National Darwin Day: Where exactly does the evidence for evolution lead us?
by Andy Willhoit
February 12 is National Darwin Day. We are called to reflect upon Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the impact it has had on the field of science. In light of this call for reflection please consider this short essay we first presented in 2014:
Where exactly does the evidence for evolution lead us?
One of the cardinal rules in the field of science is to objectively follow the evidence regardless of where it leads. When we consider the theory of evolution, have we obeyed this cardinal rule, or have we followed our own bias in spite of the evidence? When we ask this question we are not asking it of “micro-evolution”, in which biological changes occur to individual organisms within a specific gene pool. Micro-evolution is an evolutionary process within a gene population that has been confirmed through repeated observation and experimentation. It is a scientific fact. Rather, we are questioning the theory of evolution as first proposed by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago, which states that the diversity of all present day life arose from a common ancestor through descent with modification by natural selection.
In order for Darwinian evolution to hold water, as Darwin himself admitted, the fossil record must exhibit evidence supporting his theory. Specifically, it must present millions upon millions of “transitional species” which served as linkages from one species to another. Troubled by the reality that the fossil record in his day did not produce such evidence he wrote:
“Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? …this is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory”
Darwin blamed the lack of evidence on the imperfections within the geological formations, believing that eventually, after exhaustive future research, the fossil record would reveal the plethora of fossilized intermediate links his theory demanded.
“The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.”
So, has the fossil record produced any evidence to buttress Darwinian evolution after more than 150 years of advance paleontological research? NO! Despite what mainstream academia parades as a given “fact”, Darwinian evolution has failed to pass the test of the scientific method. Listen to what prominent atheistic scientists and philosophers have had to say in recent years:
“Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded … ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information …” David Raup, former curator of geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History
“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.” Harvard’s evolutionist paleontologist, Stephen Jay Gould
“In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.” Evolutionist Stephen M. Stanley of Johns Hopkins University
“A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth’s geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin’s hypothetical intermediate variants…” Paleontologist Mark Czarnecki
Not only does the fossil record fail to reveal a long history of transitional species between organisms, it actually reveals patterns that are in direct contradiction to Darwinian evolution while supporting the Biblical view of creation. Rather than revealing a slow progression and dying-off pattern (as required by Darwinian evolution) the fossil record actually reveals a sudden appearance of almost every major life form all at once, a long continual existence with little change (called “stasis”) and patterns of sudden catastrophic die-offs, or extinctions.
“… instead species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God.” Paleontologist Mark Czarnecki
“Every paleontologist knows that most species don’t change. That’s bothersome….brings terrible distress. ….They may get a little bigger or bumpier but they remain the same species and that’s not due to imperfection and gaps but stasis. And yet this remarkable stasis has generally been ignored as no data. If they don’t change, its not evolution so you don’t talk about it.”
Evolutionist Stephen M. Stanley of Johns Hopkins University
“But wait a minute” – you might ask … “I thought Darwinian evolution was a closed case?” Despite the lack of observable evidence, evolutionists still claim that Darwinian evolution is a scientific fact of life. By definition a scientific fact is “any observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and accepted as true; any scientific observation that has not been refuted.”
Based on this definition that governs the field of science it is quite acceptable for a reasonable person to conclude that Darwinian evolution is FAR from being a fact and exists only as an unproven theory. Despite this, evolutionists continue to claim, and teach to our children, that in spite of the lacking and contradicting fossil evidence, scientific observation of the natural world tells us that Darwinian evolution has been the vehicle by which all living organism have progressed through the ages. Yet again, consider what the evolutionists have had to admit:
“There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular systems, only a variety of wishful speculations.” Evolutionary microbiologist James Shapiro of the University of Chicago
“Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another. None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another.” University of Bristol scientist Alan Linton
“the formation of a new species, by any mechanism, has never been observed.”
Evolutionist Jeffrey Schwartz, professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh
Perhaps it is time to admit an A-priori bias towards Darwinian evolution and make room for competing theories such as Intelligent Design. In “Mind and Cosmos”, renowned atheistic philosopher and academic author Thomas Nagel admitted that Darwinian evolution is an insufficient theory and that Intelligent Design is in fact a plausible explanation. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you – an atheist philosopher actually wrote those words! Perhaps Mr. Nagel is showing signs of a willingness to obey the most sacred rule of science …to follow the evidence regardless of where it may lead.
I won’t hold my breath however, as Mr. Nagel has also expressed an A-priori bias very hard to overcome, when he wrote the following:
“It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I
hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”
Originally posted at Reasons I Believe. Used by permission.