"It ain't necessarily so"

A review of the validity of Charles Darwin's thinking.

Warren L. Johns, Esq., a retired lawyer and editor of Creation Digest, lives in Brookeville, Maryland

The propagandized postulates of Charles Robert Darwin call to I mind the lyrics of a song from the twentieth-century Broadway hit musical Porgy and Bess: "It Ain't Necessarily So." A growing number of academics assess evolution's science with similar skepticism.

Darwin's wish list of unsubstantiated propositions starts with his primitive perception of the "simple" cell with sequences allegedly leading to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and ultimately Homo sapiens.

Evolution's essence envisions life without a guiding conscious intelligence; without a creator. Proposed instead is a haphazard jungle menagerie of random-chance forces, competing for survival, yet still having the capacity of producing the amazing natural, productive orderliness that surrounds us.

In this dismal scenario, we face a forever death, with no prospect of further life. Our present toil and pain is unexplained, unless, perhaps as they are seen to be the consequence of an ill-defined, undirected struggle. They certainly are not seen to be the consequence of sin, for under this worldview, moral and spiritual realities are essentially ignored. Darwinism proposes a gradual "progress to perfection" over deep time, and it intention ally dismisses a Creation week put in place by the verbal command of Infinite God.

Darwin's man

Rather than fashioned in God's image, Darwin's man "is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears . . ."1 Reduced to its core, evolutionism contends that human life and intelligence sprang spontaneously (and certainly inexplicably) from a nonliving, non-conscious, non-intelligent source.

This view was initially articulated by a wealthy, Victorian elitist, whose credentials include three Cambridge years studying for the Anglican ministry. Some say he was a man disillusioned by the heartbreak of his ten-year-old daughter's death; a distraught philosopher who railed against a contemporary religion that caricatured God as a tyrant, intent on torturing the wayward with the pangs of their present existence and the horror of an everlasting fiery torment.

Rejecting the prospect of eternal life, Darwin sentenced Homo sapiens to a bleak future, predicting that "we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity."2

One of Darwin's more outrageous suppositions never made it past his 1859 first edition of The Origin of Species. The naturalist imagined he could "see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits ... till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale."

His assertions wandered into the realm of today's politically incorrect. He ranked the male gender as the one decidedly superior over the female. He asserted that "the chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn [shown] by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands."3

With a nod to eugenics (alleged "improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding"4), he fretted that the practice of vaccination spared the lives of small-pox victims. "Vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised [civilized] societies propagate their kind ... this must be highly injurious to the race of man."5 In the face of this supposed dire result, he said that society should maintain a stiff upper lip: "We must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind."6

Thus, not surprisingly, the predictions of evolution's guru echoes as racist. "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised [civilized] races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races."7 Very significantly, Darwin made two crucial and far-reaching concessions: (1) That his ideas about origins were "'a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaw[s] and holes as sound parts...'" and (2) "T am quite conscious that my speculations run beyond the bounds of true science.'" These admissions, by their nature possess a constitutional weight. At their heart they still stand despite the long, powerful and now establishment-driven attempts to reduce their shattering truth. He worried that he may "... have devoted my life to a phantasy."8

Beyond the bounds of science

Valid scientific reasons exist for Darwin's intellectual hand wringing! Evolution suffers from a terminal case of ambivalent viability. Despite the secular media's repetitious rhetoric parading evolution as "fact," an impressive roster of contemporary scientists discount Darwinism.

A prominent evolutionist writer flatly asserts the conviction that "over millions of years, tree-living reptiles evolved into birds." But simultaneously, in the same book, he acknowledges "it is impossible to know for certain whether one species is the ancestor of another."9

In a further burst of admirable candor, the same writer describes evolution's "chain of ancestry" as "a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with human prejudices.... Each fossil rep resents an isolated point, with no knowable connection to any other given fossil, and all float around in an overwhelming sea of gaps."10

Another avowed evolutionist pulls no punches. Dr. Michael Denton portrays "the Darwinian theory of evolution [as] no more or less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century." He further elaborates "that nowhere was Darwin able to point to one bonafide case of natural selection having actually generated evolutionary change in nature ..."11

Scientific evidence abounds, corroborating Darwin's admission that his philosophy of origins is "beyond the bounds of true science." Three obvious shortfalls in his suppositions stand out in bold relief, edging evolution's hype toward history's dustbin.

* Evolution cannot explain the first-ever appearance of a living cell;

* The sudden appearance, simultaneously and worldwide, of more than 7,000 complex species of life, without a trace of ancestry; and

* The demonstrated incompetence of mutations to transform one kind of life into an entirely new kind, even given vast periods of deep time.

Simple cells?

The technology of Charles Robert Darwin's day deprived investigators of the faintest clue that a "simple" cell was anything more than a blob of protoplasm. Astutely, Darwin skipped any serious attempt to explain the spontaneous generation of original life. Instead, the canny philosopher surrendered to the ultimate mystery, admitting "science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life."12

Laboratory replication of a single cell from scratch, life from nonlife, complete with a full code of genes exponentially more complex than any mechanism humans have yet devised, continues to elude Darwin's heirs. No scientist has yet duplicated or explained what spontaneous generation allegedly accomplished, or how it actually might have happened, except to in effect attribute it to some accident or chance, taking place in the dim recesses of prebiotic time and "soup" and continuing through the eons to what is presently extant. The recipe for first life and its complete genome baffles the scientific elect and elite!

The odds of random chance generating a friendly environment essential to produce and sustain organic life, is mathematically less likely than six billion blindfolded humans simultaneously solving the riddle of a Rubik's Cube in less than a minute.

The gradual and the sudden

In discarding the possibility of a conscious, intelligent, creative life-source, Darwin came to alternatively envision a simple-to-complex gradualism somehow taking place within the recesses of deep time zones. Verification of this grandiose scheme demanded fossil cemeteries filled with transitional or intermediate life forms, bridging the gaping gulfs between single-celled ancestors and multi-celled descendants.

Instead, the evidence reveals a plethora of complex animal and plant life species that appeared suddenly, simultaneously and worldwide without evidence of fossil ancestry.

The Pre-Cambrian fossil record offers a virtual paleontological desert. This reality astounded Darwin.

"'Nothing is more extraordinary in the history of the Vegetable Kingdom . . . than the apparently very sudden or abrupt development of the higher plants.'"13

Late in the twentieth century, a Cambridge University Botany Department scientist concluded, "to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants favours [favors] special creation."14

This universal appearance of a pervasive diversity of complex life kinds, is diametrically opposed to speculations requiring the gradual emergence of "innumerable transitional forms." It is this that troubled Darwin.

"Geological research . . . does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory . . . why do we not find beneath this system great piles of strata stored with the remains of the progenitors of the Cambrian fossils?"15

Equally stunning and subversive to Darwin's fondest theories is the reality that many of these original fossil kinds of life failed to subsequently "evolve." Instead they continue to be stable, in a state of stasis, virtually unchanged today from any fossil ancestors. A classic example of this is the fact that the oldest known water lily fossils appear identical to their twenty-first-century descendants.16

Genomes and mutations

Beyond neo-Darwinism's inability to explain the "how" and "when" of first life arising from inorganic matter and the abrupt appearance of com plex life without evidence of prior ancestry, is the discovery of the genome which underscores the intelligent design, irreducible complexity, and unique information code inherent in each prototypical life.

The genetic code packed in the DNA of each genome is vested with an inherent capacity for variation designed to accommodate environment. The degree of flexibility facilitated by this adaptation to the environment does not in the least assume the radical shifts of evolution envisioned by Darwinists.

Genome engendered flexibility does not accommodate, for example, the reptile-to-bird scenario. Evolutionists allege or assume, essentially on the basis of extrapolation, that because the genome enables an organ ism to adapt to its environment, it also enables that organism, over great periods of time, to leap over into an entirely new kind of critter! This assumption is, on the face of what may actually be observed, unmerited.

Alaska's state bird, the ptarmigan, sheds its dull camouflage colors of summer, each year, in exchange for a winter mantle of white feathers to match the snow. Come summer again, there's a consistent reversion back to the subdued shades of rock. The ptarmigan's genes carry the camouflage information that triggers seasonal change, generation after generation. No matter how many seasonal cycles come and go with color-coded transformations, the ptarmigan remains a ptarmigan for ever.

Devout Darwinian theoreticians cannot, with intellectual integrity, extrapolate the reality of each genome's adaptability so that it assures dazzling variety within kinds, and thus authenticates what is essential to evolutionary theory.

Lock-step misinterpretation of a genome's capacity for variety, as well as the development of hybrids, touts apples to "prove" oranges, thus misleading a gullible public in a lemming like march to nowhere!

Neo-Darwinists rely on mutations as the elixir that drives evolutionary change to feed the natural selection process, ultimately blazing the trail to an entirely new and different descendant organism thanks to an assumed time scale counted in millions of years.

Regardless, random mutations within a prototype genome have yet to bridge the biological gap leading to an entirely new and different kind. Clearly there are colossal problems here!

Mutations never add new information to the genetic code essential for an entirely new life form; and, mutations are notoriously deleterious to the genome. Despite laboratory mutations induced repeatedly in the lowly fruit fly, descendant fruit flies continue to be fruit flies, often with weird deformities but always fruit flies, never dragonflies or butterflies and this goes on ad infinitum for thousands of generations.

And it's the same with bacteria!

Alleged by evolutionists to have been around for something like 3.6 billion years, bacteria, under this assumption, have produced millions of generations. Despite mutations, however, descendant bacteria remain bacteria, now and forever.

Even the amazing ptarmigan is alleged to have descended from a reptile ancestor who insisted on trying to fly until it successfully sprouted feathers rather than scales, hollow bones, warm blood, and a host of other necessities that make birds birds!

Yawning, genetic chasms separating distinct kinds of organic formats have never been bridged by the mutation/natural selection combo concoct ed by neo-Darwinists. This is true even when we allow for all the sup posed millions of years these changes are supposed to have taken place.

Random chance transitions from one kind of critter to another, pro posed as "fact" by neo-Darwinism, never happened and never will happen! Forget the knee-jerk mantra asserting life's emergence from primordial slime followed by a mindless march from the sea. A single cell fish to a man or woman? It never happened.

The Christian view

Articles of faith embraced by Christians anchor in an unequivocal belief in the biblical account of Creation week and the worldwide deluge of Noah's day.

Christ Himself confirmed God's miracle of Creation and the planet-wide destruction wreaked by a cataclysmic deluge. Theological rejection or compromise with these biblical accounts, conflicts head-on with the articulated testimony of Jesus Christ.

"Theistic Evolution" appeals to some who sport Christian trappings despite discounting the words of Christ's ministry. Trying to merge the unmergable in this field of thought diminishes God, contending He relied on evolution's random chance sequences over eons of deep time. This incompatible theology-pseudoscience mixes, glosses over, or ignores the rich meaning of a weekly celebration saluting God's power to create life by His command and to spare sinners from their inevitable fate.

Darwinian thought has been repeatedly patched, reprogrammed, and revised, in futile attempts to create a worldview that does not clash with belief in an Infinite Creator God. But evolutionism's thin soup recipe for life offers a starvation diet of unsubstantiated myth laced with fancy phraseology.

Darwin's own characterization of his "mere rag of a hypothesis," speaks eloquently: "My speculations run beyond the bounds of true science."

Faith in the mystical convergence of inorganic matter by "natural" forces, in an attempt to explain the genesis of the first ever cell of organic life, worships or at least plays at the feet of primitive superstition, which is the very antithesis of science!

Michael Ruse, atheist and devoted disciple of Darwinian faith, describes evolution as "a full-fledged alternative to Christianity. ... Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today."17

Rational faith, on the other hand, envisions an Intelligent Designer who created life as well as the science that focuses on life's origin; a Supreme Intelligence beyond mortal comprehension.

Here's a terse paraphrase of the timeless testament of a recently deceased scholar, whose life was committed to faith in a Creator:

"God created all things, a long time ago!"

Two distinct worldviews offer an either/or choice. Both options envision faith-based religions. Faith in the religion of evolutionism leads to darkness and to mere death. The other, the biblical faith, worships a Supreme Being who created humanity in His own image and personally blazed the trail of victory over death.

Charles Darwin boasted of "progress toward perfection," a siren song that leads inevitably, by its own implied nature, merely to the abyss of death. Christ predicted a time of "great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world,"18 coupled with the promise of His return and life eternal to all who believe.

Choose this day whom you will serve.

1 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, photo reproduction of the 1871 version published by J. Murray, London), 2:389.

2 , The Origin of Species (New York: Random House, 1993), 647.

3 , The Descent of'Man, 2:327.

4 See American Heritage Dictionary of the EnglishLanguage (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992), third edition, 632.

5 Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1:168.

6 Ibid., 169.

7 Ibid., 201.

8 Charles Darwin letter to Asa Gray, cited by Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1991), 456, 475.

9 Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time- (New York: The Free Press, 1999), 177, 155.

10 Ibid., 32.

11 Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, Md.: Adler & Adler, 1986), 62, 358.

12 Darwin, The Origin of Species, 637.

13 Charles Darwin, (1881) in F. Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (London: John Murray, 1888) 3:248; cited by Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 163.

14 Oliver & Boyd, Contemporary Botanical Thought, 1971, 97.

15 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 617, 618.

16 Peter Crane, et. al. "New Scientist," April, 2001, 1.

17 Michael Ruse, "Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians," National Post (May 13, 2000), B-3; quoted by Henry B. Morris, "Evolution is Religion Not Science," Impact, February 2001.

18 Tile Thompson Chain Reference Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: ___, 1983), Matthew 24:21.

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Warren L. Johns, Esq., a retired lawyer and editor of Creation Digest, lives in Brookeville, Maryland

July 2002

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