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Beliefs about the origins & development of species, etc.

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Indicators 8 to 12 that evolution of the
species didn't happen, with rebuttals

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Indicator 8:

If homo-sapiens evolved from extinct proto-humans, then why is it so difficult to find skeletons of these species?

Rebuttal: Fossils are actually quite rare. When animals die, they are usually consumed by their internal bacteria and by external scavenging animals. Essentially all bodies will rot and disappear. Only under very unusual circumstances will a body be preserved long enough to be converted into a fossil.

 

Indicator 9:

Agraptalyte fossils are supposed to be millions of year old index fossils, except that a number of them were found, still alive, in the South Pacific three years ago!

Rebuttal: An index fossil is generally the fossil of a species that is believed to have emerged at a certain time, and which became extinct at a more recent, time that is also known. Thus the rock that it is imbedded in can be roughly dated if the fossil is present. But this assumes that the species actually became extinct at the time estimated. All scientists had to go on was a complete absence of members of the species in the fossil record. In this case, the species apparently did survive in small numbers, and may even have produced a few fossils. However, scientists were not sufficiently lucky to run across one of them. There are many cases on record where species were declared extinct because they hadn't been seen in decades. And then, decades later, a member of the species is found. The Agraptalyte fossil in no way falsifies the theory of evolution. It merely corrects the record of one species in the evolutionary record.

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Indicator 10:

If one species were to evolve into another, one would expect that it would do so in many small, incremental steps. Thus, many transition fossils would have been found by now. But, in fact, very few have been discovered. 

Rebuttal 10: Charles Darwin originally believed that evolution was a gradual phenomenon. In fact, he wrote that if transitional fossils were not found, that his conclusion about a slowly advancing evolution would be false. Stephen Gould has proposed the concept of punctuated equilibrium. This states that species tend to be relatively fixed over long periods of time. When a transition from one species to another happens, it occurs relatively quickly. Thus, transitional fossils would be extremely rare. He believes that speciation generally occurs rapidly in small, isolated populations of a species who have wandered away from the main "herd." Thus, surviving transitional fossils would be expected to be non-existent or almost non-existent.

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Indicator 11:

If humans evolved from apes, then one would expect that there would be no apes left on earth; all would have evolved into humans. 

Rebuttal 11: Scientists have been trying to explain for over a century that humans did not evolve from apes. Rather, humans and apes share an ancient, common ancestor. Unfortunately, there are individuals who have promoted creation science and spread confusion by misrepresenting the theory of evolution.

It is generally believed by life scientists that new species develop out of isolated colonies of an existing species. For examples, an isolated colony of the human-ape common ancestor could have become separated from the main body of the species. Genetic mutations happened which changed the colony in the direction of "humanness". This had survival value under the environmental conditions experienced by the colony. Perhaps the change was a higher intelligence, which came in handy because the colony's environment was more challenging. A new species developed which further evolved into modern man over an interval of millions of years. Meanwhile another isolated colony of human-ape common ancestors also become isolated. Genetic mutations happened which changed the inhabitants in the direction of "apeness." For them, this had survival value. Perhaps the change made them more effective tree climbers, which came in handy because they happened to live in a more densely forested area. They also evolved further into apes.

In short, humans and apes are still around because each has found its own niche where it survives better than its competitors.

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Indicator 12:

If our ancestors who lived, say, 80 million years ago were small mammals, then the human genome must be much larger and more complex than the genome of our ancestors, back in the age of the dinosaurs. But William Dembski's book "Intelligent Design" and Phillip Johnson's book "The Wedge of Truth" both explain that there is no possible mechanism by which the genome can increase in complexity; its total information content is fixed. Thus, natural selection can produce microevolution -- small changes with in a species. But, it cannot produce macroevolution -- major changes from one species to another.

Rebuttal 12: This is a suggestion that cuts to the heart of evolution, so we will discuss it in greater detail. The two authors cited above write that natural selection can only work by one of two processes:

bullet Point mutations: the change of one DNA base for another.

bullet Genetic recombinations: a reorganization of existing genetic material into a different pattern.

The authors say that neither path can leads to an increase in complexity of the genome, which is necessary for small mammals to evolve into humans. They concluded that some form of supernatural entity must have designed a new genome for each species. However, the authors have ignored two other processes. Both are observed in nature. Both lead to an increase in the genome's complexity:

bullet Genetic duplication: Normally, genes replicate -- make exact copies of themselves. But genes can occasionally duplicate themselves so that a daughter cell ends up with "two copies of a gene sequence that appeared only once in the parent cell." 1

bullet Polyploidy: Here, gene replication takes place without the cell dividing.

"These two copies [of a single gene] are then free to diverge, via mutation, resulting in a daughter genome with a greater information content than a parental genome...Gene duplication and its effects on the size of the genome are discussed by Julian Huxley in his 1942 book "Evolution: The modern synthesis"...almost every book that discusses both evolution and genetics discuss [sic] this topic." 1 There are two obvious reasons for the beliefs that the authors have expressed:

  • They are unfamiliar with the basics of their specialty, or,

  • They are aware of these methods of duplication but choose to pretend that they do not exist in order to lead their readers down the garden path.

Neither of these explanations seems reasonable, so there is probably a third reason of which we are not aware.

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Reference used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Jason Rosenhouse, "The design detectives," Skeptic magazine, Vol. 8 # 4, 2001, Page 59 to 64.

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Copyright © 1996 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2010-JUL-24
Author: B.A. Robinson
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