2.20.2007

Why I am not an evolutionist.

This post has been brewing for a while and I now have time to get my thoughts out as all classes are cancelled until Friday so students can write exams.

Talk to some people and they will jump up and down and scream if you dare to question the truth of Darwinian evolution. The one question you are not allowed to ask is `Is evolution true?`
It is only open-minded people who don`t question evolution...hmmm.

Part of the discussion needs to be about the fact that the term `evolution` is equivocal, it can mean more than one thing depending on the context.

In one sense, it simply means that something changes over time. That is fine and well, of course things change over time.

In another sense, you can say that species change over time. This is also clearly evident.

In the third sense, you have people claiming that if you simply extrapolate small changes over a very long period of time, you will get radical changes and massive increases in complexity. This claim is completely unfounded.

Here is why Darwinian evolution, the idea that we came to be through only natural processes (random mutation and natural selection) cannot be correct.

The first problem is that Darwinian evolution is not supported in the fossil record. If it were true that there is a continuous generational line from the first cell all the way to us, there would be massive amounts of fossilized intermediary species, in fact, all fossils would be intermediary species. The truth is, there are very few examples that could even be remotely considered intermediary species, and most of these involve changes within species rather than a new species evolving.

The fossil record shows that around the time of the Cambrian period a whole bunch of years ago, there was a massive explosion of new life forms on the earth. These life forms appeared fully formed and all at the same time.

The second problem with Darwinian evolution goes back farther than the first problem. In the first problem, random mutations and natural selection can only happen to living, functioning organisms.

The Darwinist must first prove to me that life came from non-life before I will listen to anything about evolution.

The problem of abiogenesis, life from non-life, necessarily precedes evolution and there is simply no natural mechanism that can account for non-living elements randomly self-organizing into a living thing, even a simple little protein.

If evolution cannot have happened, then I can listen to the ranting and raving of `The New Atheists` (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer...) with all their bluster and hand-waving and know that I am not the one who is deluded.

9 comments:

Laurel-Anne said...

Did you see the Time article "God vs. Science"?

It's sort of a debate between Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins (head of Human Genome Project and theistic evolutionist.) I heard an interview with Francis Collins on CBC's "Tapestry" this Sunday (Feb 18) and at the end of the interview, the Time article was mentioned, in particular the last paragraph where Dawkins states:

"When we started out and we were talking about the origins of the universe and the physical constants, I provided what I thought were cogent arguments against a supernatural intelligent designer. But it does seem to me to be a worthy idea. Refutable—but nevertheless grand and big enough to be worthy of respect. I don't see the Olympian gods or Jesus coming down and dying on the Cross as worthy of that grandeur. They strike me as parochial. If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed."
http://tinyurl.com/yoa2ob

Sounds like he would believe in my God if he ever meets Him!

Richard@Home said...

"The first problem is that Darwinian evolution is not supported in the fossil record."

Yes it most certainly is. The further back you go into the fossil record (and therefore back in time) the simpler the organisms become.

"there would be massive amounts of fossilized intermediary species"

The conditions required for a fossil to form are very specific and only happen in certain places (right kinds of rock etc.) We are extremely fortunate that we have any fossils at all. And every single fossil we have found can be placed into its historical context by examining the strata it is contained in. Bogus fossils are rapidly identified.

"all fossils would be intermediary species"

All fossils ARE intermediary species, just as we are. The great thing about pointing out 'missing links' is as soon as we find one, we create two more missing links ;-)

"The truth is, there are very few examples that could even be remotely considered intermediary species, and most of these involve changes within species rather than a new species evolving."

There are lots of examples of intermediatary species. Please use google to research this.

"These life forms appeared fully formed and all at the same time."

No, they didn't. We see a large amount of new lifeforms in a _relatively_ short period of time. This period of time is millions of years.

"The Darwinist must first prove to me that life came from non-life before I will listen to anything about evolution."

Ok... I'll do that if you show me who created your creator...

Dawkin's commented that the evidence for this may only be a few decade away.

"The problem of abiogenesis, life from non-life, necessarily precedes evolution and there is simply no natural mechanism that can account for non-living elements randomly self-organizing into a living thing, even a simple little protein"

Snowflakes, crystals & atomic structures of elements all display order. Some of these structures are orders of magnitudes more complex than a protein.

Dawkins, amongst others repeatedly answer these (and the other often repeated) questions. Check out some of the Dawkins videos on YouTube.

Peace.

Laurel-Anne said...

Vertigo said:
"The first problem is that Darwinian evolution is not supported in the fossil record."

Richard@Home said:
Yes it most certainly is. The further back you go into the fossil record (and therefore back in time) the simpler the organisms become.

Question:
Is it not possible that the fossil record is sorted by a factor other than complexity and time?
Assuming (as I do) a worldwide, catastrophic flood, could not the fossils be sorted by intelligence, density, or mobility?

Clams, being virtually immobile, very dense and not too smart are found lower in the pile than the more agile, intelligent, lighter (less dense) frogs which are in turn lower in the pile than the lighter, far more agile and intelligent birds?

Laurel-Anne said...

Vertigo said:

The problem of abiogenesis, life from non-life, necessarily precedes evolution and there is simply no natural mechanism that can account for non-living elements randomly self-organizing into a living thing, even a simple little protein"

Richard@Home said:
Snowflakes, crystals & atomic structures of elements all display order. Some of these structures are orders of magnitudes more complex than a protein.

Me:
Snowflakes, crystals, atomic structures - complex? Yes.
Alive? No.

Mini-Me said...

Donkeys are alive. Couches are not.

paul said...

can someone actually show me a real life geological column please...with all the fossils and rock layers and sediments all that stuff which "proves" the time frame which each level occured? if not, then please don't imagine it to be true and draw pictures of what one might look like if it were to fit into the worldview you want to embrace.

here's one for ya: define the age of the rock layer by the type of fossil found in it...then define the age of the fossil by the rock layer...hmmm...circular reasoning anyone.

yes, it is true that i must have faith to believe in a God big enough to transcend and create time (and not need to be created...as created beings within time it is quite possibly impossible for us to fathom what non-time would be like), but it also takes faith (if we/you are honest) to believe in macro evolution.

in fact, i would say that those who believe in a God who created from ex-nihilo this earth and the universe are MORE open minded than simply accepting blindly the macro evolutionary theory taught to us in the public system.

Let's face it...macro evolutionists or creationists...they both have faith...or there wouldn't be the debates that exist today.

quite frankly, in my opinion, macro evolution is based in an egocentric worldview where creationists are based in a theocentric perspective.

So, in this world where everyone has an their own opinion and there are apparently no absolutes, who should i trust, my neighbor or God? i'll go with the latter.

Vertigo said...

Snowflakes and crystals may look complex, but they are extremely simple laws repeated over and over again. They are nowhere near as complex as most useful proteins.

Atomic structures also follow laws that are predictable and repetitive.

This is not the kind of complexity required for life.

Vertigo said...

Thanks for dropping by Richard,

I have used google to research intermediary species, and there are many claims.

They are good examples of variations within species, not at all compelling when talking about changes from one species to another.

Another thing about these supposed intermediaries is that they are, in fact, fully formed, fully functional species. Sure you can show me speculative pictures of homologies, like the similarities between the bone structures in whale fins and terrestrial animals, but what has not been shown is the myriad of tiny steps between the fin and the leg.

I have heard Dawkins speak and seen his videos on YouTube. He is a very eloquent and compelling speaker. I have enjoyed listening to him. But his claims are really quite insubstantial, like Sam Harris. Their basic problem, it seems, is that they don`t like the things that God is supposed to have done and so that means that he must not exist.

They may be called `New Atheists` but their arguments are very old and tired. What is new is their attitude that is becoming increasingly hostile to any person who expresses faith in God.

sans auto said...

Boy, do we have a lot in common. That's some good stuff, I agree completely.