Is Evolution an Observable Fact?
by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. *
“Evolution is fact!” is one of the most popular evolutionary assertions made by evolutionists, ranging from those at the National Center for Science Education to those working for PBS.1, 2 Proponents of Charles Darwin want you to believe that his hypothesis is being confirmed right before our eyes.
Darwin’s ideas directly contradict the scriptural teaching on the origin of species. He proposed that all species derive from one or a few species (universal common ancestry). This concept contradicts Genesis 1, which teaches that God created different creatures “after their kind.” Darwin also claimed that each species’ original ancestors arose by natural selection, not by a direct act of God. Finally, Darwin’s timescale for the origin of species—millions of years—is irreconcilable with the time of creation, which occurred about 6,000 years ago.
So how do evolutionists get away with making this claim? By assuming that all change is evolutionary change. Why is this assumption wrong? Because the Bible permits biological change to a certain degree and, therefore, not all change is evolutionary change.
Specifically, the Flood account of Genesis 6-8 demonstrates that limited biological change can occur and has already occurred. When God commanded Noah to bring the land-dwelling, air-breathing “kinds” on board the Ark, He required that “male and female” of each kind be taken. This implies that reproductive compatibility identifies membership within a kind. Breeding experiments identify the classification rank of family (kingdom-phylum-class-order-family-genus-species) as roughly defining the boundaries of each kind.3
Since Noah brought only two of each kind instead of two of each species, we know that many new species have arisen since the Flood. For example, Noah likely had two members of the family Equidae, and from this pair we have the species (horses, donkeys, zebras) and breeds (pony to Clydesdale) of equids observed today. Big biological changes within created kinds are perfectly compatible with Scripture.
Conversely, the Flood account makes it clear that changes from one kind into another are naturally impossible. Again, God commanded Noah to bring two of every land-dwelling, air-breathing kind to preserve the offspring of each kind. If organisms in one kind could be changed into another kind, this command would be superfluous. Hence, biological change on the scale that Darwin proposed is biblically unimaginable.
We can now revisit the evolutionary claim with which we began this article and evaluate it without making the erroneous evolutionary assumption that all change is evolutionary change. Using biblically appropriate language, we can interrogate the claim that evolution is fact with two questions. Do we observe change within a kind? Yes. Breeding experiments are the premier example of this. Do we ever observe one kind (i.e., one family) of species change into another kind (or family)? No. Every example of biological change that has ever been observed in real time has been change within a kind.
Even the classic textbook examples of evolution—changes in the size and shape of the beaks of Darwin’s finches, E. coli developing resistance to antibiotics, and HIV developing resistance to the immune system—all demonstrate change within a kind and never change from one kind into another. Evolution, as Darwin conceived it, has never been observed.
The evidence for the biblical model is so strong that even the world’s most famous living evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, must concede this point. “We can’t see evolution happening because we don’t live long enough,” he said in a 2009 interview.4 In other words, evolution is unobservable.
Wow. Not only is the “Evolution is fact!” claim false, but the complete opposite is true. Furthermore, since evolution is not observable, evolution isn’t even science! Yet, somehow in spite of this, Dawkins still concludes, “Evolution is a fact.”4 In light of what we’ve just discussed and what he himself admitted, we know he reached his conclusion in spite of the evidence—not because of it.
- Evolution Education: Understanding and Teaching the Science of Evolution. National Center for Science Education. Posted on ncse.com, accessed November 28, 2012.
- Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution. PBS. Posted on pbs.org, accessed November 28, 2012.
- Wood, T. C. 2006. The Current Status of Baraminology. Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal. 43 (3): 149-158.
- The Hour S6: Episode 5—Richard Dawkins & Drew Barrymore. George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. Posted on cbc.ca September 2, 2009, accessed November 28, 2012.
* Dr. Jeanson is Deputy Director for Life Sciences and received his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University.
Cite this article: Jeanson, N. 2013. Is Evolution an Observable Fact? Acts & Facts. 42 (1): 20.