Problems With Evolution – John Boruff

Icons of EvolutionI want to mention some of the major problems with the theory of evolution. Probably my favorite representation in the school of creationist thought would be Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution (2000) and his video A Critique of Darwinist Icons (2001). He earned his Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Berkeley and published three articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. There are five things that he says are really major problems with evolution: the Tree of Life, the homology argument, Ernst Haeckel’s embryos, peppered moths, and four-winged fruit flies. Kent Hovind’s video called Lies in the Textbooks (2002) does an excellent job at explaining these and many other problems with evolution. Whatever reservations you or I might have about Hovind, I still think that particular presentation by him is one of the best anti-evolution creationist videos ever made. Aside, that is, from the documentary called Icons of Evolution (2005), which is based on Wells’ book.

1. Darwin’s Tree of Life. A blasphemous name if there ever was one: probably taken as as a mockery of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. This was an illustration in Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859). It starts off with a single celled organism at the very bottom and then it branches off into a tree with simple animals, complex animals, and eventually man at the top. The idea is that all of these animals and creatures were linked to one another, and descended from one another, becoming more and more advanced over time, with man becoming the chief crowning creation of the evolutionary process. God is not in the picture here. It is viewed as a naturalistic or materialist explanation for existence. The atheist creation story. Darwin, who had no other degree than a Master of Divinity, became renowned as a revolutionary biologist and scientist because he published a book with all of these ideas in it. He did, however, have his doubts about his theory; and one of his major doubts was that if it ever came to the surface over the course of time that paleontologists were unable to discover transitional  intermediate fossils, then people would have a major reason to question his theory. Darwin said:

There is another and allied difficulty, which is much graver. I allude to the manner in which numbers of species of the same group, suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks…it cannot on my theory be supposed, that these old species were the progenitors of all the species of the orders to which they belong, for they do not present characters in any degree intermediate between them…The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained (The Origin of Species. New York: Bantam, 1999, pp. 300-302).

Over one hundred and fifty years later, it seems that there is absolutely no fossil evidence for this tree of life concept: especially when you look at the so-called Cambrian explosion. This is a period of time where rocks try to suggest that all of the different kinds of animals appeared at virtually the same time. This goes against Darwin’s idea, who would have suggested that all these different kinds of animals would have very gradually and intricately developed over very long, drawn out, large spaces of rock strata. But actually the truth is that most of them are concentrated to a very small section of rock strata called the Cambrian era; and it should make you wonder whether or not God created all of those animals in that time. Or that it was the time period in which the flood of Noah happened; and all the animals of Noah’s time were destroyed in that time. In either case, concentrating all these different kinds of animals into one little time does not fit into Darwin’s concepts. 

Peter Raven says, “Many fossil intermediates in vertebrate evolution have indeed been found. A clear line of fossils now traces the transition between hoofed mammals and whales, between reptiles and mammals, between dinosaurs and birds, and between apes and humans. The fossil evidence of evolution between major forms is compelling” (Biology, 9th ed., p. 432). Really, is that so? Then why doesn’t the same biology textbook provide some convincing examples of intermediate transitional fossils? It doesn’t. I looked. This is Darwinism’s weakest link. If they could provide convincing examples of this, then maybe there would be less creationists denying evolution. The first problem is that you have to trust their system of dating rocks. If you can’t trust this, then all of their “fossil evidence” is worthless. It is a circular system. The skeleton of a T-Rex is said to be 65 million years old, because its fossils were found in so-called Jurassic rock strata. And how do they know the Jurassic rock strata is 65 million years old? Because the T-Rex fossils were found in it, they say. The fossils date the rocks, but the rocks date the fossils. In other words, you have to buy into their dating scheme in order to speak their language. But just because they have chosen to categorize rocks and fossils like this, it does not mean the ages they assign to these things have been scientifically proven, at least not to me. Even if they have radiometric devices that they have designed to support their claims. I think the millions of years thing is a hoaxed philosophy to help scientists catalog things according to their preferred system of Darwinistic categorization. But I don’t see any reason why I should believe in it: the whole thing is just from an evolutionist’s imagination.

Secondly, they don’t have any outstanding transitional fossils for us to look at. Just a lot of animal fossils; and they will categorize them to their liking, and using a lot of Darwinistic imagination, draw the conclusion that all of the fossils have descended from one another. One example they will use is the Archaeopteryx, supposedly a half-dinosaur, half-bird. If this is a true fossil, and not a hoaxed one, they might be getting somewhere with that. But there should be much, much more evidence than that. Humans with monkey tails, fish with legs, and other anomalies may exist in nature–but if this is the course that evolution took on a mass scale, then they wouldn’t be anomalies–there would be billions of human fossils with monkey tails, etc. But there is a major lack of things like that. Thirdly, even if something like the Archaeopteryx were real, it is no proof to me that the creature evolved from something simpler or that it was turning into a raptor dinosaur or something. How is that proof? Why couldn’t God just create the Archaeopteryx that way it was, fully formed, on the fifth day of creation? Archaeopteryx is no proof to me of evolution.

2. The Homology Argument. When you look in your biology textbooks, you’re going to see pictures of different kinds of bones or skeleton arms and legs placed beside one another. For example, you’ll have a cat arm next to a human arm or a bat arm and they may look similar in their structures (see Peter Raven’s Biology, 9th ed., p. 428). Evolutionists will say, “See, doesn’t this look like the animals and humans are similar?” So then they’ll go draw the conclusion that men came from animals, because parts of their arms look similar! Most of evolution functions from AN ARGUMENT FROM SIMILARITY. But its not scientific to say something like that. There’s no evidence that either came from one or the other based on that. It’s merely a suggestion or an idea. And what the creationist has always said, is that a common design suggests a Common Designer. That God in His mind thought it would be good to use different kinds of templates, on different types of creations, because He found that certain arms, and the similarity in their structure, were useful to different types of creatures. But bone similarity does not mean that one type of animal descended from another. The fact that a whale or a human may have similarities in their arms, is a far cry from saying people are descendants of whales, like how children are descended from their parents, and this can be determined by observing that they have similar traits in their appearance. I am not descended from a whale! I am descended from God who made Adam. It just so happens that the same God also made whales.

3. Haeckel’s Embryos. Back in Darwin’s day, in Germany he had a fan named Ernst Haeckel. He was an embryologist and had microscopes in his lab. He looked at human embryos underneath the microscope, and animal embryos underneath the microscope, and he saw a couple of things that looked similar; and he had the idea that he would fabricate and exaggerate the similarity between fish, salamander, turtle, chicken, pig, cow, rabbit, and human embryos; and he would draw exaggerated pictures leading people to believe that these embryos were 99% similar in their appearance. Microscopes were not popular devices in those days; and so people were not really able to verify what he was saying. But a few men were. Eventually the University of Jena at which he worked, brought him into an academic trial, where five professors accused him of fraud; and after they pressed him, he admitted that he had fabricated the evidence of the embryos. His confession, however modest, is still a strong evidence against using this idea as scientific evidence for evolution:

To put an end to this unsavory dispute, I begin at once with the contrite confession, that a small number (6 to 8 per cent.) of my embryo-diagrams are really forgeries in Dr. Brass’s sense; those namely for which the observed material is so incomplete or insufficient as to compel us…to fill in and reconstruct the missing links by hypothesis and comparative synthesis…I should feel utterly condemned and annihilated by this admission, were it not that hundreds of the best observers and most reputable biologists lie under the same charge. The great majority of all morphological, anatomical, histological, and embryological diagrams…are not true to nature, but are more or less doctored, schematized and reconstructed (A. F. Frumveller, America, May 22, 1909, No. 6, p. 145).

Just like with the homology argument, Ernst Haeckel converted a great part of Germany to Darwinism under the idea that the similarity of embryos suggested that in the early developmental stages of human life, that people were no more different than a fish or a chicken; and that people had descended from them at some point in evolutionary history. Ernst Haeckel proved to be a liar. He even admitted that he lied, and claimed that hundreds of biologists lie in the same way, for the cause of evolution. But many people went on believing in evolution in Germany because of him, eventually including Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. What is shocking is that to this day many biology textbooks will include Haeckel’s embryo drawings as evidence for the existence of evolution, while others have been more cautious about it and will just have a paragraph explaining the idea (see Peter Raven’s Biology, 9th ed., p. 428). What is more shocking, is that if you really do look at the different embryos at the specific times and stages that he suggested underneath the microscope, you will find that they look extremely different!

Haeckel v Richardson

4. Peppered Moths. During the Industrial Revolution in England, a lot of coal powered machines then produced pollution on tree trunks. This soot blackened the tree trunks so that a lot of black moths were able to avoid being eaten by the birds. It was the white moths that were targeted by the birds. Over time it came to be seen that there were a new breed of peppered moths that had adapted to wanting to become more and more black; and tried to camouflage themselves from the birds. This was viewed as evidence for evolution! But this is not evidence for evolution: its only showing the same thing that happens when a guitar player can develop callused fingers when he plays guitar a lot. This does not mean that one animal is turning into a completely different kind of animal. This was only a case of adaptation or micro-evolution; and not macro-evolution, or Darwinism. Interesting tidbit here: most of the time these peppered moths in the textbook pictures are dead moths that have been pinned to the side of a tree trunk. Because it has been in has been found that in nature, that moths most of the time rest on the really high up branches, underneath the leaves. This kind of artistic license pales in comparison to Haeckel’s transgressions but still…is this evidence for evolution? Scientific proof that animals are turning into other kinds of more advanced animals? I don’t think so.

5. Four-Winged Fruit Flies. Some time ago, while trying to prove that mutation is a vehicle of evolution, some scientists took some fruit flies and exposed them to radiation. What resulted was a fly that had grown an extra pair of wings, so that it actually had four wings on its body.  But the other two wings were deformed and made it impossible for the insect to fly in the air. This proved that radiation can cause extra appendages that are completely useless to appear on a body, but it in no way proved that mutations can occur that are beneficial…or that may give an animal or human any type of superpowers that you may see in the X-Men movies. It certainly didn’t give any evidence that one animal can change into a different, more advanced kind of animal. And yet the faith of high school students is rocked away from the Bible and towards atheism or deism on such weird and unreliable “evidence” as this!

The Age of the Earth: 4.6 Billion Years or 6,000 Years?

The last thing I would like to address is the belief in millions of years. Some Christians don’t believe in evolution processes, but they might still believe that the Earth could be over millions of years old. This is due to a belief called the “day age” theory, in which the first six days of creation in Genesis 1 are viewed as metaphorical, and not as literal twenty-four hour days; and that it may be possible to view those days as ages in which millions of years may exist. But there is nowhere in the whole Bible that remotely suggests that creation occurred in any more than six twenty-four days. Another thought I’ve always had is that anything that is called prehistorical or antediluvian (pre-Flood) is almost completely without evidence of age or being dated. In other words, there are no copyright years on cave paintings, so how can people possibly date them? To be an evolutionist, a person has to trust what is written in biology textbooks about ages.

In reality, any truth seeker should be taking on faith those things that ancient writers have said about these time periods, because they were there; or they had God tell them about it. My personal preference is to trust what Moses wrote in the Book of Genesis as literally referring to the six day creation. Mainly because the Book of Genesis is not a poetic or allegorical book; it is a historical narrative; it’s not like the book of Psalms or the Song of Solomon, which is almost totally allegorical. But almost all of the Book of Genesis is written as chronologically historical from beginning to end; that’s just the category of literature that it falls under: religious history. And I think it is a matter of gross unbelief if somebody cannot even believe in the first two pages of the Bible. It disturbs me that there are many evangelicals that are adopting theistic evolution, or the day age theory, and treating them as minor issues; and saying that this is not something that’s going to affect their faith in a negative way. Even the Assemblies of God is now allowing theistic evolution professors to teach in their colleges! What is happening!? Back in the days of R. A. Torrey, in the writing of those pamphlets called The Fundamentals, the fundamentalists drew the conclusion that evolution was directly tied to liberal Christianity, deism, agnosticism, and atheism (all the degrees of unbelief); and not believing in the miracles of Christ or the deity of Christ. The authority of Scripture over the person’s life was seen to be undermined, because if the first two pages of the Bible can’t be trusted, then why can the rest of it be trusted? Why obey God’s laws if they are only human laws? Liberal Christianity turned the church into a humanistic social club that is used to cater to people’s selfish needs and psychological health.

Let’s lay evolution concepts to rest and just believe the first 11 chapters of the Bible at face value. That’s all that Moses asks. If you’re honest with yourself, Genesis is a historical narrative and was never intended to be anything poetic or allegorical. Unlike the gospels, which combine Jesus’ allegorical parables and historical narratives of Jesus doing certain actions–there are virtually no allegorical moments in the Book of Genesis that I can think of: other than maybe the dreams of Jacob and Joseph. Other than that, you have the story of the origins of mankind, something that demands our respect; and I think that we have really no other choice, than to have faith in God, and faith in the writer of Genesis; and to just rest in that trust. If we can’t do that, then we will be tossed about like the waves of the sea; and blown around by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14). How it is that scientists arrive at these outrageous, astronomical calculations for the age of the earth–4.6 billion years–is beyond me (radiometric dating? half-lives?). Its not important to me, because I doubt that its true anyway.

There is no human confirmed to exist beyond the length of 6,000 years before now. No human writings have been discovered before the cuneiform tablets from Sumeria, around 4,000 B.C. How is it then that evolutionists can claim that modern man known as Homo sapiens existed as far back as 1 million years? Where’s the literary evidence and the technological evidence for intelligent men living that far back in time? The only confirmed, archaeological evidence of intelligent human life that we have spans back no further than 6,000 years! James Ussher, the Puritan author of The Annals of the World, used a calculation based on something much more reasonable: the genealogies of the Bible from Adam to Christ, by adding the years of their lifespans together. Adam was created around 4,000 B.C. according to this Biblical timeline. Ussher and the Puritans, the Reformers, and medieval theologians, all generally held to the view of a 6,000 year old Earth. Why not go with something logical and Biblical like this, instead of trusting in atheistic scientists who need government grants to continue their evolutionary research projects? These men don’t follow God’s law; they make up their own morals, if they have any. In the 1800s, scientists said the Earth was 400 million years, while others contended for 22 million; in the early 1900s, it got bumped up to 570 million years; in 1911, the Earth was then believed to be 1.6 billion years; in 1927, it reached 3 billion years; and finally in 1956 it reached the age of 4.6 billion years old, which is what scientists say it is today. Hmmmmmmmm. I’ll just go with the Bible, thanks!

Further Material

Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species. New York: Bantam, 1999.

Frumveller, A. F. “The Retirement of Prof. Haeckel.” America, May 22, 1909, p. 145.

Ham, Ken. The Lie: Evolution. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1987.

Hovind, Kent. Lies in the Textbooks. CSE Seminar Part 4. DVD. 2002.

Icons of Evolution. DVD. Coldwater Media, 2005.

Johnson, Phillip. Darwin on Trial. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991.

Raven, Peter, Johnson, Mason, etc. Biology. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1999.

Torrey, R. A., and A. C. Dixon. The Fundamentals. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003.

Ussher, James. The Annals of the World. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003.

van Niekerk, E. “Countering revisionism–part 1: Ernst Haeckel, fraud is proven” 

Wells, Jonathan. Icons of Evolution. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2000.

—. A Critique of Darwinist Icons. Access Research Network, 2014. Influenced this article.

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About John Boruff

John Boruff is a husband, father, blogger, and life insurance agent.
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