Friday, June 26, 2009

ReVisiting Darwin

Is the case for evolution a slam-dunk? According to the arch-militant-evolutionist Richard Dawkins, it is: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” These kinds of bombastic statements attempt to intimidate and warn that the case for macro-evolution, the vertical evolution that has allegedly produced us from our amoeba-beginnings, is unassailable. However, there’s another side to this story.

We all recognize that species change over time (micro-evolution). From our two parents, all the human races came forth, but do these minor changes provide any evidence for growth in complexity (macro-evolution)? Even hardened evolutionists admit that the evidence is lacking:

"There is no theoretical reason that would permit us to expect that evolutionary lines would increase in complexity with time; there is also no empirical evidence that this happens." (John Maynard Smith, E. Szathmary—quoted from John Lennox’s book, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God, 107. All the following quotations are taken from this masterful book!)

"In the whole experimentally accessible domain of microevolution (including research in artificial breeding and in species formation), all variations have certainly remained within the confines of basic types" [species, more or less]. (Siegfried Scherer)

Cell biologist E.J. Ambrose of the University of London argued that it is unlikely that fewer than five genes could ever be involved in the formation of even the simplest new structure, previously unknown in the organism. He then points out that only one in 1,000 mutations is non-deleterious, so that the chance of five non-deleterious mutations occurring is 1 in a million billion replications. [This means that every organism will probably die before it adds a new organ!]

Lennox observes that there seems to be a pre-planned limit within a given gene pool, beyond which it can’t go:

"If there are limits even to the amount of variation the most skilled breeders can achieve, the clear implication is that natural selection is likely to achieve much less. It is not surprising that he [Grasse] he argued that microevolution could not bear the weight that is often put upon it." (108).

What is this “weigh?” Militant evolutionists trying to use evidence of micro-changes as proof of macroevolution! However, Lennox points out that this evidence is entirely lacking. Nor is there any laboratory evidence for macro-evolution:

"In his book, Grasse observed that fruit flies remain fruit flies in spite of thousands of generations that have been bred and all the mutations that have been induced in them…More recent work on the E. coli bacterium backs this up. In this research no real innovative changes were observed through 25,000 generations of E. coli bacterium." (108)

Assessing the odds for macro-changes taking place, astro-physicist Fred Hoyle concluded: “Well, as common sense would suggest, the Darwinian theory is correct in the small, but not in the large. Rabbits come from other slightly different rabbits, not from either [primeval] soup or potatoes.”

Nor does the fossil record deal any more gently with the militants! Lennox continues:

"The impression that microevolution is limited in its scope is confirmed by the comments of Wesson and others to the effect that the fossil record gives no good examples of macroevolution." (110).

Even Darwin confirms this dismal assessment:

"The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [should] be enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such graduated organic chain." (The Origin of Species)

This indeed is a tremendous problem. Instead of demonstrating a gradual progression among the various species—something that Darwinism must be able to demonstrate—the fossil record reveals that, for the great extent, species have remained unchanged. Regarding this embarrassment, the late eminent Stephen Jay Gould wrote:

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as a trade secret of palaeontology. The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with the idea that they gradually evolved: 1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when they disappear…2. Sudden appearance. In any local area a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed.'” (111)

Other evolutionists make similar confessions:

"Palaeontologist David Raup of the Field Museum of Natural History…said, 'We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.'" (111)

"Eldredge [American Museum of Natural History] makes an astonishing admission. 'We palaeontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change] knowing all the while it does not. (111)…I tried in vain to document examples of the kind of slow directional change we all thought ought to be there every since Darwin told us that natural selection should leave precisely such a tell-tale signal…I found instead that once species appear in the fossil record they tend not to change very much at all. Species remain imperturbably, implacably resistant to change as a matter of course – often for millions of years.'” (113)

Now we find the militants barricading themselves in the Alamo of genetics and the DNA record where they hope to find evidence for a common lineage among the species. Here they point out the genetic commonalities between us and the apes and chimps in an attempt to argue for a common ancestry. However, this reasoning is inadequate as Lennox points out:

"Thus the similarities in the DNA sequences could logically equally well be read as evidence of common design." (114)

Even the arch-militant Dawkins acknowledges a problem:

"It is grindingly, creakingly, crashingly obvious that, if Darwinism were really a theory of chance, it wouldn’t work. You don’t need to be a mathematician or a physicist to calculate that an eye or a haemoglobin molecule would take from here to infinity to self-assemble by sheer higgledy-piggledy luck." (103)

Well, isn’t Darwinism a theory of “chance?” Isn’t it supposedly guided by nothing more than natural selection and random mutation? Dawkins, above everyone else, rules out any idea of a Creator. On the basis of what, then, can he conceive of evolution as something more than chance? Sounds like a substitute deity evolving clandestinely from his back pocket—something that will fill in the gaps left after his expulsion of God!

What is even more astounding than Dawkins’ reasoning is the way we Christians have imported this false “deity” into our churches where it continues to undermine doctrine and our confidence in our Bible.

(You must read John Lennox’s, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God! This book is head and shoulders above others on this subject. He’s got three PhD’s. Evidently, he’s learned something along the way!)

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