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A long-standing issue in evolutionary biology is whether the processes observable in extant populations and species (microevolution) are sufficient to account for the larger-scale changes evident over longer periods of life’s history (macroevolution). Outsiders to this rich literature may be surprised that there is no consensus on this issue, and that strong viewpoints are held at both ends of the spectrum, with many undecided.
No Sign of Macroevolution in the Fossil Record Charles Darwin said in Origin of the Species, Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. To say that there is lack of evidence for macroevolution in the fossil record is an understatement. Noted atheist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould admitted: We do not see slow evolutionary change in the fossil record… change seems to be abrupt because the intermediate steps are missing. 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. After admitting that the fossil record “seems to show so little of evolution directly,” that it “was never ‘seen’ in the rocks,” how those professing gradualism “almost never see the very process we profess to study,”  Gould went on to say, Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless. [Further,] in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors: it appears all at once and “fully formed.” It is unclear how one can get a more damning confession from one of the world’s most beloved atheistic science writers.
What About “Intermediate Links?” Archaeopteryx was once thought to be a two-legged dinosaur. Once hailed as a “missing link” between birds and dinosaurs, it was discovered that it possessed fully formed flight feathers just like modern flying or gliding birds, and was simply reclassified. Then there is the “Piltdown Bird” (1912) which was thought to be the missing links between apes and humans. It was later exposed forty-one years later to be fake (they combined an ancient human skull with the jaw of a modern orangutan). Archaeoraptor was hailed as “the missing link between terrestrial dinosaurs and birds that could actually fly” and was later discovered to be a fabrication—they had glued a dinosaur tail to the body of a primitive bird. Bambiraptor (1993) was proclaimed as “the most bird-like dinosaur yet discovered” but it was later discovered that “hair-like projections and feathers were not found with the fossil, but [had] been added [there] based on theoretical considerations.” There are also the supposed “missing link” discoveries between apes and man: Neanderthal man, known to be fully human; Piltdown man, later discovered to have been due to a fraudulent combination of human skullcap with an ape’s jaw; Java man, consisting of an ape skull and a human femur, found separated by many meters, and later disavowed by its discoverer; and Australopithicus africanus, the skull of an infant ape which typically bore a slight resemblance to a human child’s skull. … Nebraska man, America’s own ape-man… consisted of only one tooth, later discovered to be that of a pig. Considering the field of paleontology is so riddled with fraud, it’s a wonder scientists would hail any new discovery as a missing link! One would think that evolutionary scientists who claim to base a career on the scientific method would be a bit more careful and objective in their analysis of the evidence.
Where Do Living Fossils Fit? There are species that don’t seem to fit the Darwinian timescale at all. For example, the African coelacanth fish is believed to have started evolving 400 million years ago and went extinct 70 million years ago. It was believed this fish was an intermediary type between fish and amphibians and other tetrapods. However, 309 of these fish have been found alive since 1938! Furthermore, an analysis of its DNA shows it is similar to other types of fish, not land animals. Other examples of “living fossils” include graptolites, the tuatara (supposedly extinct since the Cretaceous Period until found still living in New Zealand), the Lepidocaris crustacean (only found as fossils in Devonian rocks), the Metasequoia conifer tree (thought extinct for the past 20 million years), the Neopilina mollusk (supposedly extinct for 280 million years), the lingula brachiopod (“extinct” since the Ordovician), and even the trilobite (chief index fossil of the even more ancient Cambrian Period).
Self-Organization is Contrary to Second Law The idea that complexity can increase over time by means of a purely natural process is contrary to the second law of thermodynamics. Billions of years cannot produce complexity and order. Rather, time makes things more disordered. Suppose you throw red, white, and blue confetti out of an airplane 1,000 feet above your house. What’s the chance it’s going to form the American flag on your front lawn? Very low. Why? Because natural laws will mix up or randomize the confetti. You say, “Allow more time.” Okay, let’s take the plane up to 10,000 feet to give natural laws more time to work on the confetti. Does this improve the probability that the flag will form on your lawn? No, more time actually makes the flag less likely because natural laws have longer to do what they do—disorder and randomize.
Biochemical systems are exceedingly complex, so much so that the chance of their being formed through random shuffling of simple organic molecules is exceedingly minute, to a point indeed where it is insensibly different from zero. [So there must be] an intelligence, which designed the biochemicals and gave rise to the origin of carbonaceous life.
the letter frequency in DNA is the same as human language. The word frequencies of all natural languages follow Zipf’s Law. It was argued by Anastasios and Panagiotis Tsonis in 1996 that DNA does not follow this pattern. However, both changed positions in 2002 based on further research. The new conclusion was that DNA does indeed follow Zipf’s Law when the proper definition of a “word” is used: During the past few years… attempts have been made to search whether or not DNA obeys a law similar to Zipf’s law for languages. The key issue in such attempts is what could possibly constitute a “word” in DNA sequences… We focused our attention on genomes (rather than individual genes) and considered that a given genome is a language whose “words” are the different domains, which are found in proteins. This is a much more realistic approach… These results indicate that all four genomes obey the law f ?r –a with a remarkably close to one, which is identical to Zipf’s law for natural languages. We conclude that Zipf’s law can be recovered in genomes if the appropriate definition of a “word” is used. The conclusion is that DNA has the same level of specified complexity as human language. But human language has an intelligent creator (humans). Therefore, DNA “language” must also have an intelligent cause.
there is irreducible complexity at the system level. The human body is made up of ten major organ systems which must work together as one unit. There is the digestive system (throat, stomach, intestines, colon, gallbladder), skeletal system (bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons), reproductive system (male: testes, scrotum, penis, prostate; female: ovaries, uterus, vagina), integumentary system (skin), muscular system, nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves), endocrine (hormonal) system (thyroid, sweat glands), excretory system (kidneys, liver), respiratory system (nose, throat, lungs, diaphram) and circulatory system (blood, vessels, heart). Each system depends upon the other—they would all need to evolve together, simultaneously, for the body to function normally. Joseph A. Kuhn, MD, writes in the Baylor University Medical Center journal: Such [evolutionary] changes would require far more than could be expected from random mutation and natural selection. Since these systems are irreducibly complex and individual mutations in one organ would not be beneficial for the organism, these random mutations in all aspects… would need to occur simultaneously. Therefore, the human body represents an irreducibly complex system on a cellular and an organ/system basis.
, there is irreducible complexity at the ecological level. Biologists Zuill and Standish said the nitrogen cycle, with its series of interconnected oxidation and reduction reactions, is evidence of irreducible interdependence in ecology. In this cycle, humans and animals provide carbon dioxide to plants while plants provide oxygen to humans. Microbiologist Andrew Fabich points to honeybees as another example. Plants require bees for pollination; bees require the food that plants provide. Other examples include the relationship between certain insects and bacteria, between vascular plants and fungi, and the four-part symbiotic relationship between leaf-cutting, fungus-farming ants, plants, and both macro and micro fungus. Fabich concluded all living organisms interact with and change their environments and, yet, do not destroy their natural environment unless the ecosystem becomes imbalanced. Without any guiding force or intelligence, ecosystems have a tendency towards self-destruction and do not give themselves the opportunity to exist in the first place: they are doomed from the beginning. The only way for any ecosystem to exist is for the ecosystem to have existed and function in its entirety from its origin. Therefore, ecosystems cannot come into existence by Darwinian mechanisms because they are irreducibly complex. Astrophysicist Hugh Ross underscores the challenge that irreducible complexity presents to the naturalist: Naturalistic evolutionary models must explain how both or all the symbiotic partners emerged and developed simultaneously—and in proximity—with the specific morphological and biochemical features in place to permit the transfer of mutually beneficial—or absolutely essential—goods and services to the other(s). An even greater challenge may be to explain how symbiotic relationships became so ubiquitous in the biological realm
The Analogy of the Canyon Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, came up with a great analogy which may help explain why people continue to find the theory of evolution appealing. It was so helpful to me that I decided to summarize it here in an appendix. Imagine there is a deep four-foot ditch completely separating you and your neighbor. One day you find your neighbor in your yard and you ask how he got there. If he says, “I jumped,” that seems like an acceptable answer. However, imagine the gap is now a 100 foot wide canyon. Suddenly “I jumped” isn’t acceptable! But suppose he begins to explain his arrival into your yard this way: He did not come across in one jump. Rather, he says, in the canyon there were a number of buttes, no more than 10 feet apart from one another; he jumped from one narrowly spaced butte to another to reach your side. Glancing toward the canyon, you tell your neighbor that you see no buttes, just a wide chasm separating your yard from his. He agrees, but explains that it took him years and years to come over. During that time buttes occasionally arose in the chasm, and he progressed as they popped up. After he left a butte it usually eroded pretty quickly and crumbled back into the canyon. This story teaches us three lessons. First, a “jump” can be offered as an explanation for how a gap was bridged, but it’s the gap’s width that determines whether it was really plausible. Second, crossing a huge gap is made more plausible if it’s turned into a series of smaller, consecutive jumps. Third, you can’t argue with someone who says they used smaller stepping stones to bridge the gap if they also claim that those stones have since disappeared.