Evolution attempts to stand on four legs, none of which can hold it up, singly or together. They are time, chance, mutations
, and natural selection
. Let’s look at them one at a time, but without spending too much time on any one of them.Time:
evolution demands an enormous amount of time, for it is claiming that all life we know on earth descended from a common ancestor. That common ancestor is usually identified as being some kind of one-celled organism. The earth is said to be about 4.5 billion years old – and right now, for the sake of this argument we are going to go with that idea in terms of orbital, regular years as you and I know them. The first single-celled organisms were not around until about 3.5 billion years ago. It took them, from what we read, about another billion years to become multi-celled organisms with cells that had differentiation. Let’s look at just that for a moment.
First, a definition. Generation time is the time it takes the adult of one type of organism to propagate and the progeny to mature enough to propagate themselves. A generation time for humans would be about thirteen years minimum, but we sure hope our kids wait longer than that! Apes are between ten and fifteen years. A lot of animals are about one year. Rodents are a matter of weeks or months.
The little E.coli bacteria is twenty minutes. That’s how we can get so sick so fast, by the way. Bacteria can replicate at an enormous speed. For the sake of the argument, and to give every possible advantage to evolution, let’s give our first single-celled organism a generation time of one hour. And maybe only during daylight hours. That’s approximately twelve generations in a day. That’s 4,380 generations in a year.
Multiply that by a billion years. That is 4,380,000,000,000 generations. If a fish were to change to an amphibian, and then to a mammal, and then to us, how many generations would that take? Now think of the generation times of the larger animals. Even if we averaged out generation times to one year for all, that means we would need over a thousand times the amount of years the evolutionists say the earth has been in existence to get even the simplest evolutionary changes made. But we only have 2.5 billion years to get it all done after the first multicelled organisms appeared. Evolution does not have enough time if you think about generation times instead of simply years.
Chance: Evolution depends on beneficial mutations being selected for in a breeding population and also building on one another to produce new forms and functions. We have not discussed mutations yet, but let’s presume we can get definitely beneficial mutations at this point. They have two hurdles to cross.
First, a beneficial mutation must be selected for. It helps a lot if this mutation, then, is dominant and not recessive. The only way a recessive mutation can exert its influence is when both parents have it, thus guaranteeing at least some of the progeny will also have it. This can and does happen, but for a mutation to be selected for, it does help if it is dominant. Then only one parent need have it. But that is a minor hurdle compared to what must happen next.
Most mutations are called ‘unexpressed,’ meaning they do not show any effect in the body of the organism – or at least anything we are aware of as yet! Mutations whose effect can be seen are called expressed mutations. Expressed mutations run, conservatively, a thousand to one deleterious to possibly beneficial. There is something else important to understand. The only mutations we can consider in this argument are called heritable mutations, or those which are passed down from parent to progeny. These mutations are carried, in humans for example, in the sperm and egg cells. We have a lot of other mutations in our bodies, but they aren’t passed down to our children.
Now, if, in any given population, there is one or more than one new negative heritable mutation in each generation, that population is on the way to extinction. There’s no way around that. It is called "error catastrophe."
So we have to have less than one negative mutation showing up per generation. This means you need over a thousand generations to get that beneficial mutation. Can’t you have more than one positive mutation show up in any generation or every few generations? There are, after all, probably thousands of animals in one gene pool. Yes, there are, but if you have two beneficial mutations show up in one generation, then what happened in terms of the multitude of negative mutations which complete the picture?
And despite the rarity of these beneficial mutations, one must build on another, and then on another, and so on to turn a fish into a frog. How many generations would it take for the several hundred, or thousand mutations necessary for this to happen? And what are the chances of that second mutation being just the right sort to not only be selected for but to be in the right place in the genetic package to build on to the first one?
Mathematically, the chances of it happening are zero. There is no chance at all that beneficial mutations could accumulate in any population in such a way. There is a lot more to this argument which absolutely destroys the concept of evolution, but that is enough to try to deal with at first.
So what about mutations? Mutations are little changes in the genes or other parts of the chromosomes. Mutations can happen in what appear to be spontaneous ways. That is just our way of saying, however, that we have not identified all the causes. We have identified some: radiation and some chemicals, for example. When something is known to cause a mutation, it is called a mutagent.
One of the favorite creation arguments against mutations doing anything beneficial is to say they decrease information. That is not a good argument unless you take the time to define ‘information.’ There are two distinct types: stochastic and meaningful. If I write “aa aba aa” that contains seven bits of information using the stochastic definition. If I add some ‘c’s so it becomes “aaa ccc baa aa,” then I have added information. But it means nothing. However, if I say “do hit me,” there are seven bits of stochastic information that carry meaning. So that is meaningful information. If I add three more bits: “do not hit me,” I have added exactly the same number of bits I did before, but I have changed the meaning entirely. So if you want to talk about mutations changing information, or deleting it, be prepared to define your terms carefully. The cell has to be able to understand the meaning in the mutation.
What we can say about mutations, though, is that all of them appear to decrease specificity. Consider a protein. Here is a rendition of one:
In a protein, chains of amino acids fold into specific shapes, according to which amino acids are used, the timing of the folding, the temperature involved, and some other variables. Each protein’s shape determines its use – how it locks on to other parts of the cell to do what it is supposed to do. When a mutation happens, the protein affected then folds a little bit less specifically. This usually means something cannot lock on to it effectively or it cannot lock on where it is supposed to. What a cell usually does with defective proteins is simply take them apart and use the amino acids all over again. However if the instructions regarding the building of that protein are where the mutation has occurred, then a defective protein will continue being the result.
It is this decrease in specificity which allows some bacteria, for example, to become antibiotic resistant. Bacteria can easily mutate back and forth in ‘hot spot’ areas. These mutations are “A/non-A” mutations. They simply go back and forth, not on and on and on into different new mutations. In any bacteria population, then, there will be a variety of ‘types’ – and some of them will have a less specific folding in the area where antibacterial agents are designed to lock on to in order to disable the bacterial. If the agents cannot lock on, the bacteria survives. This is how the ‘super bugs’ happen in hospitals which can make people so sick – all the normal bacteria have been wiped out and the super bugs are left to propagate. The mutations which made them ‘super’ have decreased the specificity of their protein folding and so the antibacterial agents are ineffective with them. What is interesting, though, is that when these ‘super bugs’ are put back into a wild population of bacteria of their own type, they are quickly wiped out. That is because, in reality, they are not as robust as the normal bacteria.
That is a long explanation, but that is what mutations do. They decrease specificity in one way or another, be it with proteins or something else.
So what would a beneficial mutation be? It would be something where a loss of specificity of one kind or another yielded some kind of benefit to the organism. For the bacteria, it means being anti-biotic resistant. Yet these are not as robust as the general population. In humans a famous example of a ‘benefical’ mutation is the one which provides resistance to malaria. This mutation is not as terrific as evolutionists want us to suppose, though, for not only is it recessive, but when both the mother and the father have it, their children are at high risk for sickle cell anemia, which is lethal. This lack of specificity in making the red blood cell does provide some malarial resistance. It also brings death to the children when both parents have this recessive gene.
Beneficial mutations, evolutionarily, are supposed to not only confer advantage, but be able to build upon one another to provide new form and function, so that first cell could, given enough mutations through enough years, become the fern, the hippopotamus, the butterfly. This is not what we see mutations do, however. It is far more along the lines of wishful thinking on the part of the evolutionists.
Natural selection: this is the ‘big gun’ of evolution. This is what the theory absolutely depends on. According to evolution ideas, natural selection is what happens when some part of any population is at a disadvantage when the population is under pressure and that disadvantaged section is either killed or simply not able to breed. This leaves the more advantages section of the population to continue. The evolutionary idea is that this then leads to a strongly adapted population which has also been helped along by various beneficial mutations which have been naturally selected through time.
Let’s take a look at what actually happens in natural selection – what we have seen happen. First of all, every population has a variety in its members. This will be easiest to see using mammals. Whether it is cats, dogs, horses, or whatever, we see quite a variety in any given population, whether wild or domestic. Let’s take a hypothetical population of wild horses in Asia. Some are a little shorter, some a little taller. Some a little more muscled, some a little less. Some a little smarter, some a little less. You get the idea. Now, let’s put this population under pressure. Some speedy predators have moved into the territory and the horses with the longer, faster legs are much more likely to survive, right? Sure. The horses that don’t survive so well are the ones with the shorter legs.
But the shorter legs are also the legs which are, biologically, usually a little thicker-boned. Those thick bones don’t break as easily as thinner, longer bones do. However, if enough of those shorter-legged horses are killed by our new predators, that particular horse population has just lost a little of their ability to produce the variation of short legged members. This is natural selection. It deletes. It does not add. Nor can mutations make up the difference. Even if there were some truly beneficial mutations available to this horse population, they could not build up fast enough to make up for the losses that happen with natural selection.
So what is the final, real result of natural selection? Endangered species. Species which are so specialized in the environment in which they live that they are unable to produce enough variety in their members to allow any portion of their population to survive outside of that specific ecological niche. You simply cannot keep deleting sections of a population due to natural selection and have a population remain robust, able to diversify. It is that precise genetic diversification which is reduced in natural selection.
We can see what happens on a much faster time scale when we consider breeding our domesticated animals. When we wanted Thoroughbred race horses, we bred OUT the shorter legs. When we wanted St. Bernard dogs, we bred OUT the smaller dogs with the lighter coats. No breeding program can invent something not present in the population being worked with. We can only breed away from the traits we don’t want. The result? The same, in its own way, as endangered species. The inbreeding in German shepherds, for example, leads to hip dysplasia. The inbreeding of Dalmations has led to a high incidence of deafness. In speeding up selection on a domestic basis, we have shown that deleting the ability to vary in a species produces some very undesirable results. So whether it is natural selection or breeding selection, we get individuals and populations which are not as robust and varied as the originals.
And this takes us straight back to the truth of Genesis 1. The truth of what we know in genetics points out that, first, older populations were more robust, with greater variation available to any group. Second, variation becomes limited through time due to natural selection. Thus, logically, variation potential must have been greatest in the earliest populations. Genesis says God created these original populations with the built-in instructions that all propagation was to be by kind. Think of kind along the lines of what we would call family or sub-family in our taxonomic system today: feline, canine, bovine, equine, etc. The fact that we can breed donkeys and zebras together, for example, is a strong indication that they were originally from a single parent population. But that is as far as we can go genetically. There is no known way for any feline to develop from a non-feline or to become a non-feline. God said “according to kind” and He meant it.
There is an interesting list which appeared in National Geographic of October 1999. On page 51 was the following list of problems associated with mutations in the human genome. If any evolutionist has some similar list of beneficial mutations, we would really appreciate knowing about it. Please keep in mind, as you read this list, that one of the evolutionary claims is that natural selection weeds out bad mutations….
1.Susceptibility to HIV infection
2.Small-cell lung cancer
2.Polycystic kidney disease
1.Spinal muscular atrophy
1.Growth hormone deficient dwarfism
2.Late onset cockayne syndrome
1.Sickle cell anemia
1.Inflammatory bowel disease
1.Breast cancer, early onset
1.Polycystic kidney disease
2.Familial gastric cancer
Chromosome 17 (NG did this in detail as an example)
1.RP13 – retinitis pigmentosa
2.CTAA2 – cataract
3.SLC2A4 – diabetes susceptibility
4.TP53 – cancer
5.MYO15 – deafness
6.PMP22 – Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy
7.COL1A1 – osteogenesis imperfecta; osteoporosis
8.SLC6A4 – anxiety-related personality traits
9.BLMH – Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility
10.NF1 – neurofibromatosis
11.RARA – leukemia
12.MAPT – dementia
13.SGCA – muscular dystrophy
14.BRCA1 – breast cancer; ovarian cancer
15.PRKCA – pituitary tumor
16.MPO – yeast infection susceptibility
17.GH1 – growth hormone deficiency
18.DCP1 – myocardian infarction susceptibility
19.SSTR2 – small-lung cell cancer
2.Familial carpal tunnel syndrome
1.Isolated growth hormone deficiency
2.Fatal familial insomnia
1.Autoimmune polyglandular disease
2.Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
1.Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy
2.Diabetes and deafness
3.Myopathy and cardomyopathy
The beginning was the best – before mutations, and when so much variety was built into each original population that diversification would be the norm. This is what the Bible tells us was the true origin of the species.