Fwd: [breakpoint] Ditching Darwin , 8/5/1999

Stephen E. Jones (sejones@iinet.net.au)
Mon, 09 Aug 1999 05:57:33 +0800


For those who don't receive Charles Colson's Breakpoint, here is a recent
review of Schwartz' un-Darwinian book, "Sudden Origins".

It reminds me of what Ankerberg & Weldon wrote in Moreland's "The
Creation Hypothesis":

"Suppose for a moment that Darwin's theory of natural selection is a
mistaken view about the origin and development of life. If so, wouldn't it
be reasonable to conclude that scientists themselves would become
increasingly aware of this and publicly state their findings? After all, how
could scientists in different disciplines not say something if they were
becoming more aware of the absence of hard evidence in support of
Darwin's theory and were face to face with scientific data that pointed to a
completely different theory-one that suggests the world was designed and
exists for a purpose?" (Ankerberg J. & Weldon J., in Moreland J.P., ed.,
"The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer",
1994, p270).


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BreakPoint Commentary #90805 - 8/5/1999
Ditching Darwin : Why Missing Links Are Still Miss
by Charles Colson

A store specializing in vintage political
paraphernalia displays a campaign button that reads,
"Ronald Reagan is the missing link." It's a joke that
scientists can appreciate, because a century and a
half after Darwin, the missing links in the
fossil record are still . . . missing.
The missing link is the big hole in Darwinism.

A now a new book by biologist Jeffrey Schwartz
recommends ditching Darwin altogether, and looking
for a new explanation of how life developed.

The standard Darwinian theory is that new species
arise by the gradual accumulation of tiny mutations.
The theory predicts that the fossil record will
reveal hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils
linking each species to the next one.

But the fossil record shows no such thing. Instead,
new species appear suddenly--virtually overnight. As
Schwartz puts it, fins turn into legs suddenly,
without a trail of intermediate forms. Similarly, he
says, "You don't see gradual evolution of feathers.
You either have feathers or you don't."

Even eyes appear out of nowhere. The Darwinian idea
"that an eye evolves slowly over countless
generations through painstaking accumulations of tiny
mutations-that's wrong," Schwartz says.

No wonder he entitles his new book Sudden Origins.
And no wonder he's now in hot water in the scientific
community. Ever since Darwin, many biologists
have clung to the hope that the gaps in the fossil
record would eventually be filled in, the missing
links discovered. But Schwartz is saying that the
gaps will never be filled in--because the missing
links never existed. He urges biologists to start
searching for a new theory to explain the sudden
origins of organic structures.

Schwartz himself thinks that he has found such a
theory based on the action of so-called "homeobox"
genes--regulatory genes that switch on and off during
the development of embryos. The theory is that even
a small mutation in a homeobox gene at early stages
of development would lead to major changes later on,
as the organism grows.

But most biologists find Schwartz's theory
implausible. "It seems a pretty wild hypothesis,"
says biologist William McGinnis. Mutations in the
homeobox genes do result in drastically different
forms within a species, McGinnis says, but most often
these animals die or are very sick.

You see, to originate a new species by mutations
would require a huge number of coordinated changes
all at once. A fish that suddenly develops lungs,
for example, had better develop legs at the same time
or it will simply drown. A giraffe that develops a
long neck must at the same time develop a specialized
heart to pump blood up its long neck.

But in Schwartz's naturalistic theory, there's no
directing force to coordinate all those changes, so
the new forms of life would go nowhere--except to a

Schwartz does do us a favor by pointing out the
failure of Darwinism, but his substitute theory of
evolution is no better. Living things exhibit levels
of engineering and design that scientists are only
beginning to grasp--which logically suggests that they
are the creation of a great Engineer, a Divine

The theory that best fits the facts is one that
starts with an intelligent cause behind the wonderful
complexity of living things.

It's the answer Christians have known all along.

Copyright (c) 1999 Prison Fellowship Ministries

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"What excites Margulis is the remarkable *incompleteness* of general Darwinian theory.
Darwinism is wrong by what it omits and by what it incorrectly emphasizes. A number of
microbiologists, geneticists, theoretical biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists are
saying there is more to life than Darwinism. They do not reject Darwin's contribution; they
simply want to move beyond it. I call them the `postdarwinians.'" (Kelly K., "Out of Control:
The New Biology of Machines", [1994], Fourth Estate: London UK, 1995, reprint, pp470-
471. Emphasis in original).