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Darwinism: Natural Selection and Adaptation

Who gives the ibis wisdom or gives the rooster understanding? Job 38:36 NIV

Variation within species is apparent in all life forms and observation confirms that obvious fact. The great question is: How can an evolutionary process create a completely new creature without a design goal or confirming evidence. Creationism differs with Darwinism when it proposes that life's variety has occurred through natural selection [1] and adaptation [2]. Micro-evolution [4], chenge within a species, is the agent that is primarily responsible for variation within a "kind": examples being the dog family with its many sizes and breeds, or Darwin's Finches, which have been erroneously presented as "proof" of evolution. The creation of a new species with greater complexity than its ancestor is termed macro-evolution [5], a process that relies on a subjective interpretation of the evidence and is not based on good science.

Increasing complexity to form new species can be classified as naturally and mathematically impossible. The selection of a lottery ticket, discussed in the section The Origin of Life, remains within a range of probability, albeit against great odds, since the winning number can exist. The idea of biological evolution through natural processes does not have a winning combination since no pre-determined outcome has been established. More succinctly, a fish is not guided by a step-by-step evolutionary plan to eventually become a land-dwelling creature. Naturalism (macro evolution), by definition, can not inject planning and intelligence as it is driven completely without purpose.

Although committed to his theory, Darwin identified four questions which seemingly could not be answered by the available evidence. These four problem areas remain today after a pursuit of more than 150 years.

Long before having arrived at this part of my work, a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to the reader. Some of them are so grave that to this day I can never reflect on them without being staggered; but, to the best of my judgment, the greater number are only apparent, and those that are real are not, I think, fatal to my theory.
On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, Chapter 6: Difficulty on Theory

COMMENT: The "crowd of difficulties" referenced by Darwin, and subsequently dismissed by his own "judgment", still remain today when measured by the most basic principles of science. Unfortunately for the Theory, history has shown that judgment alone is a poor substitute for the scientific method.

NOTE: The following are summarizations of the information extracted from Darwin's publication and are not direct quotes. Read the Difficulty on Theory section cited above for more detail.

1. The Absence of Transitional Fossils

The first problematic area was the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record, although Darwin was certain they would be discovered over time. An uncountable number of fossils have been unearthed and one would have to believe that these should collectively point to the step-by-step changes that form new and distinct species. To date, evolutionists identify Archaeopteryx for what they promote as the link in a dinosaur to bird transition. Australopithecus afarensis, better known as "Lucy", is cited as evidence demonstrating the chimpanzee to human transition.

A lesser known fossil that has been introduced as evidence for the evolutionary saga is Pakicetus inachus, declared to be the "walking whale." Pakicetus supposedly fills the credibility gap that exists when attempting to explain the sticky problem of how mammals, after climbing out of the water to enjoy a terrestrial life, decided to return to the sea. It seems that certain groups of ungulates (cow-like creatures) began foraging for food in the coastal waters. As the story goes, they continued to venture deeper into the depths, eventually evolving over millions of years into whales, porpoises, and other mammals common to our present-day seas.

The above "transitional" examples of evolution are primarily supported by a subjective interpretation of the evidence as well as a gross misuse of the same.

Evolutionary "evidence" is discussed in greater detail in the chapter The Complexity of Life.

2. The Development of Specialized Structures or Functions

Darwin also wondered how specialized structures or functions developed purely by natural means. Examples of unique functions are the signals sent by a bat's echolocation system, or the explosive chemical defense of the bombardier beetle. Michael Behe, PhD has presented an excellent case for the uniqueness of creation based upon irreducible complexity as discussed in his book, Darwin's Black Box. The concept is that certain traits must be available at the outset and throughout the process of evolutionary change in order for the emerging species to survive. A feathered dinosaur in transition to a bird, identified by evolutionists as Falcarius utahensis, would not be able to escape predators without also having light or hollow bones, among many other features, to assist in becoming airborne.

3. The Development of Instincts

Also puzzling to Darwin were the instincts specifically inherent within all species. He may possibly have considered the evolutionary process that granted the ability to the arctic tern to spend two summers each year migrating between the hemispheres with the multiple flights covering up to forty-thousand miles. Numerous examples of instinctive behavior can be readily observed, as when a bird builds a nest or a spider spins a web. The awesome display of creativity in nature gives testimony to an intelligent designer. It may be that Darwin's descent into apostasy caused a blindness to the miracles that were before him.

4. Cross-breeding between Species and Infertility

Darwin noted that reproduction between species generally results in the offspring being sterile, and that the infertile offspring are not capable of extending the population. This would seem to reinforce that fact that species were created "after their kind" with each carrying the genetic information necessary to expand the variety, but not to create a new species.

Lions have cross-bred with tigers to give birth to ligers, which have greater difficulty reproducing. Horses and donkeys have also cross-bred to produce mules that are sterile due to a differing number of chromosomes in the parents.

As will be noted, evolutionists attribute changes that supposedly form new species primarily to genetic mutations while also relying on time, chance, adaptation, and natural selection. After more than 150 years since Darwin's publication, these all remain as conjecture and are not valid evidence that can account for the variety of life that is observed.
(see next chapter for Neo-Darwinism)

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