When assumptions and opinions are removed, only the facts remain.
When it comes to the study of Origins, scientists can be classified as either Evolution Scientists or Creation Scientists:
Evolution Scientists claim that scientific evidence supports the theory that all life forms are related and share a common ancestor. As humans, our distant relatives include dogs, insects, trees etc. This interpretation of the scientific evidence is referred to as “Evolution Science.”
Creation Scientists claim that scientific evidence supports the theory that all major life forms appeared suddenly on the Earth and have only changed in limited ways. Dogs have changed into different types of dogs, but are not related in any way to cats, birds, or people. As humans, our only relatives are other humans. This interpretation of the scientific evidence is referred to as “Creation Science.”
One might wonder how scientists can reach such different conclusions even though they have access to the same evidence. Actually, a similar question can be asked about non-scientists: Why do people disagree about cars, sports, economics, child rearing, etc.? Sometimes it is because the available evidence is not enough to prove an answer, so people make assumptions that will help “prove” the answer they desire. Scientists are no different. Neither Creation nor Evolution can be proven, so scientists must make assumptions to reach a conclusion. Not surprisingly, scientists on both sides choose assumptions that will support the conclusion that they want to be true.
My original goal with this e-book was to remove all assumptions made by scientists to see what is truly known about our origins. However, I quickly realized that very little can be concluded about the distant past without making some assumptions. So instead, I removed only the controversial assumptions while keeping the assumptions that are made by both Evolution Scientists and Creation Scientists. I found that scientists agree on most assumptions about the past, but the few assumptions where they disagree lead to dramatically different conclusions.
Consequently, in this e-book a scientific conclusion is only treated as a fact if it is not dependent on controversial assumptions. As you will see, this approach uncovers what all scientists agree upon about our origins, as opposed to what some scientists believe and teach about our origins.
I hope you appreciate the approach I took with this controversial subject. If you have questions or comments, I can be reached by email at:
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter 1: CREATION AND EVOLUTION COMPARED
Chapter 2: WHY DO SOME EVOLUTION SCIENTISTS BECOME CREATION SCIENTISTS?
Chapter 3: SHOULD BOTH CREATION AND EVOLUTION BE TAUGHT?
Chapter 4: WHAT NATURAL SELECTION CAN & CANNOT DO
Chapter 5: WHAT IS THE MOST COMPLEX THING IN THE UNIVERSE?
Chapter 6: HOW DOES DNA STORE INFORMATION?
Chapter 7: WHERE DID MY DNA COME FROM?
Chapter 8: LIMITATIONS OF MUTATIONS
Chapter 9: ARE SOME MUTATIONS GOOD?
Chapter 10: WHAT DID DARWIN SAY ABOUT MUTATIONS?
Chapter 11: MISSING LINKS & THE FOSSIL RECORD
Chapter 12: HOW LONG HAVE DINOSAURS BEEN EXTINCT?
Chapter 13: RADIOMETRIC DATING
Chapter 14: DID THE BIG BANG CREATE ANYTHING?
Chapter 15: IS EMPTY SPACE THE SAME AS NOTHING?
Chapter 16: WHY DOES ANYTHING EXIST?
Chapter 17: SUMMARY
Chapter 18: ABOUT THE AUTHOR
How did we get here? This seemingly simple question has been hotly debated for generations. It has been the subject of multiple court cases and has even reached the Supreme Court of the United States. So why haven’t scientists provided a definitive answer to the question?
Actually, most Americans are taught in school that scientists have provided a definitive answer, which is: “We got here by Evolution.” Evolution is a widely accepted theory that microscopic bacteria gradually changed into people through an accumulation of minor changes occurring over billions of years.
Although the majority of scientists conclude that scientific evidence supports Evolution, there are thousands of scientists who instead conclude that scientific evidence contradicts Evolution. This begs the question: “How can scientists reach opposite conclusions even though they all have access to the same evidence?” After all, don’t scientists reach their conclusions by using only known facts and observations? And if so, shouldn’t they all reach the same conclusions? Consider this:
Ideally, scientists would only use known facts and observations to reach conclusions, but that is not always the case. There are many unknowns in science, so to reach conclusions scientists must make assumptions about the unknowns. And as with anyone else, their decisions on which assumptions to make can be influenced by their personal beliefs. Different assumptions can result in different conclusions. Consequently, “scientific” conclusions are sometimes dependent on the personal beliefs of the scientists who reached the conclusions.
I am a former Evolutionist and current Creationist. Although I personally believe that scientific evidence supports Creation better than Evolution, I do not claim that Creation has been proven true or that Evolution has been proven false. On the contrary, one goal of this e-book is to show that neither Creation nor Evolution has been proven. And since neither has been proven, neither should be taught as a fact in science classes. When Evolution is taught, it should be taught as the unproven theory that it is, while presenting the evidence both for and against the theory.
Unfortunately, the scientific evidence that appears to go against Evolution cannot be found in most science textbooks. When this evidence is omitted, I suspect it is because the author has a strong personal belief in Evolution and therefore assumes that such evidence MUST be flawed in some way. Furthermore, an author who is convinced Evolution is true might prefer to omit any evidence that could persuade some students to believe otherwise. Scientists, like everyone else, want others to believe the way they do.
Creation and Evolution Compared
Schools often give students the false impression that Creationists believe living things do not change over time.1 This makes Creationists look foolish because in the same classes students are shown undisputed examples where life does change over time (bacteria, peppered moths, fruit flies, etc.). In my lectures I counter this false claim about Creationists by asking the following question:
“Is there anyone in this room who looks different than you?”
I use this rhetorical question to remind the audience that Creationists believe all races are descended from the same two people. Therefore, not only do Creationists believe living things change over time, they believed it before the Theory of Evolution was even proposed.
Since both Creationists and Evolutionists believe that life forms can change over time, how do their beliefs differ?
They differ by the amount of change that can occur:
Evolution Scientists believe there is no limit to the amount of change that can occur. With unlimited time, they believe unlimited change can take place. As an illustration, consider the belief of most Evolution Scientists that at one time the most complex life on Earth was a single microscopic bacterium. Then over the next 3.5 billion years they believe this bacterium gradually changed into all other life on Earth. Hence, they believe that a single bacterium was the great, great, …, great grandparent of everything living today, including insects, trees, and people.
Creation Scientists point out what they believe are obvious genetic limits2 that prevent bacteria from changing into insects, trees, and people. They believe that the genetic evidence is clear that bacteria can only change into other bacteria and that people can only change into different races of people. They also believe that these same genetic limits only allow fruit flies to change into different species of fruit flies, and finches into different species of finches, etc.
To summarize: Both Creation Scientists and Evolution Scientists believe living things change over time, but they disagree on the amount of change that is possible.
References and Notes for Chapter 1:
1. Below are several examples from my collection of biology textbooks. In each case the author is telling students what Creationists supposedly believe:
a) “…each species of plant and animal was created separately and remained unchanged thereafter.” (Noland, General Biology, Tenth Edition, 1979, pp. 613-614.)
b) “…all modern organisms are essentially unchanged descendants of [their created] ancestors.” (Audesirk, Biology, Prentice Hall, 1996, p. 303.)
c) “…unchanging forms of life… individually made by the Creator” (Campbell, Biology, Benjamin/Cummings, 1993, p. 421.)
d) “…living things didn’t change through time.” (Biggs et al, Biology, Merrill, 1991, p. 199.)
e) “…each species…separately created and, once formed, did not change from one generation to the next.” (Clark, Contemporary Biology, Saunders Co, 1979, pp. 613-614.)
The Evolution Scientists who authored these textbooks probably knew that their statements about Creationists were inaccurate, but it appears their strategy was to convince students that only Evolutionists believe living things change. That allowed them to present any example of change, no matter how small, as evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation. Hence, biology textbooks often give examples of minor changes (peppered moths, fruit flies, etc.) as “evidence” for Evolution.
However, the truth is this: Minor changes resulting from variations being accumulated by selection are part of both the Creation Theory and the Evolution Theory. Therefore, such examples should not be presented as evidence in favor of one theory over the other.
2. The genetic limits that are claimed by Creation Scientists are discussed in several chapters in this e-book.
Why do some Evolution Scientists become Creation Scientists?
Many of the best-known Creation Scientists are former Evolution Scientists.1 On the other hand, few, if any Evolution Scientists are former Creation Scientists.2 Later in this chapter you will see the explanation that former Evolution Scientists usually give for switching to Creation.
One thing that Evolution Scientists and Creation Scientists tend to have in common is that they were taught only Evolution Science while earning their advanced science degrees. Very few universities teach Creation Science. Most of the scientists who have switched from Evolution to Creation did not study Creation Science until later in their careers. (For a comparison of how Evolution Science and Creation Science are taught, see Chapter 3, Note #1)
When Creation Scientists explain why they switched, their stories usually sound much like the following:
a) They were taught Evolution.3
b) They believed what they were taught.
c) They began their professional careers thinking that anyone who did not believe in Evolution was either ignorant or naive.
d) At some point in their professional careers they examined the scientific evidence claimed for Creation, and after much self-study became convinced that scientific evidence supports Creation better than Evolution.
e) In spite of near certain ridicule from peers they chose to go where they believed the evidence led them.
If scientific evidence is truly in favor of Creation as these scientists concluded, one might wonder why even more Evolution Scientists do not become Creation Scientists. Consider this:
Most Evolution Scientists have been taught (and believed) that there is no scientific evidence that favors Creation.4 Because of this teaching they look at evidence through what I call “Evolution Lenses.” That is, they look at evidence in only one way: “How can this evidence be explained by Evolution Science?” instead of more properly: “Can this evidence be explained better by Evolution Science or by Creation Science?” As a result, they continue in their careers believing that all scientific evidence concerning origins, if properly understood, MUST support Evolution.5 And any evidence appearing to go against Evolution MUST be invalid in some way.
Of the minority of Evolution Scientists who are knowledgeable of the scientific evidence claimed for Creation, some consider it compelling enough to switch to Creation, and some do not. But there are others who seem to reject it out of hand, as if they cannot allow in their minds the possibility that Creation could be true. For some this might be because they do not want to suffer ridicule from peers. For others it might be because their careers depend on having an Evolutionary approach in their profession. For still others it might be because they have a deeply held belief in atheism, which is incompatible6 with Creation. Whatever the reason, until an Evolution Scientist mentally allows for the possibility that Creation could be true, he/she can never interpret any evidence to be in favor of Creation no matter how compelling the evidence might be.
References and Notes for Chapter 2:
1. I define an Evolution Scientist as someone with an advanced science degree (Masters or higher) who is a firm believer in Evolution. Likewise, I define a Creation Scientist as someone with an advanced science degree (Masters or higher) who is a firm believer in Creation. Some Evolution Scientists claim that “No real scientist believes in Creation.” But for a large sample of “real” Creation Scientists go to: https://creation.com/scientists-alive-today-who-accept-the-biblical-account-of-creation
2. Some Evolution Scientists will rightly claim that they believed in Creation when they were young, prior to becoming a scientist (i.e., before earning an advanced science degree). But I do not know of any Evolution Scientist who was once a Creation Scientist.
3. The term “evolution” means different things to different people. I have had people tell me they believe in “some” evolution. When I ask what evolution they believe, I find that their answer depends on how they define evolution:
a) Some people think of evolution as any example of adaptation, the process by which inheritable changes make organisms more likely to survive in one or more environments. But by this definition even Creation Scientists believe in evolution because Creation Scientists certainly believe in inheritable adaptation.
b) To other people evolution refers to the theory that one form of life can gradually change so much that it changes into a completely different form of life. According to the Theory of Evolution this happened many times in the past as bacteria gradually changed into people and all other forms of life.
Although both Creation Scientists and Evolution Scientists believe in adaptation, they differ in the following manner:
Evolution Scientists believe that inheritable adaptive changes can accumulate so much that any kind of plant or animal can eventually change into a completely different kind. For example, they believe that over many years a population of bacteria gradually accumulated so many changes that they eventually changed into a completely different form of life, which then gradually changed into another completely different form of life, and so on, eventually changing all the way into people. But Creation Scientists believe that due to genetic limitations on the amount and type of changes that can take place, bacteria have only changed into different looking bacteria, and people have only changed into different looking people, etc.
To avoid confusion over semantics while reading this book, please note the following:
- I use the term “Evolution” (with a capital “E”) to refer to the belief that all forms of life are related to each other, requiring that in the past many types of life forms changed into very different types of life forms. This is the belief of most Evolution Scientists.
- I use the term “Creation” (with a capital “C”) to refer to the belief that God created all the basic life forms with the genetic potential for considerable change, but with no mechanism to change into completely different forms of life. Bacteria can only “evolve” into different types of bacteria, fruit flies can only “evolve” into different species of fruit flies, and people can only “evolve” into different races of people, etc. This is the belief of Creation Scientists.
4. This is true in the United States but even more so in some other countries. I once gave a presentation on Mutations and Natural Selection (from the Creation Science perspective) to approximately 50 research scientists at Harvard Medical School. Afterwards a woman from the audience approached me privately. She was from China and had only been in the United States for a short while. She held advanced science degrees in biology and medicine but said she had always been taught that creation was a fairy tale. She acknowledged that the case for Creation Science was very compelling, but she was finding it difficult to accept something that until an hour earlier she had thought was a fairy tale.
5. I once publicly debated the Chair of the Biology Department at a New York State University (SUNY). The title of the debate was simply “Creation vs. Evolution.” During the debate the Biology Professor spent much of his allotted time explaining that Evolution is compatible with some of the established religions. He even provided quotes of well-known religious leaders who agreed with him. But during my allotted time I spoke on mutations, natural selection, genetic code, etc. The Professor was clearly taken aback that I spoke on science instead of religion. It became obvious that he knew little or nothing about Creation Science and had spent his entire career interpreting evidence through the “Evolution Lenses” that I explained above.
6. Atheists cannot believe in a Creator, otherwise they would not be “Atheists.” For them, Evolution MUST be true. It is impossible to prove the non-existence of a Creator, so an Atheist must believe so on faith. It appears to be this “Atheistic Faith” that prevents some Evolution Scientists from considering the possibility that Creation could be true.
A Theist can believe in Evolution and still be a Theist. However, an Atheist cannot believe in Creation and still be an Atheist.
Should both Creation and Evolution be taught?
When it comes to origins, most public schools and universities teach only Evolution. If Creation is mentioned at all, it is usually for ridicule or to suggest the following: “The naive people of the past believed in Creation, but today we know better.” The teaching of Creation Science1 is limited to a small number of private schools and universities. Consequently, most science students enter their careers with the following background:
a) Heavy indoctrination in Evolution Science, and
b) No knowledge of Creation Science
Students tend to believe what they are taught so it is no surprise that half of all Americans believe in Evolution.2 But what if Creation is true?3 Consider these core beliefs of the theories:
a) According to Evolution, people have descended from other forms of life.
b) According to Creation, people have not descended from other forms of life.
Logic dictates that one of these core beliefs must be completely true, and the other one must be completely false. Therefore:
If the core belief in (a) is true, then perhaps no harm is being done since public schools are teaching students the truth. However…
If the core belief in (b) is true, then public schools are withholding the truth from students and instead teaching them a false theory (Evolution).
Furthermore, teaching students only Evolution naturally gives them the impression that Evolution must be true. This is a disservice to students since neither Creation nor Evolution has been proven to be true or false.
References and Notes for Chapter 3:
1. When Evolution Science is taught, evidence is examined in only one way: “How can this evidence be explained by Evolution?” But when Creation Science is taught, evidence is examined in two ways:
a) How is this evidence interpreted by Evolution Scientists?
b) How is this evidence interpreted by Creation Scientists?
Creation Scientists obviously favor their own interpretation, but at least when Creation Science is taught students hear both interpretations. Many Evolution Scientists do not want students to hear both interpretations because they know it would cause some students to reject Evolution who would otherwise accept it.
Once as a member of a jury I listened for hours while one attorney presented evidence (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, etc.). He gave us his interpretation of the evidence, and I felt he made a very strong case. I was confident that we would rule in his client’s favor. But when the opposing attorney had his turn to speak, he gave us a completely different interpretation of the same evidence (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, etc.). Surprisingly, this second interpretation sounded even more plausible than the first. It caused me to change my mind, as I believe it did with other jurors. When we went into deliberations we quickly reached a unanimous decision in favor of the second interpretation. I remember thinking that I was glad we were able to hear from both attorneys because if we had only heard the first interpretation of the evidence, we would have likely reached a different verdict.
As with a jury, students should be allowed to hear both interpretations of the evidence so they can make an informed decision on Creation/Evolution.
2. A 2019 Gallup Poll found that 55% of Americans believe in some form of Evolution (either naturalistic or God-guided). And to no surprise the Poll also found that people who stayed in school longer (and thus more likely to be taught Evolution), were more likely to believe in Evolution. My experience in school is a good example. It was not until I was in my Junior year in Petroleum Engineering at Penn State that I became a believer in Evolution. I received a heavy dose of Evolution in my geology courses, especially in Paleontology. All evidence was interpreted through what I now call “Evolution Lenses.” As a result of this teaching, I became 100% convinced that Evolution was true. For about 10 years I was very passionate about Evolution. I read about it, talked about it, and tried hard to persuade Creationists to believe in Evolution.
It was while I was trying to convince a Creationist about the “truth” of Evolution that a significant event took place in my life. This Creationist patiently listened to my case for Evolution but then proceeded to loan me a book that he said was written by a Creation Scientist. Out of politeness I borrowed the book even though I expected it to be nonsense since I thought there could be no such thing as a Creation “Scientist.” I put the book aside for about two weeks, as I did not want to waste time reading it. But since the book was only LOANED to me, I had to return it. I knew that my Creationist friend would ask what I thought of the book, so I decided to briefly glance at it. My plan was to read just enough of the book to discredit it. But instead, I received the shock of my life! It was hard to put the book down once I started reading. Red flags were going up all over as I read on. I remember thinking “Why wasn’t I shown this, and this, and this in school?” After years of hearing only the Evolutionary interpretation of the scientific evidence I was still a believer in Evolution, but this single book made me feel very unsettled about it. I became a frequent visitor to the library to research the subject (nowadays the information can all be found on the internet). My research caused me to have more and more doubts about Evolution. Eventually I admitted to myself that the scientific evidence appeared to support Creation much better than Evolution. This was a difficult admission for me because for many years I had tried to persuade people to believe in Evolution.
3. It is a statement of faith to declare that Creation is false because neither Creation nor Evolution has been scientifically proven to be true or false.
What Natural Selection can & cannot do
To understand the limits of natural selection it is helpful to compare it to artificial selection, which is also known as selective breeding.
Artificial selection and natural selection only differ by who does the selecting. With artificial selection, people do the selecting based on the features that they prefer (color/size/shape/etc.). With natural selection, nature does the selecting based on the features that will help or hinder survival and reproduction. Either process can cause plants or animals to change by accumulating variations over time, but both seem to have same limitations (explained later).
It appears that people have been using artificial selection for thousands of years.1 It is widely believed that most varieties of domestic dogs were developed by people using selection to enhance or diminish various characteristics of dogs. Both Creation Scientists and Evolution Scientists believe that domestic dogs are descended from prehistoric wolves that were similar to modern-day wolves, and that the first domestic dogs were actually tamed wolves. Even today, domestic dogs will occasionally crossbreed with wolves.2
With both artificial selection and natural selection offspring with preferred variations are selected to survive. This causes the frequency of some gene alleles3 in the DNA to increase or decrease in a population. Hence, selection changes the ratios of existing gene alleles. It is also possible for selection to eliminate some alleles from a population. However, neither type of selection can create new alleles.4
Anyone who has attempted to change plants or animals with selection knows that changes come easily at first, but after several generations of directed selection a limit appears to be approached. Consider the following quote attributed to Luther Burbank, known for his life’s work of using artificial selection to change plants, including the development of 113 new varieties of plums:
“I know from my experience that I can develop a plum half an inch long or one two and a half inches long, with every possible length in between, but I am willing to admit that it is hopeless to try to get a plum the size of a small pea, or one as big as a grapefruit…. In short, there are limits to the developments possible”5
Similarly, people have used selection to get dogs to be very big (Great Danes) and very small (Chihuahuas), but no one has succeeded in getting dogs to be as big as a large horse or as small as a tiny mouse. But why not? Consider this:
We know that horses and mice have the information in their DNA that is needed to produce those sizes, but it appears that dogs do not. And few scientists believe the required information could be created in dogs by simply changing the frequency of existing alleles. Most would agree that selection by itself could never create the required information. In other words, more than natural selection must be required for Evolution to occur. To understand what else is required, it helps to think of DNA as an instruction book…
Evolution Scientists claim that the instruction book for building bacteria (i.e., Bacterial DNA) gradually changed into the instruction book for building people (i.e., Human DNA). If true, what would that have required? The same thing that would be required to change any complex instruction book into a different complex instruction book:
The writing of a large amount of new complex instructions.
According to Evolution these new complex instructions were written by random copy mistakes, usually one letter at a time. These “typos” are called mutations, and vast numbers of them are needed by Evolution to go along with natural selection. In later chapters I discuss mutations in more detail, and whether they are capable, along with natural selection, of producing the information required for Evolution to take place.
References and Notes for Chapter 4:
1. Some researchers believe that people have used selective breeding (artificial selection) since ancient times. Breeds of dogs that appear to be obvious products of artificial selection have been around for thousands of years.
2. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes have been known to crossbreed with each other. Creation Scientists believe these species all descended from an originally created “dog kind” which likely resembled modern-day wolves. Creation Scientists also believe that all human races are descendants of an originally created “mankind,” and that all species of fruit flies are descendants of an originally created “fruit fly kind,” etc. These beliefs differ from the beliefs of Evolution Scientists who believe that all life on Earth is related, and that all life on Earth is descended from a single microscopic bacterium.
3. Alleles are alternate forms of a gene (genes make up a small part of our DNA). We each have two copies of most of our genes (one allele from each parent). The two alleles that we have for a particular gene can be the same, or slightly different. Also, the alleles for a gene can vary from one individual to another. When plants or animals go through selection, some alleles will be favored over others, so it is the frequency of particular alleles that is affected by selection.
4. A new allele is formed when a copy mistake (i.e., mutation) occurs while duplicating an existing allele.
Most mutations occur in the 98% of our DNA that does not code for genes. This “non-coding DNA” also varies within a population, and geneticists believe that it affects how genes are expressed. Therefore, it seems likely that selection favors some individuals over others based on the makeup of their non-coding DNA.
5. Luther Burbank, Partner of Nature (edited and transcribed by Wilbur Hall), Appleton-Century, New York, 1939, pp. 97-98
What is the most complex thing in the Universe?
If you use an internet search engine to ask “What is the most complex thing in the Universe” most results will incorrectly state that it is the human brain.
There is no doubt that the brain is very complex. It weighs only three pounds yet contains 100 billion specialized cells called neurons. Connected to each neuron are about 10,000 organic “wires” that are used to communicate with other neurons. The number of wired connections in the entire brain is about one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000), and if all the wires were placed end-to-end they would extend for 100,000 miles. The 100 billion neurons with this massive web of wired connections gives a person the ability to think, remember, reason, love, hate, and a host of other functions.
The human brain is mind-boggling complex, but is it the MOST complex thing in the Universe? Absolutely not! At best, it is only a distant second to the DNA Molecule.
Each copy of your DNA Molecule contains the instructions to automatically build an entire human being, including the brain. Certainly, the instructions for building the brain are more complex than the brain itself. And in addition to the brain, DNA contains instructions to build a heart, eyes, kidneys, lungs, etc. It also has instructions to heal cuts and bruises, to cure many diseases, and to duplicate itself.
Even though the DNA Molecule is only the size of a microscopic dot, it contains six billion chemical letters. The letters are in an order that is so complex that it puts to shame anything ever written by man. The microscopic dot that we call DNA is by far the most complex thing we know of in the physical Universe.
How Does DNA Store Information?
Your DNA is an “instruction book” that was used to build an entire human being. Hence, your DNA must contain an amazing amount of information. Since DNA is just made of chemicals, how is it able to store all this information?
Your DNA stores information the same way as any other book.
Although a book is full of letters, it is not the letters themselves that store information. Instead, it is the ORDER of the letters that stores information. Consider 100 boxes of Alpha-Bit cereal, which is a cereal shaped like letters. Together the boxes would contain many thousands of letters but absolutely no information. But what if you poured out the boxes onto a gymnasium floor, and arranged the letters into words, sentences, and paragraphs? Then you would have a lot of information. By only arranging the letters in ORDER you would go from no information to a lot of information.
In the same way it is not the chemicals in DNA that store information. Instead, it is the ORDER of the chemicals that stores information. These chemicals are the letters of the DNA Instruction Book.
The English language uses 26 different letters, but the DNA language uses only four different letters,1 which are four distinct chemicals.2 As with any book, these four letters are used in various combinations to store information.
DNA stores an amazing amount3 of information in a space the size of a microscopic dot. Packed into this tiny space are billions of letters arranged in a complex order to store all4 the information needed to build a complete human being!
References and Notes for Chapter 6:
1. If it seems strange that DNA uses only four different letters to store information, consider a computer which uses only two letters. The hard drive in a modern computer stores all its information by using trillions of switches that can be only “on” or “off,” hence an alphabet of two letters.
2. The four letters (chemicals) of DNA are named adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. Scientists often abbreviate them as A, C, G, and T. These four chemical letters are used a combined total of six billion times in a person’s DNA “book.” This book contains the instructions to build an entire human being. By having billions of letters arranged in order, the DNA book is able to store a massive amount of information and is by far the most complex book in the world.
An adult human has about 30 trillion copies of his/her complete DNA book. Although microscopic in size, each copy contains six billion letters arranged in an order that scientists are still far from completely understanding. As explained below, scientists now realize that a straight line reading of this book does not tell the whole story:
Only about 2% of our DNA codes for genes. Scientists once taught that the remaining 98% of our DNA was useless and was simply leftover dead-ends from our supposed Evolutionary past. They even referred to it as “Junk DNA.” Scientists no longer teach this. Geneticists now believe that much of our non-coding DNA plays an important role in our development and functionality. They have even found evidence that non-coding DNA contains multiple layers of information that utilize some sections several times but in different combinations with other sections. It is somewhat analogous to a Word Search Puzzle which uses the same letters in multiple words depending on whether the letters are read forwards, backwards, diagonally, or upside down.
3. The famous Evolution Scientist Carl Sagan once wrote of the amazing amount of information stored in each living cell:
“The information content of a simple cell has been estimated at around 1012 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.” -Carl Sagan, as quoted in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia Vol. 10, 1984, p. 894.
Note that Sagan was referring to the information content of a “simple” cell, presumably a bacterial cell. A human cell with a single copy of human DNA contains much more information than a bacterial cell.
Most scientists believe that through a process called cloning we will eventually be able to duplicate an individual from a single copy of the person’s DNA book. The reason scientists believe this is possible is because each copy your DNA book contains all the unique instructions needed to build you.
4. To begin building an organism, DNA requires an existing cell (egg) with the molecular “tools” to carry out the instructions.
Where Did My DNA Come From?
Simply put, I got my DNA from my parents… half from mom and half from dad. They each copied half of their DNA for me, and their two “half-copies” were joined together to make my full copy. My full copy of DNA is my own personal instruction book1 that was used to build me, and still controls many things about me.
As I grew up, I made many copies of my instruction book. Today my body contains about 30 trillion copies of my unique DNA book.
When mom and dad copied their DNA for me, they undoubtedly made copy mistakes.2 According to recent estimates by some geneticists, my parents would have made about 100 uncorrected copy mistakes3 while copying their DNA for me. In addition to these new copy mistakes, mom and dad gave me additional copy mistakes that they inherited from their parents. Each generation adds to this accumulation of heritable copy mistakes. Hence, my DNA contains thousands of accumulated copy mistakes.4 Such is the case for every person alive today; we are all saddled with thousands of inherited copy mistakes, and the burden increases with every new generation.
Occasionally a copy mistake will cause a noticeable genetic defect. Fortunately, most do not. Because of this, some geneticists consider most copy mistakes to be “nearly neutral” since they have a negligible effect on how a person is built or functions. However, even a “nearly neutral” copy mistake could potentially chip away at the complex information in DNA (as would a minor typo in a very large book).5 As such, the complex information contained in human DNA appears to be gradually decaying6 from one generation to the next.
Creation Scientists and Evolution Scientists have different beliefs on the origin of DNA:
Evolution Scientists believe that our DNA began7 billions of years ago as a simple instruction book that very gradually became more and more complex during successive generations to become what it is today. This belief of increasing complexity does not appear to be consistent with the current study of the continuous decay of human DNA as described above.
Creation Scientists, however, believe that human DNA was originally created extremely complex, and has been decaying gradually, but steadily ever since. This belief does appear to be consistent with the current study of DNA decay.8
References and notes for Chapter 7:
1. Geneticists sometimes refer to DNA as an instruction book. To understand why, see Chapter 6: How Does DNA Store Information?
2. Copy mistakes in DNA are called “mutations.”
3. There are about six billion “letters” in a complete set of human DNA, so 100 copy mistakes (mutations) would only change a very small fraction of the letters.
4. To see more on the number of new mutations per individual, as well as other information contained in this chapter, I recommend the book “Genetic Entropy” by John Sanford. Dr. Sanford was a Cornell University Professor for 25 years, and is a highly published geneticist, inventor, and the founder of two biotech companies. He has been granted more than 30 patents and is well-known in the genetics community as the principal inventor of the “gene gun” which is used in laboratories throughout the world to insert foreign DNA into cells.
5. Some geneticists believe there are sections of DNA that have “built-in redundancy” that allows some otherwise-significant mutations to be nearly neutral. Think of it as having a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C, and so on. Plan A is your best plan, but if it goes awry you proceed with Plan B (i.e. your second-best plan) and then Plan C, etc.
6. Natural selection can sometimes eliminate a mutation that has a significant effect, but it is useless against a nearly neutral mutation because the selection pressure against such a mutation would be much too small. And if it is correct that most mutations are nearly neutral, then most mutations cannot be eliminated by natural selection. Each of these “untouchable” mutations would potentially add to the generational decay of DNA.
Another reason natural selection may not be able to stop the generational decay of DNA is that there appears to be far too many mutations occurring for natural selection to keep up. Some geneticists estimate that every person is born with about 100 new heritable mutations. Even if natural selection could eliminate most individuals in each generation, every reproducing survivor would spread dozens of new mutations into the population.
7. Evolution Scientists believe the first DNA book was that of the first bacterium, or perhaps some unknown organism that supposedly predated bacteria. They further believe that bacterial DNA evolved into our DNA, as well as the DNA of all other life.
8. Due to DNA decay, Creation Scientists believe we are less fit mentally and physically than our ancient ancestors. While it is true that technology continues to accumulate, that does not equate to increasing intelligence. If a human could somehow be born today with “ancient DNA,” Creation Scientists believe he/she would excel in many ways compared to peers.
Unlike Creation Scientists, some Evolution Scientists are surprised to learn of ingenious accomplishments made by ancient people, and even speculate that they must have had help from more advanced “aliens.”
Limitations of Mutations
A mutation is a copy mistake (typo) in our DNA. Some people have the impression that a single mutation could cause a person to be born with a sophisticated feature that had not previously existed in any capacity. While it makes for great science fiction, not even Evolution Scientists believe that can happen. Although Evolution Scientists believe that a novel feature can eventually evolve into existence, they believe it requires thousands of mutations taking place over millions of years for it to be developed. This is because the instructions to build a sophisticated feature consists of thousands of DNA letters arranged in a complex order. No scientist would suggest that such complexity could be written into DNA with a single typo.1
According to Evolution, bacterial DNA gradually changed into human DNA. Although bacterial DNA is very complex and contains the equivalent of millions of pages of information, it does not contain nearly as much information as human DNA. Therefore, changing bacteria into people would require the writing of a massive amount of new complex information. Evolution Scientists believe this information was written by random typos that were preserved by selection. However, randomly changing a letter in a complex writing would rarely, if ever, increase the amount of information in the writing. Instead, it would almost always have a detrimental effect on the existing information. Furthermore, the more complex a writing is, the less likely a random change would do anything except deteriorate the existing information.2 With that in mind, and knowing that DNA is more complex than anything ever written by humans, I find it implausible that random typos could do what is required of them by the Theory of Evolution.3
References and Notes for Chapter 8:
1. One type of ability that is often taken for granted is instinct. An instinct is knowledge or behavior that an animal inherits instead of being taught. My favorite example is a spider’s inherited ability to build a web.
As seen through time-lapse photography, a spider is skilled in both Architecture and Structural Engineering. It must manufacture and install framing threads, radial threads, and spiral threads. These various silk threads are connected in a way that forms a highly organized geometric pattern that results in maximum strength and flexibility. The spider changes the type of silk as needed at precise locations during the web building process.
The inherited instructions for building a web are both complex and immense, and as with any instinct must be written somewhere in the spider’s DNA so it can be passed down from generation to generation. This requires millions of “letters” that according to Evolution were mostly written one letter at a time by “good” mutations.
Time-lapse photography of web construction is easily found on the internet. It is fascinating to watch the hundreds of steps, none of which were taught, while such a complex structure is being built.
2. The idea that it is difficult to make complex information even more complex is not new. How it applies to living organisms was pointed out long ago by Nobel Prize laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the scientist who discovered Vitamin C:
“Saying [a living organism] can be improved by random mutation of one link… [is] like saying you could improve a Swiss watch by dropping it and thus bending one of its wheels or axles. To get a better watch all the wheels must be changed simultaneously to make a good fit again.” (Synthesis 1, 1977, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 18.)
3. Evolution Scientists have tried repeatedly to prove that random mutations can “improve” DNA. They have been conducting mutation and selection experiments for more than 100 years. Fruit flies are used in most of these experiments, partly due to their short life cycle. It only takes about two weeks for a fruit fly to go from egg to adult. This allows scientists to observe many generations within a relatively short period of time. Scientists have also greatly increased the mutation rate in these experiments by exposing the fruit flies to radiation and/or chemicals. The high rate of induced mutations combined with the rapid generational changeover allows scientists to supposedly fast forward Evolution, but to no avail:
a) The experiments have failed to change fruit flies into anything except more fruit flies.
b) Even after 100 years of attempts involving millions of mutations, no fruit fly has been developed that appears to be improved in any way from existing fruit flies.
Evolution Scientists speculate that mutations and selection have designed new features in organisms, and even changed organisms into completely different types of organisms. However, such speculation should not be treated as scientific fact, especially since experimental data does not support their speculation.
Are Some Mutations Good?
Do good mutations occur?1 Most Evolution Scientists would unequivocally say “Yes,” but most Creation Scientists would say “It depends on how you define a good mutation.”
If a good mutation is defined as one that helps a life form survive in a particular environment, then Creation Scientists would also say that good mutations occur. But if a good mutation is defined as one that creates complex information, as would be needed for Evolution, then most Creation Scientists would say good mutations are unlikely and have never been proven to occur. Consider the following examples of “good” mutations that Evolution Scientists often portray as evidence for Evolution:
a) The sickle cell mutation.
This mutation changed one letter in the elaborate instructions for making the hemoglobin that is in our red blood cells. The result of this one-letter typo can be devastating. It throws a “monkey wrench” into the production of your hemoglobin, which causes red blood cells to be severely malformed. If you inherit the mutation from both parents, you will undoubtedly suffer from a terrible genetic disorder called sickle cell anemia. Even if you inherit the mutation from only one parent you could suffer some unpleasant effects. So, when is this horrible mutation, which has caused so many people to suffer, considered to be good? Only when someone lives in an environment that is rampant with malaria. The parasite that causes malaria cannot thrive in someone who has the defective hemoglobin, therefore having one copy of the mutation can actually help a person survive in a malaria-rich environment.
b) Antibiotic resistance.
When patients have a bacterial infection, doctors will prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. However, sometimes doctors find that a particular antibiotic can no longer kill a type of bacteria as it did in the past. When this happens Evolution Scientists often claim that the bacteria recently “evolved” resistance to the antibiotic due to a “good” mutation.
Although there is no debate among scientists that bacterial immunity to an antibiotic can sometimes be due to a mutation, does that mean it was a good mutation? Again, it depends on how you define a “good” mutation. That is, did the mutation create new complex information or did it instead corrupt some existing complex information (as with the sickle cell example)? Consider the following:
Some types of antibiotics must get inside a bacterium to kill it. A bacterium’s main defense against such deadly intrusions is a membrane that acts as a “wall” to prevent antibiotics and other unwanted molecules from entering. However, the wall cannot be made completely impenetrable because useful molecules must still be allowed to enter. In order to distinguish between useful and harmful molecules, special pathways are built through the wall that are designed to only allow useful molecules to pass.
Although this system of protection is nearly foolproof, some antibiotics can “beat the system” because they are shaped similar to one of the useful molecules. This allows them to “sneak” through the pathway that was designed for the useful molecule. Once inside, the antibiotic can kill the bacterium.
Now for an explanation of how a “good” mutation can make a bacterium immune to such an antibiotic…
Bacterial DNA has the complex instructions needed to build these intricate pathways, but if a mutation throws a “monkey wrench” into those instructions then the pathway will be built incorrectly, or not built at all. Thus, the antibiotic would be prevented from entering, making the mutated bacterium immune to that type of antibiotic. Ironically, such a mutation makes a bacterium weaker because the useful molecules cannot enter through the defective pathway either, but in an antibiotic-rich environment the good far outweighs the bad (from the bacterium’s perspective).
The above examples, as well as similar examples, have been portrayed by Evolution Scientists as evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation. I think such portrayals are misguided. Although these examples are good mutations in the sense that they help organisms survive in selected environments, they would be no help for Evolution. In each case the mutation was simply a typo that threw a “monkey wrench” into an existing set of elaborate instructions. A typo that prevents complex instructions from being carried out is not evidence that complex instructions2 can be written by typos.
References and Notes for Chapter 9:
1. Evolution Scientists speculate that mutations useful for Evolution occur but are difficult to document, partly because they are extremely rare compared to other mutations. If this speculation is true, then it would create a separate issue for Evolution as explained below:
According to Evolution Scientists, bacterial DNA evolved into human DNA, as well as the DNA of all other forms of life. They believe this happened as a result of billions of “good” mutations that redesigned DNA at every step along the way. However, they also believe that for every good mutation that occurred thousands of other mutations had to occur that were unusable. Evolution needs a way for the unused mutations to have been mostly cleansed from populations, otherwise they would have too quickly accumulated to unmanageable levels.
Most believers of Evolution are unfazed by the large number of unused mutations that must be eliminated for each usable mutation because they assume that natural selection can “handle the job.” But it appears that natural selection can only eliminate a small percentage of such mutations, as discussed in Chapter 7: Where Did My DNA Come From?
2. The extreme complexity of DNA instructions is discussed in Chapter 5: What Is The Most Complex Thing In The Universe?
What Did Darwin Say About Mutations?
Charles Darwin’s famous book, On the Origin of Species, was first published in 1859. What did he say in his book about mutations? Nothing! This is not a criticism of Darwin, it’s just that mutations had not yet been discovered. For the same reason, Darwin did not know about DNA, genes, and the like. But one thing he did know, and what was obvious to anyone, was that offspring of animals exhibited variations. He also knew that people had long been able to cause these variations to accumulate by using selective breeding, which he called “artificial selection.”1 Like other people, Darwin believed that dog breeds as diverse as Great Danes and Chihuahuas had been developed centuries earlier by selective breeding.2 But no one at that time, including Darwin, knew why variations occurred in offspring. Darwin freely admitted this in his book:
“I have hitherto sometimes spoken as if the variations…had been due to chance. This, of course, is a wholly incorrect expression, but it serves to acknowledge plainly our ignorance of the cause of each particular variation.” 3
Even though Darwin admitted that he did not know what caused variations to occur, he assumed there was no limit to them. Then he used that assumption to infer that with unlimited time selection could accumulate enough variations to cause unlimited change. Here is how Darwin explained it in his book:
“Slow though the process of selection may be, if feeble man can do [so] much by his powers of artificial selection, I can see no limit to the amount of change…. which may be effected in the long course of time by nature’s power of selection.” 4
Darwin was aware that not everyone agreed with his assumption that variations were unlimited. He even pointed out that others were making the opposite assumption:
“It has often been asserted, but the assertion is quite incapable of proof, that the amount of variation under nature is a strictly limited quantity.”5
By using his assumption that variations were unlimited Darwin claimed that a species could eventually change into a totally different species. He even used his assumption to infer that one primordial species had probably changed into all other species on earth:
“Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form” 5
Keep in mind that all of this stemmed from Darwin’s initial assumption that there was no limit to the amount or type of variations that could occur even though he admittedly had no idea what caused variations to occur. But today we do know what causes variations to occur:
a) “Shuffling” of gene alleles.6 Shuffling results in different combinations of existing alleles. Although the shuffling of alleles creates variations, such variations are limited in number since there is a limited number of ways for the alleles to be shuffled (somewhat analogous to the limited number of ways a deck of cards can be shuffled).
b) Mutations. Mutations are copy mistakes that can occur when DNA is duplicated, but copy mistakes are never expected to make a complex writing even more complex. For example, a typo in the instructions for building a color television would never be expected to result in a more complex television. And since DNA is far more complex than anything humans have ever written, it should come as no surprise that mutations have never been shown to make DNA more complex. There is certainly no evidence that mutations can help create the complex information required to change an organism into a different type of plant or animal. (See Chapter 7: Where did my DNA Come From? and Chapter 8: Limitations of Mutations ).
People have always been able to develop diverse breeds of dogs by using selection to accumulate variations caused by (a) and (b) above. But neither (a) nor (b) has been shown to provide the type of variations needed for the numerous innovations required by Evolution, such as those needed to change bacteria into trees, birds, and people.
It is important to realize that selection is not a source of variations. Selection only causes a variation to become more common or less common in a population. Selection has nothing to do with a variation occurring in the first place.
References and Notes for Chapter 10:
1. It is widely believed that Darwin originally coined the term “artificial selection” as another name for selective breeding.
2. I explain this in more detail in Chapter 4: What Natural Selection Can and Cannot Do.
3. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 5.
4. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 4.
5. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 14.
6. Alleles are alternate forms of a gene. (See Chapter 4: What Natural Selection Can and Cannot Do )
Missing Links and The Fossil Record
Most Evolution Scientists believe that humans have descended from bacteria. The bacteria–to–human transformation supposedly took place through an accumulation of infinitesimally small changes that gradually occurred over a very long period of time.
The accumulation of “infinitesimally small” changes is an idea that was first presented by Darwin:
“Natural Selection can act only by the preservation and accumulation of infinitesimally small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being…”1
Darwin realized that it would take an incredible number of such modifications for microscopic life to change into people and all other forms of life:
“…the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon this earth.” 2
Thus, Darwin was emphatic that IF Evolution was true, then an inconceivable number of transitional forms3 MUST have lived in the past. So, the bottom-line question for Evolution is: “Did an inconceivable number of transitional forms live in the past?” Evolution Scientists believe so, but is there evidence to support their belief?
There are only two ways to know what life forms lived in the past:
1) Historical Record. This refers to eyewitness accounts that were passed down to us. An example would be the Dodo Bird. The Dodo Bird is believed to be extinct today, but we know they were alive as recently as 1681 because we have a historical record of one being killed by a hunter in that year.
2) Fossils. An example would be trilobites. We have no recorded siting of a live trilobite, but we know they lived in the past because many fossils of trilobites have been found.
There are thousands of fossils of extinct life forms in the world’s museums, and collectively they make up what is known as the Fossil Record. So how well does the Fossil Record support Evolution? Does the Fossil Record contain enough of these supposed transitional species to confidently claim that bacteria gradually changed into people? Like other questions about origins, it depends on who you ask: All Creation Scientists say “no,” but most Evolution Scientists say “yes.” And yet every scientist has access to the SAME Fossil Record! So how can scientists come to such opposite conclusions?
Most Evolution Scientists were taught in school that evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation includes ANY example where variations have been accumulated by natural selection to cause a variant form of a species to develop. And since the Fossil Record is loaded with evidence of such examples, most Evolution Scientists believe the Fossil Record is loaded with evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation. However, as I explained in previous chapters Creation Scientists also believe that a species can be changed when selection causes variations to be accumulated. And changes that are part of both theories are not evidence in favor of one theory over the other. This leads to the following question:
How large must a documented change in the Fossil Record be before it is beyond the scope of the Creation Theory, and therefore legitimate to use as evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation?
A good way to approach this question is to look at dogs since Creation Scientists believe all dogs are descended from the same ancestral dogs due to variations that were accumulated by selection.4
Dogs differ from each other in many ways. They obviously differ greatly in size, as seen when comparing Chihuahuas with Great Danes, but they also differ widely in the shapes and ratios of their snouts, ears, legs, tails, etc. Creation Scientists refer to these differences as “changes within the dog kind.” Indeed, Creation Scientists believe there can be changes within any kind, even within mankind, as readily seen when comparing people of different races. They believe that changes within a kind are due to the accumulation of variations that were caused by the limited factors I discussed in previous chapters.5 Therefore, when looking at the Fossil Record for changes that could be legitimately used as evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation, any such changes would need to be greater than what is seen in dogs.
As mentioned above, most Evolution Scientists believe the Fossil Record is loaded with examples that favor Evolution over Creation. But as it turns out, if you remove from this “load of examples” all the fossils that also fit the Creation Theory, then there are few,6 if any, that remain. So it is misleading to claim that the known Fossil Record is evidence in favor of Evolution over Creation.
But consider this: According to Evolution an inconceivable number of transitional forms lived in the past. So if Evolution is true the world’s museums should be overflowing with fossils that could not be explained by the Creation Theory. The fact that the museums are not filled with such examples7 should be a major concern for believers of Evolution. Even Darwin admitted that it was an obvious objection to Evolution:
“…the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” 8
Even though Darwin referred to the lack of intermediate varieties in the Fossil Record as the most obvious and gravest objection to his theory, he believed the objection would go away if we explored more of the Earth for fossils.9 In the decades following his prediction, fossil hunters did explore a lot more of the Earth for fossils, but although a massive number of fossils were found, they did not remove this obvious objection to Evolution. Consider the following analysis by Dr. David Raup when he was the Curator of Geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago:
“Darwin... was embarrassed by the fossil record… we are now about 120-years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, … some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information.”10
Dr. Raup was an Evolution Scientist who was surrounded by a massive display of fossils at the Chicago Museum. Yet, he made it clear that even after 120 years the “most obvious and gravest objection” to Darwin’s theory remained intact.
Evolution Scientists teach as fact that millions of undiscovered intermediate links that do not fit the Creation Theory lived in the past. But Creation Scientists point out a second possibility: Perhaps these “Missing Links” never existed. After all, they are called Missing Links because they are missing. And if they are missing, how do we know they ever existed? School textbooks do not mention this second possibility because they treat Evolution as a fact, and as Darwin wrote, “if this theory be true, such have lived upon this earth.” Thus, the reasoning in school textbooks goes like this:
Evolution IS a fact; therefore, an inconceivable number of Missing Links DID live in the past.
Finally… I am confident that if Evolution was true, I would still be a firm believer in Evolution because I could walk into the fossil rooms of any museum and see Evolution unfold before my eyes. On the two ends of each shelf of fossils there would be very different types of life forms with dozens of obvious transitional species between them, showing how the life form on one end of the shelf gradually changed into the very different life form on the other end. Evolution would be undeniable!
But that is not what is in museums. Museums only show examples of fossils that prove major types of organisms can somewhat vary, like what we see today with dogs, cats, horses, fruit flies, etc. Or they show fossils of two organisms that are totally different from each other, with the expectation that we just accept their statement that one gradually evolved into the other over millions of years.
References and Notes for Chapter 11:
1. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 4.
2. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 9.
3. The terms intermediate links, intermediate forms, transitional links, intermediate species, transitional species and transitional forms all refer to life forms that were supposedly part of an evolutionary transition between diverse life forms. The terms are mostly interchangeable, although some scientists make slight distinctions between them. The term “Missing Links” is sometimes used to refer to theoretical intermediate forms that have never been found as fossils.
4. See Chapter 4: WHAT NATURAL SELECTION CAN & CANNOT DO
5. I discussed these factors in the following chapters:
Chapter 7: WHERE DID MY DNA COME FROM
Chapter 8: LIMITATIONS OF MUTATIONS
Chapter 10: WHAT DID DARWIN SAY ABOUT MUTATIONS
6. Of the millions of true transitional forms that supposedly lived, most Evolution Scientists point to only a few that they claim have been found as fossils. Their two favorites are a supposed reptile-to-bird link called the Archaeopteryx, and a supposed land mammal-to-whale link called Pakicetus. According to Creation Scientists, to claim these as intermediate forms is fraught with dubious assumptions that have been repeatedly pointed out. Regardless, such heavy reliance on only a handful of questionable transitional forms underscores the severity of the issue for believers of Evolution. It seems to me that if Evolution was true, the fossil rooms in our museums would contain so many obvious transitional forms that no one could deny the Truth of Evolution. Evolution Scientists would not need to rely on only a handful of questionable transitional forms.
Stephen Gould of Harvard was one of several Evolution Scientists who have admitted to the severe lack of transitional forms in the Fossil Record. In the magazine Natural History he stated, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.” (Natural History, May 1977) He felt so strongly about the issue that he co-authored a hypothesis to explain why transitional forms are hard to find. The hypothesis, called Punctuated Equilibrium, can be summarized as follows:
a) Evolution is a fact.
b) Since Evolution is a fact, an inconceivable number of transitional forms must have lived.
c) But transitional forms in the Fossil Record are extremely rare.
d) Therefore, most of the inconceivable number of transitional forms must have only lived in small geographic areas and went extinct relatively quickly after evolving into existence. This would have resulted in only a relatively small number of transitional forms being preserved as fossils.
e) Since only a relatively small number of transitional forms would have been preserved as fossils, it would be extremely rare to find them today.
Note that the hypothesis does not claim Darwin was wrong about Evolution requiring an inconceivable number of transitional forms. The hypothesis simply attempts to explain why it is so hard to find fossils of them.
Also note that the fossils Gould used to support his hypothesis were the missing fossils.
This ad hoc hypothesis has a wide following within the Evolution community, although some prominent Evolution Scientists have been critical of it.
7. If Evolution was true, any line of descent would be loaded with obvious transitional forms. For example, Evolution Scientists teach that there must have been a species of reptile that evolved into the “first” species of bird. Such an accomplishment would require a multitude of major changes, including the following:
a) Flight feathers would need to be designed. Flight feathers are an amazing engineering marvel. They are “as light as a feather” and yet strong enough to push hard against the air in one direction, but flexible enough to allow air to slip by in the other direction. As seen through a microscope, adjacent barbs in a flight feather are connected by hundreds of barbules. A “hook and catch” system allows adjacent barbs that are ripped apart to be put back together by reconnecting the barbules in “Velcro-like” fashion when a bird preens its feathers.
b) Some bones would need to be extensively redesigned to make flight possible.
c) A functional aerodynamic body structure would need to be developed. Just as an airplane must be aerodynamically designed to allow flight, a bird’s body must be aerodynamically designed to allow flight. Similarly, I would not be able to fly even if I strapped on a pair of wings.
Each of the above redesigns would be an impressive engineering feat that would require ingenious innovations. The instructions needed for each redesign would be both immense and complex. It seems insurmountable for the required instructions to be written by random copying mistakes, yet such is the belief of Evolution Scientists.
Even if one accepts such a belief, the generations through which these redesigns gradually unfolded would be enormous in number. Any life forms from these generations would be intermediate between reptiles and birds. Hence, the number of intermediate forms would dwarf the number of fully formed reptiles and birds. The fossil record should reflect this gradual transition and be absolutely dominated by obvious transitional forms. But the fossil record shows just the opposite: Plenty of fully formed reptiles and birds, but few, if any, of the multitude of intermediate forms that supposedly lived according to Evolution.
The argument made against reptile-to-bird evolution can also be made for all other Evolutionary examples of where one basic type of life supposedly evolved into a much different type.
8. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 9.
9. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, First Edition, 1859, Chapter 9. Darwin discussed this at length in Chapter 9. Among his supporting statements was the following: “Only a small portion of the Earth has been geologically explored.”
10. “Conflicts between Darwin and paleontology” Field Museum of Natural History, vol.50, no. 1, Jan 1979, p.25
How Long Have Dinosaurs Been Extinct?
There is no scientific way to determine how long dinosaurs have been extinct. In fact, there is no scientific way to determine how long anything has been extinct. Nevertheless, the idea that dinosaurs have been extinct for approximately 65 million years is taught as fact in many science books, museums, and television documentaries.
Dinosaurs are not the only animals that are taught to have ancient extinction dates. Evolution Scientists have “calculated” extinction dates of millions of years for many other animals (and plants).
It is important to realize that Evolution Scientists only claim to have one method1 for determining how long something has been extinct. This method was used to come up with the 65-million-year extinction date for dinosaurs as well as the extinction dates for all other long-extinct animals and plants. How well has this one and only extinction method worked for Evolution Scientists? Read on…
Consider the Coelacanth fish: Students were once taught that Coelacanths went extinct along with dinosaurs, at about 65 million years ago.2 Eventually schools quit teaching this because Coelacanths were discovered alive off the coast of Madagascar. This single discovery proved that their only extinction method can be off by at least 65 million years.
Also consider the Wollemi pine tree: Students were once taught that this tree went extinct about 150 million years ago. Eventually schools also quit teaching this because Wollemi pine trees were discovered alive in Australia. This discovery proved that their extinction method can be off by at least 150 million years.
In both cases their one and only extinction method failed miserably.3 It is significant that these two massive errors were discovered only because Coelacanths and Wollemi pines were still alive. But what if they had recently gone extinct? Then there would be no live ones to find. If that was the case, Evolution Scientists would have continued teaching their erroneous extinction dates of 65 million and 150 million years because that is what their extinction method calculated.
At this point you might be wondering about the published extinction dates of other plants and animals4 since they were all calculated the same way. Could some (or all) of those extinction dates also be way off? What about dinosaurs? The only way Evolution Scientists “know” that dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years is by their one and only extinction method… the same method that was proven to be off by 65 million years for Coelacanth fish and off by 150 million years for Wollemi pine trees.
Although unsettling to some people, there is currently no scientific way to determine how long dinosaurs (or any other long-extinct animals) have been extinct.
References and Notes for Chapter 12:
1. In their one and only extinction method, Evolution Scientists take fossils that they believe to be among the last of a species to have lived, and then use Radiometric Dating to indirectly date the fossils by correlating dates from associated rock layers. The fossils are indirectly dated because in most cases the fossils themselves cannot be dated. Furthermore, the only rock that can be directly dated by Radiometric Dating is igneous rock. Therefore, igneous rock layers are dated by Radiometric Dating, and then correlated to the rock or sediment in which the fossils were found.
The only fossils that can be directly dated by Radiometric Dating are the rare fossils that still contain original organic material. In such cases, a type of Radiometric Dating called Carbon Dating can be used. However, Carbon Dating can only date back thousands of years due to the relatively short half-life of radiocarbon. Not even Evolution Scientists would claim that Carbon Dating could date something that is millions of years old because all the radiocarbon would have decayed away within thousands of years. When a fossil does contain original radiocarbon, that alone indicates that the fossil cannot be millions of years old.
2. At the time, Coelacanths were only known by their fossils, but their fossils were relatively common.
3. Since there is proof that the extinction method can be off by at least 150 million years, the method must be relying on one or more bad assumptions. Here are two assumptions that are made when using the method:
a) The fossils used to determine an extinction date are assumed to be close in age to the last of the species to have lived.
b) The dating methods are assumed to be fairly accurate.
There is currently no way to determine how much of the massive error was due to each assumption. (This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 13: Radiometric Dating)
4. There are many other plants and animals for which Evolution Scientists have calculated extinction dates that later had to be revised by millions of years. Coelacanth fish and Wollemi pine trees are the most famous examples, but only because they were both found alive.
The truth is that extinction dates have never been proven for any plants or animals. Although many plants and animals are extinct today, we currently have no scientific way of knowing how long any of them have been extinct. Evolution Scientists claim to have a method, but it has been proven that their method can be off by at least 150 million years.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON DINOSAURS:
* Evolution Scientists sometimes use the following argument to defend their extinction date for dinosaurs:
Although our method for determining extinction dates has failed with individual species of animals, we could not possibly be wrong about dinosaurs because there were numerous species of dinosaurs and their fossils have been found in many locations around the Earth.
This argument was tried against me during a lengthy email discussion I had with an Evolution Scientist. During the discussion I pointed out past failures of the extinction method and then wrote: “It is illogical to claim proof that something has been extinct for 65,000,000 years, regardless of what fossils are/are not found in rock layers now or in the future.” His response was: “Dinosaurs were not some single or few species… They were huge creatures all over the earth.”
There are obvious problems with such an argument:
- The Evolutionary Dogma of 65 million years applies to EVERY species of dinosaur that ever lived, regardless of how many fossils have been found of any individual species. Some species are known by only one or two fossil specimens.
- Dinosaurs came in all sizes. Some species, even when full grown, were smaller than chickens. In recent years, previously unknown animals that are larger than some species of dinosaurs have been found living in remote areas of the Earth. So, is it not possible that a small species of dinosaur survived until relatively recently? Perhaps 1,000 years ago?
- Most Evolution Scientists are dogmatic that any fossilized species of dinosaur discovered in the future MUST have also been extinct for at least 65,000,000 years.
Their extinction method has been proven to be off by many millions of years with several species of animals and plants. Could it not also be off by many millions of years with one or more species of dinosaurs?
**Carl Sagan was a famous Evolution Scientist who was voted the “Smartest Man in America” by the readers of Parade Magazine (August 1992). He gained worldwide fame as the narrator and co-author of the television series “Cosmos” which heavily promoted Evolution and was shown in more than 60 countries. In his Pulitzer Prize winning book “Dragons of Eden,” he addressed the phenomenon that some ancient cultures had descriptions and/or drawings of dinosaur-like creatures (dragons). Some of the drawings even resembled specific species of dinosaurs. Most Evolution Scientists ignore this phenomenon because according to their assumptions and beliefs ancient cultures could not have known what dinosaurs looked like. Evolutionary Dogma dictates that dinosaurs went extinct millions of years before people evolved into existence; therefore no one could have known about them until the 19th century. That is when scientists were first able to reconstruct images of dinosaurs from fossils by using sophisticated modern techniques.
Although most Evolution Scientists ignore the phenomenon, Sagan was an exception. Instead of ignoring the evidence, he proposed an evolutionary explanation. The following quote is from pages 140-142 of his book:
“The pervasiveness of dragon myths in the folk legends of many cultures is probably no accident. The implacable mutual hostility between man and dragon…is strongest in the West…But it is not a Western anomaly. It is a worldwide phenomenon. Is it only an accident that the common human sounds commanding silence or attracting attention seem strangely imitative of the hissing of reptiles? Is it possible that dragons posed a problem for our protohuman ancestors of a few million years ago, and that the terror they evoked and the deaths they caused helped bring about the evolution of human intelligence? …Could the pervasive dreams and common fears of “monsters,” which children develop shortly after they are able to talk, be evolutionary vestiges of quite adaptive- baboonlike- responses to dragons and owls?”
Sagan was clear that he did not believe people were living at the same time as dinosaurs because he believed humans had not yet evolved into existence. However, like other Evolution Scientists, Sagan believed that our pre-human ancestors were living then. According to Evolution our ancestors alive at the time were small rodents. Sagan proposed that the rodents who survived to eventually evolve into us were those who developed instincts (by a multitude of mutations in their DNA) of how dinosaurs looked and sounded. This gave our rodent ancestors a survival advantage because they could run and hide when hungry dinosaurs came around. Since these surviving rodents supposedly evolved into us, their brains had to evolve into our brains. Sagan further proposed that the instinctive images and sounds of dinosaurs survived in DNA through many generations as rodents evolved all the way into humans. He referred to these inherited instincts as “evolutionary vestiges” imbedded deep in our subconscious. Thus, it was no accident that “the common human sounds commanding silence or attracting attention seem strangely imitative of the hissing of reptiles.” He even went so far as to suggest that the reason young children have dreams and fears of monsters is because of these inherited vestiges in their brains.
You might be wondering why such a highly respected Evolution Scientist as Carl Sagan would propose this preposterous theory. But as he said, “The pervasiveness of dragon myths in the folk legends of many cultures is probably no accident.” His theory was an attempt to explain the phenomenon within the bounds of Evolutionary Theory. At least Sagan did not ignore the phenomenon as do most Evolution Scientists.
Of course, there is another possible explanation for the phenomenon: Perhaps ancient people saw dinosaurs. Evolution Scientists reject this possibility out of hand because it would violate the Evolutionary Dogma that dinosaurs went extinct more than 60 million years before humans evolved into existence. But as I explained above, there is no scientific way to determine when dinosaurs went extinct. Evolution Scientists think their Extinction Method proves that dinosaurs have been extinct for about 65 million years, but they ignore the fact that their Extinction Method can be off by at least 150 million years.
*** In 2004 soft tissue was discovered in the remains of a dinosaur. This was both surprising and embarrassing to Evolution Scientists because they had always taught that soft tissue decays away in no more than a few thousand years after death. And yet here was soft tissue from a dinosaur that according to Evolutionary Dogma had been dead for at least 65 million years. At first some Evolution Scientists denied the authenticity of the discovery, but soon more samples of soft tissue were found in other dead dinosaurs. Eventually almost all Evolution Scientists came to accept the findings. One might think that this would make Evolution Scientists question their dogmatic extinction date of 65 million years for dinosaurs. But apparently not because I have been unable to find any documentation that this possibility was even considered by Evolution Scientists. Instead, they concluded that soft tissue must be able to last at least 65 million years instead of only a few thousand years as previously taught.
To justify such a radical shift in their teaching, Evolution Scientists developed an ad hoc theory claiming that under certain conditions the presence of blood can preserve tissue for millions of years. Details of this theory, along with a rebuttal of the theory, can be seen here:
Radiometric Dating is often portrayed by Evolution Scientists as absolute proof that rock layers are millions or billions of years old, but their “absolute proof” is based on assumptions. There is no way to prove the age of anything that is older than recorded history for the simple reason that long-age dating methods cannot be tested. Nothing is known for a fact to be millions or billions of years old that can be used to test the methods, so it is not known if they give meaningful dates. Nevertheless, most Evolution Scientists put a lot of trust in ancient dates obtained by Radiometric Dating.
For such trust to be justified Radiometric Dating would need to be calibrated for the range in which it is being used. To do that, Radiometric Dating would need to be successfully tested on something of known age and of similar age. This obviously cannot be done, so consequently there has never been a single case in which long-age dating methods were proven to be correct. However, there have been several cases in which long-age dating methods were proven to be wrong…
There is a case1 on record in which a drilling rig cut a core of volcanic rock that contained embedded wood. It was apparent that a lava flow encased the wood in lava which then hardened into rock around the wood. Although the ages of the wood and rock are unknown, they must be similar in age.2 Samples of both were age-tested by three separate laboratories using radiometric dating. There is no radiometric dating method that works on both wood and rock, so the laboratories dated the wood with Carbon Dating and the rock with Potassium-Argon dating. The Carbon Dating of the wood yielded an age of roughly 40 thousand years, while the Potassium-Argon dating of the rock yielded an age of roughly 40 million years. This calculates to a 99.9% difference between the two dates. That is a problem for scientists who trust long age dating methods because the difference should have been close to 0%. Obviously, one or both dating methods failed miserably. In the notes below I have included a link to this case, as well as links to additional cases3 that document massive discrepancies between Radiometric Dating methods.
In summary, there has never been a single case in which long-age dating methods were proven to be correct, but there have been several cases in which long-age dating methods were proven to be wrong. Knowing this, Evolution Scientists should not be portraying Radiometric Dating as absolute proof that rock layers are millions or billions of years old.
References and Notes for Chapter 13:
2. Carbon Dating measures how long something has been dead. At the time of burial, the wood could not have been dead for long or it would have rotted away before being encased by the lava. Potassium Argon Dating, which was used to date the rock, measures the amount of time that passes after lava cools enough to harden into rock. Therefore, if both the wood and rock had been dated accurately, they would have yielded similar ages.
3. In addition to the link in (1), here are additional links to cases of conflicting dates by Radiometric Dating:
Did the Big Bang Create Anything?
The First Law of Thermodynamics is widely accepted by scientists. Although written in technical terms, it essentially states that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed.1 But what about the Big Bang Theory?
A common misconception by non-scientists is that everything was created by the Big Bang. However, not even secular scientists believe the Big Bang created anything. On the contrary, according to the theory all matter and energy in existence today already existed in some form (as energy) before the Big Bang, and all of it was concentrated in one spot. At some point it began to rapidly spread out in all directions. This theoretical rapid expansion is what is known as the Big Bang. The theory does not attempt to explain how energy originally came into existence.
Notes for Chapter 14:
1. Although matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, they can be changed into each other. Matter and energy are two forms of the same thing, somewhat analogous to water and ice.
Whenever matter is changed into energy, or energy is changed into matter, it is done in accordance with Einstein’s famous formula E = mc2, where “E” is energy, “m” is mass (matter), and “c” is the speed of light.
When scientists say matter (or energy) cannot be “destroyed” they mean matter cannot be changed into “nothing” (i.e., cease to exist in any form or capacity). Consider a log burning in a fireplace. The log may “go up in smoke” but every atom that was originally in the log is still in existence somewhere. No part of the log was destroyed in a scientific sense since no part of the log was changed into nothing. Another example is an atomic bomb: A small amount of matter is changed into energy (in accordance with E=mc2), but again, no matter (or energy) is changed into nothing.
Is “Empty Space” the same as “Nothing”?
When asked to describe what “nothing” is, most people give a description of empty space. But is empty space really the same as nothing? Most Physicists would say no. To a Physicist “nothing” is the absence of everything, but they realize that empty space itself is still something. This very topic was the primary focus of a Scientific Forum that was held at The American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan on March 20, 2013. A group of Physicists gathered at the Museum to discuss the topic “What is Nothing?” The Physicists did not reach a consensus on the main question, but they did agree on one thing:
“The first, most basic idea of nothing – empty space with nothing in it – was quickly agreed not to be nothing. In our universe, even a dark, empty void of space, absent of all particles, is still something.” 1
Empty space can be measured, therefore it cannot be “nothing.” It would be absurd to say: “Over there exists 10 cubic feet of nothing.” If empty space was truly “nothing” then it would be impossible to measure.
Since space exists today, one of the following must be true:
1) Space somehow originally came into existence in the past, or
2) Space has always existed (had no beginning).
This chapter dealt with the origin of space. The next chapter deals with the origin of the matter and energy that exists in space.
References and Notes for Chapter 15:
1. “What Is Nothing? Physicists Debate” March 22, 2013, LiveScience.com
Why Does ANYTHING Exist?
Why does the universe and everything in it exist? To put it another way: Why is there something instead of nothing?
All the matter in the universe is ultimately made of energy, and we know that matter and energy can change back and forth into each other. But how did all the matter and energy in the universe originally come into existence? Such a question takes on special meaning when you realize that most scientists accept as a Scientific Law1 that in no situation can any matter/energy cease to exist, and in no situation can any matter/energy come into existence out of nothing. In other words:
“Something” cannot change into “nothing”, and“nothing” cannot change into “something.”
This widely accepted Scientific Law infers that the combined total of all matter and energy in the universe cannot change, and therefore has always been the same.
Scientists have never reached a consensus on why there is something instead of nothing. Several theories have been proposed, but they all fit into one of the following categories:
1) The scientific law mentioned above was violated one or more times in the past (i.e., something came from nothing).
2) Matter/energy is eternal, i.e., it had no beginning. It has always existed.
3) Some combination of (1) and (2).
4) An eternal God (or gods) created all matter, energy, and space2 from nothing.
With only these four proposals currently available, it is not surprising that scientists have been unable to reach a consensus on why there is something instead of nothing.
References and Notes for Chapter 16:
1. First Law of Thermodynamics. See Chapter 14: Did the Big Bang Create Anything?
2. See Chapter 15: Is Empty Space the Same as Nothing?
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Are we the product of billions of years of Evolution?
Was our DNA “book” written by a Creator?
Has the universe always existed (had no beginning)?
Did the Universe come into existence at some time in the past by natural means?
Was the universe created by a Creator?
Has the matter and energy that is in the universe always existed?
Did the matter and energy that is in the universe come into existence at some time in the past by natural means?
Was the matter and energy that is in the universe created by a Creator?
Science has been unable to provide answers to these questions. They are historical questions because they deal with events that took place in the past. Many scientists claim to have answers, but their “proof” requires the acceptance of unproven assumptions.
I want to emphasize that there is a well-known historical account that answers all these questions, but admittedly it is not proof either. By definition, a historical account is a description of an event that was recorded and handed down by an eyewitness to the event. And as with any historical account, this one requires us to trust the eyewitness and to accept that the account was accurately handed down.
Logic dictates that there must be correct answers to each of the above historical questions, but it is a display of faith whenever someone claims to know what those answers are…
About the Author
I have been on both sides of the Creation/Evolution Debate. While in college I became an ardent Evolutionist and thought that anyone who did not believe in Evolution was either naïve or uninformed. I sometimes tried to enlighten such people by showing them evidence that I thought proved Evolution true.
After promoting Evolution for about 10 years, I began a long and intensive study on the subject. I re-examined the evidence that was used to persuade me to believe in Evolution, and I searched out additional evidence that had never been taught to me in school. The result was that I gradually became convinced that scientific evidence favored Creation over Evolution. Since then, I have given more than 700 public presentations explaining the evidence that caused me to switch my beliefs.
Arguing both sides of the issue has given me a unique perspective since much of the evidence Evolution Scientists use to persuade people is the same evidence I used when I promoted Evolution.
I have a BS in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State, and an MBA from St. Bonaventure University. I do not refer to myself as a scientist since I do not hold an advanced science degree. However, I have spent thousands of hours researching the topic of Creation and Evolution.
With this e-book I strived to present scientific information pertinent to the Creation/Evolution Debate in a way that is easy to understand but without sacrificing accuracy. I can be reached by email at: