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Talk Back 96
Nine Problems With Evolution
Sunday School Lesson for Teens

by: Timothy J. Turnipseed

Editor's note: In a Facebook discussion, Mr. Turnipseed made an offer of his argument against evolution. In return, I offered to publish it unedited on this site in the Talk Back section. I hope to see a good discussion arise out of this.

A discussion on this article has been opened in Debate and Discourse. Please feel free to add your own thoughts to the exchange of views via the contact page.

  1. Evolution and Christianity
  1. Review – Jesus says He is the Resurrection (John 11:23-26).  FEAT (Fatal Torment, Empty Tomb, Appearances, Transformation).  
  1. Romans 10:9-10  and John 3:16 is all you need to be a Christian.  You can believe anything else that does not contradict those two verses and still be saved.  You don’t even have to believe that all or even most of the Bible is true – though trying to live a  Christian life without believing in all of Scripture is like trying to drive with your elbows; it can work, but it is foolish and dangerous.  So yes, you can believe in Evolution and still be a Christian.  The Tooth Fairy isn’t real, but believing in the Tooth Fairy won’t send you to Hell.
  1. Prelude to evidence for God. The reason why we are looking at these problems is because a lot of times when you tell people “how did all of this get here?” they say, “evolution!”.  This lesson teaches you why that is a poor answer.
  1. You should educate yourself on Evolution whether you believe in it or not.  You should know your enemy (Sun Tzu quote:  Know your enemy and know yourself) and virtually all people who don’t believe in God believe in evolution.  Incidentally, they are not your enemies.  The use of Evolution as “proof” against the existence of God is.
  1. I believe in natural selection.  (Lizards in the desert from white to brown, peppered moths in England, drug resistant bacteria – STD.)  What I have problems with is the idea that natural selection alone explains why non-living matter, over the course of millions of years, produced all life on earth without any intelligent direction.  And here are 9 reasons why I have a problem with that.
  1. Nine Problems with Evolution
  1. Problem #1:  Evolution is also faith.

In the end, most people who believe in evolution are not scientists, therefore they believe in evolution not because they can prove it scientifically, but because someone told them it was so.  Ask the average person to prove evolution, and unless they have a PhD in Biology (which would make them far from average!) they can’t even begin to explain, much less defend, their position.  They just assume it is true.  They can’t prove it.  They don’t have the evidence.  They just believe. In other words, they believe in evolution by simple faith. (They may say “because of all the fossils” – see Problem #3.)

  1. Problem #2:  Mutations

Mutations are the only way to introduce new genetic material into an organism.  Thus, they are considered the driving force of evolution.  Say a rabbit gets a mutation that allows it to run faster.  (What can we infer from this?) Thus it can better outrun its enemies, and passes that trait on to its babies.  Since faster rabbits tend to survive better, soon the whole species becomes faster.

However, the vast majority of mutations -- like a 1,000 to one -- are harmful. Thus, unregulated mutation is far more likely to destroy a species over time than evolve it. If you throw a wrench at a car, what are you more likely to do – fix it or damage it?  If you throw a wrench at it repeatedly for a million years, what is most likely to happen first – break or fix?

There are about 4,000 genetic disorders in human beings with Cystic Fibrosis being the most common. To my knowledge, the only boni-fide human genetic disorder that can be thought of as positive is Sickle Cell Anemia.  Sickle Cell victims are immune to malaria, though they tend to die painfully in young adulthood (which means they can still last long enough to have kids).

If Sickle Cell Anemia is a good mutation, then we have 4,000 BAD mutations in the human genome and ONE highly dubious good one (the vast majority of mutations have no significant effect, as natural DNA repair fixes them before they become permanent).  Consider if there were just ONE good mutation for every TWO bad ones; what would be the result?  Rephrase:  If you are in the middle of the parking lot, and you took one step toward Howdy’s and two steps back to the Youth House, which place do you reach first? But we do not have two bad mutations for every good one.  In this case, we have one good mutation for every four thousand bad ones!

Mutations are overwhelmingly bad, yet they are the only way evolution can work.

Problems #3: Gaps in the Fossil Record

(Show first X-Men movie intro – why did Professor X say “sometimes evolution takes sudden leaps”?)  When asked to defend evolution, the average person may say, “what about all the fossils”? 

As it turns out, the fossil record is not kind to Darwin’s theory.  The fossil record reveals no transitional species (animals changing from one major kind to another, like a lizard to a bird) other than a very few highly dubious examples, when the record, if Darwin was correct, should be full of them. Moreover, the fossil record never shows us a neat progression of an ancient animal slowly turning into a modern animal – all such evolutionary “trees” have so far been shown to be false.  Instead, species tend to suddenly appear in the fossil record without precedent (as if they were created?) and then disappear.

There is indeed a severe lack of transitional species in the fossil record. The very existence of the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (the idea that evolution sometimes takes sudden leaps) is proof positive that even evolutionary scientists believe that there are gaps in the fossil record.

To be fair, let me say, "punctuated equilibria is a model for discontinuous tempos of change (in) the process of speciation and the deployment of species in geological time."  In other words, a species is going along changing very little when suddenly, it changes a whole lot really fast.  Sudden leap, indeed.

So where is the evidence for punctuated equilibrium? It is LACK of evidence -- the missing transitional species! Isn’t it just as likely that the transitional species are missing because they never existed?

Problem #4:  Still Insects

According to evolution, insects emerged millions of years before mammals did. Furthermore, because of their short reproductive cycles, insects have A LOT more generations than mammals, thus they get a shot at the "evolutionary lottery" A LOT more than mammals do. And yet, we are MUCH further ahead evolutionally than insects are. So why don’t the insects get any better?  Where are the great insect civilizations?

In the race to evolutionary perfection, Evolution gives insects a million mile head start and a car that goes a hundred times as fast, yet they are beaten by mammals.  The idea of evolution says that an animal progresses through natural selection to higher and higher states of complexity.  Another idea says that God creates an animal as it is, and it changes very little. Given the evidence of the insects, which theory makes more sense?

Problem #5:  Some Progress, Some Don’t

Why does Joe the Fish to evolve, but leaves Bill the Fish a fish? Both Bob and Bill are the exact same species and live in the exact same environment. Yet Joe goes from Amphibian to Reptile to Bird to Mammal to Primate and eventually becomes a man, while poor Bill remains a freakin’ fish. Whatever happened to "survival of the fittest"? The problem with saying that all higher orders of animals are derived from fish is that we still have fish!

The problem of saying that all current species evolved from single cell organisms is we still have single cell organisms!  If multi-celled organisms are so superior to single cell organisms – if evolution is all about survival of the fittest, then why are the single cell organisms not only still around, but by far the most numerous of organisms? If humans evolved from primates, why do we still have primates?  We humans supposedly evolved from primates to a higher state.  So what’s wrong with the other primates?  Why is it that Bob the monkey is still a monkey but Bill the monkey has become a man?

Problem #6:  Similarity of Chemical Makeup

Evolutionists say that the fact that all life is based on the same basic chemical makeup is evidence that we all evolved from a common ancestor.  (How would you answer this?)

When we note that all Ford vehicles are pretty much made out of the same things, and are all arranged in the same basic design, do we assume that they all evolved by themselves from a common ancestor or that a creator (in this case, Ford Motor Company) made them?  

It’s just as explainable to say that all life is similar because all life has the same Creator?

Note also that we take the chemicals in our food and use them to build our own bodies and create our own chemical energy. Thus, if other species did not have the same basic chemical building blocks as we did, we could not EAT them -- we'd have to eat each other! A wise Creator would understand this, right?

Problem #7:  Irreducible Complexity

At some point in a living cell, we get to the point where one part simply cannot live without the other parts. The parts are all interconnected -- take away one, and the rest immediately die.  {Use mousetrap = spring, hammer, trigger, plate or flashlight = battery + plastic housing + bulb + switch}

            Let’s put all the components of a flashlight in a big bucket – battery, plastic housing, bulb, switch.  Now let’s stir or shake the bucket until a flashlight emerges turned on.  How long do you think that would take?  Remember, we have to shake the bucket until a battery slides the right way into the housing facing the right direction with the bulb screwed in on top of it the right way – simultaneously. 

Remember that to begin evolution, life must be produced from inorganic matter.  Ideally, the right combination of inorganic chemicals will produce a living cell.  Wherefore evolution requires that at some time in the distant past, certain chemicals – dead chemicals -- formed by random factors into a living cell.

(Note that this has never, ever been achieved in a laboratory, nor observed in nature.  It is merely assumed in order for the theory to work!  Amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of life, have been formed in the laboratory out of conditions thought to represent an early earth. It cannot be stressed enough that not only are these amino acids and not life, but that they were the result of intentional design, not random factors – the scientist created them.  Further, the scientist had to remove them before his hypothetical primitive earth destroyed them. This is supposed to prove that life can spontaneously spring all by itself from inorganic chemicals?)

Let us suppose that in order to make a functioning living cell, you need five vital chemicals in just the right order – let’s call them A, B, C, D, and E.  (Actually, you need a great many more than that, but this isn’t a college level biology course!) But if the chemicals form part A, it immediately dies, because parts B, C, D, and E are not there to support it. If part B is formed – and even this is a statistical impossibility -- it immediately dies, because parts A, C, D, and E are not there to support it.  If A, B, C, E, and D join together, they will all die, because D has to come before E in order for the living cell to work.

This means that in order for life to get started at all, ALL parts must SIMULTANEOUSLY come into being at the exact same PLACE in the specific ARRANGEMENT of parts. To make one living cell, you can’t have a part float around for a few million years, then eventually add another part some time later, then another.  It’s all got to happen at once.  {flashlight = battery + plastic housing + bulb + switch}

>Problem #8:  Probability

If you throw lumber, glass, paint, and bricks at a spot long enough, will you eventually build a house? What if I give you millions of years?  Let’s say we drive out to the desert and see a house.  What’s more likely – that someone built the house or that it formed all by itself?  A single living cell is far more complex than any house!

Some people say I’m comparing apples and oranges, because only living things evolve (by themselves) and a house is not alive.  But we have already seen that in order for evolution to get started at all, a lot of non-living chemicals have to combine spontaneously and precisely in order to form a living cell, so the analogy still applies. If a house therefore cannot build itself, how can something more complex than any house – the first living cell – build itself?  

Problem #9:  Domesticated Animals:

Remember when I said the vast majority of mutations are harmful? If that’s true, why do we have domesticated animals?  Look at all the different variations of cats and dogs, and of cows, pigs, chickens, etc.  Isn’t that proof that unregulated evolution via mutation works?  (What do you say to this?)

a)      Domesticated animals do not naturally evolve.  Their “evolution” is
purposefully and intentionally directed by a power higher than the animals – in this case, the human farmers and ranchers.  If it is your argument that mutations, and therefore evolution can only work when a Higher Power is guiding it, then you may have a point!

b)      Domesticated animals are fed, protected, and provided with medical care by humans. This is a far cry from any natural environment where only the fittest is supposed to survive.  We humans have bred yappy little toy lapdogs that many people think make fine pets, but how long would such a thing last in the wild? Some sheep farmers have developed a breed of sheep with short, stumpy legs which prevent them from running fast or jumping over fences. What would happen to these sheep in nature?

And when domesticated animals do escape to the wild and survive, (like the Spanish horses did in the American West) they began to revert to their natural state.

In short, domesticated animals and plants “evolve” in an artificial environment and “de-evolve”in a natural environment. This is evidence that evolution naturally occurs?

c)    Domestication of plants and animals reveals the limitations of a creature’s
DNA, strongly suggesting, if not proving outright, that a new species cannot evolve from an existing one. Take dogs, for example. After thousands of years of artificial evolution, we have created St. Bernards, Chihuahuas, German Shepherds, Blue Tick Hounds, Dachshunds, and hundreds of other varieties of dogs.  But no matter how much we screw with the species, they are ALL DOGS!  Apparently, we can turn a Poodle into Great Dane, but we can’t turn it into a cat or a cow or a whale or shrimp or anything other than a dog! We can’t make a new species.  No matter how much we screw with the dog’s DNA, the most we can ever come up with is another kind of dog. (Why is that a problem for evolution?)

Because the whole Theory of Evolution rests on the assumption that new species can evolve from existing ones (like say, ape-like creatures turning into humans).  Supposedly, Bacteria slowly became Fish which slowly become Amphibians which slowly become Reptiles which slowly become Birds which slowly become Mammals which slowly become Apes which slowly become people.  

And yet, our experience with domesticated animals strongly suggests that a fish can’t slowly become anything other than another kind of fish.  In the world of Evolution, fish became amphibians.   Well, fish farmers have tamed many breeds of fish. But they have yet to compete with the frog legs market in France by turning any of their fish into frogs.  The evidence suggests that it simply can’t be done.

Evolutionists like to point out all of the variations that supposedly evolved in Darwin’s famous finches.  What they fail to realize is that not only are those things ALL birds, they are ALL FINCHES!!   There is no evolution going on.  They are not becoming any other type of animal. They are all of them finches. So exactly how do Darwin’s finches provide evidence of evolution?