Darwin’s Errors by David Cloud
Way of Life Literature, Way of Life
January 27, 2015
|In the late 19th century, the evolutionary doctrine of Charles Darwin was thought to have disproven the Bible. This was a great turning point in history, and each quarter century since then has witnessed an increase in skepticism and open animosity toward God and His Word. Today it is widely assumed that the Bible is filled with myth and scientific blunders while Darwin has been authenticated.The truth is quite the opposite. Scientific research since Darwin has authenticated the Bible and discredited Darwin. In reality, it is Darwin’s writings that are filled with myth and scientific blunders.
It can be argued that Darwin couldn’t have known scientific facts that weren’t yet discovered in his day and that he is not to be blamed for the blunders that appear in his writings, but that is not the point. The point is that Darwin’s writings are filled with scientific blunders, whereas the Bible, which was written thousands of years earlier, has no such blunders. This is clear evidence of its divine inspiration.
Consider some of Darwin’s errors:
Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley believed in abiogenesis or spontaneous generation, which is the idea that life can spring from non-life.
This was widely believed until the last half of the 19th century when it was disproven by the experiments of Louis Pasteur. He discovered that wine and milk do not ferment if they are sealed from the air, and he concluded that fermentation is caused by microorganisms. He developed what he called “the germ theory of fermentation” and “suggested a microbial etiology (cause) of disease” (Alan Gillen and Douglas Oliver, “Creation and the Germ Theory,”Answers in Genesis, July 29, 2009). He called the souring of grape juice by microbes “the disease of wine.” By 1870, Pasteur had identified the microbe that causes silkworm disease. He invented the process of pasteurization to kill the germs in milk and other liquids by the process of heating. His understanding of germs led to the invention of life-saving vaccines and ultimately, to the invention of antibiotics. The entire field of modern medicine is based on the concept of germs as pioneered by Pasteur.
Building on Pasteur’s findings, Joseph Lister, a Quaker medical doctor, did further research into the germ cause of disease. His research into the souring of milk led him to the same conclusion that Pasteur had made. He considered milk spoilage a type of infectious disease. Concluding that microbes caused infection in his patients by entering wounds, Lister pioneered the use of antiseptics. His use of carbolic acid dressings and spray, sterilization of instruments, and asepsis (hand washing and maintaining a clean environment) significantly reduced gangrene. Prior to this, 50% of his amputation patients died of infection. By the end of his lifetime, 97% of amputees survived. Lister’s pioneering work led to the widespread application of these practices by the early 1870s. Lister is considered the co-founder of the germ theory with Pasteur. Both were creationists who believed in the God of the Bible and rejected Darwinism.
Charles Darwin was wrong about abiogenesis.
Yet though abiogenesis has been disproven for 140 years, and new experiments have further confirmed the findings of Pasteur and Lister, Darwinists still believe it. When asked how life began, they say that it arose spontaneously from non-life. They hold to a disproven theory because it is necessary for their theory of life.
A SIMPLE CELL
Darwin thought that the cell was a very simple thing and it would have been no great feat for it to have somehow have evolved in a “warm pond.” His disciple in Germany, Ernst Haeckel, called the cell “a simple little lump of albuminous combination of carbon” (John Farley, The Spontaneous Generation Controversy from Descartes to Oparin, 1977, p. 73).
Of course, Darwin was grossly wrong. The cell is a fantastically complex thing, more complex than a modern city. It’s a little living body with organs called organelles. It has blueprints, decoders, error checkers, quality control, power plants (mitochondria), power storage units, manufacturing plants (cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus), chemical plants, assembly lines, disposal units (proteasome), trash compactors, a complex communication system, recycling centers (lysosomes), detoxification plants (peroxisomes), transportation highways and tracks and tunnels, transportation vehicles (dynein and cargo proteins that walk along tubular pathways), living walls with many types of one-way and two-way guarded, gated portals to the outside world, an intelligent external matrix to connect with other cells, and a host of other things.
The very complexity of the living cell has convinced many scientists that life could not have evolved from blind naturalistic processes. Consider some sample statements:
“I believe in a Creator because I see the Creator’s designs in nature everywhere and evidence of intelligence in the DNA of each cell” (John Kramer, Ph.D. in biochemistry, In Six Days, edited by John Ashton, p. 54).
“Though I once embraced the evolutionary paradigm, its inadequate explanations for the origin of life coupled with the sophistication and complexity of the cell’s chemical systems convinced me as a biochemistry graduate student that a Creator must exist” (Fazale Rana, Ph.D., The Cell’s Design, p. 17).
“Complexity of the cell is now just too daunting to flippantly assert biochemical evolution to explain it, unless you close your mind and press on blindly and boldly. It has now become quite a feat to think about cells originating through biochemical evolution. And if cells could not originate naturally, then nothing else could” (Henry Zuill, Ph.D. in biology, In Six Days, p. 68).
Even many scientists that don’t believe the Bible’s account of creation and that believe in the evolution of creatures, have become convinced that the formation of life from non-life would be impossible without intelligence.
Francis Crick, who received a Nobel Prize as co-discoverer of DNA’s double helix construction, described himself as a sceptic and an agnostic with “a strong inclination towards atheism” (“General Nature of the Genetic Code for Proteins,” Nature, Dec. 1961). Yet he acknowledged that the complexity of the living cell points to the “miraculous.”
“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going” (Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, 1981, p. 88).
Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, believes that the complexity of the living cell and life itself points to a Creator. He develops this theme in his book The Language of God.
Michael Denton, Ph.D. biochemistry, also argues that nature shows evidence of design in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1986) and Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe (2002). Denton is not a creationist; he believes in long geological ages and some sort of evolutionary change and is probably an agnostic.
Michael Behe, Ph.D. biology, has published books (Darwin’s Black Box and Signature of the Cell) to present the case that life is “irreducibly complex” and points to “intelligent design.” Behe delves into the amazing mysteries of DNA and the other biological machinery of the living cell and the impossibility of naturalistic explanations for the origin of life.
Darwin was wrong about the living cell.
Darwin attempted to account for evolutionary change through acquired characteristics by the invention of something he called “gemmules” (also called granules,plastitudes, and pangenes). This idea appeared in his 1868 book, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, in the chapter “Provisional Hypothesis of Pangensis.”
According to Darwin, gemmules are new units of information, particles of inheritance, that are formed when the creature is affected by its environment. Thegemmules are then carried in the bloodstream to the reproductive organs, accumulate in the germ cells, and are passed on to the offspring and, lo and behold, you have evolution.
“It is universally admitted that the cells or units of the body increase by self-devision, or proliferation, retaining the same nature, and that they ultimately become converted into the various tissues and substances of the body. But besides this means of increase I assume that the units throw off minute granules which are dispersed throughout the whole system; that these, when supplied with proper nutriment, multiply by self-division, and are ultimately developed into units like those from which they were originally derived. These granules may be called gemmules. They are collected from all parts of the system to constitute the sexual elements, and their development in the next generation forms the new being; but they are likewise capable of transmission in a dormant state to future generations and may then be developed” (The Variation of Plants and Animals, 1868).
Dr. Duane Gish comments:
“Today we know that inheritance is controlled by the genes found solely in the germ cells (the eggs, or ova, and the spermatozoa). Only alterations in the genes of the germ cells are inheritable. No such thing as a ‘gemmule’ is formed, and acquired characteristics are not inherited.
“Hundreds of thousands of genes are present in the nucleus of every cell of the higher animals. Each gene consists of a long strand of several hundred to several thousand subunits, linked together like the links of a chain. The particular type of complex chemical which constitutes a gene is called deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. …
“Each characteristic is influenced by at least two genes. The genes of this gene pair are called alleles. One such gene is inherited from each of the parents. Thus, the egg and sperm each have a single set of genes. When fertilization occurs, these two sets of genes combine. The segregation and recombination of the genes which occur during production of the germ cells produce sperm and eggs with a tremendous variety of different gene combinations. These sperm and egg cells in turn, depending upon which sperm fertilizes which egg, can be combined in a great variety of ways. The result is the tremendous variability that we see within each species.
“The genes are ordinarily very stable. A particular gene (in the form of its successors) may exist many thousands of years without alteration in its structure. Very rarely, however, the chemical structure of a gene does undergo a change. Such a change is called a mutation. Mutations may be caused by chemicals, X-rays, ultraviolet light, cosmic rays, and other causes. Some may occur during cell reproduction due to copying errors.
“Very often a mutation proves to be lethal, and they are almost universally harmful. … It is doubtful that of all the mutations that have been seen to occur, a single one can definitely be said to have increased the viability of the affected plant or animal” (Gish,The Fossil Record Still Says No, pp. 36, 37).
Not only was Darwin grossly wrong about the existence of “gemmules,” the truth, it turns out, devastates his evolutionary doctrine.
Modern genetics has taught us the following things:
First, there is great potential for variety and adaptability within each creature, but there are also impassable barriers between kinds of creatures. Breeding has produced all sorts of dogs, but it has never surpassed the kind barrier and produced something other than a dog, or even a part-dog part-something else. A vast variety of roses has been cultivated, but a rose bush has never been turned into stalk of corn.
Second, genetic mutations, instead of being the pathway of evolutionary change from species to species, are both exceedingly rare and overwhelmingly harmful.
To prove his doctrine, Darwin needed a “gemmule,” but what his sons in the Darwinian faith have discovered is just the opposite. Modern genetics destroys not only the idea of the gemmule but also the doctrine of evolution itself.
THE EMBRYO’S TOE
In The Descent of Man, Darwin made the following statement:
“The great toe, as Prof. Owen remarks, ‘which forms the fulcrum when standing or walking, is perhaps the most characteristic peculiarity in the human structure;’ but in an embryo, about an inch in length, Prof. Wyman found ‘that the great toe was shorter than the others, and, instead of being parallel to them, projected at an angle from the side of the foot, thus corresponding with the permanent condition of this part in the quadrumana.'”
Darwin was trying to prove that humans go through evolutionary stages in the womb, but he was dead wrong.
Shem Dharampaul, M.D., FRCPC, debunks this myth:
“A one inch embryo is just over 9 weeks old. At this point in development, the fingers and toes are practically fully separated, and appear as they do in the newborn. In the weeks leading up to this stage, a rounded limb bud becomes elongated into the characteristic thigh, leg and foot of the fully developed limb. The flat, rounded disc of the foot plate undergoes a number of visible morphologic changes, as a result of innumerable invisible underlying processes. At about the sixth week, a poorly understood process named apoptosis (programmed cell death) occurs in the tissues in between the future toes, to reveal the developing toes. Initially, when the grooves between the toes are short, the toes appear fan shaped with five rays, and the third toe is the longest, being in the middle of the foot plate. The statement that the great toe is shorter than the others is incorrect. In any case, the length of these toes are not significant, as there exists a great diversity in the toe length among different human population groups. Additionally, a review of multiple images of 9 week old fetuses show that the great toe does not significantly project at an angle from the side of the foot. …
“To suggest that the human foot goes through a stage of development that mirrors the adult stage of a quadrumana (an obsolete division of the primates referring to a primate with four hands), is inaccurate…” (e-mail from Dr. Dharapaul to David Cloud, December 20, 2010).
A picture of a human embryo’s foot at about 9 weeks compared with the feet of apes proves that Darwin was wrong. The ape’s foot is always uniquely apelike, with the big toe sticking out to the side, whereas the human foot is always distinctively human.
The following chart from the medical school textbookBefore We Are Born (Keith L. Moore, 1989, page 235), shows the development of the human hand and foot in the womb. It is obvious that the human foot is not apelike at any stage.
Darwin was wrong about the toe of the human embryo.
Darwin believed in the doctrine of recapitulation, which claims that evolutionary history plays itself out in the development of the embryo. He mentioned this in On the Origin of Species, as follows:
“Thus the embryo comes to be left as a sort of picture, preserved by nature, of the ancient and less modified condition of each animal.”
“Embryology rises greatly in interest, when we thus look at the embryo as a picture, more or less obscured, of the common parent-form of each great class of animals.”
Recapitulation was given its fullest development by Darwin’s German disciple Ernst Haeckel. According to recapitulation, each creature repeats or recapitulates the entire alleged evolutionary history. Thus, the human embryo passes through various stages from a single cell to a fish to an amphibian to a reptile to a mammal to an ape to a human.
Haeckel summarized this “law” with the saying “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” Ontogeny refers to the growth of the embryo, whereas phylogeny refers to evolutionary history.
Haeckel “proved” the doctrine with a series of animal embryos lined up beside the human embryo at various stages of growth.
The influence of the embryo chart has been massive. It has appeared in countless textbooks and museums throughout the world for over a century. Carl Werner, M.D., testifies that he was confronted with Haeckel’s embryo chart in his first class in medical school in 1977 and this convinced him that evolution is true.
“These drawings were extremely compelling to me, especially the ‘fact’ that humans had gills and a tail. After this lecture, I found myself rapidly accepting evolution” (Evolution: The Grand Experiment, Vol. 2, p. 2).
The problem is that recapitulation is a scientific fraud.
Haeckel fabricated his embryo chart. He mislabeled embryos; he changed the size of embryos; he deleted parts; he added parts; he changed parts. Haeckel also brazenly ignored every facet of embryology that disproved his proposition.
Haeckel’s embryo fraud was exposed early on by Wilhelm His, Sr., professor of anatomy at the university of Leipzig. Ludwig Rutimeyer, a professor at the University of Basel, also brought the fabrications to the attention of the university at Jena, where Haeckel worked. Rutimeyer called the drawings “a sin against scientific truthfulness.” In spite of this exposure, Haeckel continued as a professor at Jena for another 30 years and continued to promote his evolutionary deception far and wide. The lying embryo chart continued to be published in his popular books.
In 1915 Haeckel’s deception was publicized in the bookHaeckel’s Frauds and Forgeries by Joseph Assmuth and Ernest Hull, which cited 19 authorities, but this carefully documented work was largely ignored by Darwinian scientists and educators in their haste to prove evolution and disprove the Bible.
In the late 1990s, a team led by Michael Richardson, embryologist at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London, did extensive research into the embryo to test Haeckel’s chart. Richardson gathered an international team of scientists who examined and photographed embryos of 39 different species at stages comparable to those depicted in Haeckel’s chart. Richardson concluded that Haeckel was “an embryonic liar.” In a 1997 interview with Nigel Hawkes, Richardson said,
‘THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST CASES OF SCIENTIFIC FRAUD. It’s shocking to find that somebody one thought was a great scientist was deliberately misleading. It makes me angry … What he [Haeckel] did was to take a human embryo and copy it, pretending that the salamander and the pig and all the others looked the same at the same stage of development. They don’t … These are fakes” (Nigel Hawkes interview with Richardson, The Times, Aug. 11, 1997, p. 14).
Charles Darwin was wrong about embryonic recapitulation.
In On the Origin of Species, Darwin claimed that natural selection is the chief mechanism of evolution. He defined natural selection as the survival of the fittest, whereby nature supposedly preserves the fittest of a species, “selecting” their suitable characteristics and eliminating unsuitable characteristics, passing the selected characteristics along to succeeding generations. By a gradual accumulation of traits, such as a stronger bird’s beak that can more effectively crack open nuts or a more favorable coloring to act as camouflage, Darwin thought that natural selection could create new creatures, so that a bear could become a whale (this was his “theory” of whale evolution) and a reptile dinosaur a bird (Thomas Huxley’s “theory”).
Darwin attributed godlike qualities to natural selection:
“It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good: silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic condition of life” (Darwin, quoted from Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, p. 59, footnote 4). In later editions Darwin added the word “metaphorically.”
But it has become obvious to science that natural selection could not form new limbs, organs, and creatures, because modern genetics has proven that the blueprint for these are in the DNA. Natural selection can only cause genetic traits to be lost or shuffled around; it cannot create anything. It cannot produce new information at the genetic level. While natural selection might sometimes explain the “survival” of the fittest, it cannot explain the “origin” of the fittest.
In fact, Darwin himself came to doubt the efficacy of natural selection, as Darwin biographer Jacques Barzun describes:
“It is but fair to say that Darwin himself soon began to have doubts about the universal efficacy of natural selection. … Successive editions of the Origin of Species tried to co-ordinate these doubts and shifts of opinion. … And in the last revised edition of theDescent of Man, he had to express again his indecision about the factors causing evolution. It was a question of seeing–as Darwin came to see–that selection occurs after the useful change has come into being: therefore natural selection can cause nothing but the elimination of the unfit, not the production of the fit” (Darwin, Marx, Wagner, pp. 60, 61, 62).
The fact that Darwin was wrong about the efficacy of natural selection is evident by the fact that his followers had to modify his doctrine in the first half of the 20th century by adding genetic mutations as the mechanism upon which natural selection could work. But there is zero evidence that mutations can create new species. Mutations delete genetic information and scramble it and harm it; but mutations do not add new levels of beautiful, well-integrated complexity.
Darwin was wrong about the alleged creative power of natural selection.
DARWIN’S PIGEON BREEDING EXPERIMENTS
Darwin was a master pigeon breeder who raised an impressive number of varieties, and he used breeding experiments to prove evolution. He believed that the changes produced by artificial selection could be reproduced in nature through “natural selection” and provide the mechanism for “the origin of species.”
In fact, breeding experiments disprove Darwin’s doctrine. What breeding experiments prove is that the various kinds of plants and animals are stable and that there are strict limits to the changes that can be introduced even by intelligent experimentation. Darwin bred many types of pigeons, but in the end, all he had were pigeons. He was not even able to produce a different species of bird, not to speak of a different type of creature.
He as much as admitted this, saying,
“No breeder doubts how strong is the tendency to inheritance: like produces like is his fundamental belief” (On the Origin of Species, p. 457).
This “fundamental belief” is based on scientific observation.
The fruit fly experiments, which began in the early 20th century, have produced a wide variety of mutant and crippled fruit flies, but after the equivalent of millions of years of mutations, the fruit fly has remained the fruit fly and there has been no evidence that genetic mutations could ever produce a new creature.
Charles Darwin’s doctrine that evolution is proven through selective breeding experiments was a grievous error and a major scientific blunder.
Charles Darwin believed in the doctrine of acquired characteristics as taught by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamark. According to this “theory,” if a creature acquires an attribute it will be passed along to its offspring. The classic example is the giraffe. Lamark believed that the giraffe developed its long neck by stretching to reach ever-higher tree branches and passing this characteristic along to its offspring.
“I think that there can be little doubt that use in our domestic animals strengthens and enlarges certain parts, and disuse diminishes them; and that such modifications are inherited” (On the Origin of Species).
Darwin thought that muscles enlarged from exercise, such as by the work of blacksmithing, would be passed on to the next generation.
The “theory” of acquired characteristics is also known as the law of use and disuse. Darwin thought that if bears swam in the water most of the time and didn’t use their back legs for walking that the legs could eventually disappear, which would be a necessary step in the bear evolving into a whale.
Darwin never gave up his support for Lamarkianism. Sixteen years after publishing On the Origin of Species, Darwin stated the following in a letter to his cousin Francis Galton (founder of eugenics):
“If this implies that many parts are not modified by use and disuse during the life of the individual, I differ widely from you, as every year I come to attribute more and more to such agency.”
Darwin’s “theory” of acquired characteristics was disproved by the experiments of Frederick Mendel and August Weisman. Carl Werner, M.D. says:
“We now know that changes occurring in the body cells of a multicellular animal, such as a horse, cannot be passed on to the next generation. This is because body cells (skin cells or muscle cells for example) have no influence on the DNA in the reproductive cells (eggs and sperm). It is only the genes in the reproductive cells that are passed on to the next generation. …
“The law of disuse was dealt a fatal blow in 1889 with scientist August Weisman’s tail cutting experiment. … He reasoned that if he cut off the tails of mice for 20 generations in a row, the mice would eventually be born without a tail. But no matter how many tails he cut off, the baby mice were always born with a tail. With his experiment, Weisman disproved the concept of disuse” (Evolution: The Grand Experiment, Vol. 1, pp. 24, 30).
Darwin was wrong about the doctrine of acquired characteristics.
PEACOCK’S TAIL IS THE PRODUCT OF SEXUAL SELECTION
In an attempt to explain the peacock’s amazing tail feathers, Darwin and his followers resorted to the myth of sexual selection, and this has become something of an icon. For example, Biology: The Dynamics of Life, a textbook published by Merrill, 1991, stated,
“The peacock has a most obvious behavioral adaption for attracting mates” (p. 210).
There are devastating problems with this doctrine, though.
First, it was always an assumption without shred of scientific evidence to back it up.
Second, it does not explain how such an amazingly complex feature could have arisen in the first place.
“The usual explanation is ‘sexual selection’, where genes for a structure are passed on preferentially because the other sex happens to like that structure when choosing a mate. However, this doesn’t explain the origin of the precisely coordinated mutations required to form the tail, quite aside from why females would select for beauty and even how they could do so. So it is quite understandable that even some evolutionists now speak of the accumulated ‘fatal problems’ of sexual selection theory, referring to case studies showing it ‘is always mistaken’ and therefore ‘needs to be replaced’ (Roughgarden, J., Oishi, M. and Akcay, E. “Reproductive social behavior: cooperative games to replace sexual selection,” Science 311 (5763):965-969, 2006, and Catchpoole, D., “Peacock poppycock?” Creation 29 (2): 56, 2007; creationtheweb.com/poppycock).
Third, research has found that the female has no significant interest in the peacock’s tail feathers.
“Indeed, new research has empirically damaged this theory, by showing that peahens aren’t impressed with the peacock display, and care more for the mating calls. The researchers summarize their seven-year study:
‘We found no evidence that peahens expressed any preference for peacocks with more elaborate trains (i.e. trains having more ocelli, a more symmetrical arrangement or a greater length), similar to other studies of galliforms showing that females disregard male plumage. Combined with previous results, our findings indicate that the peacock’s train (1) is not the universal target of female choice, (2) shows small variance among males across populations and (3) based on current physiological knowledge, does not appear to reliably reflect the male condition” (Takahashi, M. et al. “Peahens do not prefer peacocks with more elaborate trains,” Animal Behavior 2007, dio-10, 1016/j.anbehav.2007.10.004).
Another report on this research noted:
‘The feather train on male peacocks is among the most striking and beautiful physical attributes in nature, but it fails to excite, much less interest, females, according to new research. The determination throws a wrench in the long-held belief that male peacock feathers evolved in response to female mate choice. It could also indicate that certain other elaborate features in galliformes, a group that includes turkeys, chickens, grouse, quails and pheasants, as well as peacocks, are not necessarily linked to fitness and mating success” (Viegas, J., “Female Peacocks Not Impressed by Male Feathers,” Discovery News, March 26, 2008; discovery.com/news/2008/03/26/peacock-feathers-females.html).
It’s not as if the researchers set out to contradict the Darwinian proposition. In fact, they had hoped to confirm it.
Thus, Charles Darwin’s “theory” of sexual selection was wrong and fails to explain the very thing he concocted it for (Jonathan Sarfati, By Design, pp. 60, 61).
Every mechanism that Darwin proposed as the creative power of evolution (e.g., natural selection, sexual selection, Lamarkianism, gemmules) has been overturned.
CAVE MEN FUEGIANS
Darwin visited the Fuegian Indians on Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America, and considered them very “primitive.” He believed that their language consisted of only about 100 different sounds (Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution, p. 240). These people were considered remnants of “pre-historic” cave men by Darwin and his followers. To Darwin, the Fuegians were closer in nature to beasts than to man:
“I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilised man; it is greater than between wild and domesticated animals, inasmuch as in man there is a greater power of improvement … the difference between a Tierra del Fuegian and a European is greater than between a Tierra del Fuegian and a beast” (Darwin, cited from V. Barclay, Darwin Is Not for Children, 1950).
This was disproven by English missionary Thomas Bridges, who lived among them.
“He found the natives moral, kind and sociable. They had respect for family life and were not cannibals. Mr. Bridges spoke the languages of the tribe. He compiled a dictionary that was not exhaustive but contained 32,000 words and inflexions. The vocabulary was rich and the grammatical constructions involved” (Pitman, p. 241).
Darwin was wrong abut the Fuegians.
Darwin bought into Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian doctrine of geology hook, line, and sinker. According to this doctrine, the successive geological layers represent millions of years of gradual buildup. Lyell said “the past is the key to the present,” meaning that conditions have remained the same over eons of time. Darwin enthusiastically accepted Lyell’s principle, saying that Lyell had “produced a revolution in natural science.”
By the mid-20th century, uniformitarianism was being rejected. In 1988 Davis Young wrote,
“The geologic community gave up substantive uniformitarianism long ago” (Christianity and the Age of the Earth, p. 142).
Uniformitarinism is under assault today from the growing evidence that things formerly thought to have required thousands or millions of years can actually occur quickly.
Guy Berthault conducted extensive laboratory experiments demonstrating that sediments naturally and quickly form layers in moving water and that the sediment is sorted in the same manner that is found in the “geological column.” The results of this research was published in the late 1980s and presented to the National Congress of Sedimentologists at Brest in 1991 (Richard Milton, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, p. 77).
The laboratory work was supplemented by field observations from Mount St. Helens and other places, proving that phenomena such as the formation of canyons previously thought to require thousands or millions of years can occur in a matter of days or even hours.
It was long thought that stalagmites were formed at an incredibly slow rate and that this proved the ancient age of caves. In fact, stalagmites were used as an icon of evolution for many decades. It is now known that they can form very quickly. “In Sequoia Caverns, stalactites protected from tourists from 1977-1987 grew 10 inches or 1 inch / year. At this rate they could have grown 300 ft. in just 3600 years” (http://creationwiki.org/Stalactites_and_Stalagmites).
It has also been learned that wood can petrify quickly and that formations such as those in the Petrified Forest National Park of Arizona did not necessarily take long periods of time to form, as previously thought (Andrew Snelling, Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 2, p. 958).
Evolutionists have long used the massive coal beds that are scattered throughout the earth as evidence of an ancient age for the earth, because it was believed that millions of years were required for their formation. It has been demonstrated scientifically, though, that this is a false assumption (Snelling, Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 2, pp. 584-586).
Canyons and Stratification
The explosion of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and the subsequent dramatic transformation of the surrounding landscape have provided a laboratory to study the formation of canyons and stratification. A canyon 700 feet deep and several miles long was carved (at some places even into solid bedrock) by the violent mudflows. One series of canyons are one fortieth the scale of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, with individual canyons having depths of up to 140 feet, with sheer cliffs of up to almost 100 feet (Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 2, p. 718). The blast also caused the formation of up to 600 feet of strata, caused by landslides, flowing water from Spirit Lake, pyroclastic flows, mudflows, air fall, and stream water.
It is evident that large canyons and massive stratification can occur very quickly and that these do not require millions of years to form.
The uniformitarian model has also been undermined by newer evolutionary theories that the world has witnessed a series of global catastrophes, such as the one that allegedly killed off the dinosaurs. The fossil section of the Field Museum in Chicago is arranged around a series of six “mass extinctions” that supposedly wiped out most life forms. These are said to have been caused by things such as shifting continents, volcanic activity, meteors, and “global warming.”
If mass extinctions were caused by dramatic global events, it is obvious that the earlier view of uniformitarianism was fundamentally wrong, but it was this very doctrine that caused scientists to reject the Bible in the first place! The fact that they won’t admit that a terrible mistake was made and that the Bible needs to be reconsidered is evidence that we are not dealing with rational, empirical science but with religion disguised as science.
Darwin was wrong about uniformitarianism.
THE FOSSIL RECORD
Darwin knew that the fossil record as it existed in his day did not support his doctrine of “descent by modification,” because he knew that there would have to be countless intermediary links between species.
“The several difficulties here discussed, namely our not finding in the successive formations infinitely numerous transitional links between the many species which now exist or have existed; the sudden manner in which whole groups of species appear in our European formations; the almost entire absence, as at present known, of fossiliferous formations beneath the Silurian strata, are all undoubtedly of the gravest nature. We see this in the plainest manner by the fact that all the most eminent palaeontologists, namely Cuvier, Owen, Agissiz, Barrande, Falconer, E. Forbes, &c., and all our greatest geologists, as Lyell, Murchison, Sedgwick, &c., have unanimously, often vehemently, maintained the immutability of species” (On the Origin of Species, pp. 646, 647).
Darwin was convinced that the answer to this dilemma was the insufficiency of the fossil record in his day.
“But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? … I believe the answer mainly lies in the record being incomparably less perfect than is generally supposed” (On the Origin of Species, p. 560)
Darwin believed that further research would support his doctrine, but in fact the opposite has happened, as many evolutionists have admitted.
In The Myths of Human Evolution, Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History made the following admissions:
“Our standard expectation of evolution–slow, steady, gradual improvement, hence change, through time–is indeed a myth. … IF EVER THERE WAS A MYTH, IT IS THAT EVOLUTION IS A PROCESS OF CONSTANT CHANGE. THE DATA, OR BASIC OBSERVATIONS, OR EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY ARE FULL OF THE MESSAGE OF STABILITY. Change is difficult and rare, rather than inevitable and continual. Once evolved, species with their own peculiar adaptations, behaviors, and genetic systems are remarkably conservative, often remaining unchanged for several millions of years” (The Myths of Human Evolution, pp. 2, 3).
“Darwin, troubled by the stubbornness of the fossil record in refusing to yield abundant examples of gradual change, devoted two chapters to the fossil record. To preserve his argument he was forced to assert that the fossil record was too incomplete, too full of gaps, to produce the expected patterns of change. He prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search and then his major thesis–that evolutionary change is gradual and progressive–would be vindicated. One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin’s predictions. NOR IS THE PROBLEM A MISERABLY POOR RECORD. THE FOSSIL RECORD SIMPLY SHOWS THAT THIS PREDICTION WAS WRONG. The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the emperor’s new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it. Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin’s predicted pattern, simply looked the other way. … Only recently has a substantial number of paleontologists blown the whistle and started to look at the evolutionary implications of the marked pattern of nonchange–of stability–within species so dominate in the fossil record of life. … DARWIN’S PREDICTION OF RAMPANT, ALBEIT GRADUAL, CHANGE AFFECTING ALL LINEAGES THROUGH TIME IS REFUTED. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. … SPECIES ARE STABLE AND REMAIN DISCRETE, IN TIME AS WELL AS SPACE” (pp. 46, 48).
Eldredge and Tattersall, who work in one of the largest natural history museums in the world, a museum chock full of fossils, admit that Darwin has been discredited by the fossil record. They speak of the need to “blow the whistle” on those who say otherwise.
In spite of these statements, these men and their friends who have made similar admissions (such as the late Stephen Jay Gould) have remained Darwinists. Niles Eldredge’s personal website (viewed April 2, 2010) shows him standing in front of a large photograph of Charles Darwin at the museum’s Darwin Exhibition. Though acknowledging that species “appear suddenly” and mysteriously and continuing without significant change even for “millions” of years and admitting that Darwinian mechanisms cannot explain life, these men remain vicious opponents of any form of creationism or “intelligent design.” Eldredge was the curator of the Darwin Exhibition, which featured “a discussion of ‘intelligent design’–exposing it as just another, not particularly new, version of creationism.”
They claim to be scientists who are devoted to “the facts alone,”but they can’t stick to real empirical “science.” They constantly move into metaphysics and thus expose the reality that their “science” is also their religion.
Darwin also claimed that the fossil record has not preserved the details of ancient creatures. In On the Origin of Species he said, “No organism wholly soft can be preserved.”
In fact, the fossil record contains large numbers of “soft bodied” creatures and structures, including fossilized jelly fish, fish eggs, scales, skin and muscle fiber, fragile hinges in bivalve mollusks, even fossilized microscopic bacteria. In some cases, fish gills are so well preserved that the arteries and veins are intact. In the lignite beds of Geiseltal in Germany, fungi have been identified on leaves and chlorophyll has been preserved. The trilobite’s compound eye has been fossilized in such detail that scientists have been able to study it microscopically to determine that some of these creatures had 15,000 lenses in one eye, with each lens being double!
Darwin was grievously wrong about the fossil record and a host of other things.