What are the flaws of Darwinism and how can a rational mind approach this theory?
C.S. Lewis once said, “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”
Even the man downstairs acknowledged the fact that God does in fact exist, so to suggest otherwise implies grandiosity exceeding that of the master of lies.
But I digress … I could not agree more with Lewis: when one looks around at the natural world, and the human beings that dwell in it, there is a persistent, pervasive sense of order and structure in the universe. This high level of organization runs contrary to the scientific law of entropy, which basically says that the cosmos is always headed toward maximal disorder. This law forces nature to inexorably degenerate toward a state of more chaos, more confusion, and more disarray, but despite this, all around us we see structures (i.e. the solar system, ecosystems, animals) that have all somehow managed to assemble themselves into glorious testaments of more structure, more order, and more organization.
Life equals order.
The most relatable of such against-the-grain orderings can be found by looking in the mirror and marveling at the most complex animal in the known universe: human beings.
Charles Darwin, in 1859, attempted to explain such degrees of complexity in his famous work, the Origin of Species. In his seminal work, lacking exposition for causality but explaining mechanisms, Darwin alleged that human beings evolved from simpler, less complex organisms over many billions of years based on two phenomena: random selection and spontaneous mutations. These mutations occurred in our DNA (the stuff that programs everything about us), and every so often these mutations gave organisms a trait (i.e. bigger biceps) that allowed them to survive (produce offspring) more effectively. These traits that allowed something to survive better would thus be naturally selected, and passed onto future generations. This process would continue over and over, so that small subtle changes eventually become major ones, finally allowing brand-new organisms to “evolve” from simpler ones.
First let us differentiate what I mean by evolution, because in reality Darwin did get part of his theory right. Micro-evolution (or adaption) is entirely correct, and its dynamic effects are observable in our modern day world in successive generations of different animals. Here, some members of already formed species are better adapted to their environment, and therefore able to pass these “survivor genes” onto their offspring (natural selection). So if you have a drove of rabbits with longer legs than others, and those long legs allow them to run away from predators better, these long-legged rabbits will survive longer and pass these traits onto their babies. Note that the rabbits don’t evolve into anything else—they always remain the same animal with some variability.
Macro-evolution is what most people think of when they think of evolution: bacteria turning into reptiles, monkeys turning into humans, and so on. This is the flawed part of the theory that proposes the development of new organisms based on random mutations.
What I believe is that we, human beings, and the rest of our wonderful world, are not anomalies based on chance happenings and random events. I propose that Darwin’s theory of evolution is based on faulty logic and flawed data. If the universe tends towards more entropy, then where did all this structure come from? And more importantly, why did this all happen? If you witness a train derail and crash into the side of the mountain, anyone would be compelled to ask, “What caused that?” No one would be satisfied with the answer, “It just happened” so why would anyone settle for this justification regarding the origins of the universe?
Strictly speaking, from a statistical standpoint, it is far more probable that a life-adverse universe exists than a life-sustaining one. Steven Hawking, famous for his non-creationist views, has even calculated the odds that initial conditions would be suitable for the formation of life: less than one in one thousand billion billion (yes, two billions). When I plugged that figure into my calculator to get a percentage it gave me its answer: zero.
Darwin formulated a theory based on incomplete data (just like saying the world is flat) that lacked real-life probability. What Darwin did was propose something possible in theory (however small the chances) but not actually probable (I am going to grow a pair of wings and fly away). The nagging issue of causation and the trend against the grain of the universe still and always will persist. Accordingly, I would refer the reader to this essay’s first sentence.
Darwin himself admitted that “the most obvious and serious objection” to his theory was the lack of fossil evidence documenting the transition between various species of animals. He believed that future studies would vindicate him, but they have not and no such treasure trove of fossil evidence has been found. The fossil records repeatedly demonstrate that there has been stasis and a sudden appearance of life in nearly all animal phyla without predecessors.
How did Darwin envision how life began before “animals” as we know it existed? Well, he envisioned a “warm little pond” or a “pre-biotic soup” containing chemicals that would over time co-mingle, come together, and form life. Although this would in theory (like Santa Claus) lead to the development of single-celled organisms, in his day Darwin had no idea just how complicated single celled organisms were. To him, the leap from no life to life appeared to be small, and thus plausible. In reality single cells are so complex that supercomputers in 2013 have a hard time re-creating their functionality.
Each single cell in our own body contains about 20,000 different genes that each code for many different proteins. Each of these proteins has at least one, but more likely several, specific cellular functions. Each cell contains a nucleus (the brains) where all the genetic material (DNA and RNA) is found. The cell also consists of mitochondria (power plant), endoplasmic reticulum (internal transit), the Golgi apparatus (processing and packaging), lysosomes (digestion), vacuoles (food and waste), and the cell membrane (the wall that also regulates input and output). All of these facts were unknown to Darwin in the late 1800s.
Natural selection dictates that only the “fittest” animals survive. How does one know who the fittest were, if we are only able to judge those who have survived? This is circular logic.
If I were to evolve and develop wings so that I can fly, the new organs must first start out as single cells. If these initial cells didn’t know they were going to become wings, then what started them on the track to flight in the first place? An organ is not composed of uniform cells all doing the same things, but of innumerable cells each serving a specific function that amounts to nothing in the absence of the grand scheme of the entire organ, and of the context of the interplay between organs in the whole organism. Hence, cells that detect light in the eye cannot do much if there is no occipital cortex in the brain to read and decode that light signal. Further, partially developed traits (like a half-eye) would be non-functional, grant no survival benefit, and would thus not be naturally selected. Lastly, what also defies logic is that if the first generation was wingless, the chance of the second generation having all the random mutations needed to code for wings is essentially zero.
Recent advances in science have demonstrated one undisputable fact: life is not defined by, or controlled solely by, one organism’s DNA—rather; life is about co-existence and co-dependence.
Take for instance, Candidatus Tremblaya princeps. This simple bacterium lives solely inside the mealybug. The bacteria depend on the bug for its survival and vice versa. You see, the insect feeds from trees and ingests sap, but the mealybug lacks the digestive enzymes to extract the proper nutrition from the sap. Lo and behold, this is where Tremblaya comes in—this breaks down the sap into precious nutrients for the insect to use in exchange for food and shelter. According to evolutionary theory, each of these organisms would be deemed “unfit” since their own genes did not provide them with a survival advantage, effectively guaranteeing their extinction. Thankfully for the insect and bacteria, there are other forces at play guaranteeing their mutual survival.
Are we more human or more alien? There are more non-human cells in our body than human cells. These non-human cells are foreign bacterium (about 2 lbs. worth) that predominantly live in our digestive tract but also colonize our skin, throat, and other sensitive areas of the body. In fact, for every human cell in our body, there are 10 bacterial cells, rounding out their total to about 100 trillion. Additionally, 99% of the genetic material we house is microbial and not our own. Most people think of bacteria as harmful, but in fact we would be unable to live without most of these “bugs”—those that actually harm us are poorly adapted, while the commensals and mutualists assist us in digesting foods and extracting nutrients that we would otherwise not be able to. Our human genes play absolutely no role in “selecting” what beneficial bacteria we carry—these microbes get there based on where we live, what we eat, animal exposures, plant exposures, or any other activity that increases our contact with different microbial communities. Case in point: a mother’s breast milk contains certain oligosaccharides (carbohydrates) that serve no nutritional purpose for the infant, but specifically feed a bacterium in the infant’s gut called Bifidobacterium infantis. When this “good bacteria” is fed by breast milk, it grows, spreads, prevents “bad bacteria” from moving in, and reciprocally keeps the baby healthy. This phenomenon runs contrary to evolutionary theory that would propose every last drop of the mother’s milk must have some direct survival benefit to the developing baby only. Again, this wonderful dynamic goes far beyond the genes of one organism, but instead involves life’s mutual dependence on a triad.
The bottom line: babies come from parents, diamonds come from coal, steam comes from water—the rule of our world is that something comes from something; something cannot come from nothing.
Let’s take a step back and analyze the evolution issue globally: even if everything miraculously lined up to favor the universe to “create” life as opposed to destroying it; even if dozens of amino acids strategically aligned themselves into base sequences by chemical affinity, into DNA and RNA strands that would intelligently code for tens of thousands of proteins by happenstance; even if you put cell precursors into a pot, put the evolutionary stove on simmer, and waited billions of years; even if this process of self-ordering defies what we know about energy passing through a system, still clinging to Darwinism as a means to explain the origin of life; this is like saying you added a microprocessor, aluminum, a pipe dream, and luck into a bag, shook it all up, waited a day and when you came back—voila!—an iPhone.
Science and the scientific method are wonderful and glorious entities, but Darwin’s theory is an insult to both, which have gifted mankind with immeasurable amounts of rewards, knowledge, and understanding.
In the end, any “-ism” acts as a way to control our present and prevents us from relinquishing our often-ironclad grip of control over our current reality; this presumed power comes at the expense of a greater promise for the future.
For those curious minds who seek to dig deeper I would highly recommend A Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. It’s certainly one of my all-time favorites and should have a place on everyone’s bookshelf. Instead of concocting an elaborate lie, Strobel eloquently reveals the truth.
Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal