Studies that find small variations within a species over time, such as In the size of finch beaks or the coloration of moths, are sometimes used to try to prove Darwinian evolution. But such studies are sometimes flawed. And even if valid, they provide no such proof.
Adaptation within a species Is called m/croevolution. It is the same phenomenon at work when the average height of men and women Increased by several inches In the Western world over the course of the 1900s. Better health and nutrition played a large part In producing larger-sized people. In the same way, microevolution Is at work when breeders produce varieties ranging from Chihuahuas to Great Danes within the one species Canis famlllaris—the domestic dog.
These examples show, as in the rest of nature, that all species do have a margin of change available within their genetic pool to adapt to conditions. This trait Is found in man, who can adapt to freezing weather, as the Eskimos do, or to the broiling sun In the desert, as bedouins have done. But bedouins and Eskimos are still human beings, and If they changed environments again, eventually their offspring would also go through minor changes to better adapt to their new environment.
What has never been scientifically demonstrated—In spite of many examples of wishful thinking—Is macroevolution, or the change from one distinct species to another. Dogs have never evolved into birds or human beings.
Phillip Johnson goes to the heart of the matter: "Critics of evolutionary theory are well aware of the standard examples of microevolution, Including dog breeding and the cyclical variations that have been seen In things like finch beaks and moth populations. The difference Is that we interpret these observations as examples of the capacity of dogs and finches to vary within limits, not of a process capable of creating dogs and finches, much less the main groups of plants and animals, in the first place ...
"As any creationist (and many evolutionists) would see the matter, making the case for 'evolution' as a general theory of life's history requires a lot more than merely citing examples of small-scale variation. It requires showing how extremely complex biological structures can be built up from simple beginnings by natural processes, without the need for Input or guidance from a supernatural Creator" (.Reason in the Balance, 1995, p. 74).
Thus some cited examples of evolution at work are really no proof at all of anything —much less how any of these creatures— moths, dogs, finches or human beings— came to exist.
us believe that such genetic mistakes are not only not harmful to the afflicted creature but are helpful in the long run.
Professor Phillip Johnson observes, "To suppose that such a random event could reconstruct even a single complex organ like a liver or kidney is about as reasonable as to suppose that an improved watch can be designed by throwing an old one against a wall" (Darwin on Trial, p. 37).
We can be thankful that mutations are extremely rare. An average of one mistake per 10 million correct copies occurs in the genetic code. Whoever or whatever types 10 million letters with only one mistake would easily be the world's best typist and probably would not be human. Yet this is the astounding accuracy of our supposedly blind genetic code when it replicates itself.
If, however, these copying errors were to accumulate, a species, instead of improving, would eventually degenerate and perish. But geneticists have discovered a self-correcting system.
"The genetic code in each living thing has its own built-in limitations," says Hitching. "It seems designed to stop a plant or creature stepping too far away from the average . . . Every series of breeding experiments that has ever taken place has established a finite limit to breeding possibilities. Genes are a strong influence for conservatism, and allow only modest change. Left to their own devices, artificially bred species usually die out (because they are sterile or less robust) or quickly revert to the norm" (pp. 54-55).
Writing about zoologist Pierre-Paul Grasse, Alan Hayward says: "In 1973 he published a major book on evolution . . . First and foremost, the book aims to expose Darwinism as a theory that does not work, because it clashes with so many experimental findings.
"As Grasse says in his introduction: 'Today our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution . . . Some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs' . ..
"Take mutation first. Grasse has studied this extensively, both inside his laboratory and in nature. In all sorts of living things, from bacteria to plants and animals, he has observed that mutations do not take succeeding generations further and further from their starting point. Instead, the changes are like the flight of a butterfly in a green house, which travels for miles without moving more than a few feet from its starting point. There are invisible but firmly fixed i— - — '
Can Evolution Explain Life's Complexity?
boundaries that mutations can never cross ... He insists that mutations are only trivial changes; they are merely the result of slightly altered genes, whereas 'creative evolution . . . demands the genesis of new ones'" (Creation and Evolution, p. 25).
Embarrassingly for evolutionists, mutation is also not the answer. If anything, the self-correcting system to eliminate mutations shows that a great intelligence was at work when the overall genetic system was designed so that random mutations would not destroy the beneficial genes. Ironically, mutation shows the opposite of what evolutionism teaches: In real life, random mutation is the villain and not the hero.
This takes us to one last point on mutations: the inability of evolution to explain the appearance of simple life and intricate organs.
Cells are marvelous and incredibly complicated living things. They are self-sufficient and function like miniature chemical factories. The closer we look at cells, the more we realize their incredible complexity.
For example, the cell membrane is a wonder in itself. If it were too porous, harmful solutions would enter and cause the cell to burst. On the other hand, if the membrane were too impervious, nourishment could not come in and waste products could not go out, and the cell would quickly die.
Dr. Michael Behe, professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University, summarizes one of the fundamental flaws of evolution as an explanation for any form of life: "Darwin's theory encounters its greatest difficulties when it comes to explaining the development of the cell. Many cellular systems are what I term 'irreducibly complex.' That means the system needs several components before it can work properly.
"An everyday example of irreducible complexity is a mousetrap, built of several pieces (platform, hammer, spring and so on). Such a system probably cannot be put together in a Darwinian manner, gradually improving its function. You can't catch a mouse with just the platform and then catch a few more by adding the spring. All the pieces have to be in place before you catch any mice."
Professor Behe's point is that a cell missing a tenth of its parts doesn't function only one tenth less as well as a complete cell; it doesn 't function at all He concludes: "The bottom line is that the cell—the very basis of life—is staggeringly complex. But doesn't science already have answers, or partial answers, for how these systems originated? No" ("Darwin
Under the Microscope," New York Times, Oct. 29, 1996, p. A25). Miniature technological marvel
Michael Denton, the molecular biologist and senior research fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand, contrasts how the cell was viewed in Darwin's day with what today's researchers can see. In Darwin's time the cell could be viewed at best at a magnification of several hundred times. Using the best technology of their day, when scientists viewed the cell they saw "a relatively disappointing spectacle appearing only as an ever-changing and apparently disordered pattern of blobs and panicles which, under the influence of unseen turbulent forces, [were] continually tossed haphazardly in all directions" (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 328).
The years since then have brought astounding technological
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