I recently went to a museum of natural history while on a family vacation. I knew what would be portrayed, especially since the exhibit was called “The Evolving World.” So I was prepared to be irritated by what would be on display. But I wasn’t prepared for how much it would break my heart to see the hundreds of people filing through the exhibit hall blindly accepting this fanciful storyline that we are the hapless product of time plus chance plus matter. It is a story that fails to satisfactorily answer any of the deep penetrating questions of mankind (like why are we here, what is the meaning of life) and fails to satisfactorily explain anything about our existence (like how we have morality, a spirit, and design).
Ironically, this exhibit was right down the hall from an exhibit about the amazing wonder of DNA. The museum never attempted to reconcile the two exhibits – one showing irreducible complexity with coded information as the blueprints for all life, and the other implying all complexity and variety of life was a product of blind, random processes stumbling out of chaos. Nowhere do they recognize that those two options exclude one another. If we are to stand in awe of the mechanism of DNA replication, a true machine involving the integration of multiple parts working together to accurately copy information, then we cannot go with such nonsense that it arose from a blind force of nature. Nature cannot generate information on its own, much less put it in a coded form. E.H. Andrews, professor of materials at the University of London, says, “It is not possible for a code, of any kind, to arise by chance or accident. A code is the work of an intelligent mind…Codes do not arise from chaos.” And without god, chaos is all there is. The two portraits of life could not be more different; they cannot both be true. We cannot be amazingly designed, yet the result of an undirected process from chaos.
So I wanted to take a moment to put some critical thinking to the idea of our “evolving world.” One of the first displays described the differences between asexual and sexual reproduction. However, no explanation is given for how life changed from asexual to sexual reproduction, much less for why it would change to a less reliable method of reproduction. Just wave the magic wand of time and chance and Darwin, and *poof* we have two members of the same species that evolved, or rather genetically mutated the exact same gene at the exact same time in the same population in the same location with fully compatible reproductive organs, the urge to mate, and the ability to grow another species and give birth. A lot of people will try to point to examples of species that produce both asexually and sexually to say this was how a species could evolve to produce sexually. But finding two reproductive systems coexisting does not explain how those two systems came into existence in the first place. Evolutionists would have to show the step by step transformation to build up to sexual reproduction. Just putting the words “this evolved” in front of it does not actually explain it. Consider the complications involved not only in finding compatible mating species, but in our case as mammals, one gender of the species being able to grow and sustain a new life inside of it! And all of those features – in both genders – must happen at the same time in order for the next generation to be produced. In other words, it does no good for one generation of a species to genetically mutate a specialized sac to store sperm, if it has to wait millions of years to genetically mutate a way to actually dispense the sperm. Its mate then has to genetically mutate – at the same time – a way to develop and mature an egg, release an egg, and have a way of encountering a sperm; then it must have a way to hold and protect the fertilized egg, to give it nourishment in utero, to have a way to birth it, and even a way to nourish it after birth. Meanwhile each one of those individual mutations must be beneficial in some way to the organism, even though at that point, it doesn’t lead to sexual reproduction yet. What benefit could there be to a species genetically mutating the ability to ovulate if there is no way to fertilize the egg until millions of years later? Because if any one of these parts of the reproductive system were not there, then sexual reproduction could not occur at all.
Those are super simplified explanations of all the components necessary for reproduction, but not everything reproduces in the same way. Look at one explanation from a site about the “evolution” of sexual reproduction: “Non-mammals, such as birds and reptiles, have a common body opening, called a cloaca, for the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems. Coupling between birds usually involves positioning the cloaca openings opposite each other for transfer of sperm. In mammals, there are separate openings for the systems in the female and a uterus for support of developing offspring. Depending on the type of species, there are differences in the uterus. In species that produce large numbers of offspring, the uterus has two chambers. In other species that produce one offspring, such as in primates, there is a single uterus.”[i] So even the locations of openings for sperm transfer must genetically mutate in a compatible way between genders in the same species. And the species must even genetically mutate to have the appropriate number of uteruses. Interestingly, the article doesn’t actually explain how those would develop independently as a result of random genetic mutation, it simply puts the word “evolved” at the beginning of each paragraph. But that doesn’t explain how it could ever have happened that way!
See, I prefer to use a term that more accurately describes what must take place: genetically mutate. The word “evolve” is so vague and is used to gloss over so many complexities and difficulties that this theory must explain. How did we get these two species? Oh, it just evolved! Poof! Problem solved. In reality, the changes involved in Darwinian evolution all must be from a genetic mutation. The change to a species must come from within its genes in order to be passed along to the next generation (because we know “acquired characteristics” does not affect the next generation – a horse cannot stretch and elongate its neck to then give birth to a giraffe; its offspring would still genetically have the neck length of a horse). The mutation in the gene must come as an error in the DNA replication of the organism. However, with the built-in proofreading capability in the DNA replication, the probability of having a mutation is very low and occurs in only a few organisms at a time. There is even a repair system in the cell that will recognize and attempt to fix any genetic mutations.
Furthermore, when a mutation does occur, it is typically harmful to the population and rarely beneficial. Studies of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster suggest about 70% of genetic mutations have damaging effects, and the remainder are either neutral or weakly beneficial. Many organisms with genetic disorders do not survive long enough to reproduce themselves, meaning they are less likely to pass on that mutation to the next generation. Just think about the conditions that come from human genetic mutations: cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, hemophilia, Klinefelter’s syndrome, spina bifida, Tay-Sachs, or Turner syndrome. As you can see, genetic mutations do not have a creative aspect – generating new information in the DNA, which is necessary for Darwinian evolution to be plausible. The reality is that mutations rarely occur. When they do occur, they are usually repaired by the body. If the mutation does persist and is expressed in the organism, the mutation is typically detrimental to the organism. This is adding up to be a very difficult statistical thing to accomplish for a mutation to be advantageous AND to be passed along to the next generation of offspring.
The statistical odds of Darwinian evolution are so implausible, and there are more things to consider. In order for species A to evolve into species B, there must be enough of species A to have the same gene mutate with the same physical affect for it to spread through the rest of the population by interbreeding. In other words, there must be enough of the same mutation across the population to not be stamped out in the next generation. If you put a few numbers to it, consider just one individual having a genetic mutation in a population of 2 million. When that individual mates, that genetic mutation will be suppressed based on how genetic reproduction works. There must be enough organisms in the same generation to have the same random mutation of the same gene with the same resulting change so that we can reproduce that mutation and pass it along to the next generation. But further still, each mutation must be entirely random and therefore completely blind to whatever effect it may have on the function or structure of the organism. That trait acquired by mutation can never subsequently be lost or transformed in any radical sense by any future genetic mutations. And the acquisition of new character traits must leave previously acquired character traits essentially unchanged. Once this change has been realized, then it must make the species more advantageous to survive, even though natural selection actually works to conserve the population by preventing extreme differences in the species.
To provide an example of how all this must work, the organism can’t decide it needs another leg and then mutate its genes to create one. The species must rely on blind, random genetic processes. It must wait until its genetic reproduction incorrectly copies a gene, that the error is not repaired, that it happens to result in an extra limb, and that the extra limb is advantageous for it to survive through natural selection. However there also must be enough other organisms that had the same gene mutate to result in an extra limb so that it could mate and pass on this extra limb to the next generation. The rate at which this occurs is dependent on the mutation rate, generation time, and total population number. Without knowing all of these factors it is impossible to determine whether the transition from a one-legged to two-legged organism could have possibly occurred by natural selection in the time available. Darwin provides no quantitative evidence of this kind to show that any one major evolutionary transformation would in fact have been possible in the manner he outlined.[ii] It is this aspect of the genetic change that makes the theory of Darwinian evolution so preposterous. Evolutionists may argue that given enough time, anything can happen; I've even heard someone say, "well, someone has to win the lottery." But this is like the same person winning the lottery every month for 4.5 billion years. If that were to happen, then the most logical conclusion would be that someone has rigged the lottery, not that given enough time anything can happen.
Going back to our issue of changes in reproduction, evolutionists never describe the detailed changes required to go from one type to another. For example, evolutionists claim that reptiles evolved from amphibians yet they don’t explain how the drastic changes in egg types could have slowly evolved over time through incremental genetic changes. And there are hardly two eggs in the entire animal kingdom that are more drastically different than the reptile and amphibian.[iii] Picture the difference between an alligator egg and a frog egg. The reptilian egg has a tough impervious shell; two membranes: the amnion and the allantois; and a yolk sac containing a food source in the form of the protein albumen. None of these features are found in the amphibian egg, which is a soft gelatinous egg that must stay in the water. Most notably though, consider what comes out of the two different eggs. The amphibian egg yields an organism that goes through a metamorphosis (tadpole changing to frog) while the reptile yields a fully formed organism, basically a miniature adult (a baby alligator emerges from the egg).[iv]
There are at least eight major changes necessary to go from the amphibian egg to a reptilian egg:[v]
The irony of evolution goes beyond just the lack of explanations in its theory. It claims to be the “science” of our day, but science is the last thing involved with evolution. Science is supposed to be the search for truth about how things work. But that is not allowed with evolutionists. Critical thinking is discouraged because it inevitably results in criticism of its own ideals. Logical criticisms of this ideology are met with cries of heresy instead of intellectual debate. At this museum as well as in a majority of articles you read about evolution, the statement “it evolved” is made with no legitimate explanation as to how it evolved, or even why. Making the statement “it evolved” does not explain anything and certainly does not make it so.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Read Science vs. Evolution, part 2
Read Science vs. Evolution, part 3
[i] Source: Boundless. “The Evolution of Reproduction.” Boundless Biology. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 23 Oct. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/biology/textbooks/boundless-biology-textbook/animal-reproduction-and-development-43/fertilization-238/the-evolution-of-reproduction-888-12139/
[ii] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), 61.
[iii] Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 77.
[iv] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), 218.
[v] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), 219.
[vi] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996), 233.