Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Microevolution vs. Macroevolution

It’s important to realize that there is such a thing as microevolution—that is, variation within species. Look at the variety within dogs—the tiny Chihuahua to the huge Great Dane. Both are dogs and they have incredible differences. But they are still dogs. Or look at horses. Within the horse family are the donkey, zebra, draft horse, and the dwarf pony. All are different, but all are horses. There are huge variations within the human species. Think of all the different features from Asian to African to Aboriginal to Caucasian. But we are all within the same species, Homo sapiens.

Darwin’s theory of evolution, however, is based on the concept of macroevolution. This is the inference that successive small changes seen in microevolution (these variations within species) can accumulate and lead to large changes over long periods of time. In macroevolution, one kind of creature (such as a reptile) becomes another kind of creature (such as a bird), requiring the creation of entirely new features and body types. This would be a bit like observing a car going from 0 to 60 mph in 60 seconds, and inferring that it can then go 0 to 6,000 mph in 100 minutes—and become an airplane in the process.

That’s quite an assumption, and it puts a tremendous responsibility on mutations to accidentally create complex new body parts, and on natural selection to recognize the benefit these new parts will eventually convey and make sure the creatures with those new parts survive. As Stephen J. Gould explains,

“The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well.”

Let’s take a closer look at how mutations and natural selection supposedly work to create the amazing complexity of life in our world.

It Doesn’t Add Up
The first problem we find is that the variations we see in microevolution are always within limits set by the genetic code. Fifty years of genetic research on the fruit fly have convinced evolutionists that change is limited and confined to a defined population. Despite being bombarded with mutation agents for half a century, the mutant fruit flies continue to exist as fruit flies, leading geneticists to acknowledge that they will not evolve into something else. This confirms Gregor Mendel’s findings in the 1800s that there are natural limits to genetic change.

Genetics professor Francisco Ayala is quoted as saying: “I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate.” Small changes aren’t the only thing that doesn’t add up. But more importantly, the amount of change isn’t really the issue.

Mutations can only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones. Within a particular type of creature, hair can vary from curly to straight, legs can vary from heavy to thin, beaks from long to short, wings from dark to light, etc. But the creatures still have hair, legs, beaks, and wings—nothing new has been added.

If you recall, in our DNA book, a mutation is a mistake—a “typing error.” In the genetic blueprint, the letters that define these features can occasionally be rearranged or lost through mutations, but none of this will account for the additions needed by macroevolution. Remember, in the molecules-to-man theory, everything evolved from simple cells to complex life forms. So if a fish were to grow legs and lungs, or a reptile were to grow wings, that creature’s genetic information would have to increase to create the new body parts. This would be equivalent to a “telegram” giving rise to “encyclopedias” of meaningful, useful genetic sentences.

Think how much more information there is in the human genome than in the bacterial genome. If macroevolution were true, where did all that vastly complex new information come from? Scientists have yet to find even a single mutation that increases genetic information. As physicist Lee Spetner puts it, “Information cannot be built up by mutations that lose it. A business can’t make money by losing it a little at a time.”

Excerpted from How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God (Bridge-Logos).