Challenges to Darwinism  (continued)

  • Darwin’s evolution is based on gradualism. Darwin wrote:

“…natural selection can act only by taking advantage of slight successive

variations; she can never take a leap, but must advance by the shortest and slowest steps.”   (, p. 194)

…“If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory to descent with slow modification through Natural Selection.” (Charles DarwinThe Origin of Species, 1902 edition, Part Two, pp. 83, 88)

A 2009 study published in Nature suggests that natural selection may not be the cause of speciation. According to its authors Venditti, Meade, and Pagel, evolution is not driven by natural selection —or even through the accumulative effects of random genetic drift. (  (Genetic Drift is the change in the frequency of an existing gene variant in a population due to random sampling of organisms.)

Rather than incremental and gradual change, the study suggests that the vast bulk of speciation results from rare events. ( – Abstract)

This, as the author Pagel says, “really goes against the grain” for scientists who have a Darwinian view of evolution.

In a 2018 study at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, it was discovered that different varieties of insects exploded suddenly into the geological record. The researcher Sandra Schachat further adds:

The first two-winged insects in the fossil record are about as different from each other as you could possibly expect. This suggests that, once winged insects originated, they diversified very, very quickly. So quickly that their diversification appears, from a geological perspective and the evidence available in the fossil record, to have been instantaneous. (

Stephen Gould, arguably the world’s top paleontologist, said:

Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin’s argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by Natural Selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study. (Gould, Stephen, The Panda’s Thumb, 1980, pp. 181-182)

Gould also wrote:

The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: (1) Stasis: Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on Earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless; (2) Sudden appearance: In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors;  it appears all at once and fully formed. (Gould, Stephen, The Panda’s Thumb, 1980, pp. 13, 14)

In the words of (possibly) the biggest proponent for Darwinism in modern times, Richard Dawkins:

“Without gradualness…we are back to miracle.” (Dawkins, R. (1995), River out of Eden, Basic Books, New York, p. 83)

Is it any wonder then that gradualism is upheld so fiercely (despite all evidence to the contrary) while sudden appearance —despite all supporting evidence— is denied so vehemently by evolutionists’?!

Isn’t it surprising that atheists have no issue with the instantaneous appearance of the universe (according to the Big Bang theory) while they insist that organisms can only come through gradual tiny incremental changes over a very long period of time.

The creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of people, but most people do not know. (Quran 40:57)

  • Darwin was also worried that the lack of numerous transitional fossils invalidated his theory. He said:

“Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?  Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?” (

…..“Innumerable transitional forms must have existed but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” (

…Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?” (

It has been more than 150 years since, and the expected abundance of transitional forms has never materialized. Scientists did not even find the expected innumerable transitional forms in the “Cambrian explosion” (i.e. the Biological Big Bang, approximately 540 million years ago in the Cambrian Period when practically all major animal phyla started appearing in the fossil record.)

If Darwin’s theory were true, there should be a series of transitional forms with some missing links. Instead, what we have today is a handful of supposedly “transitional” fossils and an absence of most transitional forms in the proposed series of evolution.

Stephen Gould says:

“I will regard the failure to find a clear vector of progress in life’s history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record…. We have sought to impose a pattern that we hope to find on a world that does not really display it.” (Gould, Stephen Jay, The Ediacaran experiment, Natural History, Vol. 93; February 1984, p. 23)

Note here that, for Darwin’s theory of evolution to be true, innumerable transitional forms (as Darwin hoped for), should have been found, and should continue to be found, as the earth’s innumerable species [supposedly] continue to evolve. It is not enough to find a few supposedly “transitional” fossils to prove the theory. To further discredit the theory, even the few fossils labeled as “transitional” have later been mostly exposed as fakes. Examples include the Piltdown Man, the Nebraska Man, the Archaeoraptor, the Fania Fly, Ida, Orce Man, the humanoid collarbone, the baboon bone found in Lucy, etc.   We were taught in biology textbooks, in documentaries and in museums that humans are descendants of Neanderthals, until DNA evidence showed otherwise.

According to Dr. Jonathan Wells, the American biologist and author, fossils do not provide us with any evidence for ancestry and descent. Even if we find two skeletons side by side, we cannot tell if they have a common ancestry, so how can we presume any ancestry between fossils found on two different continents millions of years apart! (

  • “Proof” for evolution is erroneously labeled as empirical, meaning observable and repeatable. However, evolution is neither empirical or observable: it relies on an induction made by evolutionists that an effect (a few fossils) points to a cause (a common origin for the whole of creation.) By no means can this be considered scientific or empirical.

According to the book, What Makes Biology Unique?, Ernst Mayr of Harvard University tells us:

The earliest fossils of Homo, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, are separated from Australopithecus by a large, unabridged gap. Not having any fossils that can serve as missing links, scientists fall back on the time-honored method of historical science, the construction of a historical narrative… (What Makes Biology Unique? Considerations on the autonomy of a scientific discipline,  Ernst Mayr, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 198)

Gareth Nelson of the American Museum of Natural History has this to say about evolutionists’ arbitrary selection of evolutionary ancestors:

“We’ve got to have some ancestors. We’ll pick those. Why? Because we know they have to be there, and these are the best candidates. That’s by and large the way it has worked. I am not exaggerating.” (, p. 54)

James A. Shapiro, a University of Chicago molecular biologist and evolutionist, says: “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns of change.” (Shapiro JA (2011) Evolution: a View from the 21st Century. Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA, p. 82)

  • Denis Noble is a British biologist, who held the Burdon Sanderson Chair of Cardiovascular Physiology at Oxford University from 1984 to 2004 and was appointed professor emeritus and co-director of computational physiology. He was the first scientist to model cardiac cells (in two papers published in Nature in 1960) and has published over 350 research papers. He is regarded as a leading researcher in the field of Systems Biology. According to him:

“…. all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved. Moreover, they have been disproved in ways that raise the tantalizing prospect of a totally new synthesis…” (

…To be continued in Part 18

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Dr. Raida Jarrar

Dr. Raida Jarrar is a Palestinian American who holds a Doctorate of Engineering from Cleveland State University. Following a career of over twenty-five years in the fields of engineering and aviation IT, she worked as a volunteer at one of the largest Islamic centers in the Middle East, where she interacted with visitors of different religious backgrounds and diverse cultures. The series she writes for Al-Jumuah analyzes and encapsulates her discussions with the atheist visitors, presented in a question and answer format for clarity and ease of reference. The answers are sourced from research, discussions with colleagues and mentors, and personal thoughts. Dr. Jarrar also volunteers as a translator for Islamic content and hosts the Aslamt youtube channel, which is dedicated to answering common questions about faith.

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