Evolution and its Adversaries (Part-4)
As regards the theory of evolution, a lot of loose nuts are lying around and the theory takes no shape at all when its parts are scientifically assembled. For easier comprehension, we advise the readers to browse through the last installment of this article, published in the November 2015 issue of Young Muslim Digest.
It is natural that humans should inquire about their origin. Darwin came up with a simple theory, presented in a book published in 1859 called, “Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” The title itself had a question mark before it: The Origin of Races did not cite a single case of origin of species; and, with advances in scientific research, the theory has proven itself wrong. Inclusion in the title of words “Favoured Races” is an interesting and meaningful to the race – the Europeans – who like to believe that they are the most favoured race. Thus, intended or not, Darwin gave a reason to believe in his theory.
To explain evolution in simpler terms: As populations grew and competition arose for food, biological organisms(starting with, bacteria, and ending with humans) modified
themselves to get a better share of the resources available. Those which altered themselves in this way were selected by nature to survive, while the rest perished. The changes came in very small steps, which, when accumulated over millions of years, gave rise to newest kind of biological organisms, better equipped to survive. The evolutionary process also explained the variety among the biological bodies; but once again, without offering any substantial scientific evidence.
Nonetheless, the theory was simple, elegant, speciously sounded like science, and, most of all, denied any role for God. It came at a time when the Christian religion had just come out of an age in which some 55 million Christians were exterminated at the hands of the Churchmen. God and His Church had become insufferable, intolerable. It caught the imaginations and spread like wild fire. But it ran into controversies which accompany it whenever the topic is brought up, down to this day.
Darwin maintained that evolution was a gradual process, in which small changes (in biological terms: mutations) accumulated over the ages to yield major differences in living things. It advanced in tiny steps, until a new species arose which was better suited to its environment.
However, that was theory. Did it happen in reality? Darwin did not seem to be too sure. He warned his readers who, in actual fact, were, and are, ready to read more than what was stated in his The Origin of Species. Darwin wrote:
“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.”
Thus, here, as well as at many other places in his book, Darwin left his audience to fill in the blanks and find proofs for him.The book was republished several times during his lifetime with additional notes, but he could not cite a single case of evolution.
“It was not only his general theory that was almost entirely lacking in any direct empirical support, but his special theory was also largely dependent on circumstantial evidence. A striking witness to this is the fact that nowhere was Darwin able to point to one bona fide case of natural selection having actually generated evolutionary change in nature, let along having been responsible for the creation of a new species. Even in case of trivial adaptations Darwin was forced to use conditional language.” (Evolution, a Theory in Crisis, p.62)
Darwin quoted many a case of evolutionary change. But they were not in the direction of speciation, rather, only cases of adaptation. Adaptation amounts to a species modifying itself to suit an environmental need – e.g. a bird changing the shape of its beak to suit the availability of seed. But so long as it can interbreed with its own kind, the change is referred to as ‘adaptation.’ If it changes so much in its body parts and functions, that it can no more interbreed with its own kind, to produce healthy offspring, it has become a new species.
A good example of adaptation is the skin-color change of chameleons. They do it to match the color of the environment in order to escape being spotted by their predators. Butterflies too have been noticed changing their wing-color to match tree barks. However, they do not become new species. They still interbreed. So, this is not evolution, or Darwinism, which claims to explain the “origin of species.”
Any number of living cases can be cited as having adapted themselves in response to demands of their environment, or are undergoing adaptation right before us, within our own lives. For instance, there are 20,000 species of bees, which means none of the two species of the 20,000 can interbreed. But how many have been observed to be undergoing evolutionary change leading to the appearance of a new species? The answer is in one word: NONE.
“Lynn Margulis is a Distinguished University Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts. Lynn Margulis is highly respected for her widely accepted theory that mitochondria, the energy source of plant and animal cells, were once independent bacterial cells. And Lynn Margulis says that history will ultimately judge neo-Darwinism as “a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology.” At one of her many public talks she asked the molecular biologists in the audience to name a single, unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. Her challenge goes unmet. Proponents of the standard theory, she says, “wallow in their zoological, capitalistic, competitive, cost-benefit, interpretation of Darwin – having mistaken him…. Neo Darwinism, which insists on (the slow accrual of mutations), is in a complete funk.” (Darwin’s Black Box, p.26)
Occasionally, the opposite of what evolution demands is discovered in the animal kingdom. Evolutionists say that when a species experiences shortage of food, natural selection can make drastic changes within to make it a new species and increase its survival chances. But in recent years, a specific kind of bumblebee in the Central Rockies region has suffered a change in physiology that threatens its own survival. These are long-tonged bees who feed on flowers with deep tubes. Here is their story:
In the central Rockies, there are many species of bumblebee, and some have unusually long tongues for their body size. These are adaptations to the deep tubes of certain flowers like Parry’s clover and alpine skypilot, allowing the bees to lap at nectar that smaller-tongued species can’t reach. …Miller-Struttmann’s colleagues, who have been studying the local bees and flowers for decades, started to notice weird changes. Long-tongued bees, which have been declining in many parts of the world, had become relatively rarer in the Rockies too…To work out what was going on, …they compared their (tongue) lengths to those of specimens collected from the same mountains between 1966 and 1980…These … revealed that the tongues of these species have become 0.61 percent shorter every year, and are now just three-quarters of their former glory. (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/09/bees – Sept. 2015)
The shortening of the tongue means that the once long-tongued bees will be forced to abandon flowers with long tubes, and begin to compete with short-tonged bees, to feed on short-tubed flowers, meaning in turn, some missing the feed altogether, and will die. As reported above, they are already dying in other parts of the country. On the other hand, the long-tubed flowers will miss the pollination of these bees, and so the plant may also die off. Surely, natural selection seems to be working in reverse order – if we are to believe every word the evolutionists offer as explanation.
The bee’s long tongue
Darwin? What Darwin?
Get back to realities, look forward
to death, my dear – as I disappear too.
Before looking into other aspects of the theory of evolution, we might first present it inMichael Denton’s words, who summarizes:
(Darwinian) concept of evolution by natural selection … depended on three premises … that organisms varied, that these variations could be inherited, and that all organisms were subject to an intense struggle for existence which was bound to favor the preservation by natural selection the most beneficial variation… The evolution of the long neck of the giraffe could now be explained without recourse to mysterious “inner force.” (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 42)
The following element could be added to the theory from Jacques Monod. He wrote:
“… chancealone is at the source of every innovation, and of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very of the stupendous edifice of evolution …” (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 43)
Thus, in simpler terms, the theory is based on the following assumptions:
(i) Shortage of resources leading to struggle for survival, leading to
(ii) tiny physical variations over millions of years,
(iii) acquired traits inherited,leading to natural selection, and finally:
(iv) survival of the fittest, and thus,
(v) appearance of new species.
But, a lot of loose nuts are lying around and the theory takes no shape at all when its parts are scientifically assembled. To take up the first postulate, ‘shortage of resources,’ and the ensuing ‘struggle for survival,’ it could never have happened because it is generally agreed that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old and that the first cellular life discovered so far is about 3.8 billion years. It is also generally agreed that life started in aqueous environment.Bacteria have been found in rocks 3.6 billion years old, meaning within 200 million years the first life has already developed into bacteria, generously equipped with massive amount of DNA – one of the most intriguing and complicated molecule; keeping the point in mind that humans are proud of 3 billion base pairs in their DNA while bacteria, a single-celled animal has 900 billion base pairs.
Now, let us ask ourselves: Oceans came to be formed about 4.2 billion years ago. Since continents had not yet been formed then, water covered the entire globe. A question, when were the oceans too filled up for bacteria to run short of resources, for them to struggle to survive? At best there could have been 10-20 species of life forms. There are 1.2 million known species of life-forms in our times, and similar or more are expected to be there unknown to humans, but no species seems to be dying off or evolving into a new species because of shortage of resources. Surely, arrival of new species, for want of resources at a time when life had just started, and when there were no competitors for resources,is an idea that will appeal only the novices.
Images of bacteria(not to scale; but a few millionsof any of them can be accommodated on a pin-head.
They are so tiny that they can enter disguised into a cell through its tiny pores).
And surely, bacteria are a tough body. They can survive any climatic, geological and other life-conditions:
“Bacteria are any of a very large group of single-celled microorganisms that display a wide range of metabolic types, geometric shapes and environmental habitats—and niches—of occurrence. Normally only several micrometers in length, bacteria assume the form of spheres, rods, spirals and other shapes. Bacteria are found in a very broad gamut of habitats; for example, bacterial extremophiles that thrive in such places as hot springs, arctic environments, radioactive waste, deep sea oil seeps, deep Earth crustal environments, hypersaline ponds and within other living organisms.” (C Michael Hogan (http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/150368/ – Published: October 12, 2014)
Examination of the list of habitats above tells us that it covers the entire planet. So, when did the planet get filled with bacteria that it ran short of resources forcing nature to apply the mechanism of evolution and create organisms that would not feed on what the original (parent) bacteria were feeding on?
Modern-day research is making it all the more difficult to claim that at any time bacteria ran short of resources. Some scientists say that there are a million species of bacteria. (https://www. newscientist. com/ blog/shortsharpscience).But why? Why a million species of them? Yet other scientists do not agree with a million:
I have estimated that thirty grams of forest soil contains over half a million species. The species-difference between related communities suggests that the number of species of bacteria may be more than a thousand million. (Santa Rosaila: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9602276)
Does it make sense to believe that the original one bacterium was forced to evolve into 1,000,000,000 new species (in a restricted environment alone)for want of resources to live on?
Let us reconsider Darwin’s statement:
“As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as there is frequently recurring struggle for existence, any being, if it varies, however slightly, in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life will have a better chance of surviving and thus be naturally selected.”
But, the earth continues to host them and, what is more, it has been discovered from fossil studies that several species of bacteria of today are the same as those that lived 3.6 billion years ago. They have not undergone any physical change whatsoever.
Furthermore, it is not bacteria alone which has not been subject to any evolutionary change. Research shows that the common translucent jelly fish has remained unchanged in its form since 550 million years. The fish Coelacanth, famous for its being made a show piece by the Darwinists, is another glaring example. The so-called evolutionary drive has had no effect on it since last 400 million years. It still swims merrily along the coast of Madagascar. (Francis Hitching, Was Darwin Wrong?)
(To be continued)