December 23, 2019 | Jerry Bergman

Redefining Evolution to Make it More Palatable

 

Evolutionists Believe the Ends Define the Means

by Jerry Bergman, PhD

One way to convince the general population to accept evolution is to define it in such a way that everyone can accept it. A headline in New Scientist challenges readers: “Think you understand how evolution works? You’re probably wrong.[1] The article then claims a “common misconception is that evolution naturally selects for biological complexity, eventually creating advanced organisms like us. That couldn’t be further from the truth.” The truth is, according to Lawton, evolution does nothing more than shift genes around. Quoting the world’s leading evolutionist, he claims that evolution is simply a change in

“gene frequencies in populations,” says evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. That is it. If, for some reason, a given gene in a patch of weeds, say, gets slightly more or less common from one generation to the next, evolution has happened.[2]

If that’s all evolution is, nobody could deny that. Genes shift in populations. That’s why every human face looks a little different. But does that mean evolution is true, and therefore people must believe we evolved from bacteria?

Another common way of making evolution palatable, also used by Dawkins, is to conflate it with artificial selection: i.e., breeding. The most common example is pointing out the 400 breeds of dogs derived from the wolf kind. These range from large Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, which are almost the size of small horses, to the tiny Chihuahuas and Yorkies. Horse breeding provides another example of ‘evolution’ according to Darwinists wanting to make it appear obvious. Breeders have produced cart-horses and medieval charges, bred for warfare, which are much larger than wild horses. Other horse breeds include Shetland ponies and Falabellas, which are much smaller than wild horses. Another example of artificial selection is the wild cabbage, from which breeders have produced kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.[3]

New Genes or Broken Genes?

To get from bacteria to humans by natural selection, as taught by orthodox evolutionists, an enormous number of new genes would have to emerge. Many new traits that we can account for, though, are produced by damaging or breaking genes, not originating new genes as required by evolutionary theory. Dr. Michael Behe at Lehigh University learned from his detailed analyses of the peer-reviewed scientific literature on dog mutations that popular dog breeds have degraded from their common ancestor, the wolf. If you want a Chihuahua, you break one of the genes involved in growth. To get a dog with curly hair, you break a gene involved in hair growth development. To get a dog with a short muzzle like a Pekingese, you must break one or more of the genes involved in facial shape development.[4]

These examples do not help Dawkins’ case; they hurt it. Behe, simply by reading the peer-reviewed literature, even learned that one of the favorite examples of evolution—the change from the brown bear to the white polar bear—was also an example of breaking genes: 17 genes in this case. The genes broken include one involved in making pigment, another involved in metabolism, and yet another that allows it to store higher levels of fat. These observations do not help the Darwinian theory of evolution by mutations and natural selection. Breaking genes is not a path to new and better genes.

The above examples of variations due to breeding do not help evolutionary theory, but they are typical of the ‘proofs’ of evolution commonly found in biology textbooks and in general books on evolution. Dawkins and others fail to explain the cause of the examples of breeding they cite. They simply take advantage of the designed, built-in potential for genetic variety that is available in many, or most, life-forms including humans. One way of releasing this genetic variety is to break a few genes.

Evolutionists need to show more than broken dogs, broken horses, and broken bears. They need to turn one kind of creature into another: horses into dogs, or dogs into bears. These transformations never are observed, even when millions of Darwin years are available. All breeders know that clear limits exist. No matter how hard they try, they cannot breach these limits. Consider that in breeding race horses for over a century, we are now very close to the absolute speed limit possible for a horse. Each gain now is, at best, only a fraction of a second off the finishing time of the previous record.

 

The Actual Definition of Evolution is Not a Secret

In his recent bestselling new book, Outgrowing God, Dawkins admits that the accurate (but less palatable) definition of evolution, is: “after billions of years, so much evolution has occurred that an ancestor like a bacterium has given rise to a descendant like you and me.”[5] He asserts that humans can get a slightly different dog in a hundred years, but a billion years might evolve a bacterium into a human. Genetics has disproven this molecules-to-man definition. Without use of deliberate genetic modification tools such as the revolutionary gene-editing technology called CRISPR (short for “clustered regular interspaced short palindromic repeats”) in the guiding hands of a genetic engineer, random genetic mutations take things down, not up. Molecules-to-man evolution remains a pipe dream. Lawton admits

Few scientific concepts are as misunderstood as evolution. That isn’t just because of cultural resistance from religious fundamentalists. It has acquired all sorts of pseudoscientific baggage too, like the belief that it is about climbing a ladder of ever-increasing biological sophistication.[6]

As we have seen, evolutionists teach one definition of evolution, but practice another. They say that evolution drives life to climb a ladder of ever-increasing biological sophistication, as Dawkins openly admitted in the quote above. But since many in the public find that implausible, they try to rephrase the theory in more acceptable, but misleading, terms.

The gene doesn’t have to confer a survival advantage, or be “adaptive” or make the weed “fitter”. It doesn’t have to be “selected for” or increase biological complexity. It simply has to change in frequency, maybe by chance. That is all.

Beware the cheerful wrapping. It’s what is inside that counts.

This definition is not only obvious, accepted by everyone including creationists, but trivial. Genes change in frequency in each generation in not only dogs but in people and most every other life-form, but normal gene changes in frequency will not produce molecules-to-man evolution. Dawkins admits this:

Evolution has no goal and no direction, it simply acts on what is in front of it. As the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould pointed out in his book Life’s Grandeur, adaptation most often leads to a loss of complexity as organisms take the path of least resistance and become parasites.[7]

Here Dawkins admits why evolution from bacteria to mankind does not work because mutation “most often leads to a loss of complexity.” Evolution has ‘No goal, no direction” – therefore it “doesn’t imply progress towards some higher state of biological perfection.”[8]

How does progressive evolution work then? As Lawton states, evolution is magic! He writes,

occasionally, evolution increases biological complexity or leads to a biological novelty. The profound, almost unbelievable magic happens when this process goes on for long enough with sufficient genetic variation to act on. Then you end up with a biosphere teeming with life forms of every conceivable kind occupying almost every conceivable niche (and lots of parasites).[9]

The minor, trivial stochastic genetic changes we observe only fluctuate back and forth without going anywhere. They will never lead to “a biosphere teeming with life forms of every conceivable kind.” That kind of feat requires magic, as Lawton admits.

The Truth Comes Out

Ignoring the experimental scientific evidence as Dawkins has, Lawton concluded from his review of the evolution literature that

There is no other explanation for our existence, and that of our fellow travelers, that makes sense. But forget any hubristic notion that we are the pinnacle of evolution – there is no such thing.[10]

Humans are still evolving, all right.

Lawton adds that the goal of evolution is to get to what evolutionists believe a priori, namely, that we are not the pinnacle of God’s Creation but just another animal.[11] Dawkins admits the central role of evolution is to dispose of God. He writes dogmatically that

Before Darwin came along, it seemed absurd to almost everyone that the beauty and complexity of the living world could have come into being without a designer. It required courage to contemplate even the possibility. Darwin had that courage, and we know he was right.[12]

The result was “It used to be common sense that living things had to be created by God. Darwin exploded that particulate piece of common sense.”[13] Dawkins explained why it took so long to reject the argument from design, writing that

the complexity, beauty, and ‘purposefulness’ of living things must have  seemed too obviously designed by an intelligent creator. So it requires a major leap of courage to consider anything else… I mean intellectual courage to contemplate the apparently ridiculous.[14]

Summary and Conclusions

Dawkins and Lawton make their end goal very clear: to get rid of God. The historic evidence for God was always clear from creation. Ever since Darwin offered a replacement mechanism, a “designer substitute” or blind watchmaker, they think they have no need for God and he can be ignored. The empirical science, however, such as that reviewed by Behe above, shows devolution, not evolution. Evolutionists are either oblivious to this fact or choose to ignore it.

References

[1] Lawton, Graham. 2019. “Think you understand how evolution works? You’re probably wrong.” New Scientist, 244(3260): 36. December 14-29. Online copy is here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24432600-800-think-you-understand-how-evolution-works-youre-probably-wrong/#ixzz68fdMHOaw
[2] Lawton, 2019.
[3] Dawkins, Richard. 2019. Outgrowing God. New York, NY: Random House, p. 178.
[4] Olasky, Marvin. 2019. “Darwin’s Big Breakdown.” World, December 7, pp. 40-42.
[5] Dawkins, 2019, p. 224.
[6] Lawton, 2019; emphasis his.
[7] Lawton, 2019.
[8] Lawton, 2019.
[9] Lawton, 2019.
[10] Lawton, 2019.
[11] Lawton, 2019.
[12] Dawkins, 2019, p. 250.
[13] Dawkins, 2019, pp. 250-251.
[14] Dawkins, 2019, p. 267; emphasis in original.


Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology for over 40 years at several colleges and universities including Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.

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