Evolution - Conservapedia
The theory of evolution is a naturalistic theory of the history of life on earth (this refers to the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism and is taught in schools and universities). Merriam-Webster's dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: "a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations..." Currently, there are severaltheories of evolution.
Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists (see also: Causes of evolutionary belief) In 2007, "Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture...announced that over 700 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution."
In January of 2012, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching published a study indicating that evolutionary belief is significantly based on gut feelings. A January 20, 2012 article entitled Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling published by the website Live Science wrote of the research: "They found that intuition had a significant impact on what the students accepted, no matter how much they knew and regardless of their religious beliefs."
In 2011, the results of a study was published indicating that most United States high school biology teachers are reluctant to endorse the theory of evolution in class.  In addition, in 2011, eight anti-evolution bills were introduced into state legislatures within the United States encouraging students to employ critical thinking skills when examining the evolutionary paradigm. In 2009, there were seven states which required critical analysis skills be employed when examining evolutionary material within schools.
In May of 2011, Creation Ministries International launched the Question evolution! campaign which is agrassroots campaign encouraging students and others to "question the evolutionary pseudoscience peddled to them". The focus of the Question evolution! campaign is on 15 questions that evolutionists cannot answer. (see: 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer).
A 2005 poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research found that 60% of American medical doctors reject Darwinism, stating that they do not believe man evolved through natural processes alone. Thirty-eight percent of the American medical doctors polled agreed with the statement that "Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement."  The study also reported that 1/3 of all medical doctors favor the theory of intelligent design over evolution. In 2010, the Gallup organization reported that 40% of Americans believe in young earth creationism. In January 2006, the BBC reported concerning Britain:
|“||Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll.||”|
The theory of evolution posits a process of transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory. Although not a creation scientist, Swedish geneticist Dr. Nils Heribert-Nilsson, Professor of Botany at the University of Lund in Sweden, stated: "My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed. At least, I should hardly be accused of having started from a preconceived antievolutionary standpoint."
The fossil record is often used as evidence in the creation versus evolution controversy. The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is one of the flaws in the theory of evolution. In 1981, there were at least a hundred million fossils that were catalogued and identified in the world's museums. Despite the aforementioned large number of fossils available to scientists in 1981, evolutionist Mark Ridley, who currently serves as a professor of zoology at Oxford University, was forced to confess: "In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation."
In addition to the evolutionary position lacking evidential support and being counterevidential, the great intellectuals in history such as Archimedes, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Lord Kelvin did not propose an evolutionary process for a species to transform into a more complex version. Even after the theory of evolution was proposed and promoted heavily in England and Germany, most leading scientists were against the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution was published by naturalist Charles Darwin in his book On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, in 1859. In a letter to Asa Gray, Darwin confided: "...I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science."Prior to publishing the book, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.(see: religious views of Charles Darwin)  Charles Darwin’s casual mentioning of a ‘creator’ in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory. The amount of credit Darwin actually deserves for the theory is disputed.  Darwin's theory attempted to explain the origin of the various kinds of plants and animals via the process of natural selection or "survival of the fittest".
The basic principle behind natural selection is that in the struggle for life some organisms in a given population will be better suited to their particular environment and thus have a reproductive advantage which increases the representation of their particular traits over time. Many years before Charles Darwin, there were several other individuals who published articles on the topic of natural selection. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was a naturalist who supported the theory of evolution. Lamarck's theory of evolution asserted that evolution occurs because organisms are able to inherit traits acquired by their ancestors which is an idea rejected by the current scientific community.
Darwin did not first propose in his book Origin of Species that man had descended from non-human ancestors. Darwin's theory of evolution incorporated that later in Darwin's book entitled Descent of Man.
As far as the history of the theory of evolution, although Darwin is well known when it comes to the early advocacy of the evolutionary position in the Western world, evolutionary ideas were taught by the ancient Greeks as early as the 7th century B.C. The concept of naturalistic evolution differs from the concept of theistic evolution in that it states God does not guide the posited process of macroevolution.
Theory of Evolution - Mutations and the Life Sciences in General
See also: Theories of evolution
Evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote concerning the theory of evolution: "The process of mutation is the only known source of the new materials of genetic variability, and hence of evolution." Concerning various theories of evolution, most evolutionists believe that the processes of mutation, genetic drift and natural selection created every species of life that we see on earth today after life first came about on earth althoughthere is little consensus on how this process is allegedly to have occurred. Pierre-Paul Grassé, who served as Chair of evolutionary biology at Sorbonne University for thirty years and was ex-president of the French Academy of Sciences, stated the following: "Some contemporary biologists, as soon as they observe a mutation, talk about evolution. They are implicitly supporting the following syllogism: mutations are the only evolutionary variations, all living beings undergo mutations, therefore all living beings evolve....No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution." Grassé pointed out that bacteria which are the subject of study of many geneticists and molecular biologists are organisms which produce the most mutants. Grasse then points that bacteria are considered to have "stabilized a billion years ago!".Grassé regards the "unceasing mutations" to be "merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect." In addition, Harvard biologist Ernst Mayr wrote: "It must be admitted, however, that it is a considerable strain on one’s credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the bird’s feather) could be improved by random mutations."
Creation scientists believe that mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift would not cause macroevolution. Furthermore, creation scientists assert that the life sciences as a whole support the creation model and do not support the theory of evolution. Homology involves the theory that macroevolutionary relationships can be demonstrated by the similarity in the anatomy and physiology of different organisms. An example of a homology argument is that DNA similarities between human and other living organisms is evidence for the theory of evolution. Creation scientists provide sound reasons why the homology argument is not a valid argument. Both evolutionary scientists and young earth creationscientists believe that speciation occurs, however, young earth creation scientists state that speciation generally occurs at a much faster rate than evolutionist believe is the case.
Critics of the theory of evolution state that many of today's proponents of the evolutionary position have diluted the meaning of the term "evolution" to the point where it defined as or the definition includes change over time in the gene pool of a population over time through such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati states concerning the diluted definition of the word "evolution":
|“||...many evolutionary propagandists are guilty of the deceitful practice of equivocation, that is, switching the meaning of a single word (evolution) part way through an argument. A common tactic, ‘bait-and-switch,’ is simply to produce examples of change over time, call this ‘evolution,’ then imply that the GTE [General Theory of Evolution] is thereby proven or even essential, and creation disproved. The PBS Evolution series and theScientific American article are full of examples of this fallacy.||”|
Biological diversity - evolution contrasted with biblical creation science
|“||In contrast, creationists, starting from the Bible, believe that God created different kinds of organisms, which reproduced ‘after their kinds’ (Gen. 1:11–12, 21, 24–25). Each of these kinds was created with a vast amount of information. There was enough variety in the information in the original creatures so their descendants could adapt to a wide variety of environments.|
All (sexually reproducing) organisms contain their genetic information in paired form. Each offspring inherits half its genetic information from its mother, and half from its father. So there are two genes at a given position (locus, plural loci) coding for a particular characteristic. An organism can be heterozygous at a given locus, meaning it carries different forms (alleles) of this gene... So there is no problem for creationists explaining that the original created kinds could each give rise to many different varieties. In fact, the original created kinds would have had much more heterozygosity than their modern, more specialized descendants. No wonder Ayala pointed out that most of the variation in populations arises from reshuffling of previously existing genes, not from mutations. Many varieties can arise simply by two previously hidden recessive alleles coming together. However, Ayala believes the genetic information came ultimately from mutations, not creation. His belief is contrary to information theory, as shown in chapter 9 on ‘Design’.
Evolution - Implications of Genetic Code and Processing of Biological Information
Creation scientists and intelligent design advocates point out that the genetic code (DNA code), genetic programs, and biological information argue for an intelligent cause in regards the origins question and assert it is one of the many problems of the theory of evolution.
Dr. Walt Brown states the genetic material that controls the biological processes of life is coded information and that human experience tells us that codes are created only by the result of intelligence and not merely by processes of nature. Dr. Brown also asserts that the "information stored in the genetic material of all life is a complex program. Therefore, it appears that an unfathomable intelligence created these genetic programs."
To support his view regarding the divine origin of genetic programs Dr. Walt Brown cites the work of David Abel and Professor Jack Trevors who wrote the following:
|“||No matter how many "bits" of possible combinations it has, there is no reason to call it "information" if it doesn't at least have the potential of producing something useful. What kind of information produces function? In computer science, we call it a "program." Another name forcomputer software is an "algorithm." No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms' genomes programmed? - David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information,” Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8||”|
In the peer reviewed biology journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington Dr. Stephen Meyer argues that no current materialistic theory of evolution can account for the origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms and proposed an intelligent cause as the best explanation for the origin of biological information and the higher taxa. The editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Dr. Richard Sternberg, came under intense scrutiny and persecution for the aforementioned article published by Dr. Meyer.
Theory of evolution and little scientific consensus
There is little scientific consensus on how macroevolution is said to have happened and the claimed mechanisms of evolutionary change, as can be seen in the following quotes:
|“||When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: "It happened." Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd. -(Simon Conway Morris, [palaeontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK], "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100, pp.1-11, January 7, 2000, p.11)||”|
|“||"“The history of organic life is indemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely. Most importantly, we have to think about questioning underlying assumptions, whether we are dealing with molecules or anything else.” - Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, February 9, 2007||”|
|“||"If it is true that an influx of doubt and uncertainty actually marks periods of healthy growth in a science, then evolutionary biology is flourishing today as it seldom has flourished in the past. For biologists collectively are less agreed upon the details of evolutionary mechanics than they were a scant decade ago. Superficially, it seems as if we know less about evolution than we did in 1959, the centennial year of Darwin's on the Origin of Species." - Niles Eldredge, "Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1985, p.14||”|
Pierre-Paul Grassé, who served as Chair of Evolution at Sorbonne University for thirty years and was ex-president of the French Academy of Sciences, stated the following:
|“||Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. It is taking root in the very heart of biology and is leading astray many biochemists and biologists, who sincerely believe that the accuracy of fundamental concepts has been demonstrated, which is not the case....|
Today, our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. Biologists must be encouraged to think about the weaknesses of the interpretations and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs. - Pierre-Paul Grassé - Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), pages 6 and 8
Recent clamour to revise the modern evolutionary synthesis
Modern evolutionary synthesis is a school of evolutionary theory which incorporates the concepts of natural selection, mutations, and studies in population genetics.
In 2005, Massimo Pigliucci, in a book review for the prestigious science journal Nature, wrote: "The clamour to revise neo-darwinism is becoming so loud that hopefully most practising evolutionary biologists will begin to pay attention. It has been said that science often makes progress not because people change their minds, but because the old ones die off and the new generation is more open to novel ideas." In July of 2008, Elizabeth Pennisi wrote in the prestigous science journal Science: "Seventy years ago, evolutionary biologists hammered out the modern synthesis to bring Darwin's ideas in line with current insights into how organisms change through time. Some say it's time for Modern Synthesis 2.0."
Evolutionary Theory and Cases of Fraud, Hoaxes and Speculation
- See also: Theory of Evolution and Cases of Fraud, Hoaxes and Speculation and Atheism and deceptionand Theories of evolution
A notable case of a scientists using fraudulent material to promote the theory of evolution was the work of German scientist and atheist Ernst Haeckel. Noted evolutionist and Stephen Gould, who held a agnosticworldview and promoted the notion of non-overlapping magesteria, wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel's work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:
|“||"Haeckel’s forceful, eminently comprehensible, if not always accurate, books appeared in all major languages and surely exerted more influence than the works of any other scientist, including Darwin…in convincing people throughout the world about the validity of evolution... Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities [between embryos of different species] by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases — in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent — simply copied the same figure over and over again.…Haeckel’s drawings never fooled expert embryologists, who recognized his fudgings right from the start. Haeckel’s drawings, despite their noted inaccuracies, entered into the most impenetrable and permanent of all quasi-scientific literatures: standard student textbooks of biology... Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because…textbooks copy from previous texts.... [W]e do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!"||”|
An irony of history is that the March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the "celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism."
Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: "I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically".
Intelligent design theorist Michael Behe publicly exposed the fraudulent nature of Haeckel's embryos in a NY Times article. It appears as if Stephen Gould was irritated that the fraud was exposed in manner that publicly embarrassed the evolutionary community - namely though a high profile NY Times article.
Creation scientists have written regarding the fraudulent nature of Haeckel's work and how a prestigious German science journal published his dubious work.
Dr. Jonathan Wells published a book in 2000 entitled Icons of Evolution. Dr. Wells contends that "the best-known 'evidences' for Darwin’s theory have been exaggerated, distorted or even faked."
Dinosaur extinction is a major enigma in terms of the evolutionary paradigm and many ill founded speculations have arisen within the evolutionary community. Creation scientists maintain the fossil record, the evidence for the Genesis flood and post flood climate changes offers an excellent explanation for dinosaur extinction.
Lack of Any Clear Transitional Forms
As alluded to earlier, today there are over one hundred million identified and cataloged fossils in the world's museums. If the evolutionary position was valid, then there should be "transitional forms" in the fossil record reflecting the intermediate life forms. Another term for these "transitional forms" is "missing links".
Charles Darwin admitted that his theory required the existence of "transitional forms." Darwin wrote: "So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon the earth." However, Darwin wrote: "Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links?Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory." Darwin thought the lack of transitional links in his time was because "only a small portion of the surface of the earth has been geologically explored and no part with sufficient care...". As Charles Darwin grew older he became increasingly concerned about the lack of evidence for the theory of evolution in terms of the existence of transitional forms. Darwin wrote, "“When we descend to details, we cannot prove that a single species has changed; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.”
Scientist Dr. Michael Denton wrote regarding the fossil record:
|“||"It is still, as it was in Darwin's day, overwhelmingly true that the first representatives of all the major classes of organisms known to biology are already highly characteristic of their class when they make their initial appearance in the fossil record. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the case of the invertebrate fossil record. At its first appearance in the ancient Paleozoic seas, invertebrate life was already divided into practically all the major groups with which we are familiar today.||”|
Creationists assert that evolutionists have had over 140 years to find a transitional fossil and nothing approaching a conclusive transitional form has ever been found and that only a handful of highly doubtful examples of transitional fossils exist. Distinguished anthropologist Sir Edmund R. Leach declared, "Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so."
David B. Kitts of the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote that "Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them…".
David Raup, who was the curator of geology at the museum holding the world's largest fossil collection, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, observed:
|“||"[Darwin] was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn't look the way he predicted it would .... Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. ... [W]e have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time." - David M. Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin 50 (January 1979): 22-23, 24-25.||”|
One of the most famous proponents of the theory of evolution was the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. But Gould admitted the following:
|“||The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils...We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.||”|
The conservative writer Ann Coulter sarcastically quipped concerning Gould's admission about the fossil record, "Lots of real scientific theorieshave 'secrets.'"
In a 1977 paper titled "The Return of Hopeful Monsters", Gould wrote: "The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change....All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt."
The senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, Dr. Colin Patterson, put it this way:
|“||Gradualism is a concept I believe in, not just because of Darwin’s authority, but because my understanding of genetics seems to demand it. Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils....I will lay it on the line — there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.||”|
According to Dr. Don Batten, Stephen Gould in 1970s made some admissions that there was a "lack of evidence for phylogeny in the fossils" and that Gould had also claimed a number of that were no indisputable intermediate forms. Dr. Batten states that Gould made these statements when Gould was less concerned about creationists. Dr. Batten also states that "claimed examples of transitional series and intermediate forms received an incisive critique from Gould in the 1970s...." However, Gould's admissions were subsequently widely quoted by creationists.According to Dr. Batton, in 1981 Gould started making intemperate language towards creationists. After having been incessantly quoted by creationist regarding the fossil record, Gould altered his public stance regarding the fossil record and without stating specific examples from the fossil record and using the ambiguous term "larger groups" Gould stated the following in 1981:
|“||Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."||”|
In 1980, David Woodruff wrote in the journal Science the following: "But fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition.”The late Ernst Mayr was a prominent Harvard biologist who also served as the director of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. Mayr was a staunch evolutionist and atheist who maintained that evolution was a fact, yet in 1982 Mayr was compelled to make the following admission regarding the fossil record in relation to the theory of evolution: "Even the fossil record fails to substantiate any continuity and all novelties appear in the fossil record quite suddenly."
In 1985, Gould was more specific regarding his claim that there were intermediate forms and asserted thatArchaeopteryx was a intermediate form. Also, according to Dr. Batten, in 1994 the following occurred in regard to Gould's stance on the fossil record:
|“||"[Gould] abandoned his earlier position that there are no indisputable examples of transitional fossil series, either inter-specific or between major designs, and has embraced the ‘walking whale’ story as evidence for transformation of one species into another. The evidence for this transition is scant, but Gould uncritically accepts the fanciful description of how Ambulocetus natans walked and swam, as given by Thewissen et al."||”|
In 2001, staunch evolutionist Ernst Mayr wrote the following:
|“||Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from one ancestral form to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series. New types often appear quite suddenly, and their immediate ancestors are absent in the geological strata. The discovery of unbroken series of species changing gradually into descending species is very rare. Indeed the fossil record is one of discontinuities, seemingly documenting jumps (saltations) from one type of organism to a different type. This raises a puzzling question: Why does the fossil record fail to reflect the gradual change one would expect from evolution?||”|
As mentioned earlier, one of the more famous alleged transitional fossils claimed by evolutionists is Archaeopteryx. Dr. Alan Feduccia, a world authority on birds and an evolutionist himself, has stated the following regarding Archaeopteryx:
|“||Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.||”|
Creation scientists have a number of arguments against Archaeopteryx being a transitional fossil find.
A second famous alleged transitional fossil claimed by evolutionists is Tiktaalik. Creation scientists have a number of arguments regarding the fossil find of Tiktaalik not being a transitional find.
The Fossil Record and Evolutionary Theory
Creationists can cite quotations which assert that no solid fossil evidence for the theory of evolution position exists:
|“||"...I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. - E.J.H. Corner (Professor of Botany, Cambridge University, England), “Evolution” in Anna M. MacLeod and L. S. Cobley (eds.), Contemporary Botanical Thought (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 97||”|
|“||"We then move right off the register of objective truth into those fields of presumed biological science, like extrasensory perception or the interpretation of man's fossil history, where to the faithful anything is possible - and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe several contradictory things at the same time." - Lord Solly Zuckerman (professor of anatomy at Birmingham University in England and chief scientific adviser to the British government from the time period of 1964 to 1971), Beyond The Ivory Tower, Toplinger Publications, New York, 1970, p. 19.||”|
|“||"Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether". Henry Gee, “Return to the Planet of the Apes,” Nature, Vol. 412, 12 July 2001, p. 131.||”|
For more fossil record quotes please see: Fossil record quotes
Paleoanthropology is an interdisciplinary branch of anthropology that concerns itself with the origins of early humans and it examines and evaluates items such as fossils and artifacts. Dr. David Pilbeam is a paleoanthropologist who received his Ph.D. at Yale University and Dr. Pilbeam is presently Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University and Curator of Paleontology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. In addition, Dr. Pilbeam served as an advisor for the Kenya government regarding the creation of an international institute for the study of human origins.
Dr. Pilbeam wrote a review of Richard Leakey's book Origins in the journal American Scientist:
|“||...perhaps generations of students of human evolution, including myself, have been flailing about in the dark; that our data base is too sparse, too slippery, for it to be able to mold our theories. Rather the theories are more statements about us and ideology than about the past. Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves than it does about how humans came about. But that is heresy.||”|
Dr. Pilbeam wrote the following regarding the theory of evolution and paleoanthropology:
|“||I am also aware of the fact that, at least in my own subject of paleoanthropology, "theory" - heavily influenced by implicit ideas almost always dominates "data". ....Ideas that are totally unrelated to actual fossils have dominated theory building, which in turn strongly influence the way fossils are interpreted.||”|
Evolutionist and Harvard professor Richard Lewontin wrote in 1995 that "Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor...." In the September 2005 issue of National Geographic, Joel Achenbach asserted that human evolution is a "fact" but he also candidly admitted that the field of paleoanthropology "has again become a rather glorious mess." In the same National Geographic article Harvard paleoanthropologist Dan Lieberman states, "We're not doing a very good job of being honest about what we don't know...".
Concerning pictures of the supposed ancestors of man featured in science journals and the news media Boyce Rensberger wrote in the journalScience the following regarding their highly speculative nature:
|“||Unfortunately, the vast majority of artist's conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence. But a handful of expert natural-history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there…. Much of the reconstruction, however, is guesswork. Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips, or ears. Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it.... Hairiness is a matter of pure conjecture.||”|
In addition, the science magazine New Scientist reported the following:
|“||"A five million-year-old piece of bone that was thought to be a collarbone of a humanlike creature is actually part of a dolphin rib according to an anthropologist at the University of California-Berkeley." - Ian Anderson||”|
Dr. Tim White, anthropologist at the University of California-Berkeley, likened the incident on par with the "Nebraska man" and "Piltdown Man" incidents. Dr. White stated regarding the fossil find, "Seldom has a bone been hyped as much as this one." Anthropologist Dr. Noel Boaz from New York University who made the original classification of the fossil has countered, "I have not gone any further than the evidence allowed." Dr. Boaz described the fossil find and defended his stance regarding the fossil find in the journals Nature, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and Natural History. However, at a meeting of physical anthropologist his fellow anthropologist were skeptical of the find some stating that at first glance the bone looks nothing like a collar bone. Dr. White stated that "to be a clavicle, the specimen should have an S...curve, but it does not. Dr. White also stated the blunder may force a rethinking of theories among evolutionary theorists on when the line of man's ancestors separated from that of apes.
Dr. White added "The problem with a lot of anthropologists is that they want so much to find a hominid that any scrap of bone becomes a hominid bone." Dr. White has dubbed the "humanoid species" arising from the fossil find "Flipperpithecus".
Creation scientists concur with Dr. Pilbeam regarding the speculative nature of the field of paleoanthropology and assert there is no compelling evidence in the field of paleoanthropology for the various theories of human evolution.
Microevolution vs. macroevolution
In 2011, Dr. Grady S. McMurtry declared:
|“||It is a commonly held belief of evolutionists that small changes in genetic materials (mutations) will ultimately produce the presumed large changes necessary for one biological organism to change into a different kind of biological organism which is commonly called macroevolution. This belief is not valid. Scientifically, a mutation is a copying error of previously existing information contained in the DNA: a mutation is a structural change in the hereditary material which makes the offspring different from its parents.|
It is acknowledged that the Laws of Genetics are conservative, they are not “creative.” Genetics only copies or rearranges the previously existing information and passes it on to the next generation. When copying information, you have only two choices; you can only copy it perfectly or imperfectly, you cannot copy something “more perfectly.” Mutations do not build one upon another beneficially. Mutations do not create new organs; they only modify existing organs and structures. Mutations overwhelmingly lose information; they do not gain it; therefore, mutations cause changes which are contrary of evolutionary philosophy.
As a follow on, the addition of excess undirected energy will destroy the previously existing system. Indeed, you will never get an increase in the specifications on the DNA to create new organs without the input from a greater intelligence.
Mutations affect and are affected by many genes and other intergenic information acting in combination with one another. The addition of the accidental duplication of previously existing information is detrimental to any organism.
Mutations do produce “microevolution,” however, this term is far better understood as merely “lateral adaptation,” which is only variation within a kind, a mathematical shifting of gene frequency within a gene pool. The shifting of gene frequencies and a loss of information cannot produce macroevolution.
As Dr. Roger Lewin commented after the 1980 University of Chicago conference entitled “Macroevolution”:
“The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. … At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.” [Emphasis added]
Dr. Roger Lewin, “Evolution Theory under Fire,” Science. Vol. 210, 21 November 1980. p. 883-887.
In 1988, the prominent Harvard University biologist Ernst Mayr wrote in his essay Does Microevolution Explain Macroevolution?:
|“||Among all the claims made during the evolutionary synthesis, perhaps the one that found least acceptance was the assertion that all phenomena of macroevolution can be ‘reduced to,' that is, explained by, microevolutionary genetic processes. Not surprisingly, this claim was usually supported by geneticists but was widely rejected by the very biologists who dealt with macroevolution, the morphologists and paleontologists. Many of them insisted that there is more or less complete discontinuity between the processes at the two levels—that what happens at the species level is entirely different from what happens at the level of the higher categories. Now, 50 years later the controversy remains undecided.|
...In this respect, indeed, macroevolution as a field of study is completely decoupled from microevolution.
Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics
Creation Ministries International has a great wealth of information on why the second law of thermodynamics is incompatible with the evolutionary paradigm.
Some of their key resources on this matter are:
See also: Theories of evolution
Because the fossil record is characterized by the abrupt appearance of species and stasis in the fossil record the theory of punctuated equilibrium was developed and its chief proponents were Stephen Gould, Niles Eldridge, and Steven Stanley. According to the American Museum of Natural History the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium "asserts that evolution occurs in dramatic spurts interspersed with long periods of stasis". Because Stephen Gould was the leading proponent of the theory of punctuated equilibrium much of the criticism of the theory has been directed towards Gould. The development of a new evolutionary school of thought occurring due to the fossil record not supporting the evolutionary position was not unprecedented. In 1930, Austin H. Clark, an American evolutionary zoologist who wrote 630 articles and books in six languages, came up with an evolutionary hypothesis called zoogenesis which postulated that each of the major types of life forms evolved separately and independently from all the others. Prior to publishing his work entitled The New Evolution: Zoogenesis, Clark wrote in a journal article published in the Quarterly Review of Biology that "so far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists seem to have the better of the argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any one of the major groups arose from any other."
In 1995, there was an essay in the New York Review of Books by the late John Maynard Smith, a noted evolutionary biologist who was considered the dean of British neo-Darwinists, and Smith wrote the following regarding Gould's work in respect to the theory of evolution:
|“||The evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his [Gould’s] work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists. All this would not matter, were it not that he is giving non biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory."||”|
Noted journalist and author Robert Wright , wrote in 1996 that, “among top-flight evolutionary biologists, Gould is considered a pest—not just a lightweight, but an actively muddled man who has warped the public's understanding of Darwinism.”
Creation scientist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote regarding the implausibility of the theory of punctuated equilibrium and the implausibility of the idea of gradual evolution the following:
|“||...supporters of ‘jerky’ evolution saltationism and its relative, punctuated equilibria) point out that the fossil record does not show gradualism, and that the hypothetical transitional forms would be disadvantageous. But supporters of gradual evolution point out that large, information-increasing changes are so improbable that one would need to invoke a secular miracle. Creationists agree with both: punctuational evolution can’t happen, and gradual evolution can’t happen—in fact, particles-to-people evolution can’t happen at all!||”|
The evolutionary thinking of Richard Goldschmidt influenced Gould. In a 1977 in a paper entitled, ‘The Return of the Hopeful Monsters Gould wrote that when he studied evolutionary biology in graduate school that "official rebuke and derision focused upon Richard Goldschmidt". Nevertheless, Gould also wrote:
|“||I do, however, predict that during this decade Goldschmidt will be largely vindicated in the world of evolutionary biology.....As a Darwinian, I wish to defend Goldschmidt's postulate that macroevolution is not simply microevolution extrapolated, and that major structural transitions can occur rapidly without a smooth series of intermediate stages....In my own, strongly biased opinion, the problem of reconciling evident discontinuity in macroevolution with Darwinism is largely solved by the observation that small changes early in embryology accumulate through growth to yield profound differences among adults.||”|
Harvard biologist and evolutionist Ernst Mayr wrote concerning the history of the theory of punctuated equilibrium: "Even though some of the statements of Eldredge, Gould, and Stanley, made in the 1970s, sounded as if they had favored the Goldschmidtian version, they clearly distanced themselves from it in their more recent discussions. Creation scientist Don Batten wrote concerning the history of punctuated equilibrium (PE): "By the time of their 21st anniversary review of PE, Gould and Eldridge had retracted to proposing PE as ‘a complement tophyletic gradualism’. This is a rather major backdown on the brashness of their claims in 1972, and especially Gould’s claims up to 1980..."Batten also wrote that Niles Eldredge had been "less dogmatic than Gould had been in the 1970s about the lack of gradual change in the fossil record".
According to Stephen Gould, Daniel Dennet and Richard Dawkins, who hold to a traditional Darwinian gradualism view of the theory of evolution, trivialized the importance of the theory of punctuated equilibrium. Dawkins called the theory of punctuated equilibrium "an interesting but minor wrinkle on the surface of Neo-Darwinism theory". Dennet went farther and stated that the theory of punctuated equilibrium was a "a false-alarm revolution that was largely if not entirely in the eyes of the beholders."
Go to: God and His Messiah Jesus Christ our Lord - our right and duty to witness to Him: Evolution - Conservapedia | Part two
Go to: God and His Messiah Jesus Christ our Lord - our right and duty to witness to Him: Evolution - Conservapedia | Part two