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Evolution: The Creation Myth of Our Culture
© 2011 by David Buckna. All Rights Reserved.
"In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you
can criticize the government but not Darwin." — Chinese palaeontologist
(Wall Street Journal, "The Church of Darwin", Phillip Johnson, August 16, 1999.)
n 1999 Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial, said on CNN: "I think we should teach a lot about evolution. In fact, I think we should teach more than the evolutionary science teachers want the students to know. The problem is what we're getting is a philosophy that's claimed to be scientific fact, a lot of distortion in the textbooks, and all the difficult problems left out, because they don't want people to ask tough questions."
But in the ensuing dozen years, how much has really changed in science classrooms?
What follows is a partial list of questions that could be used to critically examine and evaluate evolution. They would make good classroom discussions, initiated by either teacher or student, or research assignments.
Dr. Danny Faulkner, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster) commented: "The Ptolemaic model (of the solar system) stood for 15 centuries, but ultimately was rejected in the 17th century because of the huge complexity it had. The real problem with that model was you couldn’t falsify it. No matter what new data, new observations came along, you could always patch it up with a fix of new epicycles or other effects."
"Over the past three decades the Big Bang model has been changed tremendously. They changed the expansion rate, hence the age of the universe. They’ve thrown in dark matter, dark energy...inflation, ...string theory... and it’s starting to look more and more like the Ptolemaic model.... So at what point does the Big Bang model become as unwieldy as the Ptolemaic model, that caused people to reject it?" (unpublished interview, May 15, 2010)
All radioisotope dating methods assume
a) no decay product was present initially or that initial quantities can be accurately estimated
b) the decay system was closed to outside influences through the years and
c) the decay rate was constant over time.
What conditions have violated these assumptions?
Why do textbooks claim the 1953 Miller-Urey experiment shows how the cell's building blocks may have formed on the early Earth, when repeated experimentation has never demonstrated this claim?
Efforts to replicate the supposed origin-of-life events have produced embarrassingly small amounts of only some required cellular building blocks (eg. trace amounts of amino acids, sugars) with the majority of the mixture being a toxic tar. Unless the researcher is present to immediately remove and preserve these short-lived compounds, then those water-based side reactions will make a biochemical hash of them.
To make matters worse, our current understanding supports an early Earth with an oxidizing (not reducing) atmosphere, making the synthesis of these cellular compounds even more unlikely, as oxygen would quickly oxidize the traces before they could have a chance to "self organize".
And as ICR's Frank Sherwin writes in his 2009 article: "If and when Venter's team [J. Craig Venter Institute, Maryland] creates artificial life, it will only have been a product of purpose and applied power and intelligence. And its life-likeness will have been almost entirely copied from pre-existing life in bacterial cells."
All cells depend on ATP synthase, the world's tiniest rotary motor.
Evolutionists have suggested that part of it was "repurposed" from helicase, a protein used to unwind DNA. But helicase cannot be manufactured, and cannot unwind DNA, without abundant ATP, which ATP synthase provides. How could ATP synthase evolve from a protein that already needed ATP synthase?
Evolutionists may argue that enough ATP was produced by substrate-level phosphorylation, where bacteria produce ATP without ATP synthase and without oxygen. However, even these bacteria require ATP synthase to balance their internal acid content. So again, how could ATP synthase evolve from a different protein when both protein complexes require ATP synthase for acid/base balance?
Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, wrote in 1988: "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved." On page one of "The Blind Watchmaker" (1986) Richard Dawkins writes: "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose".
a) If living things look designed--if the empirical evidence suggests purpose--then how do evolutionists know they weren't designed? b) What is the criteria for "apparent" design?
On Sept. 29, 2009 Richard Dawkins was a guest on CBC's The Hour. (Watch the interview here.) The host, George Stroumboulopoulos, asked Dawkins: "What is one single thing that you can say that definitively proves that evolution is a fact?"
Dawkins' response: "Comparing the genes molecularly across all animals and plants. It falls on a precise hierarchical pattern, which is obviously best interpreted as a family tree, and this becomes possible--becomes quantitatively possible--because all living creatures have the same genetic code, which means you have literally reams and reams of textual information, just like a book, in every cell of every body, of every creature, and every plant in the world."
So...a pattern of highly organized textual information, comparable to books, is evidence there wasn't any intelligent design involved?
Henry M. Morris wrote: "A number of evolutionists have even argued that DNA itself is evidence for evolution, since it is common to all organisms.
More often is the argument used that similar DNA structures in two different organisms proves common evolutionary ancestry."
"Neither argument is valid. There is no reason whatever why the Creator could not or would not use the same type of genetic code based on DNA for all His created life forms. This is evidence for intelligent design and creation, not evolution."
Evolutionists say mutation, migration, genetic drift, and natural selection produced new life forms. Why then are there so few examples--if there are any at all--of mutations building brand new organs?
Some evolutionists point to a study (2008) of Italian wall lizards (Podarcis sicula). From the abstract: "Here we show how lizards have rapidly evolved differences in head morphology, bite strength, and digestive tract structure after experimental introduction into a novel environment." The study mentions cecal valves--muscles between the large and small intestine--that "slow down food passage and provide for fermenting chambers, allowing commensal microorganisms to convert cellulose to volatile fatty acids." (A. Herrel et al., "Rapid large-scale evolutionary divergence in morphology and performance associated with exploitation of a different dietary resource," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105 (12) (2008):
But anatomist David Menton noted the original lizards had the ability to digest plant material; they simply preferred insects for roughly 95 percent of their diet. Menton added: "The 'new' muscular valve they found between the small and large intestine is simply an enlargement of muscles already present in the gut wall at this juncture." So, far from being a truly new feature, the shift in available food allowed lizards with larger muscles at the juncture to be more successful at feeding and reproducing.
The "rapidly evolved" cecal valves are possibly just natural selection acting on pre-existing genetic information, helping a population adapt to its surroundings.
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