BBC correspondent Andrew Marr recently stated, “We have many local heroes; we have only one world changer. His name is Charles Darwin.” In a similar vein James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, stated, “Charles Darwin will eventually be seen as a far more influential figure in the history of human thought than either Jesus Christ or Mohammed.”
Darwin’s claim to fame goes back to 1838 when he became convinced of a radical idea: “species were mutable productions.” In layman’s terms, nothing hinders fish from evolving into amphibians. Prior to that time Darwin had never met one naturalist who doubted the “fixity of the species.” So sacred and universal was this belief that just verbalizing his contrary conclusion felt to Darwin like “confessing a murder.”
Prior to Darwin, the Bible’s statement that living things reproduced “after their kind” was generally considered to mean that every variation now visible in nature had existed in the same form in the Garden of Eden. When Darwin observed the variations that dog breeders produced in so short a time, he began to wonder if, over millions of years, nature could produce all the various species of plant and animals in the world from a single-celled ancestor. Observing the thirteen recently diversified but similar species of finches on the Galapagos Islands, Darwin reasoned that all the finch types probably originated naturally from a common ancestor by gradual modification and “natural selection.”
Darwin’s theory was sublimely simple: favorable variations in offspring, naturally selected in the struggle of life over long periods of time, result in forming new species. His idea had some value, but applying it to unlimited and infinite variations far exceeded what was scientifically verifiable. Natural selection’s effect on finch beak size couldn’t explain the finches’ origin or prove that all of nature was one continuum or “chain of life.” In fact, the fossil record, stood against this idea. Darwin puzzled, ‘‘Why . . . is not every geological formation . . . full of . . . intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.’’
Still, Darwin decided to set forth his theory in a book. The Origin of Species was a publishing sensation. Almost overnight, the prevailing belief that God created the beauty and intricacy in nature collapsed. Design was merely the “appearance of design” brought about by “natural selection.” God, if He existed, was redundant. Man, far from being created in the image of God, was merely a cousin of the ape. Small wonder that Ernst Mayr, the 20th century’s most prestigious Darwinist authority called Darwinism “perhaps the most fundamental of all intellectual revolutions in the history of mankind.”
Did every species evolve by mutation and natural selection from a primeval single-celled organism, or did God, during creation’s week, create each plant and animal as and where we see them today? Actually, neither idea is true.
It is essential to understand that the “created kind” of Genesis 1 is often at a higher level of classification than the species or even the genus. Actually, it’s possible that even some whole orders may have derived from an original “created kind.” The fact that different species and genera can be interbred – a zebra with a horse, a lion with a tiger, a camel with a llama, and even a male false killer whale with a female dolphin – proves that, even if their offspring are in some cases sterile, they must have descended from the same original created kind. The evidence points to the fact that God created thousands of basic types in the beginning, each of which possessed the genetic information and flexibility to produce a widely varying offspring. Thus God did not necessarily create all the species as we see them today.
The issue in all of this is the type of change not the amount of change. Bacterium-to-Beethoven style evolution demands a type of change impossible in the genetic world because the differences between classes like mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds are fundamental and radical. Each class possesses a number of unique defining characteristics which are not found in any other class. So, to turn a reptile into a mammal, for example, demands the evolution of mammary glands and a milk supply, a hair covering, a temperature control system, a corti, a diaphragm, and a fourth chamber in the heart. Is this possible by random mutation, natural selection, and vast ages of time? For Darwinists the answer is no.
Why? First, a major function of genes is to resist mutation, not facilitate it. Secondly, genetic mutations are too infrequent to be up to the job demanded by evolution. Thirdly, mutations are too often harmful. Fourthly, mutations are often recessive and prevailed against by “normal genes” in reproduction. Fifthly, just as turning a telegram into an encyclopaedia would demand the introduction of thousands of grammatically correct intelligent sentences, so evolving new biological organs and systems demands a huge gain in complex genetic information (i.e. novel meaningful sequences of DNA). Yet, no mutation known to man has ever led to an increase in such genetic information. Sixthly, as biology Prof. Lester (PhD in genetics) and Ray Bohlin (PhD in molecular biology) have observed, “Natural selection, recombination, mutation and speciation can all interact in concert to bring about startling variation within the created prototype [kind]…but there are limits to biological change.” Though eminent evolutionary geneticist Richard Goldschmidt bred gypsy moths for 20 years and a million generations, all he ever produced were gypsy moths. Famed American plant breeder Luther Burbank admitted that though he could breed a plum anywhere from ” to 2″ long, he could neither go as small as a pea nor as big as a grapefruit.
The Bible’s claim that plants and animals reproduce only after their kind stands as a scientifically sound statement, providing we understand that being in the same “created kind” means descending from the same ancestral gene pool. However, Darwin’s claim that all of life, including humans, came from a single-celled organism in a little warm pond millions of years ago by nothing more than reproductive variations and natural selection, collapses through lack of evidence.