Evolution is a fact. We are told this so much that if you even ask a question about how evolution works you are likely to be accused of being a creationist or of doubting science. There is undoubtably evolution of one kind or another taking place all the time in the world but when people talk about evolution in the context of biology they are usually referring to Darwinian evolution. The characteristics of Darwinian evolution are as follows.
Changes in organisms are brought about by random changes in genes as a result of genetic mutation. Mutations can occur for a few reasons but the main one of interest in here is random mutation as these can bring about completely new characteristics. If these mutations aid the organism in surviving then it passed on to the descendants. If it doesn’t then the mutated organism dies out and the mutation is not passed on. Consequently, the characteristics that benefit the organism are passed down so that the organism becomes more and more adapted to its environment. Thus the plants and animals we see today are fully adapted to their environment.
And we are told that there is proof of evolution. The proof is that if we look at various species there are common factors, for instance that all insects have six legs, or that humans have hair which is a remnant of the fur that the species we were descended from had. This shows that there is an evolution from a common ancestor.
Except it doesn’t, and to explain why it doesn’t we need an understanding of philosophy: logic and the philosophy of science.
Logically we can make a statement such as “all cats have fur” (we’re not concerned as to the truth of this for the moment, we’re just presenting this as a logical axiom). Logically we can point to an animal and say “if this is a cat then this has fur”. It is a logical deduction. We can’t say “this animal has fur therefore it is a cat”. It may be a dog or mouse or so on.
All so-called proofs of evolution are of this type. “We see X. If evolution is true, we may expect X. Therefore evolution is true”. Not so. Here’s an analogy. You work in an office and a colleague had a wife who goes away frequently on business. You notice that whenever his wife is home he turns to the right out the front door as if to go to the station, but when she’s away he goes left out the front door, and you know he’s got an old girlfriend that lives in that direction. It seems apparent that he’s going to he’s old girlfriend when his wife is away. So you do a test. You know that his wife is going away next Tuesday and on that day you watch to see where he goes. If he goes right then ok but if he goes left then he’s visiting he’s old girlfriend. On the day you watch and he goes left. So you deduce that he’s cheating on his wife and visiting his old girlfriend.
Well, if you’ve already made up your mind that he’s cheating on his wife then yes, that confirms it but it’s not proof. He may be going for piano lessons or many other reasons.
This is the situation with ‘proofs’ of evolution. If you’ve made up your mind that Darwinian evolution is correct then you have confirmation but it’s not proof. You need real proof to prove the theory and it doesn’t exist.
Lets’ consider what this proof might be. We are told that, for instance, we developed an opposable thumb because this gives us a gripping ability that animals without this lack. Over a period of time there are individuals, or more likely tribes of pre-humans, who developed a genetic change that would eventually evolve into an opposable thumb. Those who were more adapted survived and the others died off. So as proof we should see evidence of pre-humans who have varying degrees of opposable thumbs. Also, we would need to ask the question as to what happened to those whose thumbs were not fully opposable. We are told they died out and were replaced by the new mutations but these sub-humans with a partly opposable thumb already had survived for some millions of years already. Why did they suddenly die out when the new species came along? Darwinists point to the diversity of species as evidence of evolution, but the real question is why is there not more diversity? Where are the species that were in the process of evolving? We would also expect that what is good for survival in one environment is not necessarily good on another. In a forest a tail may be useful. Species by the sea may find webbing in the fingers and toes useful and so on. There is not a one-size fits all.
So for proof we should see evidence of not just a missing link, but many, many links on the road to evolution.
Now evolution is a slow process. It is disputable but scientists will claim that there is proof of subtle changes in human evolution in the last 2000–3000 years. Even though it is doubtful that these changes are due to genetic mutation, let us give the benefit of the doubt and use this as a starting point.
Now consider how many possibilities it takes for thumbs to evolve from a hand that doesn’t have an opposable thumb. Evolution, we are told, does not have a direction so in the process of evolving a thumb there are a lot of failures along the way. We should also note that, contrary to what some Darwinists will tell you, evolution must take place lineally. In the process of evolving an eye, for instance, there can’t be an eyelash that evolves in one place and and a retina that evolves somewhere else. So let us take the evolution of the thumb and look at the number of combinations. As a base we could take the number of cells in the hand as a starting point.
Estimates of the number of cells in the body vary from 5 trillion to 100 trillion so lets make it simple and take 5 trillion as a start. Lets assume that the number of cells in the hand is 1% of that (that’s 50 million). Lets assume that a substantive evolutionary change takes place every year (far, far, quicker than scientists claim), we are looking at 50 million years to mutate every cell in the hand. Only a fraction of these changes are going to be productive, in the sense that they will move the species to developing an opposable thumb. And yet it’s claimed that the full evolution from higher primates to humans took place in around 50 million years.
The usual argument that comes up is that if you don’t believe in Darwinian evolution theory than you must be a creationist who believes in God, and as scientists can’t accept a belief in God they must accept Darwinian evolution theory.
This is very bad logic and is non-scientific.
When Copernicus came up with the concept that the earth revolved round the sun it was rejected by many people at the time. It was rejected by the church not only because it removed man from it’s primary position in the universe (and after all, if Jesus was the son of God, doesn’t that mean that mankind is exalted above all else?) but also because it meant that the church was not the final arbiter of these things. It was being usurped by science. However, the church had a huge ally on its side. It was known even at that time the approximate distance that the earth would be from the sun and the corresponding size of the sun. The only known fuel source at he time was coal and it was easily calculated that with coal as its fuel source, the sun would have burned out within a few hundred years. Therefore, many people claimed, Copernicus must be wrong. Of course hundreds of years later it was found that the sun produces energy by a process of nuclear fusion.
So in this respect the people who argue that we must support Darwinian theory because the alternative is creationism are like the people who opposed Copernicus. The fact that we don’t have another theory should not mean that we hang on to a ridiculous theory.
By Philip Braham on July 17, 2018