Is Evolution Science?
Evolution is widely accepted as indisputable scientific fact when, in truth, it is not based on scientific evidences which are measurable by the scientific method.
Our everyday lives revolve around science and technology. The cars we drive, the food we eat, and the vitamins we take are the result of the application of some scientific principle. Just as science is important to everyday life, so it sets foundational principles by which evidence is acquired, analyzed, and transmitted.
Science is a process in which we procure knowledge from empirical data. The data are from what we observe and record with our senses. Science is a systematic study of the world around us based on observations, classifications, and descriptions that can lead to experimental investigation and theoretical explanations. Both deductive and inductive reasoning are employed in the scientific process. The National Academy of Science in the 1998 publication, Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, confines the activity of science to the empirical evidence, stating that, “Explanations that cannot be based on empirical evidence are not a part of science.” (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press) p. 27. (1)
Valid science must have integrity, dependability, reliability, and be trustworthy. How can you come to true conclusions with experimental data that is falsified? Testing and measuring are also important tools for verification. When scientific research is reported in scientific journals, it should be written so that experimental procedures can be repeated, since repeatability is another tool used for validation.
Science can be seen as theoretical a well as strictly experimental. While experimental science relies on the process of factors referred to as the scientific method, e.g. observable, hypothetically testable, theoretically verifiable or repeatable, and falsifiable or possibly untrue, theoretical science observes data and patterns utilizing information from various disciplines to formulate models that can be extremely accurate, e.g. the DNA molecule.
Basic science continues to rely on observation, fact, hypothesis, theory, and law. These can be defined, briefly as follows:
Observations: Describing or measuring what one observes.
Hypothesis: A statement that can be tested so that inferences and conclusions can be explained.
Fact: Based on repeated observations that can be confirmed.
Theory: A general explanation into which facts and experimental conclusions can be incorporated, so as to allow for predictions to be made.
Law: A functional generalization that has stood the test of time and can be relied on to make accurate predictions.
Scientists agree on the importance of peer review and self correction by means of the scientific process detailed above. Why does the evolutionary scientist fail to apply these standards of science to that of evolution? No one was present when evolution of life initially took place, so we are limited by the "observational" requirement of the scientific method. Obviously, we cannot experimentally verify the evolutionary process. We don't know factually any conditions under which evolutionary processes began. Evolution fails to meet the basic requirements of the scientific method and is therefore by definition dead in the water.
Science, by definition, only deals with material things. It is said to be naturalistic. Therefore scientific evidence relates to material questions about the universe. Science is not a worldview. By itself, it is a neutral mechanism that gives us tools to acquire and examine evidence. Evolutionists depend on science to acquire, analyze, and transmit data to build working models to support theories and laws as so do all scientists.
“The raw materials of science are our observations of the phenomena of the natural universe. Science—unlike art, religion, or philosophy—is limited to what is observable and measurable and, in this sense, is roughly categorized as materialistic”. (2)
Science is a tool that gives a glimpse of truth. It is limited because science attempts to exclude all evidence except that which is by definition natural and quantitative. It excludes man’s inner spirit, motivations, and goals. It fails desperately to measure all the qualitative and subjective aspects of reality. It fails to measure inner qualities, such as truthfulness, generosity, and love. Man’s spiritual nature—the repository of his faith, convictions, and worldview—is not susceptible to scientific inquiry. Science’s reality is the material world only. It is not competent to reach conclusions about realms beyond. This is a limitation that requires further development and understanding. We will take a more in-depth look at this problem later in this paper.
The Basic Premises
In summary, it is important to remember the following about evolutionary presuppositions: First, evolution assumes slow and gradual change over unimaginable eons—millions of years for life and billions of years for the material universe to evolve. Many different explanations, without consensus, are offered to explain how this process took place.
Second, evolution assumes that the organizing force for life is internal and depends on random chance, a presupposition that eliminates any outside intelligent creative force.
Third, evolution dismisses intelligence and assumes that time, chance and natural process to be the mechanisms responsible for material reality—which, owing to its naturalistic presupposition, is the only reality being postulated. Evolution, therefore, is a non-testable, non-verifiable, philosophical, non-scientific belief).
Can Evolution Withstand an Application of the Scientific Method?
The McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education describes the legal decision by U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton. Out of this case came a description of science in Section 4 of the case. This section states that the essential characteristics of science are:
1. It is guided by natural law;
2. It has to be explanatory by reference to natural law;
3. It is testable against the empirical world;
4. Its conclusions are tentative, i.e. are not necessarily the final word; and
5. It is falsifiable.
This declaration of what science is, defeated the Creationist's attempt to have their alternate explanation of origins be presented in the public school system under the concept of requiring a balanced treatment of creation-science along with evolution-science. We are not here to debate the issue again, but what might be more apropos, is to see if evolutionary science can meet the "science test" e.g., Overton’s science test itself. The court believed that "creation-science" as defined in Act 590 is simply not science.
Section three of this court case produced the court's definition of evolution.
"Evolution-science" means the scientific evidences for evolution and inferences from those scientific evidences. Evolution-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate:
1. Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from non-life;
2. The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds;
3. Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds;
4. Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes;
5. Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and
6. An inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life. (3)
Can Evolution-science Meet the Test of Science Using the Standards Listed Above?
1. Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from non-life.
We are looking for a process which takes molecules found in a disordered state and allows them to become ordered in such a way that life is produced. Is there a "law of syntropy" (negative energy in living systems) which would counterbalance or reverse the "law of entropy"? We know of no such law which would allow entropy (the consequence of the second principle of thermodynamics, which states that in every transformation of energy some of the energy is lost in the environment) to be reversed. A second law, the law of biogenesis, says that life arises only from preexisting life. The experiments of Francesco Redi, and Louis Pasteur dealt with the origin of life by spontaneous generation, and this hypothesis was nullified by their experimental results. Where is this law that would give some credibility to the evolutionist's position? What experiments have been run that prove or provide any credence to the emergence of life from non-life by some naturalistic process? Evolution is a theme that runs through all of biological science, yet it fails the first test of science, a search for a process that explains the existence of life via natural processes. With regard to this Michael Behe states the problem as follows:
1. Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature - in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books - that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculation.
2. The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds, and
3. Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds. (4)
Mutations and natural selection are the two processes described by evolutionists to account for the evolution of organisms including the emergence of new species from previously evolved species. Mutations certainly occur as well as natural selection. However, can these processes accomplish all that evolutionists say they can accomplish? The ‘molecules to man’ inferences need much more clarification in the scientific literature to be recognized as supporting these inferences as being truly scientific. Mutations are said to be random and unpredictable. But is this so?
Dr. Lee Spetner has researched this area involving adaptive mutations. The following are some of his findings.
Barbara McClintock, who received the Nobel Prize in 1983 for her work on genetic rearrangements, noted that there are indications that these genetic modifications occur in response to stress.
Barry Wanner of Emory University has suggested that genomic rearrangements could be part of a control system in bacteria that would produce heritable changes in response to environmental cues.
John Cairns and his team at the School of Public Health at Harvard University described other experiments with bacteria and concluded: The cells may have mechanisms for choosing which mutation will occur…. Bacteria apparently have an extensive armory of such 'cryptic' genes that can be called upon for the metabolism of unusual substrates. (5)
Dr. Spetner suggests that these experiments, which indicate that adaptive mutations are stimulated by the environment, thus contradicting the basic dogma of neo-Darwinism, e.g. that mutations are random and should be occurring independent of the environment. He further suggests that other organisms, apart from bacteria, also may have latent parts of their genome dedicated to be adaptive to a certain set of environmental conditions that may arise. (6)
How could an organism have part of its genome dedicated to adapt to an environment or a stimulus that it previously had not been exposed to? Evolution must account for serious aberrations in its theory.
There are many other problems with mutations as a mechanism for positive change in an organism. Anyone reading literature on this subject is aware of the destructive effects of mutations. Even granting the occasional beneficial mutation, a concept still lacking in supportive empirical evidence, the accumulation of these in an organism (providing that organism with a new element in its survival) has not been demonstrated in the scientific literature. We understand that the DNA copying process includes an editing system which corrects mutations or errors as they might occur during replication. Does it not seem that the coded information in the DNA is resistant to change by mutations?
Another problem is one of information. Mutations always cause a loss of information. As an organism changes, either to improve some aspect of its being, or to change into or produce another variety or species, information to do these things must come from somewhere. How valid is evolutionary-science when the main claim for improvement involves losing information along the way? Information is a real element in the accumulation of new and novel structures in living things. The scientific literature appears to be deficient to in suggesting where this information comes from. No one has demonstrated that information can arise by itself over time by chance and natural processes.
Natural Selection is a sorting process and doesn't add any new information to the gene pool. According to a popular text natural selection can be described as follows:
Adaptive evolution is a blend of chance and sorting - chance in the origin of new genetic variations by mutation and sexual recombination, and sorting in the workings of selection as it favors the propagation of some chance variations over others. From the range of variations available to it, natural selection increases the frequencies of certain genotypes and fits organisms to their environments. (7)
From this definition scientists are all in agreement to the basic concept of natural selection. The limitations we are suggesting have more to do with the validity of those mutations, in conjunction with sexual recombination, to provide the needed changes and new information to account for all the life forms we see today. These would also have to include the intricacies entailed in the life processes internal and external to those organisms. If mutations lose information and natural selection simply sorts what is already there to give rise to a new variation using the same genes, how does an organism change significantly into another organism?
Let us take a look at an illustration of how a mutation affects the transmittal of information. We will begin with a simple statement:
The boy ran down the street.
Some typical terms for mutations are additions, deletions, and inversions. Remember mutations are random changes in an already existing code of information. You can make your own mutations to a message if you choose. Let us begin by using an addition.
The boy rat down the street, or
The toy ran down the street, or
The boy q ran down the street.
We can see the effects of changing information that already provides adequate meaning.
What would a deletion do to the message?
The oy ran down the street, or
The boy ra down the street, or
The boy ran down the sreet.
What about an inversion, which reverses or turns upside down an element of the message?
The yob ran down the street, or
The boy ran nwod the street, or
The boy ran down the teerts.
With all of these changes information is lost. What affect do these mutations have on the message transmitted in the genetic code of DNA? Below is a section of RNA. RNA is simply the messenger which carries information from DNA.
UUU AAG CTG GGC
Each set of three letters "codon" and represents the information in the DNA which allows a single amino acid to be placed in a specified position in a chain, which then becomes a protein after all amino acids are positioned.
UUU - places the amino acid phenylalanine into the chain.
AAG - places the amino acid lysine into the chain.
CUG - places the amino acid leucine into the chain.
GGC - places the amino acid glycine into the chain.
A protein can be made up of hundreds of amino acids all specifically placed in a sequence to allow for a specific protein such as hemoglobin to be made.
What affect would a mutation have on the sequence above?
How about UUU being mutated with UAU? This would change the placement of the amino acid phenylalanine with the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine chemically works differently than phenylalanine and will cause the protein to be shaped differently. Proteins are only effective when their shape is correct. A single mutation might not cause the protein to lose function, but several likely would. Obviously, if a protein such as hemoglobin was not able to be produced in an organism that required it, the organism would die or at the very least show no improvement in its ability to survive.
The point we need to make here is this: tampering with something that already exists and that is already working perfectly well, will cause that system to malfunction, or not to work at all. We can see the effects of mutations on fruit flies, which have been mutated for decades. They are all still fruit flies after thousands of generations. However what is more disturbing are the harmful effects those mutations have had on them. Some are blind, some are wingless; others have extra wings, which are of no use to them, and so on. If mutations were beneficial, we should have our daily dose of radiation each day to improve ourselves. However, we know better and protect ourselves from excessive x-rays, ultraviolet light and other forms of radiation. Earlier we read the work of McClintock, Wanner, and Cairns who proclaim there is evidence organisms might enact their own mutations in response to the environment. More study certainly needs to be done on this subject, but the preliminary studies have been startling. When an organism initiates such a change, it would appear that a program is already in place to allow an organism to adapt to its environment rather than a hap-hazard process of chance; emphasis on "hazard". How would such a program evolve? Can evolution predict what environmental changes or circumstances will happen in the future of an organism?
Until the evolutionist can bring more to the table and describe in scientific terms, through experimental evidence how all this came to be and how it works, we must conclude that mutations and natural selection fail the test of being part of a proven scientific process. Evolution-science is not science.
4. Emergence of man from a common ancestor of apes.
What natural laws are in place that would turn apes into men? Just look around. We see apes; we see men; but we don't see man-apes or ape-men - unless you are a fan of the Geico commercial. That is a very simplistic response and not meant as an adequate answer to the question. However there are no natural laws that are in the literature to account for the change of apes to men. There might be in the minds of men, but there is no process for this other than mutations and natural selection and these appear to be woefully inadequate.
Our alleged closest relatives are the chimpanzees. Many are convinced that we have a lot in common with these mammals, and at first glance I would agree. The differences however might amaze you.
A considerable amount of new evidence has presented itself recently regarding the actual differences and similarities between humans and chimpanzees. The human genome has been completely mapped, and subsequently attention has been given to the chimpanzee genome as well. Most of those in this field are motivated by their fundamental world view that humans evolved from monkeys or more specifically chimpanzees.
Has this new endeavor provided a closer walk with the chimpanzee? Previous studies of human and chimpanzee DNA indicate a 98-99% match of identical DNA. These studies have focused on a narrow area of the total genome - the gene coding regions. This is a very limited area and a tiny fraction of the roughly 3 billion DNA base pairs that comprise our genetic blueprint. (8) Recent studies have shown that the amount of DNA difference is not 1-2%, but more like 4%. This is at least double the percentage difference claimed by scientists for years. (9)
Percentages are deceiving. For example 1.06 % represents approximately 35 million mutations of single base pair substitutions in the DNA. There are also an additional approximately 40-45 million bases present in humans and missing from chimps, as well as about the same number present in chimps that are absent from man. The presence or absence of DNA is called insertions or deletions (indels). These can be from as few as 20 base pairs in length to several thousand base pairs. (10) A difference of 40 million bases would fill 10,000 pages, if each base represented a letter. Believing that this many changes accumulate by some unconscious zero IQ force and coincidence is like believing that tens of thousands of random changes on the electronic edition of a medical encyclopedia would add new information, transforming it into an encyclopedia of physics. (11) Fazale Rana, PhD, denies even the 96% similarity. He says:
When scientists take into account all the types of genetic differences and do a more global comparison, the similarities drop from 96% to about 85%. (12)
The apparent 4 percent difference is very deceiving, because it doesn't take into account the activity or expression of the genes. For example, we all use the 26 letters of the alphabet to express ourselves. Even though many of the words are identical in our communications, the final messages are of unlimited difference in expression. We would not compare two pieces of literature by counting how often various words were used by percentage, and coming to the conclusion that both pieces of literature were written by the same person because a similar choice of words was used. Obviously two writers are going to have many words, by percentage, in common. Evolutionists make the same mistake in regards to genes. They assume that because the genomes of two organisms use many of the same genes the two organisms have common ancestry.
Chromosomes are not static entities. They are able to move genetic elements around and reorganize themselves. Sections of chromosomes are able to separate themselves and move to another location on the same chromosome or to another chromosome. The locations of DNA swapping between chromosomes, known as recombination hotspots, are almost entirely different between chimps and humans. The finding is reported in a paper just published in Science by Oxford University statisticians and US and Dutch geneticists. (13)
Why these hotspots occur, and what triggers the swapping of DNA at those particular points, is a mystery. One theory suggests that the DNA code on either side of hotspots control the activity. However, when the researchers compared chimps and humans, they were startled to find that despite being so genetically similar, the species have totally different recombination hotspots. Professor Peter Donnelly at Oxford said: "If chimps and humans do not share these recombination hotspots, then it means something other than the surrounding DNA code must be controlling the process of recombination. Since the surrounding DNA code in chimps and humans is pretty much identical, this means that recombination is even more mysterious than we already thought. (14) The point that needs to be made here is simply this; there is a lot we don't know, and as new information is revealed, the evolutionist appears to lose ground.
Another area which is different between these two species involves gene duplication. Gene duplication is simply a repetition of the DNA that makes up a gene. There are duplications found in the chimp and not in the human; in the human and not in the chimp; as well as duplications shared by both species. Each has significant implications as to their impact on developmental disorders. More significantly however, is the impact gene duplication has on gene-expression. Gene expression is the process through which genetic information is changed into structures and functions in a living cell. The formation of your heart, lungs, blood, etc, is an expression of the genes within your genetic code. The genes within the duplicated segments of the genome, many specific to either chimps or humans, are expressed differently in the two species. (15) Also, the two genetic sequences of chimps and humans are littered with duplicated segments that are scattered in different ways in the two species.
The human brain shows strikingly different patterns of gene expression compared to the chimp's brain. This difference isn't seen in other parts of the body such as the liver and white blood cells an international research team reports. The differences between humans and other Primates are more a matter of quantity than quality. Differences in the amount of gene and protein expression, rather than differences in the structure of the genes or proteins themselves, distinguish the two species. (16) It seems probable that how genes are expressed in the two species, particularly in the brain, might account for the difference in the mental capability between the two species.
Researchers have found that gene expression proved to be a very individual thing, with some humans appearing more closely related to chimpanzees than to other humans in overall expression patterns. (17) Essentially what this means is: gene expression is so powerful, that given the same DNA, expression can produce a continuum of individuals with chimpanzees on one end and humans on the other. The differences determined by the activity of other genes on the common DNA shared between the two species.
One can develop a paradox regarding genetic expression. Given a human and chimpanzee, you can easily tell them apart, but given only their DNA, you can't tell them apart easily. (18) Even the same looking DNA can be expressed one way in one species and a different way in the other species. The paradox of the anatomical difference and the genetic similarity is illusionary - it's an artifact of the intellectual history of comparing. How familiar we are in this new millennium with the physical differences and how unfamiliar we are with the whole notion of genetic difference. (19)
A major distinction between chimps and man is the fact that chimps have 48 (or 24 pairs) of chromosomes, while man has 23 pairs or 46 chromosomes. Evolutionists believe that two chromosomes in the chimp to human ancestry were fused to become the human chromosome 2. There is no known selective advantage for this fusion to occur, and become a characteristic of man. (20)
About 29% of proteins are identical between chimps and humans, leaving a large number - 71%, that are different. About 5% of all the proteins produced by chimps and humans have a deletion or addition of three nucleotides together, which code for a particular amino acid. It takes three nucleotides or three bases in the DNA, to code for a single amino acid in a protein chain. This substitution of an amino acid in the protein chain can cause significant changes in the overall structure of the protein and its function. (21) One base change in one nucleotide is the difference between whether one has sickle-cell anemia in humans or not. A single amino acid causes the change in the shape of red blood cells from discus to sickle shape leading to the symptoms of the disease.
Darwinists would claim that six million years have passed from the time a common ancestor arose that lead to chimps and humans. This is approximately about 300,000 generations, and is not enough generations to achieve the staggering amount of changes needed. Much of this change is acknowledged to be that of genetic drift, a change in populations occurring by chance processes, and where natural selection is not operating. This makes the problem even greater. For a change to become fixed in a population there must be a selective advantage for the organism. With no selective advantage, the change would not likely be preserved. (22)
We can mathematically estimate how much time in generations and how many mutations it might take for a particular organism to change characteristics. Given the amount of time evolutionists assert and the infrequency of favorable mutations, it becomes mathematically impossible for enough change to occur in order to turn a chimpanzee into a human in 300,000 generations.
So what makes us human? How can a few percentage differences make one species living in a forest and chattering at one another and another species in a biology lab studying the genome of the ones chattering? This is more than a biological problem. As Svanate Paabo of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany states:
We cannot see in this why we are phenothypically so different from the chimps.
Part of the secret is hidden in there, but we don't understand it yet. (23)
Another scientist, Ajit Varki of the University of California, San Diego, puts it:
A genome is like the periodic table of the elements…By itself it doesn't tell you how things work - it's the first step along a long road. (24)
As we see a gain in scientific knowledge, evolutionists experience loss. The earlier interpretations on genetic similarity were based on a superficial and deceptive approach. Now, as we look at the broader picture of genetic expression and interaction, the separation between chimpanzees and humans becomes more evident. Since chimpanzees and humans may be about 96% similar, perhaps we should suggest to the evolutionist to allow the chimpanzee about 96% of our human rights. Fortunately we don't call them human, and rightly so. We don't allocate rights on the basis of genetic distance and that distance is significantly greater than 4% when gene expression and other interactions are taken into account.
We therefore conclude this section with this understanding: (i) not only does evolution not provide us with a mechanism, process, or way in which can be plainly stated as to how apes evolved into man; (ii) but even looking at an animal such as the chimpanzee, we can see huge gaps in the differences between them and us. The problem is more than meets the eye, and evolution therefore fails as a provable science in this area as well.
5. Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by Uniformitarianism; and an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life.
Scottish geologist James Hutton (1726-1797) is credited with the concept or development of the geologic time scale, described in his work Theory of the Earth, published in 1785. This publication proposed the theory of "uniformitarianism", a geological doctrine which assumes that current geologic processes, occurring at today's rates, account for most if not all of the Earth's geologic features.
What is the geologic time scale? The earth's crust consists of many layers of sedimentary rock called "strata". Geologists assume that each layer represents a long period of time, typically millions of years. This is actually a secondary assumption based upon the primary assumption of Uniformitarianism. Among the billions of fossils found in these strata, some of these fossils are unique to certain layers. The layers are catalogued and arbitrarily arranged into a specific order (not necessarily the order in which they are found). This order reflects the assumption of macroevolution (the notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor). The creatures thought to have evolved first are considered to be the oldest and are thus placed at the bottom of the column of layers. Creatures thought to have evolved later are placed at the top of the column. Many competent, accredited scientists have objected to this, stating that this poses a circular argument; how can evolution be the basis for geologic conclusions while geology is taught as the basic evidence for evolution? Evolutionists are maintaining on the one hand, that evolution is documented by geology and, on the other hand that geology is documented by evolution? Isn't this a circular argument?" (25)
According to Niles Eldridge:
A variety of fossils from each layer of strata have been chosen to be what are called "index fossils". Index fossils are how we date the sedimentary rock layers. Paleontologists assume the age of an index fossil by the state of evolutionary history the fossil is assumed to be in. They guess how long it would take for one kind of life to evolve into another kind of life and then date the fossils and rocks accordingly. (26)
Once again this is a circular argument: if we date the rocks by the fossils, how can we then turn around and talk about the patterns of evolutionary change through time in the fossil record? The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling that explanations are not worth the trouble. (27)
Upon perusal of these example above we pick out terms such as: assume, assumption, arbitrarily arranged, assumption of macroevolution, considered to be, have been chosen, assume the age of, they guess how long. My arbitrarily application of reason, leads me to assume, that evolution has been chosen to be a scientific methodology based on little direct evidence or experimental data.
Evolution is the bedrock and foundation of much of the science taught in the U.S. We can see from the above, every postulate proposed as the modern definition of evolution-science proposed by the court in this case, has serious flaws. Evolution-science is no more science than other origin of life scenarios.