In this fourth edition of Evolution in Crisis, I examine the genetic impossibility of natural selection resulting in the creation of totally new species. Much more detail about this, as well as the mounting evidence contradicting the theory of evolution, is contained in my book, No More Monkey Business: Evolution in Crisis, which is available FOR FREE as an eBook, for the whole month of February 2023. You can download it from this link: https://BookHip.com/RQHATGZ
Nothing demonstrates the fundamental impossibility of evolution more clearly than the science of genetics. The latter half of the 20th century saw an explosion of knowledge in this field which has continued into the 21st century. As scientific understanding has increased regarding the complex structure of DNA, the function of genes and the processes of genetic replication and recombination, there has been a corresponding rapid deterioration of confidence in the plausibility of evolution. To put it simply, as we learn more about genetics, the impossibility of evolution becomes increasingly apparent. As Dr. Ken Ham states:
“If they had known about genetics in Darwin’s day, the theory of evolution would never have gotten off the ground.”[i]
So, let us briefly examine the nature of these problems, and investigate why an increasing number of respected geneticists are convinced of evolution’s impossibility.
CHARLES DARWIN and NATURAL SELECTION
Darwin’s theory proposed that all biological life on earth evolved gradually, over time, from a single, simple biological ancestor. Darwin asserted that all biological species, from worms to humans, are related to each other, and developed along divergent lines through a process he termed “natural selection”. He proposed that environmental factors produced slight modifications within successive generations of a species, which accumulated over time, until eventually the changes were so significant that an entirely new species emerged. Bacteria grew eyes, gills, fins and internal organs and turned into fish. Fish grew legs and air-breathing lungs and emerged from the sea. The newly emerged aquatic life gradually morphed into ants, beetles, mice, dogs and elephants. Reptiles grew wings and became birds. Primates climbed down from the trees, grew more erect, developed vastly more complex brains, and became humans.
But does the science of genetics substantiate this belief? Can the processes which create variations of beak length in finches explain how a single-celled bacterium can eventually turn into a professor of astrophysics? Can a frog turn into a prince? Can adaptation and variation within species account for the major changes required for one species to evolve into a completely new species?
The answer that the science of genetics now provides, is a resounding “No!”.
ADAPTATION & VARIATION
The fact that variations occur within a species is not in question. The kind of variations that Darwin observed within finches are evident within all species of biological life. Differences in size, shape and functional abilities are observably abundant within every species on our planet. Furthermore, these variations are not static, but can be observed to develop over a relatively short time-period in response to a variety of factors, including changes to the immediate environment.
In order to have a basic understanding of how adaptation and variation works, there is some technical information that is helpful. I will try to keep it as simple as possible! Adaptation is basically a change in gene frequency or gene dominance within a population. A gene is a section of DNA which has specific coding for a particular biological function or appearance. Humans have about 23,000 genes in their DNA. If the 3.2 billion base pairs that comprise our DNA are like letters spelling out words, then genes can be compared to self-contained chapters or clusters of words within the DNA. Each of these chapters (genes) contains very specific instructions for the formation and functioning of a particular component or process within the body. There are genes that determine every aspect of who you are; your eye colour, your height, your skin colour, your propensity to store fat, the shape of your nose, and so on. You actually have two sets of every gene, one set inherited from your father and one set from your mother, and these are tucked away in twin sets of 23 chromosomes, inside every one of your cells. In the midst of all these genes, some are dominant, some are recessive, and some are dormant (not yet switched on or active).
Now let me make this practical. In his book, “Evolution Impossible”, Dr. John Ashton uses the example of adaptation and variation among mice.[ii]
“If a mouse population that is carrying genes for both light and dark fur moves to a light-coloured sandy area where owls can see and catch the dark mice more easily, after a while there will be fewer dark mice to breed. As the light-coloured mice continue to breed, fewer and fewer of them will carry the genes for dark fur, so natural selection for light-coloured mice will have occurred. However, some mice may still be carrying the genes for dark fur, and if some of the light-coloured mice migrate to a dark soil area after breeding for a while, some dark offspring may now be produced. These now have a better chance of surviving the predator owls, creating a situation where light-coloured mice evolve into dark coloured mice.”[iii]
The above example demonstrates how environmental factors can lead to adaptation and variation within a species. The original mice have within their DNA the genetic information for a variety of fur colours. Sexual reproduction will tend to randomly produce a variety of different colour-toned offspring; some will be lighter in colour and some will be darker. This is because the inheritance of genes from both parents and the random blending of those genes in the various offspring will make either the lighter or darker gene more dominant. If no environmental factors impinge upon the mice population, they will continue to produce offspring of varying colour tones, as the genes are randomly mixed and re-mixed through sexual reproduction.
But when environmental conditions favour a particular colour, not many of the alternate-coloured mice will live long enough to breed. In fact, if these environmental condition persist for sufficient time, the point can be reached where the genetic information for the alternate colouring is completely lost from the gene pool. In such a case, this particular mice population has permanently become a dark-furred variety. Hence, a new sub-species or variety of mice has been created.
However, it is vital to understand that in this example, the creation of a new sub-species is the result of the loss of genetic information. The dark mice have lost the genetic information for light colouring. No new genetic information has been added to their DNA. Almost all adaptation and variation are of this kind. The appearance and characteristics of a population become permanently altered because the genetic information for alternate characteristics have been lost or become dormant (present within the DNA, but switched off).
The recent and rapidly developing field of epigenetics reveals how environmental factors can produce rapid changes within a population by switching genes on or off. For example, in recent experiments on agouti mice, researchers found that simply by changing the diet of the mice they could switch off a certain gene that regulated size and colour.[iv] When the gene is active, the mice are normally obese and yellow, but by feeding the mice a diet high in vitamin B12, the relevant gene was switched off and the resulting offspring were small and brown.[v]
Consider the various breeds of dog, as another example.
Geneticists say that it is probable that, originally, there was just one generic breed of ancestral wolf. That breed would have had a complete set of ‘doggy DNA’ with information within its genome that could have produced a wide variety of characteristics: long hair / short hair; curly hair /straight hair; big ears / small ears; long tail / short tail; long legs /short legs, etc. Random breeding through sexual reproduction would have produced very minor variations in these and many other characteristics within a single litter of puppies. What is remarkable about adaptation and variation, is that if dogs with certain characteristics breed with other dogs with the same characteristics, the genes for those characteristics are strengthened in their offspring, while the genes for the alternate versions of those characteristics are eventually lost. Eventually, if dogs continue to breed with other dogs with similar characteristics, fairly rapid transformation can occur. This process can be accelerated even more by “artificial selection”; a process whereby animals with traits desirable to human breeders are systematically selected and bred together. This is the process that has been used to create many new breeds of dog over the last few centuries.
Once again, it must be stressed that the creation of a new breed, in this way, results from the loss of certain genetic information and the reinforcing of other genetic information that was already present. No new genetic information has been added. A dog breed with short, curly hair has simply lost the genes for long straight hair. A dog breed with short legs has lost the genetic information for longer legs. It must also be stressed that no new species has been created: just a specialised breed or variation within the species.
This process of destroying or removing genetic information from the genome (the total DNA) of the species has been used by plant breeders for many decades to create new varieties of plants with desirable new qualities.
Dr. Macki Giertyche, Professor Emeritus of Genetics, at Torun University, Poland, states:
“The differing varieties within each species come from re-combination – from the mixing and concentrating of genes during sexual reproduction. This is not mutation, for they are simply drawing upon the gene pool already present in the species and concentrating different combinations of genes in the different varieties. Some people claim this to be an example of macro-evolution, and that through this ongoing process a new biological species can arise. This is not so! All that has happened is that some genes have been segregated out from the population, and that the resulting variety is impoverished – it is poorer in gene content. No new genes have been formed – and if there are no new genes, there is no potential for new organs; they are just a different variety of the same species….”[vi]
Variation and adaptation within a species is not evolution. The different breeds or varieties of dogs are all still dogs and the different varieties of mice are all still mice. Mice have not turned into dogs, and dogs have not transformed into elephants! The recombination and loss of genetic information has not led to the formation of a new species; just a new variety within the same species. No new genetic information has been added to the DNA of the species.
GENETICS AND EVOLUTION
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution rests solely upon the premise that the processes involved in observable variation and adaptation can be extrapolated to explain the evolution of one species to a completely new species. On the basis of his observation of different beak sizes within finch populations (and other, similar observations), Darwin theorised that perhaps, given enough time, worms could turn into lizards and rats could turn into birds. According to his theory, fish eventually turned into elephants, giraffes and humans. To say that this is an extraordinary leap of logic is an understatement! Even Darwin, himself, recognised how tenuous and speculative his theory was:
“Therefore, I should infer from analogy that probably all organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.”[vii]
Darwin freely admitted that his theory was not based upon solid evidence, but arose primarily from “analogy” – from his imaginative speculations. As I quoted in the first edition of this brief series, Darwin admitted the tenuous nature of his speculations:
“I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”[viii]
So, was Charles Darwin correct? Despite his lack of hard evidence in 1859, did he stumble across the biological explanation for the development of species on our planet? Is the evolution of one species into a completely new species genetically possible?
The opinion of a growing number of the world’s leading geneticists is a clear “NO”. In November 1980, at the Natural History Museum in Chicago, a large number of the world’s leading geneticists held a seminar to consider whether the processes involved in variation and adaptation, (which they then termed “microevolution”) could also produce the huge genetic changes required for the evolution of completely new species. The conference was demanded by many geneticists in response to the rapidly increasing understanding of the complexities of genetics and the new challenges that it posed for the theory of evolution. The findings of the conference were reported in the next issue of “Science” magazine, which stated;
“The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the supposed phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the opinions of some of the scientists at the meeting, the answer was a clear ‘No’.”[ix]
Since the 1980 Chicago Conference, our understanding of genetics has continued to grow, and so too has the chorus of voices expressing concern regarding the incompatibility of Darwin’s theory with the science of genetics. Geneticist Dr. Macki Giertyche is blunt in his criticism of Darwin’s naïve theory and voices the opinion of a growing number of respected scientists from around the world:
“Re-combination, or the mixing and concentrating of genes, does not provide new genes. FOR EVOLUTION TO OCCUR WE NEED NEW GENES, FULL OF NEW GENETIC INFORMATION. There is no natural process known to science which will produce new genes. It is impossible.”[x]
[i] Ken Ham, “The Evolution Tapes”, Creation Science Foundation, 1980.
[ii] John F. Ashton. “Evolution Impossible”, Green Forest, AR, Masterbooks, 2013, p.51
[iii] John F. Ashton. “Evolution Impossible”, Green Forest, AR, Masterbooks, 2013, p.51
[iv] Waterland R.A., Jirtle R.L., Transposable elements: targets for early nutritional effects on epigenetic gene regulation, Mol Cell Biol. 23(15):5293-300, 2003. Cited in https://creation.com/epigenetics-challenges-neo-darwinism
[v] Waterland R.A., Jirtle R.L., Transposable elements: targets for early nutritional effects on epigenetic gene regulation, Mol Cell Biol. 23(15):5293-300, 2003. Cited in https://creation.com/epigenetics-challenges-neo-darwinism
[vi] “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” DVD, Illustra Media, 2010
[vii] Charles Darwin, “The Origin of Species”, London, John Murray, 1859, p.156
[viii] From a letter to Asa Gray, Harvard biology professor, cited in “Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation”, N.C. Gillespie, p.2
[ix] Roger Lewin, “Science” Journal, Vol. 210(4472), 1980, pp.883-887