Tuesday, February 1, 2011


   Darwinian evolution rests on the principle that life has unfolded by way of a slow gradual process.  The driving force for Darwinian evolution is natural selection and beneficial mutations.  Charles Darwin once said, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. [1]  Contemporary biochemist, Michael Behe has used this quote of Darwin to promote "irreducible complexity."  Behe's basic argument is that in order for evolution to take place on a macroevolutionary scale all the beneficial , component parts must exist in order for the advanced organism to evolve functionally alive.  However, there is something else implied in Darwin's bold quote, and that is life evolves very slowly.  Is it the case that evolution is always to be viewed as a slow unfolding process?

Unbeknown to Darwin is the biological and fossil evidence today that shows with certainty that evolution is not always to be viewed in a slow gradual process.  In fact, recent evidence has caused some scientists to revise their definition of evolution.  One of the more prominent Paleontologist to revise the slow evolutionary steps of evolution is the late Stephen Jay Gould.  Gould's revised theory was called "punctuated equilibrium."  Punctuated equilibrium basically says that evolutionary jumps can be made suddenly, geologically speaking.  In other words, Life can evolve suddenly by beneficial mutation.  For this reason we see no gradual unfolding evolution.  Gould's view was promoted because we know that life has appeared suddenly in the past, contrary to Darwin's original view.  What examples can be given to show the sudden existence of life?

According to science, modern humans appeared some 200,000 years ago.  Again, according to Darwinian evolution, humans should have branched off of some other form of hominid species some 200,000 years ago.  If this is the case, then modern science should be able to find biochemical evidence to link modern man with his ancestors of the past.  Many scientist have claimed that the genetic similarities between man and chimpanzees is 98% similar.  The conclusion is that genetically speaking, humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, but is this the case? 

Anthropologist, Jonathan Marks has noted that daffodils (the flower) and humans share 35% genetic similarity. [2]  Does this mean we are 35% flowers?  Absolutely not!  Just as the similarities between the chimp and man are similar does not absolutely mean they are related in a Darwinian way.  The differences between chimps/hominids and humans are more profound than many realize.  According to Chemist, Fazale Rana and Astrophysicist, Hugh Ross, "What does it mean to be 98% chimpanzee?  In terms of evolution, essentially nothing." [3]  The point is, man appears suddenly and can't be linked with past hominids or great apes.  It is also interesting to note that artistic expression and the like exploded on the scene of modern humans some 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.

Probably the biggest challenge to the slow process of Darwinian evolution comes by way of the Cambrian explosion.  The Cambrian explosion is a term given to the explosion of life at the beginning of the the Cambrian period.  The Cambrian period goes back some 530 million years ago according to science.  The life forms that appeared suddenly had no previous species from which they evolved from.  This sudden explosion was a challenge to Darwin and continues to challenge Darwin's theory of evolution.

In conclusion, Darwinian evolution is not the same as the hard sciences (Chemistry, Physics) because the theory cannot be tested in the same way.  For this reason there remains serious challenges to Darwin's view that need to be answered if it is to be accepted as settled fact.  From the recent fossil evidence and biochemical evidence it appears that one document (the Bible) has show itself to match with the evidence.  The evidence points to the fact that life has appeared suddenly and has not unfolded by way of a slow gradual process.

[1]  Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species
[2]  Marks, Jonathan as found in Who was Adam?, p. 220
[3]  Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross, Who was Adam, p. 222

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