Edward Daley
September 23, 2005
The problem with evolution
By Edward Daley

According to Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith, Ph.D., the basic theory of evolution, as it relates to the origins of life on Earth, can be explained by using the following formulas:

1.) M (matter) + T (time) + E (energy) = ABIOGENESIS (the development of living organisms from nonliving matter)

2.) C (cell) + T + E + MUTATION + NATURAL SELECTION (survival of the fittest) = SPECIATION (the evolutionary formation of new biological species into two or more genetically distinct ones)

Charles Darwin And The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin, the 19th century geologist who wrote the treatise 'The Origin of Species, by means of Natural Selection' defined evolution as "descent with modification." Darwin hypothesized that all forms of life descended from a common ancestor, branching out over time into various unique life forms, due primarily to a process called natural selection.

However, the fossil record shows that all of the major animal groups (phyla) appeared fully formed about 540 million years ago, and virtually no transitional life forms have been discovered which suggest that they evolved from earlier forms. This sudden eruption of multiple, complex organisms is often referred to as the Cambrian Explosion, and even Darwin knew about the lack of evidence in the fossil record to support his theory a century and a half ago.

In order to explain this discrepancy, he opined that the reason no transitional life forms had been found was because such organisms would have been too small or too fragile to become fossilized. The problem with this assertion is that microfossils of single-celled organisms, that predate the Cambrian explosion by billions of years, have been discovered which are much smaller and more delicate than any transitional forms would have been. Also, about 70% of the Cambrian era fossils found to date come from delicate, soft-bodied animals.

These facts have led modern neo-Darwinists to devise a more workable hypothesis called 'Punctuated Equilibrium,' which states that speciation occurs by sudden bursts of rapid change among small populations, with long periods of little change in between. Since the populations involved were small, they claim, and separated by great expanses of time, there would be little expectation of finding the transitional forms necessary to prove speciation.

Of course, this is a wildly speculative hypothesis, which conveniently predicts the absence of its own supporting evidence, and it is not insignificant to note that Darwin himself opposed the notion of biological changes occurring in such a sudden, explosive manner.

Homology And Scientific Method

Prior to the publication of Darwin's 'The Origin of Species,' the word homology, in biological terms, was defined as "similarity of structure and position." Since then, homology has been redefined by Darwin's followers to mean "similarity due to common ancestry," because they assume that all life forms descended from one organism, as Darwin supposed. Yet, for this definition to be viable, one would need to prove beyond all doubt that the similarities between organisms of different species are necessarily dependent upon shared genetic code sequences. Since we know for a fact that completely different genetic sequences can cause similar features to occur between different types of animals, and that shared sequences often account for totally dissimilar features, this definition of homology is essentially nonviable.

Beyond that, Darwin himself defined homology using its original wording, never once attempting to redefine it. He simply tried to explain WHY similarities of structure and position within biological systems occur. He knew that to define homology in the way it has subsequently been defined, amounts to an exercise in circular logic. If one is to argue that different species have similar features because they evolved from a common ancestor, one cannot simply state that homology means similarity due to common ancestry. To do so is to deprive the word of any real meaning, yet, in spite of these facts, neo-Darwinists, to this day, continue to embrace the latter of the two definitions.

They also tend to define science itself in an extremely self-limiting way. To me, science is the well reasoned, methodical, and open minded investigation of all existence, aimed at discovering truth. In order to find truth, or at least something approaching it, one needs to compare each theory with the available evidence, and see which ones hold water. Neo-Darwinists, on the other hand, believe that since scientists only study natural or material things, only natural or material causes can account for existence, and therefore, science cannot incorporate any theory that is not based on a naturalist worldview. That's why they will not even consider the possibility of there being an intelligent design or purpose behind existence.

This, of course, is not a scientific mindset at all, but a philosophical one, which intentionally dismisses from the start any theory based upon an opposing philosophy, no matter how well reasoned it is, or how much evidence may support it.

Comparative Anatomy And Vertebrate Embryos

Charles Darwin wrote, in 'The Origin of Species' that "embryos of the most distinct species belonging to the same class are closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar," adding that this observation was "by far the strongest single class of facts in favor of my theory [of common ancestry]."

Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist who popularized Darwin's theory in his home country, drew images of various vertebrates in different stages of early development which seemed to support Darwin's contention. When one views Haeckel's drawing, one sees three different stages of development among several different animals, including human beings. The first stage in particular shows all of the creatures looking very similar in appearance. However, there is one major problem with his depictions of these various stages, which still appear in textbooks today, and the problem is that Haeckel faked them.

In his drawing, the animals look nearly identical to one another, whereas even in his day it was obvious to the scientific community that these animals looked very different at every stage of development. Modern photographs show them to be clearly distinguishable from one another, with radical differences apparent between several.

Furthermore, the developmental stages upon which many neo-Darwinists choose to focus, are not the earliest stages of the vertebrates in question. In fact, an examination of the earliest stages of these animals exposes even more dissimilarities between the types. Since the point of the neo-Darwinian argument is that animals look similar at their earliest stages of development, and are, therefore, derived from a common ancestor, choosing later stages to compare makes no sense.

Modification Due To Natural Selection

Before the industrial Revolution, Peppered moths were primarily light colored, although some dark ones did exist. Once factories began to spring up, and the soot from them started to turn the trees nearby darker, it was noticed that the dark moth population was growing in proportion to the light colored population, assumedly because the birds in the area were eating all the light colored moths, which were easier to see against the dark tree trunks upon which they lived. This was seen as clear evidence of natural selection in action.

The problem is that the moths in question didn't live on tree trunks, but rather, underneath the branches and leaves high up in the trees. Moreover, the moths were nocturnal, and their primary predators were bats, not birds, so the supposition that the darker moths gained an advantage over the lighter ones, because they were better camouflaged, doesn't hold true. In the first place, bats don't hunt using their very limited vision, they use echolocation to find their prey, which they swoop out of the sky at night. The color of their prey is, therefore, irrelevant.

Another problem with this example is that the population of dark moths suddenly began to decrease again long before pollution controls on the factories came into play and the trees began to turn back to their natural lighter shade.

Now, I'm not trying to say that natural selection didn't necessarily play a part in the shift from light to dark and then back to light again, of the Peppered moths mentioned in this example. It may very well have. All I'm trying to point out is that the methods used to conclude that natural selection did indeed account for this phenomenon, were so badly flawed from the beginning that one has to wonder if the so-called scientists responsible for studying this phenomenon ever had any intention of uncovering the truth of the matter at all.

The most disturbing aspect of this situation is that certain neo-Darwinists in later years actually pinned dead moths to the trunks of trees in order to get photographs of them to put into textbooks that described the phenomenon in Darwinian terms. Many of those images are still in use today, even though anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of the event would dismiss them as the ridiculous fabrications that they are.

If there is genuine evidence of species modification due to natural selection, and even the most diehard critic of Darwinian macroevolution (speciation) theory will tell you that there is, why resort to manufacturing evidence in order to propagate false information? That's certainly not what I would call scientific behavior.

Darwin's Finches

An example in which changes in a particular species, due to environmental influences, can actually be seen, is one which regards a certain type of finch living in the Galapagos Islands. During a severe drought that occurred in 1977, the majority of what have become known as "Darwin's finches" died off, and the average beak size of the rest were somewhat larger than the average of the previous population. Apparently, the birds with the larger beaks survived because they were able to break open the harder seeds that resulted from the lack of water in the area.

Now this is a good example of natural selection. Clearly a bird with a bigger, stronger beak will be better equipped to crack open hard seeds than a bird with a smaller, weaker one, thus affording the former an advantage in terms of survival. That having been said, such changes have only been shown to occur within species, and do not, in any way, account for the dramatic changes necessary to turn one type of creature into another completely different type. In this case, as is true with every other species which has exhibited similar changes, the difference from one generation to the next is small and often temporary.

Neo-Darwinists assert that if the drought had gone on for years, the beak size of the birds would have continued to grow, and other changes would have occurred, causing the finches to evolve into a different species altogether. It is my contention that if the drought had continued for very much longer, the existing population of birds would most likely have perished from starvation. After all, a beak can only get to be so big before its size starts to become a hindrance to the bird, and seeds can only get so dry and hard before they become inedible.

What actually happened to the finches is that the drought ended, and the population's average beak size returned to normal, with slight variations evident from year to year thereafter.

Mutation And Morphology

Neo-Darwinists suppose that genetic mutations within certain species can account for speciation, yet, while genetic mutations do occur, the kind that are beneficial have only been found at the molecular level, accounting for things like resistance to certain diseases. For Darwin's macroevolution theory to be true, the mutations necessary to change one animal into another would have to affect the animal's morphology (the shape and structure of its body). To date there has been no evidence that beneficial mutations affecting morphology have occurred in the wild. Mutations of this sort have proved to be either benign or detrimental to the survival of the mutant, utterly contradicting the Darwinist view.

Based upon the evidence gathered so far, both micromutation and modification from natural selection seem to be mechanisms which actually preserve the species they affect, as opposed to turning them into other types of organisms, as Darwinian theory assumes.

Intelligent Design Theory

The basic theory of Intelligent Design as it relates to the origins of life on Earth, can be explained by using the following formulas:

1.) M (matter) + T (time) + E (energy) + I (information) = ABIOGENESIS

2.) C (cell) + T + E + I = ALL SPECIES

Darwin once wrote, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organism existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case."

Micromachines And Irreducible Complexity

There have been some fairly recent discoveries which have led many prominent scientists (see list at bottom of page) to conclude that certain microscopic systems, or biomachines, at work within all living cells are "irreducibly complex." That is to say that these biomachines require several, well-matched, interactive parts in order to function, and if even one of the parts is missing or is not fully realized, the machine is rendered useless.

One such machine is the bacterial flagellum or flagellar motor, which acts as a rotary engine composed of protein molecules, with a single propeller at one end that it uses to move bacteria about. Even the most cursory examination of its definition (see link below) shows it to be an extremely complex system.

The significance of the bacterial flagellum example cannot be overstated, because it is precisely the sort of complex organism that Darwin feared would break down his theory. For you see, there is no accounting for machines such as this by means of "numerous, successive, slight modifications," because with every slight modification prior to the completed system, the machine is non functional. Therefore, by Darwin's own rules of natural selection, it would necessarily cease to exist long before it was able to become a working system.

Since the existence of these organisms cannot be attributed to partially advantageous modifications occurring over long periods of time, because any partial form of the flagellum offers no advantage to the cell, how can neo-Darwinists explain them?

Well, some have argued that the flagellum's parts may have had as yet unknown independent functions before coming together to form the larger, more complex machine. However, if that were the case, then its three dozen-plus parts would have had to assemble themselves all at once, and in just the right order. It is important to note that machines such as this cannot be constructed by placing their components together randomly. For the bacterial flagellum to be functional, all of its parts need to come together in a particular sequence, just as assembling an automobile engine requires adherence to a certain step-by-step process. You can't just throw the parts up in the air and hope they fall together the right way, nor can you leave even one part out, or add a part which does not fit properly.

Aside from the fact that the probability of biological micromachines forming entirely by random chance is so astronomically low in mathematical terms as to be practically absurd, one must also recognize that Darwin considered such sudden, miraculous occurrences to be incompatible with his theories of evolution. After all, the word evolution means the gradual process of change over time, yet organisms such as the bacterial flagellum, just like the organisms of the Cambrian era fossil record, seem to have appeared all at once, coming into being fully realized and fully functioning, and no neo-Darwinian supposition comes close to explaining why.

The Instructional Code Sequences Of DNA

Further evidence supporting the theory of intelligent design lies within the information-bearing properties of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The code sequences inside a single DNA molecule are so astoundingly complex that when compared to the code sequences used to run the world's most sophisticated computer programs, DNA sequences looks like a copy of 'War and Peace' sitting beside a recipe for scrambled eggs.

Animo Acids And Proteins

The four-character-based code sequences embedded within DNA amount to a set of instructions for arranging amino acids in the correct order necessary for them to form functional protein molecules. In order for any form of life to arise, instructions need to be provided for them by a DNA molecule. Of course, this brings us to the question of where such instructions, especially the instructions for the very first life form, came from.

Neo-Darwinists contend that non-living chemicals acted upon each other randomly over many millions of years, inevitably resulting in the formation of amino acids into proteins, which are often referred to as the building blocks of life. But are non-living chemicals capable of reacting with one another in such a way as to form a functional protein molecule?

To give you an idea of just how improbable that scenario is, consider that one of the smallest protein molecules is the insulin protein, which is made up of 52 amino acids. Now further consider that the late Dr. James F. Coppedge Ph.D. calculated the odds against even one of these proteins forming entirely by chance as being a million trillion trillion trillion trillion to one, and I think you've got your answer.

Pre-Biological Natural Selection

Some neo-Darwinian theorists have opined that the process of natural selection could explain the formation of proteins. However, the natural selection mechanism is dependent upon the existence of organisms which are able to reproduce. Suffice it to say that pre-biological natural selection cannot exist, and it is somewhat surprising that such a ridiculous suggestion has even been made by assumedly serious-minded scientists.


Another hypothesis of neo-Darwinists concerns self-organization, or the self-ordering properties of chemical components. It basically relates that the forces of attraction between chemicals can cause the informational aspects of DNA to form naturally, thereby allowing it to instruct the amino acids which form proteins.

The problem with this hypothesis is that the DNA double helix, which looks somewhat like a twisted ladder, has two basic components, the structural component, comprised of sugar and phosphate molecules, and the informational component, comprised of four chemical bases named adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine. While the forces of attraction do bond the informational components to the structural components, those forces are not capable of influencing the sequence necessary to convey the information used to build proteins.

To use an analogy that will help clarify my point, imagine, if you will, an iron surface with several uniquely shaped magnets stuck to it. The iron surface represents the sugar and phosphate molecules that make up the sidebars of a DNA double helix, and the magnets represent the chemical bases adhering to them. While the forces of attraction do hold the magnets to the iron surface, they have nothing to do with how those magnets are arranged on it, and it's the arrangement that either conveys information or doesn't.

If the chemical bases are arranged randomly, which is what you get if the forces of attraction are the only ones at work, no information can be conveyed, just like no information is imparted when you strike the characters on a computer keyboard randomly. You might occasionally spell out a word by accident, but it is unlikely in the extreme that you would ever write even one coherent sentence, and the amount of information on a DNA molecule is far greater than the amount of information found in a single sentence, or even in an encyclopedia, for that matter.

Judging from the available evidence, no undirected process, chemical or other, can account for the remarkably complex code sequences which exists in DNA molecules, and to suggest otherwise, is like suggesting that the computer code sequences which allow Microsoft Windows to function could have come about by simply letting a mouse run up and down a computer keyboard.

In Conclusion

The theory of Evolution contains certain major logical flaws which have not been, and in some cases, cannot be overcome scientifically. While the theory of Intelligent Design is also unproved, and in ways, unprovable, it at least attempts to look beyond the limits of Darwinian theory, and offer more reasonable explanations for the phenomena we observe in nature.

The modern Intelligent Design movement has come about since the 1980s, thanks to the work of many individuals from several diverse scientific fields, most notably Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, Michael Denton, Dean Kenyon, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, Paul Nelson, Jonathan Wells, and William Dembski. As these individuals have become more outspoken about the theory and, consequently, more critical of Darwinism, they have been systematically attacked by the larger scientific community. Many of these attacks have been highly personal in nature, amounting to slander, and most neo-Darwinists will not even concede that Intelligent Design is a legitimate theory.

The public educational establishment as well is almost unanimously opposed to exposing children to the sort of information I've written about above, often referring to Intelligent Design as religious Creationism, even though the two theories are actually quite different. Unlike Creationsim, which is the belief in the Biblical account of Creation by the Judeo-Christian God, Intelligent Design theory does not attempt to define, either religiously or in some other way, the nature of the entity responsible for the design of living organisms, nor does it discuss a possible motive behind that design.

While Creationists are free to use the arguments of Intelligent Design to support their own religious views, one need not be member of any religion to be a proponent of the theory, and for neo-Darwinists to argue otherwise, exhibits either their total ignorance of the theory, or their willingness to misrepresent the facts.

I myself am not a religious person, and I take personal offense to the arrogant and condescending attitudes of most Darwinists toward the idea that Intelligent Design is evident in living organisms. It is every bit as legitimate a theory as the one proposed by Charles Darwin, who's beliefs were extremely limited by his ignorance of the various biological processes that science has since revealed. That so many modern-day scientists could remain so dogmatically committed to a single, largely assumptive, and at least partially discredited theory for so many years, without even attempting to look at other possibilities, is a testament to their narrow-mindedness and intolerance for truly independent thought.

They behave as if they have an exclusive handle on the truth underlying all living things, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and they react like spoiled children whenever anyone attempts to break down their facade. In my opinion, Neo-Darwinism is based as much on the philosophy of naturalism, as it is scientific evidence, and any proponents of Evolution theory who insist that Intelligent Design is somehow a more religious theory, should familiarize themselves with the concept of, "the pot calling the kettle black."


The Intelligent Design Movement

William A. Dembski

Stephen Meyer, Ph.D.

Michael J. Behe

A. E. Wilder-Smith, Ph.D.

Phillip Johnson, J.D.

Jonathan Wells, Ph.D.

Duane Gish, Ph.D.

Charles Thaxton, Ph.D.

Walter Bradley, Ph.D.

Paul Nelson, Ph.D.

Michael Denton, Ph.D.

Dean Kenyon, Ph.D.

James Valentine, Ph.D.

Scott Minnich, Ph.D.

The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design

Talk Design

The Institute for Genomic Research

The Intelligent Design Network

The Idea Center

Cellular Machines - Animated Documentary

© Edward Daley

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Edward Daley

Edward Daley was born to American parents on a U.S. military base in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to the United States as an infant... (more)


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