Why I’m not an evolutionist: Reason #3

December 30, 2006 at 10:11 pm 1 comment

Well, folks, I’m moving way out of my element with this post.

In my last two posts on evolution, I discussed my theological and philosophical reasons for rejecting evolutionary theory. In this and the following post, I’ll take on the rather daunting task of providing two of the scientific objections that are most important to me in opposing evolution.

That task is daunting for two reasons: First, I’m not a scientist. I’m very aware of my own limitations in that respect.

Secondly, I am deeply sensitive to the fact that those who reject evolution are heavily derided by many academics (Christian and non-Christian alike) for their supposedly anti-intellectual views.

Frankly, it’s uncomfortable to argue a position that comes under so much fire from people I respect. But I do it anyway, because I believe there is legitimate reason to question evolution.

Here, then, I present the first of two major scientific problems I see with evolution. Should you disagree with me, I invite your criticism. The final post in the series, in which will discuss my second major scientific objection to evolution, comes tomorrow.

Problem #1: Mutations

dna_ball_stick.gifEvolution operates on the assumption that random variation (i.e. genetic mutations) combined with natural selection will eventually produce organisms of increasing complexity over long periods of time. The idea is that mutations, which are mistakes made in the copying of DNA, can add new and beneficial features to an organism. Natural selection will then select for those beneficial new features.

Unfortunately, however, there is no evidence (of which I am aware) that mutations actually can increase the functional genetic information in an organism. On the contrary, mutations result in a loss of information (not surprising, considering that mutations are random mistakes).

Although most mutations are either neutral or harmful in their effects, there are occasionally mutations that are beneficial for an organism. For example, the loss of sight in blind cave fish and the loss of wings in wingless beetles are changes that give the organisms in question a better chance at survival.

However, even these beneficial mutations involve a decrease or corruption in information, never an addition of information. None of the commonly cited “evidences” of evolution—including antibiotic resistance, peppered moths, Galapagos finches, and duplicate sets of wings on flies—actually involve an increase in information.

In summary…

Evolution offers no mechanism known to be capable of increasing the genetic information in an organism. Therefore, there is no way to explain how evolution could proceed from a single-celled organism to the vast degree of variation and complexity that we see in the world today.

For what it’s worth, I took this argument to one of the biology professors at my university, who is an evolutionist specializing in developmental biology. I asked if she could give me any examples of mutations that increased the genetic information in a given organism. She gave me three different examples, each of which I carefully refuted as not having resulted in a genuine information increase. After her third try, she gave up, said, “Alright, let me give you some arguments to support the creationist position,” and began to provide me with arguments that undermined the evolutionist view.

So what’s a girl to conclude? I, for one, continue to think this is a genuine problem.

For further info…

For further information on mutations and natural selection, see the following articles from Answers In Genesis:

1. Has evolution really been observed? (Summary article)
2. Genetics: no friend of evolution
3. Muddy Waters: Clarifying the confusion about natural selection

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Christmas tears Why I’m not an evolutionist: Reason #4

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Khan Po  |  August 15, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    You mention the loss of sight in blind cave fish as an example of a beneficial mutation. How is this not an increase in information? In the absence of light, sight is not beneficial, and the fish are better off discarding that sense and making better use of other senses. This is new information that wasn’t present before in the system. A “realization” so to speak that sight is not optimal in that environment.

    I would argue that you think it’s not an increase in information because you are operating in the wrong context. There are myriad examples of situations where a creature’s environment results in adaptations that are better for that environment, but not better for survival in the broader world. It’s all about context–the context to which the creature is adapting.

    Furthermore, mutations are not the only source of information in an evolutionary system. Crossover is also a major contributor. You might argue that crossover is not an increase in information because the source comes from information already existing in the parents. But that again is a naive view. The information is not the individual components, but the resulting combination, and its superior survival chances.

    Reply

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Profile

profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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