Evolutionary Theory: A Brief Overview

From the Big Bang to Darwin

The magnitude of the Universe is beyond comprehension, and the order throughout this vastness confounds even those who study and teach astronomy and the related disciplines. The Milky Way Galaxy, estimated to be 100,000 light years in diameter, includes our Sun occupying a relatively minuscule area within a collection of billions of stars. Beyond the borders of the Milky Way lie billions more galaxies with each containing their own collection of billions of stars. The only reasonable measurement for these great distances is the light year. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second or just under six trillion miles in one year. To give a better perspective, light can travel around Earth 7.5 times in a single second.

Evolutionary teaching employs time, chance, and nature as forces responsible for the creation of the Universe and all life forms. Beginning with the Big Bang some 13+ billion years ago, the aftermath of the initial explosion is said to have organized this once chaotic matter into billions of stars which were collected over time into galaxies. Following the formation of the Sun, the self-organizing process marched steadily onward to create the planets, moons, and comets; carefully placing them in orbit as members of our Solar System.

Evolutionary theory further states that the Earth came into being ~4.6 billion years ago by a process referred to as the Nebular Hypothesis. The hypothesis states, in summary, that the Earth coalesced into its final form from the gaseous disk-like spinoff from the Sun. A cooling period followed with the Earth entering an early phase of its development with a chemical covering called the primordial soup, the supposed birth place of the first organism. Evolutionary thought has it that the "soup" provided the chemical composition to form the original cell, from which the complexity of all living creatures evolved. All of this being accomplished without the benefit of design or purpose.

Accepted as "fact" (or as the most acceptable hypothesis) by evolutionists, the "soup" suffers from a lack of evidence. The idea remains as a foundational component to the Theory of Evolution, however, since the only alternative offered for the origin of life is that presented in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis.

Clara Moskowitz, Senior Writer for, published How Life's Primordial Soup Came to Life, Feb. 21, 2012. The article references a parable called The Watchmaker Problem from a talk by Dr. Root-Bernstein, PhD, Professor of Physiology, Michigan State University.

There's a famous parable called the "watchmaker problem," first described by Nobel Prize-winning economist Herbert Simon.

Imagine two watchmakers trying to assemble a watch of 1,000 pieces. The first watchmaker assembles his watch one piece at a time - he must assemble it in one sitting or it falls apart and he has to start over. The second watchmaker builds hers by first putting together small stable modules of a few pieces, and then building these up into ever-larger subconfigurations until she has a whole watch. If she is interrupted, the smaller modules don't break down and she can resume from roughly where she started.
The second is a much more efficient way of putting together a watch, because it offers protection against having to start over from the beginning if the process is interrupted.
Building up the first organism on earth may have worked the same way, Root-Bernstein said.

If you have to evolve a receptor composed of a precise ordering of 400 amino acids, it wouldn't be possible to do it all at once," he said. You have to use stable molecules.

How Life's Primordial Soup came to Life,, Clara Moskowitz, Feb. 21, 2012

Comment: With all due respect to Drs. Root-Bernstein and Simon, if the origin of life occurred by a natural cause, it must be just that: natural. The example requires a watchmaker (intelligence) and planning would have been necessary to build the small stable parts (or the molecules) step-by-step. When time, chance, and raw materials are the only ingredients permitted by evolution, the hypothesis cannot invoke intelligence and planning. The use of a parable rather than verifiable science to explain the creation of life might indicate that the foundational evidence for the Theory of Evolution is still missing.

Additional discussion on life's beginning is available in "The Origin of Life" chapter in these pages.

Evolutionary theory is based solely on naturalism and the availability of billions of years along with time and chance to effect gradual change. It is interesting to note that origin theories, including Young Earth Creationism (YEC), all begin with an effect that does not have a natural cause. The YEC view is totally dependent on God for a creation from nothing; the evolutionary perspective begins with a "Big Bang" (from nothing).

Darwin's Contribution
The Theory of Evolution suggests that life originated in a prebiotic world as a single-celled organism which increased in complexity over billions of years to form all species that have ever existed. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) first published his work "On the Origin of Species or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" in 1859. Although the concept of evolution through naturalism goes back thousands of years, Darwin was the first to present the theory with what was considered to be "credible scientific reasoning." The word origin was prominent in the title of his book but Darwin did not make reference as to how life first came into existence. He did suggest in later letters that life may have begun in a "warm little pond" (excerpt below)

Darwin's letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 Feb 1871. Hooker was a British botanist and explorer as well as a close friend of Darwin.
It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. - But if (& oh what a big if) we could conceive in some warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia & phosphoric salts, - light, heat, electricity &c present, that a protein compound was chemically formed, ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter wd be instantly devoured, or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. Darwin on the "Origin of Life"
Darwin Correspondence Project editors, University of Cambridge, 2013

Comment: Darwin's hope was that the dilemma of life's origin would one day be resolved. That hope still persists with modern day evolutionists presenting varying hypotheses for the origin of life. The same intellectual errors remain today as when Darwin spoke of an ancient environment as if it were fact, suggesting that conditions were right for life at that time. Speaking with authority on a subject does not create fact.

Evolutionary theory, as taught within our educational system, is most frequently focused on biology and specifically on man having descended from lower life forms. The increased complexity which is said to have taken place over several billion years is often depicted in the evolutionary "Phylogenetic Tree of Life" (discussed in more detail in "The Complexity of Life" chapter). The "Tree" has a single original cell as its root with branches emanating from the trunk for the animal and plant kingdoms. In brief, evolutionism believes that all life forms are the offspring of the cell that was supposedly created in a primordial soup of an "evolutionary" ancient earth.

(Evolutionary) Phylogenic Tree of Life click image to enlarge
courtesy of Oracle ThinkQuest

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