- By Paul Hughes
I wanted to write a shorter blog today, as I had a very long work day and I really didn’t feel like thinking too hard after my brain had already exhausted all but a few particularly athletic cells. Pity was, I had no clue what to write about, so I started surfing the internet to find some material. In fact, I didn’t have to look far before I stumbled across something that energized those brain cells that had previously clocked out for the day. I am referring to an article I ran into on Creation Today’s website. The article is titled “Creationists Point To Huge Holes In Evolution ‘Theory,’” and it attempts to pose questions to evolutionists that it believes they cannot answer without admitting the theory’s shortcomings. I read the article as I, a skeptic, am always looking for points that might prove or disprove something, and the article’s title piqued my interest like few have done recently. However, the article left me with only answers to the questions they asked about evolution and I would like to share those answers in this post.
Now, I’m in the process of building a reader base for my blog, and I can’t think of people I would more like to read it than the fine people at Creation Today. So, I have tweeted them @creationtoday on Twitter, and hopefully they will do me the honor of reading (and critiquing!) the following post. Since I do want to keep my posts a bit shorter, this post will be the first in a two-or-three part series critiquing the article linked above. Don’t worry, though, I’ll post other things in between the pieces of my series, and I’ll keep Creation Today posted regarding my progress.
The first section of the article is called “Fossils Disprove Evolution.” This obviously made my eyes get big, as I had always been told the opposite—that the fossil record does nothing but support Darwin’s theory of evolution. So I read the section and here is a quote, and following is my response.
“One of the most powerful pieces of evidence against evolution is the fossil record. If evolution occurred by slow, minute changes in living creatures, there would be thousands of times more transitional forms of these creatures in the fossil beds than complete forms. Since the billions of fossils that have been found are all complete forms, the obvious conclusion is: Evolution never occurred! Though evolutionists have stated that there are many transitional forms, this is simply not true. What evolutionists claim to be transitional forms all have fully functional parts. A true transitional form would have non-functioning parts or appendages, such as the nub of a leg or wing.”
Oy, where to begin? I tried to pull a single quote out from this paragraph, but discovered that the paragraph only made sense when taken as a single chunk, so I was forced to include all of it. They say that they want “transitional forms.” They are correct in saying that evolutionists claim there are many transitional forms (and there are), but Creation Today postulates that if evolution were to happen there should be transitional forms with non-functional parts. Why, you ask? If natural selection works by the concise, albeit simplistic, phrase “survival of the fittest,” the members of species with non-functional parts would not survive, as they were not as fit for survival as members of the species with fully functional parts or, perhaps more importantly, without non-functional parts. You can see the obvious hole in my defense: if those without the intermediary non-functioning part are more likely to survive than those who have the non-functional part, how could the creature ever evolve?
Interesting that you should ask. In 1871, St. George Jackson Mivart posed an applicable question to Darwin and evolutionists: “What use is half a wing?” Kenneth P. Dial wondered the same thing,1 and so he, and his team, sought out the answer. He discovered, in experiments, that many juvenile birds, before they have developed the ability to fly, nonetheless flap their wings as the run up a steep incline—and it actually helps them to get up the incline faster. Their wings are “non-functional” in that they cannot fly with them, but a “non-functional” wing can clearly still be of use to an animal as it is growing to adulthood or, as might be the case with natural selection, while it is evolving. Eventually, under Dial’s theory, the wing that was previously used just for faster running was wing-like enough to start gliding, and then, of course, flying. All of these stages of the wing are stages that would help a given member of a species to escape a predator. The more developed its wing was, the more likely to escape a predator it was, and so evolve it did. There is no non-functional intermediary, because the part was always functional in some way. But how did the standard limb evolve into a limb before it even started evolving into a wing? Ok, I can’t give examples of everything in a single blog post, but the means to the end is no doubt an analogous process that, given time and space, an evolutionist could explain, just as I did the evolution of the wing.
The second section in the article is titled “Too Many Questions and No Answers.” The section actually delves into chemistry and the elements, and asks evolutionary scientists to explain the existence of the elements and why they function the way they do. This post will not honor that section with much of a response, as this post is in defense of the biological process of evolution, not elementary chemistry. Ask evolutionists questions about evolution, and chemists questions about chemistry. I will say just one thing, which is that science is not the act of knowing all things and having an answer to all things; it is the act of asking the question and searching for an answer. Just because an answer has not yet been discovered or agreed upon (as is the case with the discussion of how life came from non-living matter) does not mean that an answer does not exist. As I said in a comment on a previous post, not knowing an answer and automatically blaming the unexplained on God is not science—it is a cop-out. We used to wonder how the neutrons and protons of an atom are kept together (since you wanted to talk chemistry, here you go); did we automatically say that it was God holding them together at all times? No, we looked for an answer, and discovered the nuclear strong and weak forces.
I’ve already met my quota of your time-spent-reading today, so I’ll continue my critique of the article in future posts at some point, but in closing I’d like to thank the folks at Creation Today for encouraging skepticism in students when you say at the end of the article, “… you have a right to be skeptical that what [your teachers] are teaching about evolution is true.” I cannot agree more. We have a right, even duty, in my opinion, to be skeptics regarding all things—evolution included. We should look at evidence and form our own opinions. I hope the answers I’ve provided above, and will provide in my future posts, begin to help you see the evidence that does indeed exist for the existence of evolution by natural selection, and I would encourage you all to read about it further.
As one who is always open to discussion, whether you agree with me or not, I encourage you to share your voice with the comment form below!