Clarifying “Evolution”

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With modern technology, we can begin to appreciate what is available to us with just a few keystrokes: a vast quantity of information. I truly appreciate this because I love to learn. God gave me a hunger for learning, especially in the area of science so when I come across articles that are written so well, I share them here. Please enjoy this read about evolution and clarifying what they are really trying to force us to believe in every classroom across America.

Is Evolution a Theory, a Fact, or a Law?

Or — None of the Above?

By Dr. David N. Menton, Ph.D.
Copyright (c) 1993 by the Missouri Association for Creation
[No. 4 in a series]

I have heard many Christians say that evolution doesn’t concern them because, after all, it’s “only a theory.” Presumably they think that the word “theory” means about the same thing as a “pipe dream.” But the term theory, at least as it applies to experimental science, has a much nobler meaning than that. A scientific theory is a careful attempt to explain certain observable facts of nature by means of experiments. Since many Christians have concluded that evolution is incompatible with the Biblical account of creation, we would do well to investigate if evolution is a fact or a theory — or perhaps neither.

There is a widespread misconception that good theories grow up to be facts and that the really good ones finally become laws. But these three categories of scientific description are neither directly related nor mutually exclusive. It often occurs that a single natural phenomenon can be described in terms of a theory, a fact, and a law — all at the same time!

Consider the well-known phenomenon of gravity. First, there is a fact of gravity. While we cannot actually see gravitational force itself, we do observe the effects of this force every time we drop something. There is also a theory of gravity that addresses the question of how this force we call gravity really works. While we really don’t know how gravity works, there are theories that attempt to explain it. Finally there is the well-known law of gravity. This law, first formulated by Isaac Newton, a Bible believing Christian and creationist, is a mathematical equation that shows a relationship between mass, distance and gravitational force. So in summary, a scientific fact is an observable natural occurrence; a scientific theory is an attempt to explain how this natural occurrence works; and, a scientific law is a mathematical description of this natural occurrence.

Science itself is the whole process of making careful observations of certain facts of nature and then constructing and testing theories that seek to explain those facts. We call these tests of a theory experiments. Experimental science, better known as empirical science, is the kind of science that is responsible for the marvelous technological achievements that make our life easier. One has only to consider what it would be like to endure surgery without anesthesia to appreciate the contributions of empirical science to our life.

The most important requirement of empirical science is that any object or phenomenon we wish to study must first be observable. While we may assume the existence of events not witnessed by human observers, such events are not suited to study by empirical science. Secondly, the object or phenomenon we wish to study must be repeatable. Unique and unrepeatable events, like say the Babylonian Empire, are the subject of history, not empirical science. Finally, any explanations we might propose for observable and repeatable phenomena must be testable. By this we mean that we must be able to conceive of an experiment that could refute our theory if it were wrong. If one were to propose an explanation for a phenomenon in such a way that no one could conceive of any way to test or refute it, it wouldn’t be a theory at all, but rather a belief. Beliefs, of course, are not necessarily wrong or inappropriate, they just aren’t well suited to study by empirical science.

What then shall we say of evolution? First, evolutionists tell us that major evolutionary changes happen far too slowly, or too rarely, to be observable in the lifetime of human observers. Most living organisms and their offspring are said to remain largely unchanged for tens of thousands, or even millions, of years. According to the evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky, even when evolutionary changes do occur, they are by nature “unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible.” Dobzhansky tells us that the “applicability of the experimental method to the study of such unique historical processes is severely restricted.” The well-known evolutionist Paul Ehrlich says the theory of evolution “cannot be refuted by any possible observations” and thus is “outside of empirical science.”

Still, the occurrence of evolution is widely believed to be a scientific “fact” and those who dare to doubt it are not endured gladly. The Encyclopedia Britannica confidently assures us that “we are not in the least doubt as to the fact of evolution.” In his textbook _Evolution_, J. Savage says “we do not need a listing of the evidences to demonstrate the fact of evolution any more than we need to demonstrate the existence of mountain ranges.” In another textbook titled _Outlines of General Zoology_, H. Newman arrogantly declared that evolution has no rival as an explanation for the origin of everything “except the outworn and completely refuted one of special creation, now retained only by the ignorant, the dogmatic, and the prejudicial.”

What exactly is the “observable fact” of evolution? First you should be aware that evolutionists recognize two types of evolution — micro evolution, which is observable, and macro evolution, which isn’t. So called “micro evolution” is a process of limited variation among the individuals of a given species that produces the sort of variety we observe, for example, among dogs. Macro evolution, on the other hand, is a hypothetical process of unlimited variation that evolutionists believe transforms one kind of living organism into a fundamentally different kind such as the transformation of reptiles into birds or apes into people. Obviously, no one has ever observed anything remotely like this actually happen.

The very name “micro evolution” is intended to imply that it is this kind of variation that accumulates to produce macro evolution though a growing number of evolutionists admit there is no evidence for this. Thus an observable phenomenon is extrapolated into an unobservable phenomenon for which there is no evidence, and then the latter is declared to be a “fact” on the strength of the former. It is this kind of limitless extrapolation that comprises much of the argument for evolution.

In conclusion, evolution is not observable, repeatable, or refutable and thus does not qualify as either a scientific fact or theory. Evolution must be accepted with faith by its believers, many of whom deny the existence, or at least the power, of the Creator. Similarly, the Biblical account of creation is not observable, repeatable or refutable by man. Special creation is accepted with faith by those who believe that the Bible is the revelation of an omnipotent and omniscient Creator whose Word is more reliable than the speculations of men. Both evolution and creation, however, can be compared for their compatibility with what we do observe of the facts of nature. In the months ahead, we will see that creation by intelligent design is a vastly more reasonable explanation for the origin of the complexity we see in living things than is evolution by mere chance and the intrinsic properties of nature.

Dr. Menton received his Ph.D. in Biology from Brown University. He has been involved in biomedical research and education for over 30 years.

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Originally published in: St. Louis MetroVoice, October 1993, Vol. 3, No. 10

Top Evidences for Creation

1. Information
The instructions for how to build, operate, and repair living cells represent a vast amount of information (estimated at 12 billion bits). Information is a mental, non-material concept. It can never arise from a natural process and is always the result of an intelligence. Just as a newspaper story transcends the ink on the paper, life’s DNA itself (like the ink) is not the information, it is simply a physical representation or housing of the information (the story). Modifying the DNA via mutation can never produce new genetic information to drive upward evolution, just as spilling coffee on the newspaper, thereby modifying the distribution of the ink, will never improve the story.
Key referencesGenetic Entropy (Sanford), In the Beginning was Information (Gitt).
2. Formation of Life
Dead chemicals cannot become alive on their own. The cell is a miniature factory with many active processes, not a simple blob of “protoplasm” as believed in Darwin’s day. Lightening striking a mud puddle or some “warm little pond” will never produce life. This is another view of the core issue of information as the simplest living cell requires a vast amount of information to be present. The “Law of Biogenesis” states that life comes only from prior life. Spontaneous generation has long been shown to be impossible (by Louis Pasteur in 1859). Numerous efforts to bring life from non-life (including the famous Miller-Urey experiment) have not succeeded. The probability of life forming from non-life has been likened to the probability of a tornado going through a junkyard and spontaneously assembling a working 747 airplane. The idea that life on earth may have been seeded from outer space just moves the problem elsewhere.
Key referenceWhy Abiogenesis is Impossible, Jerry Bergman, CRS Quarterly, Volume 36, March 2000
3. Design of Living Things
Design is apparent in the living world. Even Richard Dawkins in his anti-creation book The Blind Watchmaker admits “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” The amazing defense mechanism of the Bombardier Beetle is a classic example of design in nature, seemingly impossible to explain as the result of accumulating small beneficial changes over time, because if the mechanism doesn’t work perfectly, “boom” – no more beetle! This is also another view of the core issue of information, as the design of living things is the result of processing the information in the DNA (following the blueprint) to produce a working organism.
Key reference: The three-part video series Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution describes many more examples like that of the Bombardier Beetle
4. Irreducible Complexity
The idea that “nothing works until everything works.” The classic example is a mousetrap, which is irreducibly complex in that if one of its several pieces is missing or not in the right place, it will not function as a mousetrap and no mice will be caught. The systems, features, and processes of life are irreducibly complex. What good is a circulatory system without a heart? An eye without a brain to interpret the signals? What good is a half-formed wing? Doesn’t matching male and female reproductive machinery need to exist at the same time, fully-functioning if any reproduction is to take place? Remember, natural selection has no foresight, and works to eliminate anything not providing an immediate benefit.
Key referenceDarwin’s Black Box (Behe)
5. Second Law of Thermodynamics
The Second Law of Thermodynamics refers to the universal tendency for things, on their own, to “mix” with their surrounding environment over time, becoming less ordered and eventually reaching a steady-state. A glass of hot water becomes room temperature, buildings decay into rubble, and the stars will eventually burn out leading to the “heat death” of the universe. However, the evolutionary scenario proposes that over time things, on their own, became more ordered and structured. Somehow the energy of a “Big Bang” structured itself into stars, galaxies, planets, and living things, contrary to the Second Law. It is sometimes said that the energy of the Sun was enough to overcome this tendency and allow for the formation of life on earth. However, application of energy alone is not enough to overcome this tendency; the energy must be channeled by a machine. A human must repair a building to keep it from decaying. Likewise, it is the machinery of photosynthesis which harnesses the energy of the Sun, allowing life to exist, and photosynthesis is itself a complex chemical process. The maturing of an acorn into a tree, or a zygote (the first cell resulting from fertilization) into a mature human being does not violate the Second Law as these processes are guided by the information already present in the acorn or zygote.
Key referenceThe Second Law of Thermodynamics (answersingenesis.org)
6. Existence of the Universe
By definition, something must be eternal (as we have “something” today and something cannot come from “nothing”, so there was never a time when there was “nothing”). Either the universe itself is eternal, or something/someone outside of and greater than the universe is eternal. We know that the universe is not eternal, it had a beginning (as evidenced by its expansion). Therefore, God (the something/someone outside of the universe) must exist and must have created the universe. Einstein showed that space and time are related. If there is no space there is no time. Before the universe was created there was no space and therefore no concept of time. This is hard for us to understand as we are space-time creatures, but it allows for God to be an eternal being, completely consistent with scientific laws. The question “who created God” is therefore an improper/invalid question, as it is a time-based question (concerning the point in time at which God came into existence) but God exists outside of time as the un-caused first cause.
7. Fine-tuning of Earth for Life
Dozens of parameters are “just right” for life to exist on this planet. For example, if the Earth were just a little closer to the Sun it would be too hot and the ocean’s water would boil away, much further and it would be covered continually in ice. Earth’s circular orbit (to maintain a roughly constant temperature year-round), its rotation speed (to provide days and nights not too long or short), its tilt (to provide seasons), and the presence of the moon (to provide tides to cleanse the oceans) are just some of many other examples.The presence of large amounts of water, with its amazing special properties, is also required. Water is a rare compound in that it is lighter in a solid state than in a liquid state. This allows ponds to freeze with the ice on the surface allowing the life beneath to survive. Otherwise bodies of water would freeze from the bottom up and become solid ice. Water is also the most universal “solvent” known, allowing for dissolving/mixing with the many different chemicals of life. In fact, our bodies are 75-85% comprised of water.
Key referenceThe Privileged Planet (Gonzalez/Richards)
8. Fine-tuning of Physics
The fine-tuning of the physical constants that control the physics of the universe – the settings of the basic forces (strong nuclear force constant, weak nuclear force constant, gravitational force constant, and electromagnetic force constant) are on a knife’s edge. A minor change in these or any of dozens of other universal parameters would make life impossible.The “multiverse” idea that there may be many universes and ours “just happened” to have these proper values is outside of science and could never be proven. Even then we would have to ask “what was the cause of all these universes?”
Key reference: Hugh Ross lists about 100 parameters on the Reasons To Believe web site. See also Design and the Anthropic Principle
9. Abrupt Appearance in the Fossil Record
The oldest fossils for any creature are already fully-formed and don’t change much over time (“stasis”). The “Cambrian Explosion” in the “primordial strata” documents the geologically rapid appearance of most major groups of complex animals. There is no evidence of evolution from simpler forms. Birds are said to have evolved from reptiles but no fossil has ever been found having a “half-scale/half-wing”. A reptile breathes using an “in and out” lung (like humans have), but a bird has a “flow-through” lung suitable for moving through the air. Can you even imagine how such a transition of the lung could have taken place? Abrupt appearance and stasis are consistent with the biblical concept of creation “according to its kind”, and a world-wide flood that scoured the earth down to its basement rocks, depositing the “geologic column” and giving the appearance of a “Cambrian Explosion”. Smarter, more mobile creatures would escape the flood waters longer, becoming buried in higher-level strata, leading to a burial order progressing from “simpler” forms to more complex/higher-level forms, which people now wrongly interpret as an evolutionary progression.
Key referenceFossils Q&A (answersingenesis.org)
10. Human Consciousness
A person is a unity of body + mind/soul, the mind/soul being the immaterial part of you that is the real inner you. Chemicals alone cannot explain self-awareness, creativity, reasoning, emotions of love and hate, sensations of pleasure and pain, possessing and remembering experiences, and free will. Reason itself cannot be relied upon if it is based only on blind neurological events.
Key referenceThe Origin of the Brain and Mind, Brad Harrub and Bert Thompson, CRS Quarterly, Volume 41, June 2004
11. Human Language
Language is one of the main things that separates man from the animals. No animal is capable of achieving anything like human speech, and all attempts to teach chimpanzees to talk have failed. Evolutionists have no explanation for the origin of human language. However, the Bible does. It says that the first man, Adam, was created able to speak. The Bible also explains why we have different human languages, as God had to “confuse” the common language being used in Babel after the flood, in order to force people to spread out around the world as He wanted. This was only a “surface” confusion though, as all languages express the same underlying basic ideas and concepts, enabling other languages to be learned and understood.
Key referenceThe Mystery of Human Language (Morris, icr.org)
12. Sexual Reproduction
Many creatures reproduce asexually. Why would animals abandon simpler asexual reproduction in favor of more costly and inefficient sexual reproduction? Sexual reproduction is a very complex process that is only useful if fully in place. For sexual reproduction to have evolved complimentary male and female sex organs, sperm and eggs, and all the associated machinery in tandem defies the imagination.
13. The Bible’s Witness
The Bible is true. The history of the Bible is true. The words of the Bible concerning our origins were given to men to write down, by God, who was the only living being present. We were not there! God said He created the universe. God said He created all living things. We know that life is much more than chemicals. God put His life into Adam and that life has been transferred from generation to generation all the way down to us!
Key referenceThe New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (McDowell)

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One comment

  1. Loved your post! Science in regards to our origin has fallen to pride, imagination, and wishful thinking. It is astonishing that the public has placed mugs like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Hawking on the same level as Tesla, Edison and Einstein.

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