I believed in Evolution strongly when I was in high school and college. My college classes in biology, botany, zoology, bacteriology, genetics and plant taxonomy were all based on Evolution. The zoology instructor explained how the neck of a clam lost its body and became a tubeworm, which became segmented and developed into an earthworm, which grew legs and developed into a centipede, which shed a lot of segments and developed into a trilobite. He did not mention that this was all speculation since no one has ever found a fossil showing a partially formed new feature.
I do not believe in Evolution anymore. After college, I studied Evolution thoroughly and realized that the evidence is mostly circumstantial and can be interpreted differently. It is easy to arrange plants and animals in the order of their complexity and similarities, but where is the evidence that one evolved from another? The experimental evidence actually contradicts Evolution.
A very popular evidence for Evolution is the peppered moth, Biston betularia, of England. One form is light colored with dark speckles and the other form is almost black. During the last half of the 1800's the population of dark forms increased dramatically, especially in industrial areas where the dark form was predominant and the speckled form was rare. The obvious explanation was that burning coal during the Industrial Revolution caused trees to become darkened with soot and the lighter colored moths were much more likely to be seen and eaten by birds. However, since the 1960's, air pollution controls in England have cleaned up the tree trunks and the darker form has almost disappeared. See The Peppered Moth - An Update
Peppered Moths (web.nmsu.edu)
The peppered moth is a great illustration of natural selection and variation, but it is still Biston betularia. It did not evolve any new features or increase in complexity. There are many similar examples of variation within a species but this is hardly any evidence that Evolution has produced all of the new species, new structures or new body types required to evolve from molecules to man.
The experimental evidence for Evolution is still lacking. The Wikipedia article on Experimental Evolution describes several experiments. While the experimenters claim that they have demonstrated Evolution, they gave examples of Micro-Evolution, that is, Variation within a species, but no examples of Macro-Evolution, the appearance of new kinds of animals or plants. They reported new strains, but no one claimed to have produced a new species, much less a new genus.
Do mutations lead to Evolution? Fruit flies have been bred since the early 1900's. They have been exposed to radiation and chemicals to produce artificially high rates of mutations, resulting in more than 3,000 mutations which have been selected and manipulated artificially. Experimenters originally believed that each mutation would produce a new species, but it is debatable that all of these mutations have produced even one new species of fruit fly, much less a new kind of insect. All they have proved is that at least 99.9% of mutations are harmful.
One experimenter recently claimed to have produced a new species of fruit fly, but the flies are all blind. If an individual fly inherits the gene to regain its sight, it
triggers another mutation which would make it die during pupation. So, the best evidence for Evolution from fruit fly experiments is a blind fruit fly with a potentially
lethal birth defect. That is not evolution; it is devolution. There is ample scientific evidence that mutations are making individuals less likely to survive, but where is
the evidence that mutations lead to more complex life forms?
See Fruit Flies in the Face of Macroevolution by Frank Sherwin, M.A.
No Fruit Fly Evolution Even after 600 Generations by Brian Thomas, M.S.
Mutant Fruit Flies Bug Evolution by Kyle Butt, M.A.
Four Winged Fruit Fly
An interesting product of fruit fly research which demonstrates problems with Evolution is the Four-Winged Fruit Fly, produced by Ed Lewis. He brought together three mutations to produce a fly in which the third segment of the thorax is transformed to look like the second segment. Four wings could give this fruit fly a definite advantage except for two things which actually make it very unlikely to survive. First, the extra wings do not have muscles to go with them so they are useless. The fly can't fly. Intermediate steps to a macro-evolutionary change can be detrimental until the complete system is present and functional, so natural selection would likely eliminate the mutations before they became established. Second, no fruit fly would mate with the Four-Winged Fruit Fly, thus immediately eliminating it from the gene pool.
Similar problems would occur at many steps in Evolution. For example, Evolution teaches that two bones from reptiles' jaws joined one bone in their ears to evolve into the three bones in mammals' middle ears. These bones magnify sound so natural selection would select mammalian ears when they were fully functional, but what about the generations while these bones were evolving? How would reptiles eat when their jawbones were dislocating and migrating toward the ear? How would early mammals hear before the bones in their middle ears were properly connected? Natural selection most likely would have eliminated the transitional forms long before they had developed enough to have a hearing advantage. Likewise, a reptile whose front legs were evolving into wings would be crippled and easy prey until the wings were fully functional. There are no known fossils of transitional forms showing how new limbs or organs evolved. See Should We Expect To Find Transitional Forms In The Fossil Record? Stalling over Transitional Forms by Frank Sherwin, M.A.
Richard Goldschmidt recognized that micromutations could not not add up to Macro-Evolution. He proposed that macromutations could jump individuals to a new species in one generation which would be refined by micromutations in small populations until they could successfully compete and multiply. This idea came to be known as the Hopeful Monster Hypothesis. It was widely ridiculed when it was first proposed, but some evolutionists have decided that Goldschmidt was not entirely wrong.
However, remember the lonely Four-Winged Fruit Fly and that no other fruit fly would mate with it. One serious problem to the Hopeful Monster Hypothesis is that a male and a female with matching macromutations would have to be born about the same time in the same area and mate with each other to pass on the macromutations. While this is hypothetically possible, it has never been observed. "Macrogenesis is not known from real data, but is rather an hypothetical construct. Many monsters have been born, but none are known to have given rise to new species lines." Kenneth B. Cumming, PH.D. Patterns in Specification.
Living creatures and fossils were classified into groups and placed on the evolutionary tree based on the assumption that more complex creatures were more evolved than simpler creatures, but that does not prove the assumption of Macro-Evolution. Evolutionists discovered that there is not a simple progression from simple creatures to complex creatures. The fossil record shows that each kind of animal appeared suddenly fully formed and remained mostly unchanged. The pathway of evolution is speculation without direct evidence. And now, even the evolutionary tree "lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence... [D]ifferent genes told contradictory evolutionary stories." Graham Lawton. "For example, one geneticist at the University of Texas at Arlington has found a nearly identical family of DNA 'in widely divergent tetrapods.' The same sequence is found in certain animals willy nilly." Michael Syvanen. Both quoted by Brian Thomas, PH.D. Darwin's Evolutionary Tree 'Annihilated'
Evolutionists claim that new animals evolved within small populations over a relatively short time so they did not leave a fossil record. If evolution cannot be observed because it happened too quickly in the past and too slowly in the present, how can we be sure that it is happening at all? Ancient Greek science depended on speculation, but modern science depends on observations of repeatable events. Since Macro-Evolution cannot be observed, then it is speculation, not modern science.
Another serious problem for Evolution is the question of "How did the first life begin?" Even simple creatures are complex. The simplest bacteria, Mycoplasm mycoides, has 525 genes. Craig Ventner was able to remove 52 non-essential genes, but that still left 473 genes that are necessary for the bacteria to grow and reproduce. How could all of the structures and genetic codes necessary for even the simplest self-replicating life form manage to occur at the same place and time by pure chance? See Scientists Build Simplest Organism Ever Known
The Miller-Urey experiments demonstrated that amino acids can be produced by random chemical reactions. However, there are three features
of the experiments that make it extremely unlikely that these randomly generated chemicals produced life.
1. The containers included a trap to collect the amino acids because the same conditions that produced them would also destroy them.
2. The containers contained no free oxygen because amino acids will not form in the presence of free oxygen, but rock layers indicate that free oxygen has always been present in the atmosphere.
3. The containers contained tiny amounts of amino acids, but large amounts of toxic tars which would have poisoned any new life.
Modern Evolution teaches that all life evolved as the result of random genetic changes which resulted in incredibly complex and interdependent ecosystems. Random changes almost always result in disorder and disintegration. There are some instances where random events produce order, such as in crystal formation, but DNA is far more complex than crystals and the information stored by DNA is far more complex than DNA. Can you believe that the complexities of life are the result of random mutations, especially when at least 99.9% of mutations are harmful? Actually, 99.959% of mutations in humans are harmful according to a recent computer search by a top geneticist who discovered 186 "beneficial mutations" compared to 453,732 harmful mutations. See Mutations: The Raw Material for Evolution? by Barney Maddox, M.D.
Since 99.9% of mutations are harmful, the gene pool is getting worse, not better. Evolution claims that natural selection is the "organizer" that keeps the beneficial mutations and eliminates the harmful. Some mutations are lethal if either chromosome has the mutation, and these are quickly eliminated. However, other lethal mutations require that the chromosomes from both parents have to contain the mutation before it is lethal. These lethal mutations are rarely expressed until they build up to at least a quarter of the population. If natural selection cannot eliminate these lethal mutations, how can it eliminate mutations that are merely harmful?
If genomes are the result of random mutations, one would expect that the ratio of beneficial to harmful mutations would be close to 50-50. Since 99.9% of mutations are harmful, how did the genomes ever get to be so near to ideal that almost every change is worse? Certainly natural selection cannot explain this!
Julian Huxley, a leading British evolutionist and grandson of Thomas Huxley who was called the Bulldog of Evolution, stated in an interview that at least 99.9% of mutations are harmful, and it would take a large number of successive beneficial mutations for evolution to occur, so the probability of evolution was incredibly small. But he believed that it did happen because he thought the idea of a creator was preposterous. That isn't a scientific statement but an incredible leap of faith.
Julian Huxley may have thought the idea of a creator was preposterous, but it is a commonly accepted assumption when we see things that are similar. I used to live in a house that was practically identical to the house next door, but no one ever suggested that they were descended from a common ancestor. It was assumed that they were built by the same builder. This was confirmed by historical evidence when I met the builder's daughter.
Why would the idea of a creator be so readily accepted when it comes to things, but rejected completely when it comes to life? It is really not a question of scientific evidence, but it is because of the theological implications. Can we accept the possibility that a creator might let things happen that humans do not like? Or, do we rebel at the idea of the existence of a creator who would hold his created beings responsible for our moral choices?
If creatures were created by a creator, that would explain why comparative anatomy shows such similarities among the skeletons of all mammals. A good design would be used over and over again with slight adjustments in bone length and shape. Birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish also share similarities, not just in skeletons, but also in digestive systems, circulatory systems, reproductive systems and even down to cellular systems and DNA. For example, humans share a number of genes with sponges. See Are Sea Sponges Mostly Human by Brian Thomas, PH.D.
The question of "How did the genomes get to be so near to ideal that almost every change is worse?" is easy to answer if they were designed and created by a very intelligent creator. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that such an intelligent creator would build into the DNA some mechanisms for Variation so his creatures could adapt to changing environments, even soot covered trees. In fact, there is growing evidence that Variation is not driven just by "survival of the fittest", but that organisms can track environmental changes and selectively turn on and off genes that adapt themselves to changing environments. See Blind Cavefish Illuminate Divine Engineering by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, PH.D.
The similarities between animals would be good evidence for Evolution if that was the only possible explanation. However, similarities are commonly found in objects that are created by the same creator. Since we have no clear evidence that one kind of animal has changed into a different kind of animal, either in the fossil record or through experimentation, then Evolution is speculation, not good science.
Where is the scientific evidence for creation?
This is the obvious follow up question. The scientific evidence for creation is the same evidence used for evolution, but with a more reasonable interpretation. Systems that are orderly and function very well indicate that they are the result of an intelligent creator since random changes in any system produce disorder and dysfunction. If genomes were the result of random mutations, one would expect that the ratio of beneficial to harmful mutations would be about 50-50. The fact that 99.9% of mutations are harmful indicates that genomes are so well designed that almost every change is worse.
As for the experimental evidence for creation, "You can't put God in a test tube." No creator has ever created new life at the whim of an experimenter.
On the other hand, you can't put the solar system in a test tube, either. You can't change the speed of Mars to see how that would affect its orbit. Yet, no one is claiming that astronomy is not a science just because there are no controlled experiments. However, Mars speeds up and slows down again naturally as it passes the Earth. Astronomers have to carefully observe what happens naturally, which can take a long time. Johannes Keppler needed the lifetime observations of Tycho Brahe along with his own observations to formulate the Laws of Planetary Motion. When Kepler observed the orderliness and the mathematical relationships between the sun and the orbits of the planets, he declared, "I was merely thinking God's thoughts after him."
There have been observable events recorded over the centuries which indicate that occasionally events happen which contradict scientific laws of nature. The reasonable explanation for these observations is that the one who created these laws of nature can intervene to temporarily overrule these natural laws. One good example is when Daniel was thrown into a den of lions but was not harmed. The next day, Daniel's enemies were put into the same den of lions and were immediately attacked and devoured.
An even more amazing observable event was when a man was publicly executed and his death was observed by his friends and enemies. Even though he showed no signs of life, a soldier thrust a spear into his side which apparently pierced the pericardium, which contains the heart, because blood and water immediately flowed out of the wound. He was then wrapped in a burial cloth along with sticky spices and sealed in a tomb. On the third day, the burial cloth was found in the tomb, but the body was not in it. Later that day, the man entered a room where his friends had gathered, even though the doors were locked. His friends all recognized him and realized that he had come back from the dead. Later, the man appeared at other times and places to up to 500 men at one occasion. On his last appearance to his friends, the man floated up into the sky and disappeared behind a cloud.
Of course, this was no ordinary man. Jesus was revealed to be God in the flesh who had participated in the creation of the universe and all life. During his three year long ministry, Jesus turned water into wine, fed 5,000 people with five small loaves of bread and two small fish, caused wind and waves to cease at his command, and raised three dead people back to life.
Other observable events occurred, but these events are enough to illustrate times when the normal laws of nature, even gravity, were overruled. These are not scientific phenomena that can be replicated by controlled experiments. Instead, these are historical events that have been properly attested to by qualified witnesses and eyewitnesses who wrote down what they saw and heard. This may not be scientific evidence, but it is the kind of evidence that holds up in a court of law, the testimony of qualified eyewitnesses.
Some would claim that people back then were ignorant and easily believed in miracles. But, consider how the Pharisees investigated the incident when Jesus gave sight to a man born blind recorded in John 9. Jesus had spit on the ground and made mud, then applied it to the blind man's eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man washed the mud off his eyes and he could see. The Pharisees asked the man born blind how he received his sight and he recounted his story. The Pharisees did not believe that he really had been blind, so they interviewed his parents, who affirmed that the man was their son and that he had been born blind. Then the Pharisees again called in the man born blind. In the end, they could not deny that a miracle had occurred but they rejected the man as a sinner, and they rejected Jesus as a sinner because he was not one of them. But the man who received his sight was thoroughly convinced that Jesus was a prophet from God, and he worshipped Jesus.
While no one has observed the creation of a new kind of life, it is possible to see renewed life when someone puts their faith and trust in the Creator. Consider John Newton. He was a slave trader and a drunkard until he was caught in terrible storm that threatened to sink the ship in which he sailed. Fearing for his life, he prayed to the Creator for mercy, and the storm began to die down. From that point on, he avoided profanity, gambling and drinking. Eventually, he left the slave trade and became a pastor. He is best remembered for writing the hymn, Amazing Grace, with these lyrics:
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
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