EVOLUTION SERIES No. 2
Since the days of the Greek philosophers there have been evolutionists, and particularly since Charles Darwin these evolutionists have believed that the earth and everything in it came about through what is called natural selection. For this type beginning there was obviously no need for God. These folks see humankind as simply evolving from lower life forms, first from the so-called “primeval soup” and then perhaps from a tadpole crawling on to the land. Today our many humanistic systems of life and thought all stand or fall based upon this doctrine of evolution.
Unfortunately for the evolutionists, modern molecular biology is gradually bringing Darwinism into question. Thus, not only is there proof of God in the heavens but there is also a growing proof of God on earth.
IDEAS OF DESIGN
Today more and more scientists are leaning toward the ideas of “design” in the universe and in the world. They realize that an intelligent agent or force of some kind has been at work, although they usually stop short of ascribing this mighty power to the Creator God. It is interesting that these leaders are some of the top-notch people in their fields. They include the Australian molecular biologist, Michael Denton; the Lehigh University professor of biology and biochemistry, Michael Behe; along with Baylor mathematician and philosopher, William Dembski.1
Their work is becoming much like an “Achilles Heel” to the whole Darwinian concept because many of the scientists in this Intelligent Design movement are experts in the very area where Darwinism excelled – in the area of biology.
GAPING HOLES IN DARWIN’S THEORY
Scientists today are beginning to poke many holes in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Let us consider some of the most prominent and damaging of these holes.
The fossil record and evolution
Today there is actually less “proof” of evolution than there was in Darwin’s day. In other words, the so-called “missing link” is still missing despite a frenzied search. Michael Denton points out that since the time of Darwin the paleontological activity has been so vast that probably 99.9% of all such activity has happened since Darwin’s day. Still with all this activity in paleontology, virtually all new fossil types discovered have been closely related to existing ones. 2 Denton also mentions that one of the most striking features in the fossil record is that most types of organisms appear abruptly. 2 This extremely rapid development of species is often labeled as the “Cambrian Explosion,” which supposedly took place millions of years ago. Denton mentions almost as a footnote that there is absolutely no evidence of the so-called “primeval soup” in the earliest sedimentary rocks. 2 This soup is that necessary medium evolutionists believe was the incubator of the earliest life forms.
In addition, modern studies in genetics are making clear that macroevolution, or major evolutionary changes in a species, is virtually impossible. In fact, if they are left alone, plants and animals always tend to revert to a given mean in successive generations rather than boldly advancing to a new form. Denton states that “Breeding experiments with domestic animals had for generations revealed a distinct limit beyond which further change became impossible.” 2
With the help of new computer technology and special computer programs written to simulate evolution, scientists are being shown that evolution by chance is essentially zero, regardless of the amount of time involved. It is becoming obvious that life on earth could only have been created by an intelligent agent controlling the process. 3
The anthropic principle
Today many scientists are taking note of what is called the anthropic principle. Basically this principle states that the physical structure of the universe is exactly what it has to be to support life on earth, particularly life of humankind.
Geisler & Turek point out several of these principles. For instance, oxygen comprises 21 percent of earth’s atmosphere. That precise figure is an anthropic constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25 percent, fires would erupt spontaneously; if it were 15 percent, human beings would suffocate. 4
If our Carbon Dioxide Level were a bit higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop and we would burn up. If the level were a bit lower than it is, plants would not be able to maintain adequate photosynthesis. 4
Then there is the matter of atmospheric transparency. Geisler and Turek state: “If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent, we would be bombarded with far too much
solar radiation.” 4
The Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction also illustrates another of these anthropic principles. If the interaction were greater, effects on earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause instabilities in earth’s climate. 4
The incredible complexity of the cell
Biologist and biochemist, Michael Behe, has shed a great deal of light for us on the inner-workings of the cell. Behe has made clear that the cell is composed of thousands and thousands of different proteins which perform the tasks of life. 5 In fact, these proteins make up some unusual molecular machines designed to carry out the necessary cell and bodily functions. Among these machines are tiny protein motors and protein machines for locomotion, like cilia and flagella.
Behe has pointed out that the cell has what he calls “irreducibly complex systems,” that must work together and whose parts cannot spring up independently or gradually. 5 He gives the example of a mousetrap to illustrate this. For the trap to work it must be completely assembled. If one part is missing, the trap cannot function and mice cannot be caught. It is impossible to start out with just the platform or with the spring, catch a few mice and then improve the system gradually. Behe states that such “Irreducibly complex systems are nasty roadblocks for Darwinian evolution…” 5
One example of an irreducibly complex system in the body is that of blood clotting. Behe says, “Blood coagulation is a paradigm of the staggering complexity that underlies even apparently simple bodily processes.” 5
Another problem of immense complexity is how the body acquires tolerance to its own tissues. Behe says that although we know little of this mechanism, we know “a system of self-toleration had to be present from the start of the immune system.” 5
Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA
Perhaps the real clincher in the evolution debate centers around DNA, discovered by Watson and Crick in 1953. The arguments of DNA are so convincing that famous British philosophy professor and atheist, Antony Flew, recently began to affirm that there is a God after all. 7
Michael Denton remarks about the incredible capacity of DNA to store information; that it vastly exceeds all other known systems. He states “it is so efficient that all the information needed to specify an organism as complex as man weighs less than a few thousand millionths of a gram.” 2 He relates how it has been stated that all the information needed to specify design for all species and organisms that have ever existed could be held in a single teaspoon, and that there would be room left over to record all the information in all the books that have ever been written. 2
Denton further states that the genetic programs of higher organisms are immense. They contain in encoded form countless thousands of intricate algorithms controlling, specifying and ordering the growth and development of billions and billions of cells into the form of a complex organism. He remarks that to assume such a thing happened by a purely random process is an affront to reason. Yet, Darwinists seem to accept the idea without a ripple of doubt, because their paradigm of evolution always takes precedence.2
After Darwin had released his theory he once remarked that the thought of the human eye’s complexity gave him cold shudders. Unfortunately, Darwin in the 1860s had no way of suspecting the existence of DNA or of peering into the vast complexity of the cell. All that information might well have given Darwin a nervous breakdown.
Jonathan Wells, a widely-published scientific writer who holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Berkeley and who is a research biologist there states: “The problem is you can’t make a living cell, there’s not even any point in trying. It would be like a physicist doing an experiment to see if he can get a rock to fall upwards all the way to the moon.” 6
Obviously, if man with all his intelligence cannot even begin to make a cell, it is a little ridiculous to think that a cell could have just happened by some chance accident.
Michael Denton states: “It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, to whatever depth we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolutely transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance.” 2
Lastly, Denton adds: “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.” 2
Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons
1. Thomas Woodward, Doubts About Darwin, A History of Intelligent Design, (Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books, 2003), pp 189-190.
2. Michael Denton, Evolution A Theory In Crisis, (Bethesda, Maryland, Adler & Adler, Publishers, Inc.), 1985, pp 160-161, 165, 352, 103, 334, 334, 351, 342, 264.
3. Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, How Now Shall We Live?, (Wheaton IL, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.), 1999, p 73
4. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, (Wheaton, IL, Crossway Books), 2004, pp 98, 101, 100, 100.
5. Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, (New York, The Free Press, 1996) pp 51-52, 39, 46, 97, 139.
6. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, (Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan), 2004, p 39.
7. ABC News, 2005.