Facts and Fallacies of the Fossil Record:
Re-Evaluating the Supposed Evidences for Human Evolution
By Brett A. Rutherford
Evolution: The Development of a Theory
Even though the majority of the scientific community claims there is much physical evidence to support the theory of evolution, they reluctantly admit evolution is just that: a theory. According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, a "theory" is defined as "an hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation. An unproved assumption: CONJECTURE." Unfortunately, in our colleges and universities, evolution is taught as fact, not as "an unproved assumption." Louis Leakey, noted evolutionist and discoverer of "Homo habilis," made the following admission:
Instead of the popular conception of scientists being engaged in the search for ‘missing links' the truth is that whole lengths of the chain are still missing, and often when we do discover one of the many missing links we find it hard to decide just whereabouts in the chain it properly belongs.6
In other words, it is a theory that is far from being proven.
The first question one might ask when considering the overwhelming support for evolution in the scientific community is, "How did it come to replace creationism as the means by which the majority of academicians explain the origins of mankind?" Who are the men who are primarily responsible for this change in academic thought? What have these pioneers of evolution overlooked, if anything, in the formulation of their theory? All of these questions will be answered in this chapter.
Who are the Major Players in the Development of this Ungodly Theory of Evolution?
Although evolutionary thought was conceived of earlier than the eighteenth century, Carl von Linne (1707-1778) was the first to begin to attempt to shake the foundations of established thought on human origins. Before the works of Linne, the scientific establishment placed mankind in a classification above the animal kingdom. The Biblical view of man as the master of the animal world was generally accepted by reasonable thinking people. Most scientists believed that man was a created being, and that he possessed a unique quality not shared by other earthly creatures -- a soul (Genesis 1:16,27; Ecclesiastes. 3:20,21).
This consistency of thought among academicians was interrupted in the mid-eighteenth century when Carl von Linne published his "Systema Naturae." In this work, von Linne placed 10,000 plants and animals into classifications based on their similarity of traits. Included among the animals classified was man, who was placed in the primate order along with apes and monkeys.7 For the first time in a published work, man was considered to be no higher than an intelligent ape. It was not long before others began to build on Linne's body of work.
Georges de Buffon (1707-1788) took Linne's implication that man was no higher than the animal kingdom and attempted to find relationships between man and the animal world to prove this assumption. In his work "Natural History," Buffon believed that there was an ancestor common to all living beings. By implication, he was suggesting there was some mechanism which transformed that original ancestor into the various biological forms of the present age.
Because there was no present observable evidence to support the transformation of all species from a single ancestor, Buffon suggested that the change was gradual. He arbitrarily proposed a period of 80,000 years in which these mutations took place.8
While Buffon was formulating his theory, Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was at work devising his own way to get into the annals of evolutionary thought. He is sometimes called the "forerunner of the theory of evolution." Erasmus, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, set forth the basic tenets of the theory of evolution. He believed that animals vary and transform. This transformation is stimulated by need.9
Even though Erasmus Darwin had suggested a cause for mutation, it was Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829) who was the first to propose a rudimentary theory of evolution. He suggested that a quadrumane (a primate with hand-shaped feet) may lose his ability to climb trees and by successive generations transform itself into a biped (a being who walks upright on two legs). For the time in which he lived, Lamarck made a daring statement that man might have developed by this method. Remember, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the majority of the scientific community believed in the Genesis account of creation.
These men set the foundation of modern evolutionary thought, but it was Charles Darwin (1809-1882) who refined and defined the theory. On December 27, 1831, Darwin set sail on the Beagle on a five year expedition to observe the natural world. His voyage brought him to the Galapagos Islands where he studied different varieties of chaffinches. From his survey he noticed that from island to island there were subtle variations in these little birds. He concluded that the variations were the result of adaptations to the unique environments of each island. This assumption drew him closer to his ultimate theory that species are not immutable (not capable of change). In fact, he believed that animals were capable of transforming in order to make them more suitable for their environment. Darwin was pressured into quickly publishing his assumptions by Alfred Russel Wallace who was simultaneously coming to similar conclusions.
By 1859, Charles Darwin had succumbed to the overwhelming egotistical urge to be first when he rushed into publication his infamous "On the Origin of Species by way of Natural Selection." In this work, he suggests that only those individuals best adapted to their habitat will survive to transmit those survival qualities to their descendants. This theory implied that a species would gradually modify its appearance to meet the demands of its environment. Furthermore, he boldly proclaimed that human beings were not above this selection process. In fact, he said that human beings were the most advanced product of natural selection.10 Darwin defined the supposed mechanisms for evolution, and refined the theory that man evolved from a lower form of life. Therefore, he is considered to be the father of evolutionary thought.
Even with the publication of Darwin's theories, the majority of the scientific community was still not convinced that his outlandish claims were scientifically based. The skepticism of most academicians was compounded by Darwin's fear of facing his critics in public debate. Eventually he succeeded in finding a champion in Thomas Huxley, who challenged the proponents of creationism to a series of public debates. Archbishop Wilber-force picked up the gauntlet for the defenders of a divine creator. Sadly, the debates focused more on personal attacks. There was not an effort by either side to support his particular view with facts. The two opponents turned the whole discussion into what can best be described as a popularity contest. Both sides claimed victory although neither side really prevailed. However, the evolutionists had benefited more from the public spectacle. For the first time, they had found a forum to express their beliefs to the general public. In some ways, these debates legitimized the theory of evolution as a reasonable scientific hypothesis in the minds of many who had previously remained indifferent.
What Have These Pioneers of Evolution Ignored in Formulating Their Theories?
In the first place, the suggestion by Lamarck, Buffon, and the Darwins that there was some mechanism which transformed all species from a single ancestor is fantasy, not science! Biological similarities do not necessarily suggest a common ancestor. Variations within a species are not necessarily an indication of changes caused by adaptation. There is not observable evidence to prove these assumptions.
In the second place, the way in which these men arrived at their conclusions was certainly not by the scientific method. Evolutionists continually criticize creationists because no one can observe supernatural creation, nor reproduce it in the laboratory. Unfortunately, the evolutionists have forgotten that if this argument is accepted, then evolution can also be dismissed as a possibility. The author understands that the definition of genus and species is somewhat vague and problematic. However, for our purposes we will define genus as a group of organisms which can breed and successfully reproduce. The author believes this is what is meant by the term "kind" used in Genesis 1:24,25. By this definition, no human being has ever witnessed, or successfully transformed, one genus into another. For example, apes and humans cannot breed and successfully produce offspring. Therefore, (by our definition) they are of a different genus.
In the third place, by our definition of genus it is biologically impossible for one genus to successfully reproduce (or mutate) into another genus. In order for one genus to evolve into a new genus, which evolution requires, new DNA (genetic code which determines genus) must be developed. To successfully reproduce new DNA, bacteria needs to develop new protein enzymes which then produce DNA. Unfortunately for Buffon, Lamarck, and the Darwins, protein enzymes needed for new DNA can only be reproduced by existing DNA (see chart on page 16). According to Boyce Rensberger, one of America's leading scientific authors, "The notion that both DNA and the enzymes to replicate DNA could have spontaneously formed in the same place is wildly improbable."11 It is not just "wildly improbable," it is impossible! Simply put, biological law demands that every creature must produce after its own kind (Genesis 1:24)!
In the fourth place, Charles Darwin suggested that "natural selection" (progressive mutation caused by environment) was the mechanism by which evolution took place. However, professors of anthropology, Harrison, Tanner, Pilbeam, and Baker state in their work "Human Biology,"
What, of course, the selectionists need are many good empirical demonstrations of selection operating and these are embarrassingly few. There are, as we have noted, many examples of selection against mutant genes that cause easily recognizable morbidity.12
In other words, in the few cases where genetic mutation has naturally occurred, it has resulted in disease, death or infertility. Genetic mutation has proven to cause negative results, not progressive results, which evolutionists require to make their theory plausible.
In the fifth place, even the father of evolution, Charles Darwin, had serious doubts about his own theory. Shortly after Darwin published his infamous book on the origin of species, he wrote in a letter to Charles Lyell: "I have asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life to a fantasy."13 In another statement in the same letter Darwin wrote: "I am the most miserable, bemuddled, stupid dog in all England, and am ready to cry with vexation at my blindness and presumption."14 If the father of evolutionary thought stated that his own theory was formulated by "blindness and presumption," how could anyone argue that he employed good scientific means in arriving at his conclusions. He did not even believe it himself!
Finally, Carl von Linne made an error when he assumed that man is not distinct from the animal kingdom. Mankind has the unique ability to reason (the power to comprehend, infer, and think in an orderly way). The fact that an evolutionist can formulate such a theory proves that he is different from the animal kingdom. No other creature has the ability to conceive of such a notion and make arguments in an attempt to support it. Only human beings can even ponder over their origins.
Carl Sagan, astronomer, and a long time proponent of evolutionary theory, was at a loss to explain certain functions of the human mind that set him above the animal world. In his book, The Dragons of Eden, Sagan noted the unexplainable difference between human and animal thought:
Most organisms on Earth depend on their nervous systems, to a much greater extent than they do on their extragenetic information, which is acquired during their lifetimes. For human beings...it is the other way around. While our behavior is still significantly controlled by our genetic inheritance, we have, through our brains, a much richer opportunity to blaze new behavioral and cultural pathways on short time scales. Human beings have...invented not only extragenetic but also extrasomatic knowledge: information stored outside our bodies, of which writing is the most notable example.15
Sagan admits that there are "extragenetic" functions of humans that set them apart from the animal kingdom. In other words, there are behaviors of the human mind that cannot be explained by genetic biology. One way he mentions this unexplainable activity is expressed is through writing. Another example of this unique kind of human expression is morality. For example, animals have no qualms about killing those of their own species. However, human beings condemn and punish those of their kind who practice such. From where does humanity gain a sense of values and morality? Creativity, and the expression of it through art and music, are other examples of unique human behavior that cannot be explained by the genetic code or chemical reactions.
Although the evolutionists are at a loss to explain these unique human attributes, creationists offer a solution to this problem of non-biological behavior. These unusual traits of human behavior are the gift of possessing the divine characteristic of a spirit. Human beings are the only creatures on earth that are made in the spiritual image of God (Genesis 1:26). It is the spirit (mind) that is the source of the most beautiful accomplishments of human intelligence.
The DNA Dilemma
Biological Law: Existing DNA + Bacteria = Protein Enzymes = Reproduction of existing DNA.
Simply Put: Human Being + Bacteria = Protein Enzymes = Human Being, (or everything produces after its own kind) (Genesis 1:24).
Evolution Theory: Existing DNA + Bacteria = New Protein Enzymes = New DNA = Scientific Impossibility.
Simply Put: Ape + Bacteria = New Protein Enzymes = Human Being (new genus)
1. How is a "theory" defined by Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary?
2. How did Carl von Linne classify over 10,000 animals in his work "Systema Naturae"?
3. What separates man from the animal world?
4. What did Georges de Buffon suggest in his book "Natural History"?
5. Who is called the "forerunner of evolutionary theory"?
6. Erasmus Darwin believed that variation among animals was stimulated by what?
7. Who was the first to propose a rudimentary theory of evolution?
8. Who is known as the "father of evolution"?
9. What is the title of Charles Darwin's book which contains his evolutionary theory?
10. Who defended Darwin's theories in debate with Archbishop Wilberforce?
11. Do biological similarities between two organisms necessarily suggest a common ancestor?
12. How would one define a "genus"?
13. Has anyone ever witnessed the successful transformation of one genus into another?
14. In a letter to Charles Lyell, how did Charles Darwin describe himself and his own theories?
15. Give an example of an extragenetic function that only human beings enjoy.
16. How does one explain non-biological behavior in human beings?