CMI scientist refutes atheistic evolutionist in Wellington’s (New Zealand) major newspaper

24 January 2005

CMI receives many requests to write a response to the media. Sadly, we don’t have the resources or staff to answer every single anti-biblical article in the media. But if the article is particularly significant, we may respond on the website, as with a recent Time and Newsweek attack on the Virginal Conception of Christ (see Time and Newsweek attack Christianity, which also lists other successful web responses).

For articles or letters to the editor, normally a response is most likely to be published from a member of the general public than from a creationist organisation. However, if you think that a response from CMI would be most effective, we ask that you contact the editor for an undertaking that it would be published (as long as it obeys their letters rules, of course). Otherwise we could spend lots of time for nothing, which could have been better spent on other work.

A good recent example was Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s response to the atheistic skeptic Bob Brockie in Wellington’s Dominion Post, January 20, 2005. He wrote two columns defending evolution and attacking creation, but the gist was, “See how snakes have evolved smaller mouths—how can creationists still deny evolution when it’s happening all around us?” One supporter contacted the Features Editor of this newspaper and asked if they would publish a response, and gave him the background on the academic and publishing career of Dr Sarfati, himself an ex-Wellingtonian. The editor agreed that the paper should provide balance, and published the article practically unchanged on the centre main page facing the editorial in the Features section. It would be great if creationists could show their appreciation to the paper.

Dr Sarfati’s letter is reproduced below.

Critics should learn what creationists believe.

By Jonathan Sarfati

(Published under the heading “From goo to you via the zoo pooh-poohed” in The Dominion Post Thursday,20 January 2005, p. B5.)

Bob Brockie has tried to justify his belief in evolution from goo to you via the zoo, but is clearly completely unfamiliar with what leading creationists actually claim. Of course, they don’t deny that living things change, and even form new “species”—this is just a straw man. Nor is the main issue about the size of the change. Rather, the changes he invokes are simply in the wrong direction to turn bacteria into Brockie—i.e. the type that increases genetic information.

Since bacteria don’t have the genetic information to make blood, eyes, bones, etc. evolution must explain how this information arose. Brockie can give as many examples of change as he likes; if it is not this type of information-increasing change, it is no evidence for evolution whatever.

Microbe-to-man evolution must be in trouble if the best evidence he could produce is snakes developing smaller mouths. Presumably, snakes with already existing genes for small mouths survived, while those with genes for bigger mouths were eliminated because they were poisoned on toads. Sure, this is natural selection, a concept invented by the creationist Edward Blyth 25 years pre-Darwin. But it removes information, while evolution requires an increase of information.

When insects develop pesticide resistance, the resistance was already there, so nothing new arose. Antibiotic resistance is usually the same. Some bacteria revived after being frozen before antibiotics were developed were already resistant. In some other cases, bacteria pass on their resistance genes to other bacteria—information, already there, was simply passed on.

The only game in town for evolutionists is mutations (genetic copying mistakes). But such mistakes corrupt information. This is so even when the mutation is beneficial, or helpful for the organism. For example, bacteria have complex cell pumps, yet they may also mistakenly pump in an antibiotic, its own executioner. But if a mutation disables the pump, the bacterium will be resistant. The disabled germ can’t compete with the normal ones outside the hospital.

When we can observe the source of new information, we find it is intelligence. So it is perfectly scientific to propose an intelligent origin for information when we have not observed the source.

Brockie is also misinformed about the chemistry of the Miller–Urey gas-discharge experiments, which produced amino acids but were irrelevant to the origin of life. First, the gases are now rejected as components of Earth’s atmosphere. Second, the products are far too contaminated and dilute to be able to combine into the complex molecules of life. Third, life requires uniquely “left-handed” forms, while Miller could only produce a 50/50 mixture of left- and right-handed forms. The origin of life is an intractable problem for evolution: if evolution can’t even get started, then it can’t proceed at all.

And finally, Brockie deserves thanks for admitting his atheistic religion. Far too often, it is the creationists who are castigated for mixing religion with science, while the anti-God biases of the leading evolutionists are ignored.

Dr Jonathan Sarfati earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Victoria University. He is the author of Refuting Evolution, Refuting Evolution 2 and Refuting Compromise.

Published: 6 February 2006