Why do I object to the theory of evolution? Why don’t I view it as a viable scientific model?
First of all, if we define evolution as ‘change over time,’ I DO believe in evolution. For example, there are breeds of dogs and horses that didn’t use to exist. We sometimes call this ‘microevolution’ to distinguish it from the kind of evolution that we usually differ on, which is called ‘macroevolution’ (i.e. molecule to man evolution). It would be akin to me asking a deist or Hindu, “Do you believe in God?” Yes…but which one? So it’s important to understand these terms and make the proper distinctions.
Believe it or not, I also believe that ‘natural selection’ is a fact. Just as we can selectively breed dogs for temperament, size, etc., so also can nature ‘select’ animals that have traits which are advantageous (e.g. the faster gazelle is more likely to not get eaten).
However, natural selection doesn’t account for large-scale changes over time from one kind of animal into another kind of animal. This is because the gene pool is what it is. Unless new information is added, a dog will always be a dog and a whale will always be a whale.
Evolutionists theorize that ‘mutations’ add new genetic information. Mutations DO occur, and IF/WHEN they have survival value, the organism is more likely to survive and pass on the new genetic information to its offspring. Extrapolate these mutations out over thousands-millions of years, the growing complexity of the genetic code of an organism will result in new species’ and kinds of animals that are much more complex than they originally were.
And this is where I object…
Again, I agree with microevolution, selective breeding and natural selection. I believe that the incredible variety of animals today can be explained by such processes. But I reject the notion that genetic mutations explain macroevolution.
First of all, mutations are usually known for the diseases and deformities they cause. This doesn’t fit the ‘onward and upward’ model of evolution. Down Syndrome, for example, is hardly indicative of an advancement even though new genetic information has been added (i.e. an extra chromosome).
But it’s true that some mutations, even if they have ill effects, may also result in some kind of advantage that adds survival value to the organism. However, it is mathematically impossible for this to explain evolution. Here’s why:
- Approximately one mutation occurs in every 10,000 duplications of a DNA molecule. It’s true that there are 100 trillion cells in your body, so we all end up with some mutated genes that we, in turn, pass on to our offspring. However, many of these mutated genes may show up as recessive traits and thus won’t be exhibited at all. Even if the trait is exhibited, it may not amount to any noticeable, practical difference. And again, even then, it is more than likely going to be exhibited in the form of a disease or deformity.
- But the mathematical problem comes when you want a series of related mutations. After all, a fly with a slightly bent wing is still a fly. So you have to have another mutation that is related to the first in order to mark “onward and upward” progress. So check this out: the odds of getting two related mutations is the product of their separate probabilities. That would be 10,000,000 times 10,000,000, or 100 trillion. Three related mutations? That’s 10 the the 21st power. Four related mutations? That’s 10 to the 28th power. These mathematical odds are astronomical. Now apply these odds to millions and millions of organisms. And this isn’t even taking into account whether the mutations are advantageous.
- Evolutionists will often respond by saying that ‘time’ is the key. Billions of years, right? Let’s look at that. The earth is allegedly 4.6 billions years old, but remember life didn’t emerge until about 3.6 billion years ago. And the Cambrian Explosion (i.e. ‘explosion of life’) didn’t occur until .5 billion years ago. So we’re not working with a full 4.6 billion years, but with .5 billion years (for all the complex life forms we see in the world today).
I would also argue that the evidence actually points to a downward trend, not an “onward and upward” trend. As I stated above, mutations do occur but they often show up as recessive traits. Over time, the genetic quality of a species is lowered. Geneticists call this “genetic load” or “genetic burden.” Think about it. Humans are more diseased now than ever before. Clams and snails used to have greater variety and were more complex than today. There are other examples that I’m struggling to find right now. Maybe that would be another topic for another thread.
Macroevolution cannot be seen or observed. Yes, changes do occur over time via natural selection. And yes, there is incredible variety. There are even examples of speciation…but these are still the same ‘kinds’ of animals. Creationists such as myself believe that wolves, coyotes and dogs (though different species) probably descended from a common canine ancestor. But what we HAVEN’T witnessed, observed or tested, is macroevolution. Many of the evolutionists that I’ve spoken with have indicated that we have only existed in a very small window of history and that we will need to stick around for a few tens of thousands of more years before we can have recorded examples of macroevolution. Fine. Until then, it’s an assumption.