Intro: First of all, I want to say that I think this is a poor forum for having this type of discussion because—while it is helpful to be able to think out responses, everyone’s cards are on the table, and it is easy to reread or reference statements previously made—it has many limitations: It is difficult to reply to all questions, and one can be easily bombarded or ganged up on. Tangents can be common; too many conversations can go on simultaneously; and sometimes it’s difficult to communicate your meaning, intention, tone, etc.
So, before going into the particular details, I want to say that I think everyone who believes in Evolution falls into one of two categories: First, there are those who accept it unconditionally and absolutely; they are very adamant and unpersuaded (Resolute). Second, there are those believe Evolution is generally accepted as popular opinion by scientists; either they believe one side has convincing evidence or the other lacks it. But they are seeking answers (Undecided).
- The Resolute: I do not believe I would be able to help someone in the first group. A person in this group suffers from what is called “cognitive dissonance.” That is, he or she cannot accept or get the mind around any evidence that would contradict a foundationally held belief. Any evidence is meaningless because his or her mind is already set about how things are. Their mind will not be changed. What is ironic about someone in this group is that their worldview rejects absolute truth, yet their position is based upon an absolute. They must borrow from other worldviews even to engage in discussion (since they cannot account for logic and reason or good and evil either). For people who belong in this camp, I would ask them to refrain from joining the conversation because I do not believe they would be able to add anything to the discussion and neither would they benefit from it, since they have already decided they will not change their minds.
The Undecided: A person in this group may not know which way the evidence is pointing, but either from what they hear on one side or do not hear on the other, they believe that Evolution probably is right. So, they accept it. Typically, this person would be open to hear evidence on either side and open to persuasion and discussion. Otherwise, he or she would belong to the first group. So for those who are earnestly and honestly seeking the truth, I believe this conversation will be beneficial, and it is appropriate for you to join the discussion. By all means, join in and ask questions.
Evolution has many facets, and it would be lazy on the part of the Evolutionist to start only after life begins. There is much more to the universe than simply what happens after live arrives. In order to have a believable worldview and one that others should accept, it should be coherent. All aspects must be addressed, not simply once life is already here. So, before we get into the discussion of development of kinds, I want to point out some of the other limitations of Evolution’s explanatory power:
- 1) Cosmic Evolution – The development of space, time, and matter from literally nothing.
Something coming from nothing is highly improbably and has been all but proven false. The 1st Law of Thermodynamics and Conservation of Mass state that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed! In fact, we count on this NOT to happen in order to have an orderly universe. Could you imagine driving along and a house suddenly appears in front of you? This is no more implausible than all the matter, energy, space, and time suddenly appearing from nothing completely on its own. In fact, there is another argument about this that says that anything that has a beginning must have a first cause. There is plenty of evidence indicating that the universe began to exist and is not eternal (see 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – it should have wound down by now). Therefore, it must have a first cause. It could not spontaneously form itself.
2) Steller Evolution – The development of complex stars from the first chaotic elements.
Aside from the fact that no one’s ever seen a star form, there is a chicken and egg problem with stars and elements. The elements are needed to make the stars, but the stars are also needed to make the elements. So, which were produced first in the Big Bang? Some think that Hydrogen and Helium along with some subatomic particles were first produced and somehow condensed into stars. But again, there is no explanation for how they could have condensed, and this has never been observed.
3) Chemical Evolution – The development of all chemical elements from the original two.
The stars were thought to have produced the other elements from their incredible heat and pressure. This is a feat that has also already been disproved. While chemical fusion is possible, it is only possible to produce elements up to Iron (Atomic Number 26). So where did the other 66 elements come from?
4) Planetary Evolution – The development of planetary systems from swirling elements.
See issues from the first three. There is also the additional problem of Conservation of Angular Momentum: Many planets and even entire galaxies are spinning backwards. Most spin counter-clockwise (from top view), but some spin clockwise (from the same view). According to CAM, if a body is rotating and a part breaks off, it must spin in the same direction. This is a similar principle to Newton’s Laws of Motion.
5) Organic Evolution – The development of life from inorganic material (a rock)
Evolutionists are in the embarrassing position of believing a theory disproved 100 years ago. Spontaneous generation was disproved by the experiments of Louis Pasteur in the 19th century. Evolutionists may mock theists and others for their explanations for the beginnings of life, but the bottom line is that they believe that life developed from rocks being rained on for millions of years.
6) Macro-Evolution – The development of one kind of life from a completely different kind of life (what most people talk about when discussing “Evolution”)
There are also many problems with this (most of which boil down to the fact that none of it has been observed but all comes from imaginations of the Evolutionists), but I will cover this in the main text.
7) Micro-Evolution – The development of variations within a particular kind of life (speciation)
This is the only actually observed form of “evolution.” We have seen dogs produce different types of dogs. We’ve seen the varieties of horses and fish and lizards and finches and turtles and humans all form. But nothing is being added here. All of the varieties come from the information that was already available in the DNA of the original kind (which is why inbreeding is so bad…because the amount of information has been greatly reduced). This process has not been observed to produce different kinds of animals.
Evolution: I could cover many different issues with this, and many people out there smarter than me already have. What I will do is just touch briefly on some of what is put forth as Evolution’s “best arguments” and put a short response. It will not be a comprehensive response, but I may add more based on questions and replies. I will mention some “Negative Evidence” against evolution, as well as some “Positive Evidence” for Intelligent Design/Creation.
Evidence from Fossils – This is, perhaps, the most popular “evidence” for Evolution. Yet, it is possibly the easiest to take out in one fell swoop: No fossil counts as evidence for Evolution because it cannot be proved that it had any kids, let along ones different from itself. The only thing that fossils prove is that something died. What some Evolutionists try to do is dig up some bones in the dirt (sometimes gathering them from various locations and sometimes only small fragments), rearrange them to fit what they imagine to be the case, and then have some artist draw out what they want it to look like. None of it is science. There are scores of examples of people (both accidentally and fraudulently) pairing phony bones together and using it to prove the ancestor of something else. One example of a caveman “Nebraska man” was based entirely on the discovery of one tooth. And from this, they made the whole man and his wife. As it turned out, the tooth was from that of a pig. “Lucy” is such an example. The geologic column as a whole is a fraud. Although the distribution of fossils may be similar in some cases, the entire column appears no where in reality but only in the minds of Evolutionists. Over and over, various Evolutionists openly state that dating methods of any kind wouldn’t even have been possible if the geologic column wasn’t established first. And it should be pointed out that the geologic column was established before the fossils in it were actually found. Another common practice of Evolutionists is that they both date the rocks by the fossils and the fossils by the rocks. They know how old the fossil is by the rocks around it, and they know how old those rocks are based off of the fossils in that layer. This is circular reasoning. It is done all the time, and it is not science. The cognitive dissonance that goes along with looking for fossils ignores such findings as dinosaur and trilobites in the same layers as humans. And the entire thing is based off of the false assumption that the layers are different ages, something that has long been proved incorrect. Instances such as trees (sometimes in the upside-down vertical position) connecting different layers demonstrate the fact that the layers are not different ages. The apparent lack of any transitional creatures (either alive or fossil) demonstrates the obvious fact that kinds are well defined. I could provide many quotations from Evolutionist scientists that say the same things as what I’ve said here, but the bottom line is that none of this even matters because no fossils even count as evidence for Evolution.
Evidence from Development – “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” Supposedly, as a human embryo goes through development, it goes through the various evolutionary stages: Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, and Mammal. The problem is that aside from being built on a lie, embryonic biology is completely misrepresented. For example, at one stage the embryo supposedly has gill slits, but there are really bones that develop into the ears. The whole idea got started about 135 years ago by an Embryologist named Ernst Hackel. Hackel (who was one of the few Evolutionists, including Darwin, who actually had a degree in a scientific field) got tired of waiting around for evidence to come out for Evolution and doctors photos of embryos of various animals. The outcome was that they all appeared very similar to each other and not at all similar to the actual embryos. His University found out that he fakes the drawings, discredited him, and kicked him out of his position. One hundred thirty-five years later, we still have his drawings in high school and college Biology textbooks as a “proof” for Evolution.
Evidence from Structures – In addition to the above, this topic is a prime example of how Evolution is not beneficial to Science and actually hurts our understanding of Biological principles. The first argument is that different animals have similar structures. They look at an arm, a wing, and a fin, give the bones the same names, and color them the same colors in the textbook and say that proves we evolved from a rock. Crazy? You bet it is! Similar structures are just as much evidence for similar design as anything else. Why are computers built similarly? Or houses? Or cars? Or phones? Why are any number of things built similarly? Well, it might just be that it’s a good design, and it might just be that the same guy built them (or at least designed them). The other thing they say—which is the biggest slap in the face to Biology—is that many creatures have “vestigial structures,” that is, structures that no longer serve a practical use. Examples include: leg bones in whales and snakes and the human tailbone and appendix. What these Evolutionists fail to realize is that every example they provide is always an instance where something is being lost, not gained. In order for Evolution to work, information must be added at some point. (Why don’t they provide an example of that?) The other problem is that these, too, are based on misconstruction of the functional anatomy. To be brief, whale pelvic bones are used for giving birth; snake pelvic bones are used in mating; the human coccyx is an anchor for many important muscle functions; and the appendix is needed for certain digestive processes. By the Evolutionist definition, arms and legs would be vestigial because we can live without them, ignoring the fact that they are valuable and have many important functions.
Evidence from Mutations – Beneficial mutations are the building blocks for Evolution. Unfortunately, nobody has ever seen one. The only examples Evolutionists and textbooks will give for mutations are harmful ones (because they are the only ones). Variations in DNA and gene code are always harmful (see below). Short-legged sheep, two-headed turtles, and five-legged bulls will all have shorter life spans than a normal healthy animal. Even resistant bacteria and roaches are less adequately built than a normal bacteria/roach. One “beneficial” mutation given is that people in Africa with Sickle Cell Anemia are less likely to get Malaria, which is clearly not an advantage. This just goes to show that all examples given are simply instances where information is lost and the creature is worse off than it would otherwise be.
Evidence from DNA – I honestly don’t even know why Evolutionists even count this one an advantage. DNA causes more issues for Evolutionists than anything (see below). This is supposedly an evidence for Evolution because of the similarity in DNA between Chimps and Humans. Beside the facts that the entire human genomes have yet to be evaluated to date and that the percent similarity is changing all the time (98% in 2002, 95% in 2003), few have stopped to consider how utterly pointless such a “similarity” in DNA would be. I’m sure that William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is 95% similar to George Lucas’s Star Wars, but what on Earth does that prove?? Watermelons and Snow cones are also 99% similar. This “similarity” isn’t meaningful because the reporters rarely tell us what exactly is similar. There is a lot that can be discussed about how this research is done, but one important thing to keep in mind is that even a difference in DNA of 1.6% is equivalent to 48 million nucleotides. And, a change of only 3 nucleotides is fatal to an organism! How could this possibly account for a transition of one kind of animal to another? The other issue here is that number of chromosomes is completely irrelevant. First of all, chimps have one more chromosome pair than humans, but neither more nor less chromosomes indicates evolutionary direction. Chimps have the same number of chromosomes as a Tobacco plant at 48. And a Fern has the most chromosomes at 480. Chromosome number doesn’t matter just like DNA “percent similarity” doesn’t matter. It doesn’t tell us anything useful.
Human Population – The current population of Earth is roughly 7 billion. It reached 6 billion in the late 1990’s, 3 billion around 1960, etc., possibly first crossing over into the billions in the earth 1800’s. Evolution teaches that man first showed up in his modern form around 50,000 years ago. Using a starting population of two people and a conservative average annual population growth rate of 0.5%, the current population of humans should exceed the number of atoms in the entire universe. This is clearly absurd. And even then, shouldn’t be able to dig in our back yards without hitting bones of human remains. Even using an impossibly small growth rate of 1/200th of a percent, the current population should be 20 times larger. You can tweak the numbers every which way, but the bottom line is that the math does not work out with human population growth for the numbers provided by evolution. Historical population data best fits a model of 8 people about 4400 years ago. Population also provides an additional difficulty for evolution in that it is incredibly easy for the “evolved” gene to get diluted back into the population. (The negative effects of inbreeding also show why this doesn’t work.) People also do not always procreate within their generation; so, the previous generation’s genes again would delude superior genes. This would make it impossible for anything ever to involve.
Irreducible Complexity – Arguably one of the best proofs of design is “Irreducible Complexity,” which basically says that some structures cannot be reduced past a certain point without becoming completely unusable. The typical example used is that of a mousetrap with five piece: a spring, a hammer, a catch, an arm, and a base. If any one of these components were taken away, the mousetrap would cease to function. Not only would the mousetrap cease to function but the remaining parts would have no useful function by themselves. This concept is applied to things such as cells and to the especially bacterial flagellum; both of which have hundreds of essential components. If any of a number of parts were missing or damaged, the entire system would fail. Now, Evolutionists retort that partially formed structures may still have a secondary function, with the most common example being that of feathers providing warmth in addition to being used for flight. The problem with this line of thought, however, is that we are thinking like designers. We think about how could this turn into that or these components be use for this or that. Evolution has no such benefit. If a perfectly working structure suddenly goes missing a component (even a small one), it will fail without having any idea what to do. Again, this is assuming we’re already at our barebones (hence irreducible) structure with no redundancies. The same goes for an additional (minute) component; it wouldn’t know what to do with it. We, as humans, think like designers wouldn’t much difficulty. A person might be able to think of something to do with four mousetrap parts, but Evolution wouldn’t have a clue what to do with them.
Appearance of Design – It is the human experience that things that appear to be designed are designed. We would never assumed that a book lying on the ground was produced by an exploding typewriter factory or that a computer formed by slow, gradual processes. We wouldn’t believe that an image on a coin or that Mount Rushmore was formed by erosion, but some do believe that George Washington himself is a result of Evolution. We automatically recognize design whenever we see it. We would never assume that a jumbo-jet formed naturally, and a living cell is thousands of times more complicated than this. Also, similar structures are best described by similar designer.
Origin of Information – Where does information come from? We see writing in a cave and we know people were the cause. If we find a floating bottle with a note in it, we know someone wrote it. If we found an icon or some writing on something buried in the desert, we would know someone was there. Even if we went to an alien planet and found writing that said “Welcome, Earth-dwellers,” we would assume there was intelligence behind it. This is because information must have a mind behind it. In fact, without a mind, it ceases to be meaningful. If you dropped Scrabble tiles and it landed in such a way as to spell “Go to Baltimore”, would you do it? Of course not, because it is not meaningful without a mind behind it. Nay, it ceases to be information at all. DNA contains massive amounts of information used to program living things. The information contained in the DNA from one cell would fill enough books to fill the Grand Canyon many times over (50-100 times, depending on the size of the type), yet all the DNA in the human body could fit in two tablespoons! In this age of information were we clearly understand that computer coding comes from a mind, it is increasingly obvious that DNA could not have formed by any means other than intelligence.
The “Samaritan Trait” – A single irregularity in a scientific theory requires that it be reworked to account for the anomaly. Evolution (which is not a theory in the scientific sense) if nothing else has this one inconsistency: We care about those in need. Not just about our progeny or those who are closely related to us. And not just those from whom we can benefit. We think bullying and “racism” and Nazism and the Holocaust and discrimination are morally wrong. Not because it is inconvenient to us or because it hurts us directly but because we recognize an inherent evil about it. We think it’s wrong to mistreat someone because he or she has a different skin color or is a different gender or is of a different religion or simply because he or she is different. We adopt children, and we don’t like it when people suffer. Why do we care about people who are of no direct relation to us? Why do we care about those who, as Darwin puts it, are rivals to our existence and the existence of or our progeny? By all means, if Evolution is true, we most certainly should slaughter the lesser “races”, lest they pollute the gene pool. We should let men take advantage of women. We should promote the Euthanizing of old people and children we don’t want and the crippled and mentally handicapped. By all means we should take the future Evolution of our species into our own hands and do these things. Yet, we know that we could not live in a world like that. We know such acts of cruelty are wrong. So what happened to the higher over the lesser from Darwinian Evolution? Evolution cannot account for this “Samaritan trait”. It is completely without an answer. Such a large inconsistency like this is devastating to a theory. Such inherent knowledge of good and evil cannot be explained by Naturalism.
In addition to all this, there are also many philosophical arguments I could make about the shortcomings of Naturalism as a whole. Going back to those who have to borrow the concept of absolute truth in order to have ground to stand on…Naturalism also has problems with how to account for knowledge, reason, thought, and free will. Indeed, these things are unaccounted for in the naturalistic framework. The simplest way to illustrate this is that Evolutionists hold that everything ultimately came about by random chance. Thus, the brain came about by random chance. So, all conclusions reached by the brain cannot be trusted because they are based on the random causes of Naturalistic fate. As C.S. Lewis said, “The description we have to give of thought as an evolutionary phenomenon always makes a tacit exception in favor of the thinking which we ourselves perform at that moment.”
There are many I could quote on this (and may in the future), but I will end simply with an unfortunate, yet honest quote from George Wald:
Thank you for reading and for “hearing” me out. I appreciate the respectful discussion and will gladly engage anyone who is willing to openly seek the truth. Let’s please keep the conversation friendly and avoid hostility. I will try to do the same.When it comes to the origin of life there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance!