The Theory of Evolution

The Atheist Explanation of the Origin of the Universe

Evolution teaches that the Earth and the whole universe evolved spontaneously through billions of years without any divine intervention, after a tiny particle—almost nothing—exploded, into which all space, time, matter and energy had been condensed. A few billion years ago, at a certain moment after the Earth was formed, life arose spontaneously from non-living matter (organic substances from inorganic) in the form of one or a very small number of primeval cells. From these cells evolved the lower life forms and from them the higher forms (biological evolution), as they gained more and more features—meaning new genetic information—while adapting to their environment. This process produced all the wonderful species we see today, as well as all the extinct ones the fossil record bears witness of.

Evolutionists claim that natural selection and mutations are the two mechanisms by which evolution happened.

Natural selection

Natural selection is the process in which organisms with inheritable traits—genes— better suited to their environment tend to have more offspring than the other members of their population. These organisms therefore have a greater chance of passing on their genes to the next generation than the others. The favourable genes increase in frequency from generation to generation, while the less favourable ones virtually disappear. Through this process, the subsequent generations of that population will be more and more viable and adapted to their environment. It must be noted that the process of natural selection deletes genetic information (the weaker traits), it cannot create new information required by the evolutionary theory.

Darwin thought that natural selection is a creative process which could continue indefinitely, giving rise to new traits, and in the long run to even totally new types of organisms. But natural selection, by definition, only selects among existing traits, it cannot create new ones. It is a process that only deletes information. The genes of the less fit are deleted, and therefore the gene pool of the next generation is more limited.

According to Darwin, all species were produced by slow, gradual changes over millions of years, with the help of natural selection, and the molecule-to-man transition can be explained by extrapolating this phenomenon back to the very first cell. Darwin had no idea about the basic principles of genetics.

“Genetics and evolution have been enemies from the beginning of both concepts. Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, and Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolution, were contemporaries. At the same time that Darwin was claiming that creatures could change into other creatures, Mendel was showing that even individual characteristics remain constant. While Darwin’s ideas were based on erroneous and untested ideas about inheritance, Mendel’s conclusions were based on careful experimentation. Only by ignoring the total implications of modern genetics has it been possible to maintain the fiction of evolution.”

Natural selection is a form of microevolution. Microevolution is a superficial change within a species due to environmental pressures or artificial breeding. Because no genetic information is added, the variations are limited by the species’ original gene pool, and nothing new can “evolve”, contrary to what evolutionists would have you believe.

Macroevolution (or biological evolution) on the other hand is the alleged process that enables life forms to continually increase in complexity, evolve completely new organs and traits that had never existed before, by gaining new genetic information. Macroevolution has never been observed and it is not supported by the fossil record either. Evolutionists always cite examples of microevolution—horizontal or downward changes— to prove the upward process of macroevolution.

The evolutionists who claim that natural selection is the main mechanism of evolution are called Darwinists.

Mutations

The double helix shaped DNA molecule

The double helix shaped DNA molecule

Around the beginning of the 20th century, many evolutionists started to realize that natural selection cannot produce new genetic information needed for new organs, species, etc. So they came up with the idea that mutations—random genetic copying mistakes— provide the new information and natural selection guides the evolutionary process. These evolutionists are called neo-Darwinists and they are in majority today.

The genetic information—the coded blueprint of a living organism— is stored in each cell of our bodies, in extremely complex DNA molecules. As this vast amount of information is copied, mistakes do occur sometimes—they are called mutations. Evolutionists recognize that these are the only real changes that can happen in the genes of creatures and they hope that mutations somehow provide the new information needed for macroevolution to occur. But random mutations never add new information, they can only decrease information. Therefore most mutations are harmful, and many of them lethal.

The Idea of Macromutations or Punctuated Equilibrium

If evolution had ever happened, then we should find a large number of transitional fossils—like a half reptile, half bird— in the fossil record, showing intermediate, half-formed structures. Darwin said that his theory would be confirmed as soon as paleontologists uncover a multitude of such fossils. The problem that evolutionists have is that there are no transitional links between various creatures in the fossil record! All we find everywhere are distinct species, which haven’t evolved from anything and don’t evolve into anything else.

Darwin attributed all the gaps in the fossil record to the record’s imperfection at that time. Millions of fossils have been uncovered since, and none of the gaps have been filled (see Missing Links). The expected millions of transitional species were never uncovered. Moreover none of the few fossils considered to be transitional species can stand a closer examination. The absence of intermediate structures in the fossil record is called the “missing links” problem.

Evolutionists today admit that transitional fossils are “extremely rare” and the fossil record does not support the hypothesis of slow, gradual evolution. They had to come up with another idea. Richard B. Goldschmidt proposed the “hopeful monster theory”. He said that once in a while, millions of beneficial mutations happen in an organism at the same time and a completely new species is born! This theory was ridiculed and had only a few supporters.

In 1972, Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould put forward their theory of “punctuated equilibrium”, a more complex theory based on Goldschmidt’s hopeful monsters. It basically states that for most of the time in the history of life there was stasis (no change) “punctuated” by short bursts of evolution. According to the theory, these bursts usually happened in a geologically separated population of a certain species, and gave rise to a new daughter species in a short time, thus conveniently explaining the lack of transitional fossils. Yet this hypothesis is even more unbelievable than neo-Darwinian gradualism: if the random actions of mutations and natural selection over long periods could not lead to new species, how could they produce them in a very short time period? It would amount to a veritable miracle!

Conclusion

It is sad that there are many who believe all these attempts to explain the origin and the diversity of our world without an all-powerful, super-intelligent Creator God.

References

Lane Lester, Genetics: No Friend of Evolution. A highly qualified biologist tells it like it is, 1998.

Links

Muddy waters: Clarifying the confusion about natural selection

The ‘Indoctrinator’

The Vanishing Case For Evolution

Natural Selection

What! … No potatoes?

New plant colours — is this new information?