The Sceptical Astronomer: Evolution in the Spotlight.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

                                                                                                               2 Timothy 4: 3-4

Do you accept the theory of biological evolution? If so, why? Do you have the necessary cognitive tools to assess the theory?  Are you equipped with the latest knowledge that enables you to critically appraise the theory in light of new research findings?

Here, I present a variety of evidentiary points, testimonies, discussions and philosophic discourses that raise legitimate arguments against the theory of evolution, as promulgated by biologists.

Part I: Origins

And God said let there be soup….Not!

All theories, no matter how credible they may appear, must be based on robust origins. Yet the very foundations upon which the ‘warm little pond’ theory has been built are shaky.  There is actually no evidence that something manifestly alive can self assemble from pre-existing non living matter. Naturalists often point to a ‘creation myth’ in which pre-biotic chemicals existing in an organic ‘soup’ that lasted for a billion years, spontaneously assembled into the first cells….. just like that. Recent research however has shown this to be patently not the case. There was no primordial soup and no time (from a geological perspective) for the origin of life to get started. Furthermore, the first cells would have required homochiral molecules, displaying either right handed (for sugars) and left handed (for amino acids) enantiometric properties and in their pure form. However, no one has come up with a plausible physicochemical mechanism to explain the origin of homochirality.

Evolution cannot be considered a serious science unless it is based on solid foundations, which it clearly doesn’t have.

So why do you persist in believing it?

Have a listen to this talk presented by the distinguished chemist, Professor John Walton, Fellow of the Royal Society, currently based at the University of St. Andrews; Could life have started through chance chemical reactions on the primordial Earth?

Part II: Numbers

Biologists have long known that the number of genetic mutations that are deleterious to an organism vastly outnumber those that are beneficial. That ratio appears to be species dependent and can range from 10,000:1 to about 10,000,000:1. If natural selection were the prime driving force in speciation, one would expect it to move a gene pool towards the acquisition of more and more beneficial mutations over time (because they confer a survival advantage, right?). Yet, because the mutation rate of most genomes is very high, logic dictates that it would drive a species to extinction well before enough beneficial mutations were accrued to bring about any meaningful phenotypic change. Furthermore, the greater the complexity of the animal, the faster it ought to degenerate. In regard to speciation, despite showing abundant evidence for micro-evolutionary changes in viruses and bacteria, scientists have failed to observe the emergence –in real time – of a single, new bacterial species in over 150 years of diligent study.

This simple appeal to numbers, in my mind, seriously challenges any kind of evolutionary paradigm; theistic or otherwise.

My cats and I shouldnae be here!

Yet, nonetheless here we are!

And what is the nature of life’s sustaining principle?

Eye.

Part III: Life’s Minimal Complexity…..More Numbers.

The earliest forms of life to appear on Earth, the Bacteria and Archea, have been studied more by scientists than any of the other domains of life. Free living species consist of about 1500 genes and seem to require all of them to eke out an existence in their respective environments. Yet scientists have uncovered parasitic species that harbour about a third of the free-living gene quota; about 450 to 500 gene products. The smaller number reflects the parasitic nature of the organism which presumably only requires a minimum number of genes in order to sustain its existence within its host. But that raises an interesting question. What is the minimum number of gene sets that can enable these microbes to survive? Recent theoretical work conducted by a team of researchers at the National Institute of Health has yielded a lower minimum of ~ 256 genes. Curiously, molecular biologists conducting gene knock out experiments on Bacillus subtilis, reveal that between 254 and 450 genes are required to sustain life in its bare minimal form i.e. they can only be kept alive by supplying them with additional minerals and nutrients. Further independent work performed on other bacterial species reveals the same thing; a few hundred genes are needed to maintain the essence of life.
But what does this mean for origin of life researchers? These genes must spontaneously exist in the same place at the same time, together with all the protein enzymes needed to replicate their minimalistic genomes within a semi-permeable membrane. When all the calculations are done, they find the probability of such an event occurring to be of the order of one chance in 10^99,999,999,916. Such a number implies that neither enough matter or enough time in the universe exists for even the simplest bacterium to emerge via undirected, naturalistic means.

And yet, we are told they evolved!

Really?

Non credo quia absurdum est!

Further Reading: Rana, F. & Ross, H, (2014), Origins of Life, RTB Press.

Part IV: Complex Enzymes Evolving Earlier than Expected…… Much Earlier!

All life on Earth requires nitrogen in a chemically active form to synthesize the proteins and a plethora of other biomolecules necessary to drive life processes.  Although nearly four fifths of the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of molecular nitrogen, it is almost inert (owing to the very strong triple bond forged between the N atoms). This means that living organisms cannot utilize this form of nitrogen without reducing it to a more chemically reactive form – ammonia. Nitrogen fixing bacteria possess a highly complex enzyme – nitrogenase – which mediates this vital metabolic role but previous phylogenetic studies of the enzyme suggested that it could not have existed much before 2 billion years ago.

Nitrogenase reaction.PNGA simplified schematic of nitrogenase biochemistry.

New revelations are unveiling something much more interesting. A group of researchers based at the University of Washington has uncovered isotopic signatures in rocks dating back to 3.2 billion years which imply that biochemical nitrogen fixation was already established by this early time – the Archean. While the data cannot be readily reconciled with a molecular evolution model, it is entirely anticipated in a testable creation model. The latter predicts that the first forms of life were biochemically complex and thus could not have evolved. There is a groundswell of new scientific data pointing in this direction.

 Part V: Corbies

 

The wee corbie.

The wee corbie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who provides for the raven its prey,

When its young ones cry to God,

And wander about for lack of food?

                                                                   Job 38:41

The wee corbies that nest in the conifer trees ‘round my hoose are awfully clever. Noah( Genesis 8:7) and Elijah ( I Kings 17:4) used them as couriers back in the day.

Indeed, recent studies show that they have greater mental powers than any of the great apes. You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side o’ them either; they recognise faces and teach others in their community to single you oot.

The cleverness o’ corbies has left evolutionary biologists in a guddle.

They cannae explain it and didnae anticipate it.

The corbie’s intellect is strong evidence that humans could not have descended from another primate species (even if they share 90 per cent of their DNA wi’ humans while bananas share 50 per cent). Or shall we posit that Homo sapiens sapiens descended fae the Corvidae?

Don’t be an ape. Open your eyes while you still have time.

Eye.

Part VI: The Evolution of  Microbial Drug Resistance

The phenomenon of antibiotic resistance has long been used by biology educators to illustrate the veracity of the evolutionary paradigm. We’re all familiar with the basic idea; a population of microbes initially 100 per cent sensitive to an anti-microbial drug produces a single mutant bacterium that can either detoxify the drug or find a way to expel it from the interior of the cell. This resistance to the antibiotic confers a selective advantage on the mutant cell, allowing it to replicate unhindered and so, as time progresses, the mutant organism becomes the predominant phenotype, so that strain eventually becomes resistant to that particular agent.

Then we have so-called Multidrug Resistance, where organisms are assumed to have ‘evolved’ the genetic ability to prevent not one, but several antibiotics to work, thus creating the ‘highly evolved’ Superbugs (MRSA and the like). This chain of events is widely used as a very potent argument for ‘evolution in action’. Indeed, this same argument has been used by some proponents for ‘Evolution Only Education’ to suggest that those who don’t believe in the theory -from a purely rational perspective -are somehow acting in an immoral way.

The truth however, as you’ll see from this podcast, is that bacteria never evolved anything new. The researchers discovered that the majority of bacteria living in waters isolated from the rest of world for several million years (and thus, by implication, had no prior exposure to these antimicrobial drugs) were already multi-drug resistant. They simply acquired these characteristics from their environment and thus did not evolve. They did not change in their fundamental nature, just as the Bible states in Genesis I.

So, the question I’d like to ask you is this: Is it moral to withhold the whole truth from beginning biology students about the so-called ‘evolution of multi-drug resistance?

Quid est veritas?

More on the human hand in the scourge of antibiotic resistance here

Part VII: Probability

In a very interesting research paper published in 1983, physicist Brandon Carter calculated the probability for a species as technically advanced as human beings to have developed from a microbial species in ten billion years or less. The odds are 10^-24,000,000. This result completely rules out the possibility of any extraterrestrial intelligence arising anywhere in the Universe but also the impossibility of human life arising from any naturalistic means.

Somebody ought to tell the folks at SETI about this paper, as well as origin of life researchers.

Source: Carter, Brandon, “The Anthropic Principle and its implications for Biological Evolution”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, A 310, pp- 347-60. (1983).

Part VIII: Brave New Worlds

books

You cannae win.

 

You cannae break even.

 

You cannae stay oot o’ the game.

Aye, the classical laws o’ thermodynamics!

The inadequacy of the evolutionary paradigm has prompted some prominent scientists to ‘look beyond Darwin’, as it were, to discover other ways in which complex systems can come into being without the intervention of a supernatural agent. The Nobel laureate, chemist Ilya Prigogine, in his book, Order out of Chaos, explores how chaotic systems ‘evolve’ into more ordered structures within a naturalistic framework. To be honest though, all Dr. Prigogine has managed to demonstrate is a kind of pattern formation – fractal systems and the like- such as those seen in snowflakes, spiral galaxies and rose petals – systems that cannot even remotely approach the level of complexity, information storage capacity or specified purpose of even the simplest living systems.

Others have gone in other directions, invoking new laws of nature to explain how living systems could arise from non living susbstrates. Biologist Stuart Kaufmann, of the Santa Fe Institute, California, has proposed what he calls a 4th law of thermodynamics in his book, At Home in the Universe, to explain the origin of self sustaining, self organising systems such as living things. The only trouble with such a law is that it would violate the second law o’ thermodynamics, but he’s still searching….. apparently.

Part IX: Transitional forms and all that

One of the ‘strongest’ arguments used by biologists to bolster the evolutionary paradigm is the existence of so-called transitional forms which are often cited to explain the evolutionary progression of a species. Arguably the best attested examples of these ‘missing links’ are illustrated by the fishapods and the whale. But as this podcast clearly demonstrates, these examples make heehaw sense. As you’ll discover after watching this podcast, three major problems attend the putative evolutionary ascent of these (or any other) creatures.

They often appear at the same time in the fossil record

They appear in the wrong order to that anticipated by Darwinian theory.

There ought to be far more examples of transitional forms in the fossil record to make the theory viable.

There is simply insufficient hard evidence to convince a sceptic that macro-evolution is real.

Are you going to stand there and defend a theory that doesn’t make sense?

Don’t be a dunderheid!

How can you even refer to the theory of evolution as ‘rational’?

A zoologist debunks whale evolution here

Part X: Speedy Evolution

Anyone wishing to evaluate the evolutionary paradigm in the cold light of day, must contemplate the explosive events in the history of life on Earth. Arguably the most profound and (still) deeply mystifying of these events is the Cambrian Explosion, which occurred about 540 million years ago, when in the space of a very short time (no more than 2 million years and possibly a lot less than this), most of the known complex animal phyla sprang into existence. The best palaeontologists can say is that it demonstrates super rapid evolution without providing any clarification of how this (dramatic) speeding up of the evolutionary rate was supposed to occur. 

We don’t need any more flowery books talking about it and making its authors wealthy, we want credible scientific explanations!

Part XI: Junk DNA, Bad Designs and all the rest of it

Biologists have long known that only 5 to 30 percent of DNA found in complex creatures codes for functional proteins – the workhorse molecules of the cell. Indeed, only 3 per cent of human DNA encodes proteins. The rest came to be known as ‘junk DNA’ and biologists cited this as powerful evidence for the evolutionary paradigm. Afterall, random molecular events would be expected to gradually turn functional DNA into useless artefacts.

For three decades, they rested on their laurels. But in the mid-1990’s, a team of physicists (yes physicists) made an important breakthrough that left the biologists scratching their heads.  They noticed that the quantity of junk DNA correlated strongly with the degree of complexity of the organism. In 1994, the physicists brought computing power to the table, showing that the junk DNA carries the same complex patterns of communication found in human speech. Indeed, subsequent work revealed that our junk DNA encodes far more information about our linguistic nuances than the protein-coding DNA. Today, it is becoming widely recognised that none of the junk DNA is devoid of function and indeed seems to be directing many higher order coding activities.

These revelations have proven to be highly embarrassing for the High Priests of the Evolutionary Paradigm and can no longer be used to support their world views.

Likewise, traditional arguments of ‘bad designs’ reveal a deep-seated ignorance on the part of those who cling to evolutionary ideas. Traditional examples, such as the human appendix, tonsils and the ‘ residual’ human tail bone, the back-to-front wiring of the human eye and the presumed awkwardness of the Panda’s thumb have been shown to be ill thought out, when further research has clearly established important functions for these organs and appendages and why they are the way they are.

Without my tailbone, I wouldnae be able tae stand for long in me gairden ken wi’ my telescopes, nor could I have been the promising long distance runner I was in my teenage years.

Evolutionists ought to think twice in future about spouting off about bad designs. Time always reveals the foolishness of their proclamations.

For more on Junk DNA see here.

For more on Bad Designs see here.

More on Junk DNA & human linguistics;

Mantegna, R.N. et al, “Linguistic features of Non-Coding DNA Sequences”, Physical Review Letters, 73, pp 3169-72 (1994).

Part XII: Stamp Collecting

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 1: 28

If a soulish creature finds itself on the edge of a sheer cliff, without wings, it intuitively knows it’s in danger. Humans understand that this fear arises as a consequence of the law of gravity, a force which operates throughout the universe, deciding the fate of galaxies, stars and the planets they spawn.

There is nothing in the evolutionary paradigm that can explain my ability to type 100 words per minute on my laptop either; why, despite as yet, no spacecraft data, I can use the inverse square law to vividly imagine how bright the noonday Sun would be on my upturned face were I able to stand on the surface of Eris.

It is our cognitive capacities, –entirely unanticipated by Darwinian evolutionthat turn out to be our saving grace. Humans conceived of the Big Bang before we had any hard evidence for it. And in another Big Bang, humans arrived on Earth, consuming its resources and building the global high technology society we find ourselves in today.

Part XIII: Spiritual Blindness

Romans 1 tells us how intelligent, well meaning individuals will become spiritually blind, unwilling to accept the truth even though the evidence is heavily stacked against them.  In this link, you will uncover yet another reasoned argument against the theory of evolution by an ordinary bloke who has done some homework and there is much that is meritorious in it.

Isn’t it about time you started to wise up?

Part XIV: The Nervous Multitudes of the Cambrian Seas.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life….

Genesis: 1:20

Every day the case for biological evolution weakens. And the Cambrian animals continue to provide the ‘smoking gun’. In this article, the author discusses the amazing discovery of animals already possessing complex nervous systems when the evolutionists would expect otherwise.

Scrathin’ my heid.

Part XV: Getting Round Life’s Early – Very Early – Origin

Despite strong isotopic evidence favoring the early origin and global reach of life, some scientists have tried to duck the issue by trying to find ways round the conundrum,  recognizing that any realistic evolutionary model needs way more time to create complex cellular lifeforms. But you can’t have your cake and eat it!

Here is a rebuttal of that back-tracking.

Life on earth appears to have arisen spontaneously in the early history of our planet, challenging Neo-Darwinian evolution.

 

Part XVI: A Purpose Led Life

What are the implications for holding true to the prevailing, naturalistic interpretation of the allegory of life on Earth via Darwinian evolution? There is no God and no heaven, no basis for right and wrong, no purpose and no ultimate meaning to life. It is a world utterly bereft of hope.
That’s such a dull way to look at things don’t you think?

Which clever clogs dreamt all that up?
Dinnae fash yersel!
You see, that’s just not the way the world really is.

Part XVII: Experiments

A team of evolutionary biologists based at the University of Michigan have been carrying out a long term experiment on the bacterium E. coliTwelve different  E. coli populations  were grown under highly artificial laboratory conditions in order to establish whether such breeding conditions could bring about a repeated micro-evolutionary outcome. The answer after twenty years of continued growth corresponding to 40,000 generations was no. After 45,000 generations just one micro-evolutionary change was documented. But that change did not manifest something new; indeed it only re-activated a pre-existing gene.

Extrapolated to our kind, 45,000 generations would represent a million years of ‘human evolution’.

Other long term evolution experiments on yeast, fungi and fruit flies show how limited natural processes seem to be in their capacity to generate significant changes in existing lifeforms. The Biblical account – the only book of scripture that gets the science right – informs us that divine intervention played a critical role in directing life on Earth over the aeons and provides a much more plausible explanation to a rational mind. For six days God created and on the seventh, He rested.

Put your trust in the God of the Bible. Open your heart to Him today!

Part XVIII: Genetic Entropy

Plant geneticist, Dr. John Sanford, a former secular scientist turned Christian, has promulgated the concept of genetic entropy, which posits that genomes, like all other complex structures, are subject to the law of decay causing organisms to decrease in fitness and not the other way round as Darwinian models predict.
Such a model neatly explains the ages of the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, who lived far longer lives than we do and why they declined in longevity as the post-flood era progressed.

In this article, the author discusses the alarming increase in autism in the world and how it might well be the best evidence yet that humans either didn’t or can’t evolve.

See what you think?

Part XIX: Extra-terrestrial Life: Frank Drake, one of the founding fathers of the radio Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), once described how he and the late Carl Sagan went up to the great radio telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia, to listen for signals from alien civilizations. Sagan was cock sure that they would uncover something ‘within an hour’. But instead of finding ETI, Sagan nodded off and eventually got so bored that he gestured to Drake to quit and go home.
Half a century later, advances in technology have improved the power of detection by 14 orders of magnitude, yet still there are no signs of alien intelligence. You see, Drake’s ‘faith’ lies entirely with the evolutionary process operating throughout the cosmos, but as I have demonstrated previously, there is no solid evidence that what happened on Earth could ever happen anywhere else. An appeal to probability alone suggests that it was a singular event, once in a 13.8 billion year old blue moon.

Even if alien biospheres exist, the latest research shows they’re more likely to go extinct.

I suspect the only aliens you’re ever going to meet are the ones already living next door to you.

Part XX:Hominids

Recoginse yourself? Really?

Know thyself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleoanthropologists have uncovered a variety of human-like creatures that exhibited bipedalism and tool use over the last few million years. These hominids are widely cited as evidence that humans evolved from more primitive ancestors. But a closer look at the data shows that the tools employed by these hominids did not improve appreciably over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years and are nothing like the sophisticated tools that were suddenly introduced by modern humans. Moreover, DNA analyses of later hominids (the Neanderthals and Denisovans, for example) show that they were genetically distinct from contemporary humans. What is more, there is zero solid evidence (but a lot of wishful thinking) that any of these hominids were capable of symbolic thought – an attribute unique to human beings.

Were you able to look deep into the eyes of a Neanderthal you would not see a spirit.

They did not possess Imago Dei.

So why did God create hominids?

To warn the animals of the impending arrival of a super-predator.

Where is the evidence?

Here is data on large mammal (>40 kilograms) extinction rates during the Late Pleistocene(126-10,000 years ago).

Continent                               Extinction Rate (%)

Australia                                         94

South America                               79

North America                                73

Europe                                           30

Sub-Saharan Africa                         5

Source: African Exodus,The Origins of Modern Humanity ( 1997) Stringer C. & McKie, R., (New York: Henry Holt)

Notice that in regions such as Europe and Sub Saharan Africa, where hominids appeared ‘early’ and in various ‘stages’ of sophistication in the fossil record, extinction rates of large bodied mammals remained very low. In contrast, where hominids were suddenly introduced i.e. Australia, South America and North America, large bodied animals suffered catastrophic extinction rates because they were not ‘habituated’ for long enough to adjust to the increased sophistication of predation.

More on hominids versus humans here.

Can Chimps Cook?

A PhD. zoologist, Dr. Marc Surtees, debunks human evolution here.

Part XXI: Growing International Dissent Among Scientists

One might think that an individual who expresses scepticism about Darwinian evolution is some kind of uneducated crackpot or religious fanatic, but the plain truth is that more and more scientists from all around the world are publicly willing to express their doubts, irrespective of the consequences. Did you spot the Nobel Laureates in there? It is my contention that the theory of evolution as promulgated by biologists is in crisis and needs to be urgently addressed. Take a long, hard look at the list of signatories (and their academic credentials) in the link provided above. If you fit the criteria and have developed similar doubts then add your name to the list?

You can get started here.

Part XXII: Debates & Testimonia:

One of the regnant priests of naturalistic evolution, Professor Richard Dawkins, has publicly claimed that one should never debate with a creationist. But to my way of thinking, that’s a cop out and worse still, a gross admission of weakness.The truth is that Dr. Dawkins won’t debate a scientifically competent creationist because he knows he would lose the argument on multiple levels.

Thankfully, some of Dawkins’ disciples have ignored that advice and gone head to head with other scientists who hold a completely different world view. In the coming weeks, I shall present a series of links to such debates as well as presenting testimonia from a variety of academics within the field.

Link A: Ruse versus Rana

In this debate, American biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana, vice president of Reason’s to Believe, debates British evolutionary biologist, Dr. Michael Ruse, on campus at the University of California on issues regarding the origin of life and Darwinian evolution.

Link B: Two Oxford Professors: Lennox versus Atkins:

Dr. John Lennox, Old Earth Creationist and Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University  debates atheist Dr. Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry, also of Oxford University, on that big question here.

Link C: Lennox versus Dawkins:

Dr. Lennox debates atheist biologist Richard Dawkins here.

Link D: Professor Richard Lumsden: Evolutionary Biologist turned Christian

The late Dr. Richard Lumsden, distinguished Professor of Parasitology at the University of Tulane, New Orleans, USA, gives his damning verdict on the pseudoscience of Darwinian evolution here.

Link E: Dr. David Berlinski, Mathematician & Philosopher

A scathing critique of Darwinian evolution if ever I’ve heard one.

Link F: Problems with Theistic Evolution

Some Christians have tried to harmonize evolutionary ideas with their belief in God. They argue that God used the evolutionary process to ‘guide’ life on Earth over the aeons. But God expects us to think critically, to put everything to the test.

Darwinian evolution fails the litmus test because it is not rational.

See why here.

Here are more discussions on theistic evolution and its intractable problems.

Link F: Whence Biological Information?

Scientist and philosopher,Dr. Stephen Meyer is a distinguished thinker within the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. Here he discusses the origin of life and the information all living things are endowed with.

Link G: Can we know our Designer?

Because God is rational, He created us to be rational in His own image.

A rational being can see clearly whether or not something is the product of a mind, irrespective of what a blinkered evolutionist may claim.

But can we glean something of the nature of the designer from the things that are designed?

Yes indeed! Have a read of this link to explore this idea further.

Part XXIII: The Human Body; Designed or Evolved?

In recent years more and more physicians and life scientists  are recognizing the astounding elegance of the human body and how it defies any evolutionary explanation. Here are just a few for interest;

Body Beautiful

Curvaceous Females

A Beautiful Mind

Wondrous Reflexes

Human G Suits

A Mind Boggling Circulatory System

Designed Image Stabilisation

An Engineered Pelvis

Body Designed to Minimise Dangers from Falling.

The Human Hand: Coupled to our indefatigable spirit, our hands allow us to do marvellous things. With our long, slender fingers and opposable thumbs, humans can create incredibly complex tools and deadly weapons. They enable us to write words, paint pictures and create logical constructs that distinguish us in kind and degree from the animals. Predictably, evolutionary adherents have tried hard to show that the human hand evolved over long periods of time, but now paleo-anthropologists are in a bit of a pickle. Since chimps – our so-called ‘nearest living relative’ do not have hands like ours, it was long thought that the anatomical changes in our hands evolved after the ‘branching’ off of the human and chimp lineages.  But new research conducted by researchers based at the George Washington and Stony Brook universities reveal a completely different picture; the hands of extant and fossil primates, including hominins, are actually quite diverse and that there appears to be nothing especially distinguished about ours. This raises more doubts about the standard concept that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors. See this article for more information.

Part XXIV: More Speedy Evolution

The Triassic-Jurassic mass Extinction Event (TJEE), occurring some 201 +/- 2 million years ago, is the second greatest mass extinction event preserved in the fossil record. It removed more than 95 percent of terrestrial megaflora species, as well as all the animal species dependent upon these plants. Despite this devastating epoch in earth history, it led to another exceptionally rapid radiation of large bodied theropod dinosaur species in its aftermath, with new research suggesting that they appeared in a time span of the order of 10,000 years! And within 100,000 years, dinosaur families had reached a new stable maximum in extremely hostile conditions. Yet again, there is no Darwinian explanation for this but the data beautifully fits a biblical creation model.

Part XXV: The Tree of Life and the Fossil Record
Imagine you came across 100 random frames of an old movie consisting of 100,000 frames. Could you determine the plot of the film? You might be able to get a handful of frames to fit your pre-conceived idea but the rest seem to be telling a completely different story. Would it be reasonable to claim that your pre-conceived ideas of the movie were correct in light of that handful of frames you ‘pieced’ together?

That is rather like the current state of affairs in evolutionary biology.

Here are some influential quotes from a number of researchers in that field:

Henry Gee from his book, In Search of Deep Time- Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life, (1999) , pp 116-117, says:

To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story – amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”

Prominent cell and developmental biologist, Stuart Newmann,  based at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY had this to say regarding the status quo:

The Darwinian mechanism that’s used to explain all evolutionary change will be relegated, I believe, to being one of several mechanisms – maybe not even the most important when it comes to understanding macro-evolution, the evolution of the major transitions in body”

Concerning the fossil record, biologist Malcolm S. Gordon in his book, Biology and Philosophy (1999) , pp 340 states:

“There is no way of knowing to what extent, if at all, those specific organisms were relevant to later developments, or what their relationships might have been.”

Regarding Darwin’s tree of life, evolutionary biologist, Dr. Eric Bapteste said in a 2009 interview for New Scientist:

“We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.”

Later in the same article, fellow evolutionary biologist, Dr. Michael Rose (University of California) says,

“The tree of life is being politely buried, we all know that. What’s less accepted is that our whole view of biology needs to change.”
                                                       New Scientist, January 24, 2009, pp- 37-39.

We are still in the dark about the origin of most major  groups of organisms. They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus – full-blown and raring to go, in contradiction to Darwin’s depiction of evolution as resulting from the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations…..

Schwartz,J., Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes an the Emergence of Species, pp 3, (Wiley, 1999).

If the experts are not sure; why should you feel secure in your evolutionary ‘heritage’?

Part XXVI: Vestigial Organs? No Such Thing!

Evolutionary biologists have long looked to so-called vestigial structures as ‘evidence’ of the evolutionary paradigm at work. But as we learn more about the Book of Nature, we find that no such structure exists; there is specified purpose in everything that is created. Just like the human appendix was found to have important roles in the immune system, so now the intriguing story of the Whale Pelvis is unraveling.

Evolutionary biologists would learn a great deal more if they became Baraminologists!

Part XXVII: The Seeing Eye

The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light.

                          Matthew 6:22

We have already covered some of the astounding features of the human body that show unmistakable signs of design. But your eyes are orders of magnitude more complex than the best robotic eyes humankind has ever constructed. The eye provides excellent evidence of design rather than (excuse the pun) a blind evolutionary theory stabbing in the dark. To help you see the light, have a look at this article and its associated links.

More on the design of the human eye here.

Part XXVIII: Did God Create Using Evolutionary Processes?

The account of Genesis 1-3 and also Psalm 104 clearly indicates that God did not resort to producing creatures gradually, as the evolutionary paradigm insists, because there would not be enough time to do so. Furthermore, I would have to call God a liar but that would contradict scripture (Numbers 23:19). Indeed the evolutionary position makes absolutely no sense, as the Earth would have required a complex biosphere from the beginning in order to maintain life throughout the ages. Psalm 104 in particular informs us that God renews the face of the Earth, driving species to extinction and replacing them with organisms better equipped to deal with a steadily brightening Sun. In this link and the associated podcast at the end of the article, you can explore these ideas more fully.

Part XXIX: Origins with a New Twist

Now that Darwin’s famous book,On the Origins of Species, is in the public domain, some have quickly taken to write their own foreword to the classic text. Ray Comfort, well known for, but not universally respected for, his militant style of evangelism, took the time to illuminate Darwin’s worldview in view of the 21st century Christian faith. Comfort makes some good points that we ought to remember. You can read this and the 150th Anniversary Edition of Origin’s here.

Part XXX: Language & Darwin

Language is a characteristic unique to modern humans. Yet despite a great deal of effort to frame the origin of language in an intelligible Darwinian framework, it has not yielded the evidence it ought to. The latest research suggests that since all humans possess the  same ability to utilize language in conveying thoughts, emotions and abstract ideas, it is unlikely to have evolved gradually as it ought to have in a Darwinian fashion. Indeed, the distinguished authors of this work (Noam Chomski & Ian Tattersall et al) conclude thus:

By this reckoning, the language faculty is an extremely recent acquisition in our lineage, and it was acquired not in the context of slow gradual modification of preexisting systems under natural selection but in a single, rapid, emergent event that built upon those prior systems but was not predicted by them…The relatively sudden origin of language poses difficulties that may be called ‘Darwin’s problem’.’

Yet again, evolutionary process fail the litmus test, but language and its origin can be neatly framed within a biblical creation model.

More on human language here.

Part XXXI: New Evidence from Molecular Biology and Genetics

But you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam about, and knowledge will increase.
                                                                                                  Daniel 12:4

New research continues to cast doubt on the concept of human evolution. In this subsection, we shall explore the latest findings from the discipline of molecular biology to cast a sceptical eye over Darwin’s Victorian creation myth.

Exhibit A: the HAR 1 gene in the animal kingdom and its peculiar behaviour in the human brain.

Exhibit B: Are we more than our DNA? – an interesting talk by David Harrison, currently Professor of Pathology at the University of Edinburgh.

Exhibit C: Microbiologist Rich Deem casts his critical eye over the genetics of humans and their putative ancestral hominins. Is the genetic evidence really there to support human evolution? I don’t think so!

Exhibit D: Population geneticist, Professor Maciej Giertych provides evidence against evolution here.

Exhibit F: Do genetic mutations support a Naturalistic or Creation based worldview? Molecular biologist and visiting Fellow at the Rivendell Institute, Yale University, Dr. Anjeanette  Roberts, argues that maintaining a purely naturalistic outlook could actually be damaging to scientific progress. See here for details.

Exhibit G: Despite vigorous attempts to show otherwise, vascular plants show little or no capacity to evolve. Plant geneticists have used the ordering of genes (synteny) along a chromosome to build ‘evolutionary trees’ between various plant species, but a team of French researchers showed this reasoning to be untenable, debunking a key prediction of the evolutionary paradigm. See here for details.

Exhibit H: In June 2012, Dartmouth University molecular biologist, Kevin Peterson, had a paper published in Nature, where he presented sequence comparisons of microRNA strands (which play vital roles in gene expression) across a wide variety of mammal groups. His results shocked the scientific community because they tore apart traditional ideas about the so-called animal  ‘family tree’.  As Peterson laments in this article, “I’ve looked at thousands of microRNA genes and I can’t find a single example that would support the traditional tree.” According to his own analysis microRNAs yielded, “a radically different diagram for mammals; one that aligns humans more closely with elephants than with rodents.” In the end, Peterson concludes,” the microRNAS are totally unambiguous….. and give a totally different tree from what everyone wants.”

A follow up commentary in Nature from July 28 2014 concludes thus; “A simple tool to decode how animals have evolved over hundreds of millions of years would certainly be nice — but it is looking unlikely that one exists.”

Exhibit I:The Bible and the Jewish Torah authoritatively claim (and borrowed much later in the Qur’an [Sura 2: 30-39] ) that Adam and Eve were the first human beings, uniquely created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1: 26-30), ancestral parents to us all, and that this first couple lived together in the Garden of Eden. The scientific community ridiculed this position for a very long time until new evidence deriving from human mitochrondrial DNA (which is passed down the maternal line) and Y chromosome (passed down the male line) analysis showed that this idea appears to be essentially correct.

All women can be traced to a mitochrondrial ‘Eve’ and all men to a Y chromosomal ‘Adam’. What is more, according to a new study published in Nature in August 2013, ancestral ‘Adam’ and’ Eve’ could well have co-existed, just as the Bible had showed us all along.

For  pre-emptive apologetic commentaries on this fascinating study, see here and here.

Exhibit J: Are organelles evidence for evolution or creation?

Deep inside the cells of eukaryotic organisms (such as humans, frogs and yeast) are found curious structures called organelles such as chloroplasts, which carry out photosynthesis in green plants, and mitochondria, the structures where the vast majority of our cellular energy is furnished. The size and structure of both the chloroplast and the mitochondrion resemble those of simpler, free living cells such as cyanobacteria and ricketsiales, respectively. These organelles possess their own DNA, coding  for anything between 30 and 100 genes. The evolutionary paradigm has it that these were once free living organisms that were internalised inside larger cells, but instead of being used as a food source, they ‘learned’ to co-exist with the larger cell, and gradually, over billions of years, most of their genes were transferred to the genome of the larger, host cell. Evolutionists point to the fact that other organelles have lost all of their genes and so it’s only a matter of time before the same fate will befall mitochondria and chloroplasts, but new research has cast doubt on this idea by finding that the genes encoded by mitochondria and chloroplasts have good reason to stay where they are. An evolutionary quirk or good design sense? You be the judge of that. See here for more details.

Exhibit K: Engineers look to the genius of Nature for Inspiration

By reverse engineering biological organs,  new research continues the make a powerful case for design at the heart of living things. In this article, the distinguished biochemist, Professor Russell W. Carlson, shows how the tail of the seahorse shows the unmistakable hallmarks of intelligent and elegant design in a way that could not be expected by some blind, bumbling process like evolution.

Part XXXII: Seeing the ‘Big’ Picture

As I have intimated throughout this link, belief in Darwinian evolution is not scientific and thus, cannot be considered rational. Such irrational ideas have pagan origins.This extends to the wider Universe. We eagerly expect a cosmos brimming over with life yet fail to see the miracle of life around us! Evolution is insidious, obnoxious, an insult to reason, a corruption of the mind; a denier of the spirit. Here’s a fine synopsis by Dr. William Worraker (BSc Physics, PhD Engineering Mathematics) of the real picture, the ‘Big Picture’.

Part XXXIII: Philosophic Objections to Evolution through History

Ever since Darwin first published his influential books on evolution, it has impelled learned men and women to question its relevance to Christianity, and, more broadly, its legitimacy as a true science. And while some Christian scholars were able to reach some degree of accommodation with evolutionary ideology, many others couldn’t. It is interesting that there have been Christians and non-Christians alike, in every generation since, that have expressed their doubts on whether a purely blind, evolutionary process could possibly be true; a significant historical observation, I think!

For them, it didn’t just feel wrong, it didn’t compute either. In this series, we shall explore some of those objections through history.

Oculus Historiae 1: The American theologian, Charles Hodge (1797-1878), concluded that if one were to embrace Darwinian ideas, one would necessarily have to deny God’s existence. See here.

Oculus Historiae 2: The pre-Darwinian English philosopher and theologian, William Paley (1743-1805) developed a splendid argument from design; if one were to come across and examine a watch  set upon a heath, he argued, one would rightly conclude that it was designed. Influential atheist, Professor Richard Dawkins, claimed in his book, The Blind Watchmaker, that “biology is the study of things that give the appearance of having being designed.”

Paley used common sense reasoning to come to his conclusion, yet Dawkins requires you to abandon it!

You can explore Paley’s magnificent work, Natural Theology (1802), here.

Oculus Historiae 3: Sir Richard Owen was arguably one of the finest naturalists of the Victorian era. Darwin himself openly acknowledged his greater academic prestige. Owen is the man who gave us the name ‘Dinosaur”, which translates as ‘fearfully great lizard’. Unlike Darwin though, who viewed homological organs in terms of common descent, Owen argued the same homologous structures are better explained in terms of an ‘archetype’. To elaborate, shared biological features from the molecular level right the way up to whole organ structures could just as well (if not better) be viewed as evidence for common design, not common descent. More on Owen’s archetypes here.

Oculus Historiae 4: Louis Pasteur (1822-95) was, without doubt, the greatest scientist of the 19th century. His seminal work in microbiology made him Mankind’s greatest benefactor, with millions of lives having been saved through his efforts to develop cures for many diseases that have plagued our kind down through the millennia. Pasteur was also the scientist who demonstrated that life can only be derived from pre-existing life. Despite his towering scientific presence, Pasteur was also a life-long Christian, never seeing any conflict between science and his belief in the Biblical God. He also rejected mainstream evolutionary arguments. You can read a good essay about him here. [Note: the views expressed on Catholicism and Young Earth Creationism by the authors of this essay are not necessarily shared by myself.]

Oculus Historiae 5:

As soon as the earth in the course of time had achieved the necessary capability for the formation and maintenance of organic life, plants and animals of the lowest sorts first appeared….. [it] developed more and more abundantly; the oldest forms disappeared in part, to make space for new, more perfect ones.

                                                                                Gregor Mendel

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The Austrian Augustinian friar and biologist, Gregor Mendel (1822-84)  carried out a set of famous experiments with pea plants, which established the basic laws of genetics we understand today, and was the first to coin the term ‘gene’, although he was unaware of its exact chemical nature. Evolutionists have tried to claim Mendel as one of their own but if one studies the scholarly literature, it is clear that although Mendel was intimately familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, he rejected the notion that the various groups of animals and plants came about through ‘decent with modification’. In retrospect, his experiments showed that traits were not ‘blended together’ but recur, ‘undiluted’ as it were,  in later generations. Mendel was a progressive creationist, understanding that this provided a much better fitting of the facts than Darwinian evolution could ever hope to do. For more on Mendel’s opposition to the evolutionary paradigm see here.

Oculus Historiae 6: The ‘Other’ Darwin

I now uphold the doctrine that not man alone, but the whole World of Life, in almost all its varied manifestations, leads us to the same conclusion—that to afford any rational explanation of its phenomena, we require to postulate the continuous action and guidance of higher intelligences; and further, that these have probably been working towards a single end, the development of intellectual, moral, and spiritual beings…

Thus wrote the celebrated Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913), who proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection before Darwin. Unlike his more famous contemporary though, Wallace came to accept that intelligent agencies must have directed all life on Earth from its inception. Wallace’s ideas resonate well with the explosion of new information available today that categorically rejects – on purely rational grounds – myopic, reductionist arguments for the history of life on Earth.

Oculus Historiae 7: The Catholic Church’s ‘evolving’ acceptance of the evolutionary paradigm.

Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

                                                                                          Luke 23:34

The Roman See has, up until fairly recently, maintained a fairly ambivalent view of Darwinian ideologies. But as the twentieth century progressed, and as supposedly ‘stronger’ evidence for evolution was emerging, some intellectuals within its ranks sought to harmonise the evolutionary process with a kind of ‘systematic theology’. Prominent among these was the influential work of the French, paleontologist, philosopher and Catholic priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), who produced many treatise that attempted to reconcile the record of nature with the historic, Christian faith. For Teilhard, evolution was “the natural landscape,” where the “history of salvation” was situated.

It is undeniably true that in recent years, the higher echelons of the Catholic Church have been ‘pushing’ the ‘reality’ of Darwinian evolution among its billion-strong flock. In one very alarming development, and in an attempt to sanction evolutionary ideas in the wider  Universe, Catholic clerical astronomers announced to the world it was “OK to believe in Aliens”.

Remarkably though, in line with these developments, there have been ‘gentle’ voices of dissent within the Catholic Church that have raised alarm bells about the direction the ‘consensus’  is gravitating towards. You can see some of those views here and here.

In this clip, Pope Francis endorses the evolutionary paradigm, stating that, “God is not a Magician but allows life to develop in accordance with internal laws that he gave to each one so that they could reach their fulfillment.”

What laws might those be?

Darwinian laws?

That’s an oxymoron.

Who is the Holy Father trying to kid?

Who advises this man?

Non credo quia absurdum est!

In light of the new explosion of knowledge at our disposal, I strongly urge Catholics to reject outright the evolutionary paradigm, based both on rational and Scriptural grounds.

Oculus Historiae 8: A Philosophic response to an Arch-Evolutionist

The late Dr. Dallas Willard (1935-2013), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, left behind a wealth of discourses on  a wide variety of philosophic questions. In this essay, Willard uses his forensic training in logic to unpick the central tenets of Richard Dawkin’s book, The Blind Watchmaker.

Oculus Historiae 9: Darwin’s Doubt

In 1993, the American analytic philosopher Alvin Plantinga (born 1932) developed an extremely persuasive argument which hinges on a simple presupposition: if our minds were shaped by an evolutionary process then we have no reason to trust our reasoning and understanding of the world. Materialistic evolution is purported to be an adaptive mechanism that controls the development of life and guarantees the survivability of that life. In particular, the neuro-physiological processes that make up a species produce behaviour that results in a species more suited for survival. In this evolutionary scenario, these same neuro-physiological processes also produce beliefs. But while natural selection rewards adaptive behaviour, it does not care whether beliefs are true. Plantinga argues that a naturalistic process like evolution cannot be guaranteed to produce true beliefs, and he quotes several evolutionists who confirm this view. He concludes that naturalistic evolution is a self-defeating explanation in that it cannot guarantee the reliability of the reasoning processes that lead to it.  In his own words,

Evolutionary naturalism can’t sensibly be accepted. The high priests of evolutionary naturalism loudly proclaim that Christian and even theistic belief is bankrupt and foolish. The fact, however, is that the shoe is on the other foot. It is evolutionary naturalism, not Christian belief, that can’t rationally be accepted.

Neat huh?

Oculus Historiae 10: On Being Brave

In more recent years, more and more scientists are willing to come forth and admit there are insurmountable problems with the wholesale embracing of the evolutionary paradigm.

The late Professor Arthur E. Wilder Smith, holder of three doctoral degrees, comes clean about evolution here.

Dr Denis Noble, distinguished professor of physiology at the University of Oxford, debunks Darwinian evolution here.

Oculus Historiae 11: Evolution Undermining the Historic Christian Faith

Whatever you believe about evolution, it is, at its base, completely incompatible with the the Judeo-Christian world view. And whatever theistic evolutionists may sincerely believe, they are deluding themselves. Evolution devalues the sanctity of human life and dishonours our loving Creator.  In this essay, a group of pastors have come together to explain why accepting the evolutionary paradigm is dangerous and evil.

I believe it’s not possible to be a Christian and to believe in evolution. To see why, have a look at this link.

***The distinguished American nuclear engineer, Dr. Michael G. Houts, revealed his thoughts on Darwinian evolution in this 2007 essay for the Apologetics Press. Dr. Houts argues that biological evolution is a pseudoscience and highlights the dangers evolutionary ideologies have on people, particularly Christians. Crucially, Houts argues – quite correctly in my opinion – that evolutionary atheism is not a rational position to hold.

You can read Part II of Dr. Houts’ essay here.

Part XXXIV: How Questions for Evolutionists

How did life appear so early and so rapidly on Earth?

How did life on Earth arise without any prebiotic soup?

How did life ‘find’ apparently non-existent chemical pathways?

How was the problem of homochirality overcome?

How did biological information arise de novo?

How were life’s essential boundaries formed?

How did life achieve its minimal complexity?

How did life fill even the harshest of niches in such a short time?

Part XXXV: Why Questions for Evolutionists

Why does the universe on every scale we examine show unmistakable signs of fine tuning for life in particular, and human life especially?

Why did the first life appear on Earth at the earliest possible moment permitted by physics?

Why are the Earth’s continents and its oceans optimised for advanced life?

Why are so called ‘transitional forms’ most abundant among species with the lowest probability of long-term survival and least abundant among species which exhibit the highest probability of survival?

Why does the build-up of mineral resources and biodeposits on our planet over 3.8 billion years consistently anticipate the needs of human technological civilization far in the future?

Why does the quantity and diversity of life forms on Earth precisely compensate for a steadily brightening Sun over the aeons?

Why are the laws of physics – the ‘bondage to decay’ if you will – displayed in such a way so as to minimize the spread of evil?

Why do so many animal and plant species exhibit altruistic behaviour?

Why does the fossil record show the sudden appearance of new life forms capable of multiple partner symbiosis?

Why does life from elsewhere in the cosmos make no sense?

Why do humans universally know ‘right’ from ‘wrong’?

Why do humans alone express a sense of  hope, purpose and destiny?

Part XXXVI: Darwin & Destiny

You cannae win.

 

You cannae break even.

 

You cannae stay oot o’ the game.

 

You did not evolve!

If you didn’t evolve then where did you come from and where are you going?

Once you free yourself from the shackles of Darwin’s Victorian creation myth, you become a new person. You see the world in a completely different way. Transformed from within, you fear no one but the person who created you. And that is the beginning of wisdom.

How could you not know that the elect will judge the angels? (1 Corinthians 6:3)

You are worth more than the world.

You what mate?

You heard!

Can you begin to imagine how empowered you really are!

Use that power responsibly.

Here’s a NEW and updated summary of why Darwin got it wrong.

For more evidence and testimonials on the same subject see Part II here

De Fideli

5 thoughts on “The Sceptical Astronomer: Evolution in the Spotlight.

  1. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for putting up this fascinating post.

    It’s so good to see someone with the courage to “swim against the stream” and suggest an alternative to the received wisdom which is preached/taught as absolute fact to all our students in schools and colleges today – to the point that anyone daring to suggest that Evolutionists have not at all proven their theories and yet continue to promulgate them as “fact”, must be mentally unbalanced or intellectually naive!

    As a Christian myself, albeit not a learned one in any “scientific” way, it is very encouraging to see that there are many trained scientists out there who are willing to challenge the status quo and dare to put forward a different view of how we got here and why we are here.

    The bible teaches that one of the most important attributes that God gave us is that of “Free Will” – the ability to weigh, consider, evaluate and decide on what decisions we want to take for ourselves, without being pressured to by anyone against our will. CS Lewis once said that he became the most reluctant Christian convert ever…not because he “wanted to” but because, having considered all the facts and arguments by all sides, his intellect concluded that the only logical answer to all his questions was that God is real, He created us and wants us to be happy, fulfilled and to enjoy the fantastic creation he made for us.

    I hope that other fellow astronomers who love studying the heavens as we do, will find in their hearts a real experience of their Creator.

  2. Possibly the most ridiculous blog I have ever read, still you’re page and you are absolutely entitled to your opinions, the rest of us are entitled to laugh a them… Just hilarious, nice one!

  3. Hello Carl,

    Thanks for your message.

    Unfortunately, your attempt to introduce a note of levity is not a good argument for anything.

    Which part would you like to unpick?

    I’ll be ready for you mate.

    In Christ

    Neil English.

  4. Hello again Carl;

    I’m still waiting for you to come out of the shadows.

    Come into the light where we can use reason to overcome your objections.

    I Am gave us the gift of reason and He expects us to use this gift properly.

    He did not create using an evolutionary process, like some bumbling idiot.

    But the ‘father of lies’ still holds many under his spell. (John 8:44)

    Best wishes,

    Neil.

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