNA of many human populations, scientists have concluded that this particular mutation has arisen independently no more than a few times in the past ten thousand years, and possibly only once.
Since there are so many more ways to break a machine than to improve it, that is the kind of task at which Darwinism excels. Like throwing a wad of chewing gum into a finely tuned machine, it’s relatively easy to clog a system – much easier than making the system in the first place.
Limiting the investigation of mutations to the malaria parasite is perhaps insufficient when considering the implications for Darwinism. Viruses mutate at a much higher rate, and should also be considered. The source of the AIDS disease is the HIV virus which also been intensively studied, so let us consider that evidence as well:
Because of the difference in mutations rates for viruses, HIV has actually experienced about ten thousand times as many mutations as would a comparable number of malaria cells. The very many copies of HIV in the world would be expected to to contain almost every kind of imaginable mutation. And what has all of that evolution of HIV wrought? Very little. Although new stories rightly emphasize the ability of HIV to quickly develop drug resistance, and although massive publicity makes HIV seem to be an evolutionary powerhouse, on a functional biochemical level the virus has been a complete stick-in-the-mud.
HIV has killed millions of people, fended off the human immune system, and become resistant to whatever drug humanity could throw at it. Yet through all that, there have been no significant basic biological changes to the virus at all. With a few apparent exceptions, HIV enters its target cells of the immune system by first binding tightly and specifically to one of the many kinds of proteins on their surface… A hundred billion mutant viruses later, HIV continues to do exactly the same thing, and to bind in the same way. If a mutant version of the virus developed the ability to enter other kinds of cells by binding to other kinds of proteins, it might replicate more effectively and thus out-compete its siblings. That hasn’t happened. Neither has much happened at a molecular level. No new gizmos or basic machinery. There have been no reports of new viral protein-protein interactions developing in an infected cell due to mutations in HIV proteins. No gene duplication has occurred leading to new functionality. None of the fancy tricks that routinely figure in Darwinian speculations has been used by HIV.
But what of its ability to quickly evolve drug resistance and evade the immune system? Doesn’t that show that Darwinian evolution is very powerful? Isn’t that a sophisticated maneuver? No. It turns out that HIV uses the same modest tricks that malaria uses to evade drugs – mostly simple point mutations to decrease the binding of the drug to its pathogen target. [In other words, the biochemical structure of outer wall of the HIV virus can vary drammatically, making is very hard for drugs to "locate" and attach to the virus, but the internal payload is essentially the same.]
The bottom line: despite huge population numbers and intense selective pressure, microbes as disparate as malaria and HIV yield similar minor evolutionary responses. Darwinists have loudly celebrated studies of finch beaks, showing modest changes in the shapes and sizes of beaks over time, as the finches’ food supplies changed. But here we have genetic studies over thousands upon thousands of generations involving trillions upon trillions of organisms, and very little biochemical significance to show for it. The evidence strongly suggests that this is all that Darwinism can do.
Incidentally, the results with HIV also shed light on the topic of origin of life on earth. It has been speculated that life started out modestly, as viral-like strings of RNA, and then increased in complexity to yield cells. But the extremely modest changes in HIV throw cold water on that idea. In 1020 copies HIV has developed nothing significantly new or complex. Extrapolating from this research, such ambitious Darwinian early-earth scenarios appear to be ruled out.
But how can the studies on malaria and HIV going back only fifty years or so give us any real data on Darwinian evolution, which presumably took millions of years?
Time is actually not the chief factor in evolution – population members are. In calculating how quickly a beneficial mutation might appear, evolutionary biologists multiply the mutation rate by the population size. Since for many kinds of organisms the mutation rate is pretty similar, and the waiting time for the appearance of helpful mutations depends mostly on the numbers of organisms. The bigger the population or the faster the reproduction cycle, the more quickly a particular mutation will show up. The number of malaria cells and HIV in just the past fifty years have probably greatly exceeded the number of mammals that have lived on the earth in the past several hundred million years. So the evolutionary behaviors of these pathogens in even such a short time as half a century gives us a clear indication of what can happen with larger organisms over enormous time spans. The fact that no new cellular protein-protein interactions were fashioned, that mutations were incoherent, that changes in only a few genes were able to help, and that those changes were only relatively (not absolutely) beneficial – all of that gives us strong reason to expect the same for larger organisms over longer times.
Scientists routinely extrapolate from what we see happening now to what happened in the past. The same laws of physics that work here and now are used to estimate broadly how the universe developed over billions of years. So we can also use current biology to infer generally what happened over the course of life on earth. Since we have no new protein-protein interactions developing in 1020 cells, we can be reasonably confident that, at the least, no new cellular systems needing two new protein-protein interactions would develop in 1040 cells – an estimate of the total number of cells that have ever existed, and therefore in the entire history of life on this planet. The principle we use to make this extrapolation – that the odds against two independent events is the multiple of the odds against each event – is very well tested.
Anthropomorphic stories and movies with animals speaking and acting like people are commonplace (“Ice Age,” “Over the Hedge,” “Kung-Fu Panda,” etc.) Darwinism has likewise been anthropomorphized with human passion for the underdog, success against all odds, and quasi-spiritual desires for upward progress. However, just as the combination of martial arts and Panda bears may be a cool idea for a movie but in reality are a fictitious oxymoron, so it is with Darwinism and upward spiritual progress. The combination is simply wishful thinking that has metastasized into a religion.
Lynne Margulis, the Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, has issued a challenge to Darwinists to name a single unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. Her challenge goes unmet. She said, “Neo-Darwinism, which insists on the slow accumulation of mutations, is in a complete funk… History will ultimately judge neo-Darwinism as a minor 20th century religious sect.”
The movie Terminator is another variation on the mutation theme. In that film a robot is somehow created by other machines and sent back through time to try to kill a woman who will supposedly give birth to the man who in the future will lead the fight against the machines and crush them. The theme of the movie is preposterous, but I love it nevertheless, partly because the story is done so well despite the ridiculousness of the premise.
I can accept the possibility that a nuclear war could take place in the future as was the case in this movie, and even that the war could somehow be triggered by super-intelligent computers. But that these machines could then by themselves figure out who the leader of their human enemies was and where he grew up, design several generations of terminators first with rubber skin, and eventually with human flesh over a robot skeleton (played in the movie, of course, by Arnold Schwarzenegger), and then develop a time-travel machine capable of sending the terminator back into the past – yeah, right. Darwinism requires a similar leap of faith.
Problem #4 – The Fossil Record
Darwinism indicates that higher life forms (e.g., mammals, apes, and humans) evolved from lower forms (reptiles, fish, insects, bacteria, and so on). Many organisms have left a fossil trail, and if Darwinism is true we should expect to find fossil remains of the entire range of transitional forms. We should expect to find “repti-mammals,” “fish-tiles,” and so on. However, that is not the case. Many fossils have been unearthed, including species that are now extinct, but aside from microbes, there is only meager evidence that there were any transitional forms, or that one species ever evolved into another. Paleontologist and Darwinist Niles Eldredge describes the problem:
No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seems to happen. Assiduous collecting [of fossils] up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change – over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all of the prodigious changes that have occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that is how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.
The record does show that there have been evolutionary changes in various species though the ages, and in some cases the changes have been substantial. An example is the dog: a dachshund and a huskie look very different, but both are obviously dogs and can interbreed. It is not clear how many different breeds of dogs have evolved versus those that may have been a part of an original design, but all dogs share common characteristics that we could refer to as “doggyness.” However, this again is micro- rather than macro-evolution at work – all dog breeds are still dogs, and cannot interbreed with cats.
The extinct bird Archaeopteryx, and the pterodactyls of the dinosaur era, have been cited as transitional forms between reptiles and avians, but even with those creatures there is no evidence of transitional forms between them and other birds or reptiles. In many cases animal species have changed over time (micro-evolution), but have stubbornly retained their basic genetic identity. Like the animals of today, Archaeopteryx, the dinosaurs, the trilobites, and other extinct life forms suddenly appear in the fossil record without precedent, and then die out without any evidence of transition into other species.
John McDonald, a geneticist from the University of Georgia, states this problem in specific scientific terms:
The result of the last 20 years of research on the genetic basis of adaption has led us to a great Darwinian paradox. Those [genes] that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to lie at the basis of many major adaptive changes, while those [genes] that seemingly do constitute the foundation of many, if not most, major adaptive changes apparently are not variable within natural populations. [Emphasis in original] 
Darwinists have long been troubled by the lack of fossil support. In the 1940s, the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt, struggling with Darwinism, proposed the “Hopeful Monster” theory, which stated that suddenly, and for reasons unknown, new species of organisms suddenly appeared on the scene (perhaps a reptile egg once hatched and a bird came out?) That theory as such didn’t take hold, but it was later replaced by a more comprehensive theory by Niles Eldredge (quoted above) and Stephen J. Gould, who were also concerned about the lack of fossil evidence for Darwinism. Their concept was that the rate of macro-evolution (assuming that it occurs in the first place) is not static. While normally taking long periods of time, it supposedly can, for reasons unknown, speed up at times. The periods during which the transitional forms developed (fish to reptiles, reptiles to mammals, etc.) were said to be times when the rate of evolution was so rapid that little or no fossil remains would have been preserved, and furthermore, these changes supposedly took place in small, isolated population groups. Gould realized that he needed to have a much more scientific-sounding name for his theory, and that a title such as “Hopeful Monster” would never do. So he christened it “Punctuated Equilibrium.” It is on this basis that Darwinists claim that the fossil record “demonstrates the reality of Darwinism.”
With punctuated equilibrium we have a theory that doesn’t make sense in the first place now coupled with an even more nonsensical idea – that strictly due to time, chance, and environmental factors, and with no supporting evidence whatsoever indicating how or why this would have happened, the rate of evolution somehow sped up at all of the convenient times so that all of the transitional forms, a key to the entire Darwinian theory, are conveniently missing from the fossil record. How can a serious scientist, or anyone else for that matter, actually believe such rubbish?
Problem #5 – The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
It has long been an aphorism that “nothing happens without something causing it to happen.” This is true in all fields of endeavor, for example, Franklin D. Roosevelt was quoted as saying “If anything happens in politics, you can be sure that it was planned.” Physicists have observed that this is also a basic characteristic of nature, and have expressed it in the second law of thermodynamics, which states that “all systems tend toward minimum energy and maximum randomness.” That means everything tends to run down and fall apart, unless some external agent applies the energy to get things moving again and brings order out of chaos.
Darwinism, however, requires an “uncaused cause” and demands that the incredible complexity, a small part of which was described above, somehow came from disordered chaos with no intelligence supplying the energy or directing the effort. Thus it is completely at odds with the second law, one of the basic principles of nature, and Darwinists have done many handsprings to try to explain and get around this problem. They have posited, for example, that energy was somehow added, but where it came from or what the organizing force was, is a mystery. Others have indicated that living organisms somehow override the 2nd law and are supposedly “self-organizing.” Despite the Darwinian failures at the biochemical level, computer models and philosophy are used to support this concept, but these are unconvincing and still require huge leaps of Darwinian faith. Still others who are not strictly Darwinists have speculated that the organizing energy and intelligence came from an alien race, but that answer simply puts the question a step backward – where did the alien race come from, and how could they have evolved? Bottom line – there is no satisfactory Darwinian explanation.
It is at this point that probabilities are often introduced. The odds against evolution are said to be a “trillion gazillion” to one, but somehow that one chance supposedly came up. In the section above on mutation we have seen that micro-evolution is the best that Darwinism can do. But perhaps another analogy is needed: if you had a stack of boards, nails, asphalt, paint, and sacks of cement sitting on an uninhabited island, how many millions of years will it take for those materials to evolve into a Wal-Mart complete with a parking lot and painted signs? Suppose we limit the result to having the foundation dug out and poured, and the framing for the building and the roof completed. Is there one chance in a billion gazillion that even this could evolve into existence? Barring a human mission or a miracle from God, we all know what will happen – far from a Wal-Mart or even the shell of a building appearing by accident, the pile of materials will get blown around into a disorganized mess and will eventually disintegrate – the best you would get is a few boards leaning against each other.
Some will immediately object to my above phrase “we all know what will happen” by pointing out “we don’t know what will happen.” That is true – we don’t know what will happen in the future, and no one can prove that a Wal-Mart cannot evolve into existence from the primordial ooze. But that objection misses the point, which is that the automatic appearance of a Wal-Mart via evolution/mutation is absurd, and that an unbiased observer seeing one would immediately conclude that it was constructed by an intelligent agent.
Others may object to my analogy that boards, nails, and cement are non-living and therefore could not evolve. My response is that even a single celled living organism is more complex than a Wal-Mart building, and therefore even farther beyond the possibility of coming into being by accident.
Problem #6 – The Tenuousness and Balance of Life
As the mysteries of the cosmos have been unraveled, many scientists have expressed wonder at the delicate balance that is necessary for life to exist.
The laws of science, as we know them, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and electron… The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely tuned to make possible the development of life. For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would have exploded… It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life.
Thousands of factors are necessary for life to exist, from all of the realms of science – physics, astronomy, geology, chemistry, and biology. Here are a few examples:
- Water, which is one of the basic elements of life, is an amazing substance, and it is virtually impossible to image life without it. Unlike most other liquids water can dissolve many solids and carry them in solution; the few others that have the same capability are either strongly acidic or basic, and therefore unsuitable as a basis for life. Furthermore, unlike almost all other liquids, water expands when it freezes, making ice lighter and insuring that it will float rather than sink. If ice was heavier than water, the ocean bottoms would be filled with it, and life as we know it would not be possible.
- Planets like our Earth are exceeding rare in the universe. Most regions of galaxies are hostile to life – areas close to the center or in the spiral arms of typical galaxies have very high doses of X-rays frying them, and areas that are too far from the center lack the ability to form elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. Furthermore, Earth is just the right distance from the sun – if we were closer like Venus we would boil, and if we were farther away like Mars we would freeze.
- The earth’s core is made of largely of metal, and produces a magnetic field that protects the surface of the planet from harmful outer space radiation. The Earth is not too big which would result in a crushing gravitational force, and not too small which would cause instability. The moon has also been found to be necessary – stabilizing the earth’s tilt, and thus moderating seasonal swings of temperature. The Earth is therefore finely tuned for life to exist.
- The chemical bonding properties of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and other elements which are the building blocks of DNA, proteins, sugars, fats, and other substances necessary for life, which are rare occurrences in the cosmos on the rare planet Earth, are the biochemical basis for life, and it is inconceivable that other elements and molecules could take their place.
- There are thousands of factors that make life possible and pleasant on Earth: the cycling of water between bodies of water and clouds that provide rain, cleansing the atmosphere, and regulating temperature; the ozone layer which helps block harmful UV radiation; the color of vegetation is green, at a frequency that is easiest and most relaxing to the eyes; and many, many others.
In view of the overwhelming and crushing evidence for fine tuning of nature, and therefore for an intelligent designer who made it happen, how is it feasible for a reasonable person to continue in the belief that all of this was a lucky accident? What can a Darwinist do except put his head in the sand and mutter: “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts!” But wait – isn’t that what Darwinists claim that Creationists do?
Problem #7 – Love, Purpose, and Destiny
When we reach human beings Darwinism has yet another serious paradox. The Darwinian world is cruel and cold with no inherent ethics or morality. The only real ethic is survival of the fittest, and we are supposedly just intelligent animals, duking it out. As Richard Dawkins, one of the most prominent spokesmen for Darwinian, said:
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
Yet we humans, who are supposedly the product of Darwinism, are desperate for love, purpose, justice, and destiny. Studies with both human and primate babies have shown that those who are ignored and do not receive love will die or have serious psychological problems. The presumption of morality is also basic – kids may argue about the rules of a game, but there is an a-priory assumption that rules exist, and therefore the notion of good and evil is a basic concept; having a conscience is seemingly an instinctual part of human nature. All of us live in an unseen, but nevertheless very real, moral environment that deeply influences the way we live. The specifics of the environment varies, of course, from individual to individual and group to group, but some type of moral environment is part and parcel of being human. Simon Blackburn, a Cambridge philosopher, wrote:
[Our moral environment] determines what we find acceptable or unacceptable, admirable or contemptible. It determines our conception of when things are going well and when they are going badly. It determines our conception of what is due to us, and what is due from us, as we relate to others. It shapes our emotional responses, determining what is a cause of pride, or shame, or anger, or gratitude; what can be forgiven and what cannot.
We also have dreams of immortality, and much of our art and music is inspired by thoughts and visions of God and heaven. If we are simply the products of time and chance – of stray molecules somehow coalescing on a cold, impersonal rock, then how could such powerful desires and moral compunctions have ever developed in humans?
Darwinists have used complexity theory (discussed below) in an attempt to show that all of advanced human behavior just developed, but that is a very poor explanation because the only operative factors in Darwinism are time, chance, mutation, and survival of the fittest. Trying to explain all behavior on this basis is an incredibly hard sell, and after listening to what Darwinists say, one comes away thinking, “If this theory is so popular, why are the explanations for it so poor and ridiculous?”
My undergraduate degree was in Biology, and I recall a college class where we studied how Darwinian theory could account for complex human behavior and desires, such as thought, philosophy, ethics, religion, and self-sacrifice. It was a “good college try,” but the reasoning and conclusions were completely silly and laughable. It was as if a brilliant scientist was trying his best to explain and defend his position that the moon was actually made of green cheese.
The notion that we are simply animals does come in handy at times as a means of explaining or excusing human behavior, especially as related to sex. But the questions remain: how can you get intelligence from non-intelligence, love from robotic indifference, morality from blind amorality, and purpose from meaninglessness? Answer: you can’t; Darwinism is a myth.
Support for Darwinism
Like the townsfolk in The Emperor’s New Clothes, we can see that the ruler is naked, but then we hear voices of influential people around us admiring his sartorial splendor. Even though the emperor’s bare butt is clearly visible, on hearing these voices we may wonder, “Am I missing something, or is there a problem with my eyes?” In the story, it took a little boy – someone who had the honesty and the clear vision to say out loud, “The Emperor doesn’t have any clothes on!” People then began to admit, “Hey! The kid is right!”
But even though Darwinism is on the rocks, it is still accepted as valid by many and perhaps even by the majority of scientists. If the theory is so lame, why is that still the case?
Part of the reason is that scientists, like everyone else, typically accept as fact what they were taught in school. Darwinism has been, and in most American public schools, still is being taught as fact, rather than as the fallacious theory that it is. As Arthur Schopenhauer said: “There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.”
The mandate in public schools to teach Darwinism as scientific truth was not an accident, but a deliberate policy directive by the educational establishment. They understood very well that early inculcation of concepts in children would be hard for those children to reverse, as the above Schopenhauer quote indicates, even if the concepts are completely false.
Furthermore, very few have either the inclination or the means to re-verify what they have been taught, such the equation E = mc2 or the distance between the earth and the sun. Darwinism is likewise assumed to be true. The presumption is that in our modern scientific age, since Darwinism is taught as scientific truth, someone, somewhere must have verified it. The fact that no one has been able to do so, or even to seriously propose how it could have happened, would come as drastic shock, if that fact was generally known.
Kids eventually grow up, and those who now fill the science positions in academia, industry, and government have thus been made to drink deeply of the Darwinian cool-aid by the western public education systems. Like everyone else, they have been taught that Darwinism is true, and opponents of it are simply religious obstructionists. In addition to that, their positions often depend on conformity with the institutions they work for. Hence they have strong incentives for not rocking the boat.
However, there are ardent Darwinists who still believe in the theory, and here is what they would cite as evidence for it:
Support #1 – Homologies
Anatomists and physiologists have long noted that various organs and appendages in different species seem to have the same basic structure. For example, a whale’s flipper is similar to a human foot. This similarity is interpreted as evidence that species have evolved, and that the flipper has evolved into a foot. The fact that all life is ultimately cellular and based on DNA, and that all varieties of DNA use the same coding scheme for building proteins is also taken as evidence of universal common descent.
Sequencing the human genome (i.e., determining the nucleotide sequence of all human DNA) was completed in 2000, and the DNA of many other organisms has been sequenced as well, allowing organisms to be compared at the genetic level. When the structure of human and chimp DNA are compared there are remarkable similarities, and even regions in the DNA of both that seem to have mutated in the same manner. This would seem to be strong evidence that both chimps and human came from the same ancestor. But even though the DNAs are similar, the homology arguments are just speculations (Darwinian faith in action) – just because the DNA of two different organisms are similar does not prove that they came from the same ancestor. An even if they did, Darwinists must still explain how an ape can turn into a man using only the factors of mutations and natural selection; as indicated above, that is an extremely hard sell.
Rather than “universal common descent” what makes much more sense is “universal common design.” Just as homologies can be interpreted as evidence for Darwinism, they are an equally strong evidence for intelligent design – that the designer used a common pattern not only for DNA and the cell, but also for various organs and appendages. The designer adapted the designs for the environment in which the species would live – the whale in the ocean and the human on land. Therefore the similarities between chimp and human DNA are not necessarily because one evolved into the other, but rather because the designer used a similar DNA structure for both.
Another version of the homology argument which was first cited by Darwin and is still being repeated, is that the there is a progression in the complexity of various organs from the lower and more primitive species to the higher. For example, many organisms have eyes, but the visual capabilities of organisms increase as you move up the chain of life. Darwinists explain these improvements by continually alluding to the “evolutionary advantages” provided by the improved capabilities, the implication being that individuals of a species which had better eyes would be more likely to survive, and pass the genetic improvements on to their offspring. However, as Dr. Behe indicated above, Darwinists just assume that macro-evolution happened; there is never any explanation of how these changes could actually have taken place at the biochemical level, and how one form of an eye could have actually evolved into another.
It is like asking for an explanation of how a personal computer works; rather than getting a detailed description of the operating system software, the motherboard, and the other components, you are told: “just connect the monitor, mouse, and keyboard to the back of the computer, plug it into a wall socket, and turn it on.” Such detailed documentation could, of course, be provided for a personal computer, but in the case of Darwinism such documentation doesn’t exist.
This second homology argument is also excellent evidence for intelligent design – the designer wanted to provide capabilities such as vision to various organisms, and then improved on the basic design in the higher species.
Support #2 – Design Defects
One of the main ways that Darwinists have tried to challenge intelligent design is by pointing out that there are defects in various organisms; if the designer was truly intelligent, then supposedly no defects would have been tolerated. This argument has been championed by Brown University biology professor Kenneth Miller:
Another way to respond to the theory of intelligent design is to carefully examine complex biological systems for errors that no intelligent designer would have committed. Because intelligent design works from a clean sheet of paper it should have produced organisms that have been optimally designed for the tasks they perform.
However, this is a very unconvincing argument for a number of reasons:
- Just because we see what looks to us as flaws in the design of an object, how can we then claim that there was no designer, and the object just evolved? The term non sequitur (from the Latin “does not follow”) was coined to represent such attempted leaps of logic. Using Miller’s reasoning one could, for example, conclude that the Edsel automobile was the product of Darwinian evolution.
- This argument attempts to psychoanalyze the designer. How can we know what the designer’s motives and reasons were for any given biological subsystem? Perhaps the designer purposely introduced flaws or “planned obsolescence” (i.e., death) into the design of nature, and/or perhaps there are reasons why the design had to be made in the manner that it was; fully appreciating the reasons requires a much more complete understanding of biological systems. To use an analogy from the software industry: it is often the case in complex software systems that a new developer will question the wisdom of the original design team because he or she does not understand all of the requirements and implications that had to be addressed, or the environmental limitations that had to be taken into account.
- This argument assumes that scientists know what the optimal design of an organism could and should be. Given the fact that there are many biochemical mysteries still remaining to be unraveled, and that Darwinists cannot explain the evolution of even one biochemical system, they should avoid the presumptuous arrogance of thinking that they can pontificate on optimal design.
Another design defect-related argument is that an intelligent designer would have created only “good” organisms that would not need to prey on others in order to survive. This is essentially a moral and theological objection rather than a scientific one, but it suffers from the same issues mentioned above, namely that we are capable of understanding and judging the methods and motives of the designer, which we are not.
Yet another variation of this objection is indicating that some biological features seem to have no useful function at all, such as the rudimentary eyes of cave animals. Vestigial organs are often cited for this argument, like the tonsils and the appendix in humans. But many organs that were once thought to be evolutionary leftovers were later shown to have a distinct purpose and function (e.g. the tonsils), and even if the vestigiality of an organ could somehow be proven, it is at best a poor argument. Again, Darwinists should avoid pontifications which they will later regret.
Support #3 – Philosophical Objections
Darwinists cite several philosophical objections to intelligent design, primarily from the English philosopher and skeptic David Hume:
- Hume observed that the design which is present at all levels in the cosmos does not prove that God exists, or that the cosmos was created by a supreme being. But that is an empty argument because it is impossible to prove either the existence or the non-existence of God, and likewise both Darwinism and intelligent design cannot be proved or disproved. Given that proof one way or the other is impossible, we must instead seek what is reasonable. Intelligent design is reasonable, whereas Darwinism is not. Furthermore, the concept of intelligent design does not require that the designer be identified and named.
- Hume stated we must be able to observe the design process to definitively conclude that the world was intelligently designed. This is another empty proof-type argument. For example, we do not need to observe automotive designers at work in order to reach a reasonable conclusion that a car was designed as opposed to evolving from spare parts. Furthermore, the fact that we may consider a given car model to be “a piece of junk” means that we object to the way that the car was designed, not that it came into being by accident (although an angry car owner may express his frustration in that manner).
- The nineteenth century Anglican pastor and naturalist William Paley was the first to comprehensively state the case for intelligent design in his book Natural Theology. Paley compared the cosmos to a watch, which like Behe’s mouse trap example above, is irreducibly complex, and thus requires an intelligent designer. Richard Dawkin’s book The Blind Watchmaker claims victory for Darwinism; that science has supposedly finally demonstrated that there is no need for a designer, and therefore God doesn’t exist or is irrelevant. However, breaking out the champagne was premature – Darwinism may have triumphed in the sense that it is being taught much more than creationism, but that is not the same thing as actually being true. Dawkins never addressed Paley’s irreducible complexity argument, and it remains as one of the fatal flaws of Darwinism.
Support #4 – Complexity Theory
Briefly, this theory states that complex structures are said to be “self-organizing” and the cell supposedly is a potential example. The problem with this theory is that it is entirely mathematical, and implementations of it are computer-based models with all of the inherent potential fallacies of such models. While initially popular, the theory has accumulated a number of opponents who have pointed out that although the computer models generate nice graphics, the theory itself is essentially “fact-free” and can be morphed into demonstrating whatever the model creators wish to demonstrate. The bottom line is that the theory does not provide any real-world answers to complex biological objects such as the cell.
One of the more popular minority views called “complexity theory” or “self-organization,” has been championed for decades by Stuart Kaufman, currently of the University of Calgary. The use of the term “self-organizing” can be a bit confusing because all of biology is profoundly self-organizing. But that’s not what is meant here; self-organization theorists use the term in a more general way… But it’s completely unclear how this concept would apply to evolution… Some very simple rush-hour traffic patterns are self-organizing, but self-organization does not explain where complex carburetors, steering wheels, and all of the other physical parts of a car came from, let alone how “cars could be manufactured merely by tumbling their parts onto the factory floor.”
Complexity theory may therefore be used to explain micro-evolutionary-type behavior, but is totally inadequate in regard to macro-evolution.
Support #5 – Redefinition of Irreducible Complexity
Michael Behe originally published Darwin’s Black Box in 1996, and ten years later came to print with another edition. During that period much more of the biochemical complexity of life has been revealed, so the arguments for intelligent design have grown stronger and Darwinism correspondingly weaker. Of course, Behe’s book attracted a lot of negative attention from Darwinists who have repeatedly attempted to discredit his central argument, the irreducible complexity of the cell. Behe points out that the best way to discredit the design argument would be to demonstrate how cellular systems could have evolved at the biochemical level, but despite the huge financial and status incentives that would accrue to the individual or group doing so (probably an automatic Nobel prize), no one has done it. The problem for the Darwinist seeking to grab this brass ring is the overwhelming complexity of life, which is much more overwhelming at the molecular level than it is at the visible levels.
Nevertheless, attacks on irreducible complexity have been attempted by Robert Pinnock in his book The Tower of Babel, as well as by Kenneth Miller, the biology professor mentioned above. Essentially their argument is to redefine irreducible complexity to better fit with Darwinism, and to claim that Behe’s original definition tried to prove that cellular systems could not have evolved. Since it is not possible to prove that Darwinism is a fallacy, then intelligent design is supposedly not valid, and Darwinists can breathe a sigh of relief (non-sequitur proof arguments seem to be a perennial favorite of Darwinists). But a close reading of Behe’s definition (quoted above) does not attempt to prove the impossibility of macro-evolution, nor do I attempt to do so. He merely states that biological systems are so complex that the concept of macro-evolution is not reasonable, and therefore Darwinism is not believable.
Behe points out that even a strident Darwinist such as Richard Dawkins admits that the cosmos appears to be designed – the first page of Dawkins book The Blind Watchmaker has this statement: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Since Darwinism claims that life was an accident, the onus is thus on the Darwinist to demonstrate that design can be generated without a designer.
Darwinists have urged their fellow scientists to resist the spread of intelligent design, but the actual criticisms have been lame attempts, picking at nits, or simply repeating old Darwinist canards which boil down to: “Life just evolved. We don’t know how or why, and we have no real evidence for it, but we have PhDs in biology, so trust us.”
Support #6 – Young Earth Creationism
A major reason for the success of Darwinism has been its attacks on Creationism, and primarily on the proponents of a “young earth,” who believe that our planet and possibly even the cosmos itself is less than ten thousand years old. Because of its insistence on a young earth, this version of creationism (referred to herein as “YEC”) has a number of problems, such as the following:
- The “red shift” or Doppler effect phenomenon of the light coming from distant stars suggests that the cosmos is much older.
- The fact that given the immensity of the universe, light reaching us from remote stars would have taken much longer than ten thousand years.
- In some places on our planet there are sedimentary and other geological layers that seem to be much older.
YEC proponents are typically Christians who interpret the first three chapters of the Biblical book of Genesis as indicating that the creation of the cosmos took place in a literal seven day period of time. The explanations given by YEC scientists for the above issues typically suggest that the planet and the cosmos have “the appearance of age,” and this apparent age is essentially an artifact.
Darwinists, who are typically humanists and/or atheists, have ridiculed this theory, and have accused the YEC proponents of trying to make science fit the Bible. Using the separation of church and state, and the secularization of western society as leverage, they have largely succeeded in the media and political wars to:
- Eliminate the teaching of creationism in public schools.
- Claim that religion (i.e., Christianity) is essentially incompatible with science.
- Portray people of faith as ignorant obstructionists in order to marginalize them.
- Use their influence to censor opposing view and enforce conformity. For examples of this type of bigotry in action, see Ben Stein’s movie Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed.
But YEC is not the only creationist theory. There are “old earth” creationists of various types who accept an older age for the earth and the cosmos. They have combined with others who have formed a movement known as “intelligent design,” which seeks to tear down the Darwinian monopoly and the walls that Darwinists have created in science education. Proponents of intelligent design indicate that a designer/creator was necessary to bring the world into being, but the identity of the designer/creator is not specified, and therefore the theory does not concern itself with theological issues. Thus intelligent design fits within the church/state barriers that have been erected, and Darwinists are very concerned that intelligent design will eventually wipe the floor.
Support #7 – The Scientific Necessity of Darwinism
Scientists typically are uncomfortable with the possibility and the notion of miracles – events that are inexplicable given the current laws of science. Experiments must be capable of being controlled in the lab and be repeatable, so that a scientist’s work can be acknowledged and confirmed by others. Furthermore, today’s scientists grew up during the period when western society has become almost completely secularized/Darwinized, and therefore they typically want to avoid anything that smacks of religion in their work.
Since Darwinism and creationism/intelligent design are the only significant theories for the origin of the cosmos, the former would therefore seem to be the more “scientific” because by its very nature it excludes all references to God. Scientists may therefore feel more comfortable with it. However, thinking that Darwinism is more scientific is a fallacy for several reasons:
- The origin of life is not something that can be studied by scientific means. Although a scientist may study issues related to the origin of life, the origin itself cannot be studied in the lab because it was an event that occurred a long time ago. Unlike experiments, events are not repeatable, and by their very nature cannot be studied experimentally. Therefore the origin falls within the realm of history rather than science, and this is true regardless of which theory a scientist believes in.
- Bias and comfort with any theory should be unacceptable in science because scientists should be dealing with truth, rather that trying to prove what is politically correct, what they or their bosses want, or what they are paid to prove. Unfortunately, that is the ugly reality of the way that science usually works. Like everyone else, scientists typically seek evidence that will further establish and protect their own biases, rather than seeking what is true and adjusting their biases as necessary (the punctuated equilibrium theory mentioned above is a good example of this facet of human nature). Usually scientists are more interested in their careers and in doing what their organizations dictate, rather than in trying to establish what is actually true (you get fired and have to find another job if you don’t do what the boss says). Furthermore, scientists need to get paid like everyone else, and therefore most are not engaged in basic research for which there is little financial reward. If a scientist could somehow demonstrate that Darwinism was true, it would make him or her instantly rich and famous. But there is much less of a paycheck for working on the intelligent design side of the fence, with few, if any, grants available.
- If God created the cosmos, that does not mean that the world or reality is any less scientific. Matter and energy operate by the laws of science, but if God created matter and energy, then He also created the laws of science. Furthermore, what are now classed as “miracles” may actually be actions that are obeying higher laws of science that we do not yet understand because they are beyond our current experimental capabilities (it is often the case that an action seemingly breaks a lower law because it is obeying a higher or different law, like gravity being overcome when we catch a falling object). For example, we do not yet understand how the brain and how thought actually works, so we don’t know their limits. Another example is vision: the only way a person sees anything is by the retina collecting photons of light that reflect off surfaces, and conveying the resulting image to the brain. But what if the object we are trying to see is smaller than an individual photon of light? The electron microscope was developed for just this reason; electrons are smaller than light photons and therefore can be used to resolve smaller objects. The internal structure of the cell only became visible to us after the invention of the electron microscope; prior to that the organelles of the cell appeared as fuzzy blobs, like pixelated computer images. But what if there are particles much smaller than electrons that we have no current way of detecting or controlling? Perhaps what we refer to as “soul” or “spirit” may actually be composed of such particles, which in turn, obey laws of science that we do not yet understand because they are beyond our current ability to detect and analyze.
Support #8 – The Theological Necessity of Darwinism
Most believers in Darwinism reject God and therefore are typically humanists or atheists. Although humanism/atheism does not have any religious trappings and therefore may not seem like a religion, it is one nevertheless, as it is a belief system about the nature of God (i.e., there is no God or that He is irrelevant), and therefore about the nature of man. In other words, everyone has a belief system, and therefore everyone has a religion. As Lynn Margulis’ quote above indicated, Darwinism is essentially a religious sect.
One’s personal theology is the basis of his or her worldview; the basis by which he or she evaluates the most significant issues of life. But regardless of which religion/theology a person identifies with, all thinking individuals need to have an explanation for the basic questions of life, all of which flow out of the origin issue: where did I come from, why am I here, and where am I going?
Many people dislike the idea of God because they want to be “the captain of their own fate,” and to do whatever they desire without a God who will judge them and hold them to account. They may also have rejected God for a variety of other reasons, but regardless of the specifics, they do not believe in a personal God. However, they still need an explanation for the origin of the cosmos, and that is where Darwinism comes in; it provides the metaphysical and theological foundation for humanist religion – that we are simply the product of time and chance, that we define our own morality, and that we are accountable to no one. Darwinism is what allows humanists to have an intellectual level of comfort with their chosen belief system. Hundreds of books have therefore been written by humanists/Darwinists in an attempt to prop up their theology, and defend their worldview.
This is the real and major reason why Darwinism has not been thrown out on the scientific trash heap, because it is a theological and philosophical necessity for its adherents. This also explains why many prominent and otherwise intelligent people hold so tenaciously to Darwinism despite its nonsensical nature, and why even intellectuals grasp at every possible straw to keep the theory going. Darwinists have thus become exactly what they accuse creationists of being: Luddites who try to make science and reality fit their theory.
Most people have a very hard time admitting they are wrong about anything, especially something as deep as their core worldview. Those who are wealthy and powerful are even more unwilling to admit mistakes, and typically are also the most arrogant and unwilling to admit that they could ever be wrong. Many museums and academic institutions are bastions of Darwinism, and for them to admit that the theory is bunk would be committing intellectual suicide. Despite the utter bankruptcy of their theory, Darwinists must therefore continually grind their axe, and creationism and intelligent design must be attacked so that students will continue to be inculcated into the desired world view, because if public opinion reaches the tipping point, people will eventually realize that the Darwinian emperor is naked. Darwinism will then be discarded, defenders of the theory like Richard Dawkins will be mocked as educated idiots, and entire intellectual basis of many of the most powerful and wealthy people and institutions in the world will be shaken to the core.
Here are a few quotes from Richard Dawkins and responses to them:
- Quote: Isn’t it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?
- Response: I totally agree. Why not take off your Darwinian blinders and really see the world?
- Quote: I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
- Response: I am also against that type of religion. Darwinism is a religion which teaches exactly that – to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
- Quote: Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.
- Response: That is exactly what Darwinism has done – over time it has established powerful and intolerant religious institutions which have tried to turn false evolutionist belief into unshakable truth.
- Quote: Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
- Response: This is exactly what faith in Darwinism has accomplished – forced people to accept, believe, and waste their time supporting a theory that is patently false, and where the evidence is almost completely against the theory.
Despite its prominence, Darwinism is essentially the belief that somehow, someday, in some way, scientists will be able to make 2 + 2 = 5.
Most children’s books containing the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, depict the emperor in a dressing gown, or at least in his underwear for the sake of modesty, as in the picture above. However, in this case the picture below is more accurate – the Darwinian emperor is naked, and his disgusting hairy genitals and posterior are waving in the breeze for all who have eyes to see.
But there have been many instances in world history where truth has been concealed for the sake of those in power, such as during the rule of Stalin in Russia and Mao in China. America and the west are democracies and supposedly free from political and educational tyranny, or are we? Will Darwinism be exposed for the fallacy that it is?
 M.W. Ho and P.T. Sanders, “Beyond Neo-Darwinism – An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution”, Journal of Theoretical Biology #78, 1979, p. 589
 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1872), New York University Press, New York, 6th edition, 1988, p. 154
 Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box – The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 2006, pp. 39-40
 Ibid, pp. 102, 107-108
 Ibid, p. 179
 Klaus Dose, “The Origin of Life: More Questions than Answers” Interdisciplinary Science Review #13, 1988, p. 348
 Michael J. Behe, The Edge of Evolution – The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, Free Press, 2007, pp. 26, 149. This book has excellent and comprehensive discussions on what Darwinism can and cannot achieve.
 Ibid, pp. 138-9, 155.
 Ibid, pp. 153-154.
 C. Mann. “Lynn Margulis: Science’s Unruly Earth Mother”, Science # 232, 1991, pp. 378-381
 Niles Eldredge, Reinventing Darwin, Wiley, NY, 1993, p. 95
 John F. McDonald, “The Molecular Basis of Adaptation” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics #14, 1983, p. 93
 Hawking, S.W. A Brief History of Time, 10th Anniversary Edition, New York, Bantam Books, pp. 129-30.
 Simon Blackburn, Begin Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics, Oxford University Press, 2000
 Kenneth Miller, “Life’s Grand Design.” Technology Review, Feb-Mar, 1994, p. 29
 Michael J. Behe, The Edge of Evolution – The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, Free Press, 2007, p. 159.