I have issued three public challenges (not to mention several private ones) to the more than 215,000 followers on my Facebook page for atheists to provide specific qualified evidence for Darwinian evolution. Each time, my challenge has been met with deafening silence. Yet, when I say something about faith in God or the wonder of His creation, I am met with hostility, insults and mockery from outspoken atheists who say I am unscientific and stupid. Maybe I am ignorant…enlighten me then – answer my question!
I have been in the Church all my life, but I have never seen the dogmatism and blind faith demonstrated by these atheists. They regurgitate old, tired, refuted arguments like a chorus of mocking jays with such overconfidence they seem like a parody of themselves.
If you didn’t see my challenge, here it is again. I am asking for one example (just one) that meets these five criteria:
- It must be a random mutation that has occurred naturally
- It must have been observed (aka science)
- It must have added NEW information to the genome
- The mutation must also benefit the host
- Don’t resort to citing silly examples of E. Coli or other microorganisms.
Darwin’s model requires this to happen trillions of times. I’m asking for just one example. Truth be told, I could drop several of these criteria and lower the threshold significantly and the challenge would remain unmet. The theory is incredibly vulnerable, yet the atheist will often say to me with religious conviction, “Evolution is a proven fact.” This is such an intentionally misleading statement and here’s why:
Every Christian, no matter how conservative, believes that organisms do adapt and speciate (this is part of God’s brilliant design). If NASA built a rover that could go to an alien planet and adapt to any environmental condition it encountered this would be an example of a more elegant design not less. How then does an atheist look at the amazing ability of life to adapt and, rather than praising it’s brilliant designer, conclude there is none?
So again, Christians DO believe in the kind of “evolution” that exists in the real world; namely, adaptation and speciation. But the Darwinian claim that organisms can evolve into different “kinds” (as opposed to species) by gaining complexity through the addition of new genetic information has NEVER been observed…not even once! (let me clarify, that when I say “Kinds” I’m making a reference to Biblical terminology. The Bible speaks of “kinds” which are a grouping similar to what we would describe today as a genus (plural genera). So there is room for a lot of variation within a “kind”, many species in fact).
Every mutation we know of is the result of an exchange, duplication or loss of information. For example, I have literally had atheists point to Down syndrome as an example of evolution! Who would argue that Down syndrome is a beneficial mutation? But even if it were, it is simply caused by a duplication of genetic information (a third copy of chromosome 21). There is no new genetic information being added whatsoever!
This means that the kind of mutations we have observed cannot change organisms into different or more complex kinds. They will adapt, but they will never be anything other than what they are:
- A dog’s genes may be manipulated to produce many different breeds but they will always be dogs.
- Fruit flies may grow a second pair of wings, but they will always be fruit flies.
- Finches may grow longer beaks, but they will always be finches.
- Bacteria may find new food to metabolize will always be bacteria.
These adaptations are evidence for a fact that no one disputes, namely that organisms can often adapt to their environment in certain ways. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest that bacteria are becoming dogs and flies are becoming finches. This means that Darwin’s cult is a matter of faith not science. Believe what you want to, but don’t be a hypocrite and hold the Christian to a different standard.
My bottom line – I don’t believe in atheists. They are at war, not with God, but with themselves. They are as conflicted as a child denying its mother. This is why their resistance seems painful and passionate – not what you would expect from someone denying a fairytale. They are rejecting the inner witness of their own souls, the testimony of nature and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It must be an extremely itchy existence “kicking against the goads.” My heart is broken for the atheist. I’m praying for you today (sincerely). I don’t pray that you would come to any religion (I hate religion as much as anyone). But I pray that you would come to know the love of God through Jesus Christ.
I appreciate all the attempts to provide the requested examples. Unfortunately, they are all good examples of speciation (which you may recall, no one doubts). I see no increase in complexity and no adaptation above the species level (so that progeny can no longer mate with their parent species etc.) This does not necessarily mean that evolution (on a macro scale) is not true. Perhaps it is, perhaps its not. One thing is certain…it has NEVER been observed. You may have faith in evolution. You may have faith in the evidence for evolution. You have faith in the majority of the present scientific community. Any way you slice it, it’s still faith. Welcome to the community of believers.
Your criteria are easy to meet:
Peppered moth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution
Underground mosquito: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground_mosquito
These are just off the top of my head. It’s not a microorganism, but your 5th criterion shows your bias. If mutation happens the same on a microlevel of life as the macro level (moths and mozzies are macro, just to be clear), then showing natural selection examples in the microlevel is evidence enough. Moths and mozzies are easier to show as evidence, since time between generations is short, not like mammals. We haven’t been paying attention for long enough to document genome changes in living mammals, although the fossil record is evidence enough.
Evolution is a theory, and like all theories is based on observable knowledge and extrapolation.
The very fact that the theory states that it takes millions of years of adapting to climates means that it is impossible to witness a change of species in our lifetime, or in the lifetime of the entire human race.
However to a logical person who notices small adaptations that our bodies have to the environment it can be concluded that in millions of years our bodies could adapt to form completely different species. This seems to be more believable than any of the other theories presented.
paragraph 4. Okay, according to your logic, since the world is beautiful and complex, that means there must be a creator that’s even more complex, but because the creator is complex that means the creator must have a creator, and so on forever. You saying that because the world changes and its beautiful doesn’t qualify a need for a creator.
Cancer. Look at cancer.
Atheism is more a religion than Christianity. There is archaeological evidence to support at the very least some historical facts in the Bible however there is not one shred of evidence to support the evolutionary theory of anything evolving into something else. Not one shred of evidence that shows that anything changed from one “kind” of animal to another. That being said it amuses me when I hear people say that people that believe in God the creator are dumb. I believe God created everything which is why we are all so closely related with respect to body make up and biology. That points to a creator not happen stance. Evolutionists believe we came from a rock and primordial soup and that makes more sense to them? The theory of evolution relies heavily on faith in something that can not be proven so therefore, evolution is just as much a religion as Christianity is if not more so.
If you want proof that the Bible is powerful and true, just read the book of Daniel. There Daniel interprets a dream of king Nebudkenezzar where he outlines and predicts 2500 years of world kingdoms with incredible accuracy. Look it up for yourself. It would take something more powerful than we can imagine to be able to accurately predict 2500 years. Jesus said He gave us prophecy so that those who don’t believe can be given a reason to believe. He said He would tell us what was going to happen long before it happens so when it happens just the way He said, you can believe. I hope you will research for yourself before you make the dangerous decision to continue being decieved. God Bless you all and I will be praying that God speaks to your heart.
Re-visiting the site, I just noticed a GLARING hole in the initial text (that maybe if I’d have bothered reading it, I’d have commented on earlier – whoops). DK claims that Christians now believe in a form of evolution (they didn’t when I was young!!!) involving adaptation and speciation. But then he goes on about some ‘wooly’ term he labels ‘kinds’ stating that their evolution has not been observed.
He goes on to state that kinds is a biblical reference (OMG) and that they would be genera to scientists. SO, according to DK, speciation’s ok with Christians these days but the formation of new genera, over time, isn’t it. And therefore – with DK’s twisted logic – Darwin was wrong!
How bizarre. So let’s compare…
If 2 groups head off in totally different directions, they’ll get to different places. A little like speciation.
So what is wrong, with the groups distancing themselves further from each other, with individuals within a group going off in different directions themselves, also?
With time, and distance, a different genus can be said to have evolved (with x new species).
Or another way: You could compare your siblings to different species and it would follow more distant relatives would be different genera, different families, different orders, different classes, different phyla all the way up to different kingdoms.
Species and genus are just words. Human words. Whilst there may be a little disagreement in the scientific community (and elsewhere) as to how we should define such words, that is hardly a reason to dispute Darwinism. You can’t totally lay the blame on Darwin for your failing to grasp what he managed to make perfectly clear to so many others!!!
What is quite obvious to the rational person is that the world is full of complex habitats where life-forms have – UNCONSCIOUSLY – done their best to adopt the best fit. By genetic mutuation and preferential survival rates of those best suited (NOTE: nobody should be saying ‘perfect’ here!). And these habitats change with time and the life-forms within a habitat alter the nature of such a place themselves.
And that’s why we have millions of animals species of which we are but one.
I really hope this helps.
Why don’t all brothers in a family have the same DNA?
I believe in God and evolution, the way I see it the garden of Eden is just a short version of evolution, as God put plants first, then animals, and then he put Adam and Eve however this could be compared to a species like Homo erectus because they did not ‘see’ however when they bite into the apple they realized they were naked and this is when Homo sapiens evolved. That is how I can manage to believe in both.
Mate, I am a Christian Aussie and while I am a fan; I didn’t know your faith.
I get the same stuff from the same questions.
I love the people what ever their belief; for at least they engage in the great question of life.
I am not an accident!
The author has a very narrow and at places erronous understanding of evolution. First, it is not about creating new genes, but naturally selected genal expression. So less prominent features now prominent, or the same genal information expressed differently through mutation. Second, no, the Christian use of the word “kind” is now the same as when a lay person use it on most occassions. Darwinian theory has not not been founded on the basis of sudden transformation of genus. So if a fruit fly becomes a dog through natrual selection, I might just become a Christian myaelf. Third, Darwnism is a factual evidence supported theory, which is more than religion can say. Religion claims the existence of a might and conscious being. Thus it is up to religious people to prove its existence. It’s not atheists’ job to provide evidence for “non-existence”. Finally, yes, being an atheist can be a painful and passionate experience. Because seeking truth is more valuable than resting in the comfort that someone else has all the power and resonsibility. Atheists like the author said, don’t believe in fairytales.
1.It must be a random mutation that has occurred naturally
2.It must have been observed (aka science)
3.It must have added NEW information to the genome
4.The mutation must also benefit the host
5.Don’t resort to citing silly examples of E. Coli or other microorganisms.”
This is the problem with the challenge. The guy provided a challenge that cannot be met,
#5 is not necessary at all in a challenge of evolution. The reason this one is there is because the movement of genes require several generations to be tracked. For a human, a generation is a lifetime. We cannot directly observe this stuff in humans (as he is demanding) because we are limited by the lifetime. So we look at animals with quick reproduction cycles to observe this stuff. That why this guy described these examples as being silly (poisioning the well) and then lists microrganisms. When in reality, he initially asked for conclusive evidence for the concept of evolution and these examples are fine.
So the person limits the observation to things with slow reproduction rates according to #5, then gives qualifier #2, which means that if I point out mutations in humans that exist to benefit humans, he can dismiss it because it wasn’t observed . (By the way, science doesn’t mean it has to be observed, just that it is tested) So, if I were to point out that the gene for sickle cell anemia which spread to prevent malaria, he can point out that it wasn’t observed (although it does qualify according to the rest of the definition, and does qualify according to science).
To further hamper the point, is #1. This one is a bit tricky, because what he is referencing is essentially GMs or non-randomized breeding. Take dogs for example, if I were to point out that dog breeding has lead to favorable traits, he can dismiss it according to #1. If I were to talk about how GM wheat lives longer and reproduces faster, it’s a violation of #1.
To conclude, this is guilty of a fallacy of stacking the deck. He has given conditions that cannot possibly be met (meaning it is untestible) to try to change people’s opinions. It is illogical and really dishonest and it attempts to trick people that don’t know better.
Interesting how no one here, no matter how obtuse has actually answered the challenge of the article. The articles linked here are just examples of micro evolution and do not indicate that two finches will ever produce a non-finch for example.
Here are two more huge stumbling blocks for evolution to overcome before we can even start talking about mutations, beneficial or not-
1. How a random process like evolution overcomes the problem of irreducible complexity
2. How the formation of biomolecules particularly proteins and DNA happened randomly. One protein can be hundreds of peptides long and have a complex tertiary and quaternary structure. … remove one peptide and the protein will lose its structure and function completely. How did this process happen in the so called ‘primordial soup’?
I accept that science is ongoing and answers may be found in the future but the problem I have is that evolution is taught as fact, and the silence on the main question of this article – as well as other challenges eg. Michael Behe – is still resounding…….
Where to start…
Firstly “micro evolution” and “macro evolution” are the same mechanism over vastly different timescales. The author ofnthis article knows that the challenge is impossible because he wants us to show proof of large scale evolution over a short time period which is the opposite to what the theory states. Of course if you believe a book which says the Earth and everything on it was created in 6 days only 6 or 7 thousand years ago it would make evolution difficult. But since it is clear our planet is billions of years old and life has existed for hundreds of millions of years then evolution has time to act.
Secondly irreducible complexity – this has been debunked many times over but see here for a simple to understand video:
Interesting discussion on Michael Behe too which I’m sure will be ignored.
Thirdly Abiogenesis is the study of the origins of life (the primordial soup and all that). It is not the same as evolution, which says nothing about the origins of life.
Anyone seriously interested in understanding what evolution actually states and not the false arguements made by the likes of Behe should look at this:
Nothing in Darwin’s theory contradicts the existence of any god (although as an atheist I would say that gods are designed in a way that is impossible to prove or disprove). What evolution does show is that the Book of Genesis is not literally true – but that is a view which is also supported by a large number of Christians – including the previous Archbishop of Canterbury
Kelvin @ 2 – There was a lot of soup and a lot of time. Non-biological processes would have first taken their toll on the chemical composition of the soup. More and more complex carbon molecules would have developed and from there it’s but a small leap of faith (and time, again) to the creation of RNA / DNA and other essential building blocks of life. It’s been proposed by Dawkins I believe that sedimentary deposits could have provided ‘templates’ to speed up the natural processes. Once you’ve got DNA coding for proteins, membrane assemblage would be enabled giving rise to the earliest prokaryotes (bacteria etc). With time, and further evolution, there would have been a need – a niche? – for more and more complex proteins. Snake venom’s active agents are protein. But I doubt there’d have been much call for them back in the early days, for example. Though of course, they did eventually evolve.
@ 1 Firstly, evolution’s hardly ‘random’. Genes can only mutate along specific methods when conditions arise (eg. uv light / carcinogens etc.). Then you have natural selection, sexual selection (a branch of natural selection) and pure good fortune affecting biodiversity. You could be the most ‘perfect’ ant in the world but if your range is restricted to a volcano top and it blows… You’re a gonna. And your like will never be seen again. But if there’s no catastrophe, and you’re the best at what you do, you should dominate. On average.
So irreducible complexity? What good would a ‘proto-eye’ be? It’s got to be better having bad eyesight than no vision at all, hasn’t it, if you live in a habitat where daylight follows night-time’s darkness. And we’re not perfect, after all anyway. How about – assuming you to be heterosexual – do you prefer women to shave their legs / armpits? Personally, I’m a fan of smooth, I shave my own facial hair also. If humankind is perfect and in ‘god’s’ holy image then why bother with razors??? I know it’s a pretty shallow example but I bet there’s a fair few religious men who like their partners to keep their hair coverage under control. Don’t you?
If the normal methods of evolution aren’t good enough for you (because you seem to be arguing that only changes in the genome are true evolution, which is not something either science or evolutionists claim), then there’s plenty of that, too.
You don’t have to believe anything. Just consider that there may be a supreme being going by the name Jesus and that he loves you and may have created this world with love. Would bring up the question to me though, where did emotion, such as love, evolve from? Not asking for proof because it’s obviously kinda hard to prove (otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a debate), but clarity.
Seriously? You mean you can’t conceive of how “love” could have been a vital component in our survival from the beginning? For you it’s unimaginable how “love” figured in as a very important trait in our behavior? Seriously?
Now I know why I have always loved you on any show that I have seen you in. Especially House. My personel fav. I am a Christian and proud of it. Thank you for being you. God bless.
The whole basis of this can be summed up with this. if a person does not want their mind. changed you will not change it no matter how much proof you provide one way or another. both sides of the debate have their belief and faith in what tjey hold as truth and nothing will change that. it is by this that what was was, what is is, and what will be will be.
I am going to guess this post will be deleted, which will benefit your “Deafening silence” claim. I say this because information such as this is easily Google-able, so your “challenge” must be an argumentative fallacy, designed to support the theory of Theism, rather than an actual request for information.
The rule that it must “benefit” the host is ridiculous, as benefit is not only relative, but unnecessary for evolution to occur. Every real scientist will tell you evolution is change- it’s not necessarily an “improvement.” There is not “up” on an evolutionary level, there is only difference. It may be a change which allows more survivability, or it may not. Humanity’s loss of an inner eyelid (the residual is the pink thing in the corner of your eye) isn’t necessarily a “benefit” to your way of thinking, for example, but it may have been an acceptable loss to conserve energy.
You’re also asking for evidence from extremely short-generational life forms, because the scientific community hasn’t been tracking genetic material for all that long. Short-lived life lifeforms would be the only kind that can demonstrate the changes that gradually occur over millions of generations. This would be the dreaded e. coli example you are throwing out.
Claiming that the scientific community cannot meet YOUR specific needs of “proof,” and using that lack of evidence AS proof to back a claim in a Creator, is another argumentative fallacy.
If you are trying to claim that new information can’t be created in a mutation, a la Stephen C. Meyer, I invite your to read this: http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Evolution_of_new_information
However, it just so happens that there ARE studies that meet the requirements of your challenge. I am postd just three of top ones to appear on a quick internet search. Which is why I will assume this post will be deleted.
Alves, M. J., M. M. Coelho and M. J. Collares-Pereira, 2001. Evolution in action through hybridisation and polyploidy in an Iberian freshwater fish: a genetic review. Genetica 111(1-3): 375-385.
Lenski, R. E., 1995. Evolution in experimental populations of bacteria. In: Population Genetics of Bacteria, Society for General Microbiology, Symposium 52, S. Baumberg et al., eds., Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 193-215.
Zhang, J., Y.-P. Zhang and H. F. Rosenberg, 2002. Adaptive evolution of a duplicated pancreatic ribonuclease gene in a leaf-eating monkey. Nature Genetics 30: 411-415. See also: Univ. of Michigan, 2002, How gene duplication helps in adapting to changing environments.
This has to be the most idiotic thing I have ever read, and I’ve read the bible. The fact that “it has to be observed” is part of your criteria is utterly ridiculous and contradictory. Obviously evolution on a large scale happens very slowly and over an incredibly long period of time. In response to this, I ask you to provide me an example of anything proving gods existence that has been observed. And if you use scripture or feelings as an example, you’re just proving how full of shit you are.
Exactly! Many creations have such a poor understanding of what Evolution and Natural Selection are actually about. One often hears chiding questions about why we never see a duck turn into a lion and offer that as proof for how ridiculous Evolution is as a theory.
I’ve no “scientific” example, but the Bible told me sticks can turn into snakes, a la Moses. It meets your requirements. All but the last one. And assuming the Bible is true. 🙂
Well..since this IS the debate of the century, and clearly there will be no declared winner…Let’s just wait, and see…I am still waiting to see ANYTHING that has evolved over the last century, and as a Christian will only be able to offer you others proof…when I have ceased to exist on this earth. I promise, if I see you there to say Hi!…Odds are against it.
I am old-earth creationist believing the univers is in fact ~13.8billion years old and do affirm micro-evolution. Macro-evolution has many major flaws however. I will reference just one here. According to Sepkoski’s and Raup’s 1982 publication…. In the known historical life of earth there have been 5 major extinction where 75-90% of all species were been removed from earth. Observable life has been confirmed as beginning ~3.5billion years ago necessitating that life requires a similar order of magnitude to evolve into complex species such as humans. However the earth’s mass extinction history indicates that there have been periods where life exploded in specy diversity in spans of <5millions years, a mass extinction occured killing of 90% of all earth species, and life exploded again in a matter of ~100million years. This rapid increase of specy volume flys in the face of macro-evolutionary requirements for specy to new specy evolution to take place over hundreds of millions of year, not just 5 to 100. This indicates to me, in my interpretation, that life required inelegant minipulation after these mass extinctions to re-occure so quickly. There is not enough time laps after these mass extinctions to meet the Darwinian evolutionary model for the required number of generational successions for such devers life to have sprung up so rapidly afterwards.
(Responding in my cell, sorry for any auto-correct fails)
The discussion goes around and around and the basis remains the same. I have faith, I believe in Jeaus and what He has done, is doing, and will do. Beyond that, I prayerfully endeavor to follow His example as God in the flesh, His commandment to love one another…my proof of His existence? I, on my own, and in my flesh, simply cannot do this on my own. It is not my nature. More proof of His spirit in me? There are impossible accomplishments that are not mine, only His. Man’s denial of God is arrogant and heartbreaking. Why would we ever want to be self serving, self sufficient , self self self when we have a Creator who loves us, wants relationship with us?
Here’s food for thought…if I’m wrong about the existence of God. If the Bible weren’t the Word of God, then whom does that hurt? No one, not even me because then there is nothing. No meaning, no soul, no eternity. End of story. But if I, as a Christian, not a religious person but a woman with a personal relationship with my Savior, am right? Ask yourself what that means for you and if it might be worth your time to open your heart to something and someone bigger than you.
According to your problems with atheists, issuing this challenge makes you a hypocrite
Christians who refuse to grapple with and merely deny the validity of well established science make me sad. Not because you have faith, but because your faith is so weak that you are threatened by the Theory of Evolution and, no doubt, by the work of leading astronomers and physicists.