Evolution: It Just Happened

A recent issue of the secular science journal Nature includes research by molecular palaeobiologist Kevin Peterson in which he questions the traditional evolutionary tree of mammals, stating it is all wrong.1 The data Peterson uses are based on a molecule called microRNA (miRNA). This is just one of several kinds of ribonucleic acids that control the expression of genes. Peterson’s miRNA interpretation breaks away from the traditional Darwinian view that people are more closely related to cows, dogs, and elephants than to rodents. The article goes on to say:

If it turns out that the traditional mammal tree is right, Peterson won’t see that result as a defeat for microRNAs. It would just mean that something odd happened…he says.1

“Something odd happened”? Imagine if a non-Darwinian scientist stated this in a creation science publication! How did such a bizarre statement ever make it into a journal that allegedly prides itself on its scientific precision? Meanwhile, the origin of mammal groups, miRNA notwithstanding, is contentious: “But the exact origins of modern cats, dogs, bears and seals are still controversial.”2

An April 2012 University of Wisconsin-Madison press release says that “something happened” regarding the cryptic Cambrian explosion:

The oceans teemed with life 600 million years ago, but the simple, soft-bodied creatures would have been hardly recognizable as the ancestors of nearly all animals on Earth today. Then something happened…a burst of evolution led to a flurry of diversification and increasing complexity, including the expansion of multicellular organisms and the appearance of the first shells and skeletons.3

Creation scientists suggest that if the world suffered a global flood 4,500 years ago, then the multitude of sophisticated ocean bottom-dwelling creatures (including those that are indeed 100-percent fish) found at the base of the Cambrian is to be expected. Evolutionists will have none of that, of course, and are driven to say—with a wave of the hand—only that “something happened,” and then proceed to use vague words such as “burst,” “flurry,” and “appearance.”

We find evolutionists are not averse to appealing to miracles to make their “rock-solid” case for evolution: “In the 50 million years between agnathan and chondrichithian divergence, something mysterious, even miraculous occurred: the adaptive immune system evolved.”4 “Miraculous”? How did such blatantly unscientific language made it past the editorial review process?

Evolution-based textbooks also use imprecise language: “Sometime, somewhere in the Precambrian era, a major milestone occurred in the evolution of life on earth.”5

“Sometime”? Evolutionists preach the Precambrian represents more than 85 percent of their “geologic time”! The evolutionists’ vague explanations containing comments such as “something happened” and “sometime, somewhere” do not encourage credibility in the science community.

Creationists have respected peer-reviewed journals—such as Journal of Creation, Creation Research Society Quarterly, and Answers Research Journal—that look at the creation as the product of the Creator’s work, not chance and extreme time periods. Creationists have published research utilizing scientific methodology rather than ambiguous explanations, including the formidable eight-year RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) project.6

Evolutionists have the opportunity to technically address and evaluate the scientific research by the non-Darwinian community. Unfortunately, they do an end-run around the peer review process and write intemperate comments in various blogs and nonscientific publications. This is not how the process of true scientific research operates.


  1. Dolgin, E. 2012. Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution. Nature. 486 (7404): 462.
  2. Benton, M. J. 2005. Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science, 348.
  3. Sakai, J. Evidence for a geologic trigger of the Cambrian explosion. University of Wisconsin-Madison press release, April 18, 2012, reporting research published in S. Peters and R. Gaines. 2012. Formation of the “Great Unconformity” as a trigger for the Cambrian explosion. Nature. 484 (7394): 363-366.
  4. Laird, D. et al 2000. 50 million years of chordate evolution: seeking the origins of adaptive immunity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 97 (13): 6924.
  5. Hickman, C. et al. 2011. Integrated Principles of Zoology, 15th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 405.
  6. Humphreys, D. R. et al. 2004. Helium diffusion age of 6,000 years supports accelerated nuclear decay. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 41 (1): 1-16. See also Humphreys, D. R. 2011. Argon diffusion data support RATE’s 6,000-year helium age of the earth. Journal of Creation. 25 (2): 74-77.

* Mr. Sherwin is Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Sherwin, F. 2012. Evolution: It Just Happened. Acts & Facts. 41 (10): 16.

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