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Man vs Monkey

God in Creation Part 5 – MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

God in Creation Part 5 – MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

NOT MERELY A NAKED APE!Man vs Monkey

DESPITE SIMILARITIES IN shape and basic bodily functions, humans are vastly different from apes. Man is not, as one biologist once described him, merely a naked ape (D Morris, The Naked Ape). The gulf between the capabilities of the most intelligent apes and mankind is immense. A process of natural selection, by which claimed accidental changes in his DNA conferred a survival benefit, cannot explain these differences.

We could legitimately ask what benefit was it to the ape to become naked by losing its fur? It would immediately seem to be a disadvantage! If this naked ape were to spread beyond its original habitat (as man is alleged to have done) it would need to obtain and wear clothing, thus spending valuable time which could be used for things much more helpful to his survival! From an evolutionary point of view, it would be a retrograde step.

A SPECIAL CREATION

The key to the differences between man and animals is that God created man for a special purpose. Although man shares most of the physical attributes of the animals, in his mental ability he is infinitely superior.

This is strikingly illustrated in the Biblical record of the creation. In the first chapter of Genesis we read about the animals being created: ‘God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds’ [Genesis 1.25 NIV]. The creation of mankind is described separately, not because they are different physically but because humans have a special relationship with God that marks them as separate from the rest of creation.

‘IN THE IMAGE OF GOD’

This difference is highlighted in the record of man’s creation: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them’ [Genesis 1.27].

So mankind was created in God’s image – to reflect God’s characteristics in some way which the animals cannot do. The reason for the vast gulf between man and even the most intelligent ape is not some accidental series of evolutionary mutations – but something intended by the Creator.

This difference is demonstrated in many ways. For example, consider man as a thinking being. There is little or no evidence that the majority of animals have any consciousness of themselves as individuals. They cannot reason, certainly cannot reflect and meditate and can have no concept of abstract ideas. They are governed almost solely by instinct, which programmes them to act or react in a certain way. However, man created in the image of God can reason and arrange his thoughts. He can appreciate concepts such as beauty, design and harmony. He can understand right and wrong and has a conscience. It is impossible to explain the presence of these features in terms of evolutionary success. Having a conscience or understanding beauty does not mean a more successful breeding rate, which is what natural selection is all about.

Man also has specific physical abilities that cannot be explained by natural selection. Consider our hands. It has been argued that the development of the human hand helped humans to become successful farmers and hunters. Why then the extreme dexterity of which the human hand is possible? Everybody who wears gardening gloves knows that micro-fine control of the fingers is not essential for successful husbandry.

Yet the human hand is capable of dextrous movements far in excess of what is needed for survival. A concert pianist can play up to thirty different notes every second, and keep this up for half an hour or more. What survival advantage does such an ability give to the human race? Surely, it is much more rational to think that a great Creator has endowed man with such abilities so that he can give Him glory and praise.

Whilst we are thinking about musical ability, what of the human voice? What possible evolutionary advantage is the human singing voice? Is it reasonable to suggest that a good soprano voice accidentally developed and this gave its owner an improved breeding rate over those without this trait? Also, how did the ability to speak and communicate confer an advantage? Millions of animals prosper without this facility. The fact is that man is less well equipped to survive and reproduce than are many animals.

THE HUMAN BRAIN

Could man’s brain have come just by chance? It is now recognised that the human brain is probably by far the most complex natural thing in the entire universe. The gap between animal and human brains is immense. Science still does not understand how the brain functions. It tells us that there are millions upon millions of nerve cells, which are all interconnected in a special way. It has been calculated that if one were to count all the interconnections in the brain’s cerebral cortex at the rate of one per second, then the task wouldn’t be finished in thirty million years. Yet the production of all these countless numbers of nerve cells is all controlled by the information on that human thread of life – a mechanism that evolutionists say occurred by chance!

What an amazing thing is memory! Going back to our imaginary pianist, think of the brainpower involved in remembering a concerto so as to play it from memory – as most professional pianists are able to do. They remember, in the right order, maybe ten thousand notes – and for each note they must recall its duration and loudness. It is said that the composer Saint Saens memorised all of Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas by the age of ten – all stored up in the cells of his brain.

The Human Brain

Clearly such brainpower confers no evolutionary advantage; it has no influence on the individual’s chances of physical survival; it is not natural selection at work. Once we accept that God created man for a specific reason, then we can begin to understand why man is so unique. The Bible tells us repeatedly that humans are something special because they are made in the image of God.

THE REASON FOR CREATION

The Bible also explains the reason for man’s creation. All his distinctive abilities have been put there for a purpose – to give honour to his Creator by living in a way that truly reflects the Divine image in which he has been created. In the Bible God speaks of His sons and daughters ‘whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’ [Isaiah 43.7 NIV]

Here is the real purpose in man’s creation! Unlike the evolutionary view that man is here solely by chance and has no future prospects, the Bible reveals that the whole creation has been made by God to provide Him with eternal companions. From the billions of men and women, God is calling those who one day He will make immortal, to become united with Him forever. This will be achieved through the work of His Son, Jesus.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

‘…in the dispensation of the fullness of times…(God will) gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth’ [Ephesians 1.10].

To achieve this ultimate unity, in which God will at last be manifested in a race of beings that truly reflect His attributes, the Creator commenced the creation process described in Genesis. He created man in His image, incorporating some of His characteristics, with the view to inviting man to come closer to Him and to at last be made perfectly in the image of God. To achieve this plan a loving Creator sent His own Son:

‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ [John 3.16].

Reader, what will you choose – the sterile, unscientific and hopeless theories of man – or the solemn promise of an all-wise, powerful and ever-loving Creator, who invites us to come to Him?

‘…since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse’ [Romans 1.20 NIV]

If you would like to find out more about the Bible’s message for you, then please go to our website and explore the True Bible Teaching concerning the Purpose of Almighty God with this earth and your opportunity to be a part of it.

The Grand Canyon

God in Creation Part 4 – THE EVIDENCE OF GEOLOGY

God in Creation Part 4 – THE EVIDENCE OF GEOLOGY

HOW OLD IS IT?

The Grand Canyon

THE THEORY OF evolution is inextricably linked with the geological record, for in the various layers of rock are found fossils that allegedly show a development from simpler forms of life. These sedimentary rocks consist of water-laid deposits which, according to the uniformitarian theory (i.e. that these deposits were formed by processes similar to those that are going on today) were slowly laid down over millions of years.

Many readers will have heard of some of the names and dates given to these various rock strata that girdle the earth. For example, geologists give the term Carboniferous to a sixty-five million-year period; commencing two hundred and eighty million years ago, during which the forests flourished that supposedly gave rise to present-day coal deposits. The Cambrian age (said to be 570 million years ago) describes rocks that contain the earliest traces of animals.

THE GEOLOGIC COLUMN

A schematic representation of the 'geological column',

By collating rocks from various parts of the world, an imaginary geologic column has been built up, with the oldest rocks at the bottom and the youngest at the top.

Evolutionists claim that when this column is examined from bottom to top, the fossils in it show a gradual development from simpler to more complex forms of life.

This all sounds very convincing – but how do they know the age of the various rocks, so as to be able to place them in an order of increasing age?

The simple answer is that in general, they have been dated by the fossils they contain. If the fossils are ‘primitive’, then the rock is old and if more complex, the rock is younger and so on. Therefore based on the fossils they contain, the rocks are dated and put into an ascending order of age.

Then evolutionists say – ‘Look, the simplest fossils are at the bottom and the more complex ones at the top – that’s proof of evolution.’ In other words, they date the rocks on the assumption that evolution is a fact and having done that say that the rock sequence proves evolution to be correct.

CIRCULAR REASONING

This is not misrepresenting the situation. One writer says: ‘If a geologist wished to date a rock stratum he asked an evolutionist’s opinion on the fossils it contained. If an evolutionist were having difficulty dating a fossil species, he would turn to the geologist for help. Fossils were used to date rocks: rocks were used to date fossils.’ 25

This example of circular reasoning is probably not detected by the general public but it has long contained a valid objection, with implications for Darwinian evolution. For example, one critic says: ‘Here is obviously a powerful system of circular reasoning. Fossils are used as the only key for placing rocks in chronological order. The criterion for assigning fossils to specific places in that chronology is the assumed evolutionary progression of life; the assumed evolutionary progression is based on the fossil record so constructed. The main evidence for evolution is the assumption of evolution! Consequently there is certainly no real proof that the vast evolutionary time scale is valid at all…Here is one of the most classic and subtle examples of circular reasoning in all the complex history of metaphysical opposition to Biblical creationism.’ 26

An American physician also writes: ‘Any honest geologist will admit that … the age of geologic strata or the dating of fossils, are frequently the result of ‘circular thinking’ and, as such, have an inherent potential for significant error.’ 27

References

25 R. Milton: The Facts of life, 4th edition page 43 (Corgi Books 1992).

26 Scientific Creationism pages 136,229 (Creation-Life Publishers, 1977).

27 W.F. Duerfeldt: Ohio University, Hospital Practice, 1981

DATING ROCKS – SOME PROBLEMS

Ancient Rock

What about the more recent methods of dating rocks, using radio-isotopes? Do they confirm the previously estimated ages? The answer is that very few rocks can be dated by this method and in those that are suitable, the results are open to considerable criticism. As one writer says: ‘Radioactive dating techniques are far less reliable than were previously thought.’ 28 Just one example – the Hawaiian volcano was known to be only 190 years old, but when dated by the Potassium -Argon method gave a result of up to three billion years old! 29

Doubt is thrown on these dating methods especially on the numerous occasions when ‘old’ rock contains ‘young’ material. The picture shows a block of pure sandstone. It is part of a bed in Australia hundreds of feet thick and extending over hundreds of square miles. Geologists date the formation of the whole of this bed of sandstone at between 230 and 255 million years ago. But embedded in this stone – and clearly it had always been there – is a block of wood. When this wood was dated by a radiocarbon method, it gave an estimated age of not millions of years, but merely thousands of years. Dating methods are clearly suspect!

Another assumption is that rocks take immense ages to form. In the case of sedimentary rocks (the ones with fossils) they were obviously once muddy or sandy deposits, in which were trapped living things. Did it take long ages for them to turn to rock? Not necessarily. There have been several recent examples of rapid rock formation. A perfectly normal rock was dredged up from the site of a one hundred and fifty-year-old wreck and firmly embedded in it – in a similar way that animal fossils are – was a glass wine bottle (see picture). Clearly this rock was not millions of years old.30

References

28 R. Milton: page 44.

29 Funkhouser and Naughton: 1968. (Quoted by Milton pages 65,66).

30 From the wreck of HMS Birkenhead, displayed in the South African Maritime Museum.

FOSSIL FORMATION

It is an indisputable fact that fossils are not being formed today; for when an animal dies, its carcass is soon destroyed by predation or decomposition. Present seabeds are not littered with dead fish that are slowly being buried by mud, which in turn is changing into rock. Yet there are fossil deposits where hundreds or thousands of remains are entombed together in a small area. Also, almost all fossils are of animals apparently in the prime of life. There are examples of fish with recent food in their stomachs, or even frozen in the act of catching another. Healthy horseshoe crabs are trapped as they leave the water in pursuance of their normal lifestyle. In some cases even the finest surface detail of animals and leaves are preserved, indicating that they had not undergone any decomposition prior to burial.31

Fossilized Fish

What these findings suggest is that rather than fossilisation being a gradual process in which creatures over millions of years get covered by sediment, it was a sudden, catastrophic event. This event must have involved huge movements of water, which produced the sediments in which the fossils were entombed. This movement could also have resulted in a certain amount of sorting of the creatures on the basis of size or habitat.

Reference

31 Notably in the Burgess shale deposits in the Canadian Rockies.

MORE EVIDENCE FOR CATASTROPHE

Fossilized Tree Trunk

On current geological theories, the sediments that later turned to rock were laid down very slowly over a long period. Average amounts of 0.2 millimetres per year are suggested by some geologists – the thickness of a human hair. This could not be the process by which fossils were formed. As one writer has pointed out, 0.2 millimetres deposit per year would not bury a tadpole, let alone a dinosaur! 32

In some deep coal measures in Germany were found the perfectly preserved fossil remains of thirty-nine iguanadon dinosaurs. These creatures stood several metres high, and it is inconceivable that they just remained on the spot where they died. The coal-forming measures gradually built up around them over millions of years.

Virtually whole tree trunks, some complete with roots, have also been found upright in stone quarries in Scotland and Germany. These extend up through strata that allegedly took millions of years to lay down. Is it reasonable to suggest that the tree trunk was preserved in an upright position without decay for all that time? Such a fossil tree trunk is on display in the garden of the Natural History Museum in London. Another was found in Lancashire, England and was no less than thirty-eight feet tall.33 All this indicates that the trees were suddenly buried.

Reference

33 F.M. Broadhurst: 1965.

NO MISSING LINKS

According to the evolutionary theory, the transition from one form of creature to another was a very gradual process, a particular characteristic developing over a very long period of time. To take a simple example, the giraffe’s long neck would have grown slightly longer over very many generations, until after millions of years it reached the length it is today. Thus for every single fossil of a long-necked giraffe there should be hundreds with a neck of some intermediate length. And the same should apply to all other animals: the missing links should be more numerous than those creatures at the beginning and end of the long chain. In the case of a transition from one type of creature to an entirely different one – for example, a reptile to a bird – then these missing links should be even more in evidence. Nevertheless, these intermediates are just not there.

From the outset, the absence of these intermediate forms has been recognised as one of the major objections to the theory of evolution. In his ‘Origin of Species’ Darwin wrote: ‘As by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?’ He agrees that this absence of intermediate fossils is ‘probably the gravest and most obvious of all the many objections which may be urged against my views’; and that ‘he who rejects this view of the imperfection of the geological record, will rightly reject the whole theory.’ However, he was confident that, with increased geological exploration, those intermediate forms would turn up. But since then, although the fossils of over 250,000 different species of plants and animals have been found, no such definitely transitional forms have been unearthed. Darwin’s ‘grave objection’, with its implicit rejection of his whole theory, still applies today. As one geologist says: ‘We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much. We have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.’ 34

Reference

34 D.M.Raup: ‘Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology’,Bulletin, Museum of Natural History (January 1979): 22,25.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

This is particularly true of the supposed development of flight. According to evolution, flight has developed in at least four independent situations: in birds, insects, flying mammals and flying reptiles (now extinct). Each separate development would have involved numerous transitional forms, subtly changing over millions of years, but no such fossils have been found.

Archaeopteryx

Instead there are just a few fossils which are alleged to represent a transitional form. Probably the most notable is Archaeopteryx, a fossil bird claimed as a link between reptiles and birds. The pictures show the fossil and an artist’s reconstruction. It is bird-like in that it has wings and feathers; but hooks on its wings, teeth in its beak, bones in its tail and the absence of a prominent breastbone are taken as reptilian features.

Archaeopteryx, the fossil bird found in rock supposedly 150 million years old. Palaeontologists now agree that Archaeopteryx is not the ancestor of modern birds.

Nevertheless, there are true birds living today with some of these features. The young hoatzin bird of South America has claws on its wings, as do the turaco and ostrich in Africa. Modern birds do not possess teeth but some fossils that were undoubtedly true birds, do. But the greatest evidence against Archaeopteryx is that not long ago, in the very same rock strata in which it was found, a fossil of a true bird was unearthed.35 Thus, Archaeopteryx could not be the progenitor of true birds for they were already in existence. Archaeopteryx, although admittedly rather odd, was a bird, not a missing link with reptiles.

Doubts are now cast upon Archaeopteryx as a ‘missing link’ between reptiles and birds. In 1985 University of Kansas’s palaeontologist Larry Martin admitted that Archaeopteryx is not ancestral to any group of modern birds. As one modern biologist has said: ‘The almost perfect link between reptiles and birds has been quietly shelved, and the search for missing links continue as though Archaeopteryx has never been found’ 36

Diagram of Avian Lung

What is fatal evidence against the reptile-to-bird theory is the profound difference in the lungs of the two creatures. In reptiles, as in humans, air is drawn into the lung and is then breathed out the same way as it came in. Birds do not have this in-and-out method. Their lungs are open-ended, the air coming into the lungs by one tube, which divides into smaller ones. These then unite again to form a tube by which the air leaves. Thus there is a continual one-way flow of air through avian lungs. This also necessitates the presence of many other related structures for this method to function.

If birds have come from reptiles how could such radical changes have occurred (by chance mutations, remember!) over millions of years. How would the creature survive whilst the airway direction was being so radically altered? Would chance at the same time produce the other essential altered respiratory structures essential for the bird’s survival? These are the sort of questions for which evolution has no reasonable answer.

Reference

36 J Wells: Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? 2000, pages 116,135.

HORSE EVOLUTION

Another fossil series taken as a proof of evolution and widely illustrated in books about evolution, is the development of the horse. A small, three-toed creature, supposedly living about sixty million years ago, gradually enlarged one of its toes until it became a hoof. Many books depict a fossil sequence showing the various changes leading up to the modern horse. But, as with the peppered moth story discussed in the previous section (see page 30), this fossil sequence has been shown, even by evolutionists themselves, to be seriously flawed. Just placing a series of fossils in a certain sequence does not prove that evolution occurred, especially if, as in this case, the dating of the fossils was done on the basis of an evolutionary time scale. As one candid evolutionist said of the diagrams showing horse evolution: ‘At present, however, it is a matter of faith that the textbook pictures are true, or even if they are the best representations of the truth available to us at the present time’ He goes on to speak of the pattern of horse evolution as ‘chaotic.’ 37

Another writer highlights the subjective nature of the alleged sequence: ‘However, the fact is that the family tree of the horse is continuous only in the textbooks. At no place in the world do the rock strata disclose a continuous and complete set of horse fossils … The sequence depends on arranging fossils together from all over the world, and since we have learned that rocks are only classified by the fossils they contain, the entire family tree is an entirely subjective arrangement.’ 38

References

37 G.A. Kerkut: Implications of Evolution, 1960, pages 144-149.
38 N.J. Mitchell: Evolution and the Emperor’s New Clothes, page 137.

THE ‘CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION’

In the rocks dated by most geologists as being over 600 million years old – the pre-Cambrian rocks – there is only a smattering of fossilised multicellular creatures. Yet in the Cambrian rock series immediately above it, complex animals appear and life abounds in huge variety.

On the basis of shared characteristics, living things are grouped by biologists into major divisions, called phyla. For example the phylum Insecta includes all the insects and Crustacea includes the crabs, shrimps, etc. At present there are twenty-four different animal phyla and of those, no less than fifteen are represented in the Cambrian rocks. As there are no such fossils in the rocks immediately below the Cambrian strata, it means that fifteen groups of animals apparently suddenly appeared on earth. Therefore, if the rocks tell us anything, they deny that there was a process of gradual evolution but rather an explosion of life in all its fully formed diversity, where virtually no creatures were before.

Charles Darwin was the first to acknowledge the difficulty this presented for his theory. In ‘The Origin of Species’ he said: ‘To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits…prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer…the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great.’

The problem has not gone away in the intervening years. The ‘Cambrian explosion’, as it is termed, has always been a major problem for evolutionists and many rather bizarre theories have been advanced in order to explain it – except, of course, the suggestion that evolution did not occur! That would be unthinkable!

SUMMARY

Despite many claims by scientists – claims that regrettably are passively accepted by most people – the geological evidence for evolution is very weak. Fossils are present in abundance, but there are basic flaws in the methods of dating the rocks in which they are found. It is evident that fossils were most likely not formed by a gradual process of sedimentation, but by a sudden catastrophic flooding with water-borne sediments. We also saw that in the fossil record, complex forms of life suddenly appeared, with a very wide range of creatures being immediately represented. It is significant that both these activities – creation where no life existed before and a world-wide flood – are prominent aspects of the Bible’s record.

Geology provides no proven ‘missing links’ between the different sorts of animals, which should be there in great numbers if transition from one sort of creature to another gradually took place. Darwin admitted that the absence of such intermediate fossil forms was a major, if not conclusive, argument against his theory. Also the few examples of ‘evolution in action’ that are regularly put forward as evidence of evolutionary change either prove nothing of the sort or are readily capable of other interpretations.

GOD THE CREATOR

Such fallibility in the main buttress of evolution – for all admit that the theory stands or falls on the fossil record. It means that the only reasonable explanation for the presence of life on earth is that stated in God’s own revelation to mankind:

‘I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm’ [Jeremiah 27.5].

But more than that, if God did create the earth and life upon it, He must have done so for a reason. Here is the great difference between evolution and creation. Evolution is by definition purposeless: each generation of living creatures are but a link in a chain that stretches back into obscurity and extends forward into a completely capricious future. There is no purpose in anything, and no hope for the future.

On the other hand, creation demands a purpose, and with such a wise and powerful Supreme Being in control we can be sure that His plan for His creation is one that will be truly worthwhile. This is the topic of our last section.

Charles Darwin

God in Creation Part 3 – THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION EXAMINED

God in Creation Part 3 – THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION EXAMINED

WHERE DID LIFE come from? This question has been asked since earliest times. Today, it is almost universally believed that a simple form of life started as an accidental event and has developed over many millions of years to give rise to all the plants and animals that now exist. This theory of evolution is accepted almost without question by broadcasters, educationalists and an overwhelming majority of scientists. They believe that the concept has been proved up to the hilt. Indeed one scientist has said: ‘The theory is as much in doubt as that the earth goes round the sun.’ 7

STILL ONLY A THEORYCharles Darwin

However, it is not generally recognised by many people that there are also some scientists who do not agree with the theory. Some years ago, the prestigious scientific journal Nature complained in an editorial 8 that the Natural History Museum in London, in an introductory notice at the entrance to its Darwin gallery, had stated that creation might be an alternative to evolution.

The editorial suggested that most biologists would sacrifice their right arm rather than deny that evolution did occur. An immediate response came from the museum staff involved: ‘How is it that a journal such as yours…can advocate that theory be presented as fact? This is the stuff of prejudice, not science…Are we to take it that evolution is a fact, proven to the limits of scientific rigour? If that is the inference then we must disagree most strongly. We have no absolute proof of the theory of evolution.’ 9

This is no isolated viewpoint. The rest of this special issue of ‘Light on a New World’ could be filled with quotations from scientists who do not accept the current theory of evolution. Evolutionists critical of the theory have recently published a number of books. As one scientist said: ‘Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact.’ 10

References

7 Richard Dawkins: ‘The Selfish Gene’ (Oxford University Press).
8 Nature Volume 289, page 735 (26 February 1981).
9 Nature Volume 290, page 82 (12 March 1981).
10 Dr T.N. Tahmisian, atomic Energy Commission, USA

THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

Apart from a few rather implausible theories (but that does not prevent them being advanced, especially in school textbooks!), science cannot offer an explanation of how living things originated. Life does not exist outside a small living unit called a cell. There is simply no exception to this. In the previous section we explained just one aspect of life – the coded information on the DNA strand that programmes the cell to make enzymes and other proteins, which in turn control the essential functions of the cell.

As the previous section showed, a length of DNA that codes for just one enzyme consists of a ‘ladder’ of typically over a thousand different ‘rungs’, each in the right place. In view of this obvious complexity, the chances of such a section of DNA occurring by accident are so remote as to be virtually impossible. Nevertheless, even in the most ‘primitive’ cell, at least several hundred such enzymes, with a correspondingly increased length of DNA, are needed before it can be said to be alive.

However, such a cell, even if it accidentally appeared, could not be the precursor of all living things unless it was able to grow and reproduce itself – the complex process of cell division was briefly outlined in the previous article.

When taxed with the impossibility of such a cell occurring by chance, many evolutionists have no answer. Others have calculated that the odds of life occurring on earth by chance are 1 in 1040,000 – a number so incomprehensibly great as to make a chance origin impossible.11 Nobel prize-winner Dr. George Wald agrees with this: ‘One only has to contemplate the magnitude of the task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible.’ 12 Alternatively, as another writer says of the claimed evolutionary origin of life: ‘Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.’ 13 Yet the chance origin of life is the very basis on which evolutionists build their theory. If this could not have happened, then the theory of evolution collapses like a house of cards. Rather than believe the ‘impossible’ – as many do – why not believe that a wise Creator designed the cell?

SIMPLE TO COMPLEX

However, even if for sake of argument, it was conceded that a simple cell could have happened merely by chance, we are a very long way from the myriad forms of life that fill this planet. How did they all arise from this humble beginning?

The current explanation is termed ‘natural selection.’ It is envisaged that, in a quite random way, some variation occurred in that original cell which, at cell division, could be passed on to it’s progeny. This variation resulted in the new organism becoming more successful than its fellows did in the competitive business of living. As a result of a long series of these accidental changes, simple cells became complex and learnt to join together to form bodies. These developed all the interdependent features that are familiar to us today – limbs, muscles, a heart and circulatory system, brain, eyes, ears, etc. It all sounds very plausible, especially as we are told that this process took countless millions of years – and given enough time, anything might happen!

Whilst it is not denied that in some limited situations natural selection might take place, many strongly reject the idea that it is the engine powering an evolutionary process which has led to all the varied forms of life. So let us look a little closer. What is actually involved in evolution by ‘natural selection’?

In the preceding article, we considered the mechanism of protein production within the cell. We noted that each protein molecule was composed of a long chain of amino acids, all placed in a special sequence. This special sequence determined the ‘shape’ of the molecule and thus enabled it to do its job. We saw in the previous article that this correct sequence was determined by the coded information on the DNA thread, which is copied and then passed on from cell to cell as they divide.

References

11 Hoyle and Wickramasinghe: ‘Evolution from Space.’
12 Weldon and Levitt: ‘UFO’s: What on earth is happening?’
13 M. Denton: ‘Evolution: A theory in Crisis.’
 

MUTATIONS

This process of copying DNA into new cells normally proceeds with great accuracy, but very occasionally a mistake is made, so that the new DNA has slightly different coded information. This new code means that a product with a slightly different ‘shape’ will be formed. This accidental change is called a mutation.

Now, as can be imagined, the new protein will probably not be as effective as the original one. Indeed it will probably not work at all, as its new ‘shape’ will not allow it to carry out the chemical reactions for which it was designed. However, the current theory of evolution depends on this purely random mutation conferring an advantage on the cell and thus to the whole organism, that enables it to be more successful than those without such a mutation.

It is claimed that by this process of successive accidental mutations, all forms of life have developed from simpler forms. Thus, for example, the human brain, which is probably the most complex object in the universe, has developed from increased information gradually and randomly stored up in the human genome (i.e. the sum of all the information on the DNA) over many millions of years.

Is this a reasonable theory?

MUTATIONS USUALLY HARMFUL

Scanning Electron Microscope of normal red blood cells

Firstly, when mutations do occur, they are almost invariably harmful and not beneficial. For example, in humans, a change in a single ‘rung’ of the DNA ladder that codes for the protein haemoglobin, substitutes just one amino acid for another in the sequence; but this apparently small change has far-reaching results – an often fatal disease called sickle cell anaemia. Similarly, a single change in the code for rhodopsin, a pigment in the eye, results in blindness. Therefore, it is generally true to say that most mutations are harmful or confer no benefits.

Secondly and most importantly, the whole basis of the evolutionary theory is that through mutations the information on the genome must increase. Only by this means could a progressively greater complexity of living things have occurred over the supposed millions of years of evolution. If this increase of information does not occur, then it is clear that the current evolutionary theory is a non-starter.

As one recent critic of evolution has observed: ‘the neo-Darwinians14 would like us to believe that large evolutionary changes can result from a series of small events if there are enough of them. But if these events all lose information they can’t be the steps in the … [theory]. Whoever thinks that macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume.’ 15 So, unless it can be shown that mutations have gradually increased the total genetic information, then evolution could not have occurred.

The fact is that mutations do not increase the available information. As the above writer goes on to say: ‘Not even one mutation has been observed that adds a little information to the genome.’ As a result he concludes: ‘We have therefore to reject the entire neo-Darwinian theory of evolution.’

A familiar example will make the point. Today we have hundreds of different varieties of dogs, varying in size and appearance from the huge St. Bernard to the pocket-sized Chihuahua. It is believed that all have descended from a wolf-like ancestor. In the mutations that produced the range of present domestic dogs, many of the original wolf-like features have been permanently lost; that is, the information for some original characteristics is no longer available on the genome. In other words, although the development of a large variety of dogs from one ancestor superficially looks like a case for evolution, in fact such a development has resulted in a loss of genetic information. However, the theory of evolution, if it were true, would demand an increase.

References

14 Neo Darwinians = those who believe in evolution driven by random mutations, in fact the majority of evolutionists.
15 Lee Spetner: ‘Not by Chance,’ page 160 (Judaica Press Inc.)

DOES CHANCE PRODUCE DESIGN?

If I dropped a handful of coins, we all know that they would go in all directions, ending up as a random pattern on the floor. However, suppose you came into a room, saw a straight line of coins and were told ‘I just dropped these coins and, look, they all happened to end up in a line’ – would you believe it? No, you would rightly say that chance does not produce design. If I then insisted that this had happened not just once but many times, then you would probably think I was out of my mind.

Yet the evolutionist must believe that a beneficial mutation not only occurred by accident once but repeatedly. Further, most of them would have had to occur at about the same time, because frequently more than one mutation is involved in a given change.

A diagram of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, commonly called the Krebs Cycle

For example, the chemistry within the cell is a stage-by-stage process. As an illustration (an example from the hundreds that could be given), one of the most basic reactions in a living cell is the conversion of glucose to carbon dioxide and water, with the release of energy, called the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This does not happen in one go. Rather is it a series of step-wise reactions involving many intermediate stages. However, a different enzyme affects each of the steps. If only one of those enzymes was missing, then the process would stop and the cell die. Therefore, evolutionists must assume that all the mutations that produced the enzymes accidentally appeared at the same time. Or in terms of our analogy, not only did the coins form themselves into a straight line on one occasion, but did so repeatedly.

The same holds good for whole organs and creatures as well as what goes on in cells. The eye is a good example of many differing features that must all be present at the same time if it is to function. As you read this page, your brain is controlling tiny muscles around the transparent lens, altering its shape to accurately focus the image of the print on to the retina at the back of your eye.

The retina has nerve cells that are sensitive even to the smallest quantity of light and areThe Human Eye able, by a sort of in-built computer, to convert the light pattern into a compressed series of nerve impulses. The retina also has special pigments that enable different colours to be identified. Within the brain is a particular area that converts the nerve impulses into a picture we can recognise.

Is it reasonable to suggest that all these interdependent features arose by accident and all at the same time? Does it not rather look like intelligent design? The evolutionist claims that the eye developed by a series of random changes over countless millions of years. But think what we are being asked to believe – that all this fine detail working together so perfectly has come about from a series of accidental mutations. Do not be deceived by the glib evolutionary explanation so common in books for children, that some primitive organism ‘decided’ to develop some new feature.

The concept of planning is ruled out in the current theory of evolution – all is the result of purposeless change. It is ludicrous to suggest that an eyeless creature would envisage the need for sight and so control its developments over the ages to eventually produce an eye. As Darwin himself said: ‘To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.’ 16 We may confidently say that chance does not produce design.

Picture of a leafLook at the picture of a leaf insect. Here is an example of insects that mimic leaves so perfectly that given the right background they are perfectly camouflaged, as a protection from their predators. Can you see four leaf insects in the right hand picture? Does this look like chance mutations at work? If evolution were true, think of all the wrong designs that must have accidentally been produced by the original insect whilst this perfect disguise was at last fortuitously arrived at. Think of all the simultaneous accidental changes that were needed in the DNA that programmed this new shape. How did the poor insect survive whilst it was developing this disguise? We can be sure that the leaf-like shape was not the choice of the supposed original insect. It probably would not even recognise a leaf, let alone be able to alter its body to copy one.

Reference

16 ’The Origin of Species.’

‘THE PRIZE HORSE IN OUR STABLE’

One of the supposed evidences for natural selection and therefore the evolutionary process, is the variation in the peppered moth. It is an example that appears in almost every textbook on evolution. The story is that the moths were originally of a light colour and thus were camouflaged when they settled on the trunks of lichen-covered trees. But with the advent of industrial processes that polluted the air, the tree trunks became darker due to the lack of lichen and an increase in sooty deposits. Thus the moths stood out like the proverbial sore thumb and were rapidly picked off by the birds.

However, in time the moths responded by becoming darker to match the trunks and so they were camouflaged once more. Here we are told, is evolution in action! This is an example of a story that has universally been taken up and quite innocently repeated by advocates of evolution without themselves having investigated the subject. As is so frequent in this field, everyone else assumes that all the appropriate checks have been made.

In fact the darker form of moth existed well before the Industrial Revolution and all that happened was that the darker form later became more prominent. So it wasn’t a question of a new form developing – it was already there. In fact the dark form exists quite happily in rural situations as far apart as Scotland, Canada and New Zealand, where it suffers no disadvantage from its colour.

The experiments, first carried out by a scientist named Kettlewell in the 1950’s, are now regarded as suspect. What is not generally known is that some of the experiments were done in artificial conditions in an aviary. Unlike in the natural situation, specially bred moths were actually placed by the experimenters on the trunks within reach of the ground; then birds were filmed feeding on them. This is hardly what happens in the wild and when the experiments were repeated in natural conditions the results were variable. It is now recognised that the moths only fly by night when the birds are not active and in the daytime they conceal themselves high up amongst the foliage, rather than be sitting targets on the tree trunks.17 Moreover, when tests were actually carried out in woodland conditions, the results were very inconclusive.18

In addition, what of those pictures in the textbooks, such as the one reproduced here? One scientific paper describes how it was done. The pictures were not taken from nature, but dead moths were glued to the trees! 19 As a result of this re-evaluation of the subject, what was once described by one evolutionist as ‘the prize horse in our stable’ has now been discarded by many. An evolutionist says that when he realised this it gave him that same feeling as when he as a boy discovered Santa Claus was not real! 20 This is an outstanding example of what Professor P. Johnson describes as how ‘devotion to the ideology of Darwinism has led to textbooks full of misinformation’. 21

References

17 C.A.Clarke: ‘Evolution in reverse…’, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 26: 189-199,1985.
18 M.Bowden: ‘Science Vs Evolution,’ Appendix 3, pages 194-211 (Sovereign Publications, 1991).
19 D.R.Lees and E.R. Creed: ‘Journal of Animal Ecology,’ 44: 67-83,1975. J.Wells: ‘Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth (Regnery Publishing Inc. 2000).
20 J.A.Coyne: Nature 396(6706): 35,36.
21 Quoted by J.Wells: ‘Icons of Evolution’, back cover.

EVOLUTION AND FAITH

The above are just a few of the many arguments that can be advanced against the theory of evolution. It is true to say that, whilst evolutionists deride those who believe in specific creation for their faith, they do not realise that their theory has almost become a religion demanding even greater faith and unquestioned obedience from its followers. Charles Darwin, on his deathbed, was painfully aware of this. He is reported as then saying concerning his theory of evolution:

‘I was a young man, with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything. And to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.’ 22

So it has remained until now. Many who dare to point out the inconsistencies in the established belief in evolution, face the danger of ostracism and even fear for their livelihood.

It is true to say that the burden of proof demanded of other scientific disciplines seems not to be required in the case of so-called evidence for evolution. The wildest speculations and unproved theories are presented as facts to a public who do not have the background to critically test what they are being asked to believe.

Even some doctrinaire evolutionists accept the unavailability of the evidence. The following candid admission was made in an address to the American Museum of Natural History:

‘For over 20 years I thought I was working on evolution…[But] there was not one thing I knew about it…So for the last few weeks I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: ‘Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time; and eventually one person said, ‘Yes, I do know one thing – it ought not to be taught in high school.’ 23

Although belief in specific creation by an all-wise God requires faith, it is not the sort of faith that ignores the evidence. Instead it looks at the evidence and draws the entirely reasonable conclusion that blind chance could not have produced the complexity and variety of living things.

References

22 Bombay Guardian, 25.3.1916.
23 Colin Patterson, Quoted by Hank Hanegraaff: ‘The face that demonstrates the farce of Evolution’ page 44 (Word Publishing, Nashville, 1998).

CHRISTIANITY AND EVOLUTION

In the belief that evolution is a demonstrable scientific fact, many Christians have rejected the clear Bible teaching on creation, coining the terms ‘theistic evolution’ or ‘God-controlled evolution.’ They accept the evolutionary time scale and the myriad minute changes that eventually produced life in all its diversity, but believe that the whole process was originated and controlled by God. Those who subscribe to this view believe that the Bible’s record of creation should be regarded as an allegory. Yet Jesus, the one whose teaching all Christians claim to follow, believed in specific creation as recorded in the Old Testament. In answer to a query he said of the first human pair:

‘…Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female…?’[Matthew 19.4].

Also, in explaining the principles of Christian redemption, the New Testament writers treat the events described in the early chapters of Genesis as actual happenings. For example in a reference to Adam’s fall we read:

‘…by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…’ [Romans 5.12].

In the New Testament we also learn that death can be removed by the work of Jesus:

‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous’ [Romans 5.19].

‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ [1 Corinthians 15.22].

Thus, the clear teaching of the Bible is that sin entered the world at a specific time as a direct result of one man’s offence and that sin can be removed by the work of Jesus. A Christian evolutionist must therefore have a different theology from that of Christ or the Apostle Paul.

It is salutary to note that even atheists recognise this is the only logical position for a Christian, as the words of one of them demonstrate:

‘Christianity is – must be! – totally committed to the special creation as described in Genesis, and Christianity must fight with its full might against the theory of evolution….It becomes clear now that the whole justification of Jesus’ life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam’s fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to Christianity? None.’ 24

It is hoped that this booklet, although it only considers a small part of the evidence, has demonstrated that the theory of evolution is itself so flawed as to become untenable. Thus any conflict with Bible teaching is removed and wholehearted support can be given to its message of hope for us all.

Reference

24 G Richard Bozarth: ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, American Atheist (February 1978): 19,30

Earth from Space

God in Creation Part 2 – LIFE ON EARTH

God in Creation Part 2 – LIFE ON EARTH

In 1969, when the astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin were on the stark and desolate landscape of the Moon, they were able to see the Earth as it had never been seen before. Just as we on Earth can look up at the Moon, so they were able to see the Earth rising over the barren lunar surface.

From this distance there is nothing to indicate that the Earth was any different from the lifeless Moon with its craters and plains, or from any other planet of the solar system.

However, those astronauts knew that beneath those reflecting clouds and alongside the shimmering oceans was a different world – one as full of beauty as the other is empty and sterile.

Yes, as far as we know, the planet Earth is unique. It is easy to forget that. There is no actual evidence that there is another place like Earth. What is it that makes Earth so different? Is it the mountains and valleys, its rocks, its minerals? No, other planets have these features. The supreme difference is that the Earth contains life. Wherever we look there are living things of amazing diversity and complexity – trees, plants, animals, birds, fish and insects. Chief among these living things is Man himself, with his unique ability to reason.

Earth from SpaceWe might well ask, ‘What is the difference between the Earth and the other planets that enables this phenomenon of life to occur? Are such differences accidental?’

To answer this question we must note the conditions necessary for life to exist. The Universe as a whole is a dangerous place. Vast spaces, intense and powerful radiation, extremes of temperature from a little above absolute zero (minus 273 degrees Centigrade), to millions of degrees above, combine to make the Universe inhospitable to life. Living things are very delicate and even small variations from certain conditions mean death.

Here are some of the criteria that have to be met for life to exist:

  • Temperature range

The range at which living things can function is small on a universal scale. At low temperatures all living processes stop around 0C, when water freezes and the upper limit for growth is around 45C. (Some forms of micro-organisms can grow at higher temperatures and others survive but do not grow in boiling water; even so the temperature range for growth is comparatively small).

  • Water

All living processes take place in water. Our body consists of 70% water and many forms of life exist in water. Life cannot exist without water.

  • Energy source

Living things stay alive by extracting energy from chemical reactions. In most cases this is done by breaking down food. The energy in food originally comes from the Sun. Plants capture the energy by means of a very special substance called chlorophyll and use the energy to make foodstuff that animals can eat, thus extracting the Sun’s energy second-hand. Light is therefore essential to all the higher forms of life.

  • Atmosphere

Most living things require oxygen in order for them to extract the energy contained in food.

  • Correct force of gravity and atmospheric pressure

The astronauts on the Moon could jump higher and farther than on Earth because the Moon’s gravitational pull is less. Conversely, on a large planet gravity would crush them into the ground. On Earth, the atmospheric pressure is about 14 pounds per square inch. If it were a lot more than this, living things would be squeezed to death.

  • Freedom from radiation

Space is full of rays that are lethal to living things: gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays andThe Planet Mars cosmic rays have sufficient energy to break up complex life chemicals. Astronauts have to wear specially designed suits to protect them from this radiation when they venture from their spacecraft.

  • Only Earth suitable for life

Of all the planets, only the Earth has all these things life needs. It is the correct distance from the Sun to give it the right temperature range and has plenty of water in liquid form. If it was only very slightly nearer the Sun, its water would boil off; a little further away and the oceans would freeze. It has an atmosphere containing oxygen and whilst allowing light through, is thick enough to prevent the dangerous rays in space reaching the Earth’s surface. The atmospheric pressure is not excessive and the Earth is of a size that exercises a force of gravity that is compatible with living things.

A review of the features of other planets shows how unsuitable they are to sustain life:

MERCURYMoon-like surface – no water – very hot – no atmosphere
VENUSMoon-like surface – extremely hot (5000C) – atmosphere of carbon dioxide and sulphuric acid vapour – atmospheric pressure 100 times that of Earth
MARSDry rocky surface – no water – ‘ice caps’ are solid carbon dioxide – negligible atmosphere – temperature generally very cold
JUPITERNot a solid planet – consists of liquid hydrogen at a temperature of minus 270o C – bathed in clouds of ammonia hundreds of miles thick

LIFE IS THE EXCEPTION

Thus it can be seen that certainly in the solar system, possibly in the Universe, the Earth is unique and life is the exception. Why? Advocates of the theory of Evolution believe that because the Earth by chance, had the suitable conditions, life spontaneously developed and then diversified. They say that life was an almost expected result of those fortuitous and accidental conditions.

Others, including the publishers of this booklet, believe that the whole system is part of a plan. In the development of the Universe and the suitability of the Earth they see the guiding hand of a Creator who wanted intelligent life and therefore created first the materials and then the environment to achieve it.

WHAT IS LIFE?Diagram showing the structure of a cell

There is no gradual transition from non-living chemicals to living things. Even the simplest form of life contains very specialised chemicals that are never found free in nature. This is because living matter is invariably found inside a microscopic box called a cell. Some forms of life exist as a single cell, but the more familiar ones such as plants and animals are made up of vast numbers of cells joined together. When people rather glibly talk of life spontaneously appearing, they are taking a huge intellectual jump that has very little to justify it. As you read on you will see what we mean.

THE COMPLEXITY OF A LIVING CELL

A living cell is a miniature manufacturing unit, complete with its own power supply. The things it makes are the various complex chemicals needed for it to live, grow and reproduce.

One of the most important series of chemicals are special proteins, called enzymes. In a human manufacturing process a device called a ‘jig’ is often used to hold components in the right place whilst they are being joined together. An enzyme is a microscopic ‘jig’ that holds two or more chemicals together whilst they react and are welded into one – or sometimes they are split in two. Obviously, such a ‘jig’ has to be just the right shape so that it can hold the chemicals in the correct relationship.

These chemicals are of all shapes and sizes, so this means that there has to be a completely different ‘jig’ or enzyme for each chemical reaction within the cell. Even the simplest cell could not function with fewer than several hundred different enzymes. For example, the simplest known living organisms are called Mycoplasma. One scientist says, ‘these represent almost the smallest size compatible with life.’ He goes on to say that ‘this ‘simple’ cell can produce seven hundred different proteins and that half of this number are considered essential for the life of the cell.’ 3
 

Reference

3 Professor David Taylor-Robinson: Topley and Wilson’s principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity, 8th edition 1990, Volume 2, page 672.

ENZYME STRUCTURE

Below is a diagram representing an enzyme, its special shape designed to hold its reacting chemicals. You can see that it is a long chain bent and twisted into the necessary shape. How does it get bent in just the right places so that its unique chemicals fit exactly into this ‘jig?’

Amino Acids

If you placed a row of square bricks end to end they would obviously form a straight line. If you introduced into the row a brick with a triangular cross-section, a bend in the row would be obtained. An enzyme molecule is constructed on this principle, using chemicals called amino acids as its ‘bricks’. There are about 20 different amino acids and in effect, they are all different ‘shapes.’ Also, some amino acids have the property of ‘clipping on’ to others further down the chain, thus creating a loop. By careful selection of the various amino acids (and there are usually many hundreds in the enzyme chain) the molecule can be bent into the requisite three-dimensional shape.

Now the important thing! Obviously, to produce a given enzyme there is only one correct sequence of amino acids. The substitution of just one amino acid in the sequence could produce a ‘bend’ in the wrong place, with the result that the enzyme would be unable to hold its particular chemicals and would thus be useless.

So the cell in some way has to remember the correct sequence of amino acids in every one of the hundreds of different enzymes it needs, so that it can make them when required. If it gets even one amino acid in the wrong place in the line, the enzyme might not work properly. How does the tiny cell ensure this correct sequence?

THE CODE OF LIFE

Within each cell is a separate enclosure, the nucleus. Inside this nucleus is a truly amazing substance, commonly known as DNA. Think of a ladder with its two side rails joined by the rungs. Then imagine that some giant twisted the ladder along its length, until the side rails looked like two huge corkscrews cross-connected by the rungs. Reduce this in size to a minute fraction of a millimetre and you have, in essence, the structure of a DNA molecule. The diagrams show the idea. The simple diagram shows the twisted ladder arrangement and the more complicated one the actual structure of just a short length of DNA. A complete DNA molecule would be very much longer, having many thousands of twists in its spiral rather than the few you see here. In fact if the total DNA in just one human cell could be stretched out, it would be about 2 metres long!

The wonderful thing about DNA is that along its length it contains the instructions for making all the different types of enzymes the cell needs. As the enzymes are responsible for making the chemical reactions in the cell work, you can see that DNA therefore controls the whole cell. The information about the correct sequence of amino acids in each enzyme is contained in coded form on the ‘rungs’ of the DNA ladder. There are only four different kinds of ‘rungs’, each composed of chemicals paired together (T, A, G, C in the diagram) and it needs three ‘rungs’ to code for one amino acid.

If we call the four types of rungs A B C D, then ABC might be the code for amino acid 1, BCD for amino acid 2, BCB for amino acid 3, DBA for amino acid 4 and so on. Continuing until all the 20 amino acids are coded, using only four ‘rungs’. So, in our example above, if the sequence of ‘rungs’ on the DNA molecule were BCDBCBABCDBA it would mean that the sequence of amino acids would be 2,3,1,4. In this way, a ladder of 600 ‘rungs’ could code for an enzyme of 200 amino acids in its chain. If the code sequence on the DNA was correct, then every enzyme produced from that section of its length would have its amino acids in the right order too and would therefore be able to do its job.

This only explains the principle of the code’s operation. In practice, the transfer of the coded information to the site of enzyme production is very complicated and involves other very special substances. It is estimated that to make one protein molecule, about another hundred different proteins are required as enzymes to effect the production. 4

The total amount of information along that microscopic chain of DNA is mind-boggling. In a simple cell, like a bacterium, there are several million coded symbols and in those of man there are between two and four billion. The total DNA code in a cell is styled the genome; and it is a measure of scientific progress that in recent years the whole of the human genome has been elucidated.

Reference

4 M Denton: Evolution: A theory in Crisis, page 265 (Adler and Adler 1986).

CELL DIVISION

One of the definitions of living material is that it can reproduce itself. This must obviously occur first at the cellular level. For one cell to become two, the DNA must first be accurately duplicated, so that each new cell can contain the vital instructions coded on that molecule. This replication of DNA is achieved by enzymes made by the DNA itself. If you think about this you will realise that DNA and its enzymes are interdependent. The DNA makes an enzyme that in turn makes the DNA. So both must have originally appeared at the same time. Neither can function on its own. Evolutionists admit that this is a thorny problem. One of them wrote: ‘We are grappling here with a classic ‘chicken and egg’ situation. Nucleic acids [DNA] are required to make proteins, whereas proteins are needed to make nucleic acids…so how could useful proteins have first arisen and then evolved without the nucleic acids needed to encode them? How could nucleic acids be faithfully copied and evolve without the catalytic assistance of proteins?’ 5

DESIGN OR CHANCE?

Do you think that this complex yet accurate method of protein production could have occurred by chance? Could such a detailed code, with its millions of symbols, have been produced by accident? No scientist, despite confident assertions in the media and in school textbooks, has yet proposed a possible way that this detailed system could occur by chance. As one of them freely writes: ‘In their more public pronouncements, researchers interested in the origin of life sometimes behave like the creationist opponents they so despise – glossing over the great mysteries that remain unsolved and pretending they have firm answers that they have not really got.’ 6

But why do some scientists despise those who believe in creation? Surely experience teaches that complexity, such as in a cell, must have been the product of an intelligent mind. The most rational view is that God designed the ‘Code of Life’. By giving a slightly different code to the different sorts of living organisms, He brought into being all the varied forms of life, such as trees, flowers, animals, insects and mankind, as the Bible says:

‘…with thee is the fountain of life’ [Psalm 36.9].

‘…he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things’ [Acts 17.25].

But of course life on earth is not just simple cells. They are organised into groups to form organs and bodies that can see, feel, manipulate things and in the case of human beings, have the ability to reason and communicate. In all this there is the evidence of design, not accidental development.

References

5 Andrew Scott: New Scientist, 2nd May 1985, page 31.

6 Andrew Scott: New Scientist 2nd May 1985, page 33.

DESIGN DEMANDS A DESIGNER

Wherever we look then, at the Universe or inside the cell, we see that things have turned out the way they are because of a series of apparently improbable events. Each event was very unlikely to have occurred by chance. The Universe expanded at just the right rate. The Earth provided just the right environment. Then life with all its amazing complexity appeared on Earth. An accidental sequence of such events strains the bounds of credibility. Reason demands that such careful and intricate design implies the existence of a designer and a controller – a being greater than the Universe. The God of the Bible is described in just these terms:

‘Praise ye the LORD…Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heaven of heavens…Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created’ [Psalm 148.1-5].

‘…thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee’ [Jeremiah 32.17].

THE BIBLE IS UNIQUE

In this section we have presented the current views about the origin of the Universe and the nature of life that is found in one part of it. Some ideas on the formation of the Universe are only theories, suggesting what might have happened at the beginning. It may be that tomorrow some new discovery will alter the ideas. However, with the proviso that all human knowledge is inevitably imperfect, the harmony of modern scientific discoveries with the Bible is remarkable. This is all the more so when we consider the antiquity of the book – in parts three thousand five hundred years old. If the Bible were merely the product of its age, it would have described the Creation in the self-evidently mythical way like the Babylonian and Egyptian creation stories of 3,500 years ago. In these stories all things were said to be derived from the murdered body of one of their gods or that mankind was formed from the tears of another so-called deity.

Against the background of these obviously nonsensical accounts, the Bible’s record of creation is presented as reasonable, logical and even scientific. It needs a lot of explaining if God is not taken as the originator of the information.

A PURPOSE IN CREATION

The supreme value of belief in a Creator is that everything has been made for a reason. Science may probe the distant parts of the Universe or the innermost intricacies of the living cell but it cannot tell why they are there. If an all-wise God has created everything, it is reasonable to assume a purpose in creation. Also we can learn of that purpose in the Bible, which is the Creator’s revelation to man. We are told there that mankind, far from being the result of chance evolutionary development, was created specifically to bring pleasure and satisfaction to the Almighty. It may seem at first sight that this purpose is failing but this is only from a human standpoint.

Scripture tells us that God is using the literal world to develop a spiritual creation, composed of men and women who have developed a mind and a way of life that reflect the attributes of their Creator. This spiritual creation will at last share the nature and the understanding of the Almighty Being who has created them.

This new creation was the hope of the Apostle Paul:

‘…now we see through a glass, darkly… but then shall I know even as also I am known’ [1 Corinthians 13.12].

It was also the promise of God through His son Jesus Christ:

‘He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son’ [Revelation 21.7].

Mankind has been created ‘in the image of God’ [Genesis 1.27] and the highest use to which we can put our God-given minds and bodies is to spend our short years in preparation for the future that God has planned – not to spend our time in pursuit of satisfaction in this life.

God in Creation Part 1 – DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE

God in Creation Part 1 – DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE

THE CONSISTENT CLAIM of the Bible is that everything in the universe was created by an all-powerful and supremely wise being called God:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” [Genesis 1.1].

“The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by under-standing hath he established the heaven” [Proverbs 3.19].

“…God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein” [Acts 14.15].

However many people ask the question: ‘Are such claims made several thousand years ago, to be taken seriously in view of the immense increase in knowledge and understanding of nature and the universe that man has gained in recent years?’ In this section we will review some of the discoveries scientists have made, leaving you to judge whether these findings make God unnecessary and irrelevant, or whether it becomes more reasonable to believe in the existence of an intelligent designer and controller. Are belief in God and scientific discovery necessarily in conflict?

DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE

Dotted around the world, usually on the summit of high mountains above the pollution andRadio Telescope distortion of the earth’s atmosphere, are a number of astrophysical observatories. These very specialised buildings contain huge telescopes that peer out into space with such magnification that they could spot a small coin on the moon, or measure the thickness of a hair fifty miles away. Special cameras take pictures and other instruments record and analyse the light coming from the heavenly bodies. Where light cannot penetrate the vast areas of interstellar dust a special infrared telescope – so sensitive that it can detect the heat of a candle flame a long distance away – pinpoints the presence of unseen bodies in space.

The universe also abounds in radio waves emitted from distant stars that readily penetrate our atmosphere and can be picked up by the massive bowls of radio telescopes that are dotted around the world.

Space Hubble TelescopeTo avoid the problems caused by our weather and atmosphere, there are also flying observatories, notably the Hubble telescope, packed with computer-driven instruments that record the heavens from the comparatively dry and clear atmosphere miles above the earth.

THE UNIVERSE HAS A STRUCTURE

All these investigations have convinced astronomers that firstly, the universe is of inconceivably immense size. Secondly, the heavenly bodies are not spread out uniformly in space but are in a series of groups. The basic unit in each group is a star, of which our Sun is an average specimen. The Sun has the Earth and other planets in orbit around it. The stars we can see on a clear night are only the Sun’s immediate neighbours in space. The nearest star is 25 trillion miles away and light from it, travelling at 186,000 miles per second takes about 4.3 years to reach us – i.e. at a distance of 4.3 light-years. To help you better envisage this distance, if the distance from the Earth to the Sun (93 million miles) were represented by one inch, then the nearest star would be four miles away.

This distance is small in astronomical terms. On a clear night the Milky Way can be seen as aThe Milky Way bright hazy band across the sky. With a telescope the Milky Way is seen as millions upon millions of stars, each like our Sun. This cluster of stars is called a galaxy and is a mass of stars formed into a flat disc about 100,000 light-years in diameter. Our Sun with its solar system and the comparatively few stars we can see with the naked eye, are situated towards the edge of this galactic disc.

At one time our galaxy was thought to be the entire Universe but it is now known to be but an infinitely small part of it. There are millions of other galaxies organised in groups. In what is prosaically styled our ‘local group’ are about 20 galaxies but this is a comparatively small group. About 50 million light-years away is a group that contains thousands of individual galaxies.

Your mind may be reeling at the magnitude of all this – but we have not yet described the Universe. These groups of galaxies are themselves aggregated into superclusters of about 150 million light-years across. A large number of these superclusters, separated from each other by immense distances, form the observable Universe.

This then is the modern concept of the Universe. We could summarise our relationship to it as follows:

The UNIVERSE contains
many SUPERCLUSTERS each of which contains
many GROUPS each of which contains
many GALAXIES each of which contains
billions of STARS one of which is our
 SUN which has a planet called
 EARTH

THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE

One of the discoveries about the Universe is that all the clusters of galaxies appear to be moving away from some central point like the debris from an explosion. This has given rise to the ‘big bang’ theory of the origin of the Universe, which is accepted by many, although not all scientists. Physicists have been speculating on a sequence of events that might have led to the formation of the universe. They suggest that originally matter did not exist; there was only an atom-sized nucleus of pure energy. For some unknown reason, this pent-up energy nucleus rapidly began to expand.

The result of this expansion was to convert energy into matter. First came very small subatomic particles, then simple atoms such as hydrogen and helium. With further expansion more and more complex atoms were formed, gradually producing the array of chemical elements present today. These newly formed substances condensed into galaxies and into individual stars but their momentum was maintained and they are still all racing away from that original point of expansion.

NOT COMPLETELY RANDOM

This much-abbreviated account of the theory of the origin of the Universe (and it is still only a theory) may give the impression that its creation was the inevitable consequence of a purely random chain of events. However this is not so. If the Universe did develop in this way, then there had to be very fine control of the original ‘explosion.’ If the newly created Universe had been too dense, gravitational forces would have made it collapse back into itself. If the matter had been too diffuse it would not have condensed into galaxies and stars. The rate of expansion had to be just right. As one physicist put it: ‘To get a Universe that has expanded as long as ours has without either collapsing or having its matter coast away would have required extraordinary fine-tuning.’  This same scientist calculated that the odds of achieving that kind of precise expansion would be the same as throwing a microscopic dart across the Universe and hitting a bull’s-eye one millimetre in diameter.

So the first thing that astronomy tells us is that although all the components and mechanisms for the formation of the Universe can possibly be explained by science, if this was its origin, then it was not just an accident. First an original ‘big bang’ had to be triggered. In any fantastically violent creation event that followed, there had to be precise control if the Universe was to survive.

How was it controlled? Who threw that metaphorical dart and hit the bull’s-eye against all the odds? Is the Divine claim through the prophet Isaiah that outdated after all? The prophet wrote:

 “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded” [Isaiah 45.12]

Reference

1National Geographic Magazine, Volume 163 number 6, page 741.

THE PURPOSE OF THE UNIVERSE

With a Universe so vast, it seems almost presumptuous that puny man should enquire about its purpose. Yet on a purely scientific level – and there are obviously other possible levels of understanding – it is thought that the original expansion and the immensities of space were necessary requirements for the production of the elements needed for life. ‘Some scientists are arguing seriously that this forbiddingly large and existential Universe was absolutely necessary for life to evolve. The elements of life had to be cooked up in stars… The Universe had to be rapidly expanding all that time. The Universe has to be large for life to have evolved.’ 2

As you will gather from reading this issue of ‘Light on a New World’, the author does not agree that life has evolved but that it was created. Leaving that aside for the moment, the point we are making, is that scientific discoveries not only indicate some control in the formation of the Universe, but also the end product of this process produced the raw materials which we now know are the components of living things. Nearly three thousand years ago the Bible expressed the same idea that the earth was created as a receptacle for life:

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited…”  [Isaiah 45.18].

As we end this brief review of the current scientific thinking on the Universe we can confidently say that these discussions do not rule out the existence of an all-wise and powerful Creator. Indeed, they almost demand His existence.

Reference

2National Geographic Magazine, Volume 163 number 6, page 745.

More Articles in this Series are listed below:

God in Creation Part 1  – DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE

God in Creation Part 2  – LIFE ON EARTH

God in Creation Part 3  – THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION EXAMINED

God in Creation Part 4  – THE EVIDENCE OF GEOLOGY

God in Creation Part 5  – MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD