A word of caution on the use of the term evolution: It can mean different things to different people. The dictionary first defines evolution as a process of change from a lower to a higher state and, second, as the theory Darwin advocated. But they are not the same. Evolution literally means simply the successive appearances of perfectly formed life without regard to how It got there. It does not have to refer to Darwinism, which Is the doctrine that gradual change led to one species becoming another through the process of natural selection.
A species Is generally defined as a living thing that can reproduce only after its own kind. So, although most scientists mean Darwinism when they use the term, the two definitions of the term are not synonymous and should be carefully defined by the context.
"Why Is it," asks physicist Alan Hayward, "that the terms 'Darwinism' and 'evolution' are so often used (wrongly) as if they meant the same thing? Simply because It was Darwin who put the old idea of evolution on Its feet. Before Darwin, evolution was regarded by most people as a wild, unbelievable notion. After Darwin, evolution seemed such a reasonable idea that the general public soon took It for granted.
"Many people since Darwin's day have tried to find an alternative explanation of evolution, but none has succeeded. Just as when he first proposed It, Darwin's appears the only conceivable method of evolution. It still seems that Darwinism and evolution must stand or fall together" (Creation and Evolution, 1985, p. 5).
This Is a reason many Darwinists are so adamant about their theory. They know the Implications If they fail: The alternative explanation for life on earth Is a Creator God. Professor L.T. More has candidly admitted In his book The Dogma of Evolution: "Our faith In the doctrine of Evolution depends upon our reluctance to accept the antagonistic doctrine of special creation [by God]" (quoted by Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe, 1982, p. 109).
Tom Bethell gets to the heart of the problem with natural selection as the foundation of evolution: "This was no good at all. As T.H. Morgan [1933 Nobel Prize winner in medicine for his experiments with the Drosopliila fruit fly] had remarked, with great clarity: 'Selection, then, has not produced anything new, but only more of certain kinds of individuals. Evolution, however, means producing new things, not more of what already exists' "(Bethell. pp. 311-312, emphasis added).
Bethell concludes: "Darwin's theory, I believe, is on the verge of collapse. In his famous book, [The Origin of Species], Darwin made a mistake sufficiently serious to undermine his theory. And that mistake has only recently been recognized as such ... I have not been surprised to read . . . that in some of the latest evolutionary theories 'natural selection plays no role at all.' Darwin, I suggest, is in the process of being discarded, but perhaps in deference to the venerable old gentleman,... it is being done as discreetly and gently as possible, with a minimum of publicity" (pp. 308, 313-314).
Sadly, the critical examination of natural selection has been undertaken so discreetly that most people are unaware of it—so the pervasive deception that began a century and a half ago continues.
Yet more scientists are becoming vocal. Writing in the June 26, 2007, New York Times, Douglas Erwin, a senior scientist at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution, dared to admit the present confusion about the role of natural selection in evolution:
"Is Darwin due for an upgrade? There are growing calls among some evolutionary biologists for just such a revision, although they differ about what form this might take ... In the past few years every element of this [evolutionary] paradigm has been attacked. Concerns about the sources of evolutionary innovation and discoveries about how DNA evolves have led some to propose that mutations, not selection, drive much of evolution, or at least the main episodes of innovation, like the origin of major animal groups, including vertebrates" ("Darwin Still Rules, but Some Biologists Dream of a Paradigm Shift").
A look at random mutation
If natural selection is not the answer, what about the third supporting pillar of evolution, random mutation?
Curiously enough, Darwin himself was one of the first to discount
40 Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?
40 Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?
beneficial effects from rare changes he noted in species. He did not even include them in his theory. "He did not consider them important," says Maurice Caullery in his book Genetics and Heredity, "because they nearly always represented an obvious disadvantage from the point of view of the struggle for existence; consequently they would most likely be rapidly eliminated in the wild state by the operation of natural selection" (1964, p. 10, emphasis added).
In Darwin's lifetime the principles of genetics were not clearly understood. Gregor Mendel had published his findings on genetic principles in 1866, but his work was overlooked at the time. Later, at the beginning of the 20th century, Hugo De Vries rediscovered these principles, which evolutionists quickly seized on to support evolution. Sir Julian Huxley, one of the principal spokesmen for evolutionary theory in the 20th century, commented on the unpredictability of mutations: "Mutation . . . provides the raw material of evolution; it is a random affair and takes place in all directions" (Evolution in Action, 1953, p. 38).
So, "shortly after the turn of the [19th to the 20th] century, Darwin's theory suddenly seemed plausible again," writes Francis Hitching. "It was found that once in a while, absolutely at random (about once in ten million times during cell division, we now know) the genes make a copying mistake. These mistakes are known as mutations, and are mostly harmful. They lead to a weakened plant, or a sick or deformed creature. They do not persist within the species, because they are eliminated by natural selection . . .
"However, followers of Darwin have come to believe that it is the occasional beneficial mutation, rarely though it happens, which is what counts in evolution. They say these favorable mutations, together with sexual mixing, are sufficient to explain how the whole bewildering variety of life on Earth today originated from a common genetic source" (The Neck, of the Giraffe, p. 49, emphasis added).
Mutations: liability, not benefit
What has almost a century of research discovered? That mutations are pathological mistakes and not helpful changes in the genetic code.
C.P. Martin of McGill University in Montreal wrote, "Mutation is a pathological process which has had little or nothing to do with evolution" ("A Non-Geneticist Looks at Evolution," American Scientist, January 1953, p. 100). Professor Martin's investigations revealed that mutations are overwhelmingly negative and never creative. He observed that an apparently beneficial mutation was likely only a correction of a previously deleterious one, similar to punching a man with a dislocated shoulder and inadvertently putting it back into place.
Science writer Richard Milton explains the problem: "The results of such copying errors are tragically familiar. In body cells, faulty replication shows itself as cancer. Sunlight's mutagenic [mutation-inducing] power causes skin cancer; the cigarette's mutagenic power causes lung cancer. In sexual cells, faulty reproduction of whole chromosome number 21 results in a child with Down's syndrome" (Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, p. 156). Yet evolutionists would have y mfy
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