There is an expression about not seeing the forest for the trees. Sometimes it is good to step back, and look at the larger picture. With regard to creation science, there are lots of "trees;" we have articles on geology, genetics, chemistry, paleontology, cosmology, botany, etc. But what is the big picture? Let's start at the beginning: the origin of life.
Abiogenesis, the Origin of Life
Regarding the origin of life (without God), or abiogenesis, we realize that this is extremely difficult. No one can explain how this happened using only the known laws of science. How difficult is abiogenesis? One evolutionary biologist has proposed an infinite number of universes in order to help out with the probabilities. 1,2 The clear implication is that in one universe, the origin of life is so unlikely that, for all practical purposes, life could never have arisen. The probability is that low.
Regarding probabilities, the evolutionist who wrote the book Mathematics of Evolution and who gave the Big Bang its name, stated the odds of getting just some of the requirements for a single cell are trillions of times less likely than getting the single winning lottery ticket if each atom in the universe were a lottery ticket! Yes, the entire universe. And he stated the odds for getting single cells to evolve were trillions of times less than that.
For the rest of this article, we will just assume that life somehow originated. We will simply ignore the problem of how life arose in the first place. But before we move on we will consider one point about the origin of life from non-life.
Acausality and Double Standards
Some may argue that invoking God to account for the origin of life has the same problem as invoking other worlds as the origin for the first cells of life on earth; where did that other-worldly life come from, and, where did God come from, seem to be similar questions.
Since this is a high level overview, I will not spend much time here on this issue. For now, I will just mention that science accepts the miraculous natural explanation of the universe appearing from nothing, without a creator, in a Big Bang; if the universe is accepted as originating without a creator, then to require a creator for God to exist is a double standard. (I will not speculate further in this article on this, such as considering quantum fluctuations.) So, I will move on now, and just assume simple single-celled life somehow arose, or arrived, on this planet.
Once life arises, then what? How could that simple life have evolved into multicellular organisms?
Evolution by Mutation
The theory of evolution that involves a synthesis of Darwin’s theory in terms of natural selection and modern population genetics is sometimes referred to as "neo-Darwinism." The inventor of the gene gun, which has been used much in genetic engineering, has written a book arguing that mutations / genetic changes could not produce evolution, since most changes are not positive, not beneficial. Very few are beneficial. Most genetic changes, or mutations, are either neutral or harmful, he points out. His conclusion is that long before there could possibly have been any positive effect from beneficial mutations, there would have been so many more harmful ones that life would plunge into a downward spiral, of de-evolution, negative evolution, not positive evolution. Remember, this is the man who invented the main tool that has been used in genetic engineering for many years, so he just might know what he is talking about regarding genetics. The book is titled Genetic Entropy. 3
Suzan Mazur, a scientific journalist who embraces evolution, attended a meeting of many prominent evolutionists in July of 2008. She wrote a book on the meeting that was published in 2009. 4 Here is a taste of what some of the evolutionists said about neo-Darwinism:
“At that meeting [Francisco] Ayala agreed with me when I stated that this doctrinaire neo-Darwinism is dead. He was a practitioner of neo-Darwinism but advances in molecular genetics, evolution, ecology, biochemistry, and other news had led him to agree that neo-Darwinism’s now dead.”
Natural Selection and Irreducible Complexity
Also, the requirement for evolution 5 is that any change provide positive benefit in order to be selected. However, many features are complex and to provide benefit that could be selected for, they require multiple components to evolve simultaneously, since without all components, the other components would be useless. This is called irreducible complexity. 6,7 This reduces the chances of evolution occurring.
The above may seem somewhat theoretical; we have talked about numbers and concepts. What about the physical evidence? Before leaving the above, without going into great detail, there is physical evidence to support much of the above; for example, irreducible complexity can be seen in scientific discoveries of how cellular organelles work, such as the bacterial flagellum.
But let us move on to look now at the evidence that we sometimes see in museums: fossils. Don't they prove evolution?
Well, the truth is that the fossils, instead of proving evolution occurred, actually indicate quite the opposite, according to evolutionists themselves. Below is a quotation from Colin Patterson that illustrates this:
"I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualise [portray] such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it.
"[Steven] Gould [of Harvard] and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least ‘show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.’ I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." 8
And from Niles Eldredge, head paleontologist, American Museum of Natural History, New York City:
"It is indeed, a very curious state of affairs, I think, that paleontologists have been insisting that their record is consistent with slow, steady, gradual evolution where I think that privately, they’ve known for over a hundred years that such is not the case. I view stasis and the trumpeting of stasis to the whole world that the fossil record shows slow, steady, continuous change (as opposed to jerky patterns of change) as akin to the ‘Emperor’s new clothes.’ Paleontologists have known this for over a hundred years." 9
(See the article at http://tasc-creationscience.org/article/fossils-0 for additional quotes, and for references to even more quotes.)
One time a friend of mine told me about listening to a PhD geologist giving a talk about fossils and geological layers of rock. My friend asked how the fossils were dated, and the answer from the geologist was, by the layers. My friend asked how the layers were dated, and the geologist answered, by the fossils. The geologist's eyes got big, my friend told me, when he realized that his two answers, one on the heels of the other, were obviously circular. The geologist said he was going to do more research into this.
Long time periods are needed for evolution. Not having long time periods is a problem for evolution. We can think that geology tells us there have been long ages of gradual change in earth's past. For example, it has long been stated that long ages were required to form the Grand Canyon. Now we have much evidence that this is not true. For example, at Mt. St. Helens, a canyon formed in modern times, with layers. One PhD geologist said that if he had not know the canyon formed in a single day, he would have said it had taken ages to form. 10,11
There are other problems with the idea of long ages for layers, such as polystrate fossils, and lack of weathering between layers. 12
Also, even the supposed amount of time attributed to geological ages by evolutionists is not long enough for life to have arisen and evolved to humans, as can be seen from the rest of this short article. Therefore even shorter times would be that much more of a problem.
What about radiometric dating? Doesn't that show great ages for rocks and fossils? Again, without going into detail, since this is the "forest" overview, not the more detailed "trees" view, there are reasons to doubt the truth of radiometric dates, such as supposedly millions-of-years-old dinosaur fossils carbon dating to less than 1% of the age they should have per the evolutionary timetable. 13 There is evidence too that decay rates are not always constant, ranging from radiometrically dated dinosaur bones to experimental evidence 14 to a patent 15 on changing decay rates.
Some might say that the age of stars and other astronomical objects shows the biblical account of a recent creation is incorrect. However, there are several scientific models that deal with this to provide scientific reasons why the universe can be much younger than the stars seem to indicate. Briefly, to list some such models, with no claims to being complete in listing all, there are models proposed by Russ Humphreys 16, John Hartnett 17, Barry Setterfield 18,19, and Jason Lisle 20. Some of these models have been modified since their original inception. But they provide an answer to the question, how can the universe be young when the stars tell us it is old? The important point to see here, is that there is not just a scientific answer to this question, but quite a few. So it is not as though creationists have no answer to astronomical arguments; in fact, they have several.
You may heard the expression "with so much going for it, how can you go wrong?" With evolution, the logical question seems to be, "With so much going against it, how can you believe it?" We might indeed ask whether evolution has anything at all going for it. You may have heard that evolution is proven and is fact not theory; however, from the above, we can see that the evidence does not support evolution, but actually argues rather convincingly against it.
Why, then, we might ask, is evolution so much supported, so much believed in, by so many? The founder of quantum physics, Max Planck, said
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. 21
The famous example of people refusing to look through Galileo's telescope seems to be a major issue in the perpetuation of mistaken concepts - simply not doing the research, not checking things out, not investigating, but instead, assuming the truth of ideas that are not actually true. To further investigate more about creation and evolution, you can find other articles on this site, as well as other sites.
- 1. Spears J (2016) Materialism and Abiogenesis < http://tasc-creationscience.org/article/materialism-abiogenesis > Accessed 2018 Jan 5
- 2. Koonin EV (2007) The cosmological model of eternal inflation and the transition from chance to biological evolution in the history of life. Biology Direct. 2007 May 31 < http://biologydirect.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6150-2-15 > Accessed 2016 Feb 23
- 3. Sanford JC (2005) Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome, FMS Publications, Waterloo, NY
- 4. The book is The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry by Susan Mazur and was published by North Atlantic Books in 2009. A review of the book by a creationist biologist can be found at < http://creation.com/review-altenberg-16 > Accessed 2018 Jan 17. The review was written by Walter ReMine and was published in the J Creation(2012) 26(1):24-30
- 5. Here I refer to evolution by natural selection.
- 6. Reynolds D (2006) Intelligent Design < http://tasc-creationscience.org/content/intelligent-design > Accessed 2018 Jan 17
- 7. Behe MJ (1996) Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, The Free Press, New York, NY
- 8. Colin Patterson, letter dated April 10, 1979, quoted in Sunderland LD (1998) Darwin’s Enigma, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 89.
- 9. Eldredge N (1981) Did Darwin Get it Wrong? Nova (BBC television program) 22:6.
- 10. Austin SA (1994) Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe (book and video) Institue for Creation Research, Dallas, TX
- 11. Austin SA, Mount St. Helens by Steve Austin < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5JdYhUzT40 >
- 12. Walker T (2007) Polystrate fossils: evidence for a young earth. Creation 29(3):54-55, < https://creation.com/polystrate-fossils-evidence-for-a-young-earth > Accessed 2018 Jan 6
- 13. Spears J (2013) Radiocarbon Dating of Dinosaur Fossils. < http://tasc-creationscience.org/article/radiocarbon-dating-dinosaur-fossils > Accessed 2018 Jan 6
- 14. Kerr RA (1999) Tweaking the Clock of Radioactive Decay, Science 286(5441), 882-883
- 15. United States Patent 5076971, “Method for Enhancing Alpha Decay in Radioactive Materials,” awarded on 28 August 1989 to William A. Barker. Assignee: Altran Corporation (Sunnyvale, California).
- 16. Humphreys D (2008) New time dilation helps creation cosmology < https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j22_3/j22_3_84-92.pdf > Accessed 2018 Jan 18
- 17. John Hartnett (physicist) < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hartnett_(physicist) > Accessedf 2018 Jan 18
- 18. Setterfield BJ, Setterfield HJ (2013) Cosmology and the Zero Point Energy, Natural Philosophy Alliance Monograph Series < http://www.setterfield.org/GSRdvds.html#cosmology, http://worldnpa.org/cosmology-and-the-zero-point-energy/ > Accessed 2016 May 01
- 19. Spears J (2017) The big stretch - Part 4: Scientific evidence < http://tasc-creationscience.org/article/big-stretch-4 > Accessed 2018 Jan 25
- 20. Lisle J (2011) Distant Starlight—The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention < https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/distant-starlight-thesis/ > Accessed 2018 Jan 18
- 21. Wissenschaftliche Selbstbiographie. Mit einem Bildnis und der von Max von Laue gehaltenen Traueransprache. Johann Ambrosius Barth Verlag (Leipzig 1948), p. 22, as translated in Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. F. Gaynor (New York, 1949), pp. 33–34 (as cited in T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). < https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck > Accessed 2018 Jan 18