Hissan ur Rehman
(Author: Harun Yahya
Publisher: Goodword Publishers, New Dehli
Any person who seeks an answer to the question of how living things, including himself, came into existence will encounter two distinct explanations. The first is “creation,” the idea that all living things came into existence as a consequence of an intelligent design. The second explanation is the theory of “evolution,” which asserts that living things are not the products of an intelligent design, but of coincidental causes and natural processes. This is a polemical work that discusses and analyzes this scientific crisis faced by the theory of evolution. This work rests solely upon scientific findings. Those advocating the theory of evolution on behalf of scientific truth should confront these findings and question the presumptions they have so far held. Refusal to do this would mean openly accepting that their adherence to the theory of evolution is dogmatic rather than scientific.
The Mechanisms of Darwinism
According to the theory of evolution, living things came into existence by means of coincidences, and developed further as a consequence of coincidental effects. Approximately 3.8 billion years ago, when no living organisms existed on earth, the first simple single-celled organisms (prokaryotes) emerged. Over time, more complex cells (eukaryotes) and multi-cellular organisms came into being. In other words, according to Darwinism, the forces of nature built simple inanimate elements into highly complex and flawless designs. The neo-Darwinist model, which we shall take as the mainstream theory of evolution today, argues that life has evolved through two natural mechanisms: natural selection and mutation. The theory basically asserts that natural selection and mutation are two complementary mechanisms. The origin of evolutionary modifications lies in random mutations that take place in the genetic structures of living things. The traits brought about by mutations are selected by the mechanism of natural selection, and by this means living things evolve. However, when we look further into this theory, we find that there is no such evolutionary mechanism. Neither natural selection nor mutations can cause different species to evolve into one another, and the claim that they can is completely unfounded.
The True Origin of Species
When Darwin’s The Origin of Species was published in 1859, it was believed that he had put forward a theory that could account for the extraordinary variety of living things. He had observed that there were different variations within the same species. For instance, while wandering through England’s animal fairs, he noticed that there were many different breeds of cow, and that stockbreeders selectively mated them and produced new breeds. Taking that as his starting point, he continued with the logic that “living things can naturally diversify within themselves,” which means that over a long period of time all living things could have descended from a common ancestor.
However, this assumption of Darwin’s about “the origin of species” was not actually able to explain their origin at all. Thanks to developments in genetic science, it is now understood that increases in variety within one species can never lead to the emergence of another new species. What Darwin believed to be “evolution,” was actually “variation.”
From Invertebrates to Reptiles
Natural history reveals that different classes of life emerged on the earth not through any evolutionary process, but all at once, and with all their complex structures fully developed right from the start. Different living species appeared completely independently of one another, and with no “transitional forms” between them. This chapter examines real natural history, taking the fossil record as our basis.
Birds and Mammals
How did birds come into existence? The theory of evolution tries to provide an answer with a long scenario. According to this story, reptiles are the ancestors of birds. Approximately 150-200 million years ago, birds evolved from their reptile ancestors. The first birds had very poor flying skills. Yet, during the evolution process, feathers replaced the thick skins of these ancient birds, which were originally covered with scales. Their front legs were also completely covered by feathers, and changed into wings. As a result of gradual evolution, some reptiles adapted themselves to flight, and thus became the birds of today. This scenario is presented in evolutionary sources as an established fact. However, an in-depth study of the details and the scientific data indicates that the scenario is based more on imagination than reality.
The Invalidity of Punctuated Equilibrium
In an earlier chapter, we examined how the fossil record clearly invalidates the hypotheses of the Darwinist theory. We saw that the different living groups in the fossil record emerged suddenly, and stayed fixed for millions of years without undergoing any changes. This great discovery of palaeontology shows that living species exist with no evolutionary processes behind them. This fact was ignored for many years by palaeontologists, who kept hoping that imaginary “intermediate forms” would one day be found. In the 1970s, some palaeontologists accepted that this was an unfounded hope and that the “gaps” in the fossil record had to be accepted as a reality. However, because these palaeontologists were unable to relinquish the theory of evolution, they tried to explain this reality by modifying the theory. And so was born the “punctuated equilibrium” model of evolution, which differs from neo-Darwinism in a number of respects. This model began to be vigorously promoted at the start of the 1970s by the palaeontologists Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University and Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History. They summarized the evidence presented by the fossil record as revealing two basic characteristics:1. Stasis. 2. Sudden appearance. In order to explain these two facts within the theory of evolution, Gould and Eldredge proposed that living species came about not through a series of small changes, as Darwin had maintained, but by sudden, large ones.
The Origin of Man
The claim of evolution, which “lacks any evidence,” starts the human family tree with a group of apes that have been claimed to constitute a distinct genus, Australopithecus. According to the claim, Australopithecus gradually began to walk upright, his brain grew, and he passed through a series of stages until he arrived at man’s present state (Homo sapiens). But the fossil record does not support this scenario. Despite the claim that all kinds of intermediate forms exist, there is an impassable barrier between the fossil remains of man and those of apes. Furthermore, it has been revealed that the species which are portrayed as each other’s ancestors are actually contemporary species that lived in the same period. Ernst Mayr, one of the most important proponents of the theory of evolution in the twentieth century, contends in his book One Long Argument that “particularly historical [puzzles] such as the origin of life or of Homo sapiens, are extremely difficult and may even resist a final, satisfying explanation.”
Molecular Biology and the Origin of Life
The first thing that must be said is that the claim that non-living materials can come together to form life is an unscientific one that has not been verified by any experiment or observation. Life is only generated from life. Each living cell is formed by the replication of another cell. No one in the world has ever succeeded in forming a living cell by bringing inanimate materials together, not even in the most advanced laboratories. The theory of evolution claims that a living cell that cannot be produced even when all the power of the human intellect, knowledge and technology are brought to bear nevertheless managed to form by chance under primordial conditions on the earth. This chapter examines why this claim is contrary to the most basic principles of science and reason.
The Myth of Homology
Anyone who studies the different living species in the world may observe that there are some similar organs and features among these species. The first person to draw materialistic conclusions from this fact, which has attracted scientists’ attention since the eighteenth century, was Charles Darwin. Darwin thought that creatures with similar (homologous) organs had an evolutionary relationship with each other, and that these organs must have been inherited from a common ancestor. According to his assumption, both pigeons and eagles had wings; therefore, pigeons, eagles and indeed all other birds with wings were supposed to have evolved from a common ancestor. Homology is a tautological argument, advanced on the basis of no other evidence than an apparent physical resemblance. This argument has never once been verified by a single concrete discovery in all the years since Darwin’s day. Nowhere in the world has anyone come up with a fossil remain of the imaginary common ancestor of creatures with homologous structures. Furthermore, the following issues make it clear that homology provides no evidence that evolution ever occurred:
1. One finds homologous organs in creatures belonging to completely different phyla, among which evolutionists have not been able to establish any sort of evolutionary relationship.
2. The genetic codes of some creatures that have homologous organs are completely different from one another.
3. The embryological development of homologous organs in different creatures is completely different.
This chapter considers some biological facts presented as evidence for the theory in evolutionist sources. In contrast to widespread belief, these facts show that there is actually no scientific discovery that supports the theory of evolution.
The Origin of Plants
We find the same picture in the origin of plants as we met when examining the origin of animals. Plants possess exceedingly complex structures, and it is not possible for these to come about by chance effects and for them to evolve into one another. The fossil record shows that the different classes of plants emerged all of a sudden in the world, each with its own particular characteristics, and with no period of evolution behind it.
This chapter only examines a few examples of the concept of irreducible complexity. In fact, most organs and systems in living things possess the feature. On the biochemical level in particular, systems function by the working together of a number of independent parts, and cannot by any means be reduced to further simplicity. This fact invalidates Darwinism, which tries to account for the design in life by natural influences. Darwin said that “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.” Today, modern biology has revealed countless examples of this. One can only conclude, then, that Darwinism has “absolutely” broken down.
Evolution and Thermodynamics
This section clearly demonstrates the impossibility of evolution in the face of the second law of thermodynamics. The concept of “self-organization” is another dogma that evolutionist scientists are trying to keep alive despite all the scientific evidence.
Information Theory and the End of Materialism
Reductionism is a logical deduction. However, a logical deduction can be based on solid grounds or on shaky ones. For this reason, the question we need to ask is: What happens when reductionism is compared to scientific data? Nineteenth-century materialist scientists and thinkers thought that the answer would be that science verifies reductionism. Twentieth-century science, however, has revealed a very different picture. One of the most salient feature of this picture is “information,” which is present in nature and can never be reduced to matter.
Distinguishing Between Science and Materialism
The information considered throughout this book has shown that the theory of evolution has no scientific basis, and that, on the contrary, evolutionist claims conflict with scientific facts. In other words, the force that keeps evolution alive is not science. Evolution may be maintained by some “scientists,” but behind it there is another influence at work. This other influence is materialist philosophy. The theory of evolution is simply materialist philosophy applied to nature, and those who support that philosophy do so despite the scientific evidence.
Conclusion and Comments
This book has examined the scientific evidence for the origin of life, and what emerges clearly demonstrates that life was not the result of chance, as claimed by Darwinism and materialist philosophy in general. Living species could not have evolved from one another through a string of coincidences. On the contrary, all living things were independently and flawlessly created. As the twenty-first century dawns, science offers but one answer to the question of the origin of life: creation. The important thing is that science has confirmed the truth which religion has been witness to from the dawn of history to the present day. God created the universe and all the living things in it from nothing. And it was God who created man from nothing and blessed him with countless characteristics. This truth has been sent down to man since the dawn of time by Prophets, and revealed in holy books. Every Prophet has told the communities he addressed that God created man and all living things. The Bible and the Qur’an all tell of the news of creation in the same way.