Sunday, May 14, 2006

Neo-Darwinism: Is there a mechanism for macroevolution?

If evolution is true, there must be a viable mechanism for it to occur. Neo-Darwinists alleged that natural selection and random mutations could turn a fish into a philosopher. They claimed that millions of years of accumulated mutations, via natural selection, produced the myriad of living organisms we see today. My objective in this brief treatise is to refute that claim.

The Importance of Defining “Species”

In biology, all living organisms are classified according to a standard naming system known as taxonomy. Taxonomy enables biologists to classify living things into different levels: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. For the purpose of our current discussion, we will accept “species” as the lowest level of the classification system (although we realize that certain species are classified further into sub-species). As an example, humans are classified into the order of Primates, the family of Hominidae, the genus of Homo, and the species of sapiens. Therefore, we are called Homo sapiens.

The Bible teaches that God made all living creatures according to their created “kinds”. Two similar kind of animals can “bring forth” (Genesis 1:24), that is, to reproduce. The Bible does not specify any further what a “kind” of animal is. Although a horse and a donkey are two different species, they can reproduce and generate offsprings. According to the Bible, the horse and donkey belong to the same “kind”.

It is important for us to note that a created “kind” is not the same as “species”. It can be inferred from Scripture that a “kind” is probably at the level of genus or higher. As taxonomy is a man-made system of biological classification, it does not reflect biblical descriptions.

Moreover, the meaning of “species” varies among biologists. A finalized definition of “species” does not exist. The generally accepted definition of species is “a reproductively isolated community occupying a specific niche in nature”. To compound the problem further, the science of taxonomy is based upon arbitrary criteria. The definition of species can change according to the whims and fancies of the academia.

Evolution, Microevolution, and Genetic Variation

Before we can answer the evolutionists, we must recognize their definition of the word “evolution”. The standard biology textbook will try to convince credulous readers that the various species of finches on the Galapagos Islands are evidence for “evolution”. However, the numerous species of finches only demonstrate the process of speciation. It does not prove that humans come from a hairy, arboreal, ape-like creature.

Speciation does occur in nature. A species can gradually “evolve” into another species. In this sense of the word, “evolution” is tenable. But the Neo-Darwinist does not believe “evolution” to mean only speciation, or simply, changes in an existing species. The biblical apologist must remember that for the evolutionist, the word “evolution” has a mélange of radically different meanings.

The first meaning of evolution is “microevolution”. Genetic variation producing a physical change in organisms at or below the species level is known as “microevolution”. Common knowledge tells us that organisms within a species can vary in physical appearances. For example, individuals belonging to the species Homo sapiens have different height and skin color. This is due to minor genetic differences between them. Nevertheless, a Caucasian, a Eurasian and a Chinese are all humans, belonging to the same species called Homo sapiens.

Sometimes variation within the gene pool of a species can result in speciation. In every observed case, that newly “evolved” organism belongs to the same family or genus of the original species. For example, variation in beak shape and size produces different species of finches. Nevertheless, a finch is still a finch. Again, there are various species of rabbits with different coats and colors. Some of these rabbits are not interfertile, but they are obviously rabbits. To derive the hypothesis of molecules-to-man evolution from such observations is unjustifiable. True evolution would require the transformation of an organism beyond the level of order, class and phylum.

Limitations of Genetic Variation and Macroevolution

Genetic variations do occur, but there are limitations to such variations. Mutation and natural selection can result in the recombination of pre-existing genetic information. However, these natural processes do not create new genetic information. It is new genetic information that is required to produce a new kind of animal.

What evolutionists are trying desperately to defend is “macroevolution”, the second meaning to the word “evolution”. Macroevolution is the change of one kind of animal into another kind. In practice, this usually implies changes above the genus and family level. For example, evolutionists believe that some theropod dinosaurs evolved into birds. In fact, paleontologists consider birds as specialized archosaurs. For macroevolution to occur, there must be sequential, cumulative addition of new and beneficial genetic information through mutations. But mutations cannot add any new information to the genetic code.

Neo-Darwinists regard macroevolution as simply the accumulation of micro-evolutionary changes. Despite the lack of empirical evidence, Neo-Darwinists believe that a bacterium can change into a ballerina. The justification of macroevolution from observed micro-evolutionary changes is presumptuous at best.

Information Theory: The Achilles’ Heel of Neo-Darwinism

The key to extirpating the theory of Neo-Darwinism is the theory of information. When we write a letter to a friend, or make a phone call, we put our thoughts into writing and phonated words. The information contained is transmitted through paper, ink, and telecommunication equipment. The elusive entity called information is obviously not the paper, ink or telephone wirings.

Information is immaterial, yet it requires matter for its transmission. This is true whether the message is in Turkish, Tamil or Tagalog. The medium on which information travels can change, without the information having to change. Our voices compress air molecules in sound waves. Electrons travel along telephone wirings. No matter what medium is used, the medium itself is not the information.

This ethereal substance called information is the key to understanding what delineates life from non-living matter. It is the Achilles’ heel of all naturalistic explanations of life, which say that life is nothing more than matter obeying the physical laws of nature. The organization of inorganic matter into life necessitates vast amount of information. The human body requires an immense amount of instructions for the building of various organs. That information is contained within microscopic molecules called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

Each human DNA molecule is made up of 3 billion subunits called nucleotides. These nucleotides can be likened to letters of the alphabet. The nucleotides are subsequently arranged into messages called genes. Each gene contains meaningful instructions for life, such as the blueprint for the human eye.

In the absence of certain enzymes, the DNA molecule cannot replicate itself. It requires complex biochemical machinery for copying and subsequent gene expression. In turn, the array of biochemical pathways involved requires pre-existing genetic information for its production. This logically leads to a chicken-and-egg problem.

The DNA molecule per se is not the message itself. It is simply the carrier of the intended message. Unless the letters (nucleotides) of DNA are arranged in a specific order, the DNA molecule cannot code for any usable message. The evolutionist cannot explain the origin of information by the random arrangement of biological molecules.

Dr Werner Gitt, a specialist in information theory, has studied the phenomenon of information in great detail. He notes that information is a feature of all living things, and that information never arises without an intelligent source. Dr Gitt believes that the laws about information are also the best evidence for creation, as the DNA of all living things contain information to reproduce life. Non-living matter in nature has no such code. Therefore, the information to produce life is not available to them.

“There can be no code and no information without an intelligent source of this information”, he says. “As the theory of evolution has no ultimate aim, it does not explain the purposeful details which we observe in living systems.”

In his book , biophysicist and information theorist Dr Lee Spetner points out that mutations never add information, but only reduce it. This includes even the rare helpful mutations. He also points out that natural selection is insufficient to accumulate slight genetic advantages. It would be too weak to overcome the effects of chance; mutants would generally be eliminated in the natural world.

Since the origin of information requires intelligence, and mutation is unable to increase genetic information, the theory of Neo-Darwinism is fatally flawed. It is decidedly impossible to create new genetic information via random mutation and natural selection. Consequently, no feasible mechanism for macroevolution exists. The demise of Neo-Darwinism is inevitable. Let no man reject the truth of the Bible for some fallible, man-made theory. It is time for man to repent of their pride, and give glory to our Creator God.


Archosaurs: Archosaurs (meaning “ruling lizard”) were reptiles that dominated the Mesozoic Era. They included the crocodilians, pterosaurs, thecodonts, dinosaurs and allegedly, birds.

Enzymes: Complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures.

Mutation: Changes in the molecular nature of DNA. Mutations may or may not result in measurable changes in an organism’s outward appearance or functioning.

Natural selection: The driving force behind change in organisms. Only the organisms best suited for the environment and for competition for mates will reproduce, leaving their genetic material to persist.

Neo-Darwinism: The belief that all plants and animals are descended from a common ancestor through natural selection and mutations.

Taxonomy: The science of systematic classification of animals and plants according to their presumed relationship. Organisms are classified into their respective Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

Theropod: Theropods were fast moving, bipedal carnivores (meat-eaters) with grasping hands and clawed digits. Theropods lived from the mid-Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous period (on the evolutionary time-scale). Theropod means “beast-footed”. The term theropod was first used in 1881.

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