Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 3
Chapter 33 Appendix
EVOLUTION AND SOCIETY
1. EVOLUTION VS. HELPING ONE ANOTHER
*Gordon Rattray Taylor, a confirmed evolutionist, discusses a strange problem for his colleagues: how can evolutionary theory be true, since it requires totally selfish living,-and there are many creatures in the world which act unselfishly!
It takes a mind trained to evolutionary thinking to recognize such a puzzle. "Altruism" is defined as unselfish devotion to or care for others, yet evolutionary theory should only produce creatures which are vicious and savage.
Taylor expresses his questions aloud:
"There is one class of behavior which has long represented a major stumbling block to the evolutionist, namely 'the vexatious problem of altruism', as Gould has called it. What is the evolutionary advantage of helping another to survive, especially if it involves risk to oneself? Recently, some biologists claim to have resolved this question. But have they?
"Darwin said in 1859: 'Natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in a species exclusively for the good of another species, though throughout nature one species incessantly takes advantage of and profits by the structures of others . . If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.'
"Darwin was referring to structures, but his statement is equally applicable to behaviour, supposing behaviour to be inherited. Consequently, the occurrence of altruistic or unselfish behaviour, especially when it involves some risk or cost to the altruist, has long presented a challenge to Darwinism.
"Certain small birds, such as robins, thrushes and titmice, for example, crouch low when a hawk approaches and emit a thin reedy whistle which warns other birds of the danger. From the viewpoint of the individual bird, it would presumably be wiser to remain silent and not give away one's position. A more dramatic example is provided by those bees which launch suicidal attacks on invaders of their hive. Darwin himself was puzzled by the case of the sterile worker bee, who accepts the extinction of his line in the interests of the queen; but a more general example is maternal behaviour -especially such features as the mother regurgitating food, half digested, for the benefit of the young.
"Most generous of all, perhaps, are those ants which use some of their own eggs-so-called trophic eggs-to feed their queen and even other workers. We also find reciprocal altruism between different species, as in the case of cleaner fish, or the cattle egret and the tick-bird, which warns the rhino on which it perches of the approach of foes. (But reciprocal altruism entails problems to which I shall come back in a moment.)
"As Stephen Gould of Harvard admits: 'If the genetic components of human nature did not originate by natural selection, fundamental evolutionary theory is in trouble . . '
"As Professor T.H. Frazzetta has said: 'If altruism arguments are correct, very many of our concepts about natural selection are wrong.' . .
"The existence of altruism between different species-which is not uncommon-remains an obstinate enigma. A particularly vivid example of this is the activity of cleaner-fish, which was studied by the late Conrad Limbaugh, of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, until his sad death in a diving accident in 1960. While skin diving off the coast of Lower California in 1949 he observed the curious behaviour of golden kelp perch. This three-inch-long fish kept pecking at the sides of a wall-eye surf perch which had separated from its fellows. Intrigued, he began to collect other instances. In the Bahamas he found Pedersen's shrimp, a transparent creature, striped with white and spotted with violet. When a fish approaches it, as it hovers among some sea anemones, it waves its long antennae. The fish, if interested, presents its head and gill cover for cleaning. 'The shrimp climbs aboard and walks rapidly over the fish, checking irregularities tugging at parasites with its claws and cleaning injured areas. The fish remains almost motionless during this inspection and allows the shrimp to make minor incisions in order to get at subcutaneous parasites. As the shrimp approaches the gill cover, the fish opens each one in turn and allows the shrimp to enter and forage among the gills. The shrimp is even allowed to enter and leave the fish's mouth cavity. Local fishes quickly learn the location of these shrimp. They line up or crowd around for their turn and often wait to be cleaned when the shrimp has retired into the hole beside the anemone.'
"Apart from the remarkable nature of the fish's behaviour, one may wonder what the shrimp gets out of these helpful activities.
"Such altruistic behaviour had been noted as far back as 1892 (it was suggested that a spider which hitch-hikes on scorpions was actually removing parasites). Limbaugh's own work concentrated on a wrasse, known locally as La Senorita, which often has hundreds of 'clients'. He found that fish come long distances to be cleaned and attend at 'cleaning stations' where they queue for a place. Such behaviour, he commented, raises a great many questions for students of animal behaviour: for instance, why do ordinarily voracious fish refrain from devouring their little helpmeets?"- *G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), pp. 223-226.
With a brain no bigger than a thimble, California acorn woodpeckers lead a very complex social life. Working together, they stake out and defend territories, including nesting sites and food storage granaries, and raise their families. These small woodpeckers have a variety of ways to communicate with and help one another. Unmated birds also help parents hatch and feed their young. Their "granaries" are holes in dead limbs, which they all work to fill-and then let one another eat from.
"Because they believe that everything can be explained by materialistic principles, evolutionists wonder how the genetic code could have first been programmed to produce creatures which help one another.
"Researchers have just completed their studies of a bird called the white-fronted African bee eater. Members of this species will help each other even at the obvious sacrifice of their own good. One bird will face spitting cobras, hunt tirelessly for food, and even put off having their own young-to help another member of their species. Scientists note that according to the principles which should favor the evolutionary development of this bird, such behavior is suicidal. Researchers have tried to explain the bee eaters' common habit of putting off starting their own families to help other bee eaters raise their young by saying that such behavior is limited to birds who are related. but they admit that even adopted orphaned bee eaters will help their adopted parents in this way." -Paul A. Bartz, Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 1, No. 2(1990), p. 42.
Recent studies of African hunting dogs, meerkats and mongooses reveal highly involved "helping patterns." They work and learn from one another. Using division of labor and teamwork, each one tries to help the others. Meerkats and mongooses, for example, take turns standing upright "guard duty," while the others feed, sleep, and play. Some guards search the skies, while others scan the distant ground. All work together to help raise the young. Adults risk danger to rescue straying young which are not their own. One adult will baby-sit a group of young, while the parents are away searching for food.
In a sense, abortion (the killing of the unborn), euthanasia (the killing of the elderly), eugenics (the killing of those adults who are not like us), genocide (the killing of unwanted races), and genetic engineering (restructuring the people of the future) are the five final ends of Darwinism. In this section we will briefly consider the last of these.
Genetic engineering is the ultimate evolutionary change in society: letting man personally try to "evolve" living creatures toward a glorious future, as he changes the DNA of mankind in laboratories in order to make "better people."
Increasing knowledge of genes raises hopes that the genetic code in human beings might some day be analyzed and modified. It has been recognized that such arbitrary genetic changes would require the use of chromosome maps. So an extremely expensive research assignment is now underway at the time of this writing (1990) to prepare those maps. The chromosomes of the fruit fly are already mapped; the next step is human maps.
"Genetic engineering will never be attempted," say some. As but one example to the contrary, consider the research project of *Howard Green of New York University who, in 1967, formed hybrid cells containing both mouse and human chromosomes. After several cell divisions, the human chromosomes died. But this was considered profitable, for the effects due to their former presence could thus be more easily mapped.
Another breakthrough came in 1969 when, *Jonathan Beckwith, an American biochemist isolated an individual gene for the first time in history. It was from an intestinal bacterium, and it controlled an aspect of sugar metabolism. So mapping was thought to be feasible. When the function of enough genes has been determined through mapping, then laboratory experiments can be done to artificially rearrange them in new patterns and "improve" organs and people.
In 1971, two American microbiologists *Daniel Nathans and * Hamilton Othanel Smith worked with restriction enzymes which were capable of cutting the DNA chain in specific fashion at a particular nucleotide junction and no other. They began using these special enzymes like tiny saws to cut DNA molecules in two.
The next step came when *Paul Berg, an American biochemist, worked with both "saws" and "welders". The saws were restriction enzymes which cut the DNA apart, and the welders introduced the use of another type of enzyme, DNA ligase, which is capable of uniting two strands of DNA. Berg cut DNA strands and then recombined these strands in new patterns! The resulting freak was called `recombinant-DNA" (rDNA). A molecule of recombinant-DNA was different than the original, and very likely different than any that had ever existed anywhere in the world!
This is genetic engineering, the ultimate objective of the evolutionist's dream.
As a result of such pioneering research projects, it was now possible to modify genes or design new ones. The initial plan of action was simple enough: insert the new genes into bacterial cells and thus form cells with new biochemical properties! "Just think of all the glorious possibilities," said the researchers. But there are other scientists who are not so sure; in fact, some are half frightened to death.
Powerful, new diseases could be unleashed onto mankind by such activities. Either deliberately or inadvertently, a bacterial cell-or a virus-might be produced with the ability to produce a deadly toxin to which plants, animals, or humans had no natural immunity. Such possibilities could easily result. So easily, in fact, that Berg and other scientists in 1974, published an urgent plea to other scientists for a voluntary adherence to strict controls over their "gene splicing" activities. Such pleas were well-deserved, for genetic tinkering was already being planned or actively under way in research centers all across the nation. Actually, what was needed was a total stoppage of all such projects, with a firm determination never again to resume them.
However, to some degree, the situation has not proved to be as urgent as was at first imagined. Throughout this set of books, there will be found the repeated statement that one species cannot, by the random effects of natural selection or mutations, cross over the species barrier. Much of the genetic engineering work has only produced warped genes which show themselves to be greatly weakened and soon die out. Frequently, they can barely be kept alive under the most favorable conditions.
Interestingly enough, the farther from a species the new variant is, the less likely it will be able to live. We predict the scientists will never be able to produce a new species. The problem is that they will produce a deformed version of an existing species which is dangerous.
This tinkering is neither random, nor natural, nor does it involve the effects of merely an occasional mutation. We have here large changes done intentionally all at once. The results will be weakened freaks of an already existing species, but a deadly harvest could also result from genetic engineering. One of those freaks could produce a strange new infection. Once the infection entered one laboratory worker, he could then transmit it to still others. Just one such mistake in a thousand splices could produce a lethal microbe which could kill millions of people. The danger is there; it is real.
It is the hope of the biochemists that genetic engineering can be used to impart more efficient capabilities to bacteria and other microorganisms. For example, enable them to become nitrogen-fixing. The possibility of giving them new capabilities is also an objective, such as the ability to oxidize hydrocarbon molecules. In this way, they can clean up oil spills in rivers and oceans. It is said that genetic repair may eventually be done on plants, animals, and man. Existing organisms will be altered so that they can begin manufacturing medical or industrial products.
The name given to these strange, new hybrid bacteria is chimeras. The name comes from a mythological creature which had the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent. Fitting name for these monstrosities of a biochemist's laboratory.
Knowledgeable scientists are very worried. It has been said that rDNA techniques might produce diseases for which there are no cure. *Michael Crichton in 1969 warned that an "Andromeda Strain" of bacteria might result which would destroy mankind.
The *National Institutes of Health in Maryland has established research guidelines to insure that these strange, new creatures will not escape from their containers! But no guidelines have been set as to what kind of creatures can be produced.
The safety guidelines have been designated as P1, P2, P3, and P4. P1 applies to situations in which tinkering, in the opinion of the researcher, is least likely to result in problems; P4, when the intrinsic dangers are thought to be the highest.
In what direction is genetic engineering likely to go? The new field of sociobiology offers several possibilities. Its founder, *Edward O. Wilson, first wrote about it in his Sociobiology: The New Synthesis in 1975.
Wilson's theory itself is but another example of Darwinism taken to its extreme. He says that everything a person does is simply the result of genetic determinants. According to Wilson, people are simply animals that act in accordance with what their genes tell them to do. DNA is the basis of all social behavior, according to Wilson.
The objective of genetic engineering, according to the Wilsonites, is to restructure the DNA to improve people in every way, not just physically, but mentally, socially, culturally, and morally. Society will be changed and all of man's social and cultural ills will be removed. This is the goal of sociobiology.
Evolutionary theory teaches that everything on earth is but the result of millions of years of chance action. Therefore, specialized working with DNA ought to produce great results. In 1977, *Robert Cooke wrote a book on genetic engineering, which said just that. The title tells the story: Improving on Nature.
Julian Huxley earlier said the ultimate goal of evolutionists was to have the scientists fill the "position of business manager for the cosmic process of evolution." (*Julian Huxley, quoted in *Joseph Fletcher, Ethics of Genetic Control , p. 8.)
Three basic types of research are now being conducted in the biology laboratories of the genetic engineers, using existing as well as newly-developed rDNA techniques.
The first is genetic modification. Part or all of a gene is added to existing ones in order to modify an organism slightly. What will result? That is the excitement of the game: "We'll see what happens" is what the scientists say about it. Perhaps nothing, perhaps some kind of success, perhaps something else.
The second is studies aimed at genetic repair. About 1600 genetic diseases are planned for eventual elimination, if these scientists have their way. And it will be done through tinkering with human DNA until it works better.
The third type of research is the hoped-for creation of new life forms. This is to be done through radical restructuring of existing life forms. The goal is something far better than what we now have; but, of course, one cannot always be certain in advance.
As *Edward O. Wilson put it: "We will have to decide how human we wish to remain."
One interesting spin-off project is the freezing of human sperm, with the intention of later applying genetic engineering to it to produce supermen.
An editorial in *Science 81 summarized the entire problem this way:
"Are we wise enough to play at being masters of evolution? . . We tinker with atoms, but their forms are fixed. Not so with biological forms." -*Allen Hammond, "What Shall We Create?" in Science 81, November 1981, p. 5.
After researching the subject carefully, *Gore made this comment:
"Despite the rapid progress of recent years, I finished my survey feeling that the new biology has, in fact, opened up more questions than it has answered. Many are profound social questions, and we must begin grappling with them now:
"Do we have the right to develop novel forms of life for our own purpose? . . Dare we try to manufacture genes to cure illness, knowing that such techniques can spawn the weapons of a horrible biological war?" -*Rick Gore, "Awesome Worlds Within a Cell, " National Geographic, September 1976, p. 395.
COMPARING CREATION AND EVOLUTION
The differences between creation and evolution are dramatic. Here are several examples of this profound difference. There is no middle ground between them.
In the beginning-what happened? Here is a correlative chart of the sequence of events as viewed by evolutionists and as recorded in the Bible. With partial adaptation, the following excellent study was prepared by Richard Niessen, and was initially published in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1980, pp. 221, 203.
There was a period when there was no time, space,
or matter. Genesis 1:1; cf. Hebrews
"2. The earth was created with a cool water surface from the
beginning. Genesis 1:2
"3. The atmosphere
was created quickly and has always been essentially the same as
it is today. Genesis 1:6-8
atmosphere preceded all plant life. Genesis 1:6-12
"5. The first life
was created on land, followed by sea life. Genesis
"6. Plants were created as distinct
species, each 'after its kind.' Genesis
"7. Plants were created with seeds and fruit on their first day
of existence. (The Biblical doctrine of creation with the
appearance of age). Genesis 1:11-12
"8. The first animals created included 'great whales' highly
developed mammals- and then the so-called 'lower forms.' Genesis
"9. Birds were created before 'creeping things.' Genesis 1:20-24
"10. Animals were created in distinct species, each 'after its
kind'. Genesis 1:21
"11. Animals and man are referred to as distinct kinds. Genesis
"12. God created everything so that "it was good". Death did not
come into the universe until after the Fall. Genesis 1:31;
"13. Man was created in the image of God. Genesis 1:2627
"14. Creation took place in 6 literal days of 24 hours each.
"15. God finished His creative activity on the sixth day, and He
is no longer involved in completing the created order. Genesis
"16. God works suddenly and completely, and sometimes He uses
major and catastrophic events. Genesis 12,6-8,11
"17. Early animals were herbivorous (plant eaters) and did not
become carnivorous until after either the Fall or the Flood.
"18. Prior to the flood there was no rain. Genesis 2:5-6 "
19. Man was formed from dust. Genesis 2:7 "
20. God breathed the 'breath of life' into the nostrils of a
dead object and it became alive. Genesis 2:7 "21. Man was
created with an enormous vocabulary and grammar, and he
conducted intelligent conversations from the beginning. Genesis
"22. Man was created so distinct from the animals that he was
unable to find one physically and emotionally compatible with
him. Genesis 2:20
"23. Man has existed, except for a few literal days, from the
beginning of the creation. Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:6
"24. Early civilizations, within only a few hundred years of
man's creation, were already building sophisticated musical
instruments. (Genesis 4:21) and refining alloys in blast
furnaces (Genesis 4:22). Consider also the technology involved
in building Noah's Ark (Genesis 6:1416) and the Tower of Babel.
Space, matter, and time are eternal.
"2. When the
earth first formed, it was very hot.
original atmosphere was reducing (methane, ammonia, and other
poisonous gases) and gradually changed into the oxidizing
(oxygen and nitrogen) type that we know today.
"4. Plant life
produced the atmosphere as we know it today.
The first life evolved in the sea, then moved to the land.
"6. There is, or at least
there should be, a continuum (a continuous transition) between the
varieties of plant life.
"7. It took a long time for plants to evolve.
"8. Life began with simple creatures and progressed to the more complex
"9. Reptiles evolved into birds.
"10. There is, or should be, a continuum among the animal species.
"11. There is, or should be, little difference between the
higher animals (apes) and man.
"12. The fossil record speaks of death and destruction
from the very beginning.
"13. Man developed in the image of
"14. Evolution took place over billions of years. "15. Evolution is a
"16. The present is the key to the past (uniformitarianism).
"17. Early animals were carnivorous (meat-eaters).
"18. It has always rained upon the earth.
"19. Man was formed from one of the lower animals.
"20. One of the lower animals was already alive when it became a man, and God merely added a soul.
"21. Language took a long time to develop in man.
"22. Since Adam evolved out of one of the animals, there is very little
difference in the psychological makeup of animals and man. (This is a
fundamental premise of modern psychology).
"23. Man has been in existence only the last 1/1500th of the earth's
"24. Early man was quite primitive and technologically immature.
M. Morris summarizes the vast difference between theistic evolutionism
"Evolution: Matter existed. "Creation: Matter created by God.
"Evolution: Sun and stars before the earth. "Creation: Earth before the sun and stars.
"Evolution: Land before the oceans. "Creation: Oceans before the land.
"Evolution: Sun, earth's first light. "Creation: Light before the sun.
"Evolution: Contiguous atmosphere and hydrosphere. "Creation: Atmosphere between two hydrospheres.
"Evolution: Marine organisms, first forms of life. "Creation: Land plants, first life forms created.
"Evolution: Fishes before fruit trees. "Creation: Fruit trees before
"Evolution: Insects before birds. "Creation: Birds before insects ('creeping things').
"Evolution: Sun before land plants. "Creation: Land vegetation before sun.
"Evolution: reptiles before birds. "Creation: Birds before reptiles.
"Evolution: Woman before man (by genetics). "Creation: Man before woman (by creation).
"Evolution: Rain before man. "Creation: Man before rain.
"Evolution: 'Creative' processes still continuing. "Creation: Creation completed.
"Evolution: Struggle and death, prior to man. "Creation: Man, the cause of struggle and death."
Morris shows with great force and clarity the utter impossibility of trying to link theistic evolutionary teaching with the attributes of God. The teaching of evolution (and of theistic evolution) is one of misery, death, and destruction over a period of millions of years, finally culminating in the appearance of mankind. The creationist position is that misery and death came after the six-day Creation and the Fall of man into sin, and that all such hardships have only existed for a few thousand years.
"(a) Evolution is inconsistent with God's omnipotence: Since He has all power, He is capable of creating the universe in an instant, rather than having to stretch it out over aeons of time.
"(b) Evolution is inconsistent with God's personality: If man in His own image was the goal of the evolutionary process, surely God should not have waited until the very tail-end of geologic time before creating personalities. No personal fellowship was possible with the rocks and seas, or even with the dinosaurs and gliptodons.
"(c) Evolution is inconsistent with God's omniscience: The history of evolution, as interpreted by evolutionary geologists from the fossil record, is filled with extinctions, misfits, evolutionary cul-de-sacs [dead-end streets], and other like evidences of confusion. The very essence of evolution, in fact, is random mutation, not scientific progress.
"(d) Evolution is inconsistent with God's nature of love. The supposed fact of evolution is best evidenced by the fossils, which eloquently speak of a harsh world, filled with storm and upheaval, disease and famine, struggle for existence and violent death. The accepted mechanism for inducing evolution is overpopulation and a natural selection through extermination of the weak and unfit. A loving God would surely have been more considerate of His creatures than this.
"(e) Evolution is inconsistent with God's purposiveness: If God's purpose was the creation and redemption of man, as theistic evolutionists presumably believe, it seems incomprehensible that He would waste billions of years in aimless evolutionary meandering before getting to the point. What semblance of purpose could there have been in the hundred-million-year reign and eventual extinction of the dinosaurs, for example?" -Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (1985), pp. 219-220.
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