In the previous article I explained that, at University, I was confronted with four major evidences, which, it was claimed, proved evolution. In that article I considered the first, and in some ways, the most important “evidence”, namely, the fossil record. I want now to look briefly at the other three.
The second major “evidence” I was given in support of evolution consisted in what are called genetic mutations. Let me illustrate this from the case of the peppered moth. Until the 1850’s, the moth was a very pale colour. But about that time a dark variety of the peppered moth was noted in the Birmingham area. Since then the dark variety has spread much more widely than the lighter variety. It has been observed that generally the white moths are found in rural areas and the black moths in industrialized areas. The reason for this pattern lies in the colouring of the environment in which the two varieties of moth live. On the lichen-covered trees of the countryside, the white moths are perfectly camouflaged, and are therefore much less likely to be seen and eaten by birds. They therefore survive longer and multiply faster in the countryside than do the black ones. The exact opposite happens with the dark moths, which survive better on the blackened bark of the industrialized areas. In the light of this, the evolutionist asserts that, given time, the two varieties will develop independently and will eventually form two entirely separate species. But, is this true?
First, we must ask, “What causes this change in colour to occur?” The answer is that a tiny part inside the insect’s cell has changed, causing a change in its body colour. The tiny part of the cell is called a gene and is the unit which determines the particular characteristics of an organism. The change is called a mutation. The modern theory of evolution stands or falls on the occurrence of certain kinds of mutation. If these do not take place, it is not possible for evolution to progress. Certainly, small mutations do occasionally occur in living organisms - as witness the peppered moth. Most mutations, however, are harmful and result either in a deformed individual or in death. If evolution has occurred, there should be a great number of major beneficial mutations in a wide variety of organisms. As it happens, we know of very, very few cases of helpful mutations; so much so that the peppered moth is the only example quoted regularly in biology textbooks! To argue that the evolution of animals and man has come about through mutation is absurd.
As far as I am concerned, the Bible leaves no room whatever for evolution by mutation. Moses stressed that God created everything, “after his/their kind”, Gen. 1.11, 12, 21, 24, 25. It is not necessary for us to understand the exact relationship between the “kinds” of Genesis 1 and the “species” of modern biological classification. For, whatever may be meant by “kinds”, it is abundantly clear that God has set carefully defined lines of demarcation between them. According to the Scriptures, therefore, one “kind” cannot evolve into another “kind”. This is not to say, of course, that there cannot be changes within a “kind”. For instance, the fact that over 200 distinct varieties of dogs, as different as the St. Bernard and the dachshund, have developed from a few wild dogs is perfectly consistent with the statements of Genesis 1.24-25. To the Christian, mutation cannot provide a mechanism for evolution.
The third argument I encountered was concerned with the comparison of structures in organisms. The theory is that, because certain organisms which live in altogether different ways have a similar basic body design, they must have originated from one common ancestor. For example, a whale’s flipper, a mole’s digging claw and a bat’s wing have a very similar bone arrangement, although, of course, they all have very different tasks to perform. It is assumed that millions of years ago there was a simple form of animal with a basic bone plan, and that over this period the plan has become modified in different ways to give the many variations which we see today. Although this argument sounded reasonably plausible, it soon occurred to me that this was just what we should have expected if one God had created all these things. It is clear that when God created the vertebrates He employed one basic blueprint for their body plan but that He also introduced wide variations on that plan to equip each of His creatures for their place in His world. Let me give an illustration. It is quite easy to distinguish the buildings in London which Sir Christopher Wren designed; the stamp of the architect is left on all his work. No one would dream of suggesting that St. Paul’s Cathedral has evolved over millions of years from a humbler edifice! So, also the similarity in the bone structure of many creatures points, not to a common ancestor but, to a common Creator. Evolutionists face two great problems on this point:
The fourth evolutionary argument concerned the geographical distribution of the plant and animal kingdoms. Pouched animals, like kangaroos and koala bears, are nearly all found in Australia. Similar habitats in Africa are occupied by short-tailed monkeys, antelope and lions. South America has long-tailed monkeys, llamas and pumas. Most evolutionists believe that simple ancestral mammals came from Asia and moved out from there to fill the rest of the world. It is assumed that, in each of the areas to which they went, they evolved independently, leading to the dominant characteristics of each region. I prefer to believe that all animals can trace their ancestry to those which shared Noah’s ark with him. Following the great flood. God guided and directed His creatures in ways which men have still failed to fathom, to the end that they might carry out His commission to “breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth”, Gen. 8. 17.
In conclusion let me say that for those who know and love the Lord, evolution need present no difficulty. Evolution is not a matter of scientific fact; it is an attempt to interpret such facts. If men refuse to believe in God and are willing to set aside His word, they will gladly accept evolution as the most likely means of interpreting the evidence For those who accept the infallibility of the Word of God, all true scientific facts will be found to harmonise with its teachings.
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