Challenges to Darwinism (continued)
- Virtually every biology textbook cites “vestigial organs” —in plants, animals and humans— as evidence for evolution: Evolutionists believed that these organs had been useful during a previous stage of evolutionary development but are now redundant and in disuse, shrunk away until only a vestige remains. Subsequently, important functions for these so-called vestigial organs have been discovered (such as the appendix, the tailbone, thyroid gland, tonsils, hind legs of the whale, etc.).
Evolutionists also cite the presence of “junk (non-coding) DNA” as evidence for evolution. However, numerous functions have been discovered for various types of non-coding DNA, including:
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- repairing DNA
- assisting in DNA replication
- regulating DNA transcription
- aiding in folding and maintenance of chromosomes
- controlling RNA editing and splicing
- helping to fight disease
- regulating embryological development
(https://www.discovery.org/m/2019/01/Science-and-Human-Origins.pdf, p. 88, para. 3)
These important functions for “vestigial organs” and “junk DNA” underline the intention in the design of organisms.
- Irreducible complexity
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?keywords=which%20successive%20existed%20organ%20by%20possibly%20demonstrated%20have%20not%20it%20numerous%20that%20be%20been%20if%20could%20complex%20formed%20any&pageseq=207&itemID=F373&viewtype=text)
A complex organ is composed of multiple parts, all of which are necessary for the system to function. If even one part is missing, the entire system may fail to function. Such a system, with “irreducible complexity,” could not have evolved slowly, piece by piece.
Molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics research over the past fifty years has identified tens of thousands of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level.
This is confirmed by emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Colorado State University, Dr. Franklin Harold in his 2001 book, The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms and the Order of Life:
Cell components as we know them are so thoroughly integrated that one can scarcely imagine how any one function could have arisen in the absence of the others. Genetic information can only be replicated and read out with the aid of enzyme proteins, which are themselves specified by those same genes. Energy is harnessed by means of enzymes whose production requires energy input. Darwinian evolution is at the bottom of the struggle among individuals defined by cell membranes, yet how could membranes and transport catalysts arise without genes, proteins, and energy? (p. 245)
His book describes in detail the incredible complexity of life at the cellular level.
Similarly, neither proteins nor nucleic acids could have arisen without the other.
In the 2006 edition of his book, Darwin’s Blackbox, the American biochemist and author, Michael Behe, discusses the absence —in the professional scientific literature— of any detailed models by which complex biochemical systems could have been produced. According to Behe:
The impotence of Darwinian theory in accounting for the molecular basis of life is evident…..No one at Harvard University, no one at the National Institute of Health, no member of the National Academy of Sciences, no Nobel prize winner —no one at all— can give a detailed account of how the cilium, or vision, or blood clotting or any complex biochemical process might have developed in a Darwinian fashion. (Darwin’s Black Box, 2006, Free Press, p. 187)
- The brain:
According to Darwin:
But then with me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? (http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?keywords=the%20convictions%20doubt%20of%20horrid%20always%20whether%20arises&pageseq=334&itemID=F1452.1&viewtype=text)
It is a mystery why he then decides to trust his mind’s conclusions on evolution—a product of this untrustworthy brain!
Alfred Russel Wallace is widely seen as the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution. He and Darwin co-presented their theory to the Linnaean Society in 1858. Wallace was convinced that the human brain was of no use to ancestral humans and therefore could only be explained by intelligent design:
“Natural Selection could only have endowed savage man with a brain a few degrees superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one very little inferior to that of a philosopher.”
John Gray, a British philosopher says:
“Modern humanism is the faith that, through science, humankind can know the truth —and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection is true, this is impossible. The human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7599937-modern-humanism-is-the-faith-that-through-science-humankind-can)
Francis Crick, a Nobel Prize winner and recognized evolutionist, says:
“Our highly developed brains…were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive and leave descendants.” (https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/) para. 8
Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine, has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain. His conclusion is a dramatic one:
“The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality. What’s more, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction.” (https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality-20160421/, para. 2)
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know. And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be.” (https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality-20160421/, para. 7)
Can you imagine the implications of such an ideology, which devalues the human brain and casts doubt on its rationality and conclusions?
So, next time an atheist asks for proof of God, of design, of the obvious…we have a right to ask: “What will you use to judge the truth of our answer?”
- If it’s your brain, which you believe came from dumb processes, designed for survival, not truth, then why should we waste time on presenting “proof”? How can we expect such a brain to arrive at any truth or reach any intelligent conclusion?
- If, on the other hand, your brain comes from a Supremely Wise, All-Knowing source, then its credibility is established, and you have a right to demand respect for the conclusions of your brain.
According to Hamza Tzortzis, (https://www.hamzatzortzis.com/about-me/), when atheists claim that they used their minds to determine that God does not exist, it is a form of intellectual hypocrisy. To account for the rationality of their minds, they would have to deny atheism. Otherwise they are denying rationality itself. The intellectual irony is that their ability to reason is explained only by the existence of God. (The Divine Reality: God, Islam and the Mirage of Atheism, Revised Edition, Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, p. 61)
- Darwin’s Doubts
When faced with the intricate design in the human body, Darwin expressed other doubts. On the development of the eye, he writes in his The Origin of Species [Masterpieces of Science Edition], 1958:
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by Natural Selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned around it, the common sense of Mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by Natural Selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms, in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility.” (p. 146)
Regarding the complexity of the eye, Werner Gitt explains, in his 1999 The Wonder of Man, how the retina of the eye is a masterpiece of engineering design:
One single square millimeter of the retina contains approximately 400,000 optical sensors. To get some idea of such a large number, imagine a sphere, on the surface of which circles are drawn, the size of tennis balls. These circles are separated from each other by the same distance as their diameter. In order to accommodate 400,000 such circles, the sphere must have a diameter of 52 meters… (p. 15)
Alan L. Gillen in his 2001 book, Body by Design: An Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Body (Master Books) also praises the design of the retina:
The most amazing component of the eye is the “film,” which is the retina. This light-sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball is thinner than a sheet of plastic wrap and is more sensitive to light than any man-made film. The best camera film can handle a ratio of 1000-to-1 photons in terms of light intensity. By comparison, human retinal cells can handle a ratio of 10 billion-to-1 over the dynamic range of light wavelengths of 380 to 750 nanometers. The human eye can sense as little as a single photon of light in the dark! In bright daylight, the retina can bleach out, turning its “volume control” way down so as not to overload. The light-sensitive cells of the retina are like an extremely complex high-gain amplifier that is able to magnify sounds more than one million times (pp. 97-98).
How can we believe a blind random process gave us these intricately designed eyes?
How can we imagine that He who gave us vision cannot see us and everything we do?
And it is He Who has created ears and eyes and hearts for you; very little is the gratitude you acknowledge. (Quran 23:78)
He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? (Bible, Psalms 94:9)
…To be continued in Part 19