Evolution - A House Divided
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
"If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark 3:25). Evolutionists ardently defend their house against outsiders, but squabble vigorously with each other inside the house. In this article we present a collage of recent quotes from evolutionists attacking different aspects of their own basic theory. Lest we be accused of out-of-context quoting, we emphasize that each person quoted is a committed evolutionist, even though his remarks may make him sound like a creationist.
The standard evolutionary concept for the origin of the universe is the Big Bang theory, but many eminent astronomers flatly reject it.
Both the 'Big Bang' model and the theoretical side of elementary particle physics rely on numerous highly speculative assumptions.1 But if there was no Big Bang, how and when did the universe begin? ... (Hannes) Alfven replies: "It is only a myth that attempts to say how the universe came into being.... 2
One argument for the Big Bang is the "red shift," but Halton Arp and other leading astronomers say "no."
(Arp) maintains that quasars, for example, whose large red shifts suggest they are the most distant objects in the universe, are actually no more distant than galaxies….3
EVOLUTION OF LIFE FROM NON-LIFE
It is commonly asserted that life evolved from non-living chemicals by purely naturalistic processes. However, a leading scientist in this field says:
At present all discussions on principle theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.... The problem is that the principal evolutionary processes from prebiotic molecules to progenotes have not been proven by experimentation and that the environmental conditions under which these processes occurred are not known.4
EVOLUTION OF SPECIES
The standard Darwinian and neo-Darwinian theories of evolution argue that new species are developed by natural selection of random variations to fit changing environments. Many evolutionists today, however, are rejecting Darwinism, even though they still cling to evolution. One such scientist is Kenneth Hsu.
The law of natural selection is not, I will maintain, science. It is an ideology, and a wicked one, and it has as much interfered with our ability to perceive the history of life with clarity as it has interfered with our ability to see one another with tolerance.... The law of the survival of the fittest may be, therefore, a tautology in which fitness is defined by the fact of survival, not by independent criteria that would form the basis for prediction.5
EVOLUTION OF HUMAN LIFE
Much ado has been made about the Laetoli fossil footprints in Tanzania, dated at 3.5 million years ago, supposedly proving that the australopithecine ancestors of man walked erect.
But the first detailed study of the gaits and footprints of modern people who walk barefooted indicated the Laetoli prints are much like those of Homo sapiens and were probably not produced by Lucy's relatives, reports Russell H. Tuttle of the University of Chicago.6 It should be obvious that these footprints were made by true human beings; the only reason for rejecting this fact is the assumed 3.5-million year age, a time long before man is supposed to have evolved.
THE FOSSIL EVIDENCE
The fossil record has traditionally been considered the best evidence for evolution, but the utter absence of true transitional forms continues to be an embarrassment.
If we were to expect to find ancestors to or intermediates between higher taxa, it would be in the rocks of late Precambrian to Ordovician times, when the bulk of the world's higher animal taxa evolved. Yet transitional alliances are unknown or unconfirmed for any of the phyla or classes appearing then.7
"We conclude that ... neither of the contending theories of evolutionary change at the species level, phyletic gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, seem applicable to the origin of new body plans.8
EXTINCTION VERSUS SPECIATION
Evolutionists seem unable to realize the anomaly in the slow rate of speciation versus the high rate of species extinction.
Today's rate (of extinction) can be estimated through various analytical techniques to be a minimum of 1000, and possibly several thousand species per year .... It normally takes tens of thousands of years for a new terrestrial vertebrate or a new plant species to emerge fully, and even species with rapid turnover rates, notably insects, usually require centuries, if not millennia, to generate a new species.9So far as ever observed, no new species are now being formed. It seems that evolution, if there is such a thing, is going in the wrong direction!
Although the history of the earth and life has long been interpreted by the uniformitarian maxim, "the present is the key to the past," more and more geologists are returning to catastrophism.
Our science is too encumbered with uniformitarian concepts that project the modern Earth/Life system as the primary model for interpretation of evolution and extinction patterns in ancient ecosystems. Detailed paleoenvironmental data tell us that the past is the key to the present, not vice versa.10
One of the key evidences for great age is the uniformitarian interpretation of "evaporites," but this very term is misleading.
In referring to "evaporite" … the term begs the question as it implies desiccation. For clarity, geology needs a new term; namely "precipitate," rock created by precipitation. Hence rocks of the evaporitic facies could be … precipitites, deposited by precipitation from a supersaturated solution.11
Precipitation is, of course, a much more rapid process than evaporation.
SOCIAL HARMFULNESS OF EVOLUTION
Evolutionists strongly complain when creationists point out the historically evil influence of evolutionism. Many evolutionists, however, do recognize this fact.
... we were victims of a cruel social ideology that assumes that competition among individuals, classes, nations or races is the natural condition of life, and that it is also natural for the superior to dispossess the inferior. For the last century and more this ideology has been thought to be a natural law of science, the mechanism of evolution which was formulated most powerfully by Charles Darwin in 1859.... 12
(Robert Proctor) shows how the major German societies of physical anthropologists collaborated with the SS program of race hygiene, helping to make racial policy .... Eugene Fischer, the most distinguished of German physical anthropologists, regarded by many as the founder of human genetics, was particularly helpful in these efforts .... But surely American physical anthropologists spoke out clearly against the Nazi perversion of their science? They did not.13
Creationists are not the only ones who find it difficult to get a hearing from the scientific establishment. Even evolutionists who do not conform to the majority viewpoint in evolutionary dogma at a given time encounter this same bigotry, through the so-called "peer review" process. One of the most distinguished modern astronomers is Nobel prizewinner Hannes Alfven, who espouses an alternative cosmology to the Big Bang. Here is his testimony (even Nobel laureates must defer to the scientific establishment!).
... it has given me a serious disadvantage. When I describe the phenomena according to this formalism, most referees do not understand what I say and turn down my papers. 14
But the argument "all knowledgeable people agree that…." (with the tacit addition that by not agreeing you demonstrate that you are a crank) is not a valid argument in science. If scientific issues always were decided by Gallup polls and not by scientific arguments, science will very soon be petrified forever.15
For reasons of space, these quotes have been somewhat abbreviated, but they do represent quite fairly (if incompletely) the opinions of the respective authors. It is obvious that evolutionists argue vigorously among themselves, even though they present a solid front when arguing against creationists. Just possibly, the combination of outside attack by creationists with the in-fighting among evolutionists will eventually cause the collapse of the straw house of evolution itself. After all, no one has ever seen real evolution in action, and no one knows how it works, so its foundation is very weak. One day it will be said: " … the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:27).
1. R.L Oldershaw, "The continuing Case for a Hierarchial Cosmology," Astrophysics and Space (v. 92, 1983), p. 354.
2. E.J. Lerner, "The Big Bang Never Happened," Discover (v. 9, June 1988), p. 78. Swedish astronomer Alfven, who has a Nobel Prize in Physics, maintains the universe has always been essentially the same.
3. John Horgan, "Big-Bang Bashers," Scientific American (v. 257, September 1987), p. 22.
4. Dose, Prof. Dr. Klaus, "The Origin of Life; More Questions than Answers," Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (v. 13, no. 4, 1988), p. 348. Dose is Director, Institute for Biochemistry, Gutenberg University, West Germany.
5. Kenneth J. Hsu, "Is Darwinism Science?" Earthwatch (March 1989), p. 17. Hsu is Earth Science Head at the Swiss Institute of Earth Sciences.
6. Bruce Bower, "A Walk Back through Evolution," Science News (v. 135, April 22, 1989), p. 251.
7. J.W. Valentine and D.H. Erwin, "The Fossil Record," in Development as an Evolutionary Process (Uas, 1987), p. 84.
8. Ibid, p. 96. Valentine is a geologist at U.C. Santa Barbara, Erwin at Michigan State.
9. Norman Myers, "Extinction Rates Past and Present," Bioscience (v. 39, January 1989), p. 39.
10. Eric Kauffman, "The Uniformitarian Albatross," Palaios (v. 2, no. 6, 1987), p. 531.
11. Robert S. Dietz and Mitchell Woodhouse, "Mediterranean Theory May Be All Wet," Geotimes (v. 33, May 1988), p. 4.
12. Kenneth J. Hsu, op cit, p. 15.
13. Matt Cartmill, "Misdeeds in Anthropology," Review of Bones, Bodies, Behavior: Essays on Physical Anthropology (Wisconsin University Press, 1988). Science (v. 244, May 19, 1989), P. 858.
14. Hannes Alfven, "Memoirs of a Dissident Scientist," American Scientist (v. 76, May-June 1988), P. 250.
15. Ibid, p. 251.
* Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. 1989. Evolution - A House Divided. Acts & Facts. 18 (8).