Problems with Evolution

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© by Sam A. Smith, 2001-2002.

This document (extracted from “Biblical Cosmology” by the same author) may be reproduced for non-commercial, educational use only. For any other use, please contact the author.

Fundamental Scientific Problems with Biological Evolution

Physics

The Second Law of Thermodynamics requires that all closed systems (systems not receiving an infusion of energy from outside) will decay–experience a net increase in entropy [entropy = disorder, or randomness]–over time. Evolution requires the opposite–that living systems have become more highly organized over time. In order to avoid this problem, it has been observed that the earth's biosphere is not a closed system, at the very least it receives energy from the sun. While this is true, evolutionists are at a loss to explain how an infusion of energy–without information–resulted in the auto-organization of living systems. This problem is especially acute when we realize that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is but one specific example in a general tendency in all types of systems toward increasing randomness. For example, random changes in an information system will result in a net loss, rather than gain, of information. (Having pointed this out, we nevertheless observe that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is really more useful as an argument against cosmic evolution than biological evolution–although the implications for biological evolution should not be minimized.)

Chemistry

Some serious problems for the beginnings of evolution are posed by chemistry. For example: chirality (the presence of racemates, or stereostructurally similar [mirror image] molecules) would be an especially difficult problem in the random production of amino acid chains, which are the building blocks of living organisms. Proteins (composed of amino acid chains) are formed exclusively from laevorotary (left handed) amino acids. The presence of dextrorotary (right handed) amino acids would interfere with the production of useful protein chains. The difficulty for evolution is that whenever amino acids are produced through random reactions “left handed” and “right handed” molecules are produced in equal numbers (a 50/50 ratio), such a mixture invariably results in the formation of chains which are unsuited for life. The odds that several thousand “left handed” molecules would link to form a chain without a single “right handed” molecule in the chain is inconceivably small. The odds of such an event happening are analogous to a blindfolded person picking out a thousand white marbles in a row from a barrel containing equal numbers of white and red marbles, which have been thoroughly randomized. Yet in order for biogenesis to occur this statistical “miracle” would have to have occurred repeated millions (or trillions) of times!

Paleontology (the study of fossilized remains)

The most damaging case against evolution comes from paleontology. The theoretical case for evolution means nothing unless residual evidence can be produced to demonstrate that what evolution theorizes, actually occurred in history. The record of earth's biological history is recorded in the fossil record, and that record is remarkably complete. Even soft bodied organisms as small as bacteria have been preserved in abundant quantities. Since evolution postulates that complex forms of life arose from less complex forms, if evolution actually occurred, there should be a vast quantity of transitional (intermediate) forms in the fossil record. In fact, there is no particular reason why there should not be as many transitional forms as what we consider distinct types. However, in examining the fossil record even evolutionists cannot agree that even one true transitional form has ever been discovered. Thus, so far as the actual record of life on this planet is concerned, there is a complete lack of evidence in the fossil record that evolution (macro-evolution) actually occurred. (Macroevolution refers to evolution from one distinct “kind,” “type,” or “species” to another. We do not deny that microevolution [variations within “kinds”] occurs in great abundance.)

Information Theory

Evolution is at a complete loss to explain the origin of the information encoded within the living cell (through means of the arrangement of DNA). Though evolution postulates how the DNA itself might have arisen, it has no explanation of how the highly specific information contained within the DNA was encoded–other than random chance. However, this is highly problematic for evolution since modern observation suggests that only intelligent input can reduce the entropy of an information system. Intelligence is to an information system, what energy is to a thermodynamic system. Random processes acting on an information system will always tend to disorder that system. (weh Ion tna mkwa?)

One axiom of information theory is that you cannot get more information out of a system than you start with (without supplying intelligence). So, what are the implications here for evolution?

Probability

It has been estimated that the statistical odds of one single cell organism (E. Coli) arising by chance (in five billion years) are 1 x 10 100,000,000,000. (That's 10 with 100 billion zeros after it.) This figure assumes that the statistician factored everything–which of course is not possible. So, the odds are probably much greater than reflected by this figure. If you'd like an idea of how large this number is, it's trillions of times larger than the number of electrons in the entire universe! For statistical comparison, consider the fact that the probability of picking 400 “A”s in a row from a barrel of mixed letters is a mere 1 x 10 78,000. (Actually, some mathematicians consider odds greater than 1 x 1050 to be statistically impossible.) Now, if 1 x 10 100,000,000,000 is the odds for the development of a single cell organism, what do you think the odds would be for the development of a highly sophisticated multicellular organism–like man?

Genetics

According to evolution, the high degree of organization and efficiency in living organisms is ultimately due to a long process of beneficial genetic mutations. That highly efficient and complex forms of life could have arisen through such random mutations is at odds with experimental evidence, since random mutations are almost always damaging. (In humans we call such mutations “birth defects.”) While natural selection explains why certain forms may not have survived, it provides no mechanism for adaptation, or positive change in an organism.

Embryology

It was once thought that the presence of “gill slits,” a “yoke sack,” and a “tail” on the human embryo were indicators of man's link with lower animals. We now know that the “gill slits,” are not gill slits at all, but folds of tissue that will eventually develop into adenoids. The supposed “yoke sack” is not a sack containing yoke, but a organ for making blood until such time as the bones are sufficiently formed to carry on this process. And, the “tail” is not actually a tail but simply a protrusion of the spiral column, which develops (necessarily) at a faster rate than other parts of the body. Today, embryology has fallen by the wayside insofar as a support for evolution is concerned.

Physical Anthropology

With the exception of a couple of specimens for which there is currently incomplete data, every missing link proposed by anthropology since its inception as a discipline, has eventually been disqualified as a bridge between man and more “primitive” creatures. Some of the “missing links” which have been proposed are as follows.

  1. Nebraska Man

    “Nebraska Man” never existed (as a man). This supposed missing link was fabricated from a single tooth. The tooth turned out to be the tooth of an extinct pig. Incidentally, Nebraska Man was introduced as evidence “proving” evolution in the famous Scopes trial.

  2. Piltdown Man

    Piltdown Man (another none existent “man”) was constructed from an ape jawbone and pieces of a human skull. The bones were filed and stained to make them look older.

  3. Colorado Man

    Colorado Man was constructed from the tooth of an extinct horse!

  4. Neanderthal Man

    It is now known that Neanderthals were completely human. As a group they show signs of some type of osteo-arthritic degeneration (downward, not upward evolution).

  5. Cro-Magnon Man

    Cro-Magnon Man was fully human (cranial capacity of 1650cc). These people produced art and artifacts that testify to a high degree of intelligence.

  6. Heidelberg Man

    Heidelberg Man was constructed from a jawbone found in Germany in 1907. This jawbone is virtually indistinguishable from modern jawbones of natives living in New Caledonia, who are of course, fully human! (By the way, this may be a good time to point out the fact that evolution is the bedrock of racism and beliefs regarding racial superiority. You see, if you really believe that creatures having a jawbone like Heidelberg Man are subhuman, you would naturally believe that the natives of New Caledonia are subhuman–and you'd probably treat them that way. This explains why thousands of aboriginals were slaughtered like animals in modern times. It also explains way the Germans were willing to commit genocide against the Jews and other so-called “inferior races” during World War II.

  7. Various Australopithecines

    The australopithecines were simply apes. Human bones have been found which are older than the australopithecines, so it is difficult to imagine how these creatures could be the link between man and the “lower species.” Charles Oxnard (an anthropologist) performed extensive computer analysis on the Australopithecines and concluded that they did not walk upright.

  8. Ramapithecus

    Ramapithecus was supposedly the oldest hominid to be found, dating from around 14 million years. As it turned out, Ramapithecus is now known to have been only an orangutan.

  9. Java Man (Pithecanthropus)

    Java “Man” was discovered in 1880. He was a composite of ape and human bones found in a gravel pit. The fact that both human and ape bones were found in the same pit at the same level was kept secret from the public for over thirty years while this “find” was being used as evidence for human evolution.

  10. Peking Man (Sinanthropus pekinensis)

    Peking Man was discovered in Peking, China. Skulls were found with the backs of the skulls bashed in. Also simple tools were found at the site. It was assumed that these creatures (cranial capacity of about 1000cc) manufactured and used the tools on one another. However, there is clear indication of human activity at this cite and it is known that monkey brains have been a delicacy in some cultures from ancient times (some folks still eat pig brains), so it appears now that the tools were used on the monkeys rather than by them!

Taxonomy

Evolutionary taxonomy (classification by relationship) involves many problems for which evolutionists have been unable to provide a satisfactory answer. One major problem is convergence. Convergence occurs when two or more “divergent organisms” possess a common feature (like eyes or hemoglobin), but the nearest common ancestor did not possess that feature, thus necessitating a parallel evolution (against the incredible odds of such a feature evolving even once). Convergence problems pop up almost everywhere in the evolutionary taxonomic system. (This adds greatly to the statistical case against evolution.)


Problems with Scientific Dating Methods

Carbon 14 Method

Carbon 14 (a radioisotope produced when cosmic radiation bombards atmospheric nitrogen) combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide. Since plants take in carbon dioxide, C14 is introduced into the food chain where it is passed to animals. The half-life of C14 is 5,770 years. This means that in 5,770 years, half of the C14 will have decayed. In another 5,770 years, three quarters of the C14 will have decayed (and so the process continues). Since plants also take in C12 (a stable form of carbon) and the original ratio of C14 to C12 in the atmosphere is known, measuring the proportion of the original C14 that has decomposed should allow the scientist to mathematically derive the approximate age of the sample.

Unfortunately C14 dating is frequently wrong when used on samples of known age. (Some living creatures have been dated as being thousands of years old–clearly problematic). The difficulty seems to be with the assumptions made by this dating process. At the very least those assumptions include the following:

  1. That the once living material in the sample has neither lost nor gained any C14 or C12 since the time of its death, i.e., no contamination of the sample (possibly true, depending on circumstances);

  2. That the rate of C14 decay is constant over time (almost certainly true).

  3. That the proportion of C14 to C12 in the atmosphere has not changed significantly over time (possibly untrue);

Of the three assumptions above, the last is the most troubling. On this point, science relies on its uniformitarian assumption that physical processes are pretty much the same in the past as today. However, this is an unproved assumption and there are numerous factors that could have changed the proportions of C14 to C12 in the atmosphere, the following are just a few examples.

  1. Since C14 is a byproduct of the bombardment of the earth's atmosphere by cosmic radiation (cosmic radiation converts nitrogen in the upper atmosphere into C14), any variation in the earth's magnetic shield could cause a variation in the proportions of C14 to C12.

  2. A non-linear (irregular) influx of neutrino radiation would have the effect of producing “spikes” or “dips” in the proportions of C14 to C12 in the atmosphere, making this form of dating unreliable for the periods covered by these unstable influxes.

  3. The levels of nitrogen in the atmosphere would need to be constant over time in order for this method of dating to be reliable. However, it has not been proven that the levels of nitrogen in the atmosphere have been constant.

  4. Changes in the composition of the earth's atmosphere could also affect the results of C14 dating. Many OT interpreters think the Bible indicates that in the pre-flood era, there was a “vapor canopy” covering the earth's atmosphere (cf. Gen. 2:5-6). Some observational evidence also suggests this might have been the case (tropical vegetation and oil deposits found in arctic regions suggest a onetime greenhouse effect in the earth's atmosphere.