In its July, 2002 issue, the magazine Scientific American published an article titled “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense.” Yet that aggressive piece of writing actually contained no scientific answers to creationism at all, and merely demonstrated the fanaticism and bigotry of the Darwinist establishment
An interesting article appeared in the July, 2002, issue of Scientific American, one of the prominent scientific journals. Written by editor in chief John Rennie, “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense” contained important examples of Darwinist dogmatism. Beginning with its very title, the article and its aggressive style was a living proof of something we have been stating for years: Darwinists are tied to the theory of evolution in a totally dogmatic manner. Their intolerant reactions to criticism are the result of that philosophical rigidity.
In this essay, you will find the errors, misconceptions and even the tricks in the Scientific American article in question.
Avoiding Difficult Questions
If you are going to reply to 15 questions regarding a thesis you oppose, then you will be expected to deal with each one in a tangible manner. If, on the other hand, you come up with imaginary questions and waste time with the answers to them, then your readers will naturally come to doubt your credibility. Avoiding getting to grips with the real questions is a sign that you are trying to deceive yourself or your readers.
Scientific American“s “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense” is just such an example of “avoiding the truth.” Right from the start, a number of those questions reveal that this is what is going on:
“Evolution is only a theory. It is not a fact or a scientific law.”
“Evolution is unscientific, because it is not testable or falsifiable. It makes claims about events that were not observed and can never be re-created.”
“If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”
None of the above are objections expressed by critics of the theory of evolution. Everyone who offers serious criticism knows what the concept of “theory” actually means, and accepts that scientific research into events in the past cannot be carried out by means of observation and recreation. In the same way, no scientists who seriously criticize the Darwinist thesis as regards the origin of man would ever offer such a ridiculous objection as “If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”
John Rennie, the author of the article, should no doubt be well aware of this. Yet the way that he puts the above three statements forward as “creationist objections” and imagines that he has given satisfactory replies to them shows that he is “tilting at windmills.” If he really wants to “reply to the creationists” then he needs to reply to such real questions as how it is that nearly all animal phyla suddenly appeared in the Cambrian without any trace of evolutionary ancestors; why not one example of a mutation that developed the genetic information of living things has ever been encountered; or why no trace has been found of the billions of intermediate form fossils that Darwin anticipated.
The truth about the questions that Rennie has tried to reply to, most of which can again be seen as “easy questions,” is set out below.
Rennie”s Misconception About Natural Selection – I (Question 2)
Two of John Rennie”s questions are to do with the concept of natural selection. In the first of these, (Question 2) he tries to respond to the objection that natural selection is a tautology. In the second, (Question 11) he tries to reply to the objection that natural selection can bring about micro-evolution but not macro-evolution.
In the first case, the only reference Rennie is able to provide is Peter P. Grant”s well known observations of finches in the Galapagos Islands. Rennie describes this example as “population shifts in the wild,” and counts it as evidence for evolution with natural selection. However, Grant”s studies demonstrated only that the finch populations in the Galapagos Islands “fluctuated” according to the changes in natural conditions, in other words, that they did not develop in any particular direction. Furthermore, they also revealed that the 13 different species identified in the finch population actually came under a far smaller number of species, and that the different species in question were tending to converge. That means that natural selection has not brought about evolution (in other words development in one particular direction and thus the emergence of a new species) on the Galapagos Islands.
In his meticulous book Icons of Evolution, biologist Jonathan Wells considered all the details of Grant”s work and came to the conclusions we have outlined above. The fact that Rennie is nevertheless still doggedly putting forward Grant”s Galapagos observations is nothing less than an admission of despair.
Rennie”s Misconception About Natural Selection – II (Question 11)
The sleight of hand in Rennie”s second question on natural selection is particularly noteworthy. The question reads,
“Natural selection might explain microevolution, but it cannot explain the origin of new species and higher orders of life.”
Rennie”s response to this rests on the concept of “allopatric speciation” put forward by Ernst Mayr.
In order to clarify the error here, we need to define the concept of “allopatric speciation” and its basic concept, “geographic isolation.” It is well known that every living species has within it differences stemming from genetic variation. If a geographic obstacle arises between members of a species, in other words if they are “isolated” from one another, then it is very probable that different variations will begin to predominate in the two groups that are now separated from each other. Despite being from the same species, such variations with specific morphological differences between them (name them as “variation A” and “variation B”) are called “sub-species.”
The claim of speciation that Rennie talks about enters the equation after that point. Sometimes, variations A and B that have split from one another due to geographic isolation are unable to reproduce when they are brought back into contact again. According to contemporary biology”s definition of “species,” since they are unable to reproduce, they are no longer different “sub-species,” but “different species.” This is called speciation.
Two important points arise here:
1) Variations A and B, isolated from one another, may not be able to reproduce when brought together. Yet this generally stems from “reproductive behavior.” For that reason, they are still, genetically speaking, members of the same species. (In fact, for that reason, the concept of “species” continues to be a matter of debate in the scientific community)
2) The really important point is that the “speciation” in question means a loss of genetic information rather than an increase. The cause of speciation is not that new genetic information has been acquired by one or both variations. There is no such addition of genetic information. On the contrary, instead of a population that previously had a larger gene pool, there are now two different populations with reduced gene pools.
That is why the “speciation” that Rennie refers to as an example of evolution actually offers the theory of evolution no support at all. The theory of evolution claims that all living species developed by chance mutations and natural selection from the simple to the complex. In order for the theory to be taken seriously, therefore, it needs to propose “mechanisms that create and increase genetic information.”
Having dealt with that matter, let us now turn to Rennie”s second error (or rather deception).
You will notice that Rennie expresses the “creationist question” 11 in these terms, “Natural selection might explain microevolution, but it cannot explain the origin of new species and higher orders of life.” In other words, he is speaking about the origins of both species and “higher orders of life.”
Yet in his reply, he only mentions the origin of species! (And that, as we saw above, is a totally inadequate account) Rennie never mentions the origins of genera, families, orders, classes or phyla, all of which are higher categories than species, and offers no explanation at all.
This is in all probability intended to convince less careful readers. People who read the “15 questions” but cannot bring themselves to read the long (but empty) answers that follow them will imagine that Rennie has actually responded to them all.
The way that the proponents of Darwinism resort to such methods once again reveals the terrible straits the theory finds itself in.
Rennie”s last account on the subject of natural selection suggested that there could be evolutionary mechanisms outside natural selection. The only example he gave consisted of speculation on the origin of mitochondria that evolutionists have long been engaged in. The fact that he resorts to speculation and not evidence to support the theory of evolution, which is itself speculation, is self-explanatory.
The Origin of Man and the Evolutionary Impasse (Question 3)
In the third question, John Rennie touches on the origin of man, and writes:
… evolution implies that between the earliest-known ancestors of humans (roughly five million years old) and the appearance of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 years ago), one should find a succession of hominid creatures with features progressively less apelike and more modern, which is indeed what the fossil record shows.
However, the fact that evolutionists can place creatures that lived in the past in an order to suit their theory does not demonstrate that those living things actually underwent such a process of evolution. That opinion is shared by Nature magazine editor Henry Gee, one of John Rennie”s fellow evolutionists. In his book In Search of Deep Time, (1999) Gee points out that all the evidence for human evolution “between about 10 and 5 million years ago-several thousand generations of living creatures-can be fitted into a small box.” He concludes that conventional theories of the origin and development of human beings are “a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with human prejudices”, and adds:
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. (1)
Recently, Gee also made a very important comment on the new skull fossil found in Chad (Sahelanthropus tchadensis) and its implications for the theory of evolution. According to Gee, “Whatever the outcome, the skull shows, once and for all, that the old idea of a “missing link” is bunk“.(2) He also explains that the there is no evidence for the idea of human evolution in the fossil record; It is simply a projection created according to evolutionist assumptions:
It is suspected that the last common ancestor of humans and our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, lived around 7m years ago. We know this not from direct fossil evidence, but from studying the small differences in the otherwise similar genes of humans and chimps, and estimating the time needed for these differences to accrue. Looking at the fossil evidence itself, we see a huge and frustrating gap. (3)
The closer one examines John Rennie”s words, the more evolutionist frustrations become apparent.
Why Just A Few Dare to Speak Out? (Question 4)
Another argument offered by Rennie as he tries to defend Darwinism is that the theory of evolution is widely accepted by the scientific world.
There are generally two different reasons for an opinion”s commanding widespread support. Either there is a great deal of evidence for it, or else the system somehow imposes it on people. It is the second of these that applies in the “widespread scientific support” behind the theory of evolution. The academic world is laboring under a heavy misconception in believing that science is equivalent to materialist philosophy. The leaders of the scientific establishment impose that error on other scientists. In such an environment that regards opposing evolution as opposing science, then how are scientists to offer any free criticism of the theory?
Even John Rennie”s own writing bears the traces of this ideological dictatorship. The title of his article refers to creation as “nonsense.” When a scientific journal employs a headline of that sort, can one really say that the matter in question is being treated in a climate of free debate? Rennie grows even more aggressive in the introduction, and says that defending creation is as unscientific as defending “flat earth cosmology.” In the body of his article, he speaks in terms of “dishonest creationists.” (Page 65) In such a climate of ideological pressure, how can scientists criticize Darwinism when they have to publish their articles in scientific magazines? How many people can take the risk to say “The emperor has no clothes”?
Consequently, the graph in Rennie”s article which purports to show that belief in creation declines with peoples” educational level (Page 65) is nothing more than a statement of the dictatorship of Darwinist thought. Nothing could be more natural than for an education system dominated by Darwinists to produce Darwinist individuals.
Yet one good thing about science is that such dogmatism never succeeds for long. The cracks in the foundations of the Darwinist temple are a sign that free science will soon tear that dogma down.
Why do Evolutionists Confess? (Question 5)
As John Rennie tries to remove all doubts about Darwinism from his readers” mind, he brings up the subject of quotations taken from evolutionist authorities by creationists, and claims that these are invariably distorted. In Rennie”s view, scientific authorities whose works are quoted are always evolutionists, but that “dishonest creationists” try to portray these people as being opponents of evolution.
Whereas the truth of the matter is very different. Creationists do not try to portray the evolutionist authorities from whom they take extracts as being opposed to evolution. Stephen Jay Gould, Alan Feduccia or Henry Gee… Nobody claims such scientists are opposed to evolution. Yet these and many other similar supporters of evolution have seen and spoken about the deficiencies in the theory of evolution. Nothing could be more natural than for their comments on such matters to be made use of.
The reason for the great number of such quotations is that the theory of evolution is a mass of speculation. Since there is no concrete evidence for the theory, evolutionists engage in speculation on just about every aspect of it. Since that speculation does not conform to the available facts, gaps keep emerging, and various scientists report on the fact. This is the reason of why we have so many quotes doubting evolution in a committed Darwinist establishment.
The Origin of Life and John Rennie’s Wriggling (Question 7)
Following all the speculation in the first six of his 15 questions, Rennie finally comes to an important matter in Question 7; The Origin of Life. How did the first living thing emerge?
All that Rennie does in the face of that question is to sum up in a few sentences the scenario that evolutionists have been putting forward ever since the time of Alexander Oparin in the 1920s. After admitting that “The origin of life remains very much a mystery,” Rennie tries to make the scenario credible by saying, “… but biochemists have learned about how primitive nucleic acids, amino acids and other building blocks of life could have formed and organized themselves into self-replicating, self-sustaining units, laying the foundation for cellular biochemistry.”
Rennie is quite right to gloss over such an important subject as the origin of life in this superficial way, because he has no way of going into details. If we analyze the above statement, we can see just how unrealistic Rennie”s claim actually is:
1) First of all, contrary to what Rennie claims, the question of how “primitive nucleic acids, amino acids and other building blocks of life” emerged in the primitive atmosphere on earth is a terrible dilemma for evolutionists. They used to think the problem had been resolved in the primordial atmosphere experiments by Stanley Miller and his successors. Yet in the 1970s it was realized that the primordial atmosphere was not based on methane-ammonia and that it contained large amounts of oxygen, for which reason it emerged that it was impossible for even the simplest organic molecules, such as amino acids, to be synthesized.
2) If we assume that simple building blocks such as nucleic acids or amino acids did somehow synthesize in the primitive atmosphere (or had come from outer space, as Rennie claimed after the above lines), that hypothesis still does not benefit the theory of evolution in any way. The problem is one of how these simple organic compounds came to turn into a living cell of incredible complexity and containing genetic information? Contrary to Rennie”s claim, organic molecules have never been observed to “organize themselves” and turn into self-reproducing, living organisms. No observation, experiment or even theoretical study has ever been performed that might suggest that could ever happen.
In short, Rennie”s argument about the origin of life is quite worthless. Moreover, the following lines from the end of the topic are of great interest, both as an admission of defeat and an indication of his prejudice against creation:
“Creationists sometimes try to invalidate all of evolution by pointing to science”s current inability to explain the origin of life. But even if life on earth turned out to have a nonevolutionary origin (for instance, if aliens introduced the first cells billions of years ago), evolution since then would be robustly confirmed by countless microevolutionary and macroevolutionary studies.”
Interesting truths begin to emerge when we analyze these lines:
1) Rennie talks about a “current inability to explain the origin of life”. In other words, he hopes that the problem is temporary and one day in the future, facts in favor of evolution will be discovered. Giving such a hostage to future confirms that belief in evolution stems not from scientific discoveries but philosophical assumptions. This attitude of Rennie”s is no different to that of the dogmatic Marxist who sees that Karl Marx”s theories totally fail to fit the current social and political facts, but who nevertheless expects the awaited “proletarian revolution” to happen one day in the future.
2) Rennie admits that intelligent design could account for the origin of life and that science may well reach that conclusion, but for some reason he chooses to suggest aliens as the source of that design. The “aliens” theory turns up again in Rennie”s article (in his reply to Question 3). The interesting thing is that Rennie is quite happy to admit the possibility of the existence of an intelligent design created by aliens, but totally rejects the intervention of a metaphysical Creator. This once again reveals that Rennie”s devotion to Darwinism and his reaction to the concept of creation actually stem from his philosophical prejudices against Theism.
3) Rennie”s acceptance that intelligent design might be behind the origin of life but his rejection of it during the subsequent course of natural history is a thoroughly prejudiced and unscientific position. That is because there is just as much evidence for intelligent design in the origin of very many other complex organic systems as there is for that of life itself. Rennie”s use of such expressions as “robustly confirmed” in order to gloss over these facts but still to impress his readers, are no solution at all.
Rennie”s Dawkins-Style Tricks (Question 8)
The theory of evolution”s greatest error of all is the idea that living things are the product of unconscious natural mechanisms. Rennie attempts to deal with that objection in Question 8, but merely ends up disappointing himself. Rennie”s response to the objection that the complexity in living things cannot be explained by chance takes this form:
“Chance plays a part in evolution (for example, in the random mutations that can give rise to new traits), but evolution does not depend on chance to create organisms, proteins or other entities. Quite the opposite: natural selection, the principal known mechanism of evolution, harnesses nonrandom change by preserving “desirable” (adaptive) features and eliminating “undesirable” (nonadaptive) ones.”
That is no answer at all, since it is something known to everyone. According to the theory of evolution, all living things were produced by “chance” (mutations) and natural selection, which is presumed to select the most beneficial of these.
The problem is this: Natural Selection is not a conscious mechanism. If it is therefore to select a chance change, this has to provide the organism with an effective advantage. Yet many complex organs in living things provide no advantage at all unless they are fully formed. It is therefore impossible for natural selection to make a selection in that direction. (It also remains to say that natural selection played no part in the origin of life because there was no life or competition around in the so-called “prebiotic soup”.)
Rennie tries to cover up this gaping hole in the theory of evolution, and employs the same trick as those of Richard Dawkins. The example he gives is that the phrase “TOBEORNOTTOBE” was formed by a computer using the selection method in 336 goes.
Do evolutionists really believe in such examples? Or are they compelled to employ them in order to save face in front of not well informed readers? One wonders … The above example is banal and based on an evident deception. The computer that came up with “TOBEORNOTTOBE” was programmed to do so. The ultimate result was predetermined from the start. The programme places letters into 13 blank spaces at random, but it selects a letter when it moves into its pre-ordained position. In other words, it knows that the first letter is T before “TOBEORNOTTOBE” comes into being, selects T when one appears in that position, and leaves it there.
In short, there is a predetermined plan and a selection mechanism working consciously according to this plan. However, the theory of evolution maintains that living things emerged with no predetermined plan and by an unconscious selection mechanism. Therefore, Rennie”s argument is, at least, ridiculous.
Rennie”s Misconceptions About The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Question 9)
Evolutionists” claims regarding thermodynamics are based on a classic case of error and deception, and John Rennie repeats them.
The first error consists of ignoring the difference between ordered and organized systems. Rennie cites the examples of mineral crystals and snowflakes, and says that these “complex structures” emerge spontaneously through natural processes. Yet these are not complex systems, but organized ones.
We can make this clear with an example. Imagine a completely flat beach on the seashore. When a strong wave hits the beach, mounds of sand, large and small, form bumps on the surface of the sand. This is a process of “ordering”. The seashore is an open system, and the energy flow (the wave) that enters it can form simple patterns in the sand, which may look regular. From the thermodynamic point of view, the wave can set up order here where before there was none. But we must make it clear that those same waves cannot build a castle on the beach. If we see a castle there, we are in no doubt that someone has constructed it, because the castle is an “organized” system.
Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley and Roger L. Olsen, in their book titled The Mystery of Life”s Origin, explain why analogies from self-ordering cases (like the snow flake) does not account for the origin of biological complexity:
… such analogies have scant relevance to the origin-of-life question. A major reason is that they fail to distinguish between order and complexity… Regularity or order cannot serve to store the large amount of information required by living systems. A highly irregular, but specified, structure is required rather than an ordered structure. This is a serious flaw in the analogy offered. There is no apparent connection between the kind of spontaneous ordering that occurs from energy flow through such systems and the work required to build aperiodic information-intensive macromolecules like DNA and protein. (4)
John Rennie”s claim regarding open systems is also a classic evolutionist error. Yes, entropy may decrease in open systems that receive energy from the outside, but specific mechanisms are needed to make the energy functional. For instance, a car needs an engine, a transmission system, and related control mechanisms to convert the energy in oil to work. Without such an energy conversion system, the car will not be able to use the energy stored in oil.
The same thing applies in the case of life as well. It is true that life derives its energy from the sun. However, solar energy can only be converted into chemical energy by the incredibly complex energy conversion systems in living things (such as photosynthesis in plants and the digestive systems of humans and animals). Without an energy conversion system, the sun is nothing but a source of destructive energy that burns, parches, or melts.
The Ultimate Problem About Mutations (Question 10)
In question 10, John Rennie tries to give the appearance of having answered one of the most fundamental questions facing the theory of evolution. The problem is that mutations never increase living things” genetic information. Rennie, naturally enough, maintains the opposite, and suggests that mutations can bring about such an increase (and therefore evolution itself). Of course he needs to find examples if that is to be taken seriously, but the ones he comes up with are not valid.
Rennie”s first example is bacterial resistance to antibiotics. That is in any case one of the most popular themes in evolutionist propaganda. But it is flawed. It is true that bacteria can sometimes develop a resistance to antibiotics by means of mutations, but these mutations do not add the bacteria any new genetic information. On the contrary, they lead to morphological degeneration in them. As with the case of immunity to streptomycin revealed in great detail by the Israeli biophysicist Dr. Lee Spetner: Bacterial resistance to streptomycin stems from a mutation that affects the ribozome and structurally damages it. Even if this mutation benefits the bacteria in terms of antibiotic immunity, it nevertheless represents a genetic reduction that reduces the functioning of the ribosome. As Dr. Spetner has made clear, mutations such as these are not what the theory of evolution needs. (5)
The invalidity of Rennie”s second example on the subject of mutations can be seen from his own words:
“In fruit flies, for instance, the mutation called Antennapedia causes legs to sprout where antennae should grow. These abnormal limbs are not functional, but their existence demonstrates that genetic mistakes can produce complex structures, which natural selection can then test for possible uses.”
Everybody is aware that mutations can bring about major morphological changes in living things. The question is this: Do the morphological changes brought about by these mutations grant living things any increase in genetic information and beneficial features? No! There are no such examples. In fact, Rennie confesses that, and says that the mutations in question produced non-functional (in other words crippled) legs growing from where the antennae should have been in flies. How can anyone believe that a process that cripples creatures could have led them to evolve? And how can Rennie suggest that as evidence for evolution?
In his last paragraph on mutations, Rennie speaks of greater genetic changes going beyond point mutations. Yet the question is still the same. Such changes have never been observed to increase the genetic information in a living thing. In this case, Rennie does not even try to offer an example.
What he has to say about globin is nothing but a reflection of evolutionist speculation. This speculation begins with comparative analyses of the DNA in living things, and comes up with an evolutionary connection in their globin structures. On close inspection however, this turns out to be circular reasoning. The evolutionary family relationships built on these comparative DNA analyses rest on the assumption that living things descended from a common ancestor. Portraying these theoretical relationships, which are constructed on the assumption that evolution is true, as evidence for evolution is simply expressing the same claim in another way, a tautology
The Question of Transitional Forms (Question 13)
In question 13, John Rennie attempts to deal with the problem of transitional forms, one of the major stumbling blocks facing the theory of evolution, and is similarly unable to provide a satisfactory response. The following shows the true position of the “intermediate forms” he suggests:
Archaeopteryx: Rennie writes that Archaeopteryx, a candidate for the title of the greatest transitional form of all time, was an intermediate form between reptiles and birds, but that “creationists” refuse to accept this, calling it “just an extinct bird with reptilian features.” The fact is, however, that it is not only “creationists” who say that, but also world-renowned ornithologists who have examined the matter in great detail. Alan Feduccia, one of the foremost names in ornithology, shares that view regarding Archaeopteryx.
“Feathered Dinos” were not feathered at all, like the fossil forgery above, Archaeoraptor
In fact, a considerable body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate the invalidity of the claim that Archaeopteryx was a transitional form. As Feduccia has stated, “Most recent workers who have studied various anatomical features of Archaeopteryx have found the creature to be much more birdlike than previously imagined,” and “the resemblance of Archaeopteryx to theropod dinosaurs has been grossly overestimated.”(6) Another problem regarding Archaeopteryx is that the theropod dinosaurs, which many evolutionists regard as its ancestors, emerge after Archaeopteryx in the fossil record, and not before it.
On the other hand, the tale of “feathered dinosaurs” that John Rennie refers to is nothing more than evolutionist speculation. All of the fossils that have been put forward as “feathered dinosaurs” in the last 10 years are debatable. Detailed studies have revealed that the structures portrayed as “feathers” are actually collagen fibers.(7) Such speculation all stems from evolutionist prejudice. As Feduccia has said, “Many dinosaurs have been portrayed with a coating of aerodynamic contour feathers with absolutely no documentation.”(8) (One of the so-called “feathered dinosaurs” in question, namely Archaeoraptor, turned out to be a fossil forgery). Feduccia sums the position up in these terms, “Finally, no feathered dinosaur has ever been found, although many dinosaur mummies with well-preserved skin are known from diverse localities.” (9)
Horse Series: The horse series that John Rennie portrayed as an important proof of evolution is actually a terrible blunder on his part. That is because the horse series that makes up a so-called evolutionary process from Eohippus to the present-day horse (Equus) has actually been accepted as erroneous by a great many evolutionist authorities. For example, evolutionist science writer Gordon R. Taylor acknowledged that “… the line from Eohippus to Equus is very erratic. It is alleged to show a continual increase in size, but the truth is that some variants were smaller than Eohippus, not larger. Specimens from different sources can be brought together in a convincing-looking sequence, but there is no evidence that these were actually ranged in this order in time.” (10)
The Origin of Whales: Rennie also includes the scenario concerning the evolution of whales as an example of proven evolution. Yet that, too, is nothing more than evolutionist speculation. There are great morphological differences between the land mammal Ambulocetus and such archaic whales as Rodhocetus, the alleged descendant of the former. The details of the matter were examined in my article “A Whale Fantasy from National Geographic“
The Origin of Molluscs: This, also glossed over by Rennie as an example of evolution, is actually another dilemma facing the theory. These shelled creatures that make up the phylum Mollusca are divided into eight separate classes, and all of these emerged suddenly in the Cambrian Period, just like most living phyla and classes. Even the determinedly evolutionist Encyclopedia Britannica accepts that there is no fossil evidence for the evolution of molluscs in the words: “The fossil record gives little clue as to how the molluscs originated and how the eight classes differentiated in Precambrian times. The evolutionary pathway must thus be largely inferred from comparative anatomy and development.” (11)
The Origin of Man: Rennie claims that 20 or more hominids fill the gap between Lucy and modern man. Yet the truth is that there is no line from Australopithecus to man (Homo sapiens).
One indication of this is that the categories between Australopithecus and Homo sapiens (like Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis or Homo erectus) are exceedingly speculative and debatable. An article by the evolutionary paleoanthropologists Bernard Wood and Mark Collard, published in Science in 1999, maintained that the Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis categories were imaginary, and that the fossils ascribed to them needed to be transferred to the genus Australopithecus.(12) Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan and Alan Thorne of the University of Canberra are of the belief that Homo erectus is an imaginary category, and that the fossils ascribed to it are actually variations of Homo sapiens.(13) This means that there are no other hominids between Australopithecus, an extinct species of ape, and Homo sapiens, including modern man and his racial variations. In other words, mankind has no evolutionary origins.
Another fact that invalidates the claim of a direct line between Australopithecus and modern man (Homo sapiens), is that the categories alleged to have followed one another actually lived at the same time. The latest evidence to demonstrate that was the discovery published in Science magazine that fossils named as Homo habilis, Homo ergaster and Homo erectus have lived at the same time. Reid Fleming, of the University of North Texas, who led the research, sums up the significance of that discovery in this way, “This was completely unexpected, because until now, prevailing scientific views placed habilis, ergaster and erectus into an evolutionary sequence.” (14)
Molecular Biology and the Evolutionary Family Tree: Rennie must have been aware of the feeble nature of his claims on fossils, since he then sought to find support from molecular biology in his search for evidence of evolution. His argument was based on genetic similarities and he claimed that, “structures of these genes and their products diverge among species, in keeping with their evolutionary relationships.”
Yes, that is indeed what evolutionists expect from molecular biology – in other words that living things closely related according to the theory of evolution will have very similar molecules. Yet the facts demonstrate the exact opposite. Recent molecular discoveries have produced results totally at odds with the 150-year-old evolutionary family tree.
According to a 1999 article by French biologists Hervé Philippe and Patrick Forterre, “with more and more sequences available, it turned out that most protein phylogenies contradict each other as well as the rRNA tree.” (15)
Neither the comparisons that have been made of proteins, nor those of rRNAs or of genes, confirm the premises of the theory of evolution. Carl Woese, a biologist from the University of Illinois, admits that;
No consistent organismal phylogeny has emerged from the many individual protein phylogenies so far produced. Phylogenetic incongruities can be seen everywhere in the universal tree, from its root to the major branchings within and among the various (groups) to the makeup of the primary groupings themselves. (16)
The fact that results of molecular comparisons are not in favor of, but rather opposed to, the theory of evolution is also admitted in an article called “Is it Time to Uproot the Tree of Life?” published in Science in 1999. This article by Elizabeth Pennisi states that the genetic analyses and comparisons carried out by Darwinist biologists in order to shed light on the “tree of life” actually yielded directly opposite results, and goes on to say that “new data are muddying the evolutionary picture” (17)
In short, molecular comparisons between living things all work against the theory of evolution, in total contrast to what John Rennie claims.
The Origin of the Eye and the Non-Evolution of the Evolutinary Theory (Question 14)
In Question 14, Rennie enters the field of irreducible complexity and mentions the origin of the eye, which has always been an unsurpassable hurdle for evolutionists. Rennie”s account is nothing but a repetition of speculation put forward by Charles Darwin 150 years ago: The claim that “primitive” eyes with very poor vision existed in nature and that more complex eyes might have evolved from these.
However, clear evidence to disprove that claim has emerged since Darwin”s day:
Evolutionists are still leaning on Darwin”s primitive
arguments on the complexity of nature.
1) Natural history reveals that the first eye identified on earth was not primitive at all, but actually had an extraordinarily complex structure. That eye structure in question was the double-lens compound eyes of the trilobites. The nuclear physicist and trilobite aficionado Levi-Setti states that: “the refracting interface between the two lens elements in a trilobite”s eye was designed in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century“.(18) The most striking feature of these eyes, described as a marvel of optical design, is that they have no primitive form behind them, but rather emerged suddenly.
2) Even light-sensitive cells that Darwin referred to as “primitive eyes” actually possess an extraordinarily complex structure. Even the most “primitive” eye is an irreducibly complex system requiring a light-sensitive cell, extraordinarily complex biochemical mechanisms within that cell,(19) nerves linking that cell to the brain, and a visual center to interpret these. That cannot come about in stages. For that reason, the theory of evolution is unable even to account for the origin of the most “primitive” eye, let alone use that as a basis to account for more complex ones.
Rennie writes that “Today”s intelligent-design advocates are more sophisticated than their predecessors.” Yet the sad fact is that the proponents of the theory of evolution are still leaning on Darwin”s invalid theses from 150 years ago. The fact that they still put forward the myth that the origin of the eye lies in “evolution from primitive eyes” shows that the theory of evolution has not evolved at all in the last 150 years.
Helplessness in the Face of Irreducible Complexity (Question 15)
In the final section of his article, John Rennie attempts to criticize the evidence put forward by such proponents of intelligent design as Michael J. Behe and William Dembski. The first thing he does is to cite the objections of evolutionists Kenneth R. Miller and Russell F. Doolittle, who are critical of Behe. The fact is, however, that Dr. Behe has comprehensively responded to and refuted these objections. (See Behe”s responses to critics)
The paragraph that really shows Rennie”s total helplessness in the face of irreducible complexity reads:
The key is that the flagellum”s component structures, which Behe suggests have no value apart from their role in propulsion, can serve multiple functions that would have helped favor their evolution. The final evolution of the flagellum might then have involved only the novel recombination of sophisticated parts that initially evolved for other purposes.
In short, Rennie is saying that the flagellum might have come about “with the recombination of parts that initially evolved for other purposes.” Yet that is the whole essence of the matter. What are those “other purposes”? For what purposes could the molecules that make up the flagellum have come about? Saying that “might have come about in other stages we are unaware of” without clearly defining these stages is simply a repetition of Darwinist dogma.
Rennie”s effort to portray the organelle that Yersinia pestis uses to inject toxins into cells, which partly resembles the flagellum, or flagella with simpler structures as evolutionary stages of the flagellum itself is also hopeless. That is like using a car or a glider to account for the alleged “evolutionary” origins of a jet plane. There may be certain similarities, but that does not show that the vehicles in question evolved from one another as the result of blind coincidences. They are all separately designed structures.
When we come to Rennie”s objection to Dembski”s thesis, we see that it only consists of reference to studies by the Santa Fe Institute. Yet just like those of their precursors such as Ilya Prigogine, these theoretical studies do not carry the concept of “self-organization” any further than merely being a materialist belief. (The invalidity of the idea of self-organization is set out in detail in Dembski”s 2002 book No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot be Purchased Without Intelligence). It must nevertheless be made clear that the evolutionists from the Santa Fe Institute display more common sense than John Rennie does. While Rennie tries to portray the concept of intelligent design as an unscientific thesis, Stuart Kauffman, the pre-eminent self-organizational theorist of the Santa Fe Institute, publicly admitted that intelligent design was a legitimate intellectual and scientific project. (20)
Rennie”s Dogmatic Commitment to Materialism
Following his objections regarding intelligent design, Rennie unwillingly admits that the complexity in nature cannot be accounted for by evolutionary mechanisms, and to resolve this he elects to give a hostage to future:
“Some of the complexity seen in organisms may therefore emerge through natural phenomena that we as yet barely understand. But that is far different from saying that the complexity could not have arisen naturally.”
Rennie”s logic displays a blind dogmatism. If he thinks that he can account for the biological complexity in nature by means of evolution, then he needs to identify these mechanisms. When he is unable to find any mechanism, he suggests the existence of mechanisms that “we as yet barely understand.” Yet if these mechanisms are not understood, then how can Rennie be sure they actually exist? What difference is there between believing in the existence of such mysterious evolutionary mechanisms and believing in an “alchemical mechanism” that can turn base metals into gold?
What difference, therefore, is there between believing in evolution and believing in alchemy?
All these questions demonstrate that Rennie”s and other determined Darwinists” belief in the theory of evolution is the result of their dogmatic belief in materialism. Even Darwin behaved in a less biased manner when he said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”(21) John Rennie and other contemporary Darwinists choose to give hostages to future rather than accept the collapse of the theory when faced with just the kind of irreducibly complex organs described by Darwin.
When one examines Rennie”s article, one sees that one fundamental idea underlies all this dogmatism. The following lines are particularly enlightening:
“…science welcomes the possibility of evolution resulting from forces beyond natural selection. Yet those forces must be natural; they cannot be attributed to the actions of mysterious creative intelligences whose existence, in scientific terms, is unproved.”
In the first sentence here, Rennie says that certain forces, the existence of which is quite unproven, may contribute to evolution. Yet he imposes a condition in the sentence that follows: These forces must be natural. Therefore, he rejects the existence of a conscious Creator, because the existence of a conscious Creator is, in scientific terms, “unproven.” Yet in the previous sentence, Rennie admits the possibility of unproven forces. Elsewhere in his article, as we have seen above, he also speaks of evolutionary mechanisms that have not yet been discovered, but which he hopes will be in the future. This means that Rennie”s problem is not one of whether the existence of intelligent design has been proven or not, but that such design conflicts with the materialist philosophy he holds.
Rennie is of course free to believe as he wishes. Some people believe in materialist philosophy. Others believe in astrology, and others in alchemy. The problem is that Rennie and materialists like him are trying to portray their dogma as actual science. That is a hypocritical deception. But one whose days are numbered.
Conclusion: Congratulations to John Rennie
John Rennie deserves appreciation for displaying Darwinist dogmatism.
Actually, we should be congratulating Scientific American editor John Rennie on his article. By failing to provide any response to the proofs of creation, by ignoring a great deal of that important evidence as he flounders, and by exhibiting nothing but rage and fanaticism, he has only served to highlight the collapse that Darwinism is currently undergoing.
In the collapse of Lamarckism, as well as the successes of such great scientists as Mendel, the terrible fiascoes of such Lamarckists as Lysenko also played a major role. In the same way today, alongside the successful work of scientists who support the idea of intelligent design, the logical and scientific rout of dogmatic Darwinists will also play a major role in the collapse of Darwinism.
Those who read about these debates in a few decades” time will see the truth of this much clearer, and will be amazed that so many people from the scientific community could have been taken in by such a myth as Darwinism.