by Babu G. Ranganathan
Click here to read part I.
What if the similarities between species are due to a common designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes? Only genetic similarities within a biological kind can be used as proof of relationship.
Life and genetic information are far too complex to have happened by chance. Therefore, it is much more logical to believe that the genetic and biological similarities between species are due to a common Designer rather than common ancestry through evolution. The Creator simply designed similar functions for similar purposes in all of the various forms of life from the simplest to the most complex.
It is important to understand that only those mutations produced in the genes of reproductive cells, such as sperm in the male and ovum (or egg cell) in the female, are passed on to offspring. Mutations and any changes produced in other body cells are not transmitted. For example, if a woman were to lose a finger it would not result in her baby being born with a missing finger. Similarly, even if an ape ever learned to walk upright, it could not pass this characteristic on to its descendants. Thus, modern biology has disproved the once-held theory that acquired characteristics from the environment can be transmitted into the genetic code of offspring.
Recently, scientists have shown certain molecules coming into existence by chance that can mimic DNA in some respects, but these molecules are not as complex as DNA and they cannot fulfill all of the functions that only DNA and RNA can perform. Showing that these other molecules can come into existence by chance is not the same as showing DNA can come into existence by chance! In fact, as it has already been noted, no scientist anywhere has ever shown that the DNA molecule can originate by chance.
Contrary to popular belief, scientists have never created life in the laboratory. What scientists have done is genetically alter or engineer already existing forms of life, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life. However, they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matter.
Even if scientists ever do produce life from non-living matter it won't be by chance so it still wouldn't help support any theory for the chance or evolutionary origin of life.
In the particular case involving artificial, or synthetic, life scientists don't actually create or produce life itself from non-living matter. What scientists do in this case is create (by intelligent design) artificial DNA (genetic instructions and code) which is then implanted into an already existing living cell and, thereby, changing that cell into a new form of life. And, again, even if scientists ever do create a whole living cell from scratch (and not just its DNA) it still would not be by chance but by intelligent design.
Artificial, or synthetic, life is another form of genetic engineering. But God was there first. Remember that! What if we should find evidence of life on Mars? Wouldn't that prove evolution? No. It wouldn't be proof that such life had evolved from non-living matter by chance natural processes. And even if we did find evidence of life on Mars it would have most likely have come from our very own planet - Earth! In the Earth's past there was powerful volcanic activity which could have easily spewed dirt-containing microbes into outer space which eventually could have reached Mars. A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility.
"We think there's about 7 million tons of earth soil sitting on Mars", says (evolutionist) Kenneth Nealson. "You have to consider the possibility that if we find life on Mars, it could have come from the Earth" [Weingarten, T., Newsweek, September 21, 1998, p.12]. Furthermore, MIT scientist Dr. Walt Brown (a creationist) in his book In The Beginning points out that during the great Genesis flood, as recorded in the Bible, the fountains of the deep that were let loose could have easily spewed out meteors and meteorites into space that very well may have contained micro-organisms such as bacteria.
If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane.
Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The question is how did life come about when there was no directing mechanism in Nature. An excellent article to read by scientist and biochemist Dr. Duane T. Gish is "A Few Reasons An Evolutionary Origin of Life Is Impossible".
The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell coming into existence by chance is comparable to the probability of a tornado going through a junk yard of airplane parts and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet!
Young people, and even adults, often wonder how all the varieties and races of people could come from the same human ancestors. Well, in principle, that's no different than asking how children with different color hair ( i.e. blond, brunette, brown, red ) can come from the same parents who both have black hair.
Just as some individuals today carry genes to produce descendants with different color hair and eyes, humanity's first parents, Adam and Eve, possessed genes to produce all the varieties and races of men. You and I today may not carry the genes to produce every variety or race of humans, but Adam and Eve, did possess such genes.
All varieties of humans carry genes for the same basic traits, but not all humans carry every possible variation of those genes. For example, one person may be carrying several variations of the gene for eye color (i.e. brown, green, and blue), but someone else may be carrying only one variation of the gene for eye color (i.e. brown). Thus, both will have different abilities to affect the eye color of their offspring. Our bodies do not express every possible variation of the genes that we carry. One man having black hair may be carrying unexpressed genes for blond hair. Another man having black hair may not be carrying any unexpressed genes for different color hair. There are so many possibilities with genes and their combinations.
Some parents with black hair, for example, are capable of producing children with blond hair, but their blond children (because they inherit only recessive genes) will not have the ability to produce children with black hair unless they mate with someone else who has black hair. If the blond descendants only mate with other blondes then the entire line and population will only be blond even though the original ancestor was black-haired.
What about the fossils?
The fossil record contains fossils of only complete and fully-formed species. There are no fossils of partially-evolved species to indicate that a gradual process of evolution ever occurred. Even among evolutionists there are diametrically different interpretations and reconstructions of the fossils used to support human evolution from a supposed ape-like ancestry. In fact, all of the fossils, with their fancy scientific names, that have been used to support human evolution have eventually been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not both human and non-human. Yet, many modern school textbooks continue to use these long disproved fossils as evidence for human evolution. Evolutionists once reconstructed an image of a half-ape and half-man (known as The Nebraska Man) creature from a single tooth! Later they discovered that the tooth belonged to an extinct species of pig! The "Nebraska Man" was used as a major piece of evidence in the famous Scopes Trial in support of Darwin's evolutionary theory.
Even if evolution takes millions and millions of years, we should still be able to see some stages of its process. But, we simply don't observe any partially-evolved fish, frogs, lizards, birds, dogs, cats among us. Every species of plant and animal is complete and fully-formed.
Another problem is how could partially-evolved plant and animal species survive over millions of years if their vital organs and tissues were still in the process of evolving? How, for example, were animals breathing, eating, and reproducing if their respiratory, digestive, and reproductive organs were still incomplete and evolving? How were species fighting off possibly life-threatening germs if their immune system hadn't fully evolved yet?
Some of the Internet sites mentioned at the end of this article contain much more in-depth information and explanation about the fossil record.
What we believe about our origins influences and affects our attitude and philosophy toward life and how we view ourselves (our worth) and how we view others (their worth). This is no small issue!
Yes, natural laws are adequate to explain how the order in life, the universe, and even a microwave oven operates but mere undirected natural laws can never fully explain the origin of such order.
Just because science can explain how life and the universe work doesn't mean there is no ultimate Designer. Would it be rational to believe that there is no designer behind airplanes because science can explain how airplanes work?
We know from the law of entropy in science that the universe does not have the ability to have sustained itself from all eternity. It requires a beginning. But, we also know from science that natural laws could not have brought the universe into being from nothing. The beginning of the universe, therefore, points to a supernatural origin!
Belief in neither evolution or creation is necessary to the actual study of science itself. One can study and understand how the human body works and become a first class surgeon regardless of whether he or she believes the human body is the result of the chance forces of Nature or of a Supreme Designer.
Science cannot prove that we are here by chance (evolution) or by design (creation). However, the scientific evidence can be used to support one or the other. If some astronauts from Earth discovered figures of persons similar to Mt. Rushmore on an uninhabited planet there would be no way to scientifically prove the carved figures originated by design or by chance processes of erosion. Neither position is science, but scientific arguments may be made to support one or the other.
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory, especially in public schools, which receive funding from taxpayers, who are on both sides of the issue. Also, no one is being forced to believe in God or adopt a particular religion so there is no true violation of separation of church and state. As a religion and science writer, I encourage all to read my Internet article "The Natural Limits of Evolution" for a more in-depth study of the issue of origins and intelligent design.
An excellent source of information from highly qualified scientists who are creationists is the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, California. Also, the reader may find answers to many difficult questions concerning the Bible (including questions on creation and evolution, Noah's Ark, how dinosaurs fit into the Bible, etc.) at http://www.ChristianAnswers.net.
MIT scientist, creationist, debater, writer, and lecturer, Dr. Walt Brown covers various scientific issues (i.e. fossils, "transitional" links, biological variation and diversity, the origin of life, comparative anatomy and embryology, the issue of vestigial organs, the age of the earth, etc.) at greater depth on his website.
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. degree with concentrations in theology and biology. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's website may be accessed at: www.religionscience.com.