Plant geneticist Dr John Sanford, research scientist at Cornell University, co-inventor of the gene gun, and author of Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, had been a true believer:
- I was totally sold on evolution. It was my religion; it defined how I saw everything, it was my value system and my reason for being. Later, I came to believe in God…I would not say that science led me to the Lord (which is the experience of some). Rather I would say Jesus opened my eyes to His creation—I was blind, and gradually I could see.
- On a personal level this was a time of spiritual awakening, but professionally I remained “in the closet”…So I felt the need to take temporary leave from academia and institutional science because of the tension I felt in this regard, and the enormous potential hostility I sensed from my academic colleagues. I think the academic environment is very hostile to the very idea of a living and active God, making it almost impossible for a genuine Christian to feel open or welcome.
Eventually, Sanford’s new-found faith led him to re-examine the “evidential foundation” for the theory of evolution, and found that it was virtually non-existant:
- Institutional science has systematically “evolutionized” every aspect of human thought. Contrary to popular thinking, this is not because evolution is central to all human understanding, but rather has arisen due to a primarily political and ideological process. Consequently, in the present intellectual climate, to reject evolutionary theory has the appearance of rejecting science itself. This is totally upside down…We cannot really explain how any biological system might have “evolved”, but we can all see that virtually everything we look at has extraordinary underlying design.
- I am not aware of any type of operational science (computer science, transportation, medicine, agriculture, engineering, etc.), which has benefited from evolutionary theory. But after the fact, real advances in science are systematically given an evolutionary spin. This reflects the pervasive politicization of science.’
He subsequently concluded that evolution into more complex forms is impossible. For one thing, mutations are the source of de-evolution (the corruption of the genome) and not evolution:
- Mutations are word-processing errors in the cell’s instruction manual. Mutations systematically destroy genetic information—even as word processing errors destroy written information. While there are some rare beneficial mutations (even as there are rare beneficial misspellings), bad mutations outnumber them—perhaps by a million to one. So even allowing for beneficial mutations, the net effect of mutation is overwhelmingly deleterious. The more the mutations, the less the information. This is fundamental to the mutation process.’
Sanford also concluded that natural selection does little to slow the de-evolution process:
- Very rarely a beneficial mutation arises that has enough effect to be selected for—resulting in some adaptive variation, or some degree of fine-tuning. This also helps slow degeneration. But selection only eliminates a very small fraction of the bad mutations. The overwhelming majority of bad mutations accumulate relentlessly, being much too subtle—of too small an effect—to significantly affect their persistence. On the flip side, almost all beneficials (to the extent they occur) are immune to the selective process—because they invariably cause only tiny increases in biological functionality.
- So most beneficials drift out of the population and are lost—even in the presence of intense selection. This raises the question—since most information-bearing nucleotides [DNA ‘letters’] make an infinitesimally small contribution to the genome—how did they get there, and how do they stay there through “deep time”? Selection slows mutational degeneration, but does not even begin to actually stop it. So even with intense selection, evolution is going the wrong way—toward extinction!’
Sanford concludes that:
- The bottom line is that Darwinian theory fails on every level. It fails because: 1) mutations arise faster than selection can eliminate them; 2) mutations are overwhelmingly too subtle to be “selectable”; 3) “biological noise” and “survival of the luckiest” overwhelm selection; 4) bad mutations are physically linked to good mutations, so that they cannot be separated in inheritance (to get rid of the bad and keep the good). The result is that all higher genomes must clearly degenerate. This is exactly what we would expect in light of Scripture—with the Fall—and is consistent with the declining life expectancies after the Flood that the Bible records.
Sanford is not alone. Many evolutionists share Sanford’s assertions about the problems with evolution. All the following quotations are taken from John Lennox’s masterful book, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God:
- “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)
- “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!]
Nor is there any experimental evidence to counter-balance these assessments:
- 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. (Lennox, 108)
Lennox also informs us that the fossil record, citing many evolutionists, “gives no good examples of macroevolution.” Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the design hypothesis!