by David A. Reed COMPLETE BOOK ONLINE
What About Darwin?
Some readers may feel that Bible history and Bible prophecy simply cannot be true, because mankind originated through blind evolutionary forces rather than by God's creation. Other readers may believe the Bible but have nagging doubts as to whether the scientific theory of evolution calls into question the truthfulness of the Bible.
I myself used to believe that humans evolved from lower animals. Years ago I read a number of books on the topic and found them convincing. What has since convinced me otherwise? Let me explain.
Imagine that a group of explorers in an uninhabited land climb to the crest of a hill and find themselves looking down into a valley on the other sidea valley lined with rectangular stone structures resembling cliff dwellings complete with openings that look like doors and windows. The leader of the expedition immediately declares to the group, "Look at this amazing natural formation. Such fascinating patterns in the rock! It's obviously the result of erosion. There's no limit to what wind and water can do over eons of time."
Some in the group whisper among themselves that these appear to be human dwellings, carved by the hand of man. But, since they are all employees of the company underwriting the expedition, and all can be fired at will by the leader, none dare voice their thoughts too loudly.
As they descend into the valley, they pass through what the captain has declared to be "rock formations." Some of the explorers enter the structures through the doorway-like openings. They note that these and the window-like openings are located and sized precisely where human workers would have carved them. Even more amazing, some have the remains of slabs of wood attached to metal hinges, positioned as if they once functioned as doors and shutters.
"Iron deposits are common in these parts," the expedition leader notes, dismissing the thought that the hinges could have been fashioned by hand. "And trees would naturally have grown but soon died in these natural openings." Others whisper among themselves that the functional complexity of doors and shutters point to intelligent designers. But the official position expounded by the leader must be upheld, since he sets company policy.
One of the explorers, entering into a structure isolated from the others, finds a clay jar, and, forcing open the lid, discovers inside some papyrus scrolls. Unrolling them, he gazes at a complete set of architectural drawingsplans detailing the construction of the cliff dwellings on each wall of the valley. The drawings include detail outlining the measurements of doorways and window openings. But, when the leader is shown the discovery, he dismisses them as descriptive drawings left behind by an earlier explorer who stumbled upon "these natural formations" and put his findings on paper.
To me, the expedition leader in this story illustration is comparable to scientists who deny the obvious evidence of design in the world around us and, especially, in the physiology of men and animals, and who continue to deny that evidence even after the designer's blueprints have been found encoded in the DNA of every living cell.
It is one thing for explorers in the wilderness to stumble upon ruins of buildings, and to declare them instead to be natural formations resulting from wind erosion. But it is ridiculous to make such an assertion if the ruins are accompanied by faded architectural drawings showing ancient laborers how to construct the edifices. Yet, that is just what so-called scientists have been doing by proclaiming evolution theory despite the discovery of the genetic code. Ever since Darwin wrote "The Origin of Species," evolutionists had been matching up skeletons from the fossil record and claiming that this one evolved from that one; now, unbelieveably, they continue to make such claims even after finding within the fossils the coded architectural plans for each skeleton.
The genetic code is so complex, however, that architectural blueprints are simple by comparison. A better analogy can be found in the field of computer technology than in architecture. The complex "binary" code that runs computers boils down to a long series of 1's (ones) and 0's (zeroes) representing the "on" and "off" positions of tiny electrical switches. If you could see this basic code, it would look like 0010111001011, and so on. Similarly, the genetic code can be represented by a series of four lettersG, A, T and Crepresenting four different nitrogen compounds: Guanine, Adenine, Thymine and Cytosine.
If you stripped open the double helix spiral of a DNA molecule (deoxyribonucleic acid) you would find a sequence of connected pairs of molecules joining the two spirals together, like rungs of a twisted ladder. The connecting rungs are composed of Guanine, Adenine, Thymine and Cytosine molecules where the two pieces of the double helix meet along the joining seam of the spiral, throughout its length. Adenine connects with Thymine to form some rungs of the ladder, and Guanine connects with Cytosine to form other rungs. Moreover, the rungs can be arranged in either direction: G-C or C-G as well as A-T or T-A. So, if you were to "read" the code by moving up or down one side of the ladder, you might first run into the G end of a G-C rung, next encounter the C end of a C-G rung, then the T end of an A-T rung, and so on. You would read this as, "GCT...," followed by whatever you ran into next. This long sequence of G, A, T and Clonger than the most complex computer program ever written by manspells out the genetic code in the DNA.
The human genome, according to microbiologists, consists of approximately a hundred thousand genes composed of some three billion DNA subunits. To varying degrees, plants and animals have somewhat less genetic code in their genomes. They are like simpler computer programs that take less code to run. The programming represented there is simply awe inspiring. The psalmist wrote of the Creator, "...you created my inmost being...knit me together in my mother's womb...fearfully and wonderfully made...in your book all my parts were written down before any of them came into being..." in my own paraphrase from the Bible, Psalm 139, verses 13-18.
While I was growing up, clothing labels were sewn somewhere inside a garment. If you had a label showing, a friend was quick to point it out. Designer jeans were the first to make acceptable the practice of sewing manufacturers' labels onto the outside. Similarly, when I look into a human face, the love and intelligence I see there is, to me, a reflection of the face of God. It is his designer's label, sewn into our designer genes.
Displayed on the wall of my office is a colorful chart titled "Human Genome Landmarks" and subtitled "Selected Traits and Disorders Mapped to Chromosomes." The chart cost me nothing, since it was available for the asking from a government web site: www.ornl.gov/hgmis/posters. The letters HGMIS in that URL stand for Human Genome Management Information System, a division of the federal government's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (www.ornl.gov).
The poster lists countless human traits such as skin color and hair texture, and many more ailments or diseases such as diabetes and sickle-cell anemia, along with the location of the genetic code that determines those traits or hereditary susceptibility to those disorders. For example, some time long ago a mutation caused an A to be replaced with a T in a someone's genetic code, in the portion of their DNA coded for hemoglobin, and this caused them to pass on to their offspring sickle-cell anemia as a hereditary disease.
Disease resulting from accidental mutations makes sense. But upward evolution from ocean slime to human beings is a ridiculous proposition, when the code that would have to be written is taken into consideration. Something similar to random spontaneous mutations takes place in computers when disk media ages or when some stray electrical current, or some other unknown element, causes code to be "corrupted." Corrupted code can result in a computer program behaving strangelysuch as displaying incorrect numerical values on screenor even breaking down completely and failing to function. But corrupted code never results in new and improved programs. Corruption in the computer code can cause Windows 98 to crash, but such spontaneous changes can not cause Windows 98 to become Windows XP.
No wonder that new and improved software never pops into being through accidental corruption of code! Imagine, then, the odds against new DNA code being added to the genome by accident. Considering that there are billions of DNA subunits in the human genome, the chances are astronomically impossible. The 'millions of mutations over millions of years' that evolutionists point to don't even come close to making the chance origin of life believable, never mind the evolution of intelligent humans.
Sometimes a computer programmer will sit down to create a website or a computer application and will start from scratch, opening a text editor or word processor and writing code. But, more often than not, he will start by grabbing an existing file and will use this as a template to aid in creating the new one. To add the different functionality needed in the new version, he will look through his collection of code saved over the years, and copy various snippets and paste them into the new file in appropriate spots.
This is, according to my layman's understanding, similar to the process followed by genetic engineers on the cutting edge of research in biology and biochemistry. They peer into the genes and chromosomes of a particular strain of sweet corn, for example, unravelling the long spiral DNA molecule and reading the sequence of codeGATCCTTGAAATTC... and so onfound inside. Through painstaking effort they find and identify the portion of code controlling some undesirable feature they want to remove. Or, perhaps they find the appropriate spot to insert a snippet of genetic code borrowed from another species, to give this sweet corn a new trait. Then they modify the code and try it out. The result is genetically engineered corn.
Genetic research has not yet progressed to the point where even a scientist who is tops in his field could sit down and write out genetic code from scratch to produce a living organism. Rather, like novice web designers, they modify existing organisms by cutting and pasting code. Happily, despite the elevation of the theory of evolution to the status of a sacred cow, there are still brave biologists who give credit where credit is due and honor the Creator, the divine writer of the genetic code.
Ever since the Scopes trial, the creation-versus-evolution controversy has been a matter of litigation and legislation. Attempts to include creationism in the science curriculum of public schools have most often been thwarted by arguments that creationism points to a Creator, thus making it a religious teaching which, according to prevailing legal precedent, must be excluded. More recently a number of men of science have come together into what they have dubbed the "intelligent design movement." They argue scientifically that the genetic blueprints and the irreducible complexity of structures found within living things rule out gradual development through a series of accidental mutations and point, instead, to intelligent design. And they have entered the legal fray, with the aim of being heard and allowing young students to hear these ideas as well.
Since I'm neither a litigator nor a legislator, nor a microbiologist, I don't have a powerful voice to lift up against the tyranny of authority of the evolutionists. But, just as surely as the "HTML" used in creating websites stands for HyperText Markup Language, to me our DNA sequence "GATGC" should stand for God Authored The Genetic Code.
The evidence against the theory of evolution is overwhelming. Yet it is not when the scope of this book to present all of that evidence. Hopefully, what is written here will whet the appetite of those who wish to learn more. You can do that by reading a number of fine books authored by or featuring data assembled by qualified scientists:
As a young man I had read numerous books on evolution and atheistic cosmology, and felt that they explained adequately where man and the universe came from. I didn't possess the finely detailed knowledge held by microbiologists and astrophysicists, but I had read enough to comprehend the big picture. It wasn't necessary to be able to sketch from memory a diagram of the atomic structure of DNA molecules, nor to scribble out from memory the formula for the eliptical orbits of heavenly bodies.
Later, however, as I matured, I began to grow in appreciation for the some of the finer qualities I saw displayed in ordinary lives: love, self-sacrifice, loyalty to friends, thoughtfulness, and so on. Then, one evening while I sat alone in a quiet room, tired out from a day's work, a thought struck me that I had never entertained before: the best peoplethose who really cared and who took life seriouslyseemed to strive for goals that were higher than any that they themselves or those around them had ever attained. They recognized their own failures and sought to do better. Their mind's eye was fixed on ideals that they were unable to reach. Where did those ideals originate?
Could it be possible that the unreachable ideals that idealistic humans reached for were put there for them from above, put there by the God I had long ago decided did not exist?
Hadn't I thought about this before? It seemed like a new thought to me. Hadn't it been addressed by Nietsche or Kant? Hadn't existentialist Albert Camus covered this point? I couldn't remember the details of my early reading in philosophy. What about Socrates and Plato? Plato taught that the imperfect squares, circles and triangles humans drew with ink or traced on the sand were mere copies of self-existing Forms dimly perceived beyond the human realm. Could it be that unselfish love, altruism and the spirit of self-sacrifice similarly existed independently of the human mind, somewhere above the human plane, like Plato's Forms?
The evolutionists I had read would have attributed the highest human ideals to some sort of social consciousness evolved by early men whose chances for survival depended on the degree to which they put the welfare of the tribe ahead of their individual welfare. But wouldn't the self-sacrificing individuals have died off in the very act of preserving the tribe, hence not contributing their genetic material to the next generation, and not passing on that desirable trait? Somehow, the survival-of-the-fittest argument failed to explain Ghandi and Jesus and Schweitzer and other examples of self-sacrificing love.
Could brute beasts really have refined themselves, through some evolutionary process of natural selection, to produce Mozart and Beethoven? How would weeding out the inferior members of the speciesthose not as adept at finding food or at securing a matehow would that process, combined with random genetic mutations, have produced such musical genius? The score of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik played through my mind's ear as an eloquent testimony against the theory of evolution. How could the ability to create such a masterpiece have helped in the survival of the fittest? Could some genetic mutation that helped certain cave men kill antelope for food have carried with it the ability to compose Beethoven's Fifth Symphony as an accidental byproduct? I found myself becoming skeptical of religious skepticism, as I lost faith in the theory of evolution.
If I were to present this today as an argument for the existence of God, I would make my case very simply this way: Think of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person you knowsomeone beautiful inside and out, someone who brings a tear to your eye when you think of him or her. For me such a person is my wife. For you, it might be your son, or a granddaughter, or someone else that you both admire and love. Could you really believe that this delightful person came into being as the result of a long series of accidents involving molecular interactions, one undersea life form defeating another in survival of the fittest, an unnamed something crawling ashore to continue mutating , and brutish ape-men wiping each other out, until finally his or her great-great-grandparents' ancestors appeared? How reasonable is that, when compared with the Bible's assertion that an even kinder, more loving, more admirable Creator carefully crafted the first humans in His own image, and put within them the intricate genetic code needed to reproduce more of the same?
Just how does the Bible explain mankind and his condition today? It tells us that human history began when God created the first man and then his wife. Even evolutionists now agree that all members of the human species descended from an original pair possessing the present genetic makeup of homo sapiens. That first pair rebelled against God by disobeying an explicit command, the Bible explains, and this brought many sorrows upon the race. (Genesis, chapters 1-5)
Corruption and violence had reached such a foul state that God eventually intervened by washing the planet clean through a global Deluge, preserving only Noah and his family, including his grown sons' wives. Following the Deluge the human race grew rapidly, spreading out yet remaining in the same vicinity, the fertile plains near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. (Genesis, chapters 6-10)
As the population grew to sufficient numbers, it appears that urban life began to develop, and, along with it the construction of the first skyscraper in the town of Babel. Man was well on his way toward many modern achievements, no doubt, and well along in developing the corrupt, immoral culture that has always followed in the wake of urbanization. "The Lord said, 'If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.'" (Genesis 11:6 NIV) Everything from human cloning to nuclear weaponry would have been on the horizon from mankind. This, no doubt, would have brought matters to a head and forced the Apocalypseway ahead of God's schedule for laying appropriate groundwork and sending his Messiah. But, the One who knows the end from the beginning was not caught off guard by these developments. The Creator had something else in mind: "'Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.' So, the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city." (Genesis 11:7-8 NIV)
From Babel onward the Bible tracks the history of the Chosen People only, and the surrounding nations in the Middle East. The other families of mankind spread across Europe, Asia and Africa, descended from Noah's three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives who were not of Noah's line and hence added genetic diversity to the mix. The recorded history of many nations tells of the exploits of Ham's descendents and Japheth's, but God inspired Bible writers to record and assemble only the history of certain branches of Semitic peoples (Shem's offspring) and others who interacted with them. Little is known of the families who eventually took their tower-building technology to Central and South America. Those who built Egypt's pyramids receive mention in the Bible, primarily due to their interaction with Israel.
While it conflicts with some popular theories, the Bible's history of mankind fits the observable facts and agrees where it overlaps with secular histories recorded by non-biblical writers.