Darwinian evolution is named for the theory of Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin was not the first person to propose the theory of evolution; many ancient Greek philosophers suggested the idea of life developing out of non-life. But Darwin brought evolution to the forefront of the modern scientific community. From his observations, Darwin assumed that all life — man, monkey, fish, dinosaurs, birds, flowers, trees, et al. — descended from a common ancestor.
Darwin theorized that at one time no life on this planet existed. Out of this non-life came about all life. Once life started, it evolved through naturalistic stages from the earliest single celled organisms through modification or mutation. Darwin rejected the idea of a Creator of life; he believed only in a series of fortunate adaptations prescribed by nature and need for survival.
Darwinian evolution is built around some major assumptions:
- Darwin assumed that life is in a constant state of flux, ever changing, ever evolving. According to Darwinian evolution, genectic mutations are necessary for survival of any life form. One organism will change over time and become a different species. While most scientists agree that life does adapt to fit different climates and terrain, the hypothesis of one genus evolving into another has not been proven.
- Another assumption of Darwinian evolution is the idea of animals and plants reproducing geometrically. This theory means that a pair of animals will have far more offspring than is necessary to replace themselves. A fish or turtle, for example, may lay millions of eggs in their lifetimes. If each laid egg produced a full-grown adult, the population of that species would increase exponentially and overpopulate the land. In order to keep the number of a species under control a checks and balance system must be in place. This premise of checks and balances led to Darwin’s next assumption.
- The number of individuals in a species remain relatively constant. Darwin observed that, generally, a species did not dramatically multiply or die out. Since large numbers of a species offspring failed to reach maturity, the cause must be a competition for food and reproduction. This theory is called survival of the fittest or natural selection. However, as Darwin noted, the environment changes continuously so the definition of what is “fittest” changes with time.
- Finally, Darwin hypothesized that change progresses gradually. Darwin himself stated, “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.”
Darwinian evolution is built around these assumptions. Although some scientists argue that Darwins observations do not result in a solid theory, Darwinian evolution is still promoted as a viable alternative to Creation. But certain aspects of Darwins theory actually points to, not away from a Creator.
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – The Premise
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: the birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers — all related. Darwin’s general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) “descent with modification”. That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism’s genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival — a process known as “natural selection.” These beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature).
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – Natural Selection
While Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a relatively young archetype, the evolutionary worldview itself is as old as antiquity. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Anaximander postulated the development of life from non-life and the evolutionary descent of man from animal. Charles Darwin simply brought something new to the old philosophy — a plausible mechanism called “natural selection.” Natural selection acts to preserve and accumulate minor advantageous genetic mutations. Suppose a member of a species developed a functional advantage (it grew wings and learned to fly). Its offspring would inherit that advantage and pass it on to their offspring. The inferior (disadvantaged) members of the same species would gradually die out, leaving only the superior (advantaged) members of the species. Natural selection is the preservation of a functional advantage that enables a species to compete better in the wild. Natural selection is the naturalistic equivalent to domestic breeding. Over the centuries, human breeders have produced dramatic changes in domestic animal populations by selecting individuals to breed. Breeders eliminate undesirable traits gradually over time. Similarly, natural selection eliminates inferior species gradually over time.
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – Slowly But Surely…
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a slow gradual process. Darwin wrote, “ Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps.”  Thus, Darwin conceded that, “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.”  Such a complex organ would be known as an “irreducibly complex system“. An irreducibly complex system is one composed of multiple parts, all of which are necessary for the system to function. If even one part is missing, the entire system will fail to function. Every individual part is integral.  Thus, such a system could not have evolved slowly, piece by piece. The common mousetrap is an everyday non-biological example of irreducible complexity. It is composed of five basic parts: a catch (to hold the bait), a powerful spring, a thin rod called “the hammer,” a holding bar to secure the hammer in place, and a platform to mount the trap. If any one of these parts is missing, the mechanism will not work. Each individual part is integral. The mousetrap is irreducibly complex. 
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – A Theory In Crisis
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a theory in crisis in light of the tremendous advances we’ve made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years. We now know that there are in fact tens of thousands of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level. Specified complexity pervades the microscopic biological world. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote, “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.” 
And we don’t need a microscope to observe irreducible complexity. The eye, the ear and the heart are all examples of irreducible complexity, though they were not recognized as such in Darwin’s day. Nevertheless, Darwin confessed, “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.” 
- Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” 1859, p. 162.
- Ibid. p. 158.
- Michael Behe, “Darwin’s Black Box,” 1996.
- “Unlocking the Mystery of Life,” documentary by Illustra Media, 2002.
- Michael Denton, “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,” 1986, p. 250.
- Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” 1859, p. 155.
Evidence Against Evolution:
- Apparent Design:
All life appears to be designed, and evolutionists have failed to adequately explain why. Adaptation to environmental changes, mutations, and natural selection has not validated macroevolution.
- Origin of life:
Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation of life. Sir Fred Hoyle and Charles Wickramasinghe stated in their book, Evolution from Space, that they estimated the probability of forming a single enzyme or protein at random, in a rich ocean of amino acids, was no more than one in 10 to the 20th power. Next, they calculated the likelihood of forming all of the 2000+ enzymes used in the life forms of earth. This probability was calculated at one in 10 to the 40,000th power. They popularized the following cliché: belief in the chemical evolution of the first cell from lifeless chemicals is equivalent to believing that a tornado could sweep through a junkyard and form a Boeing 747.
- Development of life and the tree of life:
Evolutionists believe all life developed from the original life that Sir Fred Hoyle said had no chance of occurring. Nevertheless, evolutionists have postulated an evolutionary tree of life showing how the various life forms developed. If their postulate were correct, many transitional life forms would have existed between the ancestor and the descendants time. Now, after 150 years of searching for fossils since Darwin, zero transitional fossils have been found of the millions of fossils collected. Confirming this lack of evidence is Gould’s oft-quoted words: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. . .I wish in no way to impugn the potential validity of gradualism. I wish only to point out that it was never seen in the rocks.”
- DNA and complexity:
Recent advances in microbiology have shown the incomprehensible complexity of DNA and the living cell. The human DNA molecules are the chromosomes that comprise the human genome. The purpose of the DNA is to specify the information for the human blueprint. Information is separate from the chemicals that are just the media for the information. Only intelligence can generate information. How can we believe that such complicated information could have generated randomly?New knowledge about the cell is equally incompatible with random origin. A cell is extremely complex and the way it performs its functions is similar to a sophisticated factory. The way DNA is self-repairing, the way RNA works with DNA, and the way proteins are synthesized using RNA templates screams of a Designer.
DNA Double Helix
DNA Double Helix: A Recent Discovery of Enormous Complexity
The DNA Double Helix is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. First described by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, DNA is the famous molecule of genetics that establishes each organism’s physical characteristics. It wasn’t until mid-2001, that the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics jointly presented the true nature and complexity of the digital code inherent in DNA. We now understand that each human DNA molecule is comprised of chemical bases arranged in approximately 3 billion precise sequences. Even the DNA molecule for the single-celled bacterium, E. coli, contains enough information to fill all the books in any of the world’s largest libraries.
DNA Double Helix: The “Basics”
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a double-stranded molecule that is twisted into a helix like a spiral staircase. Each strand is comprised of a sugar-phosphate backbone and numerous base chemicals attached in pairs. The four bases that make up the stairs in the spiraling staircase are adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). These stairs act as the “letters” in the genetic alphabet, combining into complex sequences to form the words, sentences and paragraphs that act as instructions to guide the formation and functioning of the host cell. Maybe even more appropriately, the A, T, C and G in the genetic code of the DNA molecule can be compared to the “0” and “1” in the binary code of computer software. Like software to a computer, the DNA code is a genetic language that communicates information to the organic cell.
The DNA code, like a floppy disk of binary code, is quite simple in its basic paired structure. However, it’s the sequencing and functioning of that code that’s enormously complex. Through recent technologies like x-ray crystallography, we now know that the cell is not a “blob of protoplasm”, but rather a microscopic marvel that is more complex than the space shuttle. The cell is very complicated, using vast numbers of phenomenally precise DNA instructions to control its every function.
Although DNA code is remarkably complex, it’s the information translation system connected to that code that really baffles science. Like any language, letters and words mean nothing outside the language convention used to give those letters and words meaning. This is modern information theory at its core. A simple binary example of information theory is the “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” In that famous story, Mr. Revere asks a friend to put one light in the window of the North Church if the British came by land, and two lights if they came by sea. Without a shared language convention between Paul Revere and his friend, that simple communication effort would mean nothing. Well, take that simple example and multiply by a factor containing many zeros.
We now know that the DNA molecule is an intricate message system. To claim that DNA arose by random material forces is to say that information can arise by random material forces. Many scientists argue that the chemical building blocks of the DNA molecule can be explained by natural evolutionary processes. However, they must realize that the material base of a message is completely independent of the information transmitted. Thus, the chemical building blocks have nothing to do with the origin of the complex message. As a simple illustration, the information content of the clause “nature was designed” has nothing to do with the writing material used, whether ink, paint, chalk or crayon. In fact, the clause can be written in binary code, Morse code or smoke signals, but the message remains the same, independent of the medium. There is obviously no relationship between the information and the material base used to transmit it. Some current theories argue that self-organizing properties within the base chemicals themselves created the information in the first DNA molecule. Others argue that external self-organizing forces created the first DNA molecule. However, all of these theories must hold to the illogical conclusion that the material used to transmit the information also produced the information itself. Contrary to the current theories of evolutionary scientists, the information contained within the genetic code must be entirely independent of the chemical makeup of the DNA molecule.
DNA Double Helix: Its Existence Alone Defeats any Theory of Evolution
The scientific reality of the DNA double helix can single-handedly defeat any theory that assumes life arose from non-life through materialistic forces. Evolution theory has convinced many people that the design in our world is merely “apparent” — just the result of random, natural processes. However, with the discovery, mapping and sequencing of the DNA molecule, we now understand that organic life is based on vastly complex information code, and such information cannot be created or interpreted without a Master Designer at the cosmic keyboard.
Cell Structure – The Complexity of the “Simple” Cell
Each person begins as a single cell — a cell structure formed by the joining of the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm. That single cell contains the digital code to make thousands of other kinds of cells, from fat cells to bone cells — from brain cells to lung cells. There are muscle cells, skin cells, vein cells, capillary cells and blood cells Ultimately, from that one original cell, the human body will have something like 30 trillion cells conducting an orchestra of different functions.
In the first half of this century, scientists still assumed that the cell was a fairly simple blob of protoplasm. Without electron microscopes and other technology, the cell was treated as a “black box” that mysteriously performed its various functions — an unobservable collection of “gelatin” molecules whose inner workings were unknown.
Through the marvels of 21st century technology, scientists now understand the following: Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.
Each microscopic cell is as functionally complex as a small city. When magnified 50,000 times through electron micrographs, we see that a cell is made up of multiple complex structures, each with a different role in the cell’s operation.
Evolution vs. Creation: Origins
In the Evolution vs. Creation conflict, Evolutionists do quite well in terms of theoretical science, but fail to find empirical evidence. Evolutionists theorize that the universe, with all that it contains (space, time, matter and energy), exploded from nothing. This is contrary to the First Law of Thermodynamics. Where did space, time, matter and energy come from in the first place? Thus, for Evolutionists, the ultimate question of Origins remains unsolved. To complicate the Evolutionary position, this original explosion of everything from nothing is unable to explain all of the complexity and fine-tuning in the universe, including cosmic “voids” and “clumps”, retrograde motion of the galaxies, etc. Despite numerous problems, this explosion from nothing has been dubbed the “ ” and is the accepted theory among the majority of Evolutionists. Evolution is a very unique “science.” Typically, scientists observe evidentiary data and then formulate their conclusions. Evolutionists have formulated their conclusion, and now look for the missing data.
Evolution vs. Creation: Complexity
The Evolution vs. Creation debate further seeks to solve the riddle of complexity. Creationists believe the universe was designed to be complex by an Intelligent Designer. Evolutionists, in their effort to exclude a designer, contend that complexity has developed from simplicity over time. Evolutionists view time as their solution. However, hard science tells us that time is the enemy of complexity. This fact has been so well documented that it has obtained the stature of a physical law, the “Second Law of Thermodynamics.”
Second Law of Thermodynamics – The Laws of Heat Power
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of three Laws of Thermodynamics. The term “thermodynamics” comes from two root words: “thermo,” meaning heat, and “dynamic,” meaning power. Thus, the Laws of Thermodynamics are the Laws of “Heat Power.” As far as we can tell, these Laws are absolute. All things in the observable universe are affected by and obey the Laws of Thermodynamics.
The First Law of Thermodynamics, commonly known as the Law of Conservation of Matter, states that matter/energy cannot be created nor can it be destroyed. The quantity of matter/energy remains the same. It can change from solid to liquid to gas to plasma and back again, but the total amount of matter/energy in the universe remains constant.
Second Law of Thermodynamics – Increased Entropy
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy.
“Entropy” is defined as a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system (the universe for example). As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, “entropy” increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase.
Second Law of Thermodynamics – In the Beginning…
The implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics are considerable. The universe is constantly losing usable energy and never gaining. We logically conclude the universe is not eternal. The universe had a finite beginning — the moment at which it was at “zero entropy” (its most ordered possible state). Like a wind-up clock, the universe is winding down, as if at one point it was fully wound up and has been winding down ever since. The question is who wound up the clock?
The theological implications are obvious. NASA Astronomer Robert Jastrow commented on these implications when he said, “Theologians generally are delighted with the proof that the universe had a beginning, but astronomers are curiously upset. It turns out that the scientist behaves the way the rest of us do when our beliefs are in conflict with the evidence.” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, 1978, p. 16.)
Jastrow went on to say, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (God and the Astronomers, p. 116.) It seems the Cosmic Egg that was the birth of our universe logically requires a Cosmic Chicken…
Evolution vs. Creation: The Resolution
Evolution vs. Creation — Until Evolutionists find the evidence they’ve sought since the beginning of the modern Evolutionary movement about 150 years ago, there is actually no debate at all. Creation is the default. Evolutionists insist that complexity developed from simplicity despite the contradiction to known physical laws. Moreover, Evolutionists maintain that this simplicity just sprang into existence without any cause at all.
The short story is that this is a complex and diverse subject that takes considerable time to become conversant with. Please note that being conversant with and being an expert in are NOT one and the same things. However, we are living in exciting times as more and more evidence is coming forward almost every day that supports creationism and the Intelligent Design perspective and it definitely is a benefit for Christians to be familiar with this subject.
Here are some data and video links which provide additional information on this complex subject: