Evidence from Life
Darwin recognized that the fossil record, as it existed, had serious problems. He admitted that the record, as it stood then, offered an argument against evolution. It was Darwin’s hope that continued fossil exploration would reveal more evidence demonstrating an unbroken succession of life forms from simple to complex.
During Darwin’s lifetime, a rich repository of some of the oldest fossils ever discovered was found in Cambria (the classical name for Wales). It is called the ‘Cambrian Explosion’. Because of its place in the geological column, only the simplest life forms should have been found in the Cambrian layer. According to the theory, rock in this layer should contain fossils that would give us insight into the very first stages of evolution. Surprise! What was found was totally unexpected! Paleontologists discovered what they call ‘bursts’ of life forms that appear abruptly, representing the major groups of animals with their radically different body plans. It confounded evolutionary thinking, because greatest distinctions between life forms appeared first, before the smaller variations.
These fossils were said to date back to what came to be called the Cambrian period—making them 485 to 542 million years old. Rocks assigned to the Cambrian have also been found in Utah, Canada, Siberia, Greenland, and China. During the time of Darwin (in the mid 1800s) the rock layer below the Cambrian stratum was believed to be older yet and was devoid of fossils, because it was believed that the heat and pressure from above had destroyed any traces of life. This pre-Cambrian section comprises most, some 88 percent, of the geological column.
More recently, an effort has been made to divide the pre-Cambrian rock into other geological layers. The Ediacaran Period allegedly precedes the Cambrian in time and is 542–635 million years old—a period in which fossilized soft body organisms or extinct worm-like creatures were found. There is uncertainty as to what fossils belong in the Ediacaran. Some that may belong in the Ediacaran are simply blobs. The Ediacaran Period is contained within the Proterozoic Eon, which evolutionists have assigned to be between 542 million and 2.5 billion years old. Fossils found in the Proterozoic are microscopic organisms including bacteria, fungi, protists (amoeba, paramecium, algae) and others. The fossils found in this eon are very much like what we see today and can be found on any other layer.
Cambrian fossils are of every basic body type. It is because they are so numerous and appear so abruptly in the geological record that this find has been called the Cambrian Explosion. Organisms from hard-shelled clams to mollusks to extinct trilobites, and even fish, have been discovered in this layer. This vast array of organisms, all found on one layer, is a huge problem to the evolutionary thesis that slow change over eons accounts for all life forms now in existence.
The Big Problem
Fully-formed fossils, representing so many kinds of animals without any ancestral forms, present a tremendous problem to evolution. Darwin’s theory states that all life forms evolved from simple to complex, from molecule to man. But in the Cambrian layer, where one would expect to find fossil evidence of lower forms—organisms in an earlier stage of evolution—none have been found. Even if one goes down further to the next layers, in the Proterozoic, no fossils that show any connection to the organisms found in the Cambrian appear. Again, the Cambrian explosion can not be explained by evolution, while creationists interpret this layer as the fossil record of those creatures that lived on the bottom of the ocean at the time of the Flood.
The Amazing Trilobite
Trilobites are extinct soft body animals that once moved along the bottom of the sea and had features similar to a horseshoe crab. They typically vary in size from 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 inches) and have a ridged shell divided by three distinct lobes, the feature for which they are named. A few trilobite fossils have been found that measure 72 cm (2.4 feet). These creatures are found in the Cambrian layer, accompanied by many different kinds of creatures. Evolutionists get excited about old-age fossils, particularly the trilobite, because it is found in the Cambrian layer and thought to be some 500 millions years old. One would assume from evolutionary theory that the trilobite, given its putative age and place in the geological column, would be simple in form. Not so.
Like any other living system, trilobites have inherent complexity. One of the most revealing examples of complexity found in trilobites is their aggregate eye, a feature found in some, though not all trilobites. This very unique eye features an upper lens, which is hardened calcite, and a lower lens designed to correct the ray pattern to a focal point. It has rods in slightly different positions, similar to an insects’ compound eye. The aggregate eye is also called schizochroal and is one of the finest optical systems designed.
The design of the schizochroal eye makes it unique among eyes; perhaps even to the point of being the best optical system known in the biological world. This design, in fact seems to far exceed the needs of the trilobite. The origin of the design of the schizochroal eye is not understood by means of any known natural cause. Rather, it is understood as being due to an intelligent (design-creating) cause, through a process involving remarkably high manipulative ability. Among available hypotheses, creation of God is the most reasonable hypothesis for the origin of the complexity of the trilobite’s schizochroal.1
The Fossil Record’s Real Testimony
The evolutionary hypothesis holds that simple organisms will change into more complicated forms slowly through time. For that reason, evolutionists divide the fossil record into theoretical periods, such as the Cambrian and Ediacaran, in order to show from the fossil record the progress of life up the evolutionary scale. It is not working out that way. As more and more fossils are discovered, these theoretical divisions are disappearing. Fossils keep appearing at the wrong places, suggesting that the system needs to change. As fossils are discovered, it is apparent that the organisms are not simple and that they challenge, by their unexpected complexity, evolutionary assumptions about the fossil record.
Living fossils are fossils of plants and animals that are not extinct, but still exist today. For example, more than 84 percent of insects still in existence have been found in the fossil record as far back as what evolutionists tell us was 100 million years ago. Other living fossils include the following:
- The Chambered Nautilus
“It remains essentially the same as its ancestors of 180 million years ago
. . . a living link with the past.” National Geographic, January 1976
- The Praying Mantis, fossilized in amber, is dated to 40 million years ago
- The Coelacanth, thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago, but was found alive in the 1930s off the coast of Madagascar.
Even More Complex Than You Think
Michael Behe, an outspoken biochemist, is challenging the foundations on which biological evolution rests. With the publication of Darwin’s Black Box in 1996, he presented an academic challenge to traditional Darwinian thought. As a biochemist, he began to question how small microorganisms could evolve from raw components. Although he is not a biblical creationist, he came to the conclusion that, given the fine details of these living systems, they could not have come from any known natural processes. This led him to the only alternative answer: an outside Intelligent Designer.
Biochemistry explains how all the component parts of a living system work together and how the molecules act together. The light microscope, pushed to its limits, could reach down to one-tenth the size of a bacteria cell. Many of the substructures could not be visualized completely, and many were still hidden. In the 1950s, with the aid of the new electron microscope, cell structure took on a new meaning. The electron microscope has the capacity, with the aid of an electron beam, to magnify an object 500,000 times.
With the capacity to view the cell in such incredible detail, many new subcellular structures were discovered. Behe, in his book, reflects on the fact that each of these substructures have their own set of biochemical instructions. Such detail exponentially increased the complexity of the cell. A hundred years after Darwin, the simple cell suddenly became immensely complicated, with countless systems all entwined with each other to contribute to the total biological purpose of sustaining life.
The molecular machines of the cell are the proteins. These molecular protein machines are the basic material of which cells are made. They provide structure and chemically interact with other molecules and particles of the cell. Proteins are composed of 100 or more amino acid units strung together in different sequences to make a long chain. An amino acid chain needs help from a molecular machine called a chaperonin so that it can properly fold into the three dimensional shape of a protein. These folded proteins have their own complexity and are useful for specific cell functions, as in building structures or chemically reacting with other molecules.
It is in the details that evolution fails so miserably. The molecular structures from which proteins are made have always been challenging. Today they continue to give biochemists new revelations of how living systems work. These proteins make up the different structures of the cell, which include the nucleus, mitochondrion, ribosome, cell membrane, vacuole and many others.
Cells are mobile and move with the help of different protein structures. Bacterial cells move in a variety of ways. A moving tail, called a flagellum, propels one type of bacteria cell. This tail is made of hundreds of different types of proteins that function just like a rotary propeller moving at impressive speed. Behe suggests that the flagellum paddling mechanism is made of three substructures: the paddle, a rotor, and a motor. The bacterial flagellum is a marvelously designed substructure with the following unique characteristics:
• Tail moves at 100,000 rpm
• Moves in two directions:
forward and reverse
• Reversing after ¼ of a turn
• Acid (proton) driven
• At least 40 operational parts
• Rotary motor cooled by water
Behe introduced the concept of ‘irreducible complexity’ to describe what he found in the myriad micro systems all functioning together within a cell. He found component parts as simple as a molecule synchronized with other molecules, like the mechanical gears of an expensive Swiss watch. Just as the watch would stop if one of the gears failed—if a molecule were altered in a biologically elaborate system—the organism could die. In the words of Behe:
By irreducibly complex, I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.2
This principle of irreducible complexity can be seen at every level of biological function—from molecules to cells to organs to organisms. The simple tail of a one-cell bacteria, as described above, has at least 40 moving parts. If one of those parts failed to function, the tail would cease to work. Without the tail, the cell could not move; and without movement, the cell would die for lack of nutrients.
No Room for Evolution
Irreducible complexity makes a powerful argument for design. For a system to function, not only are all parts needed, but a set of instructions are needed as well for how the parts should work together. To assemble a new lawn mower out of the box, not only do you need all the parts, you need an instruction manual (hopefully, with lots of pictures) to put it together. Cell assembly is a far more complex task than putting together a lawn mower. The parts and instructional manual for the cell did not produce themselves. They had to come from a divine planner, the Creator—Jesus Christ.
The study of biochemistry demonstrates how the basic materials in a cell or other living system function together. This academic discipline majors on the details of life and is usually taught in the upper level of undergraduate or the graduate level at colleges and universities. It is interesting to note that evolution has no place in this discipline. Many biochemistry texts completely ignore evolution. When mentioned, it is usually in passing. By its nature, biochemistry deals with measurable, empirical data. It seeks out the order and design in living systems, a process that, if one is open-minded, leads to the deduction that there is an intelligent Creator. This, after all, was Behe’s final conclusion:
The simplicity that was once expected to be the foundation of life has proven to be a phantom; instead, systems of horrendous, irreducible complexity inhabit the cell. The resulting realization that life was designed by intelligence is a shock to us in the twentieth century who have gotten used to thinking of life as the result of simple natural laws.3
DNA from a Higher Source
It was front-page news nationwide. “Genetic Code of Human Life Is Cracked by Scientists,” the New York Times announced on June 27, 2000. This marked the first time the whole human DNA code—the blueprint of life—had been mapped. This enormous project, formally called the Human Genome Project, involved hundreds of scientists in a multibillion-dollar experiment funded by medical research grants from several countries. They found the exact sequencing of 3.2 billion chemical building blocks (abbreviated with the letters A, T, C, and G) in the DNA of a human. All sorts of wonderful benefits were predicted with this discovery, including a cure for cancer.
Unfortunately, the press reacted too quickly. Now it appears that there is a long road ahead, with many difficult hurdles to clear. What was really uncovered was similar to four letters strung out in a sequence of 3.2 billion base pairs. Much work still has to be done to understand the meaning of those letters. The term ‘cracking the genetic code’ implies that scientists understand what the code means. The mapping of all that human genetic information is a great accomplishment. But to say that it is understood? This is nothing but a puffed-up exaggeration by the press.
Evolutionary scientists once concluded that out of the billions of bits of DNA base pair data, only 5 percent are actually used. Beyond that extremely small percentage, the rest was labeled as ‘junk’ DNA, or evolutionary ‘leftovers’. This so-called ‘junk’ DNA is something we don’t fully understand at the present time, but as research continues, new insights are being revealed as to its genetic function. Creationists argue that junk DNA performs important regulatory functions, and could have been used to enable a rapid post-Flood biological adjustment.
Presently, there are still large gaps of knowledge that remain. To illustrate this even further, the geneticists have recently found that genes can have more than one function. For instance, the Distal-less gene develops the appendages of mice, sea urchins, spiny worms and velvet worms. The same gene produces different structures. This phenomenon is being intensely studied and is still a big mystery. Clearly, the genetic code is extremely complicated.
What Does DNA Look Like?
James Watson, an American biologist, and Francis Crick, a British physicist at Cambridge, England, worked out the structure of DNA in 1953. DNA is the foundational information storage system of life. Finally, the mysterious chemical structure that controls every living organism was revealed to all mankind. All life is controlled by a simple double helix structure. This is like a nanoscale spiral staircase, where the stairs are made by four chemical bases: Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), Adenine (A), and Thymine (T). The ‘stairs’ connect two strands comprising alternating deoxyribose (a type of sugar) and phosphate. This explains the name of DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid.
The DNA molecule is a very long, microscopically thin string that is tightly bound together. When it unravels, it unzips the double helix, and the two segments open up, exposing a sequence of the four base pairs listed above. Since the molecule is very long, the sequence of base pairs on each side carries an immense amount of information. When both sides of the DNA molecule open, the four base codes send instructions from the nucleus of the cell to build proteins. The simplicity of two base pairs is amazing—being sequenced over a long molecule and having the potential to contain the information from which all life is derived.
DNA has extraordinary properties, including the following:
• DNA is a very thin filament measuring 0.000,000,002 meters thick in diameter.
• DNA is so thin that a strand of DNA long enough to reach the sun would weigh only half a gram.
• The DNA in each human cell would be about 2 m (6 feet) long if totally unraveled.
• If an adult human’s entire DNA were to be unwound, it would extend 184 billion kilometers. That is an unimaginably long molecular string that would go to the sun and back, a distance of 310 million kilometers (or 186 million miles), some 596 times.
• DNA weighing an amount equivalent to 1/15 of a postage stamp contains all the DNA needed to make 5 billion people.
• The information in the DNA of each human cell would fill 850 Bible-sized books.
How is the Information Stored?
Information is derived from the order in which the four bases, or chemical ‘letters’ appear. But this order is meaningless unless decoded by many decoding machines, including the ribosome. This is a real chicken-and-egg problem: the instructions to build these decoding machines are in the DNA, but these instructions can’t be decoded without already-existing decoding machines.
The code produces genetic information for proteins to do their work, making cells to form a plant, frog, turtle, human or any living system. There are at least 50,000 different proteins in living systems. In DNA, the base pairs function in three groups. In threes, the information code is given to produce amino acids. The amino acids then bond together, usually in the thousands, to make the proteins essential for living systems.
The intelligence center of the cell is the nucleus where the DNA is found. The DNA molecule is considered the greatest information carrier known to man. The tiny DNA molecules are tightly wound up. For example, the E. coli chromosome has 300,000 twists in the space 1 mm. DNA’s information density is a staggering 1.88 × 1021 bits per cm3. The sum of all human knowledge in all books is 1018 bits. All the libraries of the world combined could never match the amount of information in one cubic centimeter, or 0.4 of a cubic inch, of DNA.
The sum total of knowledge currently stored in the libraries of the world is estimated at 1018 bits. If this information could be stored in the DNA molecules, one percent of the volume of a pinhead would be sufficient for this purpose. If, on the other hand, this information were stored with the aid of mega chips, we would need a pile higher than the distance between the earth and the moon.4
Not only is DNA a magnificent information machine, it also has phenomenal replication accuracy. After all, its basic function is to transfer genetic information in order to continue living processes. Since cells make every living organism, it is of extreme importance that no information is lost in the duplication process. Cells, after they divide, must have identical genetic information without any transfer of mistakes. To replicate, the DNA molecule in a bacteria cell unravels at an amazing speed of 10,000 revolutions per minute.
The chemical structure of the bases provides the means for replicating the information—as a cell divides, and from parent to child. The letter A of one strand always matches a T of the other, and vice versa; and G always matches C. So the each DNA strand can be copied to make another strand which is analogous to a photographic negative. Here as well, there are complex machines needed for the copying, in particular DNA polymerase. This is another chicken-and-egg problem: the instructions to build DNA are also stored on DNA, but they can’t be passed on to the next generation without pre-existing copying machines.
This replication is also very accurate, thanks to error-checking machines:
The replication is so precise, that it can be compared to 280 clerks copying the entire Bible sequentially, each one from the previous one, with (at most) one single letter being transposed erroneously in the entire copying process.5
Once again, there is a chicken-and-egg problem: the instructions to build the error-checking machines are stored in the DNA. But without pre-existing error checking machines, these instructions would be degraded when the DNA is replicated. This would lead to worse error-checking machines, which would allow further degradation of the instructions, causing even worse machines. This would be an error catastrophe.
Only from an Intelligent, Outside Source
The DNA code contains information that is translated into a program to make a specific protein. The protein is made to fulfill a biological need so the living system can function. There is a molecular transfer of information from the DNA molecule, which is programmed to be aware of the total needs of the whole living system. Biochemists have classified this marvelous process as ‘the language of life’. It is apparent that the information system for all life is a wonder. The fact is that DNA is designed with such an ultimate excellence that it far surpasses what man has done and what he can do in the future. The amount of information stored and the way it is replicated is nothing but a miracle.
The code reveals a language that is in every gene. The complexity of this language, as mentioned above, far exceeds all human knowledge. It could not come from a material source. It is classified as a language not unlike a computer language. One would consider it ridiculous to assume that computer programming came from the computer chip. Every computer language was made from an outside source. Language uses a higher form of conceptual intelligence.
The late Dr. Wilder Smith demonstrated by a simple illustration the preposterous nature of the evolutionary idea that life came from inert matter. He compared the claim that life could be produced from inert matter to the idea of a blank book producing letters on its pages. In the case of the book, once all 26 letters are produced, they would then randomly combine to make words. These words would randomly mix to make sentences expressing complete thoughts. The random process would continue until a paragraph is formed. After that, paragraphs would randomly combine to make chapters and, finally, the same random process would produce the final product, the book. Not likely.
It is obvious that books are the product of an outside intelligence and that language is used to translate information. But evolution offers the irrational argument that the DNA code came from randomness. Dr. Smith’s illustration makes it clear that the DNA code must originate from an outside intelligent source who has a plan and will use the letters to give us words or proteins. These proteins combine and form complete sentences—or cells. These cells combine and form paragraphs—or tissue. These tissues come together to form chapters—or organs. And the last step … these organs come together to form the book—or organism. All of these steps are programmed by an outside source, just as an author writes a book.
There is no man in the universe who could come up with this wonderful and awesome design for life. The evidence is clear. The complexity of any living system points to God. It is written in our genes that there is a God … so we are without excuse.
As mentioned above, the protein molecule adds structure and function to every living cell. It is a long molecule that contains many subunit molecules all bonded together. These subunit molecules are called amino acids and are composed mainly of the elements nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.
There are twenty kinds of amino acids involved in living plants and animals. A typical protein will have between 100 to 300 amino acids connected in a definite sequence. These amino acid sequences give the protein its shape and its potential to function as a basic unit of a component of the cell.
It should be noted that 19 out of the 20 types of biological amino acid molecules have a mirror image. Just as one’s right hand is a mirror image of the left hand, so amino acids have a left- and a right-hand side to their molecular structure. If these amino acids were really formed in a primordial soup, as most evolutionists believe, they would be in a 50-50 (racemic) mixture. Amazingly, all observable living things are made of left-handed amino acids.
The protein is encoded with information based on the sequencing of its amino acids. Different sequences give different information which, in turn, allows the protein to perform various functions. This works because DNA operates with a several coded languages. The best known code operating on DNA is to make proteins: every three-letter sequence is called a codon, because it codes for one protein ‘letter’ or amino acid, or to start or stop the protein being made.
The sequencing of the amino acids begins in the DNA of the cell. Because DNA starts the process, it is very often called the information center of the cell. The big question is: Where does the DNA molecule receive its information? The answer is obvious—from an outside source—an intelligent Creator.
The Improbable Protein
A simple protein must have at least 100 amino acids bonded together in a set sequence. There are twenty amino acids to choose from, and, assuming they were available in number, the probability for the formation of a protein molecule would be impossible. The probability comes out to a staggering chance of one out of 10115. That is 1 followed by 115 zeroes. This impossible-to-imagine number completely exceeds the statistical odds that it could ever happen. (Borel’s Law holds that any probability less than 1 out of 1050 could not happen).
There is a 50 percent possibility that amino acids will be right- or left-handed. All protein molecules have left-handed amino acids. If a right-handed amino acid is added, it could be extremely toxic to the living system. With this new variable added to the above calculation for the statistical likelihood of the formation of a protein, one is confronted with an even greater problem. Given the criteria that not only do all 100 amino acids have a specific sequence, but they are all left-handed, the probability that this will occur works out to one in 10145. This last calculation overwhelmingly demonstrates the massive problem evolution has in getting inert matter to form a protein. The statistical improbability for the next step, the formation of a single cell from all these improbable proteins, is beyond comprehension.
Seeking Help in the Heavens
When faced with these cold, hard statistics, what chance did evolution have? Francis Crick suggested life itself may be likened to a ‘miracle’.
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.6
Thus some evolutionists looked heavenward for answers and came up with the idea of ‘Directed Panspermia’. Crick helped popularize the hypothesis that some kind of extraterrestrial intelligence, aided by a UFO, carried life spores to the earth. Most evolutionists find this nothing but fantasy. In the real world, though, many do hope that an asteroid or trip to the planet Mars might reveal a life form that may have made it to earth untouched and ready to be incubated.
However, this is not only unscientific, it merely removes the very same problem to the untouchable reaches of the distant cosmos.
Kind After Kind
Researchers have, by means of genetic breeding, changed a two-wing fruit fly into a four-wing fruit fly. The four-wing fruit fly consistently reproduces four-winged fruit flies. But although a new variety has been produced, it is not a new ‘kind’. The mutant fruit fly is still a fruit fly. As a matter of fact, the four-winged fruit fly is a weakened form. The second set of wings do not help the fruit fly; they actually get in the way. Its ability to take flight is dangerously hindered. Having been selectively bred in the laboratory, this variant would not survive without the caring assistance of researchers. This is a poor example of evolution by mutation. The bottom line is that mutations always weaken an organism and never change it into something fundamentally different. The fruit fly remains a fruit fly.
Evolutionists often offer sickle cell anemia as an example of a beneficial mutation because those who have it have a reduced likelihood of getting malaria. Sickle cell anemia originates in a mutation in the hemoglobin molecule found in the red blood cells of our body. This mutation distorts the normal biconcave (concave on both sides) shape of the red blood cell. Presently, this disease affects millions of people worldwide; in the United States alone there are some 70,000 cases of active sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary blood disorder that is most common in people who trace their ancestry to Africa or India, regions where malaria outbreaks have taken many lives. However, those who have one sickle-cell gene and one healthy hemoglobin gene (i.e. are heterozygous in this trait) have minimal sickle-cell symptoms but also have malarial resistance. So since the mutant gene benefits its possessor, it is a beneficial mutation by definition. However, as will be shown, this is irrelevant for evolution.
Definitely a Defect
Even this beneficial sickle cell mutation is most definitely a defect. There is no substitute for the optimal biconcave shape of normal hemoglobin molecules. This shape is tolerant to quick movement and designed perfectly for the effective transfer of oxygen to every cell in our body.
In the case of sickle cell anemia (SCA), the DNA that produces the proteins to make the hemoglobin in the red blood cells actually transfers one coding error. This error or genetic defect produces hemoglobin molecules that stick to each other when oxygen is released to the tissues. The defective hemoglobin molecules form long rigid chains that completely distort the shape of the red blood cell. Some of these distorted red blood cells actually form a distinct crescent shape and look like ‘sickles’—hence the name ‘sickle cell’.
These distorted red blood cells grow in size and can clog the capillaries, which limits the transfer of oxygen and causes severe pain to the extremities and throughout the body, including the chest cavity. It also leads to shortness of breath, infection, organ damage, and, in severe cases, can cause death. It also should be noted that sickle-shaped red blood cells die prematurely because of their large unstable shape. A normal red blood cell will last 120 days while a sickle cell can only survive 10 to 20 days. Patients with this disease often need blood transfusions to replace their lost hemoglobin.
However, a person who is heterozygous with the SCA gene usually doesn’t have the misfolding that leads to the anemia. But when the malarial parasite (Plasmodium) invades one of his blood cells, it causes the hemoglobin to ‘sickle’ and deform the blood cell. The spleen detects this defective cell and destroys it along with the parasite.
It’s important to note that this has nothing to do with evolution of more complex features. Rather, it is more akin to guerilla war against an invading army: guerillas might destroy a bridge on which the enemy is crossing. However, although it is ‘beneficial’ for the country to destroy the enemy, the country is poorer by one bridge. Similarly, the person destroys the malarial parasite but loses a blood cell in the process.
In any case, resistance to malaria at the cost of a dangerous blood disorder that leads to premature death does not confirm Darwin’s idea that species evolve upward over time.7
Beneficial Mutations “Exceedingly Rare”
Mutation statistics accumulated over several decades show that there is very little data to build a theory that evolutionary progress takes place by means of beneficial mutation. First, as shown, the usual examples of beneficial mutation are still destructive. Also, the late Motoo Kimura, a Japanese mathematical biologist, introduced in 1979 a statistical method for handling data on genetic mutations. He clearly demonstrated that most mutations are neutral in their effect. Very few are lethal and no beneficial mutations are represented in his graphical representation because the number is too small to be mathematically significant. According to J.C. Sanford, a geneticist from Cornell University who invented the ‘gene gun’, beneficial mutations “are exceedingly rare—much too rare for genome building.”8
The development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is often suggested by evolutionists as another proof for upward evolutionary progress through beneficial mutations. A careful molecular analysis shows quite the contrary. Mutant strains of bacteria that show resistance to antibiotic are hindered by a degradation of genetic information—meaning they have become less fit over time. “Clearly, the fitness of some mutant strains is permanently reduced (sometimes dramatically), and evolutionists have typically ignored such effects in their rush to promote antibiotic resistance as ‘evolution in the Petri dish,’” according to microbiologist Dr. Kevin Anderson.9 Just like SCA above, the resistance is caused by information-destroying mutations, even if they are beneficial.
Dr. Jerry Bergman searched for the term ‘beneficial mutations’ in two biomedical journal databases containing 18.8 million records. While the term ‘mutation’ turned up 453,732 times, the phrase ‘beneficial mutation’ was used just 186 times, a statistically insignificant number (.041 percent) that agrees with Kimura’s statistical analysis. As Bergman researched further he found that so-called ‘beneficial mutations’ always involved a loss of genetic information. He concluded: “Not a single clear example of an information growing mutation was located. It was concluded that molecular biology research shows that information-gaining mutations have not been documented.”10
Perhaps the best way to summarize the overuse of the evolutionists’ blind faith in ‘beneficial mutations’ is with Sanford’s own words, “In conclusion, mutations appear to be overwhelmingly deleterious, and even when one may be classified as beneficial in some sense, it is still usually part of an over-all breakdown and erosion of information.”11
No New Information
A basic information principle must be violated for evolution to be true. For an organism to evolve upward from simple to complex, there must be an increase of genetic information. When mutations take place, however, there is an exchange of information or misinformation, but never an increase. The system is limited to what it has and, therefore, cannot create new information. Most frequently, information exchange leads to a loss of information. The loss of genetic information is consistent with the universal law of entropy.
It can be observed that errors in the genetic code are passed between generations. The rate of mutation is much too high to allow for evolution over millions of years. There are 100 to 300 misspellings of our genetic code passed on from one generation to the next. This might seem insignificant when we consider that the human genome contains 3 billions letters. However, the human race has six billion people, which means some 600 billion to 1.8 trillion genetic mistakes per generation.
If one includes other types of mutations, such as deletions, insertions, duplications, mitochondrial mutations and others, the number of individual mutations will be 1,000 times more for each person and for the whole population. As a result, our genetic endowment is being corrupted. This phenomenon of accumulating mutations is best termed as ‘genetic load’.
According to Dr. Sanford, “The consensus among geneticists is that at present the human race is degenerating genetically, due to rapid mutation accumulation and relaxed natural selection pressure.” The decline in our fitness as a species is thought to be taking place, Sanford writes, at the rate of one to two percent per generation.12
Such a great rate of decay in the genetic code does not fit with the six to seven million years it took for man to evolve according to the evolutionary model. It fits best with a biblical time frame of 6,000 years. This range of time was determined using a biological decay curve that was constructed using the rate of genomic degeneration.13
There is no time for evolution to take place with this type of genetic degeneration. The human race is subject to more variations of disease and sickness as the ‘genetic load’ increases. Man will have to work hard against the law of entropy to stay alive. Genetic deterioration certainly excludes the idea of upward evolutionary progress by which we move from tiny living molecules and organisms to man.
Chimp and Human DNA
There has been a great deal of time, energy, and money invested for the purpose of developing advanced technology to investigate plant and animal DNA. The ability to isolate complete genetic alphabet sequences will no doubt start to give us a better understanding of the bio-molecular process. Evolutionists are at the door anxiously waiting to jump in and chant, “I told you that slow change of our genetic code is how we humans got here after all.”
The October 9, 2006, cover of Time displayed a juvenile monkey’s face just above the shoulder of an infant, with the provocative title, “How We Became Human. Chimps and humans share almost 99 percent of their DNA. New discoveries reveal how we can be so alike—and yet so different.”
Actually, the 99% genetic similarity claim is based on outdated and selective research. The true sequence similarity is unknown, but more recent studies have found dramatic differences that demolish the 1% myth.14 But even if the difference was only one percent, would that mean men and monkeys are almost alike? Since there are 3 billion letters in our DNA, this would mean 30 million differences! As one writer for Smithsonian admits, “just a few percentage points translate into vast, unbridgeable gaps between species.”15
No one will disagree after a visit to the zoo that chimps look more like us than any other animal. They rank high in intelligence and have a fairly complex social system in the animal kingdom, but there is a real difference between people and other primates. Physical similarities may exist, but the differences are so huge that we would never confuse an ape with a human. The proportions of the lengths of our arms and legs, the appearance of the neck, skull, pelvis, hands, and soft tissue structures—including our lips—clearly distinguish us from other species. Internally, our proteins are 71 percent different from that of a chimp. We have 46 chromosomes while a chimp has 48, and our Y chromosomes are radically different.16
More to it Than the Code Itself
The most important point of comparison between genetic sequences is not how similar the genes are but how the genes act or are expressed. Even similar gene sequences may act very differently because of their interaction with other genes. Our physical appearance, for example, is controlled by just a few genes. The length and shape of our nose, eyebrows, complexion, eye and hair color, etc., are all modulated not by an army of genes but by the orders of a very few genes which work in dynamic harmony. Dramatic physical change does not necessarily have to be orchestrated by DNA directly.
Physical Change Without DNA Difference
Giuseppe Sermonti, a distinguished geneticist from Italy, argues that it may not be DNA alone that determines the nature and structure of living things. There is a black box between DNA and the total function and purpose of an organism. Secular evolutionists who suppose that DNA changes can explain evolution need to heed Sermonti’s eloquent warning: “My view is that the problem is rather how the organism makes use of DNA, getting it to work or keeping it silent, and how it selects its areas of interest. DNA is not the starting point.”17 Just because we find the complete genome does not mean that we understand how DNA functions. Sermonti says we have great mysteries still to explore in seeking to understand how DNA determines who we are.
Common Designer, Not Common Ancestor
Evolution holds that organisms with similar designs must descend from one common ancestor. This argument can be challenged by this question, “Does similarity mean we come from the same ancestry or does it mean we were created by the same designer?” That designer would be the master creator, who could produce an ultimate design for every niche in the physical and living universe. That creator would have to be the perfect designer who knows all things and therefore chose the ultimate design, a universal design that can be utilized with the greatest efficiency to maintain all life. The evidence points to one magnificent, intelligent Creator.
For example, you may notice that a car dealership has a wide selection of cars. Each car has four wheels, an internal combustion engine, steering wheel, and many other common features. Did you ever wonder if the common design would mean that there would be common descent? In other words, did the cars evolve themselves without any outside help? This, of course, is ridiculous, because we know that enormous diligence was needed to design each car model. Although their basic features are the same, they have many other unique qualities that make them attractive to potential buyers. Each car model began with a preplanned design and an outside intelligent creator.
Since there are ultimate designs that function for the exact purpose for which they were created, one may expect to witness repetitive patterns in the universe. The more repetitive a design, the closer it is to perfection. We observe in nature, for example, many animals that have appendages—such as legs or arms or digits.
Does similarity mean we come from the same ancestry? Evolution holds that all organisms have descended from one common ancestor. Creation holds that all living things come from one common source, and are created by one Creator who set out an ultimate design for the universe … and all that is in it.
For by him all things were created… all things were created through him and for him.
1. Kurt Wise, My Favorite Evidence for Creation, Creation 11(4): 29, September 1989.
2. Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, The Free Press, New York, 1996, p. 39.
3. Behe, p. 252.
4. Werner Gitt, Information, The Third Fundamental Quantity, Lecture at 4th Europe Creationist Congress, 1990.
5. Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV English Edition, Bielefeld, Germany, 1997, p. 90.
6. Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1981, p. 88.
7. Jonathan Sarfati, Exposing Evolution’s Icon (interview with Felix Konotey-Ahulu), Creation 29(1): 16–19, December 2006.
8. J.C. Sanford, Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, Elim Publishing, Lima, New York, 2005, p. 27.
9. Kevin Anderson, Is Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics an Appropriate Example of Evolutionary Change? Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 2005, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 318–326.
10. Jerry Bergman, Darwinism and the Deterioration of the Genome, Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 2005, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 104–114.
11. Sanford, p. 27.
12. Sanford, p. 45.
13. Sanford, p. 152.
14. Don Batten, The Myth of 1%: Human and chimp DNA are very different, Creation 36(1): 35–37, January 2014.
15. R. Conniff, Monkey Wrench, Smithsonian, October 2001, pp. 102–104.
16. David Catchpoole, Y chromosome shock, Creation 33(2): 56, April 2011.
17. Giuseppe Sermonti, Why is a Fly Not a Horse, Discovery Institute Press, Seattle, WA, 2005, p. 110.