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Monday, November 11, 2013

The End of Darwinism Part II


The End of Darwinism Part II

by David A. Noebel

Following are the last of 14 arguments posited favoring Darwin's theory of evolution followed by the scientific evidence against each one. The beginning of this article can been found in the August issue at www.schwarzreport.org.

X. "George Gaylord Simpson says, 'Some sorts of environments in the Cambrian [time of the earliest fossils] and others developing since, have persisted without essential change'" (Macbeth, p. 140).

"The Cambrian explosion presents a serious challenge to Darwinian evolution. The event was remarkable because it was so abrupt and extensive--that is, because it happened so quickly, geologically speaking, and because so many major groups of animals made their debut in it. . . phyla and classes appeared right at the start" (Wells, p. 41).

"The authors of a 1999 booklet also published by the National Academy [of Sciences] go into more detail: 'The fossil record thus provides consistent evidence of systematic change through time--of descent with modification.' Yet there is no mention at all of the Cambrian explosion, or of the paradox it presents for Darwinian evolution, though both have been well known for over a decade. The Cambrian explosion even made the cover of Time magazine in 1995" (Wells, p. 55).

"Darwin knew that the Cambrian fossil record was a serious problem for his theory. He also knew that without a mechanism to explain how homologies were produced, his identification of archetypes with common ancestors remained open to challenge. Thus it seems to him that neither the fossil record nor homologous structures supported his theory as conclusively as the evidence from embryology" (Wells, p. 81).

"The Cambrian 'explosion' of body plans is perhaps the single most striking feature of the metazoan fossil record. The rapidity with which phyla and classes appeared during the early Paleozoic, coupled with much lower rates of appearance for higher taxa since, poses an outstanding problem in macroevolution" (Paul Nelson, Applying Design Within Biology,"in William A. Dembski, editor, Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design, IVP, 1998, p. 158).

XI. "By the close of the 1950s, the peppered moth would be the poster child for evolution--'Darwin's missing evidence'" (Judith Hooper, Of Moths and Men: The Untold Story of Science and the Peppered Moth, p. 146).

"Darwin knew of no specific examples from nature to support Natural Selection but rather argued his case by analogy" (Hooper, p. 23).

"When the article 'Darwin's missing evidence' by H.B.D. Kettlewell appeared in Scientific American in the same year [1959], the peppered moths came to the attention of a popular audience in America for the first time. The catch-phrases coined in this article--'evolution in action' and 'Darwin's missing evidence'--would inevitably be repeated verbatim in hundreds of other articles, and in textbooks" (Hooper, p. 167).

"A 1999 article by Robert Matthews in the London Daily Telegraph began: 'Evolution experts are quietly admitting that one of their most cherished examples of Charles Darwin's theory, the rise and fall of the peppered moth, is based on a series of scientific blunders. Experiments using the moth in the 1950s and long believed to prove the truth of natural selection are now thought to be worthless, having been designed to come up with the 'right' answer. Scientists now admit that they do not know the real explanation for the fate of Biston betularia, whose story is recounted in almost every textbook on evolution. . . . Jerry Coyne [professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago] was quoted as saying: 'There is a lot of wishful thinking and design flaws in them, and they wouldn't get published today'" (Hooper, p. 284, 285).

"The book, called Melanism: Evolution in Action, was a watershed event. Methodically and incisively analyzing ev

ery flaw in Kettlewell's experiments and in the industrial melanism paradigm, Majerus's book left no doubt that the classic story was wrong in almost every detail; Kettlewell was wrong about how peppered moths choose their resting sites; the high densities of moths he used may have skewed the results; the method of release was faulty, and on and on" (Hooper, p. 283).

"Jerry Coyne, however, was 'horrified'. The sheer magnitude of the problems itemized in the [Majerus] book filled him with dismay and something like shame. After all, he too had been teaching the 'standard Biston story' for years. When he dug out Kettlewell's original papers he found that things were even worse than he thought" (Hooper, p. 283, 284). "After [Coyne] went back to Kettlewell's original papers and 'unearthed additional problems,' Coyne concluded that this 'prize horse in our stable of examples' of evolution 'is in bad shape, and while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention" (Wells, p. 153).

"Richard Harrison, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell, is emphatic: 'We should no longer use the [peppered moth] example in textbooks'" (Hooper, p. 304).

XII. "If we do not accept the hypothesis of spontaneous generation [of life from non-living matter], then at this one point of the history of development [evolution]we must have recourse to the miracle of a supernatural creation"--Ernst Haeckel.

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved" (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection Or The Preservation of Favored Races In the Struggle for Life. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1898, Volume II, p. 305, 306 with Additions and Corrections from Sixth and Last English Edition).

"The microbes seen, therefore, originated from preexisting microbes and not by abiogenesis or spontaneous generation. By the use of glass flasks in which there was a sterile nutrient--it had been thoroughly boiled--Pasteur showed that, in the presence of air from which airborne bacteria had been excluded by filtration, no organic growth occurred in the vessels, and the solutions remained sterile. . . . It was almost incidental to his main purpose, but Pasteur had dealt a severe blow to the idea of spontaneous generation" (Ian T. Taylor, In The Minds of Men, p. 181).

"Amino acid molecules occur in right-handed and left-handed forms. These forms are mirror images of each other, and have identical chemical properties. In prebiotic experiments the two forms occur in equal portions. Amino acids polymerize without preference for either handed form--the two forms join together with equal facility. Yet , protein from known life uses only left-handed amino acids. . . . Chance cannot account for the origin of these features" (Walter James ReMine, The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory, p. 83).

"The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. I am convinced that the existence of life with all its order in each of its organisms is simply too well put together. Each part of a living thing depends on all its other parts to function. How does each part know? How is each part specified at conception? The more one learns of bio-chemistry the more unbelievable it becomes unless there is some type of organizing principle" (Allan Sandage, A Scientist Reflects on Religious Belief, p. 20; cited in Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Volume two, p. 663, 664).

XIII. "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree" (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, Volume I, p. 223, 224).

"For instance, it cannot be doubted that all the Cambrian and Silurian trilobites are descended from some one crustacean, which must have lived long before the Cambrian age. . . . To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer. . . . Never-the-less, the difficultly of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great. . . . The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained" (Charles Darwin, Volume II, p. 82-85). As of June 15, 2013 no invertebrates (animals without backbones) have been discovered in the Pre-Cambrian period and trilobites appear in an 'explosion' in the Cambrian period. See W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Volume I, p. 51f.

"The eye of the trilobite, as of all invertebrates, had incredible information content: 'The lens systems were very different from what we now have. Riccardo Levi-Setti (a Field Museum research associate in geology and professor of physics at the University of Chicago) has recently done some spectacular work on the optics of these lens systems. . . . Each lens is a doublet (that is, made up of two lenses). . . . The shape of the boundary between the two lenses is unlike any now in use--either by humans or animals. But the shape is nearly identical to designs published independently by Descartes and Huygens in the seventeenth century" (W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Volume I, p. 74).

"Even more sophisticated was the trilobite with its three longitudinal lobes across its head (a raised middle lobe and a flatter pleural lobe to either side) and a body divided into three parts--head, chest, and tail, the former two consisting of as many as thirty segments. It had a pair of legs for every pleural groove and another three pairs for the head. Most dramatic of all were the compound eyes found on even some of the very early trilobites--eyes that afforded these not so primitive animals, a 360-degree field of vision" (Stephen C. Meyer, Darwin's Doubt, p. 10).

"[Garrett] Hardin must have realized that his answer was inadequate, for he returned to the problem later in his book, saying: '. . . That damned eye--the human eye . . . which Darwin freely conceded to constitute a severe strain on this theory of evolution. Is so simple a principle as natural selection equal to explaining so complex a structure as the image-producing eye?'" (Macbeth, p.101).

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air and they shall tell thee; Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea and declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:7f).

"Did you know that my entire skull [field sparrow] is lighter than both my eyeballs? That doesn't mean that you have to make nasty remarks about my birdbrain. My eyes are far better than yours are. We birds have seven to eight times more visual cells per unit of surface area than you. That way we have an image in our brains that is much sharper than yours. For example, if you wanted to see an object as clearly as a buzzard does, you would have to use a (8x30) telescope. I admit my eyes are not quite so sharp, but I'm still sure that they are much better than yours. A biologist wrote that my eye is a miracle of construction, function, and efficiency. It is one of the most perfect optical organs in the vertebrate world. It has to be, because even when we are flying at our fastest we can't afford to miss any important detail" (Werner Gitt, If Animals Could Talk, p. 15).

"You scientists are still scratching your heads trying to figure out how we [Golden Plover] get our course [from Alaska to Hawaii] and can correct it, even after an in-flight storm takes its toll. We fly through fog and rain, whether sunshine, starlight, or overcast skies, and still get there. Even if they do ever dream up a way that could explain how we do it, they won't know how we came to have such astonishing capabilities. I'd like to let you in on it. God, the Lord, gave us a built-in automatic pilot. Your jet aircraft have similar devices. They're hooked up to computers that continuously monitor current position and compare it with the programmed course. They then make the necessary adjustments to lock on target. Our Creator pre-programmed us with the co-ordinates of the Hawaiian Islands so that we have absolutely no trouble getting there! This complete system is not only reliable, but has also been miniaturized for portability" (Werner Gitt, p. 109).

"What's this masterful diving equipment for? Why do I [Sperm whale] dive to the bottom, where there's no sunshine--into the eternal night and the darkest depths? Some people say that I am the all-time champion when it comes to eating--that I'll eat anything. But to be honest, squid are my favorite dish, and they are only to be found at great depths. I eat small squid by the thousands. Your whalers once counted 28,000 of them in the stomach of one of our dead colleagues. I even eat the larger squid by the dozen. To tell the truth, the ocean floor is the only place you can find the greatest delicacy of all: giant octopus. There are lots of tall tales about these animals, which can be as big as 8 meters, with tentacles as long as 15 meters. I have eaten whoppers like that whole. But usually there is a real 'battle of the giants' before he lands up in my stomach. With my fine locating system, I can find my prey without fail. I send out little clicks, and listen for the echoes. Despite the deepest darkness, my sonar system gives me precise information about the number and size of my prey" (Werner Gitt, p. 32, 33).

XIV. "Among the favorite pieces of 'evidence for evolution,' that is found in virtually every biology textbook, are what are claimed to be vestigial organs present in both plant, animal, and man. These are organs that are believed to have once been useful during a previous stage of evolutionary development but in continuing evolution are in the process of being selected out by modification" (Ian T. Taylor, In The Minds Of Men, p. 264).

"Robert Wiedersheim, a German anatomist, compiled a list of more than one hundred eighty rudimentary structures in man, and the human body came to be thought of as a walking museum of antiquity. But as the knowledge of physiology increased, it was found that most of these organs have a useful function, and many of them are vital" (Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith, p. 235).

"In Germany the anatomist Robert Wiedersheim, a Darwinian enthusiast, fulfilling all the expectations of his country's reputation for thoroughness, produced a masterwork, in 1895, entitled The Structure of Man. In this work he listed eighty-six human organs that he claimed were mere vestiges, no longer having any useful function (Wiedersheim 1895, p. 200 in Taylor, In the Minds of Men, p. 264).

"Wiedersheim's vestigial list included the pineal gland; the pituitary body; the lachrymal glands, which produce tears; the tonsils; the thymus; the thyroid; certain valves of the veins; bones in the third, fourth, and fifth toes; parts of the embryo; and certain counterparts of the reproductive structures of the opposite sex such as the clitoris. Of course, the list also included all those features mentioned by Darwin, such as the appendix and the coccyx" (Taylor, p. 265).

"Darwin's list of human organs, later expanded to more than one hundred by Wiedersheim, has now shrunk to two or three very questionable claims, due to advances made in medical knowledge, and leaves only one certainty, the male nipples, and, notably, most textbooks no longer include this item. Claude Villee (Biology, 1977, p. 773.) makes an incredible exception! The medical advances made since Darwin's day have shown that virtually all of these vestigial organs do, in fact, have functions, many of which are very necessary at an early stage of our physical development. . . . Steven R. Scadding [University of Guelph], writing in 1981, was forthright enough to admit that vestigial organs provide no evidence for evolution" (Taylor, p. 267).

Summary:

a) All major sources were garnered from non-evangelical Christians. Richard Milton actually says, "Let me make it unambiguously clear that I am not a creationist, nor do I have any religious beliefs of any kind" (Milton, p. 269).

b) Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? covers the following items supposedly proving Darwinian evolution: The Miller-Urey Experiment, Homology in Vertebrate Limbs, Haeckel's Embryos, Archaeopteryx--The Missing Link, Peppered Moths, Darwin's Finches, Four-Winged Fruit Flies, Fossil Horses, and Ape to Human.

c) Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason covers the following items: Comparative Anatomy and Embryology, Breeders, Natural Selection, The Struggle for Existence, Survival of the Fittest, Adaptation, Sexual Selection, Paley and Probability, Extinction, Case of the Hopeful Monster, Immanuel Velikovsky and Catastrophes, Designed antics of insects (esp. wasplike Eumenes amedei). What greatly concerns Macbeth is the following: Sir Julian Huxley, "The first point to make about Darwin's theory is that it is no longer a theory, but a fact." Professor Ernst Mayr: "The basic [Darwinian] theory is in many instances hardly more than a postulate [assumed to be true]."

d) Richard Milton, Shattering The Myths of Darwinism covers the following items: Age of the Earth, Present key to the past, Flood water and sediment, the geological column, Coal, Velikovsky and Catastrophes, fossils, Survival of the Fittest, Bears became whales, Intermediate types missing, Beak of the Finch, DNA, Homology, Race and eugenics ("No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the Negro is the equal, still less the superior of the white man"--Thomas Huxley.) ("In the Descent of Man, Darwin indicated his belief that the Negro races were more closely related to the apes than white people."), Vestigial organs, Neanderthals, Piltdown man, Hopeful Monsters, Marx and Darwin, Coelacanth fish. What greatly concerns Milton: "David Raup, professor of paleobiology at the University of Chicago--'Countless species of plants and animals have existed in the history of life on Earth. Estimates of the total progeny of evolution range from 5 to 50 billion species. Yet only an estimated 5 to 50 million species are alive today--a rather poor survival record. With, at the most, only one in every thousand species surviving, what happened to the others?"

e) Dr. Michael Denton insists that modern microbiology beginning in the 1950s makes all "other anti-Darwinian arguments superfluous" (p. 332). He argues that "it is not just the complexity of living systems which is so profoundly challenging, there is also the incredible ingenuity that is so often manifest in their design...every living cell is a veritable automated factory depending on the functioning of up to one hundred thousand unique proteins each of which can be considered to be a basic working component" (p. 332, 335). He also says, "There is a growing likelihood that the genome may contain even more than one thousand million bits of information" (p. 351). And concludes, "Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more or less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century" (p. 358).

Bibliography

Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Adler & Adler, 1985.

Walter L. Starkey, The Cambrian Explosion: Evolution's Big Bang? Or Darwin's Dilemma? CSS Publishing Company, 1999.

J.C. Sanford, Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome. FMS Publications, 2008.

Stephen C. Meyer, Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, HarperOne, 2013.

Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, HarperOne, 2009.

Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial. InterVarsity Press, 1991.

W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited: The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance, Vol. I and II. Philosophical Library, 1991.

Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage. Barzun Press, 2007.

Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler. Macmillan, 2004.

Ian T. Taylor, In The Minds Of Men: Darwin and the New World Order. TFE Publishing, 1991.

Geoffrey Simmons, What Darwin Didn't Know. Harvest House Publishers, 2004.

Duane T. Gish, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record. Master Books, 1992.

Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth. Regnery Publishing, 2002.

Benjamin Wiker, The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin. Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2009.

David Stove, Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution. Encounter Books, 1995.

Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. Free Press, 2006.

Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God: The History and Impact of the Creation/Evolution Conflict. Baker Book House, 1992.

Werner Gitt, If Animals Could Talk. Loizeaux, 2001.

Werner Gitt, Did God Use Evolution? Loizeaux, 2001.

The Schwarz Report/ September 2013