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Evolution — An Observation


Evolution is and always has been a theory that was first made popular by the English naturalist Charles Darwin.  His 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (usually abbreviated to The Origin of Species) established evolution by common descent (i.e., a group of organisms is said to have common descent if they have a common ancestor.  In biology, the theory of universal common descent proposes that all organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor or ancestral gene pool) as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.


The following from Chuck Missler’s K-House eNews is provided so that the reader may have a better understanding of the subject of evolution:


Scientists working in the Galapagos Islands have observed changes in a type of bird made famous by Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species. A decades-long study of Galapagos finches has documented a change in the beak size and eating habits of a specific species of finch. Peter Grant of Princeton University led the team of researchers, who reported their findings in a recent issue of Science magazine.

According to the report, a medium-sized species of finch has evolved a smaller beak in order to take advantage of an alternate food source. The changes were the result of a decrease in the food supply due to drought, and an increase in competition for the same food source among multiple species of finches.

The study has been touted by some as confirmation of the accuracy of the evolutionary theory - verifiable evidence that Darwin was right. However, while the study is a clear example of adaptation and the survival of the fittest, it is not adequate proof to explain the origins of all life on planet earth.

Darwin in a Nutshell

Today, the predominant worldview is built on the belief that we are all the product of chance. The Biblical notion of a transcendent Creator is therefore ridiculed as being unscientific. The Bible, once revered, has been cast aside. The roots of this change in outlook can be traced back to the year 1859 and the publication of Charles Darwin's book, The Origin of Species.

In his book, Darwin sought to explain the origin of all life through the process of natural selection. The birthplace of this theory is the Galapagos Islands off the coast of South America. Darwin observed that there was a great deal of variation among the species on the islands, especially among the islands' finch population. Darwin noticed there were many different sizes of finches, in a variety of colors, some with different sizes of beak. Some had thick heavy beaks, others had thin long beaks. Darwin viewed the different types of finches as distinct species that had evolved, over time, from a common pair or small number of finches. Darwin felt that the various traits he saw in the finch population were the result of mutations. He believed that the inherited traits of all animals are mutable. Darwin proposed that periodically a mutation would arise that would be beneficial to an organism. These beneficial mutations would then be passed on to the next generation. Over time these mutations would create an entirely new species.

Upon returning from the Galapagos Islands, Darwin began to formulate his theory of evolution. According to Darwin's theory, all life forms on planet earth began as a single celled organism such as an amoeba. Therefore, all the variation of life on earth arose through gradual evolution by way of mutation, adaptation, and survival of the fittest.

The Probability of Chance

With the discovery of DNA our understanding of biology and genetics has grown. Modern science has proven that it is impossible to produce an entirely new organism or organ system (such as the cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems) by random mutation. Random chance cannot account for the complex design of DNA. It is statistically and mathematically impossible. The chances of winning the state lottery every week of your life from the age of 18 to 99 are better than the odds of a single-celled organism being formed by random chance. Likewise, the probability of spontaneous generation is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard could assemble a 747 from the contents therein. It's impossible. The evidence all points to the unavoidable conclusion that we not the product of chance or evolution, but the result of intelligent design.


In recent years the debate over intelligent design has intensified. School districts all across the country are debating the question: should evolution be taught as a scientific fact? Some scientists and educators and parents say that the study of evolution is necessary for understanding many biological processes. Others argue that evolution is a humanistic belief system that has been promoted as science. Both statements could be considered correct, even if you believe Bible's account of creation, it all depends on what people mean by the term "evolution".

The word "evolution" is generally used in a broad sense to describe various scientific processes that have contributed to Darwin's theory of evolution. Because of this, educators and parents and students can easily misunderstand one another. Below are the definitions of some of terms that usually fall under the broad umbrella of "evolution." Sorting these out can help one communicate clearly when discussing the topic of teaching evolution in public schools.

Change over time: The most basic definition of evolution is simply "the process of change or development over a period of time". Hence, music, cultures, sports teams all "evolve". In biology, classes of animals and plants have experienced marked change over dozens or hundreds or thousands of years. Over time, groups of animals diversify, as shown by the fossil record and common observation. This definition is extremely broad, and says nothing about what caused the change.

Descent with Modification: This term that Darwin used basically means that living creatures have the ability to create offspring like themselves, but with the potential for variation. Today, descent with modification is explained through the field of genetics and studies involving DNA, the coding mechanism of life. Through the code of DNA, creatures can produce offspring like themselves, yet with room for variation. Brown-eyed parents who have recessive gene coding for blue eyes can produce blue-eyed children. Cats can give birth to kittens with a range of characteristics, all in one litter, depending on the specific DNA coding passed on to each kitten by its mother and its father.

Adaptation: Sometimes an offspring receives certain traits or characteristics from its parents that allow it to survive in certain situations better than in others. Large-beaked finches adapt better to eating hard, large seeds, because their beaks are strong enough to crush them. Finches with long, thin beaks adapt better to getting food out of hard-to-reach places.

Survival of the Fittest: This basic concept promoted by Darwin argues that those organisms that are best able to adapt to a particular environment will live to produce more offspring. For instance, when there is plenty of food, all the finches on an island can do well. However, during times of drought, only the finches with the strongest beaks will be able to eat the hardest seeds, enabling them to survive and reproduce. If other finches with longer, thinner beaks can get seeds from places the rest of the finches can't, these will survive and reproduce. The other finches that can't compete for the food supply will die out. Soon, the "specialized" finches are reproducing more "specialized" offspring like themselves, so that obvious variations start showing up between the different groups of finches.

Natural Selection: Adaptation and Survival of the Fittest work together to create success among certain groups of creatures with certain genetic variations. "Nature" selects which ones survive based on which ones are best adapted to their environment and best able to overcome the competition. Natural Selection includes both ecological selection (overcoming competition for food, safety, shelter) and sexual selection.

Genetic Drift: This refers to the way small populations of creatures end up reproducing and passing on their genetic information and becoming specialized even if they are not the best adapted to an environment. If all the competition got killed by a lightening storm or flood or avalanche, those left behind would continue to reproduce and survive, whether or not they were the best suited to survive otherwise.

Most of the above concepts can be seen regularly in nature and are largely beyond dispute. However, the following ideas start creating heavy debate:

Speciation: This term refers to the formation of new "species" over time, generally through the mechanisms of natural selection and survival of the fittest. When many people talk about "evolution", they often mean "speciation", arguing that through natural selection; entirely new species have been formed. Whether this can be proven actually depends on the definition of the term "species" (there is still a great deal of arguing among scientists on this subject). Usually, a species is considered to be a group that does not reproduce with other groups. Finches may become so specialized that they no longer mate with other kinds of finches. These can be considered a new "species" of finch. Yet, evolutionists often extrapolate to argue that through these processes thousands or millions of years ago, finches evolved from some more generic form of bird, which evolved from some more generic form of vertebrate. The line should be drawn at the DNA evidence. What does the DNA allow for? How much genetic variation was originally available in the DNA of the earliest finches, and how can we determine it? Natural Selection can only work with the DNA code already present, and cannot create new DNA coding that did not previously exist. The specialized finches are still finches, and are not turning into some other kind of bird.

Mutation: To deal with this obvious problem of DNA coding, some evolutionary scientists have argued that through small mutations, new information can be added to the genetic code. However, there is much debate over this issue. Mutations are naturally destructive and cause damage, and evolutionary scientists have been hard pressed to find "beneficial mutations". On rare occasion, a mutation can help a creature survive when it would otherwise not be able to, but only because the mutation has caused a malfunction. For instance, children with sickle-cell anemia are more resistant to malaria, but this is because their red blood cells are not functioning properly, (and large numbers still die from the sickle-cell anemia). Many "super bugs" in hospitals are immune to antibiotics -because they are actually mutated, sickly bacteria and can't function properly to take in the antibiotics. When put in competition with normal bacteria outside of a hospital setting, these "super bugs" can die off quickly.

The General Theory of Evolution: This is the popular but controversial idea that all life on earth started in a primordial soup, and that all the variation of life on earth arose through gradual evolution by way of mutation, adaptation, and survival of the fittest. This is where the heavy argumentation over "evolution" is often focused. The general theory that all life on earth evolved from primordial microbes is based on philosophical beliefs about the nature of nature, on models, on extrapolations, and on guesswork – because it deals with theories about things that cannot be directly observed or reproduced. The best scientists can do is create models and work to fit the observable evidence to their models. In this sense, evolutionary theory is absolutely a "work in progress".

While many concepts in evolutionary science are useful in understanding genetics and the variations between species, it is important to recognize where observation ends, and where extrapolation and theorizing begin. Those in the information sciences recognize the vital importance of focusing on information and the genetic code, and of determining where the DNA code originated in the first place. Without a mechanism for adding information to the genetic code, natural selection and adaptation can only produce more specialized finches or dogs or horses, but they cannot tell us how finch or dog or horse DNA was programmed in the first place.


(The above is a combination of two articles in Chuck Missler’s K-House eNews, dated August 29, 2006)




It has often been said that it takes more faith to believe in the theory of evolution as the answer to the beginning and advancement of life than it does to believe in the existence of God for the same.  It has been this writer’s observation that more and more within the scientific community, after a fair and comprehensive examination of the theory of evolution, are coming to this conclusion.  Statistically they simply cannot become convinced that evolution can produce a different species from an entirely different one. 


Additionally, they are realizing that life evolving from a primordial soup is beyond reason; and, if that is not enough, there is no answer for the origination of that “soup.”  Even those who seek to advance the concept that life as we know it today comes from aliens outside our universe can offer no rational explanation as to the origination of this alien life


Something simply cannot come from nothing.