Tag Archives: evolution

Who was Ota Benga?

Ota Benga was a pygmy who lived in the Congo.  During the early 1900s, White colonists murdered Ota’s family, but Ota survived and was captured.  During this time in history, the Theory of Evolution was becoming more accepted and people were eager to find the “missing links.”  Ota Benga was thought to be that missing link.  In 1904, at the age of 23, he was put on display at the Bronx Zoo and was also displayed at the St. Louis World’s Fair as a “savage.”  Ota was horribly treated by people who came to see this “missing link,” “savage,” and “lowest form of human life.”  Eventually, he was released and taken back to his homeland, but he was not welcomed by his people because he had associated with Whites (remember that it was the White colonists who murdered his friends and family).  Ota was brought back to America and eventually placed under the care of some Black ministers.  They moved him to Lynchburg, Virginia where he worked on a tobacco farm.  Ota became a Christian, but the remainder of his life was filled with depression and isolation.  In 1916, he committed suicide.

 

Ota Benga: Fully Human

 

Ota Benga was not a savage or a missing link.  He was fully human but he was treated like an animal.  There have been other atrocities committed against people groups in the name of Evolution.  Ota’s life and mistreatment is a very sad event in history, and hopefully we can learn that there is value in all human life, regardless of your height, weight, gender, or abilities.  You can read more about Ota Benga’s life in this book: Ota Benga.

 

How has the Theory of Evolution affected society?

The following is a short list of some well-known people in history who have been influenced in a negative way by Evolution’s “survival of the fittest” mentality.  Friedrich Nietzsche concluded that the best way to evolve was to actively have wars and kill off the weaker races.  Adolf Hitler was influenced by Darwin and Nietzsche’s writings when he ordered the murder of six million Jews who he believed to be inferior races.  Karl Marx used Darwin’s theory to develop his views of how social classes struggle, and he was the co-founder of Communism.  Josef Stalin was influenced by Darwin’s book and became an atheist.  He was responsible for killing millions of Russians.  The life of Ota Benga was also affected by evolution.

We can see from history that when evolutionary concepts are put into practice, there are destructive and unjust consequences.  Survival of the fittest implies that we should only look out for ourselves, survive, reproduce, and have no care or compassion for others.  Ironically, those who hold to evolution practice the very things (care for others, charity work) that go against it.  If we look at the world through the lens of the Bible, we see that each person on Earth, despite their nationality or skin color, was made in the image of God and should be treated as such.   

Does the evidence point to Evolution or Creation?

Evolutionists claim that the similarities in life forms are evidence that we all come from a common ancestor.  For example, generally speaking, all land animals and humans have the following: one head, one pair of eyes, one pair of ears, one nose with two nostrils, one mouth, two arms/fore legs, two legs/hind legs, and fingers and toes, or paws (for animals).  This would seem like good evidence for evolution.  But if we use the same observable evidence and look at it from the Creationist perspective, we would expect our God to make his creation using common attributes.  Many life forms have similar strands of DNA, and these strands produce certain information, such as instructions for creating hair, eyes, or lungs.  This doesn’t mean we are related but rather, God used the same method for creating various types of life. 

Compare this to an artist.  The artist may use the same types of paints, same colors, same brushes, same canvases, and same brush strokes, but the artist does not reproduce the same picture each time.  Although the paintings may have similar characteristics and were made with the same products, this does not mean one came from the other but rather, they both came from one creative designer.  Remember that the evidence is based on interpretations filtered through our worldview.

What is evidence?

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

In the legal system, evidence is an item or statement that helps to prove or disprove a person’s guilt.  For example, a crime scene might show a discharged bullet casing, a bloody foot print, and a hair follicle.  These three things are evidence, but they do not prove as a fact that the person in question shot the gun, stepped in the blood, and lost a hair follicle during the crime.  The three piece of evidence do not talk; they just exist and must be interpreted based on the other evidences (and a crafty lawyer).  Evidence may strongly imply something, such as the accused criminal being at the scene of the crime, but it still not clear and convincing proof.

Let’s apply this to the topic of Evolution and Creationism.  If a dinosaur bone is found, one can look at it and identify it as a femur belonging to a Triceratops.  You cannot tell how the animal died, what it’s skin looked like, or how old the bone is (see the article on radiometric dating flaws).  Your evidence is only a bone.  Your interpretation of the evidence is based on your worldview.  If you believe in the Theory of Evolution, then you will conclude that the dinosaur died out about 65 million years ago (according to current scientific beliefs).  If you believe in the Bible, then you will understand that the dinosaur was created on Day 6 during the Creation Week, and the dinosaur most likely died during the catastrophic flood that buried all living things in sedimentary rock, which then turned the dead animals and plants into fossils.

What is a transitional fossil?

A transitional fossil is a fossil that is supposed to be an intermediate between one species and its alleged evolved descendant.  Some of the popular alleged forms are the Neanderthal man and Australopithecus. These are supposed links between man and the divergence from primates. However these have been shown to not be transitional forms. Although many alleged transitional fossils in other kinds of animals have been found, they have also later been debunked and swept under the rug.  In fact, typing in the name of a supposed transitional fossil in the search box at www.answersingenesis.org will bring up articles refuting each find, like the photo below. To date, no clear and convincing proof of transitional fossils have been found, and this is what we would expect if God created everything as it is recorded in Genesis.

 

Tiktaalik

 

Are super bugs evidence of evolution?

Some have said that “super-bugs,” that is, antibiotic resistant bacteria, are perfect examples of evolution.  Typically, antibiotic medications are used to eradicate a bacterial (not viral) infections, but “super-bugs” are immune to these antibiotics.  Is this really evolution in the sense that the bacteria are better or evolved? 

Let’s look at an example using the H. Pylori bacteria. When an antibiotic is introduced to these bacteria, H. Pylori produces an enzyme that converts the antibiotic into a poison, thus killing the bacteria. However, there is a mutation of these bacteria that has lost the capability of producing the enzyme.  Therefore, when the antibiotic is introduced, it is ineffective to the mutation (the poison is not produced) and the mutated bacteria continue to thrive.  Although the mutant H. Pylori has survived, it has actually lost important enzyme-producing information. 

The Theory of Evolution states that living things gain more information in their DNA resulting in an evolution of more complex organisms.  If life came from a single celled organism millions of years ago, and today we have intricate organs, cells, brains, nervous systems, etc., then clearly we humans have more information in our DNA than our distant, single-celled ancestor.  However, there is no mechanism via natural selection or mutations to ever add this beneficial information.  Instead, information is lost or damaged and no new information is added.

To conclude, super-bugs would be more aptly called “weaker-bugs” because they have lost an important function.  If the mutants are paired with the “normal” bacteria, the normal ones would thrive and consume the resources while the mutants would die out.

 

H.Pylori bacteria and the antibiotic (Source: Answers in Genesis)
Mutated (resistant) H. Pylori bacteria (Source: Answers in Genesis)

 

For a related article written by a Ph.D. in microbiology, please see: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n3/antibiotic-resistance-of-bacteria

What is the difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution?

 

Evolution teaches that all life came from a common ancestor. Creation teaches that life forms change within their kind. Source: Answers in Genesis

 

Micro-evolution, also known as “variations within a kind”, is the observable changes that we see in living things.  Roses have variations in color and length.  The dog kind has a multitude of variations (German shepherd, Shih-Tzu, Poodle), and even variations of the variations (Black Labrador, Yellow Labrador, Chocolate Labrador, etc.). These changes occur to a degree with each new generation, depending on the parental DNA, but what doesn’t occur and what has not been observed is macro-evolution.  This is defined as large-scale, gradual change in living things, such as a fish evolving legs and then becoming an amphibian, or an amphibian developing the characteristics of a reptile.  Some evolutionists claim that the micro-level changes are so small and gradual that we will never find the actual transitional form.  This however, goes against the opposite evidence of evolution known as punctuated equilibrium, which states that life forms suddenly “exploded” as advanced species.  For more information on gradualism versus punctuated equilibrium, see the following link: http://www.gotquestions.org/punctuated-equilibrium.html

 

How is the Theory of Evolution different from Creation?

When comparing the order of events in the Theory of Evolution and Big Bang with the order of events of Creation, you see that they are in stark contrast with one another.  This goes against the idea of Theistic Evolution and Progressive Creationism.  The following chart shows a few of the differences:

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

 

According to the Theory of Evolution/Big Bang:  According to the Genesis account of Creation: 
Sun & Stars created before Earth  Earth created before Sun & Stars 
Marine creatures before land plants Land plants before marine creatures 
Dry land before sea  Sea before dry land 
Atmosphere before sea  Sea before atmosphere 
Reptiles before birds  Birds before reptiles 
Sun before plants  Plants before sun 
Insects before flowering plants  Flowering plants before insects 
Land animals before trees  Trees before land animals 

What is the difference between Evolution and the Theory of Evolution?

Evolution is a fact and a theory.  One is observed today in the lab and in the natural environment.  The other is more of a philosophical if not religious viewpoint.

Evolution in and of itself means “change.”  Change occurs all the time, and we can observe it.  Changes do occur within the kinds of animals, and this is not evolution but instead adaptive variation.  There are variations of finches, roses, sharks…the list goes on, and the only scientifically observed “evolution” is just those variations—different colors, fur length, size, shape, diet, etc.  What is not observed is the divergence from a common ancestor that, for example, created the chimps and the humans.  That common ancestor is supposedly ape-like, but the alleged divergence was not, nor can it ever be, observed, tested, or validated.  The past happened in the past; you cannot watch it happen now.  All we can see today is chimps, apes, baboons, and the other primate-type species being related to the primate kind; humans have their variations (race, etc.) only within the human kind.   All experiments have only shown the variation with kinds.  It has not shown the ape-like ancestor diverging into chimps and humans.  Nor do experiments show a water-dwelling creature become amphibious and then become land-dwelling.  These things are supposed to have happened in the unobserved past.  If it is not observable and testable, it is not science.  

The Theory of Evolution, however, states that all life forms today have come from a common ancestor millions of years ago.  More specifically, it states that humans and primates have a common ape-like ancestor.  The processes by which life has evolved include natural selection and mutations.  An ongoing problem in this hotly debated topic is the deceptive “bait and switch” tactic.    That is, when an adaptation is seen in the wild or in a lab, that is called evolution.  When living things are believed to have evolved from simple organisms to complex (i.e. “molecules to man”) over millions of years, and we are said to all be part of a phylogenetic tree of life, this is also called evolution.  They are not the same thing.  This is the fallacy of equivocation.  Proponents of evolution say, “Evolution is true because evolution is observed.”  They are two different types of evolution.  Observed evolution can be studied in a lab or a natural setting, but never will a scientist observe a dinosaur make gradual changes in its skeletal and muscular structure to develop wings and the ability to fly.  One evolution is an observed fact; the other remains a theory.

Charles Darwin theorized that all life came from a common ancestor like a single celled organism. As time went on, life forms became more complex and diverse.

 

The Theory of Evolution does not account for the actual origin of life—there are other evolutionary studies dedicated to that, such as chemical evolution and cosmological evolution. Charles Darwin popularized the Theory of Evolution, but it was actually a Greek philosopher named Anaximander who promoted the idea that life arose from water, and simple life forms came before complex life forms.

Note: Christians are mocked because they say that they don’t believe in evolution.  By this, they mean they don’t believe in the Theory of Evolution. 

*See also What is the difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution? 

*See also: Evolution for Dummies: A Review.




 

Who was Charles Darwin?

 

Charles Darwin

 

Charles Darwin was born on 2/12/1809 in Shrewsbury, England.  In 1825, he began to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh.  During his second years of college, he was introduced to the ideas of Larmarckism.  That theory states that acquired traits are passed on through each generation.  In 1827, Darwin left medical school and entered Christ’s College at Cambridge to study to be a clergyman, but he did not take his education very seriously.  In 1828, he became interested in natural sciences, and in 1829 he started to doubt his career as a clergyman.

In 1831, he was invited onboard the HMS Beagle, and agreed to work as a naturalist on a 5-year voyage.  With him on the ship, he had a copy of Charles Lyell’s book, Principles of Geology.  He also had a copy of the Bible, but others on board scoffed at him for reading it.   When they stopped at islands in South America, he collected different specimens of birds, animals, fish, and fossils.  In September of 1835, the ship arrived at the Galapagos Islands where Darwin collected different species of finches.  After sailing to various other places around the world, they returned to England in October of 1836.

In 1837, a man named John Gould looked at the finches that Darwin had collected and noticed that they had variations in their beaks.  Darwin began to formulate his theory on what causes changes within a species (because something has to cause the change), but he kept it to himself for fear of it being heretical. 

Darwin read a book by Thomas Malthus that described how humans would struggle for resources as populations grew.  Darwin adapted this concept to the changes seen in animals.  In 1842, he wrote his basic theory of the descent of animals through the process of natural selection.  Over time, Darwin met other people and shared his theory with them but received mixed responses.  Darwin read an essay written by Alfred R. Russell on the evolution of new species, but Darwin was not impressed with it.  In 1858, he received another paper from Wallace that contained many of the same ideas that Darwin had.  While Wallace believed that changes were guided by a higher power, Darwin thought they were all natural and had no goals or guidance.  In 1859, Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, was published.

After his book, prominent secular figures such as Thomas Huxley and Joseph Hooker helped promote Darwin’s theory and they influenced many in the scientific community.  This was not well accepted by religious leaders on the grounds that it would affect morality and biblical truths.   In 1866, Darwin wrote another book, Descent of Man, using his evolutionary ideas and applying it to humans. 

Although at one time he studied to be a clergyman, later in life Darwin began to question the miracles in the Bible and also the Old and New Testaments.  When his daughter, Anne, died, he finally lost his faith in God.   He died in 1882.

More information can be found at www.aboutdarwin.com