The name "Darwin" is synonymous with evolution.
Yet evolution, as a concept, traces back well before Darwin's time. Ancient
Norsemen believed that life evolved from slowly melting ice, and that the
process was fueled by breeze from a "land of fire." Greek philosophers
likewise held that life's advent was natural. They viewed it as just another
physical process. These old ideas may have influenced Charles Darwin's
grandfather, Erasmus, who speculated in his book, Zoonomia that life may
have evolved. But unlike those of the past, Darwin was committed to the
scientific method. He also knew his Bible, and was married to a deeply
religious woman. But that did not keep him from abandoning his views on
Creation - a transition that began with a voyage.
DARWIN'S CHANGE OF HEART
In 1831, Darwin set sail on the Beagle. Leaving
he traveled toward Patagonia. Before the trip Darwin believed that Science
reinforced the Bible's description of life's origin. The geologists, cosmologists
and biologists of the day concurred. Virtually all of them believed that
earth's history was the result of supernatural happenings. But as Darwin
traveled, he saw things that changed his mind. He was also influenced by
a book that he read along the way: Lyell's Principles of Geology. This
book taught that small past changes accumulate to yield the structures
we see today. Darwin's studies lasted about five years, and he left the
ship convinced of two things: (1) The Genesis account was not literal;
and (2) Evolution had occurred in nature.
His first conclusion stemmed from observations he made
regarding formations in the earth's surface. He wrote, for example, about
huge vertical walls in a canyon several miles across that was composed
of very hard rock about three hundred feet thick. Six thousand years was
too short a time for natural processes to produce what he saw. Changes
caused by erosion, for example, require centuries before they are even
noticeable. Also disturbing to him was the discovery that many species
were extinct. If
Noah had taken all the species with him on the ark, how
could so many have perished in the short span of several thousand years?
Conversely, if the earth were very old, then the opportunity might exist
for one species to change into another. Thus, for Darwin, the two ideas
of a very old earth and the creation of new species were related.
Darwin's belief in evolution was also fueled when he noticed
that insects common to South America and Europe landed on plant life common
to these same continents. Had God separately created these plants and insects
thousands of miles apart? Or did each come from a single parent that underwent
change in the past? Analogous yet different species scattered throughout
the Galapagos Islands posed a similar question to Darwin: Were these created
as distinct species? Or had they evolved from a few life forms common to
the islands? He found, for example, over ten different species of finches.
Yet they looked like one another, and they sang the same kind of song.
THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION
Although Darwin became convinced that change over long
time periods had produced life's diversity, he had no theory to explain
it. He completed his voyage after about five years. Two years later, while
reading Malthus's Population, Darwin pondered the question: "Why does
one species survive over another?" Darwin's answer was that favorable
changes are preserved and unfavorable ones destroyed. He then assumed that
the surviving change created new species. Twenty years later, he wrote
The Origin of Species. This book synthesized notes from the voyage with
his idea that the fittest survive.
Prior to Darwin's publication in 1859, biologists believed
that life was created by God, that living structures were designed, and
that species were discontinuous and unchanging. But Darwin's theory changed
all that. Life was now the result of an opportunistic combination from
continuous random changes. In effect, physical matter had replaced God,
and good fortune rather than design was the explanation. The survival of
an opportunistic combination was seen as the "natural selection"
of a universal, mechanistic materialism whose random motion never ceased.
At long last biologists believed that they understood
THE DEMISE OF OLD IDEAS
There were two lingering beliefs that had kept Darwin's
ideas from being accepted. The first was that each species of life on earth
is fixed and cannot change. The second was that the earth is very young,
and that its age is about 6000 years. But as Darwin's discoveries became
known to wider numbers of people, these beliefs began to be seriously questioned,
and their impact decreased with each passing year.
What were these discoveries? Darwin observed that the
differences that separated certain dissimilar species were as large as
the differences he found among some domestic animals of the same species.
He argued that if such differences had occurred in animals of the same
species, then they could also arise to separate animals into new and distinct
He further proposed how the changes occurred that created
the new species. Darwin argued that a virtual continuum of evolutionary
changes had occurred over long time periods, and that a natural selection
mechanism existed that favored the "fittest" adaptations. New
species then evolved from these "favored" changes. His arguments
proved persuasive, and the old belief that species were fixed began to
erode. But there was one other problem. How could evolutionary changes
occur over long time periods when the earth was only 6000 years old?
One of the ways Darwin answered the age problem was an
appeal to coral growth. He observed that coral reefs slowly grow off ocean
floors. But they do so at depths no greater than about twenty-five feet
below the surface of the water. How then, asked Darwin, can some of these
coral structures be hundreds of feet high? He answered his own question
in a most appealing way. He supposed that the ocean floor had slowly sunk
over eons of time, and that the gradual growth of a hundred yard high coral
reef from the ocean bottom had occurred not by the coral reaching great
heights but, instead, by the ocean floor slowly dropping to great depths.
Explained this way, the earth was not thousands -but millions of years
Here, then, was the removal of two great ancient beliefs
that had barred the acceptance of his ideas: The first, that species are
fixed and cannot change; and the second, that the earth's age is 6000 years.
With these two ideas aside, the old system with fixed species and young
earth was replaced by a dynamic evolving edifice where mutations create
new life forms over eons of time.
The implications of Darwin's synthesis were staggering.
First, life's advent and development did not need God. Second, religious
thought regarding creation and, by implication, all Scripture was in error.
Third, human life had no purpose and, therefore, no destiny.
TWO KINDS OF EVOLUTION
In view of the foundational aspects of these inferences,
it is astounding that so little data has nurtured their acceptance over
the years. Even in Darwin's day, the evidence was purely circumstantial.
Consider, for instance, a similar structure that is used in different ways
i.e., the lever arm in a bat's wing, frog's leg and man's arm. For Darwin
these were not the single design of a Supreme Intelligence, but the modifications
of an earlier structure that had evolved through natural selection.
Darwin also believed that the increase in the complexity
of life forms with time demonstrated evolution. These included groups of
existing species, as well as sequences of simple to complex fossils in
the geologic record. Darwin believed that, given enough time, small changes
produced new species, and that they also produced new kinds.
These two ideas are known, respectively, as micro and
macro evolution - terms have much broader application than "adoption,"
which pertains to a modification that enhances an organism's survival to
a changed environment. Unlike adaptation, which involves change within
the same species, micro- evolution pertains to the production of different
species within the same kind of life. For example, different species of
finches in the bird family. The second broad term, macroevolution, pertains
to the creation of different kinds of life. For instance, the creation
of sea life versus air life.
But it's here that we need a perspective. In Darwin's
day, living cells were considered to be as complicated as ping-pong balls.
Darwin had no understanding of DNA or RNA. Yet if we modeled a living cell
today using objects as small as marbles, we would need a room with a volume
of about 500 cubic feet. Darwin thus proposed a theory of life in a time
period when knowledge about its DNA blueprint was nonexistent. We are therefore
led to ask: How valid were his ideas?
Two species of the same kind of life, and that may have
evolved from a common ancestor are the Black Backed and Herring Gulls.
The first is found in North America, and the second in the Bering Straits.
However, each species seems to undergo gradual transition into the other
as one travels from either location toward that of the other. In Europe,
which is about midway between either location, the two species exist side
by side and do
not interbreed. Yet if we leave Europe and travel either
east or west, the one species gradually diminishes until only the other
Another example of microevolution is the Hawaiian fruit
fly. Changes in the gene sequences along salivary gland chromosomes indicate
that over 500 species seem to be descended from less than three colonizations.
Over twenty species of a Hawaiian bird (the Honeycreeper) likewise appear
to have come from only one ancestor.
Other examples could be cited to show that microevolution
appears to exist in nature. Two possible reasons for microevolution are
gene movement and genetic spread. The first occurs from the more or less
random interchange, insertion, modification or altered duplication of genes.
The second arises from prior chemical information within the gene producing
a response at the molecular level to environmental change in a way that
enhances the organism's survival. Gene movement is a more or less random
process, whereas genetic spread is a "programmed" adoption.
In this latter case, each species seems designed with
a range of genetic motion that ensures survival of the organism in response
to changing environmental conditions. Breeders have used this genetic latitude
to increase the sugar content of the sugar beet, or the range of edible
birds that have been bred from the wild jungle foul. In times of drought,
for example, genetic spread permits a root to grow deeper, and its cuticle
to thicken. These and other similar changes, such as the thickness of a mongoloid eyelid or the skin color in a negroid constitute
examples of genetic spread. But although these examples denote change within
the same species, the molecular mechanisms involved can, in principle,
gradually alter reproduction within isolated populations over extended
time periods. Were this to occur, a new species could, in principle, arise
- but it would necessarily be of the same kind as the parent stock, and
of a very similar appearance. Possible examples might include the Black
Backed and Herring Gulls, or the Hawaiian fruit fly or Honeycreeper.
But microevolution can also occur from the motion of one
or more genes. The geographical distributions of similar species of life
have been examined across our planet. Some of these are a mystery. But
others can be explained by presuming that genetic changes occurred within
a fixed kind of life that disallowed interbreeding of the modified organisms
with the parent stock.
The current understanding of this phenomenon is that a
small portion of a given species is environmentally isolated from the parent
stock. Genetic changes within the altered environment then occur. In some
cases, the molecular alterations disallow interbreeding. If the two groups
are later rejoined, the failure of the previously isolated group to interbreed
is seen from a taxonomic view as constituting a new species. If such changes
actually occur, it means that the process forms a new species within a
fixed life kind. The reason is that the term "species" taxonomically
means the ability to sexually reproduce.
DOES SCRIPTURE DISALLOW MICROEVOLUTION?
Does a process that disallows sexual reproduction among
some members of a given life kind contradict Scripture? The answer is no.
The Bible teaches that God created life after its kind - and not after
its species. The term "species" is a human label, and it denotes
one of a series of taxonomic titles created by man to catalog life. Other
titles include phylum, class, order, family and genus. But the Bible uses
the term "kind," and it defines what it means. In Genesis 6:19-20,
for example, Noah is instructed to bring "every living thing of all
flesh." God then defines what He means: birds, animals, creeping things
and (verse 18) man. But Noah was not told to take sea life with him. Genesis
chapter 1 also defines "kinds." They are: (v.20) Sea Life, (v.20)
Flying Creatures, (v.24) Animals (v.24) Creeping Things and (v.26) Man.
The term "kind" is also defined in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians
15:39 refers to men, animals, birds and fish. Since the context of this
passage is degrees of glory, it is not surprising to find Creeping things
To summarize, the Bible defines five kinds of life: sea,
air, land surface, earth's interior and man. And it teaches that God created
each as a separate category, distinct from all others. But Darwin's leap
of faith extrapolated microevolution (genetic spread) into macroevolution.
He assumed that natural selection had created man in the same way that
it made new skin colors.
Genetic spread is a feature of life put there for its
survival. But macroevolution denotes an article of faith that has no basis
in fact. The uncritical acceptance of macroevolution by numerous U.S. academic
and professional societies has discouraged critical examination of Darwin's
ideas. In particular, it is implicitly presumed that if evolution has occurred
in some small degree, then it can occur without limit. In other words, if microevolution has happened, then so has macroevolution.
However, the problem with this idea is that macroevolution implies changes
to every component of the biological system. But if this occurs, how can
the organism survive? This question is largely ignored by Darwin's supporters.
Yet its affirmation undergirds the validity of his proposals. In part II
of this article, we discuss the folly of Darwin's leap from micro to macro-evolution,
and why natural selection cannot create new "kinds" of life.
In Part I of Darwin's Dilemma, we discussed macro and
Macroevolution is presumed to have created different life-kinds
such as sea, land and air whereas microevolution is the label given to
genetic processes that are alleged to produce different species within
the same kind of life. For example, consider birds in the finch family.
The warbler finch (4.0 inches) and the large ground finch (6.5 inches)
are two of fourteen finch species discovered by Darwin in the Galapagos
and Cocos islands. Although the breeding habits of these finches are similar,
they do not inter-breed. Experts who study birds (ornithologists) are virtually
certain that all fourteen species of finches derived from a finch-like
form that originally colonized the islands.
Different finch species are found around the world. The
red-billed fire-finch (3.5 inches) lives south of the Sahara in Africa,
whereas the habitat of the snow finch (7.0 inches) is on barren, stony
ground in mountains 7000 feet above sea-level in Southern Europe, Central
Asia and the Himalayas. Two genetic processes that are alleged to produce
different species within the same kind of life are gene movement and genetic
spread. In Part I we said gene motion appears to be a random process, while
genetic spread is a feature of life identified with chemical information
within the genes that helps ensure its survival.
Macroevolution is, however, quite a different concept.
It is a label that pertains to hypothetical events that are alleged to
have created different "kinds" of life. For instance, the creation
of sea life versus air life. The uncritical acceptance of macroevolution
by numerous U.S. academic and professional societies has discouraged critical
examination of Darwin's ideas.
A widely accepted assumption is that if evolution has
occurred in some small degree, then it can occur without limit. But macroevolution
implies that an organism can survive changes to every component of its
biological system. This assumption is critical to Darwin's proposals and
is widely accepted by his supporters. Yet its validity has never been established.
On the contrary, there are reasons to believe that an organism cannot survive
widespread changes to its various biological components. Yet the macroevolution
proposed by Darwin, and that is accepted by his followers cannot exist
without them. The basic reason that such widespread changes cannot occur
in the manner proposed by Darwin concerns the complex and intricate way
that various parts of living systems interact with each other. In order
illustrate the point, let us examine the breathing apparatus that exists
in the human body.
We can obtain an appreciation for the bewildering mutual
dependencies that different parts of a living system have on each other
by considering the way oxygen passes through our bodies. It begins with
an involuntary action called "breathing." Each breath starts
when groups of electrical signals from the brain reach a muscle called
the diaphragm. This muscle spans the lower part of our body above the abdomen.
When activated, it moves downward, thereby lowering pressure within our
lungs below that of the atmosphere (nominally 14.7 pounds per square inch).
This pressure difference causes air to flow into our lungs so that the
pressure may be equalized. Our lungs then begin to expand, much like a
balloon, as the flow of air fills them. fills them.
But if we were to design this system, what would we need
to know? For example, the forces generated within the diaphragm are successful
in moving it downward only because its boundaries are fixed. The diaphragm
is attached to our breastbone in the front, our spine in the rear, and
to the inside of each of our lower three ribs on both sides. In order to
specify the strength and location of electrical signals that are appropriate
for breathing, we would need to know the size of the diaphragm, and just
how far its muscle tissue moves in response to the incoming electrical
signals. We would also need to know how much force can be applied at the
points where it is attached along the breastbone, spine and ribs. Otherwise
the diaphragm's motion might rip these points apart, and cause tissue to
We have only considered the electrical signals into the
diaphragm, and the motion of muscle tissue that occurs in response to them.
Yet questions that concern the size of the diaphragm, and the strength
of the points at which it is attached lead us into another system component:
the skeleton. The diaphragm is pinned to the breastplate, the spine and
If we can specify the skeleton, we will know their size
and location. The skeleton's specification therefore tells us the size
of the diaphragm, and the maximum force that the muscle tissue can exert
at the points where the diaphragm is attached before the bone tissue will
break. Yet this is only part of the story.
The details of the location, shape and strength of the
bones, and the size of the diaphragm, and how its muscle tissue responds
to incoming electrical signals require us to know information we have not
yet specified about the lungs. This is also true of the force that can
rupture and break the points where the diaphragm is attached. To ensure
that the electrical signals are not too strong, or that the motion of the
diaphragm exceeds the so-called "yield strength" of the points
where it is attached, we need to specify certain things about the lungs.
The diaphragm works in concert with the lungs, and the
size and interface of both must agree. Also, the diaphragm's motion cannot
be too extensive. Otherwise the lung tissue will rip. The amount that it
does move cannot exceed the lung tissue's elastic limit. Otherwise irreversible
loss in lung elasticity will result, and lung tissue will be destroyed.
How large must the lungs be? That depends on the percentage
of oxygen in the air, and the efficiency with which it passes through lung
tissue and into the blood. For example, if our lungs were to pass one half
their oxygen to the blood, they would only be 50 percent efficient. Fortunately,
they are much more efficient than this. Our atmosphere has 21 percent oxygen
by volume, and we typically breathe about 20 cubic feet of air daily. But
these numbers work in our favor because they organizationally harmonize
with the parameters above (and some we have as yet to discuss).
Lung tissue consists of about 600 million tiny sacs called
"alveoli." Although each is only 4 thousandths of an inch in
diameter, in total, they represent an area the size of a racket ball court.
Each sac is a highly complex machine that processes air it receives from
inside the lung, extracts the oxygen, and then passes the oxygen into the
blood. Millions of these remarkable "sacs" work at very high
efficiency to give us a lung size that is practical.
But does this end the story? If we knew the lung size, and could specify
the alveoli's extraordinary properties, could we then design this system?
All that we have discussed: the electrical signals, diaphragm muscle, lung
tissue, skeletal structure, and the various properties of each including
size, location, response, strength, efficiency and so forth are all part
of a very complicated system. Each parameter works in harmony with each
of the others as an optimized, balanced system. The final goal is to burn
oxygen in each of billions upon billions of body cells - a process called
But to burn oxygen, we must get it to the cells. Oxygen
isn't easily carried by a liquid. It prematurely burns by reacting with
virtually everything that it contacts. This premature burning disables
oxygen from being burned at its final destination in cells. But the blood
that flows through our body is no ordinary liquid. It has truly remarkable
properties that allow large quantities of oxygen to be transported from
the lungs, and to countless billions of body cells.
The blood in each of our bodies contains about 30 trillion
cells. These differ from normal body cells in that they have no nucleus
(except when they first form).
Each of these 30 trillion "red blood cells"
have about 270 million very special, highly intricate chemical structures
called "protein molecules." Totaling almost ten thousand million
trillion, they each contain a ring that is composed of carbon, nitrogen
and hydrogen. The rings are afloat in the blood stream, and a cluster of
four iron atoms sits at the center of each of the rings. This cluster,
in turn, provides a seat for two very privileged guests: a pair of oxygen
atoms that sustain life by ultimately being burned in the cell they are
destined to reach. But the cluster of iron atoms surrounds the oxygen in
a way that protects it from premature burning until it reaches its final
This incredibly designed molecule is called "hemoglobin,"
and it enables an amazing amount of oxygen to be carried from the lungs,
and to the body cells by the blood. Were it not for the astounding orchestration
of numerous electrical, mechanical and chemical properties that have been
interwoven among trillions of these intricate, microscopic structures,
our hearts would need to pump 50 thousand gallons of blood through our
bodies each day at almost 5 times atmospheric pressure. Since our bodies
disallow this, a change in blood fluid properties would necessitate changes
in the electrical signals, diaphragm muscle, lung tissue, skeletal structure,
and so forth. Why? because each component interacts with all others. It
is a system problem.
Yet, specifying all of these things (including the blood)
still does not permit us to design the system. Even given all these things,
we still need to know how quickly the blood is carrying oxygen to our body
cells. The present rate is about 2000 gallons per day. But if it were half
this number, we would then need to readjust all of the other systems' parameters
to satisfy the demand for oxygen by the cells. It would do us no good to
change just one of the parameters, say, lung size or atmospheric oxygen
content. The reason is that each system component is functionally related
to all the others and quantitatively impacts the way they perform. A change
anywhere means a change everywhere.
THE HEART AND ARTERIES
To specify the flow rate of blood, we must know the number,
diameter and distribution of all the arteries. Our body has an arterial
network which, in total, covers about 60,000 miles. Yet even if we could
enumerate all of the branches, and calculate the turbulence at each of
the forks, and compute back-pressure near the valves, and catalog the manner
of its distribution - knowing, for example, that 500 gallons pass through
140 miles of arteries in the kidneys daily - it would still be of little
value. We must also have full knowledge of the pump that is driving the
system -it's size, impedance and flow characteristics. As incredible as
it sounds, a typical heart is just larger than a fist and weighs only eleven
ounces! Yet, on average, it reliably pumps 2000 gallons of blood daily
for over 70 years.
But given all of this, we would still need to know the
rate at which the heart pumps the blood. A typical heart beats over 100,000
times each day. This totals about 2 billion beats in a lifetime. However,
the rate at which these complex cycles of contractions and expansions occur
is controlled by electrical signals from the brain. Thus we need to know
aspects of brain operation not only in regard to electrical signals to
the diaphragm muscle, but also with respect to its signals to the heart.
And even if all of these things were known - we would still have inadequate
information to design this system. We also require details of the burning
process once the oxygen reaches its destination. This includes the rate
of the metabolism, and the feedback signals from the cells to the brain
controlling the release of sugar products within the liver, insulin from
the pancreas and digestive chemistry within the stomach.
This myriad of parameters undergoes cooperative interactions
that stagger the mind. A trivial system with, say, five components displays
twenty basic kinds of interactions. Compound interactions increase this
number to sixty four.* But even a simple biological system such as a single-celled
amoeba must move around, acquire food, process oxygen, eliminate waste,
interact environmentally and reproduce itself. It contains hundreds of
components with base and compound interactions that number in the tens
of thousands, and millions, respectively. Darwin's belief in biological
change through the natural selection of certain evolutionary changes were,
for him, sensible because the variations that he saw were small. But his
idea that special combinations survive to produce new kinds of life had
no data, whatever, to support it. Macroevolution has been defended for
over one hundred years. Yet nothing has been found showing natural selection
created even one new life kind!** Despite this fact, however, the idea
(*These arise when nonlinearities create functional dependencies
between a system component, and the joint combination of two or more other
components.) (**The five kinds of life are: sea, air, land surface, earth
interior, and man.)
Macroevolution implies changes to every component of the
biological system. Considering the countless interactions that exist in
real living systems, how can an organism that is forced to undergo natural
selection endure? Any change into a new life kind must disrupt millions
of co-adoptive interactions within the organism. To survive, countless other
modifications that have not yet occurred would need to be simultaneously
selected. Also, separate life kinds such as fish or birds exist as distinct
complex systems. What data teaches that countless graduations of modified
hybrids differing slightly from one another exist between them? To modify
a fish into a bird requires changes that create the bird essentially in
its final form.
Thus the idea that random changes and natural selection
create new life kinds is both simplistic and inadequate - a view published
some time ago by the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. They noted that existing
genetic variations are negligible compared to what is necessary to create
new life kinds. They further said that the functional adjustment of an
organism's parts into a new life kind requires that the blueprint of the
new life kind be in existence prior to its creation. The reason is clear:
Natural selection is not a mechanism that can simultaneously
modify an organism's parts into an integrated system with co-adoptive interactions
that yield the desired functionality.
Despite this fact, Darwinian believers herald 'descent
with modification' as the source of new life kinds. However, the unwritten
creed to which they are truly paying homage is design with modification.
Each life kind represents, as far we can tell, an optimally designed system.
A characteristic of such systems is that a change in any one of its components
degrades overall system performance. To illustrate the point, let us consider
some of the systems that we design. Consider a color TV picture. We can
create this using only three components: glass, metal and phosphor. But
properly organizing these components brings into existence something that
lies outside the properties of glass, metal or phosphor considered separately.
A color TV picture is familiar to all of us. Yet it exists as the collective
interplay of numerous exchanges of energy that arise from way the various
pieces of hardware are organized. It truly is a system property, and thus
represents a dimension of being totally apart from any one of the components
The TV picture doesn't stem from the properties of glass,
or metal, or phosphor. Instead, it arises as an organizational property
of their mutual interactions. This occurs through a myriad of complex,
microminiaturized integrated circuits that have been creatively designed
and meticulously assembled by hundreds of trained, skilled thinking people
in an optimized and balanced way. But if a change occurs in one of the
components, the picture doesn't improve. On the contrary, it deteriorates.
In like manner, living things exist as a consequence of the vastly complex,
organized interplay of myriads of nonliving parts. Our bodies consist of
chemicals that are organized to live in an optimal way. And when an unintended
change occurs in one of our components, we call that disease.
Another system that we design is an airplane. It is composed
of parts that are organized to fly. But no one component of the airplane
can fly by itself, just as no part of a TV can produce a black and white
or color picture. If, during flight, an airplane component were to undergo
change, would the airplane fly better -or would it crash?
The point is, airplanes fly because of the design of the
wing, engine, rudder and so forth. Each is optimally designed and assembled
in special relation to all of the others. It is the organizational balance
and interplay that yields the final result, and if a change occurs anywhere
it signals disaster, not delight. Living systems are similar, except that
they are vastly more complicated. No one chemical in our body has life
in and of itself. Instead, the chemistry is so configured as to have been
organized to live. Changing any part of a biological system changes the
interaction of that part with virtually all other components throughout
the system. This doesn't create a new life kind any more than changing
a radio creates a television set, or changing a car creates an airplane.
Changing optimally configured parts degrades the overall system performance,
and makes for a guaranteed worst result.
The interactions among glass, metal and phosphor yield
something new: a color TV picture. Likewise interactions among airplane
parts produce something new: A flying object. Now let's consider just one
interaction. Two gases (hydrogen and oxygen) combine at room temperature
to create water, a liquid that at lower temperatures becomes a solid (ice),
and at higher temperatures changes into a gas (steam). This one interaction
creates a new substance. Regardless of whether the water is liquid, solid
or gas, each represents a form with properties different from the two gases
that created it. But can we improve on the properties of water by making
a change in either the hydrogen or oxygen gas whose sole interaction created
it? The answer is no. Instead of improving it, making a change in either
gas destroys the very special liquid we know as water. With this in view,
why would we believe that a change in the component of a living system
would create an improved, new life kind? The "newness" of even
the simplest of organisms contains vast numbers of components undergoing
vast numbers of interactions. When examined in detail, these "components"
emerge as highly complex entities with millions of balanced energy exchanges
that functionally coadapt into a system that "lives." The organism
thus exists through the strategic interplay of its nonliving components,
and not through the hokum of some ill-defined circumstance.
Sometimes it is argued that the basis for selecting an
"optimum" change can be found in the survival of the organism.
But, of itself, no one component in which the change occurs has survival
value. Survival has meaning only in terms of the organism taken as an entire
system. It is a system property. The organism exists through co-adoptive
interactions among its components. But natural selection operates at the
component level. For example, what survival value does an eyelid have without
muscles to operate it? Or a retina without the lens?
Or the duct glands without the pupil? Or any one of these things without
Yet the eye is but one of a number of subsystems within
the body. Natural selection explains none of them. Or consider the acoustic
sending and receiving mechanisms in a dolphin or a porpoise or a platypus.
How can natural selection create either mechanism without the other? For
instance, of what possible survival value is the sending unit without a
way to receive the echo? And of what possible survival value is either
mechanism in the absence of interpretive brain centers to guide the organism?
Compound traits are found in all living things, many at
unseen levels. One example is enolase, versus triose isomerase, versus
2,3 diphosphoglyceric acid in glycolytic metabolism. A more familiar example
is the ductus venosus versus the umbilical vein in fetal blood circulation.
In this case the right ventrical is connected to the aorta, thereby bypassing
lungs that otherwise remove CO2. Therefore, although an organism may undergo
random changes, those that favor a new life kind are only known in terms
of survival criteria that pertain to the entire organism. This is also
true for individual subsystems that display compound traits, such as the
Survival is an organizational property. Thus any mechanism
imagined to create new life kinds must be global in scope. Conversely,
natural selection operates at the component level. It is a local mechanism
and cannot, therefore, explain the advent of new kinds of life.
Examination of any biological structure shows that its
chemical building blocks are located in strategic places that create vast
numbers of constructive, harmonious, life-sustaining interactions. These
channel energy along countless numbers of intricate, very special pathways.
Therefore, biological components are organized to "live," in
that they are separated into a highly complex configuration that has virtually
no order. Its descriptive blueprint requires vast amounts of information.
But simple gases create water by combining into a configuration that constitutes
a highly ordered state with virtually no complexity. Its descriptive blueprint
is complete with very little information. Mixing the gases creates paths
of energy reduction typical to that which occur in all natural processes.
But organizing parts to "live" requires a plan
of energy exchange that specifies, controls and stabilizes the unnatural
simultaneous cooperation of millions of intricate, self- sustaining interactions.
Since this plan of life provides the only criteria by which the collective
selection of millions of random changes can survive, how can its existence
be explained by the natural selection of favored random changes? In effect,
we have a chicken-egg situation. For natural selection to create a meaningful
new life kind, the plan must first exist to tell it what changes are favorable
i.e., that identify the changed components that are to be retained. The
plan cannot, therefore, be the product of natural selection. Moreover,
virtually all of the components would need to undergo simultaneous change
to ensure the survival of the new life kind.
In general, changing only one part of a biological system
leads to disastrous consequences. The advent of nuclear reactors, for example,
created a convenient source of radiation to which plant life and insects
(e.g., fruit flies) have been exposed in experiments conducted over a period
of at least two decades. In each case the mutations deteriorated the species.
In other experiments fifty roses of the Queen Elizabeth variety were neutron
irradiated at a strength equivalent to several million lifetimes of the
rose. All of them became weaker or defective. Or consider the hemoglobin
discussed earlier. Natural mutations have created at least forty variants
of this incredible molecule. Yet all of them carry less oxygen than normal
hemoglobin. Why? Because changing an optimally design system degrades it.
Human cells, for example, contain twenty-three pairs of
chromosomes. Each pair contains over three thousand microscopic genes.
On average, about six of these are "defective" in every person
alive. This means that each of us carry about six genes that, in one way
or another, have undergone abnormal change.
Fortunately, these genes are suppressed and the "change"
is unexpressed. But what would occur if these changes were to impact our
genetic machinery, such as is alleged to occur in macroevolution? Would
we improve as a species? To the contrary, we would undergo a range of genetic
disorders including cancer, sickle-cell anemia, hemophilia and Huntington's
disease. Male babies born with an extra Y chromosome, for instance, tend
toward extreme violence, have lower IQ's, and are ten times more likely
to end up in a maximum security prison.
Families with markers along chromosome 15 are identified
with dyslexia. The most common form of mental retardation in males (1 in
2000) occurs from a change at a fragile site along the X chromosome, and
a single base substitution in the complementary DNA for a certain enzyme (ornithine
transcarbamylase) leads to sparse fur and skin abnormalities
in mice, and to metabolic and neurological disorders in humans. The point
is this: As a practical matter, life on earth constitutes biological systems that are optimally designed. Rather than creating
new and more complex life kinds, unintended genetic changes destroy these
From a scientific perspective, this does not mean that
natural selection does not occur. Neither does it mean that natural selection
may not have been responsible for the advent of some new species among
very similar kinds of life. But what it does mean is that if macroevolution
occurred, then natural selection is an inadequate explanation. The data
that supports natural selection pertains to micro, and not macroevolution.
Therefore, to suppose that macroevolution exists in
nature, or that it somehow created new kinds of life seems to be an exercise
in faith based upon neither science nor sound reason.
We have discussed macro and microevolution. Evolutionists
say that the first - macroevolution, is what created the different kinds
of life - such as sea, land and air. On the other hand microevolution is
identified with genetic processes that are said to produce different species
within the same kind of life. One good example is different species of
birds in the finch family. However, the uncritical acceptance of macroevolution
by many academic and professional societies has served to keep Darwin's
ideas from being critically examined. Many assume that if any evolution
has occurred, even in some small degree, then it can occur everywhere and
These ideas not only require changes to occur in virtually
every biological component of an organism, but also that the organism will
survive these changes in a beneficial way. The reasons why this will not
happen were discussed in Part II of Darwin's Dilemma. Survival is an intricate
compound trait i.e., it depends upon the complex yet harmonious interplay
of literally millions of separate living parts. To illustrate the point,
we turned to the breathing apparatus of the human
body and examined the consequences of making even a small change to the
We saw that this implied changes to the muscles and ligaments
that attached the diaphragm to the breastbone, spine, and ribs. It affected
the location, shape, size and strength of skeletal structure bones. Lung
size, cell efficiency, heart rate, blood flow, artery networks, brain signals--
all must be included as part of a vastly complicated system where details
of the oxygen burning process including metabolism rates and feedback signals
from the cells to the brain control the release of sugar products in the
liver, insulin from the pancreas and the digestive chemistry of the stomach.
This functionality rests upon an astounding orchestration of innumerable
electrical, mechanical and chemical properties that underlie trillions
of intricate interwoven parts.
When one believes that a significant mutation brings anything
but catastrophe to this system, one has accepted a dogma that lies outside
the realm of science and rational thought.
A listing of Robert Gange's publications may be found
at his Website: http://www.genesisfoundation.org