When Will They Learn?recent Harris poll we now have a Pew Forum poll out today on who believes what about evolution, and we can expect another round of reports from the elites on the shocking ignorance that continues to persist in fly-over land. Unlike the Harris poll which asks about belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution and usually runs around 50% for and against, the Pew Forum poll presents participants with the vague and less meaningful choice between “humans and other living things have evolved over time” versus “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” Most creationists would have no problem with the first choice and not surprisingly 7% of the people gave up on the false dichotomy. Nonetheless 33% did choose full out stasis, enough to disturb and embarrass science writer Lauren Friedman given the “overwhelming evidence” for evolution. Friedman gets credit, however, for while many writers would not deign to provide any actual reasoning (condescension followed by a quick exit is always safer than trying to explain how it is we know the world arose spontaneously) Friedman at least provides several links to evidence for why “evolution is real.” Let’s have a look at why we are so ignorant.
Friedman begins with this quote from our taxpayer funded Public Broadcasting Service (PBS): “The Darwinian theory of evolution has withstood the test of time and thousands of scientific experiments; nothing has disproved it since Darwin first proposed it more than 150 years ago.”
Thousands of scientific experiments? Actually every major prediction of evolution has turned out to be false. So what does PBS know that has escaped the scientific journals? Nothing actually. The problem is that citing PBS on why evolution is true is a bit like calling the New York Yankees front office to find out if the Yankees are the greatest baseball team.
The PBS site behind Friedman’s link is mainly a grandiose victory lap. And when the site does attempt to show how the science proves evolution it fails badly such as with this discussion of genes:
Genes are the portions of an organism's DNA that carry the code responsible for building that organism in a very specific way. Genes -- and, thus, the traits they code for -- are passed from parent to offspring. From generation to generation, well-understood molecular mechanisms reshuffle, duplicate, and alter genes in a way that produces genetic variation. This variation is the raw material for evolution.
The problem here is that this has not been shown to be true. In fact this is a cartoon version of evolution that even many evolutionists have rejected. And those who have not rejected it have a significant burden of proof. Shuffling, duplicating, mutating and whatever other mechanisms PBS cares to throw into the list simply do not appear capable of providing the needed variation. Even Stephen J. Gould admitted that macroevolution is an unsolved problem. That’s what the science is telling us.
Or again, PBS falters on the question “Is there evidence for evolution?”:
In the 150 years since Darwin proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection, a mountain of evidence has accumulated to support the theory. A greatly expanded fossil record since Darwin's time, the discovery of DNA and the process of genetic replication, an understanding of radioactive decay, observations of natural selection in the wild and in laboratories, and evidence in the genomes of many different organisms, including humans, have all bolstered the validity of the theory of evolution.
This is not a mountain of evidence. It is not even evidence. At least not positive evidence. The fossil record reveals rapid explosions of diversity followed by stasis and discontinuities—precisely the opposite of the envisioned evolutionary process.
DNA is a complex chemical structure that would have been difficult to evolve and the DNA code is not ordinary as evolutionists thought it was, but rather is extremely unique. That presents many problems for evolution, including the conundrum that the DNA code must have evolved rapidly and very early in evolutionary history, long before higher life forms arose which benefit so much from the code’s clever design. How did evolution know to evolve such a special code long before its particulars would be needed?
DNA replication is also a problem for evolution because, while evolutionists had long predicted that such a fundamental process would be conserved across the species, it has been found to have important differences in different species.
Natural selection is also not a very good evidence for evolution, for the simple reason that it is so routinely forfeited by evolutionists. Likewise the “evidence in the genomes” raises several different kinds of problems for evolution. Perhaps most obvious are the identical or near-identical DNA sequences in distant species and the massive differences in highly similar species. Both these findings falsified predictions and were shocking to evolutionists.
Friedman’s other sources for proof of evolution are equally problematic. For instance she cites behavior evidence, but altruistic behavior—such as Mother Teresa helping unrelated people groups in distant lands—is a problem for evolution requiring circuitous explanations. Friedman also cites human genome comparisons where this conclusion is made:
Due to billions of years of evolution, humans share genes with all living organisms. The percentage of genes or DNA that organisms share records their similarities. We share more genes with organisms that are more closely related to us.
Again, this is just plain wrong. For instance, humans are more similar to the orangutan than to the chimpanzee, yet our DNA is closer to the chimpanzee. Or again, we are very distant from the kangaroo, yet the genomes of the two species share profound similarities. As one researcher explained:
There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order. Which really surprised us, we thought they'd be completely scrambled, but they're not, there's great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome.
The evidence simply does not support evolution—the claim that the most complex things we know of arose spontaneously—unless it is turned upside down and forced to support the theory. And that gets us closer to an understanding of evolution. This becomes more obvious when Friedman cites the leading evolutionist Jerry Coyne who explains that the ostrich must have evolved because its wings are obviously evolutionary leftovers. After all, the ostrich doesn’t fly. True the wings may be used as balancers, but that misses the point:
Wouldn't it be odd if a creator helped an ostrich balance itself by giving it appendages that just happen to look exactly like reduced wings, and which are constructed in exactly the same way as wings used for flying?
Odd? That may or may not be odd, but it certainly is not scientific. There’s no arguing with the evolutionist’s personal religious beliefs, but it is precisely such metaphysical mandates that pervade the evolution literature and prove evolution to be true. From the Epicureans and gnostics to today’s evolutionists, we have always had our own preconceived ideas about origins, regardless of the evidence.
Meanwhile science writers such as Friedman upbraid the ignorant masses:
It's difficult to imagine who could believe such things when faced with the mountain of evidence supporting evolution.
Religion drives science, and it matters.