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Billions of years? Appraising the dangers

An online resource for rebutting the brazen indoctrination of children by the book
Billions of years, amazing changes

reviewed by David Catchpoole, Tas Walker, Don Batten and Jonathan Sarfati

Published: 22 May 2012(GMT+10)

Billions of years, amazing changes

The battle is clearly on to win young minds.

Hot on the heels of Richard Dawkins’ first children’s book (The Magic of Reality)1 comes Billions of years, amazing changes by Laurence Pringle.2

Pringle has written over a hundred books for young people about wildlife and nature, so it’s not surprising that he was the one commissioned to write this book. That’s right, his services were specifically engaged to put this book together. It was commissioned by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2006, says Pringle in the Acknowledgements, as they “honored me with a fellowship to write about evolution for children.”

And Pringle had some high-powered help, it seems. Long-time anticreationist and anti-Christian Jerry Coyne is a Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. Coyne wrote the Foreword, and in his review of the book on his own and Dawkins’ websites, he also claims credit for guiding Pringle during the writing and editing process. Coyne recommends that this book should be given to 10–14-year-olds, while Dawkins’ Magic could be assigned to young people “a tad older”.

Train up a child …

As a strategy, the targeting of young people is clearly an effective one

As a strategy, the targeting of young people is clearly an effective one. Although it took almost 100 years after the publication of Origin of Species for evolutionary teaching to be introduced into schools in a systematic way, evolutionists have certainly made the most of their opportunities since the 1960s. And the fruit of that has become increasingly evident, both inside and outside the church. We see the greying (and ultimate disbanding) of many church congregations (because young people leave the church, mistakenly believing evolution is true).3,4 And in broader society we see the increasing lawlessness in the (formerly Christian) West.5,6,7,8

Responding to this, we have in recent years endeavoured to increase our output in the youth area (note in the right-hand sidebar the expanded range of children’s titles now available), with more in the ‘production pipeline’ on the way (while not ‘slowing down’ in the ‘adult’ areas at all—whether web, magazine, journal or books (e.g. Jonathan Sarfati’s comprehensive rebuttal of Dawkins’ Greatest Show bestseller and other recent CMI works).

Online Ready-Reference

There are numerous instances where Pringle’s assertions are utterly without foundation—even the direct opposite of the facts

To help counter the effects of Pringle’s Billions of years, this online resource (see table below) can function as a ready-reference for children, teachers and parents to draw upon to counter the falsehoods so slickly presented in his book. There are numerous instances where Pringle’s assertions are utterly without foundation—even the direct opposite of the facts. Sadly, we suspect many young people will be dangerously misled by the scientific-sounding assertions presented in the book’s glossy pages, so attractively laid out with beautiful illustrations.

Pringle’s Billions of years is fiction—cleverly-produced fiction, but fiction nonetheless

And not just young people. The (UK) National Council of Teachers of English gave Pringle’s Billions of years top billing in their 2012 ‘Recommended Books’ listing of their Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children.9 How sad—because Pringle’s Billions of years does not belong in the ‘non-fiction’ category. It is fiction. Cleverly-produced fiction—but fiction nonetheless. Since the same arguments are widely utilized by evolutionists everywhere, we trust and pray that this resource below will help more than just those young people and others exposed to Pringle’s book.

We have reproduced much of the Pringle text in the left-hand column below, so it is not necessary to buy the book in order to see the weakness of its arguments.

Billions of years, amazing changes

CMI rebuttal material/information

p. 9 (Foreword by Jerry Coyne):

“Evolutionary biology tells us that we’re related, to greater or lesser degreees, to every creature on Earth today: to monkeys and apes, to ferns, to squirrels, and even to tiny creatures that you can see only under the microscope.”

Biology tells us that there are similarities (e.g. DNA) between all kinds of living things. These similarities reflect a common designer, not common ancestry:

p. 9 (Foreword by Jerry Coyne):

“And evolution explains all the marvelous adaptations of animals and plants—the grasping trunk of the elephant, the sturdy beak of the woodpecker, the prickly spines of the cactus—as the results of a very simple process: natural selection.”

‘Evolution’ and ‘natural selection’ are not the same thing, notwithstanding the ‘bait-and-switch’ strategy of evolutionists eager to portray otherwise. Natural selection is observed, while evolution is not. Natural selection can only act upon (i.e. cull or not cull) life forms that already exist. It is indeed “a very simple process”—it cannot turn microbes into man, no matter how long a timespan is claimed. So evolution does not explain the animals and plants around us—rather, they fit with the Bible’s account of a once-good Creation and subsequent Fall:

p. 9 (Foreword by Jerry Coyne):

The idea of evolution is not only one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind, but it has become the central organizing idea of biology. Whenever you look at any feature of an animal or plant, whether it involves body structure, behavior, or biochemistry, you can ask yourself: Where did it come from? How did it get there? The answer is evolution, and, usually, natural selection. As the biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky once said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

Who better to refute Jerry Coyne’s glowing endorsement here of Dobzhansky’s famous quote than Jerry Coyne himself. In the past, Coyne has taken an evolutionary colleague to task because: “In his desire to show how useful evolution is, [he] strives desperately to herd every stray area of biology, even those barely related to evolution, into the darwinian fold.” Coyne also wrote: “Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’”. And: “If truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits.”10

Indeed, far from being ‘the central organizing idea of biology’, evolution plays little part in the day-to-day activities of the vast majority of biologists—and this is reflected in the contents of published research papers.

p. 9 (Foreword by Jerry Coyne):

By the time I was twelve years old I already had a big library of books about dinosaurs, geology, and all varieties of animals and plants. But I didn’t have any books on evolution, because they weren’t written for young people then. And although I became an evolutionary biologist, I still regret not having learned earlier how evolution ties biology together.

You are luckier, for in your hands is the book I wish I had read when I was your age. Laurence Pringle has written a wonderful account of evolution that does tie it all together. He explains the modern scientific view clearly and summarizes all of the fascinating evidence that has convinced scientists, as I hope it convinces you, that evolution is true.

It’s not an issue of ‘all the fascinating evidence that has convinced scientists’, as biblical creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence. We have the same fossils, the same rocks, etc. The difference is over the correct interpretation of the evidence.

  • Picture Gorge shouts sudden cataclysm
  • Evidence for evolution—a paradox
  • The ‘knock-out punch’ syndrome, Creation 34(3):24–27, 2012. [This is a recent article from Creation magazine. The archive version will be published online for free viewing only after 12 months have elapsed since printing. (The one-year embargo is in fairness to our subscribers.) Subscription or single-copy purchase required to view before June 2013.]

p. 11 (Chapter 1: Imagine):

“[In the 1700s and early 1800s] They found evidence that suggested that Earth might be many millions of years old.”

This misrepresents what happened. In the late 1700s–early 1800s, it was not new geological evidence that was discovered but a new philosophy that was preferred for interpreting the evidence. At that time many geologists disagreed with the new philosophy on scientific grounds, and their objections have subsequently proved to be correct. The polarization of the debate over global warming today is an example of the polarization that occurred at that time, which was driven, not by evidence but, by philosophical beliefs.

p. 12 (Chapter 2: Evidence from the Earth):

“Clearly, a long time would be needed for water to erode hard rocks. Geologists saw that some rivers had cut through layer after rocky layer. This erosion would take huge amounts of time, much more than a few thousand years.”

By “water” is meant what we see on earth today: rainfall, rivers, oceans, etc. Yes, today’s rivers and oceans would take a long time to erode hard rocks, although, under certain conditions water can erode rocks very quickly. However, most of the rocks that geologists examine on earth were not eroded by today’s rivers but by the catastrophic waters of Noah’s Flood. The conditions applying at that time were vastly different and able to erode rocks very rapidly.

p. 12:

“Geologists also found different kinds of rocks—sandstone, for example, that had once been sand but gradually became solid rock. They discovered rocks that had once been liquid—flowing lava from volcanoes. And they saw layers of rocks that were tilted and twisted by powerful forces in Earth’s crust. Wherever they looked, geologists found evidence that Earth was not a few thousand years old. Instead, its surface had been changing over a mind-boggling span of time—perhaps even billions of years.”

Early geologists, such as Nicholas Steno, saw this geologic evidence but did not imagine it needed billions of years of time. They believed these features were explained by Noah’s Flood.

It’s only when geologists assume the biblical Flood never happened and try to explain the rocks by using things we see happening today that they need such long periods of time. In other words, the long periods of time are an assumption, not an observation.

p. 13–14:

“On ocean beaches, and sometimes far inland, people found stony triangular objects. What were they? One answer had been offered more than two thousand years ago by Pliny the Elder, a Roman scholar who studied nature. He wrote that they were stone tongues that fell to Earth from the moon. In 1667 a scientist named Nicholas Steno had a much better idea. He examined the mouth of a dead shark and realized that the triangular fossils were teeth of ancient sharks.”

Indeed, there were many fanciful ideas about the identity of fossils and how they came to be. Nicholas Steno correctly identified these objects as sharks’ teeth because he was knowledgeable in anatomy. He explained the presence of the teeth and seashells far inland as due to Noah’s Flood.

p. 14:

“Despite the discovery of more and more fossils, many people still thought that life had never changed. They believed that no animals had completely died out, or become extinct. The third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, wrote that there was no evidence that nature had permitted ‘any race of her animals to become extinct’.

Jefferson knew that remains of huge elephant-like mammoths had been dug up in Europe and North America. He thought that mammoths might still be alive. In the early 1800s, Jefferson sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the wild, unmapped lands west of the Mississippi River. The expedition had many goals; one was to watch out for live mammoths.

None were found. And Jefferson himself later realized that many animals had gone extinct in North America. Giant ground sloths, saber-tooth cats, and dire wolves had died out long ago. Only their fossils remained.”

(Caption:) “Explorers once hoped they would find live woolly mammoths. Now we know that the last mammoths died out about four thousand years ago.”

The idea that species do not change and do not go extinct is not a biblical idea. The Darwin display in the British Museum portrays the creation view this way, and then says that new varieties of dogs have been bred, implying that creation has been falsified. However, this misrepresents the biblical position. God created living things to reproduce after their kind, and that allowed for variation and adaptation within each kind.

For a creationist assessment of mammoth and other extinction, see:

p. 16 (Chapter 3: How fossils form):

“A fish dies. | Covered with sediments, its bones do not decay. | The skeleton is buried deeper. Both the sediments and bones become rock. | Rock layers erode away, and the fossil skeleton is revealed.”

Fossils are common so they need to be explained. However this explanation of how fossilization occurs does not fit with experience. When a fish dies it does not sink to the bottom but floats to the top where it is quickly scavenged. Within a short time none remains. To preserve a fossil the animal needs to be buried quickly before it can be scavenged.

p. 17:

“Most of Earth’s past life leaves no trace. Soon after death, animals and plants begin to decay. Even such hard objects as bones and teeth gradually break down and disappear. Sometimes, however, a dead animal or plant is quickly covered by a sandstorm. Or, underwater, it may be buried by mud, silt, or sand. Lack of oxygen causes decay to slow, then stop. More mud or other sediments bury the animal or plant even deeper. Eventually, pressure from the weight of even more sediments above causes both the mud and the once-living objects in it to turn to rock. Calcium and other elements that make up bones are slowly replaced by minerals. What was once a tree trunk, a seashell, or a fish skeleton gradually becomes a stony replica of itself.”

How can it be known that most of Earth’s past life left no trace? This idea comes from chapter IX of Charles Darwin’s Origin, where he attempted to explain the absence of transitional fossils. The whole idea of evolution is based on slow changes over millions of years by gradual processes like we see in the world today. Yet, slow processes do not make the sorts of fossil deposits we find in the fossil record. Hence, the need for things to be “quickly covered by a sandstorm”. But it was not just “a dead animal or plant” that was buried quickly but herds of dinosaurs, schools of whales, and forests of plants. Evidence for geologic catastrophe, so obvious in the fossil record, is played down here.

p. 17–18:

“Sometimes just a detailed imprint of an animal or plant is left in the rocks. Animal footprints—including those of dinosaurs—have also been preserved in stone. So have animal droppings!”

(Caption:) “These dinosaur footprints, preserved in sandstone, were uncovered in Connecticut in 1966. They are about two hundred million years old.”

To be preserved footprints need to be buried quickly before they erode away. Animal droppings too point to rapid burial. Yet some are said here to be 200 million years old. If sedimentation happens quickly then where do they put all that time? There is a disconnect between the times quoted and the evidence.

p. 18:

“The rarest fossils of all are soft things, such as leaves, and such delicate creatures as insects and spiders. Nevertheless, under the right conditions they become fossils. One way is for small creatures to be trapped in a sticky fluid called resin that oozes from certain kinds of trees. Over many, many years, some globs of resin change into rocklike, clear amber—with ancient life preserved within.”

Amazingly preserved fossils are found in resin. They point to unusual conditions involving many damaged trees producing resin, and lots of water. This evidence suggests watery catastrophe—and is explained by a log-mat model of debris ripped up during Noah’s Flood.

p. 18:

(Caption:) “Ants, spiders, and other fragile living species are sometimes trapped in tree resin that hardens into amber.”

These usually are identical with ants, spiders and other creatures alive today, showing that evolution has not occurred and that the alleged ages of millions of years for the amber are non-existent.

p. 18:

“The process of fossilization continues today. Insects are still caught in tree resin. Dead animals are still covered with sand, mud, or silt on the bottoms of oceans, seas, lakes, and river deltas. Layers of slate and other rocks—and fossils preserved in them—are forming. All over Earth, some examples of life today will gradually become fossils that might be discovered in a far-distant tomorrow.”

The claim that fossilization continues today, with the implication that it is the same as what produced the fossil record, does not fit observations. Insects may be caught on resin today but they are not enclosed within the resin like those found in amber in the fossil record. When we visit the beach or swim in a river we do not see animals lying dead on the bottom slowly being covered by sand and mud. Dead organisms are quickly scavenged from these environments, which are left in a clean condition.

pp. 19–20 (chapter 4: Layers of rock, layers of past life):

“Study of Earth’s rocks, and fossils in them, has led to startling discoveries and puzzling questions. A scholar in ancient Greece, Xenophanes, was among the first to write of finding fish fossils in the rocks of high mountain ranges. He concluded that those lands had once been underwater.

This idea was rejected when Xenophanes lived, about 2,500 years ago. It became more widely accepted in the early 1500s, thanks to the writings of Leonardo da Vinci, a great painter, engineer, and scientist of those times. He had found fossils of marine (saltwater) animals in the mountains of northern Italy. This was more evidence that an ocean or sea had once covered the area. Underwater, layers of rocks—with fossils in them—had formed and later had been pushed up, far into the air. Although people had experienced earthquakes, it was hard for them to imagine even greater changes in Earth’s crust, but the evidence was there—in fossils of sea life hundreds of miles from ocean coasts.”

The layers of rocks with marine fossils indeed point to the earth being covered with water in the past. For those familiar with the biblical Flood in Genesis chapters 6–8 fossils in high mountains are no surprise. There are accounts of the global Flood preserved in the legends of peoples all over the world. Two hundred and fifty years ago the reality of Noah’s Flood was universally accepted within Europe, including by scholars. It has never been proved to be wrong; it is just dismissed and ignored.

p. 21:

(Caption:) “Scientists saw that deeper and much older layers of rock contained fossils of more simple forms of life (for example, no animals with backbones).”

The idea that the life forms found within deeper and older layers are more simple is a myth. The first major occurrence of fossils in the Cambrian include virtually every major body plan, including animals with backbones. Many fossils are similar to creatures alive today—a problem for evolution that has been called ‘stasis’, meaning no change. This unexpected situation has been called ‘The Cambrian Explosion’, because it is so contrary to what you would anticipate from evolutionary theory.

pp. 20–22:

“Geologists also noticed differences in layers, or strata, of sedimentary rocks.

These are the most common rocks of Earth’s surface. They include siltstone, shale, and sandstone. Beginning in the 1600s, geologists concluded that the topmost rock layers were the youngest. Layers just below were older, and strata farther down were older still.

Around 1800 an Englishman, William Smith, noticed something remarkable about different rock layers. He was an engineer involved in digging canals. This work often uncovered several strata of sedimentary rocks. Smith found different kinds of fossils in different rock layers. Some French geologists noticed this, too. And when they compared the fossils from different rock layers, they saw a clear pattern.

The fossils from the youngest rocks—those closest to the surface—were similar to living animals—mammals, reptiles, and fish. These kinds of fossils did not exist in the deeper layers of rocks. In much older rocks, geologists found mollusk shells, vast numbers of extinct creatures called trilobites, and other animals without backbones. The rock layers and their fossils showed that both Earth and its life had undergone amazing changes over an unimaginable span of time.”

(Caption:) “Five hundred million years ago, trilobites were abundant ocean animals with hard protective shells. Today they are common fossils in sedimentary rocks.”

There is no argument that the topmost layers are younger than the lower layers. Many of these principles for interpreting rocks were developed by Nicholas Steno who, we have noted, was a biblical creationist. He did not imagine they took millions of years to form but interpreted them as being deposited during Noah’s Flood.

Similarly, the discovery of William Smith that fossils can be used to identify the same layers in outcrops kilometers apart is something that can be explained by water flowing over vast areas during Noah’s Flood.

The order of fossils within the rocks can be explained as the order of burial during Noah’s Flood. And it is to be expected that some of the animals alive on earth before the Flood have gone extinct, especially the ones deeper in column that would have lived in the deeper environments of the earth. The idea that the order represents a progression of evolution over millions of years encounters many surprising features as we have already noted. These include the fact that fossils in the earliest rocks are similar to animals alive today, and that animals do not change through geologic column from their first to their last appearance.

Another problem is that, as more of the earth is being explored, the precise order of fossils is becoming more and more blurred with the fossil ranges extending further than previously thought.

As we have mentioned before, the words “over an unimaginable span of time” and “Five hundred million years ago” are statements of belief. These times are not measured, or founded in observation.

Interestingly, trilobite eyes have an incredible design pointing to an incredible Designer. They do not look like the product of random, mindless mutations.

pp. 23–24 (Chapter 5: The adventures and discoveries of Charles Darwin):

“Despite the growing evidence of an ancient Earth, some people still believed that our planet was quite young. They thought that a great flood, or perhaps several floods, had swept the entire planet. These catastrophes had carried marine life inland. For some people, this explained the presence of marine fossils far from oceans.

All over the world, however, geologists found more evidence of a very different explanation. In 1830, British geologist Charles Lyell wrote a book about Earth’s history, called Principles of Geology. He challenged the notion that Earth was young. Lyell described geological change that people could witness in their lifetimes: earthquakes lifting land, volcanoes creating islands, erosion at work everywhere. Given plenty of time, these natural happenings, occurring all over Earth’s surface, could have caused great changes.”

Yes, there was a contest between catastrophic and gradual explanations. Lyell won the day with his gradual philosophy and, for over one hundred years, catastrophes were not welcome as geological explanations. The biblical account of the catastrophic global Flood was assumed to be a myth. In order that geological features could be formed gradually it was necessary for the earth be billions of years old. The slow-and-gradual belief is where the long ages came from.

However, the actual geologic evidence did not match Lyell’s philosophy. Everywhere there is geologic evidence for catastrophe. Eventually, in the late 20th century, geologists began to recognize this, and now catastrophe is widely accepted. Some have even said that Lyell sold geology ‘snake oil’.

With the acceptance of catastrophe again, mainstream geologists now have a problem. If the rocks formed rapidly then where do they put all the millions of years of time?

p. 24:

“Lyell’s book was brought by Charles Darwin, a young naturalist on the voyage [of the Beagle]. Darwin was fascinated by Lyell’s ideas and soon witnessed powerful forces at work on Earth’s crust. He saw a volcano erupt and felt a mighty earthquake. He saw a city—Concepción, Chile—destroyed by that earthquake.

Along the coast of South America, Charles Darwin and the ship’s captain and crew saw other changes caused by the earthquake. Large areas that had been underwater had been lifted into the air. Exploring inland, 7,000 feet (about 2,100 meters) above sea level, the men found fossil seashells in the rocks. Darwin realized that the Andes mountain chain, with some peaks 14,000 feet (about 4,300 meters) above sea level, was probably created by mighty forces in Earth’s crust.”

Volcanoes, earthquakes, and uplift are all geological processes that occur today. Geologists had been aware of these for a long time before Lyell. However, Charles Lyell argued in his book that these processes, as we see them today, are entirely sufficient to explain all the geology on earth. He argued against great catastrophes, especially the global catastrophe of Noah’s flood. Charles Darwin was greatly influenced by Principles of Geology and imagined the rocks forming over vast eons of time. This caused him to lose his confidence in the Bible and abandon his plan to become a minister of the Church of England. For more information on Darwin’s journey see the DVD “Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World”. As we have seen, geologists today no longer accept Lyell’s rigid philosophy but readily accept huge catastrophes on earth.

p. 25:

“Nature had created the Galápagos over several million years.”

The Galápagos are post-Flood islands. A similar island called Surtsey suddenly came into existence in the 1960s, showing that such islands can form in decades and look very mature after a short time.

p. 26:

“Many of the Galápagos animals lived nowhere else on Earth. And they also differed from island to island. For example, Darwin found three kinds (species) of mockingbirds, each living on a different island.”

‘Kind’, as used in the Bible’s account of the creation of animals and plants, is not the same as man’s classification of ‘species’. For example, lions and tigers have been given different species names (even different genus names), yet the fact that they can hybridize, indicates that they are actually descendants of the same created ‘big cat kind’. The Galápagos mockingbirds would all be descendants of the representatives of the ‘kind’ that all mockingbirds belong to that came off the Ark after the Flood, about 4,500 years ago.

pp. 27–28:

“Around the world, most finch species have small beaks, well suited for eating small seeds. The Galápagos finches were different. Some had sharp-pointed beaks, useful for catching insects. Others had big beaks for crushing big seeds. There was even a finch species whose beak and behavior were like those of a woodpecker.

Charles Darwin had an idea of how this surprising variety of finches lived on the Galápagos. He wrote that ‘one might really fancy’ that the variety of finches began when just one species somehow reached the Galápagos. Other scientists reasoned that a powerful storm had carried a few finches from Ecuador to some of the Galápagos Islands. Then, over a long span of time, that one species of finch changed until fourteen new finch species lived on different islands.”

[Caption:] “A variety of finches evolved from one species that reached the Galápagos. The finches vary in size, and especially in the size and shape of their beaks.”

The idea that the finches on the Galápagos reached the islands from nearby South America is actually reasonable. Suppose some finches with the genetic information for a wide variety of beaks came to the islands in a storm, and that some were on an island where the main food source was hard seeds. Birds with genes for thick and strong beaks could cope with them better, so would be better fed, and thus more likely to leave offspring. But birds on an island with few seeds but lots of grubs would do better with longer and thinner beaks, so they could poke deeper into the ground and pull out their prey. This is indeed an example of adaptation and natural selection. But note that it actually removes genes from the populations—on seed-rich islands with few grubs, information for long, slender beaks would likely be lost; while the information for thick, strong beaks would be lost on grub-rich (seed-poor) islands. So this change is in the opposite direction from goo-to-you evolution, which requires new genes with new information. Therefore the finches have not ‘evolved’, in the sense of being evidence of uphill changes. And also note that the changes did not require ‘a long span of time’—changes in finch beak size/shape have actually been observed by researchers on the Galápagos to occur within just a few generations.

p. 29 (chapter 6: Evolution):

“Evolution is, simply, change over time. It usually means a gradual change, not a quick one. People use the term about all sorts of things. They might say a sports team evolved from being a perennial loser into a champion.”

Yes, it’s somewhat unfortunate that people use the term ‘evolution’ about all sorts of things, as that makes it easier for evolutionists to use the logical fallacy of equivocation or bait-and-switch to make it seem that evolution is everywhere. If evolution is simply ‘change over time’, then biblical creationists are all evolutionists! See:

p. 29:

“Life on Earth has evolved. This idea was not new with Charles Darwin. Scholars in ancient Greece believed that life had developed gradually, changing from simple to more complex organisms. Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, offered evidence of changes in animals ‘gradually produced over many generations’.”

It’s true that evolutionary ideas were around long before Darwin. But the ‘evidence’ claimed for evolution is either misinterpretation, or actual evidence for the biblical-creation timeline of history—a stark contrast to evolutionists’ ideas of ‘gradual’ change.

pp. 30–31:

“By 1858, after twenty years of investigation and thinking, Darwin had nearly finished writing a book that explained how evolution worked.

In another part of the world, another scientist’s discoveries and thinking led him to the same explanation. Like Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace had explored far from England. He had observed nature and collected animals in the Amazon region of South America and in the Malay Archipelago (now Indonesia).

On June 18, 1858, Darwin received a letter from Wallace that explained his ideas about evolution. Independently, both men had figured out how life on earth changes.”

Darwin’s book Origin of Species does not ‘explain how evolution worked’—it merely claims that evolution has happened. He and Wallace had not ‘figured out how life on Earth changes’. Neither of them knew anything about mutations, or indeed anything about the genetics—it would be many decades before Gregor Mendel’s important discoveries about inheritance would come to light. And Mendel’s breakthroughs, and our advancing knowledge about genetics today, does not support evolution—just the opposite, in fact.

p. 31:

“Wallace’s letter prompted Darwin to finish the book he had been preparing for many years. On the Origin of Species was published in the fall of 1859.

Although both men had the same basic idea, today few people know about Wallace. Charles Darwin became famous. And, though he died in 1882, his ideas live on.

They changed human understanding of all life on Earth.”

They certainly did change ‘human understanding of all life on Earth’. And look at the result:

p. 32 (chapter 7: Variation):

“The process of evolution depends on four basic characteristics of nature. One is variation, which means there is great variety among living things—including members of the same kind, or species.”

Firstly, as already mentioned (re page 26), the biblical ‘kind’ cannot be equated to ‘species’. This Pringle phrase ‘of the same kind, or species’ is therefore extremely misleading.

Secondly, variation is real but it does not give any support to microbes-to-man evolution, as natural selection can only act upon (i.e. remove) existing variation, it cannot create it.

pp. 32–33:

“We see this variety in our everyday lives. Think of the variety of people you see. Or, if you have had pet cats, dogs, or other animals think of how they differ. Domestic cats are all one species—Felis catus. Each cat shares many characteristics with every other cat, but they also differ in some ways. The same is true of dogs. Individuals of one species, Canis familiaris, vary a great deal in their size, behavior, hair length, and other features.

It is easy to see variation in people or cats or dogs. Variation is less visible when we see a photo of a huge school of fish or a meadow of flowers. They may all look alike, but variation is there. It is everywhere in nature. It makes evolution possible.”

Variation does not ‘make evolution possible’. The only satisfactory explanation for the existence of variation is that it was created—built-in to the original kinds.

  • Dogs breeding dogs? That’s not evolution!
  • The family of cats—delineation of the feline basic type, Journal of Creation 25(2):118–124, August 2011. [The online archive version of this Journal of Creation article will only be published online for free viewing only after 12 months have elapsed since printing. (The one-year embargo is in fairness to our subscribers.) Subscription or single-copy purchase required to view before September 2012.]
  • Genetic diversity in dogs

p. 34:

“Both Charles Darwin and his grandfather Erasmus were curious about variation in nature. They knew that farmers used knowledge of this variation when they chose certain animals to breed. Charles Darwin asked questions of people who bred cattle, dogs, pigeons, sheep and goldfish. He raised and studied pigeons himself. (At one point he kept nearly ninety birds.)

Some dairy farmers had learned how to get more milk from their herds. For breeding, they picked cows that gave the most milk. Those cows usually produced young that also became good milk producers. By continuing to pick certain cows for breeding, eventually a farmer could have a whole herd of cows that gave more milk than average.

Plant growers also crossbred certain flower, vegetable, and fruit plants. By doing so they could produce, for example, a rosebush with a new blossom color. Or, they could select certain tomato plants for breeding and develop a variety that had fast-ripening fruit. Clearly, by selecting individual plants and animals for breeding, people could change future generations. They did this by deliberately picking certain individuals for breeding.

Charles Darwin explained how a natural process could change all life on Earth—not just livestock, flowers, and other organisms picked by humans. The variation among individuals present in all living species makes this possible.”

The only way that breeders can ‘change future generations’ is by limiting the parentage stock today. That will reduce the amount of future variation. (So, even by evolutionists’ own words—‘evolution depends upon variation’—this makes it even harder for evolution.)

p. 35 (chapter 8: Nature’s Bounty):

“Nature is bountiful. One female salmon can produce twenty-eight million eggs, each one a potential adult fish. A pair of rats can produce as many as two thousand descendants in a year, if all their young survive and also begin to reproduce. Plants also have a great capacity for increasing their numbers. Just one dandelion flower can produce seeds for more than a hundred new plants. From a single oak tree, thousands of acorns fall to the forest floor. Each one has the potential of becoming a towering tree.

Populations of animals and plants have a tremendous capacity for growth. This great bounty of nature is a second key factor in evolution. If all eggs, seeds, and young survived to become adults that also reproduced, the world would soon be overrun with living things. There isn’t enough space, food, or other resources to allow all to survive.

The result is another key factor in the process of evolution: competition.”

The created kinds have enormous built-in potential to reproduce themselves many times over. (Jesus referred to crop plants’ capacity to do that, too—Matthew 13:8). Laurence Pringle here is co-opting a design feature (reproduction) and blithely ascribing it to evolution. In a book about evolution for kids, it surely would be disingenuous to not mention at some point in the book (Pringle doesn’t) that the origin of reproduction via male and female has been described by some evolutionists as being the biggest challenge facing evolutionary theory.

E.g. Mark Ridley admits, “sexual reproduction poses an evolutionary problem because it seems to be half as efficient a method of reproducing as its alternative, asexual reproduction”. And, “If sex is to outweigh its twofold cost, the sexual female must by this procedure expect to produce a daughter who will be twice as fit as a simple copy of herself.” G.C. Williams put it more bluntly, describing sexual reproduction as “the outstanding puzzle in evolutionary biology”.

So Pringle’s ‘this great bounty of nature is a second key factor in evolution’ is in fact ducking the issue of how ‘evolution’ could have possibly brought such ‘bounty’ into existence in the first place.

pp. 36–37 (chapter 9: Competition):

“Many animals and plants die when they lose in competition with others of their kind. Underground, the roots of tree saplings compete for water and minerals. Aboveground, the saplings compete for sunlight and growing space. Competition is the third factor in the process of evolution.”

“Throughout nature, many organisms fail to survive and reproduce. Others mate and produce a new generation. This situation is somewhat like a farmer who picks certain cattle to breed. We call the farmer’s choices artificial selection. In nature, however, no one decides which animals and plants survive to mate. This happens naturally, through a process that is the fourth vital factor of evolution: natural selection.”

So, ‘competition is the third factor in the process of evolution’? Well, it is when it suits evolutionists to argue so. But apparently not when a ‘politically correct’ issue such as human-caused ‘global warming’ is at stake. Suddenly competition takes a back seat to notions that humans are a blight on the planet, heartlessly putting precious species such as polar bears at risk of extinction. But this is precisely the opposite of what evolution should preach. In an evolutionary view, we’re all in competition, not only inter-species, but intra-species, in an endless struggle for genetic dominance. If our over-consumption causes the ice caps to melt and all the polar bears to die, then it should be good for us and so much the worse for them! G.K. Chesterton saw through the hypocritical duality of the Darwinist view of nature:

“Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals … That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you, it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger. But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably, that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws.”

But the Christian view of the environment is that humans, in an important sense, are not simply another species of animal, because we are created in the image of God. That, and the dominion mandate proclaimed by God (Genesis 1:28), gives us a place of primacy over the rest of the created order, and the right to use the creation for our benefit and enjoyment, but also responsibility to care for it as God’s stewards.

Note that none of Pringle’s three ‘factors of evolution’ raised thus far does anything to support microbes-to-man evolution. Competition at best results in a removal of individuals (and the genetic combination they carry) from a population. It does not generate any new genetic information, so crucial to the pond-scum-became-people story. Our online articles explain this repeatedly—we have even used the sapling roots’ example (above, from Muddy waters) to demonstrate this. Natural selection, Pringle’s ‘fourth vital factor of evolution’, doesn’t in any way explain the origin of the genetic information it favours:

pp. 39–40 (chapter 10: Natural Selection):

“In the spring, when male and female wood frogs hop away from ponds, they leave masses of hundreds of fertilized eggs in the water. Soon tadpoles (sometimes called pollywogs) hatch from the eggs. The tiny tadpoles swim by swinging their tails from side to side. They begin to eat and grow. And some die. Tadpoles are eaten by birds, water beetles, dragonfly nymphs, and other predators.

Surviving tadpoles are still alive because they are quick swimmers or are good at hiding. They develop into young frogs. Then they leave the water and spread out into the woods. In this habitat, too, danger lurks. Raccoons, snakes, and birds eat wood frogs. The frogs also face the challenge of catching insects and other foods. By the fall, their numbers have dwindled. The surviving frogs are those that did best—first as tadpoles, then as adults on land.

As autumn nights grow more chilly, the wood frogs search for hiding places on the forest floor. They go into a deep sleep. Only the most fit survive to emerge in the spring. They hop toward ponds, where the winter ice has just melted. The males begin to call. Their nighttime clacking sounds are often the first frog calls of the spring.

Female wood frogs listen. They choose to mate with certain males. Something about these males—perhaps the strength of their calls—makes them more appealing to females. Some males lose in this competition and do not mate. Only certain males and females mate and pass their characteristics on to the next generation. They are well adapted to survive in the land and water environment of wood frogs. They survive to reproduce—not be chance, but in a natural process. It is called natural selection.

In 1864, the English philosopher Herbert Spencer called natural selection ‘survival of the fittest’, but this expression misses a key idea. A frog or wolf or a butterfly can be very successful in its environment—‘the fittest’—but it must mate successfully for its traits to be passed on to a new generation. An animal or plant that fails to reproduce loses its chance to affect the future of its population. Reproduction, not just survival, is the key to natural selection.”

Hmmm … tadpoles to frogs? But Pringle glosses over any talk of how evolution can explain such a wondrous process. (It can’t.) Let alone the wonders of male/female reproduction. Can’t let such difficulties get in the way of a good story!

p. 41 (chapter 11: After Darwin):

“Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was a best seller. The book’s first printing sold out in one day! In 1859 it caused scientists all over the world to think in new ways about how Earth’s life had changed. It continues to do so. Today Origin of Species, as it is often called, is considered the most important book in the history of science.”

Certainly Darwin’s Origin has caused many scientists (way too many scientists, unfortunately) to ‘think in new ways’ about Earth’s life. And this has harmed their research, as leading geneticist Dr John Sanford, inventor of the gene gun, explains in his DVD presentation How evolution hurts science. Thankfully, as already pointed out above (re Jerry Coyne’s Foreword), evolution plays little part in the day-to-day activities of the vast majority of biologists.

p. 42:

“Today Darwin would be delighted to learn how his ideas about evolution have stood the test of time. He would also be quick to give credit to countless thousands of scientists who have studied geology, fossils, and living organisms. More than 150 years have passed since Origin of Species was published. Most of what we understand about the process of evolution was discovered in that time. Scientists now have ways of studying Earth and its life that did not exist in Darwin’s time. Some of their amazing discoveries are described in the following chapters.”

Would Darwin really be ‘delighted’ today to see that the cell, which in his day was regarded as a ‘blob of protoplasm’, is in fact an incredible wonder of design? Would he be ‘delighted’ to find that his prediction that soft-bodied fossils such as jellyfish would never be found, because they could never be fossilized by the million-of-years processes he envisaged, has been proven oh-so-wrong? Would he be ‘delighted’ to see that the ‘missing links’ are still missing? In short, would Darwin still be a Darwinist today, given what science has since discovered?

p. 42:

“Scientists sometimes refer to the ‘theory of evolution’, and this phrase confuses some people. There is so much evidence about evolution, and how it works, why call it ‘just’ a theory? After all, in everyday conversation, theory usually means an idea, a hunch, a rough guess. However, in science, theory means something dramatically different. It is a well-understood set of ideas, supported by a tremendous amount of research and findings.

Scientists use the word theory the way people in everyday conversation use fact. However, by strict scientific definition, theories never become facts. Theories explain facts. There are other scientific theories, such as the theory of gravity, which explains why things fall when we drop them. It is very well understood, but is still called a scientific theory. Also, just a few centuries ago, people believed that many diseases were caused by curses or by evil spirits or by breathing night air. Today we have the germ theory of infectious disease, which explains that those diseases are caused by microbes. No scientist would ever say that the theories of gravity, germs, or evolution are ‘just’ theories. That would be nonsense, because they know that theories—the scientific kind—are backed by huge amounts of trustworthy evidence.”

Christians sometimes make the mistake of arguing against evolution by saying it’s ‘just a theory’. Here’s an extract from what we say about that on our Arguments we think creationists should NOT use page:

‘Evolution is just a theory.’ What people usually mean when they say this is ‘Evolution is not proven fact, so it should not be promoted dogmatically.’ Therefore people should say that. The problem with using the word ‘theory’ in this case is that scientists usually use it to mean a well-substantiated explanation of data. This includes well-known ones such as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Newton’s Theory of Gravity, and lesser-known ones such as the Debye–Hückel Theory of electrolyte solutions and the Deryagin–Landau/Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory of the stability of lyophobic sols, etc. It would be better to say that particles-to-people evolution is an unsubstantiated hypothesis or conjecture.

All the same, the critic doth protest too much. Webster’s Dictionary (1996) provides the #2 meaning as ‘a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact,’ and this usage is hardly unknown in the scientific literature. The dictionary further provides ‘6. contemplation or speculation. 7. guess or conjecture.’ So the critic is simply wrong to say that it’s a mistake to use theory to mean ‘speculation’, ‘conjecture’ or ‘guess’; and that scientists never use theory this way in the literature. So the attack is really cheap point-scoring, but there is still no reason to give critics this diversion.

p. 43 (chapter 12: Telling Time):

“Trilobites, dinosaurs, giant megalodon sharks, woolly mammoths—these are just a few kinds of animals that thrived long ago and are now extinct. When they lived, and for how long, was once a great mystery. Now scientists have several ways of figuring out the age of ancient rocks and the fossils in or near them.

Since 1945, scientists have been able to measure the age of some kinds of rocks, stretching back millions—even billions—of years. Many parts of Earth’s crust contain igneous rocks, which are hardened lava and ash from volcanoes. Igneous rocks contain elements that are radioactive. This means they are unstable. They emit particles and energy at a fairly constant rate. This process is called radioactive decay. Eventually, after huge amounts of time, the radioactivity is all gone.

Different radioactive elements decay at different rates. This is expressed as an element’s half-life—the time needed for half of its radioactivity to disappear. Geologists can accurately find out how much radioactivity was originally in igneous rocks when they formed. Comparing that amount with how much remains at this time gives a good estimate of the age of the rock. So the decay of radioactive elements in rocks can be used as a kind of natural clock.”

This is misleading. There is no argument with the discussion of radioactivity, atomic particles and half-lives, etc. But it is actually impossible to measure the age of something by making observations only in the present. As with all books that deal with this topic, the fatal problem with trying to determine age is not mentioned. Every number that is produced by radioactive ‘dating’ is based on a host of assumptions about the past: What isotopes were in the sample when it formed? Have any been gained? Have any been lost? Has the rate of decay remained unchanged? These are all questions about the past that cannot be answered by making measurements in the present. The answers can only be assumed.

Actually, the statement, “Geologists can accurately find out how much radioactivity was originally in igneous rocks when they formed” is false. Geologists cannot accurately determine what was originally present. They have to guess the amount. And the age they get depends on what they guess.

p. 44:

“Scientists use the element uranium-238 to figure out the age of very old rocks. U-238 decays very slowly. It has a half-life of about 700 million years. Other elements, such as potassium-40, have even longer half-lives. On the other hand, carbon-14 has a short half-life of 5,730 years. It requires the presence of some once-living materials, such as bone or wood. It has been used to determine the age of rocks, fossils, remains of mammoths, and even old paintings and fabrics—anything in the range of 100 to 50,000 years. In 2009, measurements of carbon-14 helped archeologists [sic] learn the age of a flute uncovered in a German cave. It had been crafted from a hollow bone of a vulture more than 35,000 years ago.”

[Caption to picture of flute:] “Carbon-14 in this flute made from a piece of vulture bone revealed that the object is more than 35,000 years old.”

Every dating method has the same problem, as we have discussed above. Geologists are aware of the problems and have developed a host of techniques that they use to explain results that don’t agree with what they expected.

p. 44:

“Measuring radioactivity that remains in rocks does not give exact ages, but errors are usually small. For example, igneous rocks from a Canadian volcanic ash bed were judged to be 72.5 million years old plus or minus 0.2 million years. The possible error is less than one percent.”

This is misleading. The plus or minus 0.2 million years refers only to the accuracy of the instruments and analytical processes used to measure the isotopes in the sample. It says nothing about the other major problems of how much was in the sample when it formed or has there been any gain or loss since.

pp. 44–45:

“Only one method of dating gives exact numbers: counting the annual growth rings of trees. Remains of oak trees from Irish bogs have been dated back 7,468 years.”

[Caption to photo of bristlecone pine:] “Annual growth rings show that some bristlecone pines have lived nearly five thousand years in the western United States.”

Note the statement, “Only one method of dating gives exact numbers”. This is an admission that the radioactive methods are not trusted by the scientists themselves, but need to be calibrated by other methods:

Actually, the tree ring method is not an independent, objective method either because all dating methods have the same fatal problem that they cannot be independently calibrated. For the tree ring method, we cannot know how many rings formed in a year. Further, the way the scientists match the rings into a long sequence is highly subjective. In fact, it is motivated with the aim to get a consistent agreement spanning long ages.

The bristlecone pines with the many growth bands (they are not actually rings) live in very harsh environments where most of the tree has died and growth occurs in strips up the trunk. They are prone to multi growth bands a year.

p. 45:

“Radioactive measurements tell the ages of igneous rocks, but fossils are usually found in sedimentary rocks. This means that radioactivity usually cannot be used to tell the age of fossils directly. However, igneous rocks are often found between layers of sedimentary rocks. By knowing the ages of the igneous rocks, scientists can figure out the ages of adjoining sedimentary rocks and the fossils in them.”

Early estimates of the age of the geologic column were based on assumed rates of sedimentation (ignoring the global Flood catastrophe, of course). Subsequent ‘dates’ established by radioactive dating methods have changed these numbers up and down a little but not significantly. The choice of rock sample, dating method, and interpretation, etc. is done to obtain precise results that basically agree with what is expected, plus and minus a bit.

p. 45:

“New sources of information about ancient time are being discovered and tested. Radioactivity stored in coral from ancient reefs is proving to be useful. Scientists expect that human ability to tell the age of Earth’s crust and fossils will get even better.”

All new dating techniques are announced with great fanfare but all have the same fatal flaw, as previously discussed. All results are ‘interpreted’ to agree with what is already believed about what the age range should be. See the book by John Woodmorappe called The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods.

p. 46 (chapter 13: Genetics):

“You have probably heard of DNA. Television crime dramas often refer to DNA as key evidence that helps identify a criminal. DNA is in the news a lot. Sometimes DNA evidence helps free a person who was wrongly convicted of a crime.

Saying these important letters—DNA—would have caused puzzled looks back in Darwin’s time—or even a century ago. People knew that crossbreeding animals and plants led to offspring that had characteristics of both parents. This could produce a faster racehorse, a new breed of dog, a new tulip color.”

Yes, DNA is in the news today, but modern discoveries are a problem for evolution, as we will see. In fact, if Darwin knew what we know today, would he have been an evolutionist?

(If he had been driven purely by scientific considerations, he would not have been an evolutionist.)

Darwin did argue that breeding of dogs shows evolution in action, but does it? Can you make a dog into a horse by breeding dogs? No, there are clear limits to what can be achieved through breeding. Over some 75 years of selective breeding of sugar beet it was possible to increase the sugar content from 6% to 17%. But there the improvement stopped, and further selection did not increase the sugar content. You could select cows for jumping, but no amount of selection will get a cow that will jump over the moon (see later)—that’s the stuff of fairy tales.

p. 46:

“And Charles Darwin had explained how a natural selection process could also produce change. But exactly how this happened was a great mystery.”

Darwin did no such thing! How could he have “explained how a natural process could produce change” when “exactly how this happened was a great mystery”? If it was a great mystery, he did not explain it at all. This claim is a nonsensical contradiction.

p. 46:

“Where did the variation in the features of animals and plants come from, and how did it affect new generations? Part of the answer came from the work of Gregor Mendel, a monk and plant scientist (botanist) in Austria. He crossbred sweet peas, producing plants of different heights and blossom colors. He discovered the basic idea of genetics—the science of how traits and characteristics are inherited.

Mendel published his findings, but he died in 1884 without anyone realizing the importance of his research. His ideas were discovered around the year 1900—the beginning of the twentieth century. In that century scientists made great breakthroughs in our understanding of genetics.”

Yes, Gregor Mendel made a great contribution to understanding genetics. But he was a creationist, not an evolutionist, and his findings caused a problem for evolution because he showed that traits that seemed to Darwin to just ‘appear’ in offspring were already specified in genes in the parents, but were hidden. So ‘nature’ was not inventing new traits at all; they were already there in the genes of the parents.

p. 46:

“Now we know that the nucleus, or center, of cells contains large DNA molecules. (DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.)”

Yes, this is good science, but it has nothing to do with evolution.

Correction: the vast majority of living things on earth (most microbes) do not have a nucleus, although they do have DNA.

Even the smallest microbe has 500,000 chemical ‘letters’ of information (instructions) on its DNA. This is a huge problem for evolution: where did all this coded information come from in the first place? How did a coded information-storing system arise without a (super) Intelligent Designer?

The information storing capacity of DNA far exceeds current human systems of information storage:

p. 47:

“Different parts of DNA, called genes, carry the genetic information of each living thing—like a set of instructions. When animals mate or a plant flower is pollinated, these instructions are blended to produce a new individual having copies of genes from both parents. However, DNA molecules are sometimes damaged, which can lead to changes in the instructions. Also, when cells divide there can be mistakes in copying the complex DNA molecules. Such changes in DNA are called mutations.”

Creationists have no problem with this. It is observable, repeatable, testable science.

p. 46:

“Mutations can be minor—so trivial that they cause no good or bad effect on a newborn animal or newly formed plant seeds. However, sometimes a mutation can have a big, harmful effect—for example, if it produces a baby snake lacking normal color (an albino). The snake can be kept alive in a zoo, but in the wild it would be easily seen by predators and probably would not survive for long. On the other hand, if a mutation caused a newborn snake to have a better-than-average sense of smell, the snake would benefit. It would be likely to survive, mate and pass its good scent-detecting trait on to a new generation. Eventually, after many generations, this trait might be widespread through a whole population of snakes.”

Yes, mutations can be minor, but being random changes, many are actually still slightly damaging the genes. This is a big problem for evolution because natural selection is not capable of culling these minor effect mutations and they are relentlessly adding up to create a big problem. Geneticist Dr John Sanford has studied this and it puts a severe limit on how long living things, including humans, could have been on Earth, contrary to the evolutionary story.

It also underlines the huge problem for evolution that natural processes are heading in the wrong direction for evolution to be a believable, viable process for explaining the diversity of life on earth.

Now note the two examples of mutations given. The first involves loss of colour. Mutations are known for this sort of thing; messing up existing traits. Over a thousand human diseases are caused by mutations. The author suggests that the white snake might not be well adapted and natural selection would get rid of it (it would not survive). This is possible. However, if an animal, such as a brown bear, lost its ability to make its brown pigment and became white, it might be better adapted to the Arctic ice (camouflage) and be selected for. This would be an advantageous mutation, but it is still a defect or loss of an existing ability (to make brown pigment).

Then note the ‘beneficial’ mutation: “if a mutation caused a newborn snake to have a better-than-average sense of smell … .” If? Where is the example of such a mutation actually occurring? Surely if, as this book claims, evolution is happening all around us, all the time over billions of years, the author could do better than an “IF”?

But that is the problem with evolution. Such examples of mutations are hard to find. And mutations have to be found that invent a sense of smell in the first place, not just slightly improve an existing sense of smell. No such mutations are found.

(Caption:) “During the 1940s, scientists learned that the chemical called DNA carried genetic information from one generation to the next. But the structure of DNA molecules and how they worked were mysteries. In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick solved these mysteries. They learned that DNA is a double helix—a pair of twisted strands (above). The discoveries of Watson and Crick, and of many others who study genetics, have led to a much better understanding of evolution.”

The marvelous discovery of DNA and its structure, a part of real science, contrast with the evolutionary story-telling of this book. The discovery of the information in the DNA is a huge problem for the evolutionary story, contrary to the claim here. “A better understanding of evolution?” Yes, why it does not work and has no credibility whatsoever!

p. 48:

“Remember, variation among individuals of a species is a key factor in the process of evolution. Now we know that changes in DNA cause mutations, and these mutations help produce variation in living things.”

Yes, there is variation, but it is limited. The science of genetics as applied to plant and animal breeding shows that. There are varieties of wolves/dogs, but they are still wolves/dogs. There are varieties of humans, but we are still all humans.

“Changes in DNA cause mutations”? This is back-to-front, even for the evolutionary story. Rather, mutations cause changes in DNA. Yes, they do, but they are the wrong sort of changes to make evolution believable. See The evolution train’s a-comin’ (Sorry, a-goin’—in the wrong direction)

p. 48:

“The science of genetics is producing more and more evidence of how life evolves. It has already changed ideas about how closely some animals are related to others. Usually biologists compare skeletons, organs, and other physical features to help figure out which creatures are close relatives. Now they can compare the DNA of different creatures. Generally, DNA comparisons confirm what scientists had concluded by comparing bones and other physical features. Sometimes there are surprises—for example, the discovery that parrots, falcons, and chickadees are closely related. You would not think so based on the looks or behavior of these birds, but their DNA tells a different story.”

No, genetics is a problem for evolution. After studying genetics at Central Michigan University (USA), many less students believed in evolution than before the course (see Dogs breeding dogs? That’s not evolution!)

Evolutionists claim that similarity means that creatures had a common ancestor (evolution). But similarity could rather be due to having a common creator. The patterns that God placed in living things actually show that it was not evolution that caused the similarities, but common design. The surprises mentioned here are part of that pattern that God put in place to show people that it was not evolution that created things. That there are many animals that are very similar in appearance but they cannot be closely related by common ancestry also speaks against evolution.

Are look-alikes related?

p. 48:

“Genetic information is now a powerful tool in the study of evolution. One exciting discovery involved finches of the Galápagos—the birds that Darwin studied. Scientists studied the DNA of finch species living on the islands and found that every one had a single common ancestor that lived in South America. So, modern DNA research proved that Darwin was correct in his thinking about the origin of all the Galápagos finches.”

Yes, and this is what creationist biologists think happened also, so this does not ‘prove evolution’.

Evolutionists need evidence that finches can change into a basically different kind of creature. They need to explain the origin of finches and birds in general, not just note that varieties (‘species’) of finches exist.

pp. 49–50:

“A complete set of genetic information in cells of each living thing is called its genome. A genome can be thought of as a code or a blueprint—a set of directions for ‘building’ a new individual. In 2003, scientists were able to read all of the information encoded in the DNA of a human genome. (Dozens more have since been analyzed.) The genomes of other organisms have also been deciphered—including those of rice plants, bacteria, mice, birds, dogs, mosquitoes, the Tasmanian devil, the duck-billed platypus (an unusual egg-laying mammal), and the cacao tree, whose seeds are the source of chocolate.

Identifying the specific DNA parts of an animal or plant cell is no easy task. Decoding the genome of a single female platypus from Australia required the work of a hundred scientists in eight countries. They found that the platypus—named Glennie—had about 18,500 genes. That’s about two-thirds the number of the human genome.”

All this is good science, which has nothing to do with evolution, but rather is a problem for it. The amount of information (instructions, specifications) in the DNA surprised the evolutionists. Because of their belief in only natural causes they did not expect the mind-boggling sophistication that has been found, such as molecular motors like ATP synthase.

There is whole field of science now called “bio-informatics”—the study of the information in living things. But information only ever comes from an intelligent source. No one would ever think that the plans for a motor car engine were made without the input of very intelligent engineers. But the information in even the simplest living cell far exceeds that in a motor car engine. Evolutionists claim that no intelligence was necessary for this information to come into existence. This contradicts logic and common sense.

“About eighty percent of platypus genes were the same as those found in humans, dogs, mice, and opossums. (The genes may be the same, but they are arranged in different ways in different species.)”

This is very misleading. While we might have a similar gene to a platypus (for example, for making the red protein in our blood called hemoglobin), the genes are not identical, as implied here. Evolutionists have claimed that humans and chimps are 98% the same, but this is also incorrect and a proper up-to-date scientific comparison put the similarity at 76% or less. So according to this (false) 80% claim, we are more similar genetically to the platypus than we are to chimps.

See: Is the human genome nearly identical to chimpanzee?—a reassessment of the literature, by Jerry Bergman and Jeffrey Tomkins

But we would expect similarities in living things, precisely because they all had the same Creator. There is a pattern that runs through all living things that is part of the evidence that God placed in His creation that there is One super-intelligent, all-powerful Creator, so no one has any excuse for denying His existence. See The Biotic Message book review.

(Caption:) Tiny fruit flies have played a big role in genetic research. In laboratories, they are easy to raise in large numbers. Females lay up to a hundred eggs a day. Fruit flies have a variety of eye colors and other features that make them ideal subjects for experiments in crossbreeding. The fruit fly genome was deciphered in the year 2000, and these insects continue to help humans understand evolution.”

These fruit fly studies underline that mutations (accidental copying mistakes in the DNA) are incapable of doing what is claimed: adding instructions to the DNA to enable a microbe to become a man. Remember, that this is what evolutionists claim happened and this book is supposed to prove. Mutations in the fruit flies are known for wrecking the existing instructions on the DNA, not creating new ones (many thousands have been studied). For example, a mistake (mutation) in the information for how to make wings results in a fly with stumpy wings and it can’t fly.

Humans have thousands of complex features that microbes don’t have and mutations have never been seen to produce any such new features, such as eyes, kidneys, bones, brains, blood, heart, muscles, etc.

pp. 50–51:

“DNA studies have led to a new understanding of how animals develop. A whole new kind of research has opened up. It is called evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo. By using knowledge of DNA, researchers can learn how certain genes affect an animal’s development. They have discovered that some genes have great powers. These are called control, or toolkit, genes. For example, genes in the Pax6 group control the development of eyes in animals as different as mice and humans. A gene called BMP4 affects development of bones and beaks. One called Distal-less starts growth of all sorts of legs and arms—of starfish, lobsters, butterflies, cats. Another, called CaM, affects the length of a bird’s beak. When extra amounts of this gene were put into chicken embryos, they developed longer-than-normal beaks.

These discoveries show that entire genomes do not need to change for evolution to occur. Changes in a few key genes can have big effects on new generations.”

Because of the discoveries mentioned here, of ‘master’ genes that control the development of body plans, evolutionists now insist that much of the DNA programming for building complex animals existed long before the animals did, in an imaginary creature they call “Urbilateria”. But this pattern is much more in line with the idea that there is one Creator who used a master plan to create things. Also, the sorts of mutations seen in these master control genes cause development to be messed up; such as making a fly leg grow where a fly eye should be. ‘Evolution via genetic switches’ hasn’t inspired prominent evolutionists like Jerry Coyne (University of Chicago), either, who said: “these examples represent the loss of traits, rather than the origin of evolutionary novelties”. See:

This is rather strange, given that Dr Coyne endorsed this book.

p. 51:

“Our understanding of genetics has solved many mysteries about evolution. Think back to the animal and plant breeders who chose certain individuals for mating. They aimed to produce desirable traits in a new generation. They were pleased to have faster racehorses or a different-colored flower, but did not understand why these results occurred. Think also of Charles Darwin and other scientists who studied natural selection and the origin of new species. They, too, did not understand how evolution ‘worked’.

Now we know that there is genetic variation in all plants and animals. We know that mutations in DNA are part of that variation. We know that each new generation can bring genetic change—the basis for evolution. As humans learn even more about genetics, they will also learn more about how living things evolve.”

Genetics is actually a huge problem for evolution and effectively refutes it. It shows that the variation is limited to change within the basic kind of animal or plant. We can get varieties of finches by natural processes but finches won’t ever change into eagles by these processes. Here is an example from the fruit flies mentioned above, of how natural variation is limited and natural selection only gets rid of already existing traits; it creates nothing:

As we learn more about genetics, including mutations, it becomes clear that evolution of microbes into mankind did not happen and cannot happen. We see variation in living things but there are clear limits to change and mutations can only modify traits that already exist; e.g. causing loss of colouring pigment so that an animal has a white coat instead of a brown coat. Mutations cannot explain the origin of the genes that code for the cell’s machinery that makes brown colour, for instance.

p. 52 (chapter 14: More and more fossils):

“In the long history of life on Earth, most species of animals have gone extinct. Some flourished for millions of years, but they’re long gone. Sometimes only a few fragments of these once-living creatures remain at or close to the surface, where people can find them. But these fossils do exist, and many are being found. By comparing fossil bones and teeth with parts of living animals, scientists can learn a lot about the lives of long-extinct animals. Scientists who study Earth’s past life are called paleontologists.

When fossils of both animals and plants are found in the same layers of rocks, they give clues to long-ago environments. For example, fossils from Antarctica reveal that its climate was once much warmer. Now that continent is the coldest place on Earth, where ice sheets hide most of the fossil-bearing rocks. Nevertheless, in exposed rock strata scientist have found fossils of several kinds of dinosaurs. One meat-eating dinosaur, whose skeleton was nearly complete, measured 26 feet (8 meters) tall. Discovery of fossil leaves and wood is evidence that lush forests also grew on Antarctica more than two hundred million years ago.”

This is just storytelling, putting the evidence within the atheistic, uniformitarian worldview. The same evidence can be explained using a different view of history, from a biblical perspective. And it makes good sense of much evidence that is puzzling to mainstream paleontologists.

The fossils that the paleontologists study were deposited during the global Flood. So, instead of interpreting them as the order of evolution over billions of years, we understand them as the order of burial during the Flood.

When fossils of animals and plants are found in the same rock layers it does not mean they lived in the same environment. Rather, it just means they were buried together. Often we find marine and land animals buried in the same rocks but we know they did not live together.

And then there are strange situations as in Antarctica where warm-environment fossils are buried. So, instead of imagining that Antarctica was once in the tropics, or that the climate at the south pole was once tropical, we can envisage that these creatures were washed a large distance before they were buried.

Consider also that for a dinosaur skeleton to be preserved “nearly complete” would require it to be buried quickly. And since it was such a large dinosaur it would require a large catastrophe. So this is evidence that supports the account of Noah’s Flood.

p. 52:

“Among the amazing fossils from all over the world are many giant animals. The skull and bones of a 42-foot-long (13 meters) snake were uncovered in an open-pit coal mine in Colombia.”

Yes, these large plants and animal fossils are remarkable. Some have suggested the climate before the Flood was warmer and more conducive to such growth.

p. 52:

“A fossil skeleton found in Uruguay belonged to a giant rat. Scientists estimate that this animal was the size of a rhinoceros. It was Earth’s largest rodent, and lived about four million years ago.”

Many animals in the past were large, including certain kinds of dinosaurs, but there were many small ones, too.

pp. 52–53:

“Much longer ago, in the time of dinosaurs, flying reptiles called pterosaurs ruled the skies. Until 2005 the largest known pterosaur had a wingspan of 36 feet (11 meters). Then a new discovery was made in Mexico: a pterosaur with a wingspan of at least 59 feet (18 meters)—wider than a modern jet plane.”

These discoveries show something of the amazing world that God created and which was destroyed during the Flood.

p. 53:

“In 2004, a school student in Argentina found a fossil skull and limb bones in fifteen-million-year-old rocks. The skull was the size of a horse’s head but had a big hooked beak. The student had discovered a new specimen of a group of flightless predators called terror birds. This one had stood ten feet tall and weighed 400 pounds (181 kilograms). It is Earth’s largest known bird—so far.”

If mainstream paleontologists date it at fifteen million years it is likely to have been buried very late in the Flood, as it seems these whale fossils from Chile in South America were (but it is not always a one-for-one match).

p. 53:

“Of course, not all fossils are of extinct giants. In 2009, Canadian researchers announced that they had found fossils of one of North America’s smallest meat-eating dinosaurs. It lived in swamps and forests seventy-five million years ago. It had sharp-toothed jaws and probably looked like a skinny, mostly featherless, but dangerous, chicken.”

There are a few creationist groups that enjoy digging fossils at dinosaur digs like this. Fossil digs help us to discover something of the amazing animals that lived in the world that perished in the Flood. Of course, we don’t accept the dates given for these fossils. They were buried as the floodwaters were reaching their peak.

pp. 53–55:

“One of the most extraordinary fossil discoveries of all came from sedimentary rocks in British Columbia. The rocks are called the Burgess Shale. The name alone excites paleontologists.

Numerous books and museum exhibits have been inspired by creatures fossilized about 515 million years ago in the Burgess Shale. Apparently a giant mud slide swiftly buried thousands of sea creatures. They were covered so quickly and deeply that there was almost no decay. Even soft-bodied creatures became fossilized.

This treasure trove of fossils from the Burgess Shale has helped scientists picture life on a seafloor a half billion years ago.”

[Caption:] “The Burgess Shale of British Columbia contains fossils of unusual ancient soft-bodied sea creatures. Three, with their scientific names (Marrella splendens, Opabinia regalis, Hallucigenia sparsa), are shown to the left.”

These fossils are surprising because they preserve the soft bodies of the creatures, something that was not expected from the slow-and-gradual idea. Also, the finding of soft bodied fossils contradicts Darwin’s explanation for the absence of transitional forms: soft-bodied creatures would not be buried because burial was so slow.

That is why it was originally thought that the Burgess Shale fossils were deposited in anoxic (no oxygen) conditions—in order for soft bodied animals to be preserved while they could still be buried slowly. However, ongoing research has shown that oxygen was continually present in the sediment, hence the idea now is that there was a giant mud slide to bury them quickly. The explanation is becoming more catastrophic, and what creationist geologists have been saying for a long time.

Also, these particular fossils are a problem for evolution because these creatures appear without any clue of their evolutionary ancestors, and they are not considered to be the evolutionary ancestors of anything later in the geological column. But that is no problem for the biblical perspective. These were creatures that lived before the Flood, were buried during the Flood, and did not survive after the Flood. But we can’t be absolutely sure they are extinct.

p. 57 (chapter 15: ‘Missing links’, found):

“Whether a fossil is an insect in amber, a trail of dinosaur footprints, or an imprint of a leaf, it gives information about Earth’s past life and about how life evolved. Since evolution means genetic change over time, people are especially curious about how one kind of living thing evolves into another. They hope to find fossils of in-between stages, which they call transitional forms. These have also been called ‘missing links’.

Some of the most exciting news about evolution today is that more and more of these ‘missing links’ are no longer missing. One example comes from the evolution of birds from dinosaurs—an idea suggested by Thomas Huxley, a friend of Charles Darwin. (A close look at the skeletons of a small dinosaur and a bird reveals that they have many features in common.) One in-between fossil was discovered in Germany in 1860. It was an imprint of a crow-sized creature, beautifully preserved in limestone. Named Archaeopteryx (‘ancient wing’), it looked mostly like a small dinosaur, with jaws, teeth, claws, and a long, bony tail. However, Archaeopteryx also had large feathers on its wings and tail, and hind toes that could have helped it perch in trees.

During most of the next century and a half, more fossils of Archaeopteryx were found (so far, a total of ten) but nothing of later evolutionary stages, closer to birds. Then, beginning in the mid-1990s, many fossils of small, feathered dinosaurs were uncovered in China. Some had lived at least ten million years after Archaeopteryx. Some had feathers covering their whole bodies. And, compared with Archaeopteryx, their heads and skeletons were less like reptiles, more like birds. Just as evolutionary scientists had predicted, the fossils showed that modern birds had evolved from dinosaurs.”

No, ‘missing links’ not found. And the fossils that have been found, and where they’ve been found, are actually sending a very different message (i.e. cf. the evolutionary storyline) as to the way they were preserved. Dinos certainly did not give rise to birds:

p 58:

“Paleontologists continue to search for ancient bird relatives in rocks that formed about 100 to 120 million years ago. They are confident that such fossils will be found. Meanwhile, remember the idea that answering one question often leads to new questions? Well, discovery of Archaeopteryx and other links between dinosaurs and birds leads to this question: how did bird flight evolve?

Did these creatures run along the ground on their rear legs with outstretched front legs, and leap up to catch prey? (The individuals best at this would be better fed and more likely to pass on their characteristics to their offspring.) Or did they climb trees and glide down from them? (Individuals best at this might find plentiful food in trees and easily escape enemies. They, too, would be more likely to pass their characteristics on to a new generation.) Either way, feathered front legs (wings) would help. Either way, natural selection could favor those individuals that were best in the air. Natural selection would lead feathered dinosaurs to evolve into birds.”

Natural selection cannot ever ‘lead feathered dinosaurs to evolve into birds’. That’s because natural selection can only select from creatures already existing. The difficulties of bird evolution are many, as the following articles relate:

pp. 58–60:

“Much earlier, before dinosaurs roamed the land, there was another giant step in evolution: from fishes to land animals. Scientists found fish fossils with the beginnings of limbs, but nothing much further along. Beginning in 2000, a team of paleontologists began searching rock layers on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. They picked the place on purpose. The sedimentary rocks, including siltstone, formed 375 million years ago. Judging from fossils found before and after that time, this was the period when fish evolved into land animals.

During the first few expeditions, little was found: a snout, parts of a jaw. Then, in 2004, three nearly complete skeletons were collected. The scientists had found an extraordinary ‘missing link’—Tiktaalik (pronounced tic-TAH-lick, the name means ‘big freshwater fish’ in Inuit). Some call it ‘fishapod’, because it had evolved in the direction of tetrapods, the first land animals. (Tetrapod is Greek for ‘four feet’.)

Tiktaalik was still a fish, a scaly, finned predator that grew from four to nine feet long. However, it had a broad, flat head with eyes on top. It had a flexible neck. (Modern fish do not have necks.) It had strong-enough bones in its body and front fins that it could support itself in shallow water or on land. It probably did part of its breathing through lungs. And its fins were better for standing and crawling than for swimming. Tiktaalik’s front pair of fins had simple wrist and fingerlike bones. It was a pioneer, well along in the evolution from swimming fish to crawling land animal.”

(Caption:) “Though fishlike in some ways, Tiktaalik had a neck and limb bones that would enable it to crawl in shallow water or on land.”

Tiktaalik, and other creative efforts to find water-to-land transitional forms, just don’t fit the bill:

According to the evolutionist’s own dating system, footprints of a four-legged land creature pre-date any of the fossils of the creatures that are claimed here to evolve into that creature:

p. 60:

“Fifty million years ago, there was another remarkable series of changes in Earth’s life: a land-dwelling mammal evolved into ocean-swimming whales. There is no doubt that whales evolved from land mammals. In fact, some whales still have rear leg bones in their bodies. Sometimes a baby whale is born with a rear leg—with feet and toes—sticking outside its body. (This means that whales still have some DNA directions for making limbs.)”

This story is so ‘clear’ that evolutionists cannot even agree on what four-legged land creature gave rise to the whales:

“One of the most basic questions concerning whale evolution is this: If whales evolved from a land mammal, which one was it? You might be surprised to learn that if you asked different experts this question you will get widely different answers. For example, if you asked scientists at the prestigious California Academy of Sciences Natural History Museum in San Francisco, they would show you a museum display that suggests a hyena-like animal evolved, over millions of years, into a whale. If you went to the premier whale evolution exhibit at the University of Michigan’s Exhibit Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor, you would see a display suggesting a cat-like animal eventually evolved into a whale. If you interviewed biologists in Japan, they would tell you it was a hippopotamus relative that evolved into a whale. In forming their conclusions, scientists often focus on shared features between animals. In this instance, each of these three land mammals shared common features with whales, such as similar teeth or similar DNA.” (from Evolution the Grand Experiment Vol1, by Dr Carl Werner, p. 133).

Whales with rear legs? “Sometimes a baby is born with a rear leg—with feet and toes—sticking outside the body.” This is a myth. See:

p. 61:

“Within the past twenty years, several whale ‘missing link’ fossils have been discovered. One was found in rocks that formed fifty-two million years ago; another in fifty-million-year-old rocks; another in forty-seven-million-year-old rocks. In that order, each fossil mammal became more like a whale, with nostrils moving, over time, from the front to the top of the head and rear legs getting smaller and smaller. Paleontologists looked for fossils in younger rocks that formed forty million years ago and eventually found a whalelike creature called Dorudon. It had a nostril (blowhole) on top of its skull. Dorudon measured 50 feet (15 meters) long. It had short rear legs, but they were probably useless for such a large mammal. Dorudon almost certainly lived in water full-time, like a whale.”

Note that the reader is expected to just believe the author; he does not give the names of these creatures, so it is not easy to ‘Google’ them to check up the claim. Evolutionists know full well that we have ‘destroyed’ this story. Let’s list the supposed whale ancestors so you can look them up on http://creation.com (next to the evolutionists’ own ‘dates’):

52 million years: Pakicetus inachus (the ‘whale from Pakistan’)

50 million years: Ambulocetus natans (the ‘walking whale’)

47 million years: Rodhocetus kasrani

The first two are covered in: Refuting Evolution: Whale evolution (Pakicetus is a grand example of extreme evolutionist storytelling and the author’s embarrassment over the fanciful story probably explains his reluctance to give us the name).

Rodhocetus is covered in Evolution the Grand Experiment Vol1, by Dr Carl Werner (pp. 139–143) and an important article by Dr Don Batten: Rodhocetus and other stories of whale evolution, Creation 33(3):54–55, 2011, where its discoverer, Dr Philip Gingerich, admits that there is no fossil evidence for it having flippers or a tail fluke, and drawings showing these looking like a whale’s are pure speculation.

Dorudon? Dr Sarfati wrote:

“The Dorudon was once classified as a juvenile Basilosaurus, since they are very similar long, slender marine mammals, but Dorudon was 5 m long and Basilosaurus 18 m. They are now classified as separate subfamilies of Basolosauridae. They are most likely varieties of the same created kind, much as the false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) and a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) are the same biological species given that they can produce a fertile hybrid called a wholphin.Much the same can be said about Dorudon as was already said about Basilosaurus in RE ch. 5: the serpentine body structure, cheek teeth and nasal bones mean that it could not have been an ancestor to modern whales. Also, the allegedly vestigial hind limbs actually had an important function as reproductive claspers.” (from Response to the latest anticreationist agitprop from the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Science, Evolution and Creationism)

Evolutionist whale expert Dr Lawrence Barnes (Natural History Museum, Los Angeles) does not believe that Dorudon or Basilosaurus was ancestor to modern whales: “Basilosaurus existed at a time when baleen-bearing mysticetes [baleen whales] are known to have existed … ” (Evolution the Grand Experiment Vol1, p. 144).

So, there is no account of whale evolution that stands scrutiny.

p. 62:

“Evolution continued, and fossils of true whales (like those living today) were found in rocks that formed thirty million years ago.

Notice that scientists predicted the discovery of ‘missing links’—between dinosaurs and birds, between fishes and land animals, and between land animals and whales. Also, knowing the ages of rock layers, they can narrow their search for fossils of ‘missing links’.

A prediction is a kind of test. The science of evolution keeps passing these tests. Scientists predict with confidence that more fossils will be found that show different stages when one form of life evolved into another.”

Finding fossils of true whales and other creatures does not equal evolution. The evolution is in the story about how a four-legged land creature changed into a whale. But that is nowhere recorded in the fossils. And the story is always changing. The story depends on incomplete skeletons and much imagination.

On the basis of this supposed test of evolution (predicted fossils), it has failed miserably. In the big picture (not just whales), the transitional fossils are MIA (missing in action). See: That quote!—about the missing transitional fossils There should be millions of transitional fossils and they are just not found because evolution is story-telling, not science.

p. 62:

(Caption:) “Ancestors of whales had fully functioning hips and legs. In whales today (a humpback, left), all that remains are small, useless bones. Such limbs or organs are called vestigial. Other examples are found in caves where some species of fish and salamanders have little or no vision. These animals evolved from ancestors that had well-developed eyes, but vision was not needed in a pitch-black environment. Not all vestiges are useless. Flightless birds evolved from birds that could fly. Their wings can still be useful—but in a different way. Penguins’ wings, for example, have evolved into flippers that make these birds speedy swimmers.”

The small bones in the pelvic region of whales are not ‘useless’ at all; they are actually different in males and females because they are involved in anchoring reproductive organs, which of course are different in males and females. The whole ‘vestigial organ’ argument just does not stack up.

Blind fish are evidence for evolution? Once again, how can losing some pre-existing function (sight) explain the origin of sight. Creationists have no problem with the natural processes of mutations and natural selection destroying genes that specify how to make eyes, but this has nothing to do with how evolution made eyes in the first place.

Flightless birds? See Rejected argument 3: Vestigial organs (above). Penguins actually fly underwater.

p. 63 (chapter 16: Moving Continents):

“Just as people used to believe that no animals had ever gone extinct, they thought that Earth’s continents had never budged. This belief lasted a long time despite some intriguing discoveries. Geologists noticed that some layers of rocks along the western edge of Africa matched strata on parts of eastern South America. And the edges of those two continents looked like they might fit together, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. (Have a look at a world map.) Paleontologists also found similar fossils in those far-apart rock layers. But the idea of continents moving seemed preposterous—until new ideas, and plenty of evidence, led to the theory of continental drift and the theory of plate tectonics. (Tekton means ‘builder’ in Greek.)

Geologists now believe that Earth’s crust is made of about sixteen gigantic slabs, or plates, that rest on partly molten rock. The plates carry entire continents and ocean basins, and they do indeed move, at the speed of a half-inch to six inches (one to fifteen centimeters) a year. Some plates pull away from one another, and others collide. The Indian plate, pushing against the Eurasian plate, causes earthquakes in China and the continuing rise of the Himalaya Mountains.

At times in Earth’s history, all of the land was present as a single giant continent. Most recently—about 200 million years ago—it was Pangaea (“all the land” in Greek). Now the continents are far apart, but geologists predict they will someday merge again. One thing is certain: all of these past changes had great effects on how life was, and is, spread around Earth. The study of the distribution of life on our planet, and how it got that way, is called biogeography.”

One reason geologists did not accept plate tectonics was that there was no mechanism that could explain what moved the continents. Even after plate tectonics was accepted in the 1960s with the new magnetic evidence on the sea floor, there was still not an agreed mechanism, and that situation persists today. Some suggest the rocks deep inside of the earth are continually moving, pushing the plates along. Others say the end of the plate is sinking into the earth, pulling the rest of the plate with it.

Creationist geologists have reported that under certain conditions the rocks inside the earth can become very weak. They show that once the plates start to move they will move very quickly. These geologists have developed a model called Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, in which the plates moved rapidly during the Genesis Flood. This model provides a simple explanation for the mechanism that moved the plates. It’s a model that has generated a lot of interest and continues to promote discussion even now.

p. 65:

“Charles Darwin, inspired by his worldwide voyage of exploration, was one of the first scientists to ponder biogeography. Of course he had no idea that continents had been joined and torn apart over Earth’s history. But he observed and wondered about animals and plants he found in different places. Since Darwin’s time, scientists have learned a lot about how evolution is affected by geography.

One example is how a large group of mammals, called marsupials, came to be concentrated in one place, Australia. Marsupials include kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, wombats, and sugar gliders. When marsupials give birth, their tiny young crawl into a pouch. They nurse on milk and grow there. In this way, marsupials are quite different from other mammals, which give birth to young that are more fully developed and do not nurse inside a pouch. Native land mammals of Australia include more than 140 marsupial species and just two types of nonmarsupials, bats and rats.

People used to wonder why only Australia has a great variety of marsupials. Part of the answer comes from a long trail of fossils, part from knowing how Earth’s land masses have moved, and part from understanding how life evolves.

North America has just one marsupial, a species of opossum. Yet, judging from fossils found in rock layers eighty million years old, marsupials first evolved in North America. (marsupial teeth and jaws differ from those of other mammals, so their fossils can be identified with accuracy.) Fossils of marsupials have also been found near the tip of South of America in forty-million-year-old rocks. And in the early 1980s, scientists found fossils of a dozen species of marsupials in Antarctica. They lived there about thirty-five million years ago, about the time that marsupials reached Australia.

You may wonder: how did marsupials get across the water from South America to Antarctica, and from Antarctica to Australia? The answer: when they made this journey, there was no water to cross. These land masses were then connected. The Atlantic Ocean had not yet formed. Eventually, Australia was cut off from other land. It became a separate continent, home to an unknown number of marsupial species but to very few other mammals.

Marsupials had a whole continent, with a variety of habitats, on which to evolve.

There were plenty of opportunities for them to adapt to new environments. So today Australia has an amazing variety of marsupial species (plus others that went extinct). Aside from being marsupials, some are remarkably like unrelated mammals found elsewhere. There are marsupial moles, anteaters, mice, sloths, and cats. The marsupial sugar glider looks and behaves remarkably like the flying squirrel of North America. Wombats are like groundhogs. The Tasmanian wolf, an extinct marsupial, was a predator like wolves of Europe and North America.

The remarkable similarity of some Australian mammals to unrelated mammals that live elsewhere is an example of what biologists call convergent evolution. (Converge means to ‘tend toward a common conclusion or result’.) Australia’s marsupials are just one example of how living things in far distant places can evolve in similar ways. Here are some other examples of convergent evolution, in both animals and plants:

Adapting to desert habitats, plants have evolved in ways to save water. They have small leaves (or no leaves) and fleshy stems that store water. You can see plants like this in deserts all over the world. However, they are not all close relatives. Cacti evolved in North and South America. Plants called euphorbs evolved in Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Cacti and euphorbs can be told apart by their flowers and their sap. However, by evolving to live in deserts, these two different plant groups are amazingly alike.

Birds and insects are certainly not closely related, yet there are hummingbirds and hummingbird moths. They both hover in the air while sipping nectar from flowers. By becoming adapted to that food source, their evolution caused them to look and fly alike.

All ant-eating mammals are strikingly alike in some ways. Ants are abundant but tiny, so mammals that rely on ants as food must have a long sticky tongue to slurp up hundreds at once. they also need large salivary glands. Extra saliva helps keep their tongues sticky and washes ants down. Teeth aren’t needed, but long snouts and powerful claws for digging are. All of these characteristics are found in the spiny anteater of Australia, the giant anteater of South America, and the pangolin of Africa. They aren’t close relatives, and they live on different continents. Once again, the process of convergent evolution led them to have very similar traits.”

The distribution of marsupials around the world is actually a huge difficulty for evolutionists. Opossums in the Americas, the cuscus in Sulawesi (Indonesia)—if Australia was the place of origin as evolutionary theory says, then all kinds of brain-stretching permutations involving continental drift have to be invoked—Pringle is in fact brushing over the problems. You see, evolutionists can’t have it both ways. Darwin used biogeographical evidence as ‘support’ of evolution based on the then current idea of fixed continents. So how can biogeography now be invoked as support under the completely different geographical history of moving continents? No, evolution is so plastic it can be molded to fit even mutually contrary sets of circumstances. Indeed, the currently popular view has problems explaining the distribution of marsupials, for example. They are not mainly in Australia ‘because they evolved there’. Evolutionists have to concede that marsupials once lived in Europe, Asia and North America (in profusion in the latter), but now are largely absent (except for opossums in the Americas). Two evolutionists admit:

‘Living marsupials are restricted to Australia and South America … In contrast, metatherian fossils from the Late Cretaceous are exclusively from Eurasia and North America … This geographical switch remains unexplained.’11

The distribution of marsupials (and indeed all creatures) can be much better (and correctly) understood in terms of dispersal from the mountains of Ararat, post-Flood, only about 4,500 years ago. Convergent evolution? Absolutely not—there’s a good reason that ‘look-alikes’ are not related. They reflect a common designer, not a common ancestry!

p. 71 (chapter 17: On Faraway Islands)

“Ever since the Galápagos Islands sparked plenty of ideas and questions in Charles Darwin, scientists who study biogeography have been fascinated by island life. Unusual species of animals and plants evolve on islands—particularly those that are farthest from the continents.

Madagascar was once part of Africa, but about 160 million years ago it moved farther and farther into the Indian Ocean. It became home to a great variety of new species that were found nowhere else on Earth. Seventy-five species of lemurs lived there (before humans caused the extinction of many kinds). One group of birds, called vangas, reminds scientists of the Galápagos finches. They evolved traits like those of birds on faraway continents (another example of convergent evolution). The twenty-two species of vangas include birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, flycatchers, tree creepers, and predatory shrikes. Vangas exist only on Madagascar.

Far to the east of Madagascar, in the middle of the Pacific, lie the Hawaiian Islands. Created by volcanoes, they have never been part of a continent. These islands have no native reptiles, amphibians, land mammals, or freshwater fish. Without human help, such animals have very little chance of ever reaching faraway islands.

Birds have a much better chance, since they can fly and can be carried far by hurricanes or other great storms. Scientists believe that a species of finch reached Hawaii about four million years ago. Over time that one species evolved into nearly sixty different kinds of birds called honeycreepers. Like Galápagos finches, Hawaiian honeycreepers have a great variety of beaks. Some are adapted for eating certain sizes of seeds or fruits or for catching insects. One honeycreeper called the Maui parrotbill has a big, hooked beak. It rips bark off tree trunks and splits twigs to find beetle larvae.

The amazing varity of Hawaiian honeycreepers, of Galápagos finches, of the vangas of Madagascar—are all examples of adaptive radiation. In each case, one species of bird somehow reached an isolated island. There was little competition, few predators, and a whole new island world. This was a great opportunity to spread, or radiate, into new habitats, adapting through evolution into many different species. That is why oceanic islands and archipelagoes have amazing groups of related species that all do different things.”

(Caption:) “Lifeless at first, isolated volcanic islands are gradually populated by plants and animals that evolve to adapt to new habitats.”

Madagascar, the Galápagos Islands and other islands around the world, far from being laboratories of evolution, reflect the biblical account of history: Creation, Fall, Flood:

p. 74 (chapter 18: Coevolution):

“Orchids fascinated Charles Darwin. … Botanists sent orchid plants from all over the world to Darwin. One of the most remarkable came from Madagascar. Examining its flowers, Darwin found that nectar was stored at the bottom of an 11-inch (28-centimeter) tube. He wrote that the orchid must have an unusual pollinator—a species of moth with very long proboscis (a narrow tube that uncoils and serves as a straw, for sipping nectar). Darwin’s prediction was correct. Forty years later the moth was found in Madagascar. Now called Darwin’s hawk moth, it has a proboscis that measures between 12 and 14 inches (30 and 35 centimeters).

Other kinds of insects may try to reach the orchid’s nectar, but just one kind of moth succeeds. The orchid and the moth are perfectly adapted to each other. Their mutual adaptation is called coevolution. Among flowering plants and their pollinators there are many examples of coevolution. Some kinds of flowers have evolved in other ways that attract bees as pollinators. Bees can see ultraviolet light. Flowers have evolved patterns, visible in ultraviolet, that help bees to get to their nectar (and to pollen that the bees spread to other flowers). The patterns are called nectar guides. (They aren’t visible to human eyes, unless the flowers are photographed using a special light filter.)”

Coevolution? Well, that’s a very creatively told story. Instead, see our take on it:

pp. 75–76:

“Bats are important pollinators. Many trees and shrubs in the tropics may have coevolved with bats that feed on nectar. North America has eleven species of nectar-feeding bats. (Note: not every match of plant and pollinator is an example of coevolution, in which both have evolved together and in response to each other.) In Mexico and the southwestern United States, long-nosed bats are vital pollinators of saguaro and organ-pipe cactus flowers. The showy white blossoms gleam in the darkness. The bats have long noses and tongues that enable them to reach the nectar in the flowers.

“Natural selection produces evolutionary changes that help living things become better adapted to thrive in their environments. Flowers and their pollinators have benefited from evolving in a kind of partnership. However, coevolution can also be part of an ‘arms race’ between predator and prey.

Moths are food for many insect-eating bats. When these bats send out high-pitched sounds and receive the echoes, they can pinpoint a flying moth. (This is called an echolocation system.) As a bat zeroes in on its prey, it emits more and more sounds toward its target. Some species of moths have evolved defenses. They are able to detect sounds, especially the high-pitched sounds that bats emit.

The moths have also evolved another defense: when they detect bats’ calls, they zig-zag, loop, or dive to escape. Tiger moths have evolved an even better defense. They make clicking sounds that seem to confuse bats’ echolocation systems.

Tiger moths now have an edge in the arms race with their enemies. However, it may be a temporary advantage. Both bats and moths continue to evolve. In this coevolution of predator and prey, bats may eventually change and somehow overcome the defense of tiger moths.”

Bats are important pollinators. Evidently designed to do what they do, and what they do, they do well! Bats have always been bats. There are lots of fossil bats, but none of their claimed evolutionary ancestors.

p. 78 (Box):

“Animals that have lived on islands without predators are usually defenseless when predatory animals invade the islands later, usually when brought by humans. Normally, predator and prey animals evolve together, and this causes evolutionary changes in their bodies, senses and behavior. This is what poet Robinson Jeffers meant when he wrote:

‘What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine
the fleet limbs of the antelope?’

Scientists have wondered why the American pronghorn is so swift. Pronghorns can fun forty-five miles an hour for several miles, with bursts of nearly sixty miles an hour. They easily escape from coyotes and wolves—the fastest predators now in their lives—and their extra speed seems to be unnecessary. It’s probably a remnant of their evolutionary past. More than ten thousand years ago, pronghorns were chased by much speedier predators: the North American cheetah and a species of long-legged hyena. Today the pronghorn is probably amazingly fast because it evolved with swift predators that are now extinct.”

‘What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine the fleet limbs of the antelope?’—well, it sure wasn’t natural selection, as natural selection can only favour the fastest existing antelopes. Nor has Pringle demonstrated any observable means of generating the creative increase in genetic information that the evolutionary process demands. So the question is not what, but who ‘whittled so fine the fleet limbs of the antelope’? He is the Lord, the Creator God of the Bible.

p. 80 (chapter 19: Origin of Species):

“The word species has already been used many times in this book. People have a general idea of its meaning. They understand that robins and cardinals are two separate bird species. They know that ravens and crows are also distinct species, though they are close relatives.

Most scientists define a species as a group of interbreeding natural populations that do not interbreed with other groups. In other words, a group of animals or plants is considered a species when its members can’t successfully breed with other groups. Robins do not mate with cardinals, nor do crows mate with ravens. Species of plants also do not interbreed. If a bee accidentally leaves pollen from a snapdragon flower within a hollyhock blossom, the pollen has no effect. No seeds form, though it is fun to imagine snaphock or hollydragon plants. Donkeys can mate with horses, and even produce offspring, but those offspring, called mules, are sterile and cannot reproduce. Donkeys and horses are thus considered members of different species.”

We’ve already mentioned above (re p. 26, and again re p. 32) the ‘kind’ vs ‘species’ definitional issue. Note that the fact that donkeys and horses, which are different species, can produce offspring means they certainly fit into the same biblical ‘kind’, just as lions and tigers (again, they are different species) do. And note that not all mules are sterile:

p. 80:

“Earth is home to millions of different species—not to mention many other millions that have gone extinct. How do animals and plants become separate species?

Sometimes new species evolve when some individuals of a species become physically separated from the rest of their population. The chapter ‘On Faraway Islands’ (on pages 70–73) gives dramatic examples of birds that reached isolated islands and radiated by evolution into many different species.”

Speciation is an important part of the creation model. Speciation and adaptation are not evolution, in the microbes-to-man sense.

p. 81:

“It is easy to imagine the geographic isolation of islands in oceans. However, living things on continents, or in one state, or in a smaller area, can also be cut off from others of their kind. In the Amazon Basin of South America, river channels have changed countless times over millions of years. In this ever-changing landscape, parts of populations are isolated. There have been, and still are, many opportunities for new species to evolve in the Amazon Basin.

According to experts on plate tectonics, North America and South America have been connected then disconnected and reconnected repeatedly over many millions of years. The most recent reconnection occurred about three million years ago. Then a land bridge, the Isthmus of Panama, rose. (Four different tectonic plates are involved, so the geology of the area is very complex.) The land bridge created a barrier in the water where none had been before. Populations of sea creatures were separated, some on the Pacific Ocean side, some on the Atlantic Ocean side. Because of the barrier, the shallow-water environment of each side changed. New species began to evolve. Today there are seven species of snapping shrimp on the Pacific side, and seven different species of snapping shrimp on the Atlantic side. Each species has its closest relative on the other side of the isthmus.”

(Caption:) “When tectonic plates pushed the Isthmus of Panama above water, the new land barrier affected evolution of sea life in the Caribbean sea (top) and the Pacific Ocean.”

The millions of years are storytelling. The sediments comprising North and South America were deposited as the waters of the Flood were rising. Both continents were once completely covered by the floodwaters. Then the ocean basins began to sink and the floodwaters flowed off the continents into the oceans. The river channels of the Amazon Basin may have formed during this time and into the post-Flood era.

The Panama land bridge likely emerged late in the Flood, or possibly soon afterwards. The presence of this connection would have affected the migration of sea and land creatures. The former would have been living in the region when the Flood ended, while the latter would have migrated to the continents in the centuries afterwards.

p. 82:

“In a New Mexico desert, a dramatic change in the environment is producing new species of rodents, lizards, and insects. When a salty lake dried up about seven thousand years ago, huge amounts of gypsum sand remained. Winds created 275 square miles (712 square kilometers) of white sand dunes. The mostly brown color of small desert animals made them stand out against the white sand. Predators could easily spot them.

The individual lizards and other animals that were palest in color were more likely to escape predators and live to produce the next generation. Over a few thousand years, natural selection has produced seven new species with white coloration, all from darker-colored ancestors. They are three species of lizards, two of camel crickets, a pocket mouse, and a wood rat. All of them blend in well among the white dunes.

Brown lizards live in the desert habitat surrounding the dunes, but the brown lizards and the white lizards do not seem to interbreed. This is evidence that they are now separate species.”

(Caption:) “The new dune habitat of White Sands, New Mexico, is causing animals to adapt and evolve into new species.”

One wonders why Pringle chose a date of ‘about seven thousand years ago’ for his dry salty lake. Was it because that any date, whether millions or billions of years or merely 7,000 years will do, as long as it’s beyond the biblical timeframe of a 6,000-year-old earth? In reality, today’s landscape was substantively formed by and since the global Flood, around 4,500 years ago.

Lizard coloration, adaptation and even speciation are not evidences of evolution.

p. 83:

“In case after case, new species evolve when a physical barrier or change in habitat separates parts of animal or plant populations. Over time the separated populations evolve in different ways. Two populations of birds, for example, might evolve to be quite distinct in some ways, perhaps in their colors, beak shapes, or courtship behaviors. Genetically, the populations would be quite different from each other. Even if the physical barrier between the two groups no longer existed, the bird populations would not interbreed and would not mix their genes. They would be separate species.”

Just because populations, even when sharing the same space, don’t interbreed, doesn’t mean they’re no longer the same kind. Our naming them as separate species reflects the ‘reproductive isolation’ definition, which may be a preferential choice, rather than the spatial separation caused by a physical barrier.

pp. 85–86 (chapter 20: Evolution, Going On Right Now):

“When people think of evolution happening, they imagine a very slow process. Generally this is true. Some known evolutionary transitions—from fishes to land animals, for instance—took millions of years. Charles Darwin wrote, “We see nothing of these slow changes in progress.” Evolution, he thought, could only be seen in a series of fossils, found in older, then younger, layers of rocks.

Today, Darwin would be delighted to see a fast-growing list of cases of evolution-in-action. Over 150 examples have been described by scientists so far. Evolution has been observed in laboratory studies and in the wild. In some cases, evolution occurred over a span of a few decades; in other cases, over just a few years or less. The variety of rapidly evolving life includes flowers, birds, reptiles, mammals; aphids, fruit flies, and other insects; and several kinds of fish, including salmon, guppies, and sticklebacks. Here are a few examples:

Hawaii’s scarlet honeycreeper (which has the Hawaiian name ‘I‘iwi) feeds mostly on flower nectar. When its main source of food, called lobeloids, began to disappear, this species turned to other flowers, and over a few decades its beak evolved to a shorter length.”

“When fire ants began spreading through the southeastern United States, they became a threat to fence lizards. Bites of just a dozen fire ants can kill a three-inch lizard. Biologists compared populations of fence lizards that lived near fire ants with lizards that did not. They found that lizards threatened by fire ants are adapting—changing their behavior and their hind legs. They twitch their bodies to flick off ants. And, remarkably, the fence lizards are evolving longer back legs. This makes them more successful at fleeing from fire ants.”

“When deadly bacteria struck blue moon butterflies on two Samoan islands in the South Pacific, they killed males before they could hatch into caterpillars. Soon males were only one percent of the population. The blue moon butterflies were in danger of dying out. However, the surviving males had a ‘suppressor’ gene that disarmed the bacteria. When they mated, this gene was passed on to the next generation, and the next. In just ten generations, males made up forty percent of blue moon butterflies. The butterflies were no longer in danger from the bacteria. (This took only about a year; tropical insects can breed year-round and have many generations in one year.)”

(Caption:) “Thanks to natural variation among blue moon butterflies, their population evolved to ‘disarm’ a deadly bacterium.”

As we’ve explained now many times above, it’s not evolution they’re seeing happen today. No wonder, therefore, that the changes can be evident after even only one generation—it’s simply a matter of selection happening for what already exists:

p. 87 (Box):

“All living things evolve, humans included. The human species, Homo sapiens (Latin for ‘wise man’), is part of a group called primates. Genetic research shows that of all species, chimpanzees are genetically closest to humans. This does not mean that humans evolved from chimpanzees, gorillas or other modern-day primates. No scientist believes that. According to genetic research, humans and other primates had a common ancestor about six million years ago. They have evolved separately ever since.”

Notice again that there are no ancestors of humans named. We are supposed to just believe the author that this evolution happened. That is not a very scientific approach. As good scientists we should check the evidence. When we do that, we find that when more than just scraps of bone are found, such as fairly complete skeletons, the remains are clearly those of varieties of humans or apes. There are no undisputed in-between ‘ape-men’.

pp. 87–88:

“Another example of evolution that occurred in a very short time took place on one of the Galápagos Islands. Charles Darwin spent just five weeks on these islands. Beginning in 19783, biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant (who are husband and wife) began annual studies at a small Galápagos island named Daphne Major.

More than thirty years of research have led to some startling discoveries. The climate of the Galápagos varies dramatically, from years of plentiful rain to those of severe drought. This affects plant growth and the seeds that are available for birds to eat. The Grants learned that drought years greatly reduced the abundance of small seeds.

This, in turn, affected the evolution of finches. Individuals of the medium ground finch were forced to eat bigger, harder seeds than the small seeds they prefer. Smaller individuals could not crack the seeds and starved to death, while individuals with bigger beaks survived to mate and pass this trait to their young. Over many years of their research, the Grants discovered that the beak size of finches can evolve from one year to the next as the climate swings from wet to dry and back again.”

(Caption:) “On Daphne Major Island of the Galápagos, Peter and Rosemary Grant have studied finch evolution for more than thirty years.”

Oh, so wrong. See:

pp. 88–90:

“Visible, measurable evolution in one year—that is exciting news. However, equally fast—and even faster—evolution is going on. It does not involve appealing, colorful birds or fish or flowers. Quite the opposite—the organisms that can and do evolve very quickly are insect pests and germs that can harm or even kill humans. (The word germs means harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms. They are sometimes called microbes.)

In the 1940s, scientists discovered that the process of evolution helps insect pests defeat the pesticides meant to kill them. At first, a pesticide called DDT killed most mosquitoes and other insect pests. Some survived. They lived because there is genetic variation in mosquitoes, as there is in all animal populations. The survivors were immune to DDT. They lived to reproduce and pass their traits on to future generations. This form of natural selection eventually produced mosquito populations that were resistant to DDT.

Evolution has also produced populations of houseflies and agricultural pests that were not harmed by pesticides. By 1990, more than five hundred insect pests (including 114 species of mosquitoes) had evolved resistance to at least one pesticide. One example is bedbugs, which were once well controlled by insecticides called pyrethroids. Then two mutations in a gene caused some bedbugs to be unharmed by pyrethroids. Now bedbugs are major pests in cities of the United States and Europe. Researchers are trying to find a new chemical weapon against them. However, because of variation among bedbugs, and because of evolution, any success is likely to be only temporary.

Each new generation is an opportunity for evolutionary change. It can happen quickly among insects because many species have several generations in just one year. Fruit flies, for example, can have a life cycle—egg to adult—in just ten days. However, fruit flies are slowpokes compared with bacteria, which can reproduce every twenty minutes. Also, bacteria and other germs have enormous populations. (A billion bacteria can be kept in a small laboratory flask.) With huge numbers and many new generations in a single day, there are also many mutations. Microbes can evolve quickly.

In the 1940s, the drug penicillin cured infections caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus. Now penicillin is ineffective against more than ninety-five percent of staph strains in the world. Some new antibiotic drugs work, though the bacteria will probably evolve resistance to them, too. (This does not always occur. It depends on the right mutations happening. So far the strain of Streptococcus bacteria that causes strep throat has not evolved resistance to antibiotics.)

The numbers of drug-resistant bacteria continue to increase. There are now cases in which doctors must remove a patient’s wounded limb because no antibiotic drug can stop infection from spreading. Worldwide, one out of thirty cases of tuberculosis (a sometimes fatal lung disease) now resists treatment by antibiotics that used to be effective.

Mutations occur in flu viruses, sometimes producing worrisome new strains of flu. Early in this century, it was avian (bird) flu, caused by the H5N1 virus. It killed birds, but did not easily infect humans. Medical researchers still worry that a few mutations could enable a deadly flu virus to spread readily to people.

People worry about flu and other diseases that could cause sickness and death. When they do so, most people do not realize that they are thinking about evolution. Nevertheless, they are. Natural selection is the process that can cause a microbe to change into a potential threat to humans. Without meaning to, humans are helping this evolution along. Use of antibiotic drugs kills off vulnerable germs. This helps speed the evolution of drug-resistant germs.

Clearly, evolution is not just about changes in flowers and frogs. It can be a matter of life or death. Medical researchers are keenly aware of this. Their knowledge of genetics, including DNA studies of microbes, offers hope that ways can be found to defeat drug-resistant germs.”

(Caption:) “A virus is the most simple form of life. In fact, a virus really comes to life only after it gets inside a cell of a living organism. There it can make thousands of copies of itself. Each new virus can invade other cells, and a viral infection can grow.

Each virus is only about one one-hundredth the size of a bacterium, but viruses still contain genes and evolve. Like all microbes, viruses can evolve so that they are resistant to antiviral drugs.”

As our online articles have long shown, microbial ‘evolution’ is anything but—no matter how enthused evolutionists might become when ‘new’ capacities of bacteria are discovered. Nor is pesticide resistance. And viruses are actually a conundrum for evolution, not a support:

p. 91:

“The field of medicine is just one kind of science in which understanding of evolution is vital. Knowledge about evolution is now the foundation of biology, paleontology, genetics, and other sciences. Many kinds of scientists continue to explore details of evolution. Their discoveries lead to new questions, and sometimes to disagreements. The questions and debates are eventually settled—by research, and by finding trustworthy evidence. That is how science is done.

In the years ahead, we will learn even more about evolution, about how it works, and about how it affects our lives. Meanwhile, we can marvel at some understandings gained in the past 150 years:

  • the mind-boggling age of Earth—time enough for evolution to produce an amazing variety of life, now and in the past
  • the story of Earth’s life written in rock layers with the fossils they hold
  • the evidence from DNA that ties all animals and plants together, from the primitive to the most complex, as having common ancestors
  • the simple but powerful process of natural selection that causes change in living things and is also the origin of new species

It is exciting to think of new discoveries and to learn even more of the fascinating story of evolution.

Evolution is the idea that everything made itself by natural processes over millions of years. It denies God created the world 6,000 years ago. It denies that this world was inundated by a catastrophic global Flood, 4500 years ago. It’s a belief about history, one that the majority of scientists hold today.

No contradictory evidence can prove the philosophy is wrong. Evolutionary scientists just change the details of their story to fit the evidence. Often evolutionary scientists will describe their surprise that the evidence is not what they expected (from their evolutionary assumptions). They may even report that they cannot explain why things are as they are. But they continue to believe the problem will be resolved by more research, which will require more money.

Creationist scientists begin with a different view of earth history. They believe the Bible’s account is true. They too do exciting research and have made amazing discoveries. In fact, much of the skepticism that creationists have had of claims by evolutionary scientists has proved to be correct. As more evidence accumulated, evolutionary scientists have had to change their story so many times. It is interesting to recall that it was the biblical Christian worldview that led to the rise of modern science in the first place. Today is an exciting time to be alive and to be involved in ground-breaking creation-science research.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. Reviewed by Philip Bell in the Journal of Creation 26(1):31–36, 2012. Return to text.
  2. Pringle, L., Billions of years, amazing changes: The story of evolution, Boyds Mills Press, Inc., Pennsylvania, USA, 2011. Return to text.
  3. Sarfati, J., Why is the church losing its young people? Creation 32(4):6, 2010; creation.com/church-losing-young. Return to text.
  4. In many cases, these young people have not had their doubts addressed by anyone in the church, cf. 1 Peter 3:15. See Cosner, L., Who has an answer?—Providing real answers may arrest the hemorrhage of young people from the church once they leave home, creation.com/who-has-an-answer, 27 August 2009. Return to text.
  5. Catchpoole, D., Morals decline linked to belief in evolution, creation.com/morals-decline-linked-to-belief-in-evolution, 5 July 2000, republished 21 October 2009. Return to text.
  6. Why ‘bad’ seems ‘OK’ to some, Creation 17(4):4, 1995; creation.com/why-bad-seems-ok-to-some. Return to text.
  7. Catchpoole, D., How to build a bomb in the public school system, Creation 22(1):17, 1999; creation.com/how-to-build-a-bomb-in-the-public-school-system. Return to text.
  8. Catchpoole, D., Inside the mind of a killer—The Finnish high school tragedy once again shows that ideas have consequences, creation.com/inside-the-mind-of-a-killer, 9 November 2007, republished 16 September 2009. Return to text.
  9. NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children: 2012 Winning Titles—Recommended Books, www.ncte.org/awards/orbispictus, acc. 10 April 2012. Return to text.
  10. Coyne. J.A., Selling Darwin: a review of The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, Nature 442(7106):983–984, 2006. Return to text.
  11. Cifelli, R.L., and Davis, B.M., Marsupial origins, Science 302:1899-2, 2003. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Rich G., Australia, 22 May 2012

Fantastic effort CMI!

May I propose a children's book that lays out Darwin esc naturalist evolutionary arguments fairly and accurately accompanied by fair and accurate intelligent design arguments accompanied by fair and accurate biblical creation arguments. Now that's a book I'd buy for my children.

Todd B., United States, 22 May 2012

Thanks for this refutation. The author is clearly confused about what evolution is. He got some of the observations correct, but then interpreted them through "goo to you" evolution. And I honestly couldn't believe some of the same old, outdated information was still presented as fact! Thank you for continuing to expose macro evolution for what it is...a just so story.

H. S., Australia, 22 May 2012

Also worthy of note is one of the book's introductory phrases 'as I hope it convinces you, that evolution is true'. This clearly flags the book as a form of expositional (or persuasive) writing rather than being of the informational report genre. The purpose of this book is therefore identified as biased, desirous of changing opinion and using facts to argue a particular viewpoint. And that's before you start the first chapter....!

Ismael P., United States, 22 May 2012

Honestly as I grew up in the 90's I was already permeated by the notion of billion of years. It was solidified in public schooling, and it wasn't until 2011 that it changed. Thanks to CMI I was able to abandon my old outlook on life, and become a Christian. Keep up the good work.

Paul C., Hong Kong, 23 May 2012

Excellent article guys. The effort you have put in to refute in detail is well appreciated and shows, as you say, how ridiculous the whole evolutionary worldview really is.

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