Book: God, or No God?
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In this chapter, we’ll examine three of the main pillars of supposed proof of the Darwinian theory of evolution: comparative anatomy, small-scale change within species (called microevolution), and fossil evidence for Darwin’s supposed “tree of life.” We will quote scientists whose findings debunk the idea that any of these phenomena constitute “proof” of Darwinian macroevolution.

Comparative Anatomy

Evolutionists argue that similarities in anatomical structure between one organism and another prove common ancestry. But in reality, there are similarities in certain features between two organisms on diverse sides of the “tree of life;” while kindred species exhibit noticeable differences in those same anatomical features—such as, for example, eye structure.

“Even the similarities claimed by evolutionists are ambiguous, for they do not share the same developmental pattern. For example, two closely related species of frog, Rana fusca and Rana esculents, have eye lenses that are similar but they form very differently in embryological development. Did these two species evolve their eye lenses independently? There are many such similarities that develop differently or arise from different genes, and they seriously challenge the claim that they could have arisen through common descent.” 22 (Bold emphasis added.)

“Evolutionists claim that the Linnaean hierarchy [of plant/ animal classification] is a crucial test that their theory has passed. But from the placental and marsupials to molecular comparisons, nature is full of deviations from that pattern. If the theory predicts the Linnaean hierarchy, then do the many deviations disprove the theory? Not according to evolutionists. Instead, they employ a number of ad hoc explanatory devices, from convergent evolution and non-gradualistic evolutionary change to massive horizontal gene transfer and computational adjustments. But if evolution can explain the many deviations from the Linnaean hierarchy so well, it can hardly claim the general hierarchical pattern of the species as a crucial test.” 23

Small-scale Change Within Species

Let’s look at a favorite example cited by evolutionists of changes within a species—Darwin’s Galapagos finches—and ask whether these changes prove that any net long-term evolutionary development is going on at all among the Galapagos finches.

Though Darwin spent considerable time on the Galapagos Islands, he makes little mention of the finches in his writings. It seems that others have extrapolated conclusions many years later that the variations in beak sizes of the 14 supposed “species” on the archipelago somehow demonstrate evolutionary change governed by “natural selection.”

In the 1970s, Peter and Rosemary Grant spent extensive time and detailed research on the Galapagos over a number of years. They noted that during times of normal rainfall, the average beak size of the more abundant finches was smaller, while during periods of drought the fewer birds had larger beaks. They concluded that natural selection favored those with larger beaks, because these were needed to crack the harder, less abundant seeds during the drought period. But rather than a continuous trend in the same direction (toward ever-larger beak size), the average size of the finch beaks returned to where it had been before, once normal rainfall resumed.

Another surprising find that the Grants made was that on some islands, there were numerous cases of interbreeding between some of the “species.” Some of the hybrids produced actually seemed to do better than their predecessors. “So Darwin’s finches may not be merging or diverging, but merely oscillating back and forth. Their success in hybridizing, however, raises a question about whether they are separate species at all.” 24

“Thanks to years of careful research by the Grants and their colleagues, we know quite a lot about natural selection and breeding patterns in Darwin’s finches. First, selection oscillates with climatic fluctuations and does not exhibit long-term evolutionary change. Second, the superior fitness of hybrids means that several species of Galapagos finches might be in the process of merging rather than diverging.” 25

A television documentary of the Grants’ research on the Galapagos details the early findings—which seem to support the evolutionary notion—but conveniently omits the later conflicting findings in which the earlier supposed “evolution” was reversed.

A National Academy of Sciences booklet on Darwin’s finches pretty much does the same thing. “Rather than confuse the reader by mentioning that selection was reversed after the drought, producing no long-term evolutionary change, the booklet simply omits this awkward fact…. [T]he booklet misleads the public by concealing a crucial part of the evidence. This is not truth-seeking. It makes one wonder how much evidence there really is for Darwin’s theory.” 26

Suppose all the changes in the beaks of Galapagos finches had been proven to go in one consistent direction—which they most emphatically have not. Would that prove macroevolution (which remember requires one species giving rise to another species)? Would it at any point demonstrate one species “evolving” into another? Not remotely. After all the extensive observation of these birds and all the changes, guess what? They’re STILL FINCHES! There is even good reason to question whether the multiple varieties of Galapagos finches represent any distinct (from one another) “species” at all!

Darwin’s Tree of Life vs. the Fossil Record

Darwin thought that all life forms might be descended from “one primordial form…. The Origin of Species included only one illustration, showing the branching pattern that would result from this process of descent with modification. Darwin thus pictured life as a tree, with the universal common ancestor at its root, and modern species as its ‘green and budding twigs.’ He called this the ‘great Tree of Life.’

“Of all the icons of evolution, the tree of life is the most persuasive, because descent from a common ancestor is the foundation of Darwin’s theory. Neo-Darwinist Ernst Mayr boldly proclaimed in 1991 that ‘there is probably no biologist left today who would question that all organisms now found on the earth have descended from a single origin of life.’ Yet Darwin knew—and scientists have recently confirmed—that the early fossil record turns the evolutionary tree of life upside down. Ten years ago it was hoped that molecular evidence might save the tree, but recent discoveries have dashed that hope. Although you would not learn it from reading biology textbooks, Darwin’s tree of life had been uprooted.” 27

In Darwin’s day, the lowest known strata level in which fossils had been found was the Cambrian. Darwin knew that what was found there conflicted with his theory, because such divergence of forms should appear only after millions of years of evolution. He reasoned that the record was incomplete and that more primitive forms would someday be found in lower strata.

A lower stratum than the Cambrian has in fact been found. But the fossil life forms found in it have not been shown to have given rise to the Cambrian forms for the most part.

“Darwin’s theory claims that phylum- and class-level differences emerge only after a long history of divergence from lower categories such as species, genera, families and orders. Yet the Cambrian explosion is inconsistent with this picture…. Darwinian evolution is ‘bottom-up,’ referring to its prediction that lower levels in the biological hierarchy should emerge before higher ones. But the Cambrian explosion shows the opposite…. [T]he Cambrian pattern ‘creates the impression that [animal] evolution has proceeded from the top down….’ Nevertheless, evolutionary biologists have been reluctant to abandon Darwin’s theory. Many of them discount the Cambrian fossil evidence instead.” 28

Surprise, surprise!