Table of ContentsForeword, Preface, and Introduction
The biblical answer to racism
Natural selection and speciation
In Genesis 1, we read that God created the animals and plants ‘after their kind.’ The phrase ‘after its kind’ or ‘after their kind’ occurs a total of ten times in Genesis 1. Thus, God’s Word is explaining to us that God created distinct kinds of animals and plants—each to reproduce after its own kind.
Now, evolutionists teach that one kind of animal changed into another over millions of years. They claim that the observable changes in living animals and plants are evidence that evolution is occurring today.
The truth is, however, that these observable changes fit exactly with what the Bible teaches concerning ‘kinds’ and are the opposite of the changes required by evolution.
People often get confused about this issue because evolutionists set up a straw man scenario. For instance, at the entrance to the Darwinian exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London, one is confronted with the following statements: ‘Before Charles Darwin, most people believed that God created all living things in exactly the form that we see them today. This is the basis of the doctrine of Creation … . Darwin’s work supported the view that all living things have developed into the forms we see today by a process of gradual change over long periods of time. This is what is meant by evolution.’1
Now, creationists do not believe that God made the animals and plants just as we see them today. For instance, when God made dogs, He didn’t make a poodle! After all, dogs like poodles are in fact degenerate mutants, suffering the effects of 6,000 years of the Curse.
Creationists agree that animals and plants change. For instance, dogs change, but they change into different varieties or breeds of dogs. We observe many different dogs such as dingoes, wolves, coyotes and the numerous domestic varieties like poodles, St Bernards and so on. How then did these varieties of wild and domestic dogs come about? And how does a creationist explain these changes that have occurred in dogs?
To understand this, let’s consider the dog/wolf ‘kind’ in more detail. To begin with, we need to consider some very basic principles from the science of genetics.2 Even though in reality it’s much more complicated than this, the principles are still the same and thus provide us with a basic understanding.
The master program that determines that a dog is a dog, as well as a poodle variety of dog, is carried in its genes. A dog/wolf has tens of thousands of genes.3 We need to understand that creatures inherit two copies of each gene—one from each parent. The two copies can be different—then they are called different ‘alleles.’ An offspring can get only one of each gene pair from each parent. Let us consider gene-pairs represented as ‘A’ ‘a’ ‘B’ ‘b’ ‘C’ and ‘c.’ Now, let’s imagine God makes the original dog/wolf kind, a male and a female, each having three pairs of genes in the following combination:
Aa Bb Cc
From these two dogs we can get many different combinations in the offspring. For example, the mating of
Aa Bb Cc (male dog) x Aa Bb Cc (female dog)
can produce 27 different combinations of these genes in the offspring. Consider the following five:
Note that each of the five offspring all have dog genes obtained from their parents. However, they each have a different combination of genes than the parents. Thus, even though they are still dogs, they will each look slightly different from each other and from the parents.
Now, just to help you understand how much variability God built into the genes, consider the human kind. Scientists have estimated that if it were physically possible, just two human parents could produce far more children than atoms in the known universe without getting two the same—such is the variation possible just from different combinations of the existing genes. That is an incredible amount of in-built variability.4
Formation of new ‘species’
Now let’s consider a scenario in history. Two members of the dog/wolf kind that God had selected to be on Noah’s ark got off this enormous ship in the Middle East after the Flood. These dogs mated and had offspring, and then these mated and had more offspring, and so on. Eventually, small groups of dogs started splitting away from the main group and went off by themselves in different directions. As a result, small populations of dogs were separated from each other. This obviously split up the gene pool, resulting in a number of populations with different combinations of genes.
Some of the combinations resulted in features that are better able to survive in a particular environment. For instance, in a cold climate, dogs which carried more of the genes for thick furry coats would survive better than their companions that had less of a coat, but still had some for thin fur. So the thick-furred dogs were more likely to survive and pass on those genes. In time, the population might end up only having genes for thick fur and none for thin. So these dogs have become specialized (adapted) to cold areas. But this situation does not explain ‘molecules-to-man’ evolution because this population has come about through natural selection getting rid of the genes that code for thin fur.
By this process of splitting the original gene pool further and further, with natural selection ‘favoring’ certain types for different environments, distinct varieties—even new ‘species’—could arise, all inheriting their features from that original dog kind on the ark, but in different combinations and subsets. Thus, over time, dingoes, wolves, coyotes, etc., arose. This is a great example of natural selection in action, but it is not evolution in the sense that people understand that word—there is no process operating which adds information to the populations, which is what is needed to turn a reptile into a bird, for example.
Actually such speciation, as we call it, can happen quite rapidly. Biologists today know of a principle called the ‘founder effect,’ where small subsets of a population get isolated and so the descendants of these subsets have a different genetic composition from the main population, with less information. They are also aware that such things as genetic drift and ‘jumping genes’ can result in quite rapid speciation. But again, in no case is new genetic information created, just transferred from one place on the genome to another, for example.
Mutations are the other supposed mechanism for evolution. When the genes are copied by the parent to pass on to the offspring, sometimes an error is made. This error in copying is one kind of mutation. Like typing errors, mutations ‘mess up’ the information, that is, they cause a loss of information. So it is not surprising that mutations in humans are known to cause thousands of diseases. They certainly do not add new functional genes, but they can contribute to variations arising through decreasing the effectiveness of existing genes. Such changes can also contribute to speciation—for example, a disparity in size or behavior can result in breeding isolation.
A definition of a species is that it does not breed with other species—that is, it is isolated in a breeding sense. Note the following:
Natural selection can only operate on the information in the gene pool—the original created information in the particular kind, plus some defective genes, caused by mutations.
Over a period of time there is loss of information. For instance, the aa bb cc combination has lost the As, Bs, and Cs. Domestic breeds tend to have many of their gene pairs the same; for example, aabbcc. This means that the offspring are almost identical to their parents, with little variation possible—they are therefore called ‘pure breeds.’ All domestic varieties have less genetic information (and thus variability) than the original ‘wild’ types from which they were bred. In addition, many of the features in domestic dogs are the result of harmful mutations, which would not survive well in the wild, but are ‘selected for’ by humans.
There is no mechanism by which new information is added into the genes.5 Dr Werner Gitt, a professor from Germany and an expert in information theory, stated that ‘there is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.’6
Mutations do not increase the amount of information, as is required by evolution. As biophysicist Dr Lee Spetner (who was a fellow at Johns Hopkins University) stated, ‘All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it.’ He went on to say, ‘Not even one mutation has been observed that adds a little information to the genome.’7
Although there are rare ‘beneficial’ mutations, these always involve downhill changes. Note that sometimes a defect can be a benefit. For example, if beetles on a windy island inherit a mutation that makes them wingless, they are less likely to be blown into the sea and drowned.
Mutations occur because of the Curse that resulted from the Judgment because of sin, recorded in Genesis 3. Because the Curse has operated in this world for around 6,000 years, there are now lots of mutations affecting the genes of living things.
Over time, specialization can occur, as varieties become very separated. They can even get to the stage that, even though they are from the same kind, they can no longer interbreed. Genetically, they are much worse off because now they can’t mix with others of their own kind to regain the original variability they once had.
Evolution doesn’t work
For an evolutionary mechanism to change a reptile into a bird, for instance, there would have to be processes observed in true science to add new information into the genes (for example, information on how to make feathers). However, the changes observed with both natural selection and mutations are the opposite of those needed for evolution to work.
Scientists know this is true but, sadly, it is not public knowledge nor is it usually explained to students in schools or colleges. For instance, in 1980 at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, many of the world’s leading evolutionary experts gathered for a conference on evolution. A leading science writer summarized one of the conclusions of these discussions:
The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying micro-evolution [the term used to describe the observable small changes in animals and plants] can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macro-evolution [the term used to describe the major changes necessary to change a reptile into a bird or ape-like creature into man]. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No [emphasis added].8
Darwin was correct about natural selection—we do observe small changes in living things, and many new species of animals and plants have arisen. However, now that we understand more about the science of genetics, we know that the processes of natural selection and mutation can never form new kinds of animals or plants, but only new species or varieties within the same kind.
It’s interesting to note that ‘progressive creationists’ (who accept the belief of billions of years of earth’s history) accuse biblical young-earth creationists of believing in evolution because of their understanding of speciation as described above. For instance, Hugh Ross states:
Ironically, creation scientists (quietly) propose an efficiency of natural biological evolution greater than even the most optimistic Darwinist would dare to suggest … . While creation scientists call themselves anti-evolutionists, they do not reject natural biological evolution as impossible in principle.9
The more speciation is studied, however, the more scientists realize that many factors are involved, and that there are acknowledged mechanisms that can result in this process occurring quite rapidly.10 And these mechanisms, as has been shown, in essence are the opposite of those required for molecules-to-man evolution.
To fit with their acceptance of billions of years of earth’s history, progressive creationists believe that God created millions of species over millions of years. Thus, they do not want to accept the understood mechanisms of speciation that can explain the rapid development of species and varieties of land animals since the flood of Noah’s day, less than 5,000 years ago.
At the same time, progressive creationists recognize that the genealogies demand a very recent history for the human race. Thus, they need to be able to explain the diversity of characteristics within the different people groups within a short period of time. Because of a rejection of observed biological mechanisms, they have no answer except to say God must have created them this way.
For instance, Hugh Ross concedes, ‘The origin of humanity’s different racial groups remains a mystery.’ He then goes on to say, ‘Neither the Bible nor extrabiblical literature nor modern scientific research offers a direct explanation … . How did the human species develop such direct skin colors and other more subtle differences in the relatively brief time from the days of Noah to the days of Moses? The usual answer that it happened in response to natural selection seems inadequate. Genetic and anthropological research shows that natural selection cannot work as rapidly as necessary to offer a plausible explanation.’
Thus, even though Hugh Ross admits he could be accused of a ‘God-of-the-gaps’ approach, he states that after the Tower of Babel, ‘God may have done more than diversify language at that time. He possibly may have introduced some external change—those we recognize as racial distinctives.’11
Progressive creationists get into such dilemmas because of their compromise of adding billions of years to the Bible.
We will now show [in the next chapter] how accepting the science of genetics and the current understanding of the mechanisms of speciation very simply explains the origin of the ‘races’ within the biblical time frame.
References and notes
- London Natural History Museum, Darwin exhibit as viewed in 1997.
- Founded by the creationist scientist Gregor Mendel.
- Genes are very complex, each comprising thousands of ‘letters’ of genetic code.
- Francisco Ayala, The Mechanisms of Evolution, Scientific American 239(3):48–61, September 1978.
- Ayala. The Mechanisms of Evolution, p. 65.
N. Seppa, Ulcer Bacterium’s Drug Resistance Unmasked, Science News, p. 262, 25 April 1998.
Ed Struzik and Dr Kinga Kowalewska-Grochowska, Ancient Bacteria Revived, Sunday Herald, 16 September 1990.
- Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV, Bielefeld, Germany, p. 64–67, 79, 107, 1997.
- Lee Spetner, Not by Chance! Judaica Press, New York, p. 138, 159–160, 1998.
- Roger Lewin, Evolutionary Theory Under Fire, Science 210:883, 21 November 1980.
- Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, NavPress, Colorado Springs, CO, p. 151, 1998.
- Carl Wieland, Brisk biters, Creation 21(2):41, March–May 1999.
- Ross, The Genesis Question, p. 177.
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