Why I'm Skeptical Of Darwinian Evolution





Those who know my position know I am a creationist. I am not a young earth creationist as I tend to think the science and scriptures support the idea that the days in Genesis 1 are a long period of time. I do think it’s more plausible to think that the universe is around 14 billion years old with the planet Earth being around a few billions years old, around 9-10 billion years younger than the universe itself. I also think, given the logic from the Kalam Cosmological Argument, that a Being like The Bible describes as God (a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, personal cause) is what was behind The Big Bang. As Frank Turek says “I believe in The Big Bang, I just know Who banged it”. This position is known as Old Earth Creationism. However, even though I believe the universe is 14,000,000 years old, I don’t believe that macro evolution is true. I don’t believe that over billions of years amino acids among other cellular pieces, by chance and necessity, came together into the extremely complex molecular factory known as the Cell, which then became more complex through natural selection acting on random mutations and eventually branched off into a large number of different animals which then evolved into more advanced creatures and then evolved into more advanced creatures and then evolved into more advanced creatures, all by blind undirected processes.

I think atheistic evolution is a complete farce. In this blog post, I plan on explaining very briefly why I think that. This post might end up being a few pages long, but hey, there have been entire books written on this topic. Compared to an entire book, 5 or 6 pages is rather brief, wouldn’t you agree? I normally don’t debate evolution with atheists UNLESS they ask me why I don’t agree with it. I think that there is good evidence for God’s existence and the truth of Christianity that have nothing to do with evolution. Scientifically, The Kalam Cosmologcial Argument and the universal fine tuning and local fine tuning by themselves make a powerful case for a Creator and these conclusions could be valid EVEN IF Darwin were right. Plus you’ve got the Historical Evidence For Christ’s Resurrection. So, I like to refer to these types of evidences instead, and only argue against evolution when asked why I don’t believe it. So….here the reasons why I’m not a evolutionist.

1: Micro Evolution

First, I’d like to start off with one of the most common misconception about one of the evidences for evolution. Atheists, in arguing with Christians will sometimes point out that organisms do undergo mutations and change over time. For example, why do we have to get flu shots every year? Why do doctors have to develop new vaccines to counteract influenza? Because the flu virus underwent a mutation and that mutation caused the flu virus to become resistant to the current vaccines. What happened was, the medicine killed off many of the flu germs, however some didn’t die from it. And those that did not die past on their strong genes to the next generation. Natural selection preserved the strong germs while eliminating the weak germs. This is why scientists need to devise new vaccines in order to combat that newer, stronger germs. This is also what Charles Darwin observed as he studied the finches on the Gallapagos Islands over a century ago. What he observed was that some of finch’s beaks seemed to be longer than the beaks of other finches. What happened was that during the dry season, the nuts were hard and were very difficult for finches with softer and shorter beaks to crack open while it was no problem for finches with longer and sharper beaks. The finches with shorter and softer beaks died of starvation, leaving only the sharp beaked finches. These particular finches would then pass on their sharp-beaked genes to their offspring.

Evolutionists will point to this evidence as irrefutable proof that Charles Darwin’s theory is true. The problem is; they’re equivocating between micro evolution and macro evolution. Micro evolution is change within a certain species. Micro Evolution is why we have so many different breeds of dogs and cats. Macro evolution says that these minor changes within a species will eventually accumulate and bring about more drastic changes over time. Micro Evolution is absolutely true. It’s been observed time after time after time. I’d agree with the atheist that you’d be a fool to deny that MICRO evolution is true. But I’m not so sure about MACRO evolution. Change within a species: yes. Change from one species to a new species: no.

But don’t they have a point? Don’t the micro evolutionary changes mean that if you give natural processes enough time…that eventually they’ll accumulate into bigger changes? I don’t think so. For one, nature runs into genetic limits. Dog breeders have attempted to breed new varieties of dogs so that they could sell them but they always ended in failure. While dogs may range from Great Danes to poodles, they still remain dogs. They never change into a cool alien-like creature with giant wings and multiple heads, they never become bi-pedal or anything drastic like that. Each dog has a genetic limitation. Scientists attempting to genetically engineer fruit flies encountered the same genetic barriers, and always ended up just producing more fruit flies – often crippled or otherwise deformed. The fruit fly experiments are especially telling since fruit flies have extremely short life spans. Because of the extremely short life spans, scientists are able to observe many many generations. Thus, I ask, if intelligent scientists cannot break these genetic barrier, why should we expect that the blind forces of nature can?

Another problem with this argument, however, is that mutations are RARE and most of the time they’re harmful. 9 out of 10 times, a mutation is likely to hurt an organism rather than help it. So you have to believe that billions and billions of RARE, beneficial random mutations occurred by chance alone (i.e without any intelligent guidance) in order to get from a simple chimp like creature to an advanced human being. Moreover, micro evolutionary changes are almost never permanent.

As Philip E Johnson writes,

Evolution is a fact only at a very small scale. It is fantasy when it is used to ex­plain how plants and animals came into existence or how human beings sup­posedly evolved from apelike ancestors. We might summarize the fantasy by saying that, where the theory of evolution is true, it is not very interesting, and where it is most interesting, it is not true.

If ‘evolution’ merely refers to a process of cyclical (back and forth) variation in response to changing environmental conditions, then evolution is a fact that can be observed both in nature and in laboratory experiments. For example, when a population of insects is sprayed with a deadly chemical like DDT, the most susceptible insects die but the individuals most resistant to the poi­son survive to breed and leave offspring, which inherit the genes that provide re­sistance. After many generations of insects have been sprayed, the entire surviving population may be comprised of the DDT-resistant variety, and some new form of insect control will have to be applied. SUCH CHANGES ARE NOT PERMANENT, however, because the resistant mosquitoes are more fit than the others only for as long as the insecticide is applied. When the environment becomes free of the toxic chemical, the insect population tends to revert to what it was before.” – Philip Johnson, Apologetics Study Bible (emphasis mine)

As Norman Geisler put it in his and Frank Turek’s book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”

“"Cyclical Change —Not only are there genetic limits to change within types, but the change within types appears to be cyclical. In other| words, changes are not directional toward the development of new life forms, as macro evolutionary theory requires, but they simply shift back and forth within a limited range. For example, Darwin's finches had varying beak sizes, which correlated with the weather.  Larger beaks helped crack larger, harder seeds during droughts, and smaller beaks worked fine when wetter weather brought an abundance of softer seeds. When the weather became drier, the proportion of finches with larger beaks grew relative to the smaller-beaked finches. The portion reversed itself following a sustained period of wet weather. Notice that no new life forms came into existence (they always remained finches); only the relative proportion of existing large-beaked to small- beaked finches changed. Notice also that natural selection cannot explain how finches came into existence in the first place. In other words, natural selection may be able to explain the survival of a species, but it cannot explain the arrival of a species."

Therefore, micro evolutionary changes do not mean that drastic changes will occur if you give the processes of mutations and natural selection enough time. Instead slowling flying towards the sky like an airplane, creatures seem to be going back and forth like a person jumping up and down, going a little higher off the ground after the jump but soon going back to the ground. You can’t get to the sky by jumping up and down (because you never gain altitude that way), and neither can you get to macro evolutionary changes by back and forth micro evolutionary changes.

So, if you are an atheist, you have to conclude that the entire animal kingdom came about by

1: Trillions and trillions of small mutations that are rare, and beneficial mutations being even rarer (since 9 out of 10 mutations actually hurt the organism).
And
2: Mutations that aren’t permanent in the species.

This seems hard to believe.

2: Similarity and Progression.

I think this is by far the WEAKEST argument for macro evolution there is. Of all the evidences given for macro evolution, this is probably the worst and weakest argument there is. I used to find it troubling. When looking at my own hands, I notice how very similar they are to a chimp’s hands. They’re so similar that I started thinking “Maybe the Darwinists are right. Maybe we do share a common ancestor with chimps”. But I no longer find it troubling anymore. In fact, I find it to be the weakest piece of evidence for macro Darwinian evolution that there is. Let me explain why. So what if humans and chimps have very similar bodily features? So what if an ape’s DNA is 98% like that of humans? So what? Is this irrefutable proof for macro evolution? No. So what if a tortoise and a sea turtle are very similar? So what? This isn’t irrefutable proof for common ancestry. It’s possible that God merely used a similar design plan.

things that are designed by human agents often share common, similar features. An RV has great similarities between a pick up truck and a house, but no one's claiming they both evolved from the RV. That natural selection somehow favored that some should function only as vehicles while others function only as houses, unlike their ancestor, the RV which functioned as both. I’m pretending that the invention of the RV preceded the invention of the truck and house for the sake of the illustration. The RV and the truck and the house share similar features, but there’s no macro evolutionary process involved. All 3 were designed by intelligent agents.

Computers and cell phones have keyboards on them, but they’re not linked through a common ancestor, say, the windows 98 desktop. All of these things were designed and share common features. If creatures were designed by an intelligent Creator we should EXPECT to see similar designs among living organisms just as we see similar designs among electronic devises and transportation vehicles.

Since things crafted by intelligent human agents often share common form, why should we be surprised when it comes to living creatures if they are indeed the result of an intelligent agent.

"Sure, humans and fish both share backbones and nerve codes. That’s no surprise to anyone. In fact, humans also share genes with bananas and bacteria. That organisms share genes or structural parts does not necessarily reflect common ancestry, because it could indicate that they were built upon a common body plan. After all, it’s a good design principle to re-use parts that work in different designs—this is exactly why mechanical engineers put wheels on both cars and airplanes, or why technology designers put keyboards on both computers and cell phones. That different organisms share some of the same parts could easily reflect common design rather than common descent." — Stephen C. Meyer (From, Darwin’s Doubt: An Interview with Stephen C. Meyer – Justin Taylor)

Now, this does NOT prove that these common features AREN’T the result of being related to a common ancestry. The genetic similarities could indeed be because of common ancestry. What I’m saying is that all genetic similarity does is take you to a fork in the road. It could be due to common ancestry. It could be due to common design.  




A COMMON OBJECTION TO THE POINT I MADE ABOVE
Atheists will often complain that this is a bad analogy since macro evolution is about change within living organisms while computers and cell phones and cars are not living things.

I realize those aren’t biological organisms, but the analogy is meant to show that even human designers sometimes use similar blueprints of already existing things to make new things, and the new things are different from the already existing things, yet they are the same in some areas. Therefore, homology is not just compatible with Intelligent Design, but it's actually to be EXPECTED. Why couldn't God use a similar design plan for apes and humans like the Nintendo and Sony companies used a similar design plan for the controllers for their unrelated consoles?

The fact is that the difference being between living organisms and inanimate objects IS a flaw in my analogy. But then, NO analogy is perfect. ALL analogies have their flaws. But I think my point is still valid; that similarity and progression does not disprove design. Designers often reuse previous design plans and manipulate them in order to bring about a new creation. That’s the point I’m making. So it doesn’t matter that I’m comparing living things and non-living things. The point is that similarity in structures don’t disprove design.

3: Fossil Record

Charles Darwin noted that the best objection to his theory was the lack of fossil evidence. He attributed that to the underdevelopment of the fossil record, but that later generations would reveal overwhelming fossil evidence. Over 150 years after Darwin and the fossil record is still lacking. A great area for this example is…

The Cambrian Explosion

Basically, all the major body plans of trilobites and other phila we have today appear in the fossil record in a 2-3 million period about 543 million years ago. There are no precursors in the fossil record showing the gradual evolution of these major body plans. Darwin expected to discover lots and lots of fossils leading up to the Cambrian explosion period that would show how all these phyla came into existence slowly over time. Unfortunately for the naturalistic evolutionists, the discoveries we’ve been making haven’t shown any hint of precursor fossils leading up the Cambrian explosion.

The Cambrian Explosion was about 2-3 million years long. That may seem like an extremely long time, but for biology, that’s EXTREMELY fast. Biologist Jonathan Wells helps us to envision just how quickly the Cambrian Explosion really was. He says that if you were to condense the entire 4 billion year history of the Earth into a 24 hour time window, the duration of the Cambrian Explosion would take up 2 minutes out the entire 24 hours. 2 minutes out of 24 hours, we’ve gone from single celled organisms to fully developed trilobites. This goes completely against Darwin’s theory of evolution because Darwin said in his book that evolution must work on slight, successive modifications over an extremely long amount of time. This was also the point Richard Dawkins made in his book “Climbing Mount Improbable”. In Climbing Mount Improbable, Dawkins gave the analogy of a mountain, and on the mountain there was a steep cliff on one side and a set of stairs on the other side going up a long hilly path. Dawkins said that it would be impossible for a person to get to the top of the mountain in one giant leap, but it would be entirely possible for that person to make it to the top of the mountain if he took slow steps up the stairway. Eventually, given enough time, you’d reach the top of the mountain. This was an analogy to evolution, although one giant leap would never get you to fully formed organisms SUPPOSEDLY through slight modifications, you’d eventually get to fully formed organisms. Well, guess what? The Cambrian Explosion did not take the stairs! The Cambrian Explosion did, what Dawkins called impossible, a giant leap to the top of the Mount Improbable.

The Cambrian Explosion was most likely creation YOM (day/age) 5, since that was when God made all the sea creatures.

“And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.’ So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 1:20-21

4: Irreducible Complexity

When it is said that something is irreducibly complex, that means that it has properties which could not be removed; it would not be able to function without them. A car engine might be an example of irreducible complexity. If we removed part of the engine, it would not function properly. So the engine could not have come together slowly, piece by piece. So the same with many organs. They could not have come together piece by piece, because they would not function unless they were fully constructed.

Doctor Michael Behe, a microbiologist, has argued that the eye, flagella, and blood clotting cascade are examples of this. I happen to think that if Michael Behe is right, then atheistic evolution is in serious turmoil. Atheistic evolution requires that these changes be gradual, over long periods of time. They cannot happen in a single bound. Richard Dawkins, a very famous and prominent atheist made this point in an illustration that he called Mt. Improbable. I mentioned Mt. Improbable in the post above.

There is debate among Intelligent Design advocates and evolutionists over whether things like the bacterial flagellum and the blood clotting mechanism really are irreducibly complex. And that’s fine. But I don’t think that it can be disputed that IF there really are irreducibly complex systems in biology, that Darwin’s theory is in trouble. Whether the examples Behe gives actually are irreducibly complex is another story. 

So there you have it; the arguments against evolution as well as the argument for evolution that fail.