For the purpose of this article I am defining neo-Darwinism as: the theory that life and its complexity arose by natural causes, specifically, natural selection of random mutations.
- Accidental causes cannot replace insight. It takes insight (knowledge) to produce functional coherence. Functional coherence is when we have a hierarchy of parts working to produce a “whole” that accomplishes a task. Your vehicle, is a “whole” that (hopefully) exhibits functional coherence. If you had never seen a vehicle before, it wouldn’t take you long to discover that it was designed to do exactly what it does – get from point A to point B. Even if you learned about the mechanics and science involved in what makes a vehicle get from point A to point B, you would still know that their was an agent involved that manipulated the mechanics and science to cause the vehicle to work properly. We know this intuitively and there is no good reason to doubt our intuition. How much more do living organisms exhibit functional coherence? Our intuition serves us right that living organisms must have been designed, just like the vehicle. No accidental cause could create my Chevy Silverado, I know this intuitively. Likewise, no accidental cause could create my dog, Andy. Random mutations are just that, random. So we know immediately that they cannot replace what appears to be insight.
- The geological record. If evolution were true, the geological record would show a slow, gradual change in life form. But what we observe is something totally different. We observe body forms that are vastly different than those before them. The term often used is an “explosion” of new life forms from one layer to another. The question is: What could cause this explosion? Can natural causes account for this?
- The improbability of protein evolution. The explosion of new life forms mentioned above need new genetic information to arise rapidly as random mutations occur in the DNA of the pre-existing life forms, if evolutionary theory is to be maintained. It is important to note that in order for natural selection to preserve, let alone create new life forms, random mutations must first produce new information for producing proteins. It does this blindly. Hence, the name random mutations. If there were a guide to the mutations, we would be talking about insight, which is what the naturalist wants to avoid. Insight is an argument for Intelligent Design. It turns out that random mutations have a 1 in 10^77 chance to produce one functional protein necessary for new genetic information to arise. To put that in perspective, there are 10^65 atoms in our galaxy. The only way to overcome impossible odds such as these is to have a great many number of chances to get it right. If random mutations have 10^77 chances then odds are they will get one right. However, random mutations only get (at most) 10^40 chances (that is how many organisms have ever existed). This means not enough time has passed for a single functional protein to arise by random mutations. As you guessed, you need much more than one protein to account for the new life forms observed in the geological record. (I got these numbers from Douglas Axe’s work. The books recommended below also quote from his work).
- Irreducible complexity. Darwin himself said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Stephen C. Meyer and others believe that life at its most simple form, the living cell, exhibits such irreducible complexity. In short, all of its parts must exist at the same time or the whole thing fails. If you were to remove one part, the whole would cease to function. This means it couldn’t have formed by slow, gradual modifications. It’s irreducible, yet complex; not simple, as Darwin believed it would be. In Darwin’s defense, he didn’t know for sure. In today’s world with much more technological advances than in Darwin’s day, we now know much better what life at it’s “simple” form is like. And it isn’t quite simple.
Darwin’s theory of evolution has failed to produce any convincing evidence. First, we would have to discard strong intuitions that tell us accidental causes can never account for such wonderful works of art as living organisms. Second, we would have to reinterpret the geological record which shows explosions of new life forms, not gradual changes. Thirdly, we would have to beat the over-coming odds that modern molecular biology has shown us. Some have attempted to explain how these odds could be overcome, but they amount to nothing. Lastly, we would have to completely ignore that Darwin was wrong about life at its most basic form.
There is, obviously, another option. We can accept the scientific data at face-value. We know that new information can only be produced by insight. Insight comes from an intelligent source. If this seems obvious that’s because it is. Why do scientists then reject Intelligent Design? Because some elite scientists hold to neo-Darwinism tighter than many Christians hold to their religion. Darwinism has failed to produce scientific evidence and is on its way out the door. It will take awhile, and it won’t be easy, but the truth will always win the day. Christians should reject Darwinism, not because it’s incompatible with Scripture (though it is), but because it is incompatible with the scientific data.