Creation Insights

Revealing the empirical case for
intelligent design and Bible science.

Critique of Evidence for Evolution

The basic hallmarks of evidence for evolution is outlined into six points: 1) speciation, 2) phylogeny and the fossil record, 3) phylogeny and taxonomy, 4) phylogeny and homology, 5) natural selection, and 6) mutation.

Evolutionists claim that evolution is a fact because it is confirmed in many different fields of science. An examination of the evidence below shows that it is the belief in evolution that is used to confirm the evidence rather than the evidence confirming the belief. The conclusions drawn from the evidences cited are based on the assumption that evolution is a fact. The better explanation is ignored. Evolutionary explanations are not the only explanations and, in many cases, are contradicted by evidence.

1. Speciation

Fact: Mutation changes the genotype of organisms, which, in turn, may change the phenotype. Such changes are observed daily. Because of changes that occur, some organisms have been classified as new species.

Evolution’s claim: Evolution is a fact because speciation (the appearance of new species) occurs.

Creationists’ claim: The changes observed today are mere variations limited to specific populations. Such minor changes do not suggest that all organisms are descendents of a common ancestor. Descent of all organisms with modification from a common ancestor would require unlimited changing ability. There is no evidence that this is possible. In fact, just the opposite is suggested by experiments with the fruit fly. Limited change within specific populations is the better explanation because no observation has shown that change is unlimited or that changes can result in new kinds of organisms.

The term species is loosely used in biology today. There is no standard for determining when two organisms should be classified as species, sub-species, or genus. The lack of a standard concept whereby species are named is referred to as the "species problem."

Because of the lack of standard in naming new species, organisms may be categorized as different species, even though they are of the same population and even interbreed: for example, dogs and coyotes.

Creationists recognize that organisms are able to adapt to changing environments and inhabit new niches. However, they point out that such changes are minor and do not produce new kinds.

2. Phylogeny and the Fossil Record

Evolution’s claim: Evolution has occurred because progressive, cumulative, serial changes are observed in organisms when fossils are arranged in the order of their historical appearance. They allege that such arrangement of organisms shows phylogeny (the origin of all species by descent with modification).

Creationists’ claim: Serial changes observed in the fossil record show no more than the changes observed and expected in organisms today. Change is restricted and limited within specific population kinds.

Paleontologist Stephen Gould described the fossil record showing serial changes only within population kinds saying, "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils" (Gould, Stephen Jay, "Evolution's erratic pace," Natural History, Vol. 86, No. 5, pp.12-16, May 1977, p. 14).

In another publication, Gould described the lack of fossil evidence for serial change between major groups of organisms saying, "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution" (Gould, Stephen Jay, "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, p.127).

Kitts, David B., Professor of Geology at the University of Oklahoma wrote: "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" (Kitts, David B., "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," Evolution, Vol. 28, September 1974, p.467).

"The main problem with such phyletic gradualism is that the fossil record provides so little evidence for it. Very rarely can we trace the gradual transformation of one entire species into another through a finely graded sequence of intermediary forms" (Gould, S.J. Luria, S.E. & Singer, S., A View of Life, 1981, p. 641).

As for the reasoning inferring phylogeny from the fossil record, Knox et al. explained that the arrangement of organisms in the fossil record does not necessarily imply ancestral relationship saying, "Many people suppose that phylogeny can be discovered directly from the fossil record by studying a graded series of old to young fossils and by discovering ancestors, but this is not true. The fossil record supplies evidence of the geological ages of the forms of life, but not of their direct ancestor-descendant relationships. There is no way of knowing whether a fossil is a direct ancestor of a more recent species or represents a related line of descent (lineage) that simply became extinct" (Knox B., Ladiges P. & Evans B., eds., "Biology," [1994], McGraw-Hill: Sydney, Australia, 1995, reprint, p.663).

Cracraft explains that, "If the stratigraphic position of a fossil is an important criterion for recognizing it as an ancestor, it should come as no surprise that it would be extremely difficult to find a specific fossil species that is both intermediate in morphology between two other taxa and is also in the appropriate stratigraphic position" (Cracraft, J., "Systematics, Comparative Biology, and the Case Against Creationism," 1983, pp. 179-180). Hence many evolutionists are looking to homology to establish phylogenetic relationship.

The fossil record does not show phylogeny. At best it displays design similarities between organisms. It shows that change is limited within a population kind. The belief in evolution not evidence connects the major groups of organisms.

3. Phylogeny and Taxonomy

Fact: Taxonomy is the scientific discipline of categorizing organisms into groups (taxa). The seven primary taxa are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

Evolution’s claim: The categorization of organisms reveals their phylogeny (evolutionary origin of species). The phylogenic "bush" was created by evolutionists to illustrate possible ancestry of all organisms and the evolutionary pathways that lead from single cells to the numerous varieties of organisms.

Creationists’ claim: Categorizing organisms is 1) a convenient way of organizing organisms to facilitate the study of life, 2) displays a comparison of design similarities and variation between organisms, and 3) reveals the independent, creative origin of the different kinds of organisms.

An evaluation of the phylogenetic evidence is summed by evolutionists below.

"It is, however, very difficult to establish the precise lines of descent, termed phylogenies, for most organisms.... Relationships among the fossils are thus judged by their relative ages and their morphological resemblances and differences. This works well when abundant fossils are available in a continuous record, but unfortunately the fossil record is quite incomplete.... For most lineages we have to employ more indirect methods of phylogenetic reconstruction" (Ayala, F. J. and Valentine J. W., Evolving: The Theory and Process of Organic Evolution, 1978, p. 230). As mentioned above, relative age arrangement of organisms in the fossil record does not show relationship between major groups. At best, the arrangements show design and variation within specific populations.

Taxonomy is a system for categorizing organisms. Organization by categories does not suggest ancestor-descendent relationship.

In an attempt to defend genetic relationship from ancestors to descendents, evolutionist Berra wrote: "If you compare a 1953 and a 1954 Corvette, side by side, then a 1954 and a 1955 model, and so on, the descent with modification is overwhelmingly obvious. This is what paleontologists do with fossils, and the evidence is so solid and comprehensive that it cannot be denied by reasonable people" (T. Berra, Evolution and the myth of creationism,1990, pg 117-119). Unwittingly, he cites an example of similarity that is the result of creative, intelligent design not by genetic relationship. Corvettes do not biologically reproduce new Corvettes. They are designed with similar traits that a characteristically “Corvette.” Likewise, organizing organisms by traits shows design similarities not genetic relationship.

Taxonomy reveals organization in the creation of organism design. This is the better explanation. The belief in evolution, not evidence, jumps to the conclusion that organization equals genetic descent.

4. Phylogeny and Homology

Evolution’s claim: Similarity (homology) anatomically and/or molecularly between organisms is the result of common ancestry. Organisms that are similar but not genetically related are alleged to result from similar external circumstances.

Creationists’ claim: Creative design is the best explanation for similarities between organisms. Common resources of solar energy, food, and atmosphere explain why living organisms share a common design in anatomy and metabolism. Likewise, organisms in shared environments (like fins of fish and dolphins; wings of birds and insects) show many similar features that are suitable to their environment.

Evidence supports the homology-by-design principle. For example, the probability of convergent (coincidental) evolution occurring three separate times to produce the similarity found in the wings of birds, mammals, and insects defies credibility. The better explanation is that these three very different organisms were designed to fly.

Frank Salisbury writes that, "Even something as complex as the eye has appeared several times; for example, in the squid, the vertebrates, and the arthropods. It's bad enough accounting for the origin of such things once, but the thought of producing them several times according to the modern synthetic theory makes my head swim" (Frank Salisbury, "Doubts About the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution," American Biology Teacher, September 1971, p. 338).

The existence of marsupial and placental "twins" is more evidence favoring creative design. Many placental mammals have parallel "twins" among marsupials. These include: marsupial and placental moles, mice, flying squirrels, and wolves. Evolutionists claim that such convergent or parallel evolution is possible because of the common natural selection forces. But such a claim requires coincidental evolution to occur independently numerous times. This defies the probabilities of chance events. The better explanation is common design.

In addition, true phenotype homologues should express genotype homologues. However, genetic studies have shown that supposed phenotypic homologies often do not arise from homologous genes. This shows that homologous phenotypes are not the result of inherited genotypes. Evolutionists would claim convergent evolution is at work to produce similar phenotypes from different genotypes. Creationists would claim that design is the best explanation for homologous phenotypes.

Gavin De Beer wrote, "What mechanism can it be that results in the production of homologous organs, the same 'patterns', in spite of their not being controlled by the same genes? I asked this question in 1938, and it has not been answered" ( Gavin De Beer, Homology: An Unsolved Problem, Oxford University Press, London, 1971, p. 16).

Further, embryological studies show that homologous phenotypes often do not arise from the same embryological cells of origin. Pere Alberch, an eminent developmental biologist, noted, it is "the rule rather than the exception" that "homologous structures form from distinctly dissimilar initial states" (Pere Alberch, "Problems with the Interpretation of Developmental Sequences," Systematic Zoology, 1985, vol. 34 (1), pp. 46-58).

The homology explanation for evolution descent with modification is based on superficial and flawed reasoning. Parallel similarities with discontinuity in genetics and embryology show that similarity in design of organisms does not suggest genetic relationship. Rather, it strongly suggests the involvement of creative design. This is the better explanation. The belief in evolution, not evidence, jumps to the conclusion that homology shows phylogeny.

5. Natural selection

Fact: Organisms with phenotypic qualities that enable them to survive in their environment can reproduce and pass on their phenotypic qualities to the next generation. Changes in the environment can eliminate phenotypes that are not suited for changed environmental conditions.

Evolution’s claim: Serial changes (evolution) are possible because ever-present occurring changes in environments naturally select for phenotypes capable of surviving in a population.

Creationists’ claim: Natural selection is merely an explanation of how some phenotypes are selected from phenotypes that already exist. Natural selection processes are used by creationists to describe how existing phenotypes can become more predominant in specified populations, how organisms can adapt to changes in their environment, and why some phenotypes/genotypes are extinct.

Natural selection forces in an environment do not produce new phenotypes necessary for single cells to evolve into the multitude of very different and complex multi-cellular organisms. In addition, it is erroneous to suggest that natural selection forces guide organisms toward greater complexity or toward unlimited serial/progressive change.

6. Mutation

Fact: New phenotype qualities are the result of changes in the genotype. New phenotypes may adapt to alternative niches in their environment or survive changes in their environment.

Evolution’s claim: Mutations can 1) sufficiently increase new genetic information required to produce increasing variety and complexity in organisms, and can 2) result in unlimited change.

Creationists’ claim: 1) mutation alters existing genetic information but does not introduce new genetic information, and that 2) mutational change is limited within the boundaries of the specific population type. Genetic mutation is evidence of the genius behind the creative design that allows organisms to adapt to dynamic environments.

Every laboratory and field experiment conducted shows that change is limited to DNA information available in the specific population. Experimental evidence does not support the notion that mutation is unlimited, can introduce new information into a population, or that new kinds of organisms can arise as a result of mutation.

Belief in evolution, not evidence, jumps to the conclusion that mutation is both unlimited and sufficient to provide all the new genetic information necessary to produce all the varieties of life.

Conclusion

Evolutionists claim that evolution is a fact because of the evidence provided from different disciplines. However, an examination of the core claims shows that it is the belief in evolution, not the evidence, that explains the claim that ‘evolution is a fact.’ The facts that the better design explanations and that there is evidence contrary to evolutionists’ expectations shows that evolution is preferred because of personal belief not because of rational evidence.

Creation design is the better explanation.

 

"Take the word of no man." Royal Society motto

"In Britain, all schoolchildren and students are taught dogmatically from the earliest age that evolution explains how all plant, animal and human life arose and developed by the operation of chance and natural laws with no divine or other intelligent direction. There are huge problems and questions with this belief system, which a powerful establishment seeks to deny and suppress because of its materialist world view. Question Darwin if you dare."