Seahorses – Designed or Evolved?

From Jack P:

The author, R.L. David Jolly, completely misunderstands the facts of evolution. (I say facts because evolution is a fact, not just a theory.) Species “evolve” by accidentally, spontaneously changing to fill ecological niches that allow them to better compete for survival. There is no conscious “effort” to change. It is abject ignorance to suggest that they “realized they needed to change their physical shape”.

There are no “transitional intermediates” because they lost the competition. Mr. Jolly destroys all creationism arguments when he cites sea horse’s “degree of speciation” because that’s how evolution seems to work; by “degree of speciation”. Actually, evolution is mostly the result of periodic mass extinctions where spontaneous changes in the remaining organisms allow greater chances for survival. But that’s a topic for further discussion.

RESPONSE:

Jack, thank you for your comment, but I have say that you are the one that seems to completely misunderstand the process of speciation and the required mechanism for macroevolution.

First I would like to ask you which form of evolution is a fact?  Is it the slow and gradual process or punctuated equilibrium or rapid progressive or catastrophic?  There are a variety of theories of evolution that have been circulating and they can’t all be fact.  So please tell us which one is a fact and which ones aren’t.

Secondly, when I use the term evolution, I am referring to the basic tenet of evolutionary biology that states that life began as a single cell and steadily progressed to more and more complex organisms to the myriad of life that we see today.  This is also known as macro evolution or molecules-to-man.  This basic tenet of evolution requires an ever increasing amount of NEW genetic information.  Interestingly, this requirement violates the Laws of Information generally accepted by the scientific community.  The laws of information state that information cannot arise from non-information (which excludes the very idea of it evolving in the first place) but ultimately can only be the result of a source of intelligence.  While our online store does not carry the books I am going to recommend, CMI’s store does and I would highly recommend you obtain copies of them:

Not by Chance by Dr. Lee Spetner (who is not a Christian)

In the Beginning was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt (professor of information theory ).

Thirdly, I want to address my alliterative references to placing a conscious selection to the evolutionary process.  I cannot begin to tell you how many articles I’ve read or science programs I’ve watched that do attribute some kind of insightful selection process to evolution.  I don’t have the article at hand, but some years back I read an article in one of the well known secular science journals where the evolutionary author said that there was a long relationship between a certain species of tree and the animals that browse on them.  The author wrote that when the animals began to browse on this particular tree, the trees needed a defense mechanism so they developed thorns in order to ward off the browsers.  As the trees developed thorns, the browsers realized that they needed to adapt or starve so they evolved thicker skinned tongues that allowed them to eat the thorny foliage.  The trees now needed a new defense mechanism so they developed a toxin in their sap.  Now the browsers needed a way to cope or counter the toxin, so they developed a method of eating young leaves first which had lower levels of the toxin.  Over time, the browsers developed an immunity to the toxin by eating the new leafs first.  The author concluded that the ball was now back in the tree’s court and that only time would tell what new defense mechanism they would think of.  These were the words of the evolutionary scientist, not mine. 

I see this perception of intelligent decision making used all the time in evolutionary circles.  I point it out because it is ridiculous to give those kinds of attributes to plants and animals while at the same time denying any possibility of there being an Intelligent Designer.  I was not saying that is how it happens, but was merely mocking the evolutionists that use that type of language to describe such changes.

Lastly, speciation is NOT evolution.  If you had taken the time to actually study speciation, you would have known that speciation is generally the result of a loss of genetic variability or the rearrangement of certain genes or the turning on or off of certain genes.  Sometimes it can occur by a mutation that causes the replication of a chromosome, but these instances are very rare and usually result in detrimental effects on the organism. 

In some instances, environmental changes (chemical or climatic) will eliminate those individuals that do not carry the genetic traits that allow them to adapt to the changes.  Those traits then become selected for and passed on to the next generation.  The individuals that did not possess those traits die off taking their specific traits with them.  These changes can be significant enough to lead to the inability of the new population to interbreed with the original population. 

Many speciation events are also caused by things like a genetic bottleneck or a founder’s event.  In both of these scenarios, the new species is the result of a loss of genetic variability.  A good example is the Mediterranean gecko in the United States, which was the subject of my master’s thesis.  I wrote about this back in October, so rather than duplicate effort, please see Listen to the Gecko!

Speciation best supports biblical creation while it truly undermines the basic tenet of evolution.  Once Adam sinned, all of Creation suffered.  Death and disease entered the world of the living, not just effecting man, but all living things.  Then the Genesis Flood occurred resulting in the greatest bottleneck event in history.  After the Flood, there would have been a great deal of speciation taking place via the Founder Principle as the animals began to disperse into new unfilled environments and ecological niches.  Genetic variability was broken up and scattered as groups moved in different directions. 

Today we still see speciation events occurring and not one of these that I am aware of is the result of NEW genetic information being added to the organisms genome.  Evolution?  No!  Creation? Yes!

Evolutionary Education Group Gives ‘Favorable’ Review of Creationist Film

From Catherine C.

Didn’t Darwin write his book when he was considered a theist? If so, he was not qualified either, why did they listen to him?..but the fact that he left God out of it, is what they consider “qualified” Such double standards. They don’t read the Bible, yet they are the authorities on it’s truth?

RESPONSE:

Catherine, thank you for your comment about Darwin’s religious views when he wrote Origin of Species.

Darwin abandoned all belief in God when his daughter Annie died in 1851.  Origin of Species was not published until 1859.  I covered this in more detail in Darwin’s Religion – What Was It?

You also have to realize that Darwin’s most ardent supporter and motivator was Thomas Huxley.  Huxley had an abject hatred for religion and the church.  He knew that Darwin’s work would help to undermine the authority of the Bible so he did everything in his power to push Darwin to get his work published.  Once published, Huxley put forth a great deal of effort and some expense to promote Darwin’s book.  This is why Thomas Huxley is known as Darwin’s Bulldog. 

The reason Huxley knew how much Darwin’s theory of evolution would affect the church is that Huxley was familiar with what the Bible said and what the doctrines of Christianity were.  He knew what biblical foundations to attack and how best to attack them.

As for your statement that they don’t read the Bible but think of themselves as authorities on it, I would be careful at saying that.  Many of the staunchest atheists I know of have not only read the Bible through and through, but they often understand the biblical doctrines of Christianity better than many Christians do.  Likewise, many creationists like myself have read a great deal of evolutionary material so we can better understand our opposition and to know how to counter their attacks.  I’ve spoken with several atheists that could quote Scripture better than most Christians can.  It’s just like politics and war.  You have to know your opponent in order to counter their efforts and defeat them. 

Catherine, I pray this helps.

Nuclear Membrane – Simple Cell Part 17

From Thom:

About the symphony … it is patently obvious that what we hear at a concert is not the result of merely random chance. Of course that’s how they came to be, but the fact that they do not sound cacophonous is the result of natural selection! People wrote down these naturally derived musical pieces and performed them in concert, however those that did not sound good were selected out, and those that remained. Furthermore, the evolution of musical instruments is fully documented with numerous examples of primitive drums and flutes in a continuous tree of sound, all the way to the multi-valved brasses and woodwinds.

 Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that an educated person like you still believes in “Beethoven the deaf composer”! Absurd.

RESPONSE:

Thom, thank you for your comments about my using the analogy of a symphony in my discussion of design and evolution. 

You are correct when you state that the development of musical instruments is fully documented.  Genesis 4:20-22 tell us:

Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.

Early in man’s history he developed music and musical instruments.  Those instruments could have been made of bone, wood, animal skins, and even metal. 

The selection of instruments and music that compose a symphony is anything but natural.  Even you have to admit that they are the result of an intelligent selection that has organized them into the beauty and majesty of a symphony. 

Have you ever had the opportunity to see the entire written score the Handel’s Messiah?  It’s not just a few sheets of music but a whole book.  He wrote it in less than a month.  It wasn’t the result of natural selection (oh, this note sounds okay, no this one doesn’t, etc).  Handel could hear the music in his head as he wrote each piece and all of the parts for each piece.  They were selectively selected, not naturally selected.

I take it that you have a problem believing that Beethoven could have continued his brilliant composing when he went deaf?  One thing you may want to consider is that Beethoven did have his hearing to start with and while he may have lost the physical ability to hear, that is not to say that he also lost the mental ability to hear what notes and chords sounded like.  Have you ever caught yourself playing a song in your mind while you are doing something else?  Why wouldn’t Beethoven also been able to recall tunes and sounds.  Or have you ever closed your eyes and you can see or visualize scenes in your mind?  Same thing. 

Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet a young man that was born deaf, but wrote music.  When he was young, his parents taught him to recognize the vibration waves of the different notes on the musical scale.  He then studied the wave patterns of simple pieces of music and from there he progressed to comprehending how certain wave patterns fit better together than others.  He began to write his own music which his mother and several others were able to perform. 

Therefore I feel that your comment about Beethoven and how you said it is very insensitive and demeaning to those who have physical conditions that do not meet your definition of “normal”.  Some of these people develop abilities that would put and you and I to shame.  See Seeing Without Eyes and scroll down to read about Ben Underwood.  Being blind, he learned to develop his own type of echolocation, similar to bats.  He was able to ride his bike and avoid hitting trees and other obstacles.

You indicate that evolution like a symphony involves the concept that those things that work are kept and passed on while those that do not work or sound good are rejected and not passed on.  If that is the case, please explain to us how so many molecular structures necessary for the survival and replication of a single simple cell all evolved at the same time.  Without a number of structures in place such as membrane bound proteins that regulate the necessary chemical composition of the cell or the genetic instructions for replication, there is no way that first cell could have survived or replicate itself. The statistical probability of them evolving individually is almost zero, let alone the probability of all of the ones required for survival to have evolved at the same time.  To see the probability of just one amino acid forming, see Did Life on Earth Come From Outer Space?

Lastly, I find it not surprising but sad that intelligent people do not see the countless interwoven intricacies of life as evidence of an Intelligent Designer but prefer to believe in nothing but a hopeless and cruel random natural process.  No wonder the suicide rates have been steadily increasing in correlation with the propagandizing of the theory of evolution in our public schools and media.

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