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Darwin’s garden was planted in very thin soil, but no one knew that at the time.
In the last two chapters we’ve taken a tour—and a rather ugly tour—of the implications of evolutionary and racist thought. Sociologically and culturally, the implications are far-reaching. They reach from the policies of entire nations to the day-to-day discrimination of a particular individual in a particular place. The question of racism cannot be understated. But what is the answer? Where do we turn for a biblical and truthful response to this situation?
Thankfully, God has not left us in a void of information. The answers are there. From the special revelation of His written Word and from the natural revelation that we have from science, we can not only expose the roots of racism and evolution as lies, but we can uproot Darwin’s garden and plant new seeds—seeds of truth from God, rather than seeds from the prejudiced wisdom of fallen man.
Darwin’s garden was planted in very thin soil, but no one knew that at the time. The theory of evolution seemed to coincide with accepted scientific facts of the day, particularly among the secularists who had abandoned the truth of Scripture.
When Darwin jumped on the Beagle, the famous ship that would take him to exotic locales of the world, some of his basic ideas about evolution were already intact. He already believed in an earth that was millions of years old and he had already abandoned his faith in a Creator. As he sailed around the world, he began to notice different types of animals—animals that shared similarities but also showed great variety, depending on where they happened to live. He also noticed that some animals with close similarities also live in close proximity to each other. He began to theorize that all life began from a single living creature and that over much time this animal changed or “evolved” into something more complex. Over more time, Darwin’s theory said that different kinds of animals branched off and became something totally different.
The theory claims that crude human-like beings eventually evolved and branched off into various hominids.The theory claims that crude human-like beings eventually evolved and branched off into various hominids. Darwin, like many evolutionists, believed that some hominids developed larger brains faster, leaving others behind. The most advanced species (in the evolutionist’s evolved brain at least) was a 19th-century European gentleman who was supposedly far more evolved than an Australian Aborigine. This revolutionary, evolutionary idea added fuel to racist thinking and vice versa.
Darwin’s theory seems to make sense on a surface level to many people. But there was a basic biological problem with this theory, though very few people knew it at the time. Darwin was a “Lamarckian” in his evolutionary beliefs. Lamarck believed that the environment could cause a living organism to change and that these changes could be passed on to the next generation. For example, Lamarck believed that a giraffe originally had a short neck. But because the giraffe stretched his neck to eat the leaves from tall trees, early evolutionists believed that the giraffes’ neck actually became longer. They believed that these longer necks were then passed on to the next generation (inheriting acquired characteristics), each time growing a little bit longer by being stretched again and again until we have the extremely long neck of the modern giraffe.
Again, this seemed fairly logical. Given enough time, any level of change seemed possible—and the new science of geology that was developing in the late 1700s and early 1800s gave them that time. Early geologists were already toying with the idea that the earth was many millions of years old. Darwin took these ideas and applied them to biology. It was a short step with far-reaching implications. The Lamarckian belief (that environment alone could cause changes to an organism that would be passed on to the next generation) and the concept that the earth was millions and millions of years old allowed the seeds of Darwin’s garden to take root. In this environment, the garden of Darwinism flourished—and in its shadows, racism fed off evolution’s godless philosophical and immoral implications.
The problem is that these seeds of evolutionary thinking were planted in extremely thin scientific soil. Darwin and the scientists who initially embraced his theory had no way of knowing that an extremely intricate and complicated code of information governed life from within an organism. They had neither the technology nor the observational skills to discover that God had placed a phenomenally amazing blueprint for life inside every cell, inside every organism, inside every human being.
They had yet to discover the world of genetics.
Through modern technology and countless hours of painstaking research, modern scientists are uncovering the wonders of biological life that are immeasurably more complicated than anything scientists could have conceived of in the 1800s.
In the area of biochemistry, for example, scientists have discovered the world of intricate design far beyond the imagination of the early biologists. In his book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe describes the phenomenal chemical machines that make up the foundations of life . . . and he shows how it would be absolutely impossible for them to come into being by the process of Darwinian evolution.
The same goes for the science of genetics. Genes are pieces of DNA that contain the information necessary to build a living organism. They are like the blueprint for a building—except that they are far more expansive and complicated than any blueprint for any building that has ever been built. Through sexual and asexual reproduction, genes are passed from generation to generation, carrying the information required for organisms to reproduce.
It is important to understand some of the basic (easy to comprehend) principles of genetics, so we can then apply this to the human race. Even those who don’t believe in Darwinian evolution are often perplexed by how all the different people groups with differing shades of skin color, differing eye shapes, and so on could arise if we are all descendants of just two people—Adam and Eve.
In this discussion, we will use dogs to lay down some basic genetic principles—and that will make it easy to understand how the different people groups have arisen. This will also help us to provide the right foundation of understanding to deal with racism and prejudice.
A dog/wolf has 19,300 genes. Like all animals, they inherit two copies of each gene (one from each parent). That means that they not only inherit the information, but they can also inherit great varieties of information.
The variation in just three different genes could result in five different variations of offspring (and many more are possible). When you consider all of the possible genes and all of the possible combinations, we can see that the possibilities are nearly limitless.
The number of atoms estimated in the entire universe is in the order of a 1 followed by 80 zeros. But the number of combinations of unique children that a male and female human could potentially procreate is even more than this. There’s phenomenal variability in our genes. DNA is the most complex phenomenal storage system in the universe. When one considers the amount of information that God put in our DNA—one just has to stand back in awe of our Creator. It is mind-boggling.
The genetic code that God created for Adam and Eve was perfect. But the consequences of the Fall and living in a fallen environment cause mutations. Mutations are glitches in the genetic code that can change the way an organism was originally designed, and these changes are often passed on to future generations of offspring.
As the discovery of DNA began to be understood, Darwinists were sent scrambling to come up with new ideas on how evolution might have occurred. No longer can changes in the organism be attributed simply to external forces. For organisms to change, and for those changes to be passed on to future generations, there must be genetic alterations.
Darwinists were forced to try to concoct new theories that incorporated these new understandings about genetics and integrate them with observations about natural selection (the process that allows certain varieties of organisms to survive better in different environments). And they tried to explain how this phenomenal genetic code might have come into being by itself. If evolution happened as they claimed, then the code system and information must have arisen from inanimate matter by natural processes. (Absolutely no realistic scenario has ever been presented to explain how this could happen.)
The battle between evolution and creation is now being fought on a new front. The Bible says in Genesis 1 that when God made the animals and plants, He made them after their “kind.” Darwin postulated that not only did life arise by natural processes out of dead matter, but also that over millions of years one kind totally changed into another. He theorized that fish evolved into amphibians, amphibians evolved into reptiles, reptiles evolved into birds, and so on.
The question then becomes this: Can genetic mutations, combined with natural selection over millions of years, account for the vast amounts of new information that are required for one kind of organism to change into an entirely different kind of organism?
I first need to point out that genetic mutations cause flaws in the genetic code. They don’t add new information, they simply alter existing information . . . and in almost all situations, this is not good for the organism. Some mutations could result in a beneficial effect, in a limited sense. If a beetle on a windswept island harbors a mutation that results in no wings, it would be less likely to be blown into the sea. Although this mutation would be beneficial to the beetle and its offspring in their current environment, the information in the DNA for wing-making has been lost. This is not evidence for molecules-to-man evolution; it doesn’t add any new information to the gene pool.
In nature, mutations are almost always destructive—the opposite of what molecules-to-man evolution requires.Another important point to make here is that most mutations result in corruption of information. Most animals with serious mutations cannot not survive “naturally” in the environment, and they die before reproducing. However, humans can keep domesticated animals alive by feeding them special food, cutting their hair, taking them to veterinarians for medicine and operations, etc. But in nature, mutations are almost always destructive—the opposite of what molecules-to-man evolution requires. Many mutations not only corrupt information, but they also remove variability from the gene pool. For example, a recently discovered genetic mutation keeps certain breeds of dogs very small. Dogs of this breed can no longer grow to a larger size.1 Unless the dogs are again bred with other varieties of dogs, this size limit caused by the mutation will be passed on to all subsequent generations. This is the way it works with all living organisms. As each succeeding generation of creatures (including man) comes into being, mutations from the former generation are passed along. After six thousand years, we have a significant collection of such mistakes in the gene pools of all the animals and humans on this earth.
In fact, genetic mutations make time the enemy of evolution, rather than its friend. The more time that passes, the more genetic mutations will accumulate in the gene pool.
Let me tell you this: mutations never, ever produce brand-new information and only operate on the information that’s there. That’s what the students at schools and colleges aren’t told and don’t understand. For Darwinian evolution, you need brand-new information that never previously existed, which is what you never see.
Can you imagine what would happen if you taught this in the secular school classroom? I’ll tell you what happens, because I used to do it! I taught biology in Australia during a time when we still had the freedom to present all the facts about evolution. I would spend 45 minutes giving a lesson on natural selection, and I had teachers come to me afterward, yelling at me, because I wasn’t endorsing Darwinian evolution. But once you teach students the basic facts about genetics—that mutations do not create new information—they will never forget it . . . and the next time their teachers try to tell them they do, they know the right questions to ask . . . and the next time someone claims to be a higher evolved race (like the Ku Klux Klan), they will know that’s a lie and that all have been created equal.
Natural selection is the observed process of certain varieties of animals being selected out of the gene pool because they are not equipped to survive in their environment. The process of natural selection is extremely well documented. Natural selection tends to only sort out fairly minor characteristics (color, size, proportions, etc.). In a short period of time, as the organisms with advantageous genes reproduce more successfully, the disadvantageous genes can be bred out of the gene pool. Remember, whether the genes are advantageous or disadvantageous depends on the environment (as with the wingless beetle on a windy island). The result is that certain varieties of an animal will be unable to reproduce the traits that their ancestors originally had in their gene pool. Outwardly, then, we see increased outward diversity among different breeds regarding their size, the length of their fur, or the color of their eyes, etc. But this actually represents a decrease in the variety in their gene pool. “Pure breeds” no longer have the ability to reproduce the type of diversity that the original pair of the kind had.
But is this evolution in the molecules-to-man sense? Absolutely not. It’s the exact opposite of Darwinian evolution—and yet many evolutionists point to this type of diversity as evidence that evolution takes place . . . and some use it as justification for prejudice and racism.
If you wanted to find evidence for Darwinian evolution, you’d expect to find it in London, England, near Darwin’s home territory. Secular scientists are very proud of Darwin; he is a hero in many circles. On the second floor of the London Natural History Museum is one of the most expansive displays regarding Darwinian evolution that can be found. It’s kind of like a memorial in Darwin’s honor.
In the exhibit labeled “The Origin of Species,” a sign says this: “Before Charles Darwin, most people believed that God created all living things exactly in the form we see them today; this is the basis of the doctrine of creation.”
The next sign says this: “But Darwin supported the view that all living things have developed into the forms that we see today by a process of gradual change over long periods of time; this is what is meant by evolution.”
This is the way evolution is taught in the museums and in the secular school textbooks in America (and around the world). They give lots of examples of animal diversity, and then they say that this is evidence of molecules-to-man evolution. By misinterpreting the evidence available from genetics, the evolutionists use sporadic bits of information to create an entirely wrong picture of how things came into being.
In the process, evolutionists set up what is called a “straw man” argument against creation. You need to understand how students are brainwashed, programmed, and led astray. Let me show you what they’re doing.
They begin by saying, “Ah, creationists believe God made everything just as we see it today, but we’re going to show you in this exhibit that animals change. Because animals change, creationists are wrong and because creationists are wrong that means that evolution’s right.”
But wait a minute. Is that correct? Do informed creationists believe that all living things were created exactly in the form we see them today? Absolutely not! Evolutionists are establishing a “false premise” by saying creationists believe something that we do not.
We know from Scripture that God created the animals according to their “kind” (such as the canine or feline “kind”). Within each of these kinds, God created the genetic ability to reproduce a vast variety within the different types of animals.
Let’s consider dogs for a moment.
When the pair of dogs/wolves got off of Noah’s Ark, these dogs mated and began to reproduce. Eventually, small groups of dogs started splitting away from the other groups and went off by themselves in different directions. This split up the gene pool, resulting in a number of dog populations with different combinations of genes from the original pair. Some of the combinations of genes resulted in features that were better able to survive in the particular environments to which they migrated. For instance, in cold climates dogs that carried the genes for big furry coats survived better than their companions that carried genes for thin coats. The big furry dogs were more likely to survive and pass on those genes. The short hair or medium hair length dogs tended to die out of the population because it was too cold for them. In time, these populations ended up having only genes for thick fur and none for the thin. These dogs became specialized to cold areas and displayed a diversity not displayed in their original ancestors.
This specialization came about through natural selection by getting rid of the genes that code for thin fur. The new breeds of dogs have less genetic information (and less variability) than the original types from which they were bred. That’s called “natural selection” or “adaptation.” It’s not necessarily survival of the fittest; it’s survival of those that have the right characteristics to survive in that environment. They might be the fittest in that environment, but overall they might not be the fittest dog.
If a group of animals that share a common ancestry are separated from each other for long enough, it’s even possible that they would no longer be able to breed with each other. By separating the gene pool, decreasing certain traits by natural selection, and experiencing different types of mutations, groups could be formed that could only breed with one another. Researchers are carefully considering the possibility that genetic mutation, size disparity, and behavior changes can result in breeding isolation. But this is not Darwinian evolution! This is not a genetic improvement for the species as a whole. No new information is being added to the blueprint. The “new” species have less genetic variability and less chance of survival in a changing environment. Certainly there are new combinations of information that may result in some different varieties—but this only happens as a result of the information already available in the gene pool for each kind.
Natural selection is not an onward-upward process with new information added in order to get entirely new organisms. Natural selection cannot create totally new characteristics that were not possible from the information already in the particular gene pool. It can only select from what already exists in that gene pool. It causes changes that take place within a species or within a kind by weeding out certain characteristics that are not advantageous in a specific environment. It can’t cause one kind to change into another. Natural selection does not cause reptiles to evolve into birds—reptiles don’t have the information for feathers; only birds do. You’d have to have brand-new information to get something brand new that never previously existed or was possible from the information available. That’s not what’s happening; natural selection is basically a downhill process (or a conserving process). Natural selection results in a loss of genetic information and/or redistribution of pre-existing information.
Yet the public school textbooks by and large say, “Darwin observed that animals change. Look at all the different varieties and species of animals we have today!” Young people read that and they say, “Well I guess that is evolution. Look at all that variety and the changes. Wow, given enough time, those sorts of little changes can actually add up to big changes to cause molecules-to-man evolution.” That’s the progression that they want you to believe when you walk through the Darwin exhibit in the museum in London. Do you hear what they are saying? Creationists believe God made everything just as we see them today, whereas Darwin saw that animals change, and therefore the creationists are wrong because we observe change; therefore evolution is right.
And we know that’s absolutely false. Informed creationists do not believe that God made the animals and plants just as we see today. Creationists understand that God created specific kinds of animals with the potential to reproduce in great variety. Also, sin changed everything and harmful mutations entered the once perfect world. Mutations and natural selection cannot add anything to gene pools; they can only take away or alter what is already there.
This helps us answer some questions, too. How did Noah get all the different varieties of animals on the ark? He didn’t! He only needed to take one pair from each kind of land-dwelling, air-breathing animals, each with tremendous genetic variability. Some say that there may have been 16,000 animals on Noah’s Ark; some say as few as 1,000. It’s likely that the world’s environment was much more diverse and demanding after the Flood than it was before. The forces of natural selection, combined with the effects of genetic mutations and other possible built-in genetic factors, immediately began to cause a narrowing of the gene pool in certain groups that disbursed to certain areas, causing the vast amount of variety and speciation that we observe today.
Animals and plants do change within their kind, but there is no evidence or explanation for how they could change from one kind into another—because genetic mutations never add new information, and the process of natural selection can only take away information.
In nature, environmental and other issues affect which organisms with specific collections of genes will survive. Humans, however, can intentionally limit which animals breed with each other in order to eliminate certain characteristics and emphasize others. This is called artificial selection—and this process developed the enormous varieties of domestic breeds in the time since the Flood, about 4,300 years ago. Compared to their dog/wolf ancestors, many of these breeds are next to (dare I say) worthless. Their gene pool is about one millimeter deep. I should know; I have one of these mutants living in my home. She may look cute, but the science of genetics is confirming what I’ve always said about her. I call her “a degenerate mutant affected by sin and the Curse.” The problem is that the rest of my family calls her “Mintie”—and this mutant thinks that she is the queen of our home. She prances about as if she owns the place, often sleeping in my chair in the living room. (After my family reads this chapter, I’ll be the one “in the dog house,” so to speak. But if I can use our little dog to help people understand science and the Bible, then surely our dog Mintie can become a hero . . . actually, a heroine.)
Mintie is a bichon frise, a variety of dog that was bred over time like all the other domestic varieties of dogs (probably in France or Germany, up to 700 or more years ago).2 We could say that God created the original dogs and bichons and poodles were developed by man from that original—but only using the information God put there in the first place. So in a sense one could say God made bichons and poodles—but only in the sense that God created all the original perfect information for these breeds of dogs which existed in the Garden of Eden. But let’s be honest, this cute little fuzzy thing that rules my home is no genetic improvement—it’s a mutant suffering from the effects of the Fall and sin. Our dog has to have her hair cut each month (because of a mutation affecting the shedding of hair) and is susceptible to bladder stones (it had to have a very expensive operation). Mintie now lives on pricey prescription food and needs estrogen tablets regularly. I’m thinking about health insurance for the dog! The list of physical problems due to mutations is extensive in domestic breeds. See the following for some problems in poodles, for instance.
Bichons and poodles (like all domestic varieties) are the result of a downward process. They have not just developed from dog genes, but from cursed copies of dog genes! Sorry about that—but it is true that dogs like Mintie are the result of the Curse! Each time I arrive home and our pet bichon races to the door to meet me, I am reminded of my sin—that I, in Adam, sinned and ushered in the Fall. (Now my wife may think I’m nuts, but I’m trying to illustrate an important point here.) After God pronounced every created thing as “very good,” Adam sinned, resulting in the whole of creation being cursed. Everything began to run down, no longer upheld perfectly by the sustaining power of an infinite Creator. When we unnaturally select out certain traits and create “pure breeds,” we aren’t creating anything new. We are actually filtering out diversity that God created in the original kind and passing on mutations that are detrimental. When one breeds poodles with poodles (why people do this is hard to come to grips with), only poodles will be produced, sadly! In a sense, a poodle is near the end of the line for a dog—there is not enough variety left for anything different to develop. (At least nothing of value, in my opinion!) If one were to start with wolves and breed generations of dogs, breeding the right combinations together with all the same sorts of mutations occurring all over again in the right sequence, then one could theoretically breed a dog with poodle characteristics. But one could never breed a wolf from a poodle, because the necessary information for wolves has been corrupted or deleted.
Even with all the variety that we see in the dog world, however, both the Bible and the best of scientific research show that they are all descendents of one specific kind—the dog kind. This is exactly what we would expect from a biblical perspective and a straightforward interpretation of the creation account, Noah, the Ark, and the Flood. In the journal Science, November 22, 2002,3 secular scientists reaffirmed something that has been well known and accepted. All dogs (from wolves and dingoes down to poodles) are all closely related, the descendents of the same pair:
The origin of the domestic dog from wolves has been established . . . we examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation among 654 domestic dogs representing all major dog populations worldwide . . . suggesting a common origin from a single gene pool for all dog populations.4
Two-kilogram teacup poodles; 90-kg mastiffs; slender greyhounds; squat English bulldogs: For a single species, canines come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. Even more remarkably, they all come from the same stock. . . . Only subtle differences distinguish dogs from coyotes, jackals, and other canines, making family trees difficult to construct and the timing of the transition from wolf to dog hard to pinpoint.5
If all dogs share a common gene pool, how many kinds of dogs are there? There’s only one; only one kind of dog. You can have different species within a kind, right? But they’re still dogs. From a biblical perspective, this means they are all within the same kind (one of the kinds that God created “after their kind” as we read ten times in Genesis 1, who reproduce their own kind). Our domestic dogs (like Mintie) were produced by artificial selection—since humans do the selecting, rather than the environment or other factors. And, as is the case for most of our domestic dogs, we have selected for mutations (basically “mistakes”) that we like!
We have covered a lot of material about Darwinism in this chapter. Let me briefly summarize and then show why this is so important in our discussion about racism.
Any real evolution (macroevolution) requires an expansion of the gene pool, the addition of new genes and new traits as life is supposed to move from simple beginnings to ever more varied and complex forms (“molecules to man” or “fish to philosopher”). Suppose there are islands where varieties of flies that used to trade genes no longer interbreed. Is this evidence of evolution? No, exactly the opposite. Each variety resulting from reproductive isolation has a smaller gene pool than the original and a restricted ability to explore new environments with new trait combinations or to meet changes in its own environment. The longterm result? Extinction would be much more likely than evolution.
The changes observed with both natural selection and mutations are the opposite of those needed for evolution to work. Scientists know this is true, but sadly it is not widely published nor is it usually explained to students in schools or colleges.
Darwin was correct about natural selection. We do observe small changes in living things. However, now that we understand more about genetics and biochemistry, we know that the process of natural selection and mutation can never form new kinds of animals and plants. They can only cause more diversity and varieties within the same kind. Dogs always reproduce dogs, cats reproduce cats, elephants reproduce elephants, apes reproduce apes . . . and humans have always reproduced humans. Period.
This revelation destroys the possibility of Darwinian evolution and uproots the weeds of racism. A proper interpretation of the evidence makes it clear that humanity (and all living communities) thrive on diversity and unity but are weakened by forced uniformity. When we unnaturally select out certain traits as being more valuable than others, we ignore the necessity for diversity within our culture, gene pool, society, and world. Think about it. We are all of one kind (one biological race), just as the Bible says, no matter the shade of our skin, the length of our bones or the contours of our face. We always have been and always will be brothers and sisters with a common heritage and ancestry. In a following chapter we will explain, using the basic genetic principles outlined in this chapter, how different people groups exist within the one race of humans—thus showing conclusively there are no different biological human races, just different groups within the one race.
Did you know that Darwin studied theology, Stalin studied for the priesthood, and Hitler was a member of the Church until the day he died? Even Mao lived in China during a period of great Western missionary activity. Yet tragically, all these men rejected truth—they rejected Scripture—and that led to the greatest ethnic cleansing policies in all of history. They attempted to unnaturally select certain arbitrary characteristics that they found desirable and tried to eliminate those who appeared to be different. They used their own criteria to sift out what they thought was valuable and invaluable in the human gene pool . . . and in the process millions and millions died.
How different things might have been had these men simply believed the only source for all truth and that our common origin is from a wise and powerful Creator. They would have adopted a different, biblical philosophy for living together as one kind—just as we can, when we embrace the scientific and biblical reality that we are all “one blood.”
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.