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Archive for the ‘Evolution’ Category

Synthetic Life “Breakthrough” Just Demonstrates Design

Posted by Chris Cline on June 4, 2008

Dr. Cameron Alexander of the University of Nottingham recently used polymers to build capsules that imitate bacterial cell walls. Bacteria can interact with these capsules, absorbing chemicals from them. In the May 29, 2008, article “Synthetic Copycat of Living Cell Underway: Life, But Not as We Know It?,” Science News quoted Dr. Alexander as saying, “These are very primitive steps in the lab, and still a long way from a true synthetic counterpart to a biological cell, but we have demonstrated that we can transfer certain molecules from inside the synthetic capsule to the bacteria when they are in physical contact, which is an exciting development.”

What do Dr. Alexander’s “very primitive steps” demonstrate?

Actually, the fact that bacteria can interact with manmade capsules contributes very little toward the creation of synthetic cells, although it may lead to medicinal breakthroughs and is therefore a worthy endeavor. The fact is that bacteria were designed to interact with their environment. They have a remarkable capacity, for example, to scour about for loose bits of DNA that may contain “software” to help them survive when stressed. Their ability to absorb certain molecules from a synthetic capsule placed in proximity to them does not necessarily mean that the capsule is anything like a cell. It may be cell-like, but that would be because of its shape, size, and makeup—all design features.

Building a synthetic cell might be impossible. It is comparable to building a large city’s worth of infrastructure—including communication, transportation, waste management, data processing, recycling, manufacture, and sanitation—all with invisibly small machines. Biblically, there is no mandate that precludes man from attempting to build bacteria. The exercise might just force investigators to discover new intricacies of bacterial design, or to learn something of the complex and precise constructions required to manufacture even these smallest of life forms. With all the effort required by intelligent men in their attempts to build life, hopefully more will see that time and chance are not genius enough to create even the simplest of organisms.

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Evolution’s Biggest Hurdles

Posted by Chris Cline on May 1, 2008

The theory of evolution has numerous problems, some of which are absolutely enormous and for which no adequate solution has even been proposed. The biggest problem comes right at the beginning with the supposedly spontaneous generation of life from non-life. Neo-Darwinian scientists admit this, recognizing that proposed evolutionary scenarios do not model reasonable conditions on earth, and could not have produced anything like the complex life we see all around us–even single-celled life.

The second-biggest problem involves the development of complex invertebrates, animals without a backbone, from single-celled life. How did this transition occur? A robust fossil record of one-celled life has now been found, and of course a truly abundant record of marine invertebrates can be discovered everywhere, from clams to sponges to jellyfish to starfish, etc. The “explosion” of life in the Cambrian system of strata continues to baffle evolutionists, for there is no record showing a transition from tiny single-celled life to complex invertebrates. There are innumerable fossils of invertebrate ocean bottom life, even those with no hard outer shell, but no ancestors of these invertebrates have been identified.

A third huge problem lies in the next step required by evolution. Fish, thought to be the first vertebrates, must have evolved from invertebrates, but again there is no record of this transition. “How this earliest chordate stock |i.e., early vertebrates| evolved, what stages of development it went through to eventually give rise to truly fishlike creatures, we do not know.”1 Over the years nearly every invertebrate has been proposed as the ancestor, but each suggestion has only been in vogue for a time. As Dr. Duane Gish–former Senior Vice President at ICR and a well-known creation scientist–likes to say, if evolution can’t derive either invertebrates from single-celled life, or vertebrate fish from invertebrates, it is “dead in the water.”

One proposition receiving attention these days is that echinoderms were the creature that evolved into fish. Now, echinoderms usually don’t look anything like fish. Their ranks include sea squirts, tunicates, and starfish. These do have a pseudo-spine with a central supportive notochord and a tubular nerve chord, features that are somewhat present in vertebrates, especially in the embryonic stage. It seems that Ernst Haeckel’s theory of embryonic recapitulation is more extensive than once thought.2

It has been discovered that during embryonic development, certain features in the gut of the starfish bear similarity to a feature in vertebrate embryos. Further maturity yields a form and function far different from the vertebrate condition, yet this early formative pathway seemingly provides the hoped-for clue evolutionists need. Is this proof that a starfish evolved into a fish that evolved into a human?

It seems to me that they are grasping at straws. Without the assumption of evolution, without the neo-Darwinian scientist’s “certain knowledge” that vertebrates evolved from invertebrates, this flimsy link would not merit such attention. How much more scientific it is to recognize the God-designed diversity in creation, and not attribute all living things to a hypothetical common ancestor. Scripture teaches, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds” (1 Corinthians 15:39).

by John D. Morris, Ph.D.*

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Scientists Report Doubts over Key Theory of Evolutionary Extinction

Posted by Chris Cline on April 17, 2008

Researchers have recently “ruled out a hypothesis” that has been taught as dogma in schools, colleges and universities worldwide: the cause of the Permian extinction, allegedly “the mother of all mass extinctions.”

Geologists and paleontologists state in a recent article in Nature Geoscience that at the end of the Permian era—which they calculate occurred some 250 million years ago—“95 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land species were wiped out.” Called the “Great Dying” by some researchers, it is difficult not to think of a cataclysmic event, such as a global flood (Genesis 6 – 9), when reading of such massive destruction.

Regardless, evolutionary scientists have taught for decades that this Permian extinction event was precipitated by gradual oxygen starvation of the world’s oceans. This supposedly led to a massive die-out of marine life due to “clouds of hydrogen sulphide” rising from the seas.

Now many scientists are stymied as to what caused this devastating event, but Flood geologists have an idea: massive flooding, possible asteroid activity, and large-scale volcanism. History records such a catastrophic event in Genesis 7:11.

Indeed, many scientists are coming closer to the truth when they rule out clouds of hydrogen sulphide and look approvingly at “an impact, or series of impacts, by an asteroid.” Granted, this is not the Flood, but such bombardments probably did occur at this time. In fact, many geologists now agree with creation scientists that earth did experience a worldwide cataclysmic event. Take note of this shift from a position that does not fit the facts to a more reasonable scientific understanding—sudden cataclysm(s) such as asteroids or even a “fierce period of volcanism,” which happens to fit historical accounts found in the biblical record.

Of course, researchers in creation science continue to follow the evidence where it leads, and little by little, Darwinian scientists committed to evolutionary dogma are beginning to confirm what we’ve been stating all along.

Posted in Bible, Creationist, Evolution, Misc | 1 Comment »

The Secrets of Evolution

Posted by Chris Cline on March 26, 2008

beachhourglass.jpgLife’s amazing complexity cannot be denied. We see all around us a seeming universality of perfection. The inner complexity of living creatures is matched by symbiotic relationships between life forms, a mutual dependency that defies a sequential appearance of the entities involved. Nature has balance, from the intricate food chain to a recycling of resources. The plant and animal kingdoms give every appearance of having been created, on purpose, by a very wise Creator.

Evolutionists see the same universality of perfection, yet they deny any creative agent. The irreducible complexity of life that seems obvious to anyone who believes in the existence of a supernatural Creator, is ascribed by evolutionary scientists to unthinking natural causes.

How can they do this? Is it logical? Is it credible? What is the thought system that permits such a conclusion? It behooves us from time to time to remind ourselves of the parameters of evolutionary thinking.

Naturalistic Explanations

First and foremost is a faith commitment to naturalism, an interpretive system in which natural causes are the only ones allowed. Some adherents have even gone so far as to redefine “science” as “naturalism.” Instead of science being the search for truth, it becomes the search for a believable naturalistic explanation for every scientific observation.

Other naturalists would insist that even if creation and intelligent design are true, they cannot form the basis for a valid scientific approach. Not all evolutionists are atheists, but evolution is atheistic at its core. So the first secret of evolution is that all explanations must be naturalistic. If there is a God, He must be arbitrarily kept out of science and scientific interpretations. Even if naturalistic explanations strain credulity, they are accepted and supernatural causes are categorically shunned.

Time

Next is a reliance on deep time–time enough for virtually anything to happen. Evolution depends on beneficial mutations as a mechanism for change, genetic modifications that confer some selective advantage to the mutated being. These are unspeakably rare–indeed, none have ever been documented that have actually added information to the genome. Some mutations may have produced a temporary advantage that could be selected by natural selection, but such changes actually involved the loss of a trait, a reduction in the genome’s complexity.

Evolution would require trillions of beneficial steps to turn a single-celled organism into a man. We have never observed such positive genetic steps, but in millions and millions of years it is supposed that they would happen sometimes. So time seemingly solves the problem.

Death

Then there is the evolutionary necessity of struggle and death. Survival of the fittest actually means extinction of the unfit. The vast majority of individuals, as well as types of individuals, must be sacrificed for the select favored few to survive. For instance, the dinosaurs’ extinction allowed mammals to flourish, supposedly leading to the emergence of man. If there is no death, there is no evolutionary progress.

Naturalism, time, and death–how strong a scientific foundation are they? Obviously, we have no way of knowing absolutely that no supernatural agent has ever acted. We live in a world in which we observe only natural processes, but how could we know what happened in the long ago past? Likewise, we have no assurance of immense spans of time in which these natural processes operated. We are locked into the present, and the inaccessible past lies beyond our reach. And death–is it a creative power? Does death by natural selection produce higher forms of life? Quite the reverse: death is an ending, not a beginning.

Evolutionary thinking relies on these questionable concepts to present itself as scientifically plausible. But as we have seen, these secrets are neither necessary nor logical. Rather, they are a choice, a position willingly taken in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Evolutionary theory has become an entire worldview, a way of interpreting the evidence–but it is a worldview with a very shaky foundation.

* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Posted in Creationist, Evolution, Misc | 5 Comments »

Florida schools must teach evolution, despite public opinion

Posted by Chris Cline on February 22, 2008

chimp.gifThe Florida State Board of Education now requires the explicit teaching of evolution in public science classes, with a last minute addition of the phrase “the scientific theory of” in an apparent but failed effort to pacify its opponents. The 4 to 3 vote allows for the first time the word “evolution” in the school standards, though the concept of descent with modification over millions of years was already being taught under different wording.

The Orlando Sentinel reported on February 20, 2008 that, after months of controversy over the new standards, opponents of the decision plan to petition the state Legislature to pass protections for teachers who offer alternative origins explanations in the classroom.

The Associated Press reported that evolution supporters believe the academic freedom proposal is a “wedge designed to open the door for injecting religious arguments into science studies,” suggesting the irony that “academic freedom” is only available within a limited sphere of minority opinion.

According to a recent poll by the St. Petersburg Times, almost two thirds of 702 registered voters surveyed in Florida were unconvinced of evolution.

Of those two thirds, “|29| percent said evolution is one of several valid theories. Another 16 percent said evolution is not backed up by enough evidence. And 19 percent said evolution is not valid because it is at odds with the Bible,” the report stated.

It is this body of constituents that proponents of evolutionary theory apparently fear most and have tried to discredit by casting the debate as “science versus faith” and “scientists versus everyone else.”

“People are going to have to be carried kicking and screaming over the threshold |to accept evolution|,” Florida State University professor Michael Ruse told the Times. He likened the fight over evolution to the civil rights movement.

The Florida decision will most likely have rippling effects in school districts around the country.

Posted in America, Creationist, Evolution, God, Homeschooling, Misc, Sin | 1 Comment »