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Evolution - finding the real missing links

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Digging deeper

The theory of Evolution is typically associated with Charles Darwin, publishing his book 'On the Origin of Species' in 1859. Its basis was that all new living things are the result of random mutations with nature selecting the best through survival of the fittest. It was not a trivial work with over 600 pages, but rather than its scientific detail it was sensational in providing an alternative to God-given creation, so encouraged those who wanted to dispense with God. It inevitably received a lot of push-back, not all of which was well reasoned. Dispensing with a creator however is nothing new, the early Christians responded to the materialistic Epicurian and Gnostic thinkers of their time (more on this from Dr John West).

Every good theory needs to be tested and one was tried on E.coli bacteria. After 70,000 cycles the only very minor change negatively affected the organism. This seems to be typical.

Darwin's doubt

'Darwin's Doubt', a well-researched book in this field by Dr Stephen Meyer, looks at the technical research around evolution in some detail. It shows that as classically understood it is not credible due to a number of factors including probability mathematics, the complexity of DNA, cell multiplication mechanics, and not least (which gave Darwin doubt) the 'Precambrian explosion' fossils.  Darwin sent his book to an American palaeontologist who was aware of the fossil record and received a reply that it was an interesting book but did not fit the facts.  Here's a quick introduction:


A related book Animal Algorithms looks at the remarkably sophisticated migration and social feats of some birds, insects and sea creatures (including built-in magnetic compasses), which depend on multiple abilities to be present at the same time, and how this is implausible with simple evolution.

A recent documentary series on BBC explored recent findings around the origin of humans. They introduced it by saying (rather bashfully) that we had to forget the traditional ape-Neanderthal-Homo Sapiens progression. Instead of the gradual progression of humans, it now seems at least 3 families of humans coexisted in Europe-Asia-Africa and were of similar cognitive ability and social complexity (with no obvious missing links?).


Who designed?

So their main problem is to explain how life did happen, with some vehemently opposed to a solution-direction that better fits the facts - Intelligent Design. A new branch of study 'systems biology' (like systems engineering) seeks to understand natural systems in terms of their goals: information passing etc. This implies a purpose - not blind chance. An application of intelligent design to the study of DNA lead to the discovery that what had been dismissed as 'junk DNA' - left over from evolution - did in fact have a purpose.

Professor Stuart Burgess, an award-winning British engineer, is inspired by bio-mechanics - ie how our bodies work and has researched the amazing functional design of wrists and ankles.  He contrasts this with the dogma of evolutionists who are dismissive of facts that don't fit in with a chaotic purposeless evolution. He quoted Richard Dawkins (in Guardian newspaper correspondence):

Starting at the beginning

When thinking about creation there is a profound sense that 'We don't need to reconcile Genesis with modern scientific evidence. We need to reconcile modern scientific evidence with Genesis.' Scott Aniol.  See Bible out of date for more and Prof Wayne Grudem's discussion on Theistic Evolution.

We don't know what else will be discovered but the significant evidence we have should give us the confidence to critique the philosophical approaches that seek to deny God's existence and loving Providence on evolutionary scientific grounds. 'No one is born an atheist or evolutionist—you have to be indoctrinated to become one’ Owen Strachan.  It seems evolution is taught in schools not from a scientific basis but a philosophical predisposition.


Eric Metaxis summarises some evidence:


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