Evolution On Trial: Fossils Take the Stand

April 4, 2012

Last Call for Fossils.  Fossils, where are you at?  Apparently the fossil record is in danger of not showing up for court and being held in contempt.  It’s about time.  Sorry for the bad humor….  The next witness to take the stand is the fossil record.  The fossil record is most likely the most over used evidence for Evolution today.   We will take a closer look at the fossil record and see why it does not make a good witness/evidence for evolution either.  I will address the fossil record in 2 parts, ape-men fossils, and the rest of the animal fossils, specifically transitional fossils.

First, lets examine the transitional fossils and define what a transitional fossil is.  A transition fossil is a has characteristics that are intermediate in nature to organisms that existed both prior to it and after it. 1  There is some debate as to what is a transitional fossil and what is not.  Supporters of Evolution say that every fossil is a transitional fossil in some capacity.  Several months ago someone tried to explain the fossil record to me as a blank line, that was continuous.   The gaps or parts missing where just not found in the fossil record.

As some one who is skeptical of evolution, I am looking for more in the fossil record that tightly connects fossils between different genus species, which is what the claims of Evolution make.  In other words, more of the evidence that macro-evolution is valid.  So at one point I would say that yes, there are transitional fossils that show a change from one type of prehistoric turtle to another turtle or one type of prehistoric horse to a more modern style horse.

In Darwin’s theory of Evolution he acknowledge himself that in order for his own theory to be proven it would have to be found true in the fossil record. 2  These types of fossils he was hoping to find have yet to be found.     You may have seen pictures of the famous tree of life drawings that Darwin and evolution supporters have used to explain.  The simplified drawing in my blog comes from a book by Chris Sherrod. 3  It is meant to serve as a simple example of the tree of life, other drawings are often more complicated.

I have repeatedly asked people to give me examples of transitional fossils between species and I get 2 responses typically.  First, there are none, because fossils are hard to come by and the transitional ones have been destroyed due to fossils becoming fuel for us greedy humans to use up as energy.  Secondly often bad examples start popping up.  I’ve been told to look at Wikipedia, I’ve been told look at videos on YouTube that people have created with a type of “flip book” effect, and I’ve been shown pictures of prehistoric animals that could pass for a modern-day type of animal.   Here is why I call these bad examples.  The list on Wikipedia is there, and it is long, BUT, most of the pictures of transitional fossils are drawings, artist interpretations, not even based on real fossils found.  There are a few small bones, that are from incomplete remains, but most are drawings.  The YouTube video that is highly pushed also falls under the same boat.  They are drawings.  The pictures of actual fossils found I can easily take a few seconds on each one and call it a member of one of the species that we have today.

Every once in a while someone will bring up the Archaeopteryx, which was discovered 2 years after Darwin wrote The Origin of Species.  You can see from the picture that it is a very interesting fossil for more than one reason.  It is complete and in good condition and appears to be a combination of a reptile and a bird.   Evolutionist said this was a true transitional fossil and crowned it as evidence.  But since it was found in 1861 a majority of scientists believe now that it is most likely a strange type of bird for the following reasons.

1. It was not really a good transitional fossil, because of the fully formed wings and fully formed tail it looks more like a creature that would stand as a different animal, not one in transition.   It’s wings, tail, and claws suggest it was a type of bird possible related to the liaoningornis, recently discovered.

2. The Archaeopteryx was dated to be in the Jurassic period in which birds had already been established in by thousands of pre-dated fossils.  It doesn’t fit the time sequence if birds had already evolved.  HE must have been a “late bloomer.”

3. Lastly, there has only been 1 fossil found of the Archaeopteryx.  It is in the Natural History Museum in Berlin, and not a standard re-occurring fossil that we find all over the place. 4

The Fossil Record does not look good for supporting Evolution.  Scientists know this and that is why they have come up with some alternate theories about the fossil record, trying to fit  a square (Evolution) into a round hole (The fossil record).  In 1972 Steven Jay Gould & Niles Eldredge  proposed a theory called “Punctuated Equilibrium.”  This is the idea that evolution happened in quick  “spurts”  rather than over a gradual slow process.   There are 2 problems with this theory;

1. There are no transitional fossils found that support this theory.  It would be absurd to think that the organisms would change over night.

2. P.E. goes against all current knowledge we have with DNA and adaption.  For an organism to change like that would  go against all DNA and genetic science that we know about. 5

Going back through the layers of rock there is an interesting discovery between the pre-Cambrian ad Cambrian time periods.  In the pre-Cambrian rock there are few fossils and most of the fossils are invertebrates, but at the dating of the Cambrian rock there seems to be a this enormous amount of fossils of many different kinds and types.  This time has been called the Cambrian explosion, because it appears that these fossils came out from nowhere.  Each side of the argument between creationists and Evolution supporters have their own ideas about why this is so.

I will look at the ape-men fossils in the next post, I don’t want to get to long-winded with this post.  If you have any questions, comments, rebuttals please feel free to leave them.

End Notes:

1. – http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutevolution/a/TransitionalFossilsEvolution.htm

2. – Darwin, Charles, “The Origin of Species” pg. 152

3. – Sherrod, Chris, “Faith, Fact, and Reason Study #5 The Flaws of Evolution” pg. 28

4. – Rhodes, Ron, “10 Things You Should Know About the Evolution and Creation Debate.” Chapter 4

5. – Rhodes, Ron, “10 Things You Should Know About the Evolution and Creation Debate.” Chapter 4


Atheism and Morals

November 11, 2011

If  you missed the first blog about morals and God you can click here and read it if you want to gain an understanding of morals from a Biblical view-point.  In my second blog about God, Morals, and Atheism I want to talk about the way that atheism views morals.    I want to be careful to describe their view of morals correctly because then I want to test it with some questions. After reading books by atheists and talking with them this is what I have found in general about what they believe about morals.

Since most atheists ascribe to Darwin’s theory of evolution, it would not surprise you to find that they believe morals have evolved as well.   They use the example of animals that have a basic conscience that can show fear and shame with their actions.  One website explains “Morals are, basically, the rules by which our social groups function. They ensure that things are reasonably fair and that relationships run reasonably smoothly. Social groups simply wouldn’t survive without rules, so the evolution of the ability to create and follow rules should be expected.”   Atheists also claim that morals have evolved over time and this proves that moral evolution is true.  They claim that we no longer follow the morals of the Bible like slavery, treatment of women, and war.

From here there is a divide about how some atheists see the individual evolution of morals.  Some insist that morals as an individual trump the morals of a society.  Others see it the opposite way around that in order to survive as an individual, humans somehow find it in their best interest to work together as a society to survive.  In the late 19th Century most atheists seem to take the individual viewpoint of morals.  Atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche remarks “Equality is lie concocted by inferior people who arrange themselves in herds to overpower those who are naturally superior to them.  The morality of ‘equal rights’ is herd morality and because it opposes the cultivation of superior individuals, it leads to the corruption of the human species.”   New atheists like Sam Harris who are seeking to find a naturalistic view of morals, look more toward the influence of the culture as to defining the morals of an individual.  In his book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins uses 4 main ideas that can create a cultural view of morality.  They are altruism, kinship, reputation, and fear of punishment/desire for reward.  But both Dawkins and Harris admit that natural will give little help in cultural morals because the individual will fight against other individuals.  There seems to be an evolution of the way things are explained as it comes to morals.  Others might call this a change of mind.

What about the claims of atheists?  Are we really not that much different from all the other animals?  Have morals changed from the times of the Bible?  How do morals evolve?  All that being said, these are some questions that I believe need to be answered and I have difficulties that I have found with the idea of evolutionary morality.  Here are a few thoughts.

1. Are humans really not that much different from the animals?  Darwinism would have you think not, but one look around at the world tells the real story.  Biologist have been experimenting with primates for years, trying to teach them sign language, teach them behaviors, and more, but the best that can be observed is a mimicking of human behavior for a short time for a reward.  Animals are still called the savage beasts for a reason.

2. What about the claim that morals have changed over time?  The idea that we are no longer the selfish individuals of the past or of the Bible?  One look at the last century will tell you that indeed we are not becoming more morally evolve.  The 20th century was the bloodiest centuries of in history.  David Berlinski, in his book The Devils Delusion, outlines all the wars that have been fought and the number of deaths that been as result.  The numbers are over 160 million total.  The Biblical view of slavery is a bit of a straw man argument and was never anything like the African slave trade of the recent century. There is still mistreat meant of women today, perhaps as much as there was in history.  Take a look at the issue of sex-preference abortions that take place in China and India because families don’t want a female child they will terminate the pregnancy in order to try to have a boy. Also just  take a listen to a few Hip Hop songs and you will understand what some people still think of women.  Since the rise of atheists in the 19th century, as far as evolving morals, I see things actually getting worse, not better.

3. How do morals evolve?  This is perhaps the biggest leap concern I have with evolutionary morality.  How does a cell produce thought, a conscience, or morals?  Naturalists who argue for evolution want to say the brain is so highly developed, which it is, and it gets to the point where conscience is born.  This is not the traditional view of the human mind and body that are separate and that the human soul exists separate of the body.   Atheists want to argue that some how, the matter created the mind.  They try to explain it with the complexity of the brain and the long time that has passed to allow slow changes to create a mind.  But, no matter how complex something is, or how much time might pass, cells don’t grow feelings, atoms don’t feel things.  Science has no explanation for this as of yet, perhaps they might in the future, but I doubt it.   There is more to add to the brain/mind discussion but I will save those for another post.

4. There is also another area in morals that has a wide range of thoughts by atheists.  It is the question, Are morals objective?  From a Biblical perspective the answer is an easy, yes.  The Christian worldview has no issues with objective morals or right and wrong because they come from a transcendent God who sent the standard.  On the atheist side of the coin there is wide debate between atheists.  If you ask an atheist whether Rape or child abuse, which is a current topic in the news with Penn State, is objective wrong, they will most likely say yes, it is universally observed as wrong.  They may however be hesitant to say yes because they cannot explain where this universal moral comes from.

I will address some other thoughts related to morals in the near future.  As always, questions, comments, and discussions are welcome.


The Teleological Argument

October 22, 2011

The Teleological Argument or the Argument to Design is another argument attempting proof of God’s existence based upon the premise that the universe is designed, and therefore needs a designer:  God.  The argument has also been called Intelligent Design (ID) by the newer generation of Christian apologists.

The beginning ideas of a argument for design began around 400- 300 b.c. with thinkers like Socrates and Aristotle.  The first Teleological arguments had its classical Christian roots back in the 3rd and 4th century with Thomas Aquinas in his greatest work Summa Theologica.

In the early 19th century William Paley illustrated a watch maker analogy that is still used today as an example.  A summary of his analogy is as follows: Think about the complexity of a pocket watch.  All the tiny gears, and parts that are inside it that are perfectly sized and fit together to form a watch that tells time accurately.  It is a complex machine that was designed by a designer.  Would you imagine placing all the individual parts to the pocket watch in a bag and shaking them up randomly and then one day as you are shaking them up they fall into place and fit together to form a perfectly working pocket watch.

Any time you see specified complexity and intelligibility in the physical word you automatically assume a designer was behind it.  While it is of course possible, over a billions of years that after shaking a bag full of watch parts that they could fall into place and form a perfectly working pocket watch, your first instinct would be that someone designed it to be that way.   Apologist Ravi Zacharias uses the following illustration:  Imagine you go into space and visit a planet that you have never been to before.  Upon arrival you see a note on the planet that says “Hello John.  I’ve been waiting for you, what took you so long?”  You would never in a million years assume that letter appeared by random chance.

Over the last half century the Teleological Argument has been often misrepresented by some theists with examples that have not stood the advancement of science.  This comes from assumptions from theists that try to explain unanswered scientific questions in biology.  Those of us who hold a theistic worldview need to be careful when we try to say that something cannot be explained any more, and therefore God must have designed it.  Advancements on science can make theists look ignorant or weaken the Teleological Argument.

For example Darwin was intrigued by the complexity of the human eye.  After studying the eye, Darwin saw no way that the eye could have evolved given the fact that in order for the eye to function properly it would need all the separate parts (pupal, retina, lens, optic nerve, etc. ) working together.  In other words, why would the eye start to evolve if there was no benefit of sight yet.  Christians were quick to jump on this type of example and say that the irreducible complexity of the eye, among other examples, was proof that God was the only was possible designer of these complex systems.   Recent scientific discoveries have given us answers that we thought were not answerable.   I will revisit the subject of irreducible complexity in a separate post and  go into more details.

There are however, better areas to use the Teleological argument in besides biology.  They are much more solid in the defense of a intelligent designer.  We will look at the Teleological Argument within the universe,  within  DNA, and within the laws of the universe  in sub-sequential posts over the next few posts.

As always, questions, comments, and discussions are welcome.


Why I believe Evolution is False

April 1, 2010

I will keep this short and spare you on some of the details.  If you would like the details I will be glad to send them to you or discuss them further.

Using the word FLAWED,  I would like to expound on 6 talking points that place a lot of doubt in Darwin’s theory of Evolution.  The idea came from Chris Sherrod, a friend and fellow student minister years ago.  Chris Sherrod also has written a chapter in the new book from Sean McDowell, called Apologetics for a New Generation.   I love using the acronym  and teaching it to students because of the ease of it to memorize. 

FOSSIL FALLACY – Darwin himself said that in order for the theory of evolution to hold weight that in order we must find proof in the fossils by what he called transitional fossils.  These are fossils that show us the process of evolution at work by finding fossils that are in transition from one form to the other.  Like half bird and lizard or also the half ape-man.  Well how many of these kinds of fossils have we found, Zero!!  Not one transitional fossil has been found yet and this throws great doubt on Darwin’s Theory.  Evolutionist have had to scramble around to try to find other theory’s to support their lack of evidence like “gap theory” which also brings more questions into the argument because it doesn’t fit the facts.

LAWS VIOLATED – In order for evolution to be true, it must break a few key laws of science.  The most important Law broken is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which states simply that over a period of time all complex systems go from a state of order to disorder.  That over time they breakdown and become less complicated.  Evolution states that everything we know came from a random “Big Bang” in the Universe and we slowly evolved into complex organisms over billions and billions of years.  Imagine taking all the parts of a wrist watch and placing them in a bag and shaking them up and they come together to form a nice new Rolex time piece.

Another Key law broken by evolution is the law of Biogenesis, which states that you can not create life from non-life.  Scientist have been trying this for decades and cannot break this law and create life in the laboratory but cannot.  You will never be able to get life from a granite molecule or life from other non-living matter.

The last law or principal is Cause and Effect.  Cause and Effect simply states that every effect has a cause.  similarly, every cause also is an effect of something else and also has a cause.   The cause is either a “what” or a “who”.  For example; what caused the vase to fall of the shelf?  The earthquake caused the vase to fall.  What caused the earthquake?  Was it the blasting of dynamite at the quarry next door or was it a real earthquake?  You can go on and on with layers of cause and effects.  What caused the earthquake?  Plate Tectonic movement, caused by the heat of the earths core, which is caused by the suns warming rays, etc…..  With respect to evolution, what caused the big bang that started the universe?  Even if you break matter down to its smallest form, to the sub-molecule level and start talking string theory and other new ideas, where did that come from?  Evolution has to answer 3 big bangs in reality not just 1.  The origin of matter, the origin of life, and the origin of conscience thought and a moral compass.

ABSENCE OF OBSERVATION – No one has ever saw evolution happen and there is no way to test it.  Let me point out the difference between Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution.  Macro evolution is the kind that Darwin wrote about.  It is the idea that we slowly evolved over billions of billions of years from a simple cell, primordial goo into fish and from fish to reptiles, from reptiles to birds and eventually other creations to primates to humans.  Micro-evolution also know as adaption is the faster process where in an organism, animal or plant change to adapt or survive from predators or climate.  We have seen and witnessed this process of micro-evolution, but this is not the same as Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Further more these adaptions have not gone from one species to another ie… snake to bird or fish to reptile.  Some examples of this, like the peppered-moth can be found in the section below under Erroneous examples.

WITHOUT A MECHANISM – Evolution has no purpose or reason.  Life cannot create itself and why would it desire to create itself for there is no reason behind all of the small details of the universe.  If there was life from the beginning, why would it need to evolve in the first place?  Why not just stay as the simple primordial ooze that it was.  We know that in nature there are mutations and with the process of Natural selection which we can see in nature, these mutations are harmful at best and most mutations  are eliminated by the process of natural selection and nature.

ERRONEOUS EXAMPLES – There have been many finding through out our history of so-called proof of evolution which have turned out to be false or cases where evolutionist thought or believed to be true without knowledge or fact.  Below are a few examples of many.

Peppered moth – got its name during the industrial revolution in England.  The moths were seen to change from a pure white color to a darker color and have spots that helped camouflage themselves from predators due to the rise of factories and smoke that came from them.  This is an example of microevolution and not macro-evolution.  Notice that the moth was still, a moth.  It didn’t change into a large bird or other species.  The process of Natural selection deems that the ones with spots were able to survive from predators better that the pure solid and lightly colored moths.  As the darker and spotted moths mated their kind and color began to increase as the others decreased.

The changes in the bone structure and skulls of people.  Much is made of height and other features, but in fact they are still human features not ape-men features.  Some finds have recently been under fire by scientist who believe that the few skeletal remains  found of curved or arched back bones were those of people who had a disease such as rickets.   We see people in our time today that have similar issues.

There are other examples such as the Archaeopteryx, Vestial Organs, Past ideas that fetuses had gills in utero, the list could go on but for the sake of time I will not.  Each had been thought of as further proof of evolution , but were found to be incorrect.

DESIGN & DNA – Can you imagine in all the evidence we have in the universe that it all was a random chance rather than a design set forth by a creator.  You can look at DNA and see the complex design and pattern of  life’s code.  DNA is some complex that it would make a computer program from Apple or Microsoft look like first grade math.  The DNA code in one single cell can hold as much information as the equivalent of 500 volumes of an encyclopedia.   The earth is finely turned to support life and if one detail of the earth was different in rotation, temperature, gravity, and etc…. Life would not be able to exist.  Try imagining a computer programing itself or a complicated invention like a watch or computer coming together all by itself.  Seems so crazy right, but if you don’t believe that God exist and created everything, then you have to believe that it all just is a random purposeless accident of chance.

I think it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.  I really believe that the debate will go on for the next hundred and thousands of years without a single assurance that God created everything through a 6 day Biblical creation and the theory of evolution.  We may never know “for sure” to either side.   That’s when faith comes into play in the role of not having all the answers.  I hope that these points will cause you to think about what you do believe and why you believe it.  I will also follow-up this blog with another entry on why I do believe that there is a God in the near future.  As always I welcome your comments, questions, and opposing views.