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Every few months, a news report will trumpet a new computer program with “living cyber organisms” that prove how life on earth evolved. These simulations often show how artificial life-forms reproduce, grow, and change over several generations. The algorithms behind these creatures can be quite complex in an effort to be as close to the “real world” as possible.
But what do such programs prove? For one, it is always important to remember that any computer program reflects the biases and assumptions of the programmer. In most cases, these programmers assume evolution to be true, and their artificial environments reflect this. Also, many programs have goals and way points, something that is not true of supposed Darwinian evolution. The programmers do not make a program without certain boundaries and guidelines that direct what the program can and cannot do. They make one with a purpose in mind.
Finally, the greatest irony of all is that these brilliant programmers, who are trying to prove that life evolved without intelligence, pour plenty of brain power into making these sophisticated artificial organisms. Keep that in mind when they declare this proves life arose by sheer brainless natural selection.
It is a staple of almost every biology book on the market: drawings of colored bones that show how evolution left its fingerprints on animals of common descent. These drawings point out how similar structure proves that we all come from one ancestor. The proof, they say, is as plain as the hand in front of our face.
Objectively, however, similar design and function can prove nothing. An iPod and an iPhone may have very similar parts, for example, but that certainly doesn’t mean the iPhone evolved from the iPod because of hardware glitches. Instead, because we have objective knowledge of history, we know that the same company designed both, which accounts for the similar design.
In the same way, similar structures in animals are just as strong an evidence for a common Designer leaving His mark on the works of His hand. Human designers often use similar solutions across a wide range of products. Why would we expect God not to do the same?
Darwin fretted over the lack of them, paleontologists are still looking for them, but they are often touted as the foundation of evolutionary theory. What are they? Transitional fossils. According to evolutionists, transitional fossils are sparse for a number of reasons: (1) fossils in general only give us a glimpse of the past, (2) punctuated equilibrium may cause geologically “rapid” changes in species, and (3) they aren’t easy to distinguish. However, many of us have seen the supposed fossils of the horse and whale series and the new “missing link” called Tiktaalik.
We must remember, however, that fossils do not come with tags telling us when and how the animal was buried, its lifestyle, and if or how it was related to another species. Scientists must make reasonable assumptions based on what they believe about the past and extrapolations from the data. Without an objective source of information, these assumptions are often tied to the subjective evolutionary worldview. Creation scientists, on the other hand, see the fossil record as evidence for both a global Flood and also the amazing diversity of the original created “kinds.”
Because there are a lack of transitional forms (and the ones found, including “walking whales” and fish, are contentious to say the least), evolutionists must resort to blurring the lines and claiming that since all species are in transition, we should not expect to find “missing links.” Perhaps the reason we do not find true transitional forms is because one created kind does not, cannot, and has never changed into another created kind.
The “slam dunk” proof for human evolution is, according to evolutionists, the claimed 98% similarity between human and chimp DNA and the evidence of chromosomal fusion. Textbooks tell us that this proves the common ancestry of humans and apes from ape-like beings that lived millions of years ago.
What makes this a myth, however, is that evolutionists forget to mention the problems with this claim. For one thing, the percentage of similarity may sound impressive (depending on which percentage you find), but this represents millions of letters of difference in the DNA. Factor in that many of the differences in the DNA are not represented in the “98% similarity” (such as deletions) and epigenetic differences and the chasm grows. Second, seeing the “history” of humans evolving from chimps in DNA and chromosomes requires a prior commitment to evolution. Evolutionists interpret the data to mean what they want it to mean in light of Darwin’s myth.
Though there are similarities between apes and humans, this too is strong evidence for a common Designer, who gave humanity characteristics unlike any other creature He made. But this doesn’t stop evolutionists, knowingly or not, from using flat-out propaganda as in myth #6.
The pervasive ape-to-human montage that shows an ape-like being on the left slowly becoming a human on the right is so much a part of culture that most anyone can recognize it. Natural history museums and TV shows give us supposed glimpses into the past and how human ancestors might have looked. Too bad it’s all a sham.
Fossil apes are difficult to come by, but several species have been found. However, a new ape fossil does not generate as much interest or prestige as one called a “human ancestor,” which is why there is so much focus on how ape fossils tie in to the evolution story. The desire to “fill in the gaps” leads to many false conclusions. For example, some of the supposed “bipedal” characteristics found in fossils are also found in living apes that are not bipedal.
In fact, imagination, wishful thinking, and presuppositions influence a great deal of the “reconstructions” we find in magazines, textbooks, and on TV. Enjoy the science, but don’t be taken in by the fiction.
If we look around us (and even in our own bodies), there are many structures that seem to show less-than-optimal design. What this means to some evolutionists is that this proves there is no creator. After all, a creator as intelligent as God would not have made imperfect designs.
Debunking this myth requires very little effort. First of all, how can humans judge what is optimal design? Some designs require a balance of efficiency and effectiveness, as we find in the human eye (a structure perfectly suited for human life). Also, we would hardly expect a universe that has been cursed with degeneration for over 6,000 years to maintain optimal design. The fact that we continue to survive, however, is evidence of how well the original design was. Finally, the broadening field of biomimetics (copying design from nature) shows us that God’s creation (even in its fallen state) offers a wealth of design potential—and good design at that.
While evolution does its dirty work, it leaves behind vestiges of its machinations, or so the argument goes. Evolutionists claim that humans and other animals have leftover organs and DNA that prove the power of mutations and natural selection. In fact, this is often touted as a powerful rebuttal to creationists.
But the myth stops here. If an organ loses function, this proves only that the organ has lost function. Often, however, reports of this kind are premature and based on evolutionary expectations. The appendix, for example, was once a bastion of vestigiality, but now we know its function. One must wonder, in fact, how much evolutionary thought has retarded science by claiming that things are no longer needed.
In the end, the loss of function (after all other possibilities have been eliminated) is better evidence for a world that is in decay, which is exactly what the Bible says about the universe we inhabit.
You may have heard this one a time or two. The development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (and pesticide-resistant plants and insects) is shouted from the rooftops as proof of evolution happening “right now.” Selection pressures push these organisms to evolve—at least, this is how evolutionists explain it.
Do bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics? Yes, this is documented science. Does this prove Darwinian evolution? No, not even close. Once again, evolutionists take the observations and pass them through their worldview filter. The problem (for evolutionists) is that the mutations that cause bacteria (and other organisms) to overcome environmental pressures are not the information-gaining mutations required for Darwin’s postulation. In fact, these mutations often come at a steep price to the organism—a price that doesn't show up until the environmental pressure is removed—and it often means the inability to compete with non-mutant bacteria.
Bacteria, in fact, show the amazing creativity of God in that they can swap DNA with other bacteria. This amazing feature reveals the provisions God made for them to survive in a fallen world and rapidly changing environments. However, they do not and cannot evolve into anything else. They have been and will always be bacteria.
Natural selection is the driving force behind evolution. This mantra has been repeated so often that people often conflate the two ideas. But are evolution and natural selection the same thing?
The short answer is that this is one of the most oft-repeated myths. Natural selection is an observable process that was certainly not first discovered by Charles Darwin. Species with certain characteristics survive better in a given environment. However, natural selection is nondirectional and does not lead anywhere. That is, if the environment changes, members of a species that were previously better adapted may no longer be. Evolution, on the other hand, is an unobservable process that requires direction (dinosaurs to birds, e.g.).
Natural selection can only act upon the information that already exists. When certain characteristics are selected, the overall genetic information decreases. Mutations have not been shown to reverse this process. This loss of information may make members of the same created kind unable to reproduce with each other, but this merely emphasizes how much loss can occur.
Many evolutionists would like to give natural selection powers that it does not have. Don’t let them swindle you.
When all is said and done, the ultimate “proof” of evolution is an appeal to human authority. We are often reminded by anti-creationists that virtually all “real” scientists agree that evolution happened.
When examining this myth, one must keep in mind that those who make this claim often rely on the belief that the only real scientists are those who accept evolution. The argument, then, essentially boils down to this: evolutionists agree that evolution happened. This, of course, is an absurd argument, and we could just as easily say that creationists agree that creation happened.
The main problem, however, is that even if every single person accepted an idea, that doesn’t make the idea correct. The history of science (and humanity) is filled with majority views being incorrect. Evolution is another such idea. Secondly, many scientists accept evolution because the only alternative is design, which is against their naturalistic beliefs. They have a prior commitment to keeping any miraculous interaction out of their worldviews, and they accept evolution by default.
Finally, there are a growing number of scientists, creationist and not, who do not find the supposed evidence for evolution to be valid or acceptable. The truth of the matter is that while some evolutionists would like creationists like us not to exist, we do, and it is past time for the myths of evolution—and the myth of evolution itself—to be dismissed once and for all.
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.