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Evolution a worldview, not science

Bob Branden

Recall the first big question of any worldview: Where did we come from? Evolution is the answer to this question from a materialist worldview. The answer runs like this: Humans came from a primordial soup, which somehow over fantastic eons of time randomly produced a DNA molecule, which in turn responded to random forces, again over fantastic eons of time, and formed a series of living creatures culminating in the ape, from which humans eventually descended. A few observations are in order at the outset. First, make no mistake about the above scenario; this is what the evolutionists teach. Ponder it. Enjoy it, for this is your identity if you choose to believe it. Second, notice the gaps in the proposal itself. Where did the primordial soup come from? Random processes produced a molecule (DNA) that contains more information than a set of encyclopedias? Does the fossil record bear out this slow, gradual line of animal descent? If we came from apes, why are there still apes around? Third, this is a theory; it is not science per se. Science is based on repeatable experiments and quantifiable results. The possibility of testing this theory doesn’t even exist. You can’t repeat billions of years intervals in a lab. Evolution is, in reality, not even a theory. Rather, it is a worldview, and an inadequate one at that. This explains why people get so upset when interacting over the subject. Repeatable experiments don’t cause people to rant, raise their voices, and make claims they can’t support. Worldviews do this sort of thing. Evolution is a worldview. Evolution’s main task, programmed in by its founders and perpetuators is singular: to explain where we came from so that God is not the answer. But, we’ve already seen that physicists tell a different story. They proclaim loud and clear that creation bears all the marks of a creator. So, let’s look critically at evolution and determine whether it is bringing enough to the table to substantiate its mandate: there is no God.Hurdles for evolution Hurdle No. 1 for evolution is the same as it has always been, the fossil record. When Darwin proposed his theory, his main opponents were not clergy, but paleontologists. Their initial response was the same as today: The fossil record does not demonstrate, at all, slow gradual change of species into new species. Does the biological phrase “Cambrian explosion” sound like slow gradual change? Here is a the response from Stephen Gould, Harvard’s leading biologist who along with Nils Eldredge proposed a new theory they called “punctuated equilibrium” to deal with this embarrassing fact: The fossil record today on the whole looks very much as it did in 1859 (Darwin), despite the fact that an enormous amount of fossil hunting has gone on in the intervening years. In the words of Gould, “The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless. 2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and “fully formed.”After attending a geological conference on mass extinctions, Gould wrote a remarkable essay reflecting on how the evidence was turning against Darwinism. He told his readers that he had long been puzzled by the lack of evidence of progressive development over time in the invertebrates with which he was most familiar: “We can tell tales of improvement for some groups, but in honest moments we must admit that the history of complex life is more a story of multifarious variation about a set of basic designs than a saga of accumulating excellence.”Thus, concerning the hurdle of the fossil record, evolution has failed miserably. Please don’t respond with “data” from secondary sources like National Geographic or Time magazine. Check the data in the primary sources, the scientific journals, and listen to the scientists when they are not defending a worldview but rather discussing the accepted facts of their profession. Make no mistake, the fossil record does not support evolution.False examplesAs a high school biology student, I can still recall the example of the peppered moth. In the textbook, the peppered moth gradually changed color over time to blend in with the tree trunks during the industrial revolution. It used to be light colored as were the tree trunks, thus it better avoided predation. But when soot colored the tree trunks darker, making the peppered moth stick out like a sore thumb all juicy and edible, the moth changed color also, genetically, the better to hide again. Only one problem here. This never happened. The picture in my book was taken by those who colored the moths themselves and then glued them to the tree trunk. Again, the burden of evolution is to explain our existence apart from God. There are some hurdles to overcome since the physicists testify to a creator. And the evolutionists are demonstrably lying in their textbooks? Forgive me if I don’t jump on board.Irreducible complexityConsider this scenario. There are perhaps five working parts in the household mouse trap. If the trap is catching three mice per week with all the parts working, how many does it catch minus one of the parts? Answer, zero. It doesn’t work at all. If the spring is removed it won’t catch a mouse. If the hammer is removed it won’t catch a mouse. It doesn’t catch three a month or only one a week. It catches zero without all the parts functioning. It is irreducibly complex.Now, let’s move to a human biochemical system, the blood-clotting system. In a simplified version, it takes approximately 100 steps for our blood to clot. If the process doesn’t happen completely and in order, our blood doesn’t clot. An organism can’t have steps one through 25 in place and then wait around for a million years until 26 gets in place. The system won’t work unless it is all there, and all functioning, and all in order. It is irreducibly complex. It is rather obvious that a system like this, of which we have great numbers in our body, simply and literally cannot evolve.Again, evolution fails the test. The only reason evolution was even entertained as a theory initially, despite the protests of the paleontologists, was because in 1859 we didn’t have electron microscopes that could divulge the mysterious workings of the cell. Now that we know these “mysterious” working are really much more complex than anything we humans can produce, we realize they couldn’t have evolved. The missing papersThe Journal of Molecular Evolution is the major scientific journal for the biochemistry of evolution. Since its inception in 1971 there have been no papers published in this journal that have detailed a model by which a complex biochemical system might have been produced in a gradual, step-by-step Darwinian fashion. This is because attempts to explain the evolution of highly specified, irreducibly complex systems by a gradualistic route have so far been incoherent. No scientific journal will publish patently incoherent papers, so no studies asking detailed questions of molecular evolution are to be found. This is extremely strong evidence that Darwinism is an inadequate framework for understanding the origin of complex biochemical systems. The result is the same for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , which published 20,000 papers from 1984-1994. How do we know? Michael Behe, biochemist at Lehigh University, asks, “How do we know what we say we know – not in some deep philosophical sense, but on a practical, everyday level?” He says there are two ways. First, by personal experience. Second, by authority.”Scientists are people, too,” he says. “So we can ask how scientists know what they say they know. Like everybody else, scientists know things either through their own experience or through authority. In the 1950s, Watson and Crick saw a diffraction pattern produced by shining X-rays on fibers of DNA and, using their mathematical abilities, determined that DNA was a double helix. They knew by doing, from their own experience. As an undergraduate I learned DNA is a double helix, but I have never done an experiment to show it; I rely on authority. All scientists rely on authority for almost all of their scientific knowledge. If you ask a scientist how he or she knows about the structure of cholesterol, or the behavior of hemoglobin, or the role of vitamins, they will almost always point you to the scientific literature rather than to their own records of what they have done in their laboratories.”The nice thing about science is that authority is easy to locate. It’s in the library. Watson and Crick’s work on DNA structure can be tracked down and read in Nature. The structure of cholesterol and other things can be found there, as well. So we can say we know the structure of DNA or cholesterol based on scientific authority if papers on those topics are in the literature. If James Watson or a Presidential Science Commission decreed that DNA was made of green cheese, but didn’t publish supporting evidence in the literature, then we could not say that a belief in cheesy DNA was based on scientific authority. Scientific authority rests on published work, not on the musings of individuals. Moreover, the published work must also contain pertinent evidence.Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. Evolution fails the test again.Inescapable conclusion Imagine the task that faces evolution. It has to be convincing enough to sway people from what the physicists proclaim as obvious and what resides in people’s souls: There is a creator. Evolution fails this test. The fossil record does not support it; it is presented in a fraudulent manner; it is inadequate to explain irreducible complexity; and, it is not born out in the serious scientific literature. Evolution remains a worldview, and only those controlled by the predetermined worldview of naturalism, which excludes God by fiat, can maintain it.Bob Branden, Ph.D. in New Testament studies, is the pastor of the newly founded Eagle Bible Church, which meets Sunday mornings in the Eagle Valley High School auditorium. He is writing a series of commentaries on world views. Vail, Colorado


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