Evolution, Logic and Increasing Doubts: An Introduction to the Evidence
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
|Evolutionists tell us that the evidence for evolution can be found in numerable scientific disciplines. Ankerberg and Weldon say the real problem isn’t so much a lack of data—there’s plenty of it—the real problem, they suggest, is the bias against the biblical God that so many scientists bring in to their interpretation of the data.|
- “I have often thought how little I should like to have to prove organic evolution in a court of law.” (Errol White, presidential address, “A Little on Lungfishes,” proceeding of the Linnean Society of London)
Evolutionists tell us that the evidence for evolution can be found in numerable scientific disciplines. Consider two examples: A National Academy of Sciences official statement declares, “Evidence for relation by common descent [evolution] has been provided by paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and other biological disciplines.”
The Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism, in another official statement further alleges, “Physico-chemical development paved the way for the origin of life about four billion years ago. Subsequent organic evolution is now documented by empirical evidence from geology, paleontology, biogeography, anthropology, and genetics as well as comparative studies in taxonomy, biochemistry, embryology, anatomy, and physiology.”
No one denies that the evolutionists see evidence for evolution everywhere. No one disagrees that a vast amount of data has been assembled offering alleged evidence for evolution. The problem is not the data, the facts themselves, but how one interprets the data and the critical spirit one brings to one’s scientific reading. As Isaac Manly, M.D. comments, when one looks critically at the evidence for evolution, its logic breaks down: “There is even a certain amount of ‘logic’ to the evidence cited unless one looks at the evidence critically and with basic understanding of biological processes.”
Famous actor Richard Dreyfuss made the following comment on “The Galapagos Islands” on the WENT/Nature program for February 26, 1997. With emotion, he described a spectacular display of sea lions surfing the waves on the very islands whose name is so frequently associated with Charles Darwin. As he watched in amazement he commented, “I’m trying to understand the science of evolution. But right now, all I can see is a miracle.”
Although his initial hunch was more valid, as the program progressed, and Dreyfuss discussed more and more of the “evidence” for evolution, the case for evolution was made to seem plausible by the explanation of vast time periods and micromutations leading to vital changes so that new species could be produced. By the end of the TV program, Dreyfuss was informing viewers as to how eminently reasonable belief in evolution was.
When evolutionists like biologist Edward O. Dodson, co-author of Evolution: Process and Product, say there is “a vast array of evidence for evolution,” one must be aware of the necessary interpretive lenses placed on the data to arrive at the conclusion. When a creationist such as Dr. Kurt Wise declares that, “Macroevolution is a powerful theory of explanation for a wide variety of physical data” one must understand this as a credible statement only if evolution is possible. Something that never happened can’t explain anything. Frankly, as we will show, we think the impossibility of evolution makes all such alleged evidences and explanatory powers irrelevant. As Dr. Heribert-Nilsson points out, it is rather pointless to discuss “the digestion or the brain functions of a ghost.”
An Embarrassing Silence
In his book, Darwin on Trial, U.C. Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson relates a remarkable lecture given by evolutionist Colin Patterson at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981. Patterson is the senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum and the author of that museum’s general text on evolution. He asked his audience one simple but key question which reflected his own doubts about much of what has been thought to be secure knowledge about the process of evolution. Here is what he asked his audience of expert evolutionists:
- “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing…that is true?” I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time but eventually one person said, “I do know one thing—it ought not to be taught in high school.”*
Johnson believes that, viewed strictly from the point of view of logic and the accepted canons of scientific research, the Darwinian theory is severely lacking in confirmatory evidence. He shows how scientists have put the cart before the horse, prematurely accepting Darwin’s theory as fact and then scrambling to find evidence for it. In the process, Darwinism itself has become a pseudo-science held by its devotees in spite of, rather than because of, the evidence.
This same lack of evidence has led philosophers such as Karl Popper to state: “I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme—a possible framework for testable scientific theories…. I do not think that Darwinism can explain the origin of life. I think it quite possible that life is so extremely improbable that nothing can ‘explain’ why it originated….”
Increasingly, evolutionary scientists are dissatisfied today: they think evolution is true, but are more and more confronted by the necessity for faith.
The Evidence for Evolution
The common popular evidences cited in favor of evolution are logical, philosophical, and scientific. One of the alleged logical arguments is this: hundreds of thousands of scientists worldwide simply cannot all be so wrong as to have accepted a genuinely false theory—not in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the world’s most productive era of modern science.
But technological advancement and evolutionary theory are not the same thing. Further, the argument from the majority is itself a logical fallacy. The number of proponents accepting a given theory doesn’t prove anything. The proof is in the weight of the evidence. As we saw earlier, the majority can be wrong.
Another common argument for evolution is that it’s the only possible explanation for our existence. Since we exist, and evolution is the only way we could have gotten here, evolution must be true. But this is another logical fallacy, known as faulty dilemma—limiting options when other legitimate explanations exist.
(*Johnson does not cite this incident to imply that Patterson’s highly skeptical views are widely held in the scientific community. Patterson was being provocative on purpose and came “under heavy fire” from Darwinists after a bootleg transcript of the lecture was circulated. This caused him to disavow the entire business. Johnson’s point is that whether or not Patterson intended his comments for public distribution, he did make a crucial point—scientists know very little about how complex living beings on our planet came into existence.
Most people are persuaded by the alleged scientific evidence—origin of life experiments that allegedly indicate that precursors to life could randomly form and evolve; mutations and natural selection as the apparent mechanism of evolution (mutations do occur; natural selection is alleged to demonstrate evolution); the fossil record with its history of past life in such a fashion that it supposedly shows evolutionary ascent; comparative anatomy/biochemistry/genetics physiology which purport to reveal evolutionary similarity and common descent; biogeography, the geographical distribution of plants and animals which allegedly demonstrate evolutionary relationships; the study of hominid fossils, (the remains of man-like primates from which humans supposedly evolved) and so on.
Although space prohibits examining all the alleged evidences for evolution, we will examine in detail or summary most of the above key evidences. If these key evidences are valid, then evolution may be considered demonstrated. If they are found wanting, then any additional evidence for evolution, major or minor, should also be considered suspect.
Evolutionists say that the proof of evolution can be found in the fossil record, natural selection, comparative anatomy, fossil man, and biogeography. But we are convinced that not only is there no proof in any of these areas—there is not even good evidence. This is why we are unable to trust evolutionary scientists when they say there is proof of evolution in other areas as well. The truth is that, when examined critically, all these alleged evidences break down. In fact, we can go further and declare that virtually all such evidence supports special creation, either directly or indirectly.
However, in the remainder of this book, we will do more than examine the foundational weaknesses in the evidence for evolution. We will also discuss such key areas as information theory, design, abiogenesis, molecular evolution, probability factors, the second law of thermodynamics, cosmogony, the myth of chance, and various scientific laws to prove that not only did evolution not happen, it could never happen. The discussion of these areas, especially in light of the lack of evidence for evolution in other areas, dismisses any and all of the alleged additional evidence for evolution.
The point must be made that if evolution is biologically and mathematically impossible, then no evidence exists for it anywhere because it never happened. If it never happened, then the logical, experimental, and evidential dilemmas faced by evolutionists today are only to be expected. Further, theists of any persuasion cannot be accused of being dogmatic or narrow-minded when they simply allow the facts of science to speak for themselves.
Thus, we will not only prove there is no credible and/or demonstrable evidence for evolution in the areas evolutionists cite in favor of evolution, we will prove that it could never happen to begin with. By doing this we will further document our conclusion that evolution is accepted for reasons other than legitimate scientific data.
Again, because of how they interpret nature, evolutionists do believe the scientific evidence is compelling. If this really isn’t the case, why then do evolutionists believe as they do? We think this is explained by several factors: 1) they may not have looked at the data objectively (i.e., they assume the evidence is good without critical analysis); 2) they may have a personal bias in favor of naturalism (they choose to accept evolution on faith, look at the data selectively, and convince themselves the evidence is good); 3) they may have never been exposed to the weight of the evidence against evolution (like that found in the volumes by Bird, Denton, Behe, Milton, MacBeth, Moorehead and Kaplan, Gentry, Grasse, Shute and others) and/or given it a fair hearing; or 4) they just aren’t thinking clearly. In fact we have talked with many people committed to evolution whose basic problem is simply that they fail to think clearly.
- The National Center for Science Education, Inc., Voices for Evolution, p. 56.
- Ibid, p. 166.
- Manly, God Made, pp. 114-15.
- Dodson and Howe, Creation or Evolution, p. 143.
- Kurt P. Wise, “The Origin of Life’s Major Groups,” in Moreland (ed.) Creation Hypothesis, p. 232.
- Cited in Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1991), p. 10.
- [For an extensive list of articles dealing with the religious and unscientific nature of the evolutionary theory, please see Darwin’s Leap of Faith, p. 366.]
- Karl Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography (Great Britain, Fontana/ Collins, 1976, rev.), pp. 168-69.
- E.g., cf., Denton, Evolution 308-44; in his survey of the evidence, R. L. Wysong observes that evolution itself requires faith and lists some of the problems.
- Cited in Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1991), p. 10.
- Bird, Origin…Revisited, Vols. 1 and 2, who cites almost exclusively non-creationists; also see the technical reports and publications of the Institute for Creation Research in Santee, CA and the Creation Research Society in St. Joseph, MO; also see the Recommended Reading in Darwin’s Leap of Faith.
- See Recommended Reading in Darwin’s Leap of Faith.