by Babu G. Ranganathan
The recent news about a footprint found to be 1.5 millions years as evidence for human evolution is based on circular reasoning. First, many don't realize the evolutionary assumptions involved in dating fossil layers, but that is another story. Readers who wish to pursue the subject may find the Pravda.Ru article "Are Fossils Really Millions Years Old?" of interest. Many have wrongly believed that evolutionists use infallible scientific dating methods.
Concerning the recent discovery of a 1.5 million year footprint, it is assumed that because humans did not exist 1.5 million years ago that this footprint, which evidence shows belongs to a creature who walked erect, must have belonged to a simian being that was in the process of evolving into a human. This conclusion, actually, is based on a whole series of assumptions.
Millions of people are taught in schools and textbooks all over the world that the fossil record furnishes scientific proof of evolution. But, where are there fossils of half-evolved dinosaurs or other creatures?
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.
At times evolutionists have used various bones gathered from many yards of each other and classify them as belonging to the same creature (even when there's no proof). They then reconstruct from these bones whatever will support their hypotheses. The fossil case "Lucy" is an excellent example of this. Scientists have only forty percent of the bones for Lucy. The bones were found yards from each other, some were found even a mile or more away! The knee joint (the main evidence used) was found two hundred feet below ground from the rest of the bones. Many of the leading scientists doubt that the bones all belong to the same species or individual. And, some of the key bones are crushed. Yet, from all of this evolutionists have reconstructed a drawing of an ape-man creature (in full color)for display in textbooks and museums! Many experts are not convinced that Lucy was an ape-man because they're not convinced all of the bones belong to the same individual or even the same species. Many leading authorities have said that "Lucy" is really an extinct ape, but not an ape-man. Those scientists who are convinced that Lucy was an ape-man are the ones that receive all the attention from the mainstream media.
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?
Scientist Dr. Walt Brown, in his fantastic book "In The Beginning", makes this point by saying "All species appear fully developed, not partially developed. They show design. There are no examples of half-developed feathers, eyes, skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any of thousands of other vital organs. Tubes that are not 100% complete are a liability; so are partially developed organs and some body parts. For example, if a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing."
A lizard with half-evolved legs and wings can't run or fly away from its predators. How would it survive? Why would it be preserved by natural selection? Imagine such a species surviving in such a miserable state over many millions of years waiting for fully-formed wings to evolve!
Some evolutionists cite the fossil of an ancient bird known to have claws as an example of a transitional link. However, there are two species of birds living today in South America that have claws on their wings, but even evolutionists today do not claim that these birds are transitional links from a reptilian ancestry. These claws are complete, as everything else on the birds.
What about all those spectacular and popular claims reported in the mass media of evolutionists having discovered certain transitional forms in the fossil record? Such claims have not been accepted by all evolutionists and, after much investigation and analysis, these claims have been found to have no hard basis in science. This has been the case of every so-called "missing link" and "transitional" form discovered since Darwin.
Recently it was thought they had discovered fossils of dinosaurs with feathers until they found out that the so-called feathers were really scales which only had the appearance of feathers. Scientists theorize the scales took upon a feather-like appearance during some brief stage of decomposition before being fossilized. Even if they were feathers, this still wouldn't be any kind of evidence to support macro-evolution unless they can show a series of fossils having part-scale/part-feather structures as evidence that the scales had really evolved into feathers.
Many times, evolutionists use similarities of traits shared by different forms of life as a basis for claiming a transitional link. But, the problem for evolutionists is that all the traits which they cite are complete and fully-formed. And evolutionists are not consistent. The duck-billed platypus, for example, has traits belonging to both mammals and birds but even evolutionists won't go so far as to claim that the duck-billed platypus is a transitional link between birds and mammals!
Evolutionists claim that the genetic and biological similarities between species is evidence of common ancestry. However, that is only one interpretation. Another possibility is that the comparative similarities are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes in all of the various species and forms of life. Neither position can be scientifically proved.
Not only are there no true transitional links in the fossil record, but the fossils themselves are not in the supposed geological sequential order as evolutionists claim in their textbooks. Of course, evolutionists have their various circular and unsupported arguments or reasons for why this is so.
If evolution across biological kinds (known as macro-evolution) really occurred then we should find millions of indisputable transitional forms in the fossil record (i.e. fossils of fish with part fins, part feet)instead of a few disputable "transitional" forms that even all evolutionists cannot agree upon. And, again, the point needs to be emphasized that species cannot wait millions of years for their vital (or necessary) organs and biological systems to evolve.
In fact, it is precisely because of these problems that more and more modern evolutionists are adopting a new theory known as Punctuated Equilibrium which says that plant and animal species evolved suddenly from one kind to another and that is why we don't see evidence of partially-evolved species in the fossil record. Of course, we have to accept their word on blind faith because there is no way to prove or disprove what they are saying. These evolutionists claim that something like massive bombardment of radiation resulted in mega mutations in species which produced "instantaneous" changes from one life form to another. The nature and issue of mutations will be discussed later and the reader will see why such an argument is not viable.
The fact that animal and plant species are found fully formed and complete in the fossil record is powerful evidence (although not proof) for creation because it is evidence that they came into existence as fully formed and complete which is possible only by creation.
Although Darwin was partially correct by showing that natural selection occurs in nature, the problem is that natural selection itself is not a creative force. Natural selection is a passive process in nature. Natural selection can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. Natural selection itself does not produce any biological traits or variations.
The term "natural selection" is simply a figure of speech. Nature, of course, does not do any conscious or active selection. If a biological variation occurs which helps a member of a species to survive in its environment then that biological variation will be preserved ("selected") and be passed on to future offspring. That's what scientists mean by the term "natural selection". Since natural selection can only work with biological variations that are possible, the real question to ask is what biological variations are naturally possible.
The evidence from genetics supports only the possibility for microevolution (or horizontal) evolution within biological "kinds" such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc., but not macroevolution (or vertical) evolution which would involve variations across biological "kinds"), especially from simpler kinds to more complex ones (i.e. from fish to human). The genes already exist in every species for micro-evolution, but not all genes have the same opportunity for expression. Macro-evolution, on the other hand, would require the creation of entirely new genes and not just new combinations or alterations of already existing genes in a population.
Even if a new species develops but there are no new genes or new traits, but only new variations of already existing genes and traits, then there still is no macro-evolution (variation across biological kinds) and the different species would remain within the same biological "kind" even though they would no longer have the ability to inter-breed. Unless Nature has the intelligence and ability to perform genetic engineering (to construct entirely new genes and not just to produce variations and new combinations of already existing genes) then macroevolution will never be possible in Nature.
The early grooves in the human embryo that appear to look like gills are really the early stages in the formation of the face, throat, and neck regions. The so-called "tailbone" is the early formation of the coccyx and spinal column which, because of the rate of growth being faster than the rest of the body at this stage, appears to look like a tail. The coccyx has already been proven to be useful in providing support for the pelvic muscles.
Abortion clinics have been known to console their patients by telling them that what they're terminating isn't really a human being yet but is only a guppie or tadpole!
Variations across biological kinds such as humans evolving from ape-like creatures and apes, in turn, evolving from dog-like creatures and so on, as Darwinian evolutionary theory teaches, are not genetically possible. Although the chemicals to make entirely new genes exist in all varieties of plant and animal kinds, the DNA or genetic program that exists in each plant or animal kind will only direct those chemicals into making more of the same genes or variations of the same genes but not entirely new genes.
But, didn't we all start off from a single cell in our mother's womb? Yes, but that single cell from which we developed had all of the genetic information to develop into a full human being. Other single cells, such as bacteria and amoeba, from which evolutionists say we and all other forms of life had evloved don't have the genetic information to develop into humans or other species.
There is no scientific evidence that random mutations in the genetic code caused by random environmental forces such as radiation will increase genetic information and complexity which is what ultimately would be necessary to turn amoebas into humans. In fact, the law of entropy in nature would prevent random mutations from being able to accomplish such a feat!
Biological variations are determined by the DNA or genetic code of species. The DNA molecule is actually a molecular string of various nucleic acids which are arranged in a sequence just like the letters in a sentence. It is this sequence in DNA that tells cells in the body how to construct various tissues and organs.
The common belief among evolutionists is that random mutations in the genetic code produced by random environmental forces such as radiation, over time, will produce entirely new genetic sequences or genes for entirely new traits which natural selection can act upon resulting in entirely new biological kinds or forms of life . Evolutionists consider mutations to be a form of natural genetic engineering.
However, the very nature of mutations precludes such a possibility. Mutations are accidental changes in the sequential structure of the genetic code caused by various random environmental forces such as radiation and toxic chemicals.
Almost all true mutations are harmful, which is what one would normally expect from accidents. Even if a good mutation occurred for every good one there will be thousands of harmful ones with the net result over time being disastrous for the species.
Most biological variations, however, occur as a result of new combinations of previously existing genes - not because of mutations, which are rare in nature.
Mutations simply produce new varieties of already existing traits. For example, mutations in the gene for human hair may change the gene so that another type of human hair develops, but the mutations won't change the gene so that feathers or wings develop.
Sometimes mutations may trigger the duplication of already existing traits (i.e. an extra finger, toe, or even an entire head, even in another area of the body!). But mutations have no ability to produce entirely new traits or characteristics.
Furthermore, 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.
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 possessed genes to produce all the variety and races of men. You and I today may not carry the genes to produce every variety or race of humans, but humanity's first parents 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, 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.
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.
Science cannot prove we're here by creation, but neither can science prove we're here by chance or macro-evolution. No one has observed either. They are both accepted on faith. The issue is which faith, Darwinian macro-evolutionary theory or creation, has better scientific support.
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.
What we believe about life's origins does influence our philosophy and value of life as well as our view of ourselves and others. This is no small issue!
Just because the laws of science can explain how life and the universe operate and work doesn't mean there is no Maker. Would it be rational to believe that there's no designer behind airplanes because the laws of science can explain how airplanes operate and work?
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.
Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the genetic program and biological mechanisms exist to direct and organize molecules to form into more cells. The question is how did life come into being 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 "
There is, of course, much more to be said on this subject. 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 at www.creationscience.com .
On his website, Dr. Brown even discusses the possibility of any remains of life on Mars as having originated from the Earth due to great geological disturbances in the Earth's past which easily could have spewed thousands of tons of rock and dirt containing microbes into space. In fact, A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility.
An excellent source of information from highly qualified scientists who are creationists is the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, California.
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design or creation 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" at my website for more in-depth study of the issue.
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.