Evolution’s Fake News: There is a Mechanism to Drive Macroevolutional Change
The term, and even the concept, of “fake news” is a relatively new phenomenon in the context of political journalism. In the past, “news casts” were thought to be objective reporting of the facts regarding the news of the day by unbiased journalists seeking only to discover the truth. For instance, in the 1970s almost no American would have questioned the veracity of any report coming from the lips of Walter Cronkite. Much has changed since those days! Only the most naïve of American citizens believe they can blindly trust the words of political journalists. We realize that almost all reporting comes with the particular “spin” of the journalist and network reporting on the news of the day. Thus, the concept of “fake news” that is meant to subjectively shape public opinion on a subject, not to objectively report on a subject. In some cases “fake news” may twist the “facts”; in others it may blatantly make up the “facts.”
With a disclaimer that TASC is not a political organization and does not take official political positions, I, as the author, would like to suggest one example of this phenomenon. Right before the 2020 election, nearly all the main-stream media sources were claiming that news, first reported by the New York Post, 1 about the discovery of a Hunter Biden laptop full of potentially incriminating information about the Biden family was, in fact, a product of “Russian disinformation.” 2 This was a hoax from the beginning, designed to shape public opinion right before the election. We now know that the laptop and its content were real and even the main-stream media sources that were concocting the “Russian disinformation” story are admitting it. 3 That story was fake, and it illustrates one of the most common tactics of “fake news” practitioners, which is to project onto your political opponents the very things that you and your cohorts are guilty of! The “disinformation” paradigm was itself disinformation!
I would like to suggest that this strategy is not new even though it is becoming much more prevalent in our modern world. In fact, evolutionists have been using the same strategy against creationists for years, claiming that the creationists were the ones that abandoned empirical science in favor of biased “facts,” fairy tales, and made-up stories about origins. For instance, all the way back in 1957, evolutionary scientist Loren Eiseley wrote:
With the failure of these many efforts, science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past. 4
Describing this strategy of the evolutionists, journalist Tom Bethell, writing in 1985 stated,
What most people do not know is that for much of this century, and especially in recent years, scientists have been fighting among themselves about Darwin and his ideas.
Scientists are largely responsible for keeping the public in the dark about these in-house arguments. When they see themselves as beleaguered by opponents outside of the citadel of science, they tend to put their differences aside and unite to defeat the heathen, the layman sees only the closed ranks. 5
One of the main strategies used to “defeat the heathen” has been to project onto creationists the accusation of fake news, but with this article, I would like to suggest that the very idea that biological evolution from molecule to man (macroevolution) is even possible is, itself, fake news! Why? Because there is no known mechanism available to drive it, and that it is scientifically inconceivable. Let me elaborate. Back in April of 2018, I wrote an article for TASC entitled, “Evolution’s False Start: The Spontaneous Generation of Life.” 6 In that article I argued that evolution had no explanation for the origin of information that would be necessary at the point of abiogenesis of life from inanimate matter. I also wrote,
I would argue that even given a simple life form, the proposed mechanisms for biological evolution (random mutations and natural selection) could not account for the huge informational increases that would be required for molecule-to-man macroevolution to occur, but that discussion is for another article.” 7
What you are now reading is that article!
It’s Fake News that Natural Selection Can Drive (Macro)Evolution
Let me begin by going back to the book of Genesis. The word ינִ מ) (min), translated “kind” in Genesis 1 verses 12, 21, and 24 is very relevant. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says this about ינִ מ:
God created the basic forms of life called min which can be classified according to modern biologists and zoologists as sometimes species, sometimes genus, sometimes family or order. This gives no support to the classical evolutionist view which requires developments across kingdom, phyla, and classes. 8
The Bible states in these verses that the various plants and animals were only able to reproduce after their own kind. This allows for much variation within a kind (so-called “microevolution,” to use the commonly accepted term for lack of a better term today that most creationists prefer not to use because it implies that small changes could lead to large changes over time 9 ) but allows for no change of one kind into another (macroevolution or “Darwinism”). For example, today we see many different types and varieties of dogs and cats. However, we see no “dats” or “cogs.” It has long been known that natural selection (i.e., the survival of the fittest) can account for changes within a species. For instance, Darwin himself was influenced greatly by microevolutional changes evidenced in the varieties of finches he observed on the Galapagos Islands. Honest evolutionists, however, will admit that microevolutional changes are irrelevant when it comes to evidence for “molecule-to-man” macroevolution. For instance, Marjorie Grene, a leading philosopher and historian of science at the University of California, Davis, stated,
That the color of moths and snails or the bloom on the castor bean steam are ‘explained’ by mutation and natural selection is very likely; but how from singlecelled (and for that matter from inanimate) ancestors there came to be castor beans and moths and snails, and how from these there emerged llamas and hedgehogs and lions and apes—and men—that is a question which neo-Darwinian theory simply leaves unasked. 10
However, if we had enough microevolution wouldn’t that eventually lead to macroevolution? This logic sounds reasonable. As a matter of fact, it is a typical “rescue device” used by evolutionists in response to the argument that microevolutional changes are not relevant when it comes to arguing for macroevolution. The logic dissipates, however, when one realizes that microevolution is actually going in the wrong direction, the direction of decreased complexity, not increased complexity as is required for macroevolution. The key to increased complexity is new information, not a different selection from existing information. For instance, to go from a microbe to a man you have to add a whole library of new coded genetic information to the genome. It is estimated that a microbe has about two books of 500 pages worth of coded genetic information, while a human has about 1000 books worth.
Any theory attempting to explain molecule-to-man evolution must explain how the additional information got into the genome. Where did it come from? Let’s assume we have a life form capable of reproduction. Does natural selection provide the new information needed for evolution? Absolutely not! Natural selection merely selects from and conserves what is already there. Both natural and artificial selection actually reduce genetic information. For example, when a dog breeder breeds for long-haired dogs, he is using artificial selection to direct a change over time, but this does not represent an increase in genetic information, but a decrease, since the new dogs, when interbred, will no longer be able to have offspring with short hair.
It is very important to note that change (or microevolution that is scientifically verifiable and accepted by creationists and evolutionists alike) is not equal to molecules-to-man evolution (or macroevolution). Therefore, it is misleading at best when the media or the scientific establishment attempt to prove molecules-to-man-evolution by sighting simple examples of microevolution. Former University of California Berkeley law professor Philip Johnson writes,
That one word evolution can mean something so tiny it hardly matters, or so big it explains the whole history of the universe. Keep your baloney detector trained on that word. If it moves, zap it! 11
It’s Fake News that Mutations Can Drive (Macro)Evolution
If natural selection can’t create more information, what does? The answer typically given is mutations. However, the argument that mutations are the mechanism for evolution is equally void of scientific evidence. Mutations are almost always harmful to the organism, not beneficial. Information theory teaches us that when information is transmitted it either stays the same or gets more random. Illustrations might include randomly changing the letters in a sentence or repeatedly copying an audio tape. The result will be more randomness or noise, not more useful information. Even evolutionists agree that mutations are rarely if ever beneficial. However, they claim that occasionally we see some beneficial ones such as:
- Flightless birds on islands that can swim and dive better
- Wingless beetles on windy islands that aren’t blown out to sea as easily
- Eyeless fish in caves (where they couldn’t see even if they had eyes) that are not subject to injuries/infections caused by bumping eyes on rocks
- Bacteria gaining resistance to antibiotics
(This is not referring to the common scenario where some of the bacteria already had resistance, but those rare scenarios in which a mutation produces a defect with a beneficial side effect. In every case studied thus far the bacteria has become less fit to survive overall in a general environment in spite of the beneficial side effect. This example is similar to the genetic disease “sickle-cell anemia” in man which does convey resistance to malaria as a beneficial side effect to an otherwise harmful disease. 12 )
However, on the microbiological level, all of these, according to information scientist and former professor at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Lee Spetner, turn out to be loses of genetic information. Spetner states,
All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it. 13
Creationist biologist Robert Carter adds,
In fact, it looks like all examples of gain-of-function mutations, put in light of the long-term needs of upward evolutionary progress, are exceptions to what is needed, because every example I have seen involves something breaking. 14
Earlier in the same paper, however, Carter clarifies that this does not rule out the possibility of seemingly more substantial changes within the genome. He argues that new evidence seems to indicate that perhaps God engineered into DNA the ability to adapt or change. This, however, is far different from random, accidental mutations. Carter explains:
Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time, but they are also stating that some of these changes are controlled by genetic algorithms built into the genomes themselves. In other words, not all changes are accidental, and a large proportion of genetic ‘information’ is algorithmal. If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? Mutation originally simply meant ‘change’ but today it carries a lot of extra semantic baggage. Can we say that a mechanism designed by God to create diversity over time within a species can be a cause of ‘mutation’, with its connotation of unthinking randomness? In fact, there is considerable evidence that some mutations are repeatable (that is, not wholly random). This suggests the presence of some genomic factor designed to control mutation placement in at least some cases. If that something causes an intentional change in the DNA, do we call that a ‘mutation’ or an ‘intelligently engineered change in the DNA sequence’? Of course, random mutations still occur, and these are mostly due to the error rate of the DNA replication and repair machinery. 15
One creationist organization, the Institute for Creation Research, has even developed a new and controversial model—creation scientists like Robert Carter quoted above prefer a more traditional understanding of natural selection being the driver of the small microevolutional changes in organisms—known as “continuous environmental tracking” that would allow for much more rapid changes in the genome based on targeted responses to environmental challenges. 16 The idea is that God engineered into species feedback mechanisms that sense changes in the environment and thus trigger preplanned “mutations” or changes in the genome. Again, even if true—and many creationists like Carter disagree with the theory—these would not be random mutations.
Evolutionists have yet to come up with one example of a truly random information-adding mutation in spite of many creationist requests for such an example in recent years. 17 Does that mean there has never been a mutation that added information? For the sake of argument, let’s assume there has been. One is not enough! Famous French evolutionist Pierre-Paul Grasse admitted this problem for evolution:
The opportune appearance of mutations permitting animals and plants to meet their needs seems hard to believe. Yet the Darwinian theory is even more demanding: A single plant, a single animal would require thousands and thousands of lucky, appropriate events. Thus, miracles would become the rule: events with an infinitesimal probability could not fail to occur. 18
Where then does information come from if not from mutations? Information theory teaches that coded information always originates from an intelligent designer. This understanding is the basis for the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program which is searching for extraterrestrial intelligence by looking for the simplest of coded signals from space. German information scientist Werner Gitt writes, “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor).” 19 Gitt also states,
There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. 20
This makes perfect sense since information is not material or tangible anyway. For instance, a compact disk is material, but the information stored on it is not! Therefore, we would certainly not expect to find a material process that could form it. Why is it that we are willing to spend millions of dollars to search for coded information from space that would prove that intelligent life exists there, but we are unwilling to acknowledge that the precisely coded information in each cell of life likewise indicates an intelligent designer?
Finally, not only are evolutionists unable to account for how coded information originated in the cell, but they can’t account for how it remains there! Recent scientific research has discovered that humans have a phenomenally high genetic mutation rate, in spite of error-correcting mechanisms in the cell. The most conservative estimate is 100 new mutations per person per generation (likely only a fraction of the true number). 21 We each have tens of thousands of mutations. 22 Furthermore, most mutations are nearly neutral and therefore cannot be filtered out by natural selection since they do not impact the health or survival of the individual. Therefore, only a small fraction of mutations that potentially accumulate in the genome are ever selected away by natural selection. Former Cornell University geneticist/genetic engineer (inventor of the “gene gun” process of genetically engineering plants), J. C. Sanford, focuses on this “information-retention”problem in his ground-breaking book, Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome. He states,
Mutation/selection cannot stop the loss of genomic information, let alone create the genome! Why is this? It is because selection occurs on the level of the whole organism. It cannot stop the loss of information (which is immeasurably complex) due to mutation, and is happening on the molecular level. It is like trying to fix a computer with a hammer. The microscopic complexity of the computer makes the hammer largely irrelevant. Likewise, the microscopic complexity of genomic mutation makes selection on the level of the whole individual largely irrelevant. 23
According to Sanford, the information residing in the human genome should not still be intact if the genome is as old as evolutionists claim:
The genome appears to be so well designed it can tolerate tens of thousands of errors. It is amazingly robust and unlike anything ever designed by man. But the genome is still not immune to failure due to error accumulation. If the rate of loss was constant and at its current level for 300 generations (6000 years), we would lose about 0.003% of our total information. This is huge (90,000 errors), yet it is conceivable given the extremely robust nature of the genome. However, if we continued to lose information at this same rate for 300,000 generations (6 million years) we would lose 3% of all our information! This would represent 90 million errors! This is inconceivable. No program could still be functional. 22
Therefore, we must conclude that mutations cannot drive macroevolutional change any more than natural selection, and a supposed biological process without a conceivable mechanism to drive it must be classified as “fake news!” Many will still believe it as “fake news” always seems to have incredible power to sway public opinion, especially since it is typically delivered by “unbiased reporters” or “unbiased scientists.” However, truth is objective regardless of the pronouncements of postmodern philosophy. Therefore, when we hear “follow the science” what they mean is “follow the scientists,” since science doesn’t “say” anything, scientists do! Therefore, we must all learn to exercise discernment and be seekers of truth. As Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
- 1Morris E-J, Fonrouge G (2020) Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad. https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introducedukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/ Accessed 2023 Mar 11
- 2Bertrand N (2020) Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/19/hunter-biden-story-russian-disinfo-430276 Accessed 2023 Mar 11
- 3Ashworth N (2022) Named and shamed: The 51 Intel officials who lied about the Hunter Biden laptop emails https://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com/2022/03/n amed-and-shamed-the-51-intel-officials-who-lied-aboutthe-hunter-biden-laptop-emails/ Accessed 2023 Mar 11
- 4Eiseley LC (1957) The Immense Journey, Random House, New York
- 5Bethell T (1985) Agnostic evolutionists: The taxonomic case against Darwin. Harper’s Magazine. 270: Feb 1985, 51 as quoted in Morris HM (1997) That Their Words May Be Used Against Them, Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, 123
- 6Greear D (2018) Evolution’s false start: The spontaneous generation of life. https://tasc-creationscience.org/sites/ default/files/2019-07/apr2018.pdf Accessed 2023 Mar 16
- 7Ibid., 1
- 8Harris RL, ed. (1980) Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol. I, Moody Press, Chicago, 503–504
- 9Creation Ministries International. Arguments we think creationists should not use. https://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationistsshould-not-use - micro_macro Accessed 2023 Mar 24
- 10Greene M (1959) Encounter, 54 as quoted by Gish GT (1993) Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA, 41
- 11Johnson PE (1997) Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 45
- 12For a more technical explanation see: Spetner SL (1997) Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution, The Judaica Press, New York, 139– 144.
- 13Ibid., 138
- 14Carter RW (2011) Can mutations create new information? J Creation 25(2):97
- 15Ibid., 94
- 16Institute for Creation Research (2023) Continuous environmental tracking: An engineering-based biological model. https://www.icr.org/CET/ Accessed 2023 Mar 14
- 17See Answers in Genesis (1998) Skeptics choke on frog: Was Dawkins caught on the hop? http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3907.asp Accessed 2023 Mar 14, available from for information on an interview where world-renowned evolutionist Richard Dawkins was unable to give such an example.
- 18Grasse P-P (1977) Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press New York, 103
- 19Gitt W (1997) In the Beginning was Information, Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung Bielefeld, 67
- 20Ibid., 107
- 21Sanford JC (2008) Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome, Third Edition, FMS Publications, Waterloo, NY, 37
- 22 a b Ibid., 153
- 23Ibid., 147–148