Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 1
Chapter 13 Appendix Part 1
EVOLUTIONISTS DEFEND NATURAL SELECTION
Here is a typical statement presented to the public as to the absolutely certainty that all scientists have toward natural selection as the great producer of biologic evolution.
"Today, a century after the publication of the Origin, Darwin's great discovery, the universal principle of natural selection, is firmly and finally established as the sole agency of major evolutionary change." *Introduction to the Mentor edition of The Origin of Species.
Is natural selection really a true mechanism by which the origin and evolution of species occurred? Diehard evolutionists strongly defend this Darwinian concept.
Without natural selection, evolutionary theory was, according to *Darwin, "unintelligible and unproved."
"Without natural selection, the theory of descent was unintelligible and unproved." *Charles Darwin, quoted in *Gertrude Himmefarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (1962), p. 312.
Prior to writing his second book, *Darwin recognized that natural selection could not accomplish evolution, and he returned to Lamarckism, the view that creatures make new organs when they realize they need them. Why is it that Darwinists today do not admit that even Charles Darwin eventually rejected natural selection as incapable of producing evolutionary change? Within less than ten years after writing Origin, he had rejected natural selection.
"I admit . . that in the earlier editions of my Origin of the Species I probably attributed too much to the action of natural descent or the survival of the fittest." *Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Vol. 1 (1871 1st ed.), p. 152.
The leading advocate of Darwinian evolution in the mid-20th century, declared his loyalty to the concept:
"The discovery of the principle of natural selection . . has rendered all other explanations of evolution untenable. So far as we now know, not only is natural selection inevitable, not only is it an effective agency of evolution, but it is the only effective agency of evolution." *Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action (1953), p. 36.
It has to be right, for, because of the harmfulness of mutations, natural selection is all that is left!
" . . so only natural selection is left, and it is selection, not mutation, that controls evolution." *Sir Gavin de Beer, Charles Darwin: Evolution by Natural Selection (1984), p. 192.
*Gray says that one must either accept the hazard of a mechanism theory that is theory and little more, or admit it for what it is: a mechanism that is merely randomness in action:
"We have either to accept natural selection as the only available guide to the mechanism of evolution, and be prepared to admit that it involves a considerable element of speculation, or feel it in our bones that natural selection, operating on the random mutations, leaves too much to chance. . But, your guess is as good as mine."*Sir James Gray, "The Science of Life, " chapter in Science Today (1981), pp. 29-30.
ABOUT NATURAL SELECTION
According to Darwinian evolutionists, natural selection is a key factor in producing change from one species to another. What do scientists--experts In their own fields--have to say about this?
Natural selection is not the reason why two frog eggs out of 120,000 survive.
"Out of 120,000 fertilized eggs of the green frog only two individuals survive. Are we to conclude that these two frogs out of 120,000 were selected by nature because they were the fittest ones; or rather.. that natural selection is nothing but blind mortality which selects nothing at all?" *Science Digest: January 1961, pp. 61-63.
The theory does not explain why some variations are so trivial, or why only certain ones are inherited.
"Scientists have raised a number of objections against complete acceptance of Darwin's theory.
"The theory does not account for all the known facts of heredity. For example, the theory does not clearly explain why some variations are inherited and others are not.
" 2. Many variations are so trivial that they could not possibly aid an organism in its struggle for existence. The theory does not explain how the gradual accumulation of trivial variations could result in the appearance of some of the more complex structures found in higher organisms." *Sayles B. Clark and *J. Albert Mould, Biology for Today (1964), p. 321.
An organism cannot succeed without all of its parts completely operating. One part here or there is of no value unless integrated into the whole.
"On the Darwinian theory, the questioner may point out, any variation has to be of immediate value to its possessor if it is going to give him a better chance of survival than his fellows. Of what 'survival value' is the first dim beginnings of an eye, or forelimbs starting to flap about feebly and nakedly in anticipation of a wing?. . Natural Selection is so mindless. It is so purposeless."*H. E. Mellersh, The Story of Life (1958), pp. 237, 242.
The perfection of design and function found everywhere in nature could never be achieved by the mere randomness of natural selection.
"It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolutely transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance . . In practically every field of fundamental biological research ever-increasing levels of design and complexity are being revealed at an ever-accelerating rate. The credibility of natural selection is weakened, therefore, not only by the perfection we have already glimpsed but by the expectation of further as yet undreamt of depths of ingenuity and complexity." *Michael Denton, The Puzzle of Perfection (1985), p. 342. (Denton is an Australian researcher in molecular genetics.)
A gene has millions of closely interrelated characteristics; no more could be added because they would not fit into the already close-knit web of factors.
"It is just as futile to expect a gene to develop a more advanced characteristic as to expect a marble to grow bigger." W. H. Tinkle, Heredity (1970), p. 75.
Normal gene shuffling produces many variations within species, but change from one species to another never occurs and has never been witnessed today nor found in earlier records of natural history.
"Living things are enormously diverse in form, but form is remarkably constant within any given line of descent: pigs remain pigs and oak trees remain oak trees generation after generation." *E. Kellenberger, "The Genetic Control of the Shape of a Virus," in Scientific American.
Questions are being asked which natural selection cannot answer:
"Perhaps the most significant single fact in last year's development of French scientific thought is that the above orthodox explanation of evolution has been badly shaken. Often criticized in the past, it has now come under such heavy fire that the way seems to be open, in France at least, for a new theory of the origin of species . .
"These are a few of the embarrassing questions asked today by the French rebels: If the giraffe with its eight-foot neck is the product of natural selection and an example of the survival of the fittest, what about the sheep with its neck no longer than a few inches? Aren't giraffes and sheep very close cousins, almost brethren in the animal kingdom. . ? But then can there live side by side two cousins, each of them fitter than the other, one because its neck is longer, the other because its neck is shorter?
"And talking of sheep, what about their horns? According to the classical school they started growing freakishly, and then, as they proved an asset in the sheep's struggle for life, nature went on selecting the horned animals and eliminating the hornless ones. But did it really? There are at least as many hornless sheep as those with horns. Which of them are fitter?" *Science Digest, January 1961, pp. 61-63.
After more than 100 years of searching, evidence substantiating natural selection has not been found.
"One thing that emerges clearly from this review is how difficult it has been to get unequivocal evidence of selection in natural populations. Indeed, although it is now more than 125 years since Darwin and Wallace put forward the argument that selection is a primary cause of evolutionary change, it is still not obvious how important selection is.
"The review has indicated several reasons for this state of affairs. There is a size-biased sampling problem: the more selection occurring in a particular situation, the more liable that situation is to be noticed. This effect is reinforced by the large sample sizes that may be needed to detect small or moderate amounts of selection. Also, much evidence for selection is simply deviation from randomness which can be explained equally well by migration, historical events or even by non random sampling . . " *B. Manly, "Tests of the Theory of Natural Selection: an Overview," in Royal Society of New Zealand, (1985), 15, pp. 411, 425.
There is not one fact supporting natural selection as the mechanism of evolution.
"The role assigned to natural selection in establishing adaptation, while spaciously probable, is based on not one single sure datum. Paleontology (cf. that case of the transformation of the mandibular skeleton of the theriodont reptiles) does not support it; direct observation here and now of the genesis of a hereditary adaptation is nonexistent, except, as we have stated, in the case of bacteria and insects pre-adapted to resist viruses or drugs." *P. Grasse, The Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), p. 170.
The biological factors found in flowering plants could not have been produced by the randomness of natural selection.
"As regards natural selection it can only be said that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the circumstances exhibited by the Flowering Plants, and especially such of them as have been noticed in this book, are in many important respects inexplicable on this theory, they reveal no evidence that natural selection has played an important part in their evolution." *R. Good, Features of Evolution in the Flowering Plants, (1974), pp. 385-386.
Selectionists continue to desperately search for explanations of natural selection that will agree with scientific facts.
"That their concern was justified is indicated by the retreat of selectionists to a seemingly fortified position which rejected Darwin's original concept as a creative force in the origin of new species and redefined natural selection in terms of population genetics." *D. Rosen, "Book Review," in Systematic Zoology, (1978), Vol. 27, p. 370.
Natural selection, in order to meet the challenges set by evolutionists for it, would have to accomplish results equivalent to this:
"I could never accept this answer. Random shuttling of bricks will never build a castle or a Greek temple, however long the available time." *A. Szent-Gyorgyi, The Evolutionary Paragon and Biological Stability, in Molecular Evolution: Prebiological and Biological, p. 111.
Leading evolutionists have admitted the inadequacy of natural selection to accomplish the needed task:
"It might be argued that the theory [of Natural Selection] is quite unsubstantiated and has status only as a speculation." *G. Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution (1953), pp. 118-119.
"Natural selection is irrelevant to, or negligible in context of, macroevolutionary change." *A. Hoffman, "Paleobiology of the Crossroads: A Critique of Some Modern Paleogeological Research Programs, " in Dimensions of Darwinism (1983), pp. 241, 262.
Normal variations within species, working through normal gene reshuffling, themselves disprove the natural selection theory.
"Genetic drift is a force working in opposition to selection, for it tends to preserve or destroy genes without distinction, whether favorable, neutral or unfavorable." *E. Dodson, Evolution: Process and Product (1960), pp. 258-259.
Fanciful theories cannot explain the facts, nor provide the needed solutions.
"I think there is a valid criticism that has been made by a number of people that Darwinists . . sometimes come up with very fanciful adaptive explanations of things.. Sometimes they're completely fanciful and false." *B. Leith, "Are the Reports of Darwin's Death Exaggerated?," in The Listener, (1981), pp. 390, 392.
A living organism operates as a whole; its various parts are actually useless unless connected with the whole. Natural selection would have had to produce the whole, not merely a few parts this time and gradually some more later on.
"Natural selection is differential reproduction, organism perpetuation. In order to have natural selection, you have to have self-reproduction or self-replication and at least two distinct self-replicating units or entities. Prebiological natural selection is a contradiction in terms." *T. Dobzhansky, "Synthesis of Nucleosidase and Polynucleotide with Metaphosphate Esters, " in The Origins of Prebiological Systems, (1965), pp. 299, 310.
Living organisms are composed of biochemical molecules connected into complex compounds and structures. Natural selection would have to keep re-selecting the same chemical patterns and formulas, over and over again. In nature it is normal for chemical compounds and molecules to break down, not continue on. But mindless natural selection, operating solely on chance, would not have done that.
"In the strictly chemical system, molecules lack the property of self reproduction--the activated molecule does not perpetuate itself by reproducing its kind, but rapidly returns to a normal level if it does not undergo reaction. Reproduction of stable patterns and stable variants of these patterns is essential for evolution by natural selection." *Harold Blum, Time's Arrow and Evolution (1968), p. 157.
Natural selection is neither workable nor observable. It is not scientific. Therefore its advocates are retreating behind the argumentative facade that, because it is not seen to occur, it must not be falsifiable, and therefore has to be true.
"Most recent critics have already understood this and are actually arguing that the theory is not falsifiable in its operational form. Under examination, the operational forms of the concepts of adaptation and fitness turn out to be too indeterminate to be seriously tested, for they are protected by ad hoc additions drawn from an indeterminate realm." *R. Brady, "Natural Selection and the Criteria by Which a Theory is Judged, "in Systematic Zoology, (1979), Vol. 28, p. 600.
Living things operate as a total system, not as individual bits and pieces. At best, natural selection could only produce the bits and pieces.
"In fact, upon close examination, virtually every fully operational system that exists within living things works only as an integrative unit, and the individual parts that make it up appear to exhibit absolutely no value on their own in advancing the survival of the individual or the species. [Pre-adaptation is one of a] dozen areas where the theory of evolution by natural selection seems either inadequate, implausible, or definitely wrong." *G. Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 138.
*Haldane, a leading evolutionist, admitted that natural selection was not an adequate mechanism.
"Professor Haldane stated at a (December 1951) conference of the Biology council held in Birmingham, that Natural Selection weeds out extremes of all kinds, especially those caused by mutations which are very different from the normal. He said, 'I regret to have to inform you that Natural Selection has not been observed to cause evolutionary change.' During the same talk Professor Haldane gave it as his opinion that when two mutually sterile offspring had been bred from a common ancestor, as was done in the case of Drosophila, it could not be claimed that these were two new species. According to him, the geneticists have not yet succeeded in breeding a new species of Drosophilia." H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation (1966), pp. 75-76.
Earnest evolutionists have agreed:
" . . Nobody has ever succeeded in producing a new species, not to mention the higher categories, by selection of micromutations." *Richard Goldschmidt, Theoretical Genetics.
"I venture to say that few who have made a special and practical study of evolution, and are well acquainted with recent progress in that study, have much faith in Natural Selection." *J. T. Cummings, British Scientist, Nature, March 3, 1923.
"The whole real guts of evolution--which is, how do you come to have horses and tigers, and things--is outside the mathematical theory." *P. S Moorehead, and *M.M. Kaplan, Eds., Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph No. 5 (1967) pp. 13-14.
*Niles Eldredge explains the problem in detail:
"The picture emerging from the fossil record [is this]: long periods of little or no change, followed by the appearance of anatomically modified descendants usually with no smoothly intergradational forms in evidence.
"If the evidence conflicts with theoretical predictions, something must be wrong with the theory. But for years; the apparent lack of progressive change within fossil species have been ignored or else the evidence--not the theory--has been attacked.
"Attempts to salvage evolutionary theory have been made by claiming that the pattern of stepwise change usually seen in fossils reflects a poor, spotty fossil record. Were the record sufficiently complete, goes the claim, we would see the expected pattern of gradational change. But there are too many examples of this pattern of stepwise change to ignore it any longer. It is time to reexamine evolutionary theory itself.
"There is probably little wrong with the notion of natural selection as a means of modifying the genetics of a species through time, although it is difficult to put it to the test. But the predicted gradual accumulation of change within species is seldom (if ever) encountered in our practical experience with the fossil record.
"The problem appears to be this; focusing attention purely on anatomical (and underlying genetic) change ignores a fundamental feature of nature--the existence of species. Species are reproductive communities. They are held together by a network of parental ancestry and descent and separated from other, similar networks of parentage. They are coherent entities in space--and this is the crucial part--through time as well
. ."But natural selection per se does not work to create new species. The pattern of change in so many examples in the fossil record is far more a reflection of the origin and differential survival (selection extinction) of species than the inexorable accumulation of minute changes within species through the agency of natural selection." *Niles Eldredge, in Natural History, Vol. 89, No. 7 (1980) [Curator of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City].
Scientists are gradually gaining a better understanding of changes within species, for they continually observe it in action. But changes across species, since it never occurs, is a matter for theoretical discussion only.
"The essential features of microevolution and speciation are now fairly well worked out by biologists, but the complex process that lead to evolution on a grander scale remains an area inviting investigation. At the present time we have only the most shadowy impressions of the forces contributing to the adaptive radiation and diversification of life. For example, can the evolution and diversity of the flowering plants be explained simply on the basis of microevolutionary change, or are other forces contributing to macro- and megaevolution?" *Jay M. Savage, Evolution, p. 94.
Whether the scientists study DNA, protein, enzymes, organic structures, or whatever; they can not find evidence that natural selection accomplishes what evolutionists have assigned it to accomplish. For example, enzymes:
"It has proved remarkably difficult to get compelling evidence for changes in enzymes brought about by selection, not to speak of evidence for adaptive changes." *R.C. Lewontin, "Adoption," in Scientific American, 239(3):212-230.
The heart of evolutionary change would have to lie in the realm of changes within the genes. But natural selection fails here also:
"It is an irony of evolutionary genetics that, although it is a fusion of Mendelism and Darwinism, it has made no direct contribution to what Darwin obviously saw as the fundamental problem: the origin of species. . We know virtually nothing about the genetic changes that occur in species formation." *R.C. Lewontin, The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change (1974).
Natural selection does not improve a species.
*H.T. Band [H.T. Band, "Natural Selection and Concealed Genetic Variability in a Natural Population of D. Melanogaster," in Evolution, 18(3):384-404 (1964)] has studied the natural selection of D. melanogaster in natural outdoor populations. Lammerts, in a discussion of her work, states, 'One of her most remarkable conclusions was that natural selection does not increase the most viable or best true breeding lines or homozygotes in natural populations.'
"Thus it would seem that natural selection is limited to what it can do about eliminating less advantageous variations and mutants. Also, species formation, by way of true breeding homozygous varieties, could be questioned." Art F Poettcker, "Seventeen Problems for Evolutionists," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1977, p. 120.
Here is an excellent statement on the subject: One of the theories used for a time to prop up natural selection was "ritualism." These are the "displays" and odd inherited behaviors seen in birds and animals. But eventually this theory collapsed also.
"Some [birds] bob their heads alternately, extend wings, ruffle feathers, entwine necks, dive down quickly and up again or vibrate their tails. There is a broad repertoire of behavior, but each species elaborates only a few . .
"Ethologists constructed elaborate theories about the presumed 'original drives' behind certain behaviors.. Lorenz and others even attempted to reconstruct the evolution of `ritual' displays through comparison of the behavior of related species. Such conjectural 'just-so' stories enjoyed a brief vogue among evolutionists, then quietly went out of fashion . .
"[Evolutionary] books promoted lingering confusion between animal displays and human rituals by seeming to equate them, naively disregarding cultural and historical dimensions. Such facile and superficial leaps showed the ritualation concept, once so stimulating, had become a hindrance to clear thought." *R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 389.
"Not a single step in the evolutionary mechanism has been clarified. Evolution means primarily an increase in the content of information in the case of DNA, but natural selection means only the elimination of error in information or mutation [in the most favorable case, only a modification of information], not an increase in the quantity of information. Correcting a misspelled work or substituting one word for another is, after all, something quite different from writing down a sentence, an article, or a whole book. " *Sylvio Fials, "On Cause and Effect in Biology," in Science, 135(3507):974-976 (1962).
Population genetics is the attempt to show that smaller sub-groups of a species--can produce new species. But the theory has failed to prove that point.
"How can such a rich theoretical structure as population genetics fail so completely to cope with the body of fact?" *Michael Ruse, Darwinism Defended (1982), p. 267.
*Fisher said it right.
"The British statistician R. A. Fisher has said, natural selection is a 'mechanism for generating an exceedingly high level of improbability.' " *"Ionizing Radiation and Evolution," in Scientific American, September 1959, p. 142.
An earnest evolutionist tries to make the best case for natural selection that he can. But the best is only a hope, not a fact.
"So natural selection as a process is okay. We are also pretty sure that it goes on in nature although good examples are surprisingly rare. The best evidence comes from the many cases where it can be shown that biological structures have been optimized--that is, structures that represent optimal engineering solutions to the problems that an animal has of feeding or escaping predators or generally functioning in its environment . . The presence of these optimal structures does not, of course, prove that they developed through natural selection, but it does provide strong circumstantial argument."*David M. Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Bulletin of the Field Museum of Natural History, January 1979, pp. 25-26.
But another fervent evolutionist, *Cherfas, explains that, in his thinking, the only evidence of evolution by natural selection is the fact there are imperfections in nature! Yet those imperfections can easily be explained as the result of damage caused by harmful mutations.
"If there were no imperfections, there would be no evidence to favor evolution by natural selection over creation."*Jeremy Cherfas, "The Difficulties of Darwinism," New Scientist, Vol. 102 (May 17, 1984), p. 29. [Cherfas was reporting on special lectures by Dr. Gould at Cambridge University.]
*Gould agrees with *Cherfas' concept.
"The proof of evolution lies in imperfection." *Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb (1980). (The only evolution is in the theory itself.!)
"Descent with modification is one process postulated to be capable of producing that hierarchy, and natural selection is one process postulated to be capable of producing descent with modification. I feel that the undesirable has happened: the model developed to explain evolution has come to be seen as evolution itself." *R. OGrady, "Evolutionary Theory and Teleology," Journal of Theoretical Biology (1984), p. 567.
*Charles Darwin himself finally decided it was time he set natural selection aside and look elsewhere for the mechanism causing evolution.
"Charles Darwin complained his critics said what was good in his theory was old and what was new in it was wrong. The `old' part was simply the fact of evolution . . ; the new part was how it worked: the mechanism of natural selection . .
"So uncertain was Darwin on the question of inheritance that, under fire from critics, he began to retreat from natural selection as his main evolutionary mechanism. In later editions of the Origin of the Species, he suggested possible alternatives and special cases. By the last (6th) edition, Darwin had shrunk natural selection in importance to one of several possible mechanisms of evolution." *R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), pp. 318-319.
NATURAL SELECTION IS A USELESS CONCEPT
The evolutionary mechanism of natural selection is not only fallacious, It is useless. To saddle scientific thinking with such an unscientific concept does great injury to the progress of scientific research and discovery.
It is no explanation at all:
"The theory of natural selection is not really an explanation of organic evolution at all--not even a bad one." *S. Toulmin, "Science, Philosophy of," in Encyclopaedia Britannica Vol. 16. (15th ed. 1974), p. 16. Quoting Empiricist philosopher Carl Hempel.]
Evolutionists are here working with a concept which paralyzes their best efforts to explain realities, past or present:
"Natural selection is almost always handled in general terms. . This means that it has no explanatory power when specific problems arise. Deevey says: 'Of course these things are marvels, and of course, the fossil record being what it is, no one can say with confidence exactly how any one of them came about' Note the word exactly. The Darwinians contend that any given result must have been produced by natural selection working on small changes, but when asked to be exact they are helpless." *Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1971), p. 44.
Natural selection is keyed to chance. No purposive forethought or deliberate action is permitted by it.
"The entire phrase and not merely the words Natural Selection is important, for the denial of purpose is Darwin's distinctive contention. In this way the notion of a Deity or Providence of Life Force having a tendency of its own, or even of a single individual having a purpose other than survival or reproduction, was ruled out." *J. Barzun, "Darwin, Marx, Wagner" (1958), p. 11.
Random events can accomplish so little, and we have earlier learned that natural selection could not even begin to produce one protein, much less a single cell. Yet all about us are millions of different life forms; each one a completely organized entity in itself.
"Although natural selection theory fails to explain the origin of evolutionary novelties, its greatest shortcoming in terms of evolutionary theory is it fails to explain evolutionary diversity." *D. Rosen, "Darwin's Demon, " in Systematic Zoology 27 (1978), p. 372.
Impossible, impossible, impossible, Rostand tells us. Natural selection could never have produced the immense variety and perfect forms we see about us in nature.
"No, decidedly, I cannot make myself think that these 'slips' of heredity [mutations] have been able, even with the cooperation of natural selection, even with the advantage of the immense periods of time in which evolution works on life, to build the entire world . . I cannot persuade myself that the eye, the ear, the human brain have been formed in this way.. Should a person say he is convinced when he is not? For whatever my denial is worth, I cannot change it to assent." *Jean Rostand, The Orion Book of Evolution (1960), p. 79 (evolutionary biologist).
"SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" IS MEANINGLESS
Natural selection is based on the idea of "survival of the fittest. " It is in this way that natural selection is supposed to operate. But competent scientists recognize that such a view is meaningless, for it is based on circular reasoning. " It is in this way that natural selection is supposed to operate. But competent scientists recognize that such a view is meaningless, for it is based on circular reasoning.
"Darwin proposed no criterion of fitness other than that of survival itself."
"Darwin proposed no criterion of fitness other than that of survival itself . . It follows that 'the survival of the fittest' is not a testable theory, but a tautology. Which one survives? The fittest. Who are they? Those that survive." *T. Bethell, "Darwin's Mistake," Harper's Magazine, February 1976, p. 72.
The theory has little more than empty and unproven assumptions.
"At key points, Darwin's theory boiled down to empty tautologies and unproven assumptions." *T. Roszak, Unfinished Animal (1975), p. 101.
It is simply a restatement of itself.
"Concepts such as natural selection by the survival of the fittest are tautologous; that is; they simply restate the fact that only the properties of organisms which survive to produce offspring, or to produce more offspring than their cohorts, will appear in succeeding generations." *M. Eden, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory," Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (1967), p. 5.
Tautologies provide such comprehensive explanations that they explain nothing. (For example, the problem of how birds are able to fly is a complicated one. But a simple tautology explains it all: "Birds fly because they have been successful in flight.")
"The real problem with Darwinian selection theory, however, is that it can explain everything and therefore, nothing. By logical necessity what survives (or what produces more offspring) is more fit than what doesn't. What is more, it is therefore better adapted, and what is better adapted is therefore 'selected for' (or in other words, survive). Of course selection is successful in explaining nature, since the characteristic of tautologies is that they explain everything. And, of course, that is the true measure of selection's appeal." *D. Rosen, "Darwin's Demon, " in Systematic Zoology 27 (1978), p. 371.
Surviving is being fit.
"The survivors, having survived, are thence judged to be the fittest." *G. Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (1959), p. 3 16.
"Whatever is, is fit."
"Someone asked how we determine who are the fittest. The answer came back that we determine this by the test of survival; there is no other criterion. But this means that a species survives because it is the fittest and is the fittest because it survives, which is circular reasoning and equivalent to saying that whatever is, is fit. The gist is that some survive and some die, but we knew this at the outset. Nothing has been explained." *Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1971), P. 47.
In February 1858, while in a fever on the small island of Ternate in the Molaccas, *Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) conceived the idea that the species changeover occurred by "the survival of the fittest." He sent the idea to *Charles Lyell, who passed it on to *Charles Darwin, who then put it into his book, Origin. At last the mechanism by which evolution occurred had been found! (See chapter 29, History of Evolutionary Theory, for more on this.)
Wallace did not recognize the truth of the situation.
"Survival of the fittest" proves nothing for evolution. Put eight dogs on a desert island with only a little food. Which dog will survive the longest? The fittest. Which one was that? The one that survived the longest. We have here circular reasoning. And that last dog; what about him? He was still a dog to his dying day; he did not change into a goat, or a cat, or a lion. The phrase, "survival of the fittest," says nothing about the evolutionary process, much less proving it.
THE ERROR OF LAMARCKISM
Modern science rejects the theory of Lamarckism, yet "Charles Darwin accepted it and in later years fully returned to it, having rejected natural selection as the mechanism of action. If they reject *Lamarck's theory, why do they accept *Darwin's, which is based on it?
Lamarckism is also called "inheritance of acquired characteristics." According to this view, if your leg is cut off in an accident, each of your children ought to be born with only one leg. (Neither Lamarck nor Darwin said it quite that clearly, but that is what it amounts to.) Darwin speculated that Lamarckism operated in the first generation as well as in later ones. He explained that as the giraffe reached higher in the branches, its neck gradually stretched a little, and that this change carried over to his offspring.
Here are several statements on the subject:
* Darwin admitted his ideas were essentially the same as those of Lamarck:
"The conclusions I am led to are not widely different from his [Lamarck's]." *Charles Darwin, quoted in *Nicholas Hotton III, The Evidence of Evolution (1962), p. 138.
"[Darwin] did not mind accepting the idea that certain variations of the Lamarckian type-variations determined by use, by activity--might play an evolutionary role." *Jean Rostand, The Orion Book of Evolution (1960), p. 61.
But Weismann's experiment demolished Lamarckism.
"[August Weismann's experiment in cutting the tails off generations of mice to disprove Lamarck's theory:] His critique on this point is authoritative and has never been refuted." *Jean Rostand, The Orion Book of Evolution (1960), p. 64.
Evolutionists do not like it discussed, but *Charles Darwin later abandoned natural selection as the operative mechanism in producing evolution. He, at that time, returned to Lamarckism, which teaches that a living creature produces new organs simply because it needs them. If you need bigger ears to hear better, your ears will grow larger.
"Darwin abandoned natural selection as the mechanism for evolution in the sixth edition of the Origin [of the Species] and shifted to Lamarck's theory of use and disuse as the mechanism for change. The great irony of all of this is that the typical introductory biology text usually presents Lamarck's theory of use and disuse as a defunct theory compared with Darwin's natural selection." Randall Hedtke, "Mr. Darwin and Mr. Blyth, " in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1983, p. 225. (Hedtke said he was about to publish a book documenting this changeover in Darwin's thinking from natural selection to inheritance of acquired characteristics as the mechanism of evolution; the name of the book: "The Secret of the Sixth Edition.")
The error of Lamarckism, the inheritance of acquired characteristic, is explained by *Morgan, a pioneer in the study of genetics:
"It is not as generally known as it should be that the new work in genetics has struck a fatal blow at the old doctrine of the inheritance of acquired characters. The old doctrine held that modification of the body cells, produced during development or adult stages by means of external agencies, is inherited. In other words a change in the character of the body cells causes a corresponding change in the germ cells. A few examples will serve to show how genetics has undermined this already frail and mysterious doctrine. The custom of foot-binding, common for centuries among Chinese women, has not led to any inherited deformity of the foot; and our domestic fowl, a descendant of the Roman fowl, has not changed essentially in spite of two thousand generations of breeding.' " *T.H. Morgan, Scientific Basis of Evolution (1937), p. 187.
The failure of Lamarckism (the inheritance of acquired characteristics) reflects on the failure of natural selection.
"It is not as generally known as it should be that the new work in genetics has struck a fatal blow at the old doctrine of the inheritance of acquired characters. The old doctrine held that modification of the body cells, produced during development or adult stages by means of external agencies, is inherited. In other words a change in the character of the body cells causes a corresponding change in the germ cells. A few examples will serve to show how genetics has undermined this already frail and mysterious doctrine. The custom of foot-binding, common for centuries among Chinese women, has not led to any inherited deformity of the foot; and our domestic fowl, a descendant of the Roman fowl, has not changed essentially in spite of two thousand generations of breeding.' " *Thomas Hunt Morgan, Scientific Basis of Evolution (1937), p. 187.
A choice must be made between evolution by natural selection or creation by a high-level Intelligence. The first is not supported by the facts seen in nature; the second is.
"Leaving this remarkable speculation [natural selection] to whatever fate the progress of discovery may have in store for it, I think it must be allowed that, in the present state of our knowledge, the adaptations in Nature afford a large balance of probability in favor of creation by intelligence." J. Mill, Three Essays on Religion, (2nd Edition, 1874, reprint. 1969), p. 174.
THOSE MARVELOUS EYES
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 B. C.) said this:
"Who would believe that so small a space [the human eye] could contain the images of all the universe? What skill can penetrate such a wonderful process? This [fact] it is that leads human discourse to [turns human conversation toward] the consideration of divine things!" *Aristotle, quoted in Smithsonian Report for 1954.
In his book, Origin of the Species, *Charles Darwin made a famous statement about the eye. Notice that he says that natural selection could produce the eye if, at each step, the partially-made eye was "useful to its possessor." How could a partially-made eye be useful to its possessor?
"To suppose that the eye, with all if its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real." *Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, (1st Ed. 1859, reprint 1964), pp. 186-187
. After*'Darwin's death, his son *Francis gathered together and published his private papers and letters. In a letter dated February 1860, to his closest friend in America, *Asa Gray (a professor at Harvard), Charles Darwin expressed his concern as to how the eye could have evolved.*Gray, who was the first leading advocate of evolution in the United States, in his letter to Charles, commented that he couldn't figure how evolution could have produced an eye either. (See *Francis Darwin, Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2 (1899), pp. 66-67.) No one else can explain the eye by natural processes either.
A partially completed eye would have been useless. It had to suddenly all be there, complete in all its parts:
"Actually, it was long term, small changes such as these [tiny color variations in flies, etc.] which Darwin had in mind. On the other hand, there is serious controversy within the Darwinist ranks today regarding the acceptability of a process of slow change as an explanation for evolution. Some feel there would not have been enough time since the earth first became habitable for such minimal changes to have added up to anything significant. Some also point to the incredible complexity of the eye as another vexing problem. They ask, logically enough, what good a partially completed, non-functioning eye would be during the vast stretch of time required to complete the eye's formation via small-scale, bit-by-bit changes occurring randomly?" Lester J. McCann, Blowing the Whistle on Darwinism (1986), p. 47.
Pitman suggests that if Darwin could have studied the several different types of complex eyes in tiny shrimps, he would have abandoned his theory in favor of creation by pre-thought out design:
"No common ancestors or series, leading up to these two very different sorts of eyes in the same shrimp-like body, are known. Confronted with the evidence, I believe a reasonable Mr. Darwin would have opted for a theory of design. Over one hundred years ago he wrote: 'To suppose that the eye . . could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest "' *Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), pp. 217-218.
The eye is the result of pre-planned design, not loose, rambling, make-shift, random actions of "natural selection."
"The eye appears to have been designed; no designer of telescopes could have done better." *Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (1981), p. 96.
Consider the homing pattern of retinal filaments:
"Here is an example of the kind of complexity we are dealing with. In the development of vertebrate eyes, fine filaments spread out from a million or so ganglion cells in the retina, and each 'homes' along the optic tract to a precise location on the visual cortex of the brain. This location corresponds exactly to its image point on the retina. Now if, at a certain stage in the development of an amphibian embryo, the eye is experimentally inverted [turned upside down], the dendritic filaments [later] adjust, home correctly, and the animal sees normally. If the eye is inverted at a slightly later stage, the filaments cross over and home in such a way as to produce an inverted image. How are these filaments guided? It has been shown that even if the cells of the retina and cortex are separated from each other and placed in tissue culture they are still able to associate in their particular patterns." *Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 129.
Merely one smallest part out of place or missing would totally ruin the ability of the eye/brain complex to produce or perceive sight.
"Now it is quite evident that if the slightest thing goes wrong en route--if the cornea is fuzzy, or the pupil fails to dilate, or the lens becomes opaque, or the focusing goes wrong--then a recognizable image is not formed. The eye either functions as a whole, a not at all. So how did it come to evolve by slow, steady, infinitesimally small Darwinian improvements? Is it really possible that thousands upon thousands of lucky chance mutations happened coincidentally so that the lens and the retina, which cannot work without each other, evolved in synchrony? What survival value can there be in an eye that doesn't see? Small wonder that it troubled Darwin! 'To this day the eye makes me shudder,' he wrote to his botanist friend, Asa Gray in February, 1860." *Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe, p. 86.
The eye could not be a product of chance.
"It is hard to accept the evolution of the human eye as a product of chance; it is even harder to accept the evolution of human intelligence as the product of random disruptions in the brain cells of our ancestors." *Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (1981), p. 98, 100.
THE AMAZING EYE
One of the most astounding objects in all nature is the eye. Yet there is not one but many different types of eyes,all made on different structural and optical principles. Here four of them are illustrated.
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Consider the 130 million rods and cones within it.
"And what about the human eye, with its 130,000,000 light-sensitive rods [which perceive black and white values] and cones [which perceive color hues]? These 'cause photochemical reactions which transform the light into electrical impulses.' Every second, one billion of these impulses are transmitted to the brain!" John C. Whitcomb, The Early Earth (1986), p. 103.
Consider the several different types of complex eyes in tiny shrimp:
"Of what survival value is a lens, forming an image, if not intimately linked to a nervous system which will translate that image into electrical form? Or a nerve without a brain to interpret the data? How could a visual nervous system have evolved before there was an eye to give it information? So questions continue until all parts of the body are woven into a single whole, a web of mutual necessity.
"Darwinism does not look you squarely in the eye. It insists on faith in the unseen conversion of one type of eye into another. Upon this faith a humble shrimp imposes considerable strain. Moths, fireflies and Euphausiid shrimps, creatures all active in the dark, have special compound eyes which include a retina on which the multiple lenses focus at a common point to form an upright image. These shrimps, which seem to be, and are, classified as close 'cousins' to true shrimps, employ lens cylinders which smoothly bend the incoming light so that it all focuses at a common point, rather than forming multiple images as most compound eyes do. This feat of optical engineering has only been duplicated by humans in the last decade.
"If this were not enough, Michael Land, a biologist from Sussex University, has observed that other shrimps have eyes which employ a different principle of physics, reflection from mirrors. The eyes have squared facets employed as radically arranged mirrors. It requires precise geometry to align such mirrors so that incoming rays are all reflected to focus at a common point, forming an image there. In an article entitled 'Nature as an Optical Engineer,' Dr. Land wrote:
"'I would guess that a refracting optical system, with refractive index crystalline cones, could not evolve into a reflecting system with squared multilayer-coated surfaces, nor vice versa. Both are successful and very sophisticated image-forming devices, but I cannot imagine an intermediate form that would work at all.' " *Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), pp. 217-218 (last paragraph quoted from *M. Land, "Nature as an Optical Engineer," New Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 1175, October 1979, p. 131.
Mirror optics was used in the eyes of small creatures long before man, using very complicated mathematical formulas, ever figured out how to do it:
"Over the succeeding centuries mirrors also became important components of optical instruments such as the astronomical telescope, but no one suspected that reflective surfaces might provide the basic optical mechanism of certain animal eyes. In the past few years some remarkable examples of eyes based on mirror optics have become apparent, among them the simple eyes of scallops [reflective simple eyes] and the compound eyes [reflective compound eyes based on mirror optics] of shrimps, crayfishes and lobsters.
"None of these animals is particularly exotic, and indeed the anatomy of their eyes had been described many times. Why then was the role of mirrors in forming the visual image overlooked in view of the wealth of anatomical and optical talent that has been devoted to the study of the eyes of invertebrate animals? The reason may be that until fairly recently mirrors of optical quality, as opposed to shiny bits of tissue, were considered a biological impossibility.
"The logic was simple: the surface of a mirror is polished metal, and organisms do not make metal surfaces. Since the late 1940s, however, methods of making high-quality mirrors have changed. Instead of consisting of a single layer of silver or aluminum, they are made up of multilayered stacks of very thin films of alternating high and low refractive index. This turns out to be the way living organisms have made mirrors all along! Technological progress has therefore removed a major mental block to the concept of animal mirrors." *Michael F. Land, Scientific American, December 1978.
Using a large vocabulary to express his thoughts, *Duke-Elder explains that there is no way in which the wide variety of eye structures, appearing in a wide variety of creatures, could possibly have evolved from common ancestors. Each eye would have had to be independently formed complete.
"The curious thing, however, is that in their distribution the eyes of the invertebrates form no series of contiguity and succession. Without obvious phylogenic sequence, their occurrence seems haphazard; analogous photoreceptors appear in unrelated species, an elaborate organ in a primitive species, or an elementary structure high on the evolutionary scale, and the same animal may be provided with two different mechanisms with different spectral sensitivities subserving different types of behavior." *S Duke-Elder, System of Ophthalmology (1976), p. 178.
There is a certain fish which has two eyes in one! The upper part is used to see out of water, and the lower part is used to see in water! It regularly cruises along, seeing both above and below the water surface at the same time. The fish has bifocal, four-eyed vision!
" 'Anableps [a fresh-water fish], using its unique egg-shaped lens, sees both images [above and below the surface of the water] clearly. The part of the lens aligned with the lower pupil is rounded like a typical fish lens, so that an image of a swimming insect larva will be focused on the retina. The less rounded upper part, more like the human lens, compensates for double refraction when objects in the air are viewed. A mosquito can thus be clearly seen. The four-eyed fish will lunge into the air to ambush flying insects or dip beneath the surface to catch swimming creatures. More commonly, however, it cruises the shallow water near a shoreline and captures crustaceans, algae, and insects that are trapped in the surface film.
" 'Scientists have determined that Anableps relies mostly on its aerial vision, which can detect smaller objects at greater distances than the aquatic sight system. But the fish often dives to feed or escape predators. When on the surface, Anableps repeatedly bobs its head to moisten its "upper eyes." '
"How amazing that this particular fish, acting in two different media--water and air--has the proper optical equipment to perform its function! Every aspect of the eye is a marvelous engineering achievement in construction, perfection, and coordination with other organs."LL Cohen, Darwin was Wrong (1984), pp. 120-121.
There are abysmal fish which also have bifocal vision, but their eyes are structured like modern bifocal lenses: The upper part sees distant objects, and the lower part sees nearby objects!
"The same type of bifocal vision is used by a number of fish living in deep waters (about 3000 feet). Not much light penetrates down to such depths, so that the eyesight of fishes must be extra-sensitive to utilize the faint sunlight that does reach those levels.
"Accordingly many deep-sea fish have an elongated eye with two retinas. One senses near-by objects, the other captures light from far objects. These fish also have unusually good depth perception--a necessity at those depths where food is scarce.
"this type of eye construction is much different than the eyes of other fish. As a result the DNA sequence of nucleotides will be different too. How shall we visualize the step by step changes that must have taken place?"Ibid.
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