MSNBC’s seven signs of evolution all point to creation
Published: 28 May 2009 (GMT+10)
In this “Year of Darwin”, to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, MSNBC cable-news published an article entitled Seven signs of evolution in action. It is just one of the multitudes of articles in the media this year praising Darwin and his theory of evolution. Author John Roach presented what he describes as “indications that species evolve through process of natural selection.”
Rather than evolution, the beautifully illustrated examples demonstrate the truth of creation. Let’s see how.
Scientists around the world are celebrating the 200th birthday of British naturalist Charles Darwin, who was born on Feb. 12, 1809. Darwin’s groundbreaking 1859 book, “The Origin of Species,” proposed the theory that species evolve over time through the process of natural selection. Organisms most suited to their environment survive and reproduce, passing on their advantageous traits to offspring. Organisms that cannot compete go extinct. Though this theory remains a hot potato in the culture wars, it forms the foundation of modern biology.1
The fanatical euphoria that has erupted this year over Darwin seems bizarre considering Darwin is supposed to be about science—something that most people don’t usually get very excited about. Roach says that scientists are celebrating, but science is not what unites the revelers. The humanists, rationalists, atheists and liberals are also a vocal part of the crowd that is pushing their Darwin party on us all.
Notice the phrase, “hot potato in the culture wars”. “Culture wars” is metaphor for the conflict over values that is raging in our society today—a conflict over issues including abortion, pornography, prostitution, euthanasia, homosexual union and drugs. “Culture wars” gives the game away. It suggests that the celebrations over Darwin are not primarily about science but a strategy to advance one side of the war. That is something that many are beginning to suspect as they are confronted with all the hoo-ha.2
The first “sign of evolution” is Darwin’s finches
The seed-crushing bills of little songbirds called finches, which were adapted to various niches throughout the Galapagos Islands, proved integral to the formulation of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. And the birds haven’t stopped evolving. For example, the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis), shown here, recently downsized its beak to exploit small seeds more efficiently after a larger finch arrived on its island and began competing for food. The smaller beaks on the smaller birds allowed them to thrive, while the big birds ate all the big seeds and nearly went extinct, scientists say.3
Finch bills changing size is totally uncontroversial. Such variation is an amazing design feature that allows the original created kinds of creatures to adapt to different ecological niches.4 But the genetic processes behind these changes do not support the evolutionist’s claim that reptiles evolved into birds over millions of years. These tiny variations are not like the fundamental design modifications needed for bird evolution, such as changing scales into feathers, heavy reptilian bones into hollow bird bones, and the reptilian lung into an avian lung. The process affecting the bills reduces the genetic information in the finches instead of increasing it as required. Even with millions of years of time it is not going to work because the process is going in the wrong direction.
On the other hand, the biblical creation model explains these changes without any problem. All the finches on the Galapagos Islands are descended from birds that survived Noah’s Flood on board the Ark, some 4,500 years ago. After the Flood, the birds multiplied and gradually migrated away from the Middle East. Some eventually reached the islands where they rapidly diversified into different environmental niches. Darwin’s finches are not a sign of molecules-to-man evolution but a sign of creation.
The second sign is “Humans influence natural selection”
Is human activity “natural”? Scientists say human activity is indeed affecting the evolution of other species. In one example, the human preference for large snow lotus plants, which are used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine, has meant that only the smaller plants go to seed. Hence, the snow lotus is getting smaller. In another example, scientists have found that human preference for trophy game such as big fish and caribou is driving these species to become smaller and reproduce at younger ages.5
Yes, human selection pressures can cause lotus plants, fish and caribou to become smaller—see, e.g., Smaller fish to fry. But what evolutionists want you to think is that fish, lotus plants and caribou evolved from a single celled protozoan over millions of years. It’s a tactic called “bait and switch”. They tempt you with a Cadillac but give you a bicycle. If you accept the bait then you will think they can explain everything according to the laws of nature without any need for God creating. It’s a strategy in the cultural war designed to make people abandon their Christian heritage.
As explained above, the process of variation and natural selection is going in the wrong direction for bacteria-to-biologist evolution. It points to the fact that lotus plants, fish and caribou are derived from the separate kinds of organisms that were created at the beginning.
The third sign is “Human evolution speeding up?”
With more people crowding into ever more ecological niches over the past 10,000 years, humans appear to be evolving more rapidly than in the distant past, according to scientists. What’s more, as people adapt to different regions, cultures and diets, they are becoming increasingly different from people elsewhere. For example, Europeans have evolved a tolerance for dairy products into adulthood, whereas people in China and most of Africa have not.6
These sorts of cultural differences provide absolutely no support to Darwin’s suggestion that humans evolved from apes.7
All the people alive today are descended from the original human population of eight individuals that survived the global Flood, and later from those that migrated across the earth after the confusion of languages at the tower of Babel. That we are all “one blood” is supported by the latest genetic findings, and demonstrated by the fact that individuals from different cultures and different continents can marry and have children. The reason that many people in China and Africa cannot tolerate milk is that their genes controlling lactase production are functioning as originally designed, i.e. to switch off lactose production after weaning. In stark contrast, adult milk-drinkers are “mutants”—see Can’t drink milk? You’re normal! A mutation is a loss of information—just the opposite of what is needed in order to specify new design features in organisms. A random change in a complicated piece of machinery will degrade its performance, not enhance it. (So, in this case, the ability to digest lactose in adulthood is the result of a loss of information, not a gain.) And there are thousands of genetic mutations that have accumulated and cause diseases within humans since the time the original pair were created, perfect, about 6,000 years ago.
Human genetics is a sign of creation, not evolution.
Sign #4: “Butterflies rapidly evolve resistance to killer bacteria”
A population of tropical butterflies on a South Pacific island evolved resistance to a killer bacteria in the span of a single year – a blink of the eye in evolutionary time. The bacteria infects females and selectively kills males before they hatch. The strategy reduced male Blue Moon butterflies to just 1 percent of the population. But just 10 generations later – a year’s time – males made up nearly 40 percent of the population. Scientists said the rebound is due to the evolution of a so-called suppressor gene that keeps the killer bacteria in check.8
Genetic variation is always present within any population of organisms. That’s the starting point for natural selection. In other words, some of this population of butterflies was already resistant to the “killer bacteria” when it was introduced, so they survived. The butterflies did not wait until after the killer bacteria were introduced before evolving the resistant gene, otherwise they would have all died. From the 1% of individuals that survived the number of resistant butterflies quickly multiplied until they repopulated the island.
In other words, no new genetic information was produced by this event. In fact, the genetic information within the non-resistant butterflies was lost. If natural selection removes genetic information then how did the genetic information get into the butterflies in the first place? And it all happened quickly, within a few generations. Insect resistance is a sign that points to creation.
Sign #5 is “Toxic toad evolves longer legs”
A toxic toad, introduced in 1936 to wipe out a beetle species wreaking havoc on Australia’s sugar cane crop, has become an uncontrollable pest itself, evolving longer legs to help it hop across the country at an ever-increasing clip. For their first 20 years or so in the country, they spread at a pace of 6 miles per year. They now cruise at about 30 miles per year. Why? Researchers found that the toads leading the cross-country march had legs that were 6 percent longer than those of the stragglers. The added length gives more speed, which permits the long-legged toads to secure the best habitat at the newly conquered terrain.9
A toad with longer legs is just a toad. It is not evolution—I.e, a process of unlimited change, with the capacity for adding lots of new information (and thus potentially turning a toad into something radically different in time). It’s clear that all that is happening is a simple genetic shift in the proportion of a population having a particular characteristic that already exists in that population—in this case, long legs. The genetic information for long-leggedness has not appeared out of nowhere (i.e. evolved) but is part of the variation built into the toad kind at Creation.
Such simple shifting of relative gene frequencies can go either way. A year after the invasion front arrived at their research site near the city of Darwin, researchers found that the average fell back to 40% of body length, as the shorter-legged toads caught up.10
A long-legged toad is still an amphibian and is not evolving into something else, such as a reptile, as the evolutionists claim happened in the past. Think of the fundamental design changes needed to transform an amphibian into a reptile. For example, toads grow from tadpoles whereas lizards hatch straight from eggs. A toad with longer legs is no closer to becoming a new species than a human with longer arms. The remarkable life cycle of the toad is an example of intelligent design and points to creation.
Sign #6: “Intermediate form supports flatfish evolution”
Flounder, sole, halibut and other flatfish have long struck biologists as evolutionary oddities: Both their eyes are on one side of the head, an adaptation that allows them to lie flat on the ocean bottom while keeping their eyes on the lookout for passing prey. The transition happens in the youth of flatfish, one eye migrating up and over the top of the head. Opponents of evolution argued that this curious anatomy could not have evolved gradually, as suggested by the theory of natural selection. That’s because there would be no advantage for an intermediate form –a fish with an only partially migrated eye. But now scientists have found those intermediate forms in museum collections. The 50 million-year-old fossils, including Heteronectes chantei shown here, have a partially displaced eye.11
When flatfish die today they are not generally fossilized. Scavengers continue to eat their remains until there is nothing left. To fossilize a flatfish you need to bury it under sediment quickly. If a young flatfish was suddenly buried when its eye had only migrated part of the way around its head it would look just like the fossil pictured. It would not be a new species.
The sedimentary rocks of the world are filled with fossils that point to rapid burial. One example is a fish entombed in the act of swallowing another fish. Another is an ichthyosaur snap frozen in sediment while giving birth. The global Flood described in the Bible explains why we find so many fossils buried in sediment laid down by water all over the earth. Buried only 4,500 years ago, not 50 million years, sign # 6 is a powerful sign for creation.
The last sign, #7, is “Lizards lose limbs”
Australian lizards called skinks are dropping their limbs to become more like snakes. And, according to a genetic family tree, some skinks have gone snaky in just 3.6 million years, relatively fast in evolutionary time. Scientists said the skinks’ lifestyle appears to be driving the change: They spend most of their time swimming through sand or soil. Limbs are not only unnecessary for this, they may be a hindrance. Once a skink goes snaky, they never go back, the researchers add. One of the snakelike skinks is shown here.12
If amoebas are going to evolve into avocados and archaeologists the organisms continually need to produce new structures. For natural selection to change a fish into an amphibian, for example, it needs to put legs on a fish. But here we see a process, a mutation that takes legs off. Mutations also remove eyes from fish. Mutations are going the wrong way. So, how did the legs get on the lizard in the first place? Not by natural selection. Note too that it does not take millions of years for a lizard to lose its legs. Just one mutation in one generation will do the trick. The loss of legs on lizards is consistent with, and thus points to the truth of, the biblical account of how the world came to be the way it is today—lizard leg loss is not a “sign of evolution”.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=1#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- Butt, R., Half of Britons do not believe in evolution, survey finds, The Guardian, 1 Feb 2009, <guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/01/evolution-darwin-survey-creationism> Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=2#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- Williams, A., Facilitated variation: A new paradigm emerges in biology, Journal of Creation 22(1):85–92, 2008. Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=3#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=4#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- That was Darwin’s view, although today the claim is that both apes and humans evolved from a now-extinct common ancestor. Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=5#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=6#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- Leggier cane toads step up efforts to conquer Australia, New Scientist 189(2539):21, 18 February 2006. Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=7#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/?pg=8#Tech_EvolutionInAction Return to text.