Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Darwinian Evolution: A Modern Fairy tale?

In July of 2013, evangelist Ray Comfort made waves when he released Evolution vs God, a documentary that shows Darwinian Evolution to be unscientific.  While some people give this movie praise, many atheists and evolutionists have been angered by the movie, and have claimed that Ray Comfort and his team did some dishonest editing in the production room to make the interview subjects in the film seem more stupid and unintelligent than they are.  There are Christians who look at the film and have problems with the aggressive approach that Comfort took, and there are other Christians who seem to have completely missed the point of the film.  

While we could go on forever about the fall-out of Comfort's movie, there is a more pressing question that the majority of people seem to be overlooking:  Are the claims made by Ray Comfort true?  In Evolution vs God, the claim was that Darwinian Evolution (The evolution of one Kind into another Kind) had no evidence to back it up, and that people who believe that Darwinian Evolution is true have blind faith in it.

Having seen Comfort's movie, I have taken it upon myself to figure out if Ray Comfort knew what he was talking about when he made his claims, or if he really was the lying, dishonest charlatan that he's been accused of being.  However, before we start looking at the evidence for the claims, it's important to define some terms first.

Scientific Terms:

In many online publications, people accused Ray Comfort of throwing out the word "Kind" without explaining what it means.  Because of that, I will give a definition of that word.  First off, when people today say the word "Kind," they are usually referring to the term "Family."  According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, a Family is "a class or group of animals, people, objects, etc., classified on the basis of common traits."

According to that same dictionary, a Genus is "a taxonomic category ranking below a family and above a species and generally consisting of a group of species exhibiting similar characteristics."  What that means is while we have a group of Kinds/Families, within each Kind/Family is a group of Genera; within each Genus is a group of species.  The next question then is, what is a species?

According to Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, a species is "a fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding."

To put it in perspective, we have a bunch of different species, groups of which fall into a certain Genus.  We have multiple Genera, groups of which fall under a certain Kind/Family.

Next, in order to understand the theory of Darwinian Evolution better, it's best to go back to the beginning.  We have to go to the foundations of Darwinian Evolution and see what Charles Darwin had to say.  The reason why we have to do this is that all the other theories of evolution that we have today (Mutation, Migration, Genetic Drift, etc) are built upon the foundation of Darwin's original theory.  If the foundation is faulty, then everything that has been added on top will fall apart as well.

Definition of Darwinian Evolution:

Based on his study of Finches on the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin asserted that Natural Selection is the cause of evolution.  According to Darwin, nature chooses species whose traits are best adapted to the environmental conditions to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.  Following this logic, Darwin believed that the traits necessary to survive in a particular environment already existed in each species, and that all nature was doing was selecting the species with the best traits for surviving in each environment.

In short, Darwin took this theory that he developed from his study of Finches on the Galapagos Islands, and applied it over millions of years to show that one Kind/Family could evolve into another, including that humans evolved from apes.  

Problems With Darwinian Evolution:

If Darwinian Evolution is true, and all the existing species in the world evolved from each other, then we should have a plethora of transitional forms in the fossil record.  However, such is not the case:

"Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless."  (Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," in Natural History, April 1980, p. 144.)

"Evolution requires intermediate forms between species, and paleontology [the study of fossils] does not provide them." (David Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory" in Evolution, September 1974, p. 467.)
A more pressing question is, why are there distinct boundaries between the different species classifications? You would think that if Darwinian Evolution was true, that there wouldn't be such distinct boundaries between the species:  

"Why should we be able to classify plants and animals into types or species at all? In a fascinating editorial feature in Natural History, Stephen Gould writes that biologists have been quite successful in dividing up the living works into distinct and discrete species. Furthermore, our modern, scientific classifications often agree in minute detail with the 'folk classifications' of so-called primitive peoples, and the same criteria apply as well to fossils. In other words, says Gould, there is a recognizable reality and distinct boundaries between types at all times and all places...

'But,' says Gould, 'how could the existence of distinct species be justified by a theory [evolution] that proclaimed ceaseless change as the most fundamental fact of nature?' For an evolutionist, why should there be species at all? If all life forms have been produced by gradual expansion through selected mutations from a small beginning gene pool, organisms really should just grade into one another without distinct boundaries."  (Henry Morris and Gary Parker, What is Creation Science? (1987), pp. 121-122.)

"If a line of organisms can steadily modify its structure in various directions, why are there any lines stable enough and distinct enough to be called species at all? Why is the world not full of intermediate forms of every conceivable kind?."  (G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 141.)  

"Charles Darwin, himself the father of evolution in his later days, gradually became aware of the lack of real evidence for his evolutionary speculation and wrote: `As by this theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed. Why do we not find them embedded in the crust of the earth? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of being, as we see them, well defined species?'"  (H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation, (1966), p. 139.)

Darwin himself gave a way to disprove his theory in his book On The Origin of Species.  Here is what Darwin said:  

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

Although he didn't specifically use the term irreducible complexity, Darwin defined it perfectly.  By the definition that Darwin provided, the DNA of a single cell disproves the entire theory of Darwinian Evolution.  To put it simply, there is too much specific information and design inside the DNA of a single cell that could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive modifications, disproving Darwinian Evolution according to Charles Darwin.  

It's important to remember that in Darwin's day, their microscopes were far less powerful than ours; Darwin couldn't see the DNA of a single cell in anywhere near the minute detail that our powerful modern microscopes can show.  If Darwin could look at the DNA of a single cell through one of our modern micrscopes, and if he was being genuine when he said the above quote from On The Origin of Species, he would likely renounce his own theory of Darwinian Evolution.        
Logical Consequences of Darwinian Evolution:

Obviously, the biggest draw about Darwinian Evolution is that it is a theory about the origin of life that does not require a god to be involved.  As a result of this, Darwin began to struggle with epistemological nihilism, which is essentially the belief that we can't know anything about anything.  In a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881, Darwin said the following:

"Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"

What Darwin is saying is that if we don't trust the thoughts of monkeys, and humans have evolved from monkeys, then how can we trust the thoughts of humans?  To put it simply, if Darwinian Evolution is true, we can't know anything with any degree of certainty.  

Going back to the Evolution vs God movie, Ray Comfort had this to say in response to atheists getting angry over the movie:  

"The anger is very real because those who hold to the belief in evolution see it as a hill to die on. This is because the conviction that Darwin was right gives them an open door to guilt-free fornication, pornography, homosexuality, adultery, blasphemy and whatever their heart desires. If there’s no God, then there’s no absolute morality, and that means there’s no Judgment Day and definitely no hell."

Comfort's logic makes sense.  If there is no god, then there is nobody that we are accountable to when it comes to our moral and sexual behavior; we can do whatever we want.  That's right in line with an atheistic world view, and Darwinian Evolution allows atheists to justify their world view.      

The biggest logical problem that Darwinian Evolution has occurs when explaining the origin of life.  The biggest draw of Darwinian Evolution is that it does not invoke the existence of a God in order to explain the origin of life, which is a huge draw to Atheists.  Richard Dawkins, a scientist who is the poster-boy of Darwinian Evolution and arguably the most famous atheist in the world, had this to say in a debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury in February of 2012:  

“What I can’t understand is why you can’t see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing – that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God?   

That is correct:  you just saw one of the smartest men on the planet make the claim that all life ultimately comes from nothing.

That claim is so unscientific and illogical, anyone could debunk his claim.  This man does a better job of explaining what's wrong with Dawkins' claim than I can, but what I can tell you is that it basically comes down to this:  There is not one single observation of life coming from non-life in this universe.  Plant life comes from plant life; Animal life comes from animal life, and human life comes from human life.  We don't ever see life come from non-life, but what Dawkins and other atheists/evolutionists are essentially saying to us is, "you're right, but at one point millions of years ago, life came from non-life, and even though it has never been observed and blatantly violates the scientific method, we persist in believing that life comes from non-life."


The evidence is that Ray Comfort was not blowing smoke when he claimed that Darwinian Evolution has no evidence to back it up, and that people who believe that Darwinian Evolution is true have blind faith in it.  While I wish Comfort had brought up Darwin's quote about irreducible complexity or explored the issue of the boundaries between the different species in his documentary, he was correct in his claim that there is no evidence of Darwinian Evolution taking place because there is no evidence in the fossil record, and there is not a single scientific observation of life coming from non-life.  Comfort deserves a lot of respect and credit for trying to make a thought-provoking documentary that will allow people to actually think critically about what they're being taught in the classroom.

While the issues with the theory are bad enough to deal with, the logical consequences of Darwinian Evolution are more problematic.  If Darwinian Evolution is true, then we can't know anything in any field of knowledge with any degree of certainty, and we can do whatever we want morally because there is nobody to be morally accountable to.  Don't fall for this illogical belief system that masquerades as intellectual, factual truth:  Evolutionists cannot prove that their world view is true, and the evidence for Darwinian Evolution is so much less than the evidence for Jesus Christ (a topic for another day) that it requires blind, gullible faith to believe in it.        

Romans 1:18-23 directly addresses this issue:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Having pointed all these things out, there is still hope for evolutionists who pretend that God doesn't exist. they can still be saved and go to Heaven, but their path is a little different.  The first thing they have to do is look at the evidence that points to the existence of God (another topic for another day) and acknowledge his existence; if they don't acknowledge that God exists, then the biblical description of salvation is nothing but nonsense.  After they take that first step, they have to put their faith in Jesus Christ by way of a personal relationship with him, repent of all their sins, and accept salvation as a free gift from God, just like everyone else.                               

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