Do I Have to Believe Evolution?
IN RECENT years some states and school boards in the United States have raised objections to evolution being taught as a fact in public schools. One of these states is California.
The California State Board of Education decides what is to be included in public school textbooks. But it receives recommendations from groups of experts in various fields. One of these groups is the State Advisory Committee of Science Education. It submitted a framework for science instruction in the state’s public schools.
The Advisory Committee recommended that the subject of evolution should be taught as a fact, not as just a theory. However, the Board of Education did not agree. It ordered that evolution be taught as a theory instead of a fact. It also directed that in textbooks creation be mentioned as another explanation of the origin of life that had some scientific backing.
The science committee reacted explosively, saying, in effect: ‘There’s no question that evolution is a fact. We see examples of it every day. No responsible person questions it. It’s as much a fact as gravity and atoms!’ A committee member even likened belief in creation to belief in superstitions such as astrology, or that the moon is made of green cheese, or that storks bring babies.
However, there are many people who do question the validity of the evolution teaching. One such individual who had never considered the “proofs” offered for evolution as final decided to interview people who believe in evolution. Following are his observations, along with actual conversations he had in a survey conducted with evolution believers.
“I believe evolution,” a distinguished gentleman told me, “because science has thoroughly investigated the subject and is unanimous in its acceptance of it as fact.”
“You place great trust in scientists,” I observed.
“Their record testifies to their reliability, don’t you think?” he replied.
His reason for believing evolution was echoed many times during my survey. I discovered that most believers of evolution are believers because they have been told that all intelligent people are believers.
An obviously well-educated woman in her forties challenged me with this question: “What are your qualifications to dispute the findings of professional scientists?”
“First,” I answered, “let me say that they dispute among themselves. They argue over when it happened, why it happened, how it happened, how fast it happened, and even if it happened at all!”
“Now,” I continued, “to answer your question about my qualifications. What are the qualifications of a judge who sits on a case involving medical issues in which he is untrained? If he is intelligent and objective, he listens to the arguments of experts pro and con, and then decides on the basis of their testimony. How else can a person make a decision on various fields of knowledge in this age of specialization?”
“But the subject of evolution is so technical,” she protested.
I answered: “Theodosius Dobzhansky [an evolutionary scientist] says that much of the work of scientists is beyond the comprehension of average laymen, but that evolution is not. He says it’s a matter of elementary biology. And George Gaylord Simpson [another prominent evolutionist] contents that it’s immoral to have blind faith, whether in a religious doctrine or in a scientific theory. He also says that it’s man’s responsibility to test the findings of specialists and then decide, and that a person doesn’t have to be a research biologist to evaluate the evidence on evolution.”
“Too many people,” I concluded, “merely accept the opinions of others and repeat their ideas like parrots rather than taking time to examine the facts.”
When she did not comment, I added: “You’d be amazed at how many people who believe evolution know practically nothing about it.”
Intimidation and “Brainwashing”
Before I conducted my house-to-house survey of people who believe in evolution, I read some twenty books written by evolutionists. Even before that, however, for many years since my university days, I had endeavored to keep abreast of scientific developments in this field. But now I specifically examined recent writings of prominent evolutionists.
In doing so I was struck by the type of “browbeating” or “brainwashing” they used. This is typified by the following brief summary from twelve books by eleven different evolutionists:
‘Evolution is universally accepted by scientists competent to judge. It is recognized by all responsible scientists. All reputable biologists agree that it is an established fact. No informed mind today denies that man descended from the fish. It is no longer a matter of doubt.
‘The evidence is overwhelming. No further proof is required by anyone who is free from old illusions and prejudices.’
That is the consensus of all these evolutionary writers. But when claims are so sweeping, so dogmatic, they become suspect. It seemed to me that evolutionists are trying to scare off opposition and inquiry by using a barrage of intimidating rhetoric.
But why should someone who questions a theory be labeled incompetent, uninformed, a ‘prisoner of old illusions and prejudices’? Would scientists who really have the facts stoop to such unscientific, unreasonable tactics?
True, this “psychological warfare,” this “brainwashing,” does make converts to the evolution belief. But nearly all those converts are usually defenseless when confronted by those who resist the arm twisting and ask for proof.
For instance, I asked an intelligent woman in an exclusive neighborhood: “Why do you believe evolution?”
“Because I see it all the time,” she said, and gestured toward her yard. But when I tried to find out some details, her face began to flush, so I tactfully withdrew.
At another door the elderly man who answered my ring said that we adapt to our surroundings, and that these adaptations accumulate over many generations and finally result in new types of living things.
“That isn’t the accepted thought today,” I said. “Your suntan is not passed on to your baby, nor are bulging biceps you’ve developed by weight lifting, nor a knowledge of electronics you’ve acquired through study and experience. Many years ago the evolutionist Lamarck thought this way. So did Darwin. But evolutionists today know that such acquired characteristics are not passed on by means of heredity.”
“Then how else could evolution happen?” he countered.
“That’s for you to say,” I replied. Time and again, I found the same thing to be true. Those who said they believed evolution were totally unable to give reasons, proofs, facts to back up their belief. The main reason for their belief was that scientists believed it and taught it.
On the campus of a large university, a student cited the “fossil record” as proof for evolution. He said that it “traces [for example] the evolution of modern horses from eohippus. Progressive fossils show how it lost toes, lengthened wrists and ankles, evolved new teeth for grazing, and increased in size.”
“You must know,” I replied, “that to give this neat picture, evolutionists have to leave out many of the fossils. They pick only the ones that support their theory, and assume that these are connected to each other.”
“They only simplify it to avoid confusion,” the student said.
I replied: “To avoid confusion they conceal the evidence, and in simplifying they oversimplify to the point of falsification.”
Indeed, that is just what Simpson says, that ‘the oversimplification of the horse fossil record amounts to falsification.’ And naturalist I. Sanderson writes:
“This pleasantly neat evolutionary picture of orderly progression in tooth structures, loss of toes, increase in size, and wrist and ankle elongation has now unfortunately come under grave suspicion.
“So many side-branches have been brought to light, so many intermediary forms are completely lacking that we can now only say that the classic description is no more than a guide to the probable steps by which the modern horse evolved.”
However, the fossil record is still evolution’s “star witness.” As Simpson tells us, “The most direct sort of evidence on the truth of evolution must, after all, be provided by the fossil record.”
Silent on Life’s Origin
However, fossil evidence fails completely to tell us that life evolved the way scientists claim. The facts, the proofs, are missing.
The problem is not new for evolutionists. More than a century ago, the problem existed for Charles Darwin, the “father” of modern evolution. He disposed of the problem in the closing sentence of his Origin of Species by attributing life’s origin to God, saying that life was “originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one.”
Decades passed. But the evidence refused to be forthcoming. Later, A. C. Seward admitted that the fossil record “tells us nothing of the origin of life.” And to this very day, the situation is the same. True, at times there are sensational announcements by journalists hungry for a headline that the creation of life in the laboratory is imminent. But even if that happened, it would only show that there had to be a Creator, that life does not come into existence by itself.
The fact is that the fossil record remains totally silent about the supposed evolution of microscopic life. A college textbook acknowledges: “We still know little of protozoan [one-celled] evolution.”
A “Burst” of Complex Life Forms
The fossil record’s first testimony that carries any conviction is in what geologists call the Cambrian layers of rock. Before that time the record of the rocks shows unaltered beds for untold ages. But in those older layers, any supposed fossils are rare. Indeed, their validity is hotly disputed among scientists themselves.
But with the Cambrian rocks, fossils burst forth in sudden profusion, in wide variety, highly specialized and very complex. Silent for so long, for most of the record in fact, their star witness, the fossil record, suddenly becomes a chatterbox! I have to ask myself: “Did it have laryngitis all that time previously, or was it that it had nothing to tell?” I think of the words of Simpson, who refers to this sudden “explosion” of myriads of fossils as “this major mystery of the history of life.”
But let us even grant evolutionists the “spontaneous generation” of life that they cannot establish in the fossil record, nor duplicate in laboratories. Grant them that first speck of life that they cannot trace. Grant them also the fantastic advances from that first microscopic life to the sudden bursting forth of thousands upon thousands of highly specialized forms of life in the Cambrian rocks. With all that granted to them, can they look at the fossil record and at least get some answers on how later forms of life supposedly evolved?
When land plants came into being, the fossil record was not silent but was chattering about them. Yet, the fossil record reveals absolutely no “primitive” types as their ancestors. As one authority suggested, evolution believers must simply believe that those supposed ancestors had existed.
Also, there are no fossils of “primitive” insects. Insects appear suddenly in the fossil record, highly developed, and in great numbers, truly a “burst” of insect life in complicated forms. Yet we are told that they must have been evolving for tens of millions of years before then. But what is the basis for saying that?
There is no basis for that assumption—none. No fossils of all those assumed preliminary stages are to be found. As the 1974 Encyclopædia Britannica confirms: “The fossil record does not give any information on the origin of insects.” And the only reason that such a long time is given in the development of insects is that the evolution theory demands it. So evolutionists obligingly supply it.
Does the star witness, the fossil record, tell us any more about the arrival of the vertebrates? These are the animals having a backbone or spinal column.
No, the fossil record is again strangely silent—strangely, that is, from evolution’s viewpoint. For instance, the fish just appeared. Evolutionists cannot even agree on which ancestor produced it. According to their own reasoning, from the first supposed fish to the first actual fish fossil there is a gap of about one hundred million years. Why a hundred million? Because it was decided that evolution needs that much time to “evolve” something with a backbone.
But in all that time, what ancestor fossils have been found for the vertebrates? Again, the 1974 Encyclopædia Britannica answers: “Fossil remains, however, give no information on the origin of the vertebrates.” They simply appeared, suddenly, in great variety, and in very complex forms.
However, let us overlook the one-hundred-million-year silence. From fish came amphibians, they say. But, once again, the fossil record is not talking on this crucial point Even the tempting lungfish is dismissed as being no link between fish and amphibians.
Next, according to evolution, came the reptiles, which lay eggs. What does the star witness say about their ancestors? In the book The Reptiles, we read: “One of the frustrating features of the fossil record of vertebrate history is that it shows so little about the evolution of reptiles during their earliest days, when the shelled egg was developing.” And speaking of eggs, after reading such admissions as to the total lack of evidence, I have to conclude that it is evolution that has ‘laid an egg’ here.
The fossil record is still silent when, according to evolutionists, millions of years later some reptiles became mammals and others turned into birds. Simpson admits that for both mammals and birds the fossil record is ‘scanty’ for 75,000,000 years, when the big changes were said to be taking place.
Finally, a quick sampling of the fossil record’s testimony on the evolution of mammals, including man: “Fossils, unfortunately, reveal very little about the creatures which we consider the first true mammals.” (The Mammals, p. 37) “Unfortunately, the fossil record which would enable us to trace the emergence of the apes is still hopelessly incomplete. . . . Unfortunately, the early stages of man’s evolutionary progress along his own individual line remain a total mystery.” (The Primates, pp. 15, 177) “Even this relatively recent history [apelike creatures to man] is shot through with uncertainties; authorities are often at odds, both about fundamentals and about details.”—Mankind Evolving, p. 168.
The Record Is Against Evolution
Without question, the claimed evolution of all these major groups of living things is filled with incredible gaps. Time and again the story is the same: the fossil record is silent on ancestors. In a few cases, this might be understandable. But is it not more than a coincidence when this silence happens in the case of every major category of living things?
Even Darwin long ago lamented the gaps in the fossil record. In fact, he said it was good grounds for rejecting his theory. But he defended his position by impeaching his own star witness. He claimed that the fossil record had been altered, was incomplete, and that many living organisms simply did not leave fossils, particularly those without hard parts. Many evolutionists today rely on the same excuses.
Yet, the truth is that there are many beds of unaltered rock. And there are many fossils of ‘soft parts,’ including skin, worms, jellyfish and feathers. Also, why is the fossil record so full in regard to “completed” life forms, and so empty on the “evolving” stages?
I am compelled to conclude that few sets of facts argue so eloquently against evolution as the fossil record.
Mutations are claimed as evidence for evolution. But are they really? The case for them was energetically argued by an acquaintance of mine.
But before reporting our discussion, I want to mention a practice of his that is similar to the ‘only-the-stupid-don’t believe-evolution’ approach. He is a biology major fresh out of college. His speech is heavily saturated with such foreboding words as homozygous, heterozygous, translocations, inversions, haploid, diploid, polyploid, mitosis, meiosis, deoxyribonucleic acid, and the like.
It was obvious that he reaped satisfaction from the use of such ‘fifty-cent’ words, using them as a sort of mental bullying. However, vocabularies of intimidation do not prove a theory. If anything, they make it more suspect.
“Mutations cause changes in the genetic material governing heredity,” he told me, adding: “Natural selection preserves the advantageous ones, and as they accumulate over many generations new species evolve.”
“But,” I said, “mutations are blind, random, accidental changes in the genetic material. Can such undirected changes improve highly complex structures of amazingly intricate design?”
He answered: “It’s true that most mutations are harmful, but rarely one is beneficial.” Then he used an illustration found in some evolutionary writings, saying: “It’s like pelting your car with rocks. Most of the time you’ll do damage, but the millionth rock might hit the carburetor just right and improve the adjustment. That’s how mutations work.”
I wondered if I would like to be hit by a million rocks just to get one questionable improvement in my body. So I told him: “Of course, by the time the millionth stone ‘improved’ the carburetor, the 999,999 preceding ones would have smashed the radiator, cracked the battery, knocked loose the wiring, broken the spark plugs, shattered the windshield, broken the instruments on the dashboard and crumpled the body and gas tank.” The next million stones would likely smash the carburetor too!
“No,” he countered, “that’s where natural selection comes in. It would eliminate the damaging mutations.”
“Evolutionists would like to think so,” I said, “but they know better. Most mutations are recessive and accumulate in a genetic pool. They repeatedly crop up in future generations to maim or kill the organisms. It is this accumulating genetic load that many geneticists think causes degeneration, old age and death. Indeed, they fear it is pushing man toward a biological ‘twilight.’”
“The fact is,” I continued, “several pages are used in some books to list the inheritable diseases and deformities caused by the mutations that natural selection fails to eliminate. Some of them are diabetes, anemias, color blindness, hemophilia, deaf-mutism, albinism, clubfoot, harelip, dwarfism, glaucoma, mental retardation . . .”
“But . . .”
I stopped him. “Before you speak, one more point on your stoning-the-car analogy.”
Nothing New, but Only Variations
I continued: “Even if we allow that a rock might accidentally adjust the carburetor, it would never make a new one. It would never turn a two-barreled carburetor into a four-barreled one, or change it over to fuel injection. Mutations can vary the old, but they can’t create the new. Now, what were you going to say?”
“That there are examples of good mutations. You can actually observe evolution taking place.”
He gave three cases. One was the peppered moth. He said there is a dark variety of this moth that is increasing in industrial cities. The darker form rests on smoke-blackened tree trunks and so is not as visible to birds. Another case was that some mutated flies are resistant to DDT and survive when all other flies are killed. And, finally, he mentioned some bacteria that have mutants that are resistant to antibiotics, and from these few survivors resistant populations spring up.
But the peppered moth in its darker form is increasing not only in cities but also in the rurals, where tree trunks are not blackened by industrial smoke. The dark variety is simply hardier, better able to survive under present conditions. And it is still a moth.
The mutated flies and bacteria survived, true. But they are not as fertile and do not live as long as those without the mutations. The mutants are genetic “cripples,” “freaks,” as it were. While some peculiarity in their systems enabled them to survive, were they improved? Did a new type of life emerge?
A deaf person can survive the noise of a big city airport while his normal-hearing neighbors move out. A man with amputated feet has no fear of athlete’s foot, while normal persons take precautions. But the deaf and the amputee are not improved organisms. Neither are the mutant flies and bacteria.
My friend is not observing evolution when he sees such mutations. He is only observing variation within a family of living things. That is all the woman sees who said she believes evolution because ‘it happens out in her yard.’ That is all the head of the State Advisory Committee of Science Education in California sees when he claims evolution is a fact because ‘you see examples of it every day.’
It is irresponsible to assume that the variation of a moth’s color proves that men evolved from fish. This is simply more evolutionary loose talk. There is constant variation among living things, but the variations do not change what the organisms are.
Will the bush rose ever change into an oak tree simply because there are so many varieties of roses? No, it stays a rose.
Human high jumpers once jumped six feet, but now clear seven. Does this mean they will continue to improve until future generations will high-jump seven miles?
Runners improved until they ran the mile in less than four minutes. Does that prove that in time they will be able to run it in less than four seconds?
No one would contend that such improvement could continue to be made. And certainly, whatever limited improvements were made, the athletes would not have turned into different creatures. Neither does it follow that because flies are resistant to poison they will continue varying until they become eagles. Nor will moths continue varying in color until they eventually become pterodactyls.
There is a limit to things. There is a limit to speed. There is a limit to cold. And if we accept what the fossil record is shouting out, there is a limit to variation. Living things vary, but always stay within their kinds. They do not change into something else.
Another conversation of interest took place after a demonstration I attended at a university. The demonstration involved the radiocarbon clock, and the professor conducting it mentioned the length of time that man had been on the earth and referred to evolution.
When the professor was asked what the basis was for his belief in evolution he said, “Well, they can line up skulls from fish down to man and the resemblance of the neighbors in this lineup is striking. The resemblance can hardly be chance, but indicates that one came from the others.”
“Did they really?” I asked, since to me this seemed like a fallacy, a false, misleading notion.
He looked puzzled, not understanding my question. So I elaborated: “Did the animals in this lineup actually evolve in this sequence? I have seen this series of skulls in different museums offered as proof for evolution, but it is usually indicated that this is not an actual sequence that took place.”
“Oh, yes, that’s right,” the professor said. “This is only an illustration of the resemblance between different groups.”
Resemblance No Proof
I then asked: “Then wouldn’t this illustrate that resemblance, rather than proving evolution, doesn’t necessarily indicate descent at all?”
He smiled. I was his guest, and he was a gracious host.
“To me it seems,” I continued, “that evolutionists are very capricious. They will use resemblance as proof of evolution when it fits their fancy, but will dismiss it when it rubs the wrong way. For example, the octopus has an eye that amazingly resembles the human eye. Yet, no evolutionist claims that they are related.”
“Further,” I added, “fish and insects are unrelated, yet there are types of both that have similar luminous organs. Unrelated lampreys, mosquitoes and leeches have similar anticoagulants to keep their victims’ blood from clotting. Unrelated bats and dolphins have similar sonar systems. Unrelated fish and insects have bifocal eyes for vision both in air and under water.”
I continued: “Unrelated organisms have in common mechanisms and instincts for hibernation, migration, playing dead, poisonous stingers or fangs, and jet propulsion. To accept evolution, we would have to believe that these amazing things, so difficult for blind chance to accomplish even once, were accomplished independently many times by blind and random mutations in the many unrelated organisms that possess them. The odds against these things happening once are astronomical. But evolutionists assert that they happened over and over again, and by chance. Mathematics, without question, turns thumbs down on odds like these!”
“You are steamed up,” the professor said. We both laughed.
“I don’t object to discussing evolution as a theory,” I replied. “What galls me is the evolutionist’s dogmatism, his arrogance and tyranny of authority, his smearing others as ignorant if they don’t swallow his line.”
“Scientists are only human,” he replied. “They have their private interpretations, and often they go farther than the facts justify.”
Not True Science, but Science Fiction
His words reminded me of the admission by Dunn and Dobzhansky in Heredity, Race and Society: “Scientists, like all other men, often succumb to the temptation to prove some particular view or to reinforce some preconceived ideas.”
Sullivan, in The Limitations of Science, said that scientists do not “invariably tell the truth, or try to, even about their science. They have been known to lie, but they did not lie in order to serve science but, usually, [their own] religious or antireligious prejudices.”
Evolutionists also have the knack of quickly dismissing crucial problems with their airy speculations. Without proof, amazing transformations of one complex form of life into another are referred to as fact, in the style of the writer of fairy tales.
With the wave of a wand, the evolutionist makes a scale become a feather, or a hair. A fin becomes a leg, which somehow vanishes in a snake, but then turns into a wing on a bird, a hoof on a horse, a claw on a cat, a hand on a man. Such “explanations” are science fiction at its fictionest.
Nitrogenous wastes, once eliminated as ammonia by fish, are eliminated as urea in amphibians, but then changed to uric acid in reptiles, then back to urea in mammals. Mammals supposedly modified their sweat glands into becoming breasts that produced milk, and bore live young that by another chance coincidence developed, at the very same time, the instinctive wisdom to suck at the breasts!
At times, I felt that such explanations were not given in all seriousness. They must be joking, I thought. But they are serious! They are not joking! They accept science fiction as true science.
It is little wonder that their books are filled with ‘could-have-beens,’ ‘might-have-beens,’ ‘may-have-beens,’ which, after a while and after much repetition, become ‘must-have-beens.’ Possibilities become probabilities, which then become certainties. Assumptions evolve into dogmas. Speculations become conclusions. High-sounding language evolves into “evidence.”
All of this is traitorous to the true scientific method. But by means of this brainwashing, blind faith in evolution evolves. With it evolves the arrogant authoritarianism required to sustain what they cannot prove. Sweeping proclamations are used as a club against unbelievers, perhaps even reassuring the evolution priesthood, those who are its promoters.
But such science fiction is not at all reassuring to many parents with children in school. At home these parents may teach their children creation, while at school the teachers teach evolution. One thing is certain: Someone is lying!
If in school evolution were taught as a theory only, and creation acknowledged as an alternate that has scientific backing, then the contradiction in the child’s mind might be eased. But evolutionists fight tooth and nail the introduction of any idea but their own. Supposedly enlightened scientists and educators, evolutionists, try to crush thoughts that do not support their preconceived ideas. Where once they insisted on the right to teach the theory of evolution, they now try to deny anything else being taught.
Evolutionists also refuse to face up to their dilemma, which is a serious one: the fossil record shows evolution to be an inadequate explanation for the sudden appearance of complex life forms. But special creation fits the record precisely, yet is unacceptable to evolutionists emotionally. They simply cannot stomach the thought that they could be wrong, that there could be a Creator, a Power higher than their own brains, One who brought forth living things in His own way.
So, instead of being fair-minded, evolutionists generally try to impeach the fossil record. They resort to name-calling and insults against those who cannot swallow their tales. And they liken belief in creation to storks bringing babies. Like a religious hierarchy in the “Dark Ages,” they declare ex cathedra (with authority) that evolution is a fact, and excommunicate into the outer darkness of ignorance any who will not embrace their faith.
Evolution is to its promoters a sacred cow. But sacred cows have a way of being brought low by the advance of truth. Like a hammer, truth eventually smashes the altars on which false ideas have been enshrined.—Contributed.
[Blurb on page 18]
Why Do Many Believe It?
[Blurb on page 19]
No Help From the Fossil Record
[Blurb on page 22]
Do Mutations Explain Evolution?
[Blurb on page 24]
[Picture on page 21]
As to the emergence of the apes, evolutionists say that ‘the fossil record is hopelessly incomplete’
[Picture on page 24]
Evolutionists liken mutations to the effect of pelting your car with rocks; the millionth rock might hit the carburetor and improve the adjustment