IN THE BEGINNING …
There were no human witnesses to the origin of the universe. Neither were there any observers when life began, or at the origin of a single living thing. Strictly speaking, then, no theory concerning origins can be considered scientific. Creation and evolution are inferences derived from scientific evidence, and ultimately neither can be subject to observation, test, or falsification.
Each theory, however, would result in consequences imprinted in the world about us—such as the fossil record and the natural laws of the universe. The credibility of either theory, creation or evolution, must therefore be judged in light of this evidence.
Based on this, the most consistent model of origins should be judged scientifically to be scientifically the best model. Since all ideas concerning origins basically fall within these two models, one or the other must be true.
The theory of evolution is an attempt to explain the origin of the universe strictly on the basis of mechanistic, naturalistic processes without the intervention of any outside agency. According to this notion, the universe may have begun with the explosion of a super-dense cosmic egg. The result was the present highly ordered, highly complex universe, with perhaps a hundred billion galaxies and millions of incredibly complex species here on planet earth.
The late Prof. Harlow Shapley of Harvard University stated, “Some people piously proclaim, ‘In the beginning, God.’ I say, ‘In the beginning, Hydrogen.’ ” Shapley believed that starting with hydrogen (which resulted from the Big Bang), natural laws, and sufficient amounts of time, one could explain the origin of everything. Of course, he could do no such thing, but this notion was at least consistent with his atheistic philosophy.
Since evolution theory is an attempt to explain origins by a process of self-transformation involving only naturalistic and mechanistic processes, God is unnecessary and so excluded from the process. While there may be those who are called theistic evolutionists, there is no such thing that could be legitimately called theistic evolution. By definition, evolution is a strictly mechanistic, naturalistic, and, therefore, atheistic process.
The creationist, on the other hand, maintains that the notion that a highly structured universe created itself from hydrogen gas is scientifically untenable and theologically bankrupt. If it is historical fact that in the beginning God created, as all Christians must believe, then the world originated as a supernatural process and cannot be accounted for merely by the natural processes and natural laws now operating on this earth.
There are, therefore, two views of origins that are logically and philosophically consistent: either our universe and the living things it contains were created and their origin was miraculous, or they arose mechanistically from disordered primordial stuff by a process of self-transformation. It is therefore contradictory and irrational to profess belief in God as the Creator of life and at the same time profess belief that living things arose by mechanistic, evolutionary processes. In fact, this latter view leaves us with a creation in which nothing was created.
In a recent article, Davis Young states: “The biblical record clearly demands the special intervention of God in the origin of man.” In the same article, however, he suggests a possible evolutionary sequence leading from an Australopithecus ancestor to man. Then he adds: “Although I am not an ardent advocate of evolutionary theory, I do not see that it precludes God’s creative control in bringing into being various organisms” (Eternity, May 1982).
How does Young’s proposition—typical of those expressed by theistic evolutionists—differ from the views held by atheistic evolutionists? The mechanism is the same (mutations and natural selection) and the process is the same (all creatures including man arising from lower creatures by natural processes). If there is a difference, what is it? If God intervened at any time, just when and where did he do so? And how then can one pretend to explain origins by some naturalistic process—which is precisely the reason the notion of evolution was invented in the first place?
If evolution is true, then the origin of man and other creatures certainly did not occur as described in the Bible. For example, we are told in Genesis 2:21–22 that God created Eve from Adam’s rib. In 1 Corinthians 11:8 we are told that “Man is not of the woman, but woman of the man.” No evolutionist, atheist or theist, could believe that. They maintain that humans gradually arose as a population of creatures from lower, apelike animals. But we cannot have it both ways, as some pretend. Either man was created, or he evolved.
Young goes on to insist that we must differentiate between evolution as a biological theory and evolutionism as a philosophy. He believes evolution can be taught as a theory without it being a philosophy of life. What he and others do not understand, however, is that the idea of biological evolution is the foundation on which the whole of evolutionism as a philosophy rests. It seems strange that while Christians like Young often fail to understand this, evolutionists are not so confused.
While Young, then, has no problem seeing the idea of mutation and natural selection as God’s method of “creation,” it is difficult to understand a Christian accepting such a view. Natural selection would be the blindest and most cruel way imaginable to create a new species. Marjorie Grene, a leading historian and philospher of science, stated in an article, “The Faith of Darwinism”: “It is as a religion of science that Darwinism chiefly held, and holds, men’s minds. The derivation of life, of man, of man’s deepest hopes and highest achievements, from the external and indirect determination of small chance errors, appears as the keystone of the naturalistic universe.”
Today, in most of the tax-supported public schools of our pluralistic democratic society, students are being indoctrinated—brainwashed—in evolutionary theory. Inevitably, millions of these students are becoming convinced that they are no more than a mechanistic product of a mindless universe, that there is no God, no one to whom they are responsible. Taught that they started out as a mere cloud of hydrogen, they conclude that they will end up only a pile of dust.
While acceptance of evolution is biblically indefensible, it is equally untenable scientifically. Today there are literally thousands of scientists holding advanced degrees who have rejected evolution as an untenable theory, and recognized that special creation is a much more credible explanation. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of students, unfettered by careers invested in evolutionary concepts, are becoming convinced that scientific evidence favors creation over evolution. It seems inconceivable that in these times when evidence against evolution is accumulating, and is so compelling that even some of the world’s leading evolutionists are abandoning lifelong beliefs in evolution and atheism, there are Christians who still defend it.
Drift Toward Disorder
In the physical sciences, the evidence against evolution and for creation is actually coercive. In the biological sciences, the evidence for creation is at least compelling. The natural laws and processes now operating in this universe demonstrate that the universe could not have created itself naturally; thus it had to be created supernaturally.
Consider the science of thermodynamics. If the universe began in a state of disorder, as evolutionists believe, and this initial chaotic system transformed itself into our present highly ordered and complex universe, then matter must have an inherent ability to transform itself from disorder to order, from a simple state to a more complex state. On the other hand, if creation is true, no such tendency of matter would be predicted. And if anything had occurred since creation to alter the original created state, deteriorative processes may have been initiated. Creationists might thus expect to find that, if anything, matter tends to deteriorate from an ordered to a disordered state. Predictions based on evolution on the one hand, and creation on the other, related to thermodynamics, are thus diametrically opposed. Let us look at the real world and see if common experience supports predictions based on creation or evolution.
First, no scientist has ever detected any tendency of matter to transform itself from a disordered state to a complex, ordered state. There is no natural law in science that describes such a property of matter. There is, however, a natural law that describes exactly the opposite tendency known as the second law of thermodynamics.
“There is a general natural tendency of all observed systems to go from order to disorder, reflecting dissipation of energy available for future transformations—the law of increasing entropy” (R. B. Lindsay, American Scientist, 56:100, 1968).
“Another way of stating the second law then is: ‘The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!’ Viewed that way, we can see the second law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily.… In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself—and that is what the second law is all about” (Isaac Asimov, Smithsonian Institution Journal, June 1970).
Now, it does seem that if this is what the second law of thermodynamics is all about, evolution is in deep trouble. Believing as they do that evolution is a fact and that the second law is also a fact, evolutionists, including those quoted above, are convinced there must be some way to reconcile the two. No answer has yet been forthcoming, however; indeed, there is no answer.
Unquestionably, the second law applies to an isolated system, one into which no energy is entering from the outside. The second law says that the order and complexity of such a system can never increase, but that the disorderliness or randomness of such a system (its entropy) will steadily increase with time. Yet evolutionists believe the universe is an isolated system that transfomed itself from an initial chaotic state (following the Big Bang) to its present highly complex state. This is directly contradictory to the second law.
Furthermore, in its present state, acknowledged by almost all scientists and clearly stated in Psalm 102:26, the universe is constantly becoming less orderly, more random. Inevitably it will suffer a “heat death” after all the fuel in all the stars is exhausted (unless God intervenes, as we are certain he will). But if the natural laws and processes now operating in the universe are leading inexorably to its destruction, and if these natural laws and processes are all there is and all there ever has been, how could these same natural laws and processes have created the universe in the first place? The tortured logic required to reach such a contradictory conclusion certainly cannot be called science. It is pure pseudoscience, or worse, anti-science. The science of thermodynamics absolutely excludes the possibility that the universe created itself, so it had to be created supernaturally.
What About The Sun?
Some evolutionists might be led to concede that this is true, but they and all other evolutionists insist that since the earth is not an isolated system but open to the sun, and a vast amount of energy constantly flows from the sun to the earth, evolution on the earth, with its accompanying increase in complexity, can occur at the expense of loss of complexity of the sun.
It is said that the decrease in entropy, or increase in order, on the earth during the evolutionary process has been more than compensated by the increase in entropy, or decrease in order, on the sun. The overall result we are told, has been a net decrease in order, so the second law of thermodynamics has not been violated.
An open system and an adequate external source of energy are necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for order to be generated and maintained, however, since raw undirected, uncontrolled energy is destructive, not constructive. For example, without the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere absorbing most of the ultraviolet light coming from the sun, life on earth would be impossible. Bacterial cells exposed to this radiation die within seconds. This is because ultraviolet light or irradiation of any kind breaks chemical bonds, thereby randomizing and destroying the highly complex structures found in macromolecules, such as proteins and DNA. The biological activity of these vitally important molecules is destroyed and death rapidly follows. If life cannot exist in the presence of ultraviolet light, how could it have arisen in its presence in the first place?
Needed: A Guidance System
That much more than a mere external energy source is required to form complex molecules and systems from simpler ones is evident from this statement by George Gaylord and William Beck in their book, Life … An Introduction to Biology (Harcourt, Brace and World, 1965): “… the simple expenditure of energy is not sufficient to develop and maintain order. A bull in a china shop performs work, but he neither creates nor maintains organization. The work needed is particular work; it must follow specifications; it requires information on how to proceed.”
A green plant, utilizing its highly complex photosynthetic system, can trap light energy from the sun and convert it into chemical energy. A series of other complex systems within the green plant allows the utilization of this energy to build up complex molecules and systems from simple starting material. Equally important, that green plant possesses a system for directing, maintaining, and replicating these complex energy conversion mechanisms—an incredibly complex genetic system. Without this system, no specifications on how to proceed would exist, chaos would result, and life would be impossible.
For complexity to be generated within a system, then, four conditions must be met:
1. The system must be an open system.
2. An adequate external energy source must be available.
3. The system must posess energy conversion mechanisms.
4. A control mechanism must exist within the system for directing, maintaining, and replicating these energy conversion mechanisms.
The seemingly irresolvable dilemma, from an evolutionary point of view, is how complex energy-conversion mechanisms and genetic systems arose in the absence of such systems when there is a general natural tendency to go from order to disorder. It is a tendency so universal it can be stated as a natural law—the second law of thermodynamics. Simply stated, machines are required to build machines, and something or somebody must operate the machinery. Evolutionists persist in believing, however, in the myth that a bull in a china shop will somehow create order and complexity.
The Creator Guides Creation
So the creationist opposes the wholly unscientific evolutionary hypothesis that the natural universe with all of its incredible complexity was capable of generating itself. He maintains that there must exist, external to the natural universe, a Creator, or supernatural Agency, who was responsible for introducing, or creating, the high degree of order found within this natural universe. Creationism is extrascientific, but it is not antiscientific. The evolutionary hypothesis contradicts the well-established science of thermodynamics.
The vast complexity required of even the most primitive living cell imaginable shows that all such theories are extremely inadequate. In fact, they don’t even approach a solution to the problem. One cannot even account for the origin of significant quantities of relatively simple substances, such as amino acids and sugars, let alone the billions of tons each of the hundreds, if not thousands, of the large and complex macromolecules required, such as proteins, DNA, and RNA.
Even if, contrary to all available evidence, one assumes that vast amounts of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA and RNA) formed spontaneously on the hypothetical primitive earth, and that contrary to everything we know about chemical thermodynamics these subunits magically combined one with another to form the long chains comprising protein-like, DNA-like, and RNA-like molecules, there still would be no chance that even a single molecule with the precise order required for biological activity would result, let alone a highly complex living cell.
Most biologically active proteins, such as enzymes, hormones, and the protein associated with hemoglobin (the oxygen carrier of the red blood cells) consist of several hundred amino acids of about 20 different kinds. Like the letters in this sentence, these amino acids must be arranged in precise order. If a monkey were given a typewriter and allowed to type, letters would pour forth in random fashion and only nonsense would result. There are 107 letters in the preceding sentence. Ignoring the additional requirement of correct spacing, the probability of hitting all of these letters on a typewriter in the correct sequence by chance is 26-107, or 10–142 (there are 26 letters in the alphabet, and the correct letter must be chosen 107 times successively). A probability of 10-142 means that there is only one chance out of 10-142 of success.
If a monkey could type one sentence of 107 letters each second for five billion years, he could type 1017 sentences during those five billion years (there are approximately 1017 seconds in five billion years). The probability that he would type the particular sentence with no spelling errors would be one chance out of 10142/1017, or one chance out of 10125. The number 10125 is the number 1 followed by 125 zeroes. The probability is so low that it is for all practical purposes equal to zero.
Now let us relate these probability considerations to the problem of getting a protein molecule by chance. As mentioned earlier, most proteins contain several hundred amino acids. Let us assume, however, that the primordial proteins that supposedly were involved in the origin of life contained only 100 amino acids of the 20 different kinds found in present-day proteins (these assumptions favor the evolutionary hypothesis). The amino acids in such a protein can be arranged in 20100 or 10130 different ways.
Since no Creator, no intelligence, no directive force capable of acting in a deliberately planned way was involved in the origin of life according to evolutionary theory, these amino acids had to be arranged strictly by the chance processes exerted by chemistry and physics. Chemistry and physics, just like monkeys, would arrange the amino acids in random fashion. Since the number of different ways these amino acids can be arranged is so inconceivably large, the probability that an enzyme or other biologically active protein molecule would come about by chance in the assumed five billion years of earth history is again, for all practical purposes, nil.
On this planet we have an ocean system containing 300 million cubic miles of water. To have even a ghost of a chance to contribute to an evolutionary origin of life, billions of tons each of many hundreds of precisely arranged biologically active protein, DNA, and RNA molecules must be produced by chance. Yet the probability of getting only a single molecule of a particular protein, DNA, or RNA is esentially zero. The evolutionary origin of life would have required a multitude of miracles.
How Not To Make A Boeing 747
Sir fred hoyle, mathematician, astronomer, and one of Britain’s foremost scientists, has long been known as an evolutionist and antitheist. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan-born astronomer, is professor and head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at University College, Cardiff, Wales. He has been a lifelong Buddhist-atheist, brainwashed, he reports, into believing that any concept of God must be excluded from science. These two, as friends and collaborators, became interested several years ago in the problem of the origin of life.
Using their knowledge of the minimum requirements for a living cell and their skill in mathematics, and each working independently of the other, they calculated the probability of life evolving on earth in five billion years. They were astounded; they couldn’t believe their results. The probability turned out to be one chance out of 1040,000 (one chance out of 1 followed by 40,000 zeroes)—essentially zero.
They then calculated the probability of life evolving anywhere in the universe. They assumed that the universe contains 100 billion galaxies of 100 billion stars each, that each star has a planet like the earth, and that the universe is 20 billion years old. Again, for all practical purposes, the probability turned out to be nil (see Evolution from Space, J.M. Dent, 1981).
Hoyle has declared that the probability of an evolutionary origin of life is equal to the probability that a tornado, sweeping through a junkyard, would assemble a Boeing 747. The report of this story, which appeared in the Daily Express of London, August 14, 1981, was headlined “Two skeptical scientists put their heads together and reach an amazing conclusion: THERE MUST BE A GOD.”
Although neither scientist accepts the Genesis account of creation, the two have concluded that wherever life exists in the universe and whenever this life came into existence, it was created supernaturally. Not only does Hoyle now reject the idea of the evolution of life, but he also maintains that the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is scientifically untenable and the idea of biological evolution should be rejected as well. It seems incredible that the scientific evidence is sufficiently compelling to convert these two prominent scientists, formerly lifelong atheists, to accept the fact of creation, while many Christians persist in defending the theory of evolution.
Other scientists, on the basis of probability considerations, have come to realize that modern theories on the origin of life, and the current Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution, are scientifically indefensible. In an article titled “A Calculation of the Probability of Spontaneous Biogenesis by Information Theory” (Journal of Theoretical Biology, 67:377, 1977), Hubert Yockey says that current ideas on the origin of life are really not science at all but are religious in nature. Frank Salisbury has published data that are equally convincing against the notion of a spontaneous origin of life (see Nature, 224:342–43, 1969). Other mathematicians, even though not giving up faith in their evolutionary philosophy, have attacked the Neo-Darwinian mechanism of evolution as mathematically impossible. As Hoyle has pointed out, evolutionists believe in mathematical miracles.
What About Fossils?
A consideration of thermodynamics, probability relationships, genetics, molecular biology, and other sciences provides convincing evidence that evolution could not occur. An examination of the historical evidence provided by the fossil record reveals that evolution has not occurred. According to the notion of biological evolution, millions of species of plants and animals have gradually evolved during hundreds of millions of years from a single-celled ancestor. If this is the case, the fossil record must contain an enormous number of transitional or intermediate forms. These fossils should provide undoubted proof of the fact of evolution.
If, on the other hand, creation is true, a great variety of highly complex creatures should appear abruptly in the fossil record without ancestors or transitional forms. We would expect to find fossils of each of the created kinds, or basic types, but no transitional forms. Gaps in the fossil record should be systematic.
The fossil record actually reveals a remarkable accordance with creation, which is a great embarrassment to evolution theory. Darwin recognized this but blamed it on “the poverty of the fossil record.” But as David Raup of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago recently pointed out (in the museum Bulletin, 50:22–29, 1979), the fossil record has become so rich during the past 120 years that the so-called poverty of the fossil record can no longer be used as an excuse. Furthermore, he says that, if anything, the fossil record for evolution is worse today than in Darwin’s time. Certain evidences for evolution previously accepted, such as the horse series, have now either been abandoned or substantially modified.
Descendents Without Ancestors?
Numerous examples serve to illustrate the nature of the fossil record that supports creation. Rocks of the Cambrian geological strata contain fossils of a great variety of highly complex creatures such as sponges, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, trilobites, worms, brachiopods, jellyfish, and other mollusks and crustaceans. Evolutionists believe these creatures evolved during many hundreds of millions of years from a single-celled ancestor. Generally lying underneath the Cambrian rocks are the pre-Cambrian rocks, which evolutionists believe were laid down during hundreds of millions of years preceding the so-called Cambrian Period. The pre-Cambrian rocks, many of which are undisturbed and suitable for the preservation of fossils, should contain billions of fossils of the intermediate stages leading from a single-celled ancestor to the complex Cambrian creatures.
What do we actually find in pre-Cambrian rocks? There are many reports in the paleontological literature of alleged fossils of microscopic, single-celled, soft-bodied bacteria and algae in pre-Cambrian rocks, but no one has yet found a transitional form for even one of the Cambrian animals. All of these creatures, wherever or whenever they first appear, are complete: trilobite has always been a trilobite, a jellyfish a jellyfish, a sea urchin a sea urchin, and a sponge a sponge. The idea that these creatures all gradually evolved from a common ancestor is without a shred of empirical scientific evidence. What greater evidence for creation could the rocks give than this sudden outburst of a great variety of complex living creatures with no ancestors?
One of these invertebrates, according to theory, evolved during 100 million years or so into fishes, supposedly the first well-documented vertebrates. Many billions of the transitional forms of the intermediate stages would have lived and died. But no one has ever found a single transitional form in the fossil record between the invertebrates and fishes. Speaking of the origin of the lungfishes, for example, Errol White admitted that “… whatever ideas authorities may have on the subject, the lungfishes, like every other major group of fishes that I know, have their origins firmly based in nothing (“A Little on Lungfishes,” Proceedings of the Linnaean Society, London, 177:8, 1966). Further, all three major subdivisions of the bony fishes, each very different from the another, appear simultaneously in the fossil record, and each is fully developed when first seen. Not a trace of an earlier, intermediate form has ever been found.
The gaps between basic types of organisms throughout the remainder of the fossil record are equally impressive. Dinosaurs with spikes on their heads, dinosaurs with spikes on their tails and plates along their backs, dinosaurs with duckbills, and mammoth dinosaurs weighing up to 80 tons and standing as high as a five-story building suddenly appear in the fossil record with no ancestors or transitional forms. Flying creatures, including flying insects, flying reptiles, flying mammals (bats), and birds all appear abruptly and fully formed. (Some evolutionists argue that Archaeopteryx should be considered transitional, although it had 100 percent modern-type bird features, wings, and flew. Others argue that it is a strange mosaic that doesn’t count as a transitional form.) In addition, primates, the lemur-like creatures, monkeys, and apes all appear fully formed and, in spite of some imaginative transitional forms suggested as links between man and ape, man himself appears fully formed.
Lord Solly Zuckerman, a famous British anatomist, spent many years searching for man’s fossil ancestry. He directed the activities of a scientific team that rarely numbered less than four. This team spent 15 years studying fossils of the type of creature known as Australopithecus. This is the type to which Donald Johanson’s “Lucy” belongs (designated by Johanson as Australopithecus afarensis). Johanson claims that these creatures, although totally ape from the neck up, walked erect like man and so were links between man and ape. This agrees with the view of most evolutionists and is almost universally taught.
After many years of research, Zuckerman reached quite different conclusions, however. His studies, published in Beyond the Ivory Towers (Taplinger, 1970), show that these creatures did not walk upright and were not intermediate between ape and man. His former student and fellow evolutionist, Charles Oxnard, now professor of anthropology and dean of graduate studies at the University of Southern California, has continued study of these creatures. He concludes that they had a mode of locomotion similar to orangs and were not intermediate between ape and man (“Human Fossils: New Views of Old Bones,” American Biology Teacher, 41:264–76, 1979). The creatures studied by Zuckerman and Oxnard were supposedly one to two million years younger than Johanson’s “Lucy” and therefore, if anything, should be more manlike. The work of Zuckerman and Oxnard is almost completely ignored within evolutionary circles, however, since evolutionists prefer to believe Johanson.
These australopithecines have for many years been the central figure in suggested evolutionary schemes, and if eliminated there is little, if anything, left to suggest man’s origin from an ape ancestry. Zuckerman, in fact, concluded that “… no scientist could logically dispute the proposition that man, without having been involved in any act of divine creation, evolved from some ape-like creature in a very short space of time—speaking in geological terms—without leaving any fossil traces of the steps of the transformation” (Beyond the Ivory Towers, p. 64). If we exclude the possibility of creation, Zuckerman is saying, then obviously man must have evolved from an apelike creature. But if he did, we have no evidence for it in the fossil record.
Let us bear in mind the track record of evolutionists in this respect. Piltdown man turned out to be a hoax, fashioned from a modern ape’s jaw and a human skull. Nebraska man turned out to be a pig’s tooth. Ramapithecus is now judged to be nothing more than an ape, although long touted as intermediate. Neanderthal man, for nearly a century viewed as a primitive subhuman ancestor of man, is now classified as fully human, Homo sapiens. His so-called primitive features actually were due to pathological conditions such as rickets and arthritis. We can conclude that man is indeed a special creation of God as described in the Bible.
In his paper “Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory” (Evolution 28:467, 1974), David Kitts, evolutionist-paleontologist of the University of Oklahoma, says, “Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of ‘seeing’ evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”
Many similar statements could be cited. The fossil record produces notorious difficulties for evolution. On the other hand, it reveals just what is predicted on the basis of creation.
The scientific evidence related to the origin of the universe and of life demands creation. The fossil record verifies that creation. Science thus marvelously supports what the Bible proclaims—“In the beginning, God created …”
Duane T. Gish is associate director of the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon, California.
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